A SAHM (stay-at-home mom) writes in asking for advice about her husband pressuring her to return to work. This mom has long suffered from Bipolar Manic Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. In previous jobs, she has needed to do avoid traditional retail positions and focus on work where she did not need to communicate with other humans much, due to her mental health. Her husband, however, spends a lot of money and is pressuring her to return to work, despite her current role as a stay-at-home mom. What should she do?
A member of the community asks:
“*Trigger Warning* My husband is pressuring me to start working, but I worry about handling the stress: Advice?
Before I start, I have Bipolar Manic Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. When I was 16, I was kidnapped and sexually assaulted and beaten. I am essentially a big anxiety-riddled mess ball and have been since then. I take medication for the BMDD, but my anxiety runs with everything. I’m constantly anxious, so holding down a typical retail job is something I’ve never done.
I’ve always had labor jobs. Jobs I use my hands for and don’t communicate with a lot of people daily. My anxiety makes me feel like my body is constantly stuck in flight mode. Over the years, it damaged my heart, and I’m pretty underweight. That’s how severe it is. Tried everything for it—even CBD. Nothing works to relieve it. Anyways, when I got married and had kids (they’re 1 and 2), I just fell into the SAHM position. My husband makes about $65k a year so, we aren’t struggling, but my husband spends money like its on fire so, sometimes we do struggle.
I mean, he never comes to me first before he buys something expensive (like, when he dropped $600 on a tattoo and didn’t tell me). I don’t know what he spends. I know that he doesn’t want to be the sole provider. I know that he doesn’t understand how much work goes into being a SAHM. I know there are things he wants to buy, but can’t. It’s a constant fight, and I get it. I don’t like not having my own money. I don’t like that he supports us on his own. I’ve always been a hard worker who worked for what she wanted or needed. It makes me feel worthless and useless.
At the same time, I’m holding this house together. My kids, husband, and dogs are like wrecking balls. They’re disgusting. Nothing gets done unless I do it. I sleep 3 hours a night if that (my anxiety causes insomnia). I know that I’m already running on empty, and a job would be financially great, but I worry I won’t be able to handle it. I don’t know what to do to make this situation better. It’s a constant fight. My husband is ruthless with the insults, and I’m sick of it. Any advice?”
Community Advice for This Stay-at-Home Mom Who Suffers From Bipolar Manic Depressive Disorder and Whose Husband Is Pressuring Her to Return to Work
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.
The community offered this mom in need a lot of great advice. Read some of their responses below.
“Well, could you make enough to make it worthwhile realistically? I know where I live, two kids in full-time daycare would cost about $1600 a month. And remind him that if and when you do work outside of the home that he is required to do his share of the housework and kid duties.”
“Easy fix… go get a part-time evening job. That leaves him in charge of dinner, bath, and bed for the kids. Leave him a list of what needs to be done (dishwasher loaded, floor swept, load of laundry). I give him a week before he tells you to stay home again.”
“Stand your ground! You’re doing great for what you’ve been through. Money is not as important as your peace of mind!”
“If he is not supportive and ruthless with insults it sounds like a toxic situation.. I would try and find a way you can get an income to support yourself and kids and move on.”
“I can’t even imagine the anxiety and fear that comes with everything you’ve been through. I would very much suggest speaking to a psychiatrist about therapy and possible med changes though. And maybe see if you can even find something part-time, with low hours to start!”
“First, I’m sorry about your situation and what you’ve been through. I think this is a way bigger talk with hubby. Daycare expenses obviously, but when you start making money, does it go to house bills? Car? Food? And then what does he pay for? If you’re going to work just so he can play and get tattoos then forget that! Think about the pros and cons.”
“Your kids are young and they need you more than your husband needs money. Do not feel guilty at least for 2-3 more years. If he thinks things are tight he should put on his man boots and cut down unnecessary expenses and take on another job. But to ask someone who is a Sahm and dealing with such intense issues is just wrong, plain wrong.”
“It sounds like you already have your hands full, and it doesn’t appear like your husband is very understanding of what you’ve been through in your life nor supportive of you. He also does not understand what it takes to be married. Him wastefully spending money without first discussing it with you, just because he is the one who goes to a “job” does not justify it at all. That is being selfish. I am not at all saying that you wouldn’t be able to handle a job, but I do think it would be very challenging with two small children plus daycare is super expensive.”
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