Dear Coleen: My wife and I can’t agree on who will quit work to look after next baby


Dear Coleen

I’m a married man in my late 30s. When my wife was pregnant with our daughter, who’s nearly five, we agreed I’d give up my job to be a stay-at-home dad as she earned a lot more than I did.

I looked after our daughter full-time until she was nearly three and started nursery five days a week.

I then went back to work and now I’m really enjoying my job and have climbed the ladder after a couple of promotions.

The problem is, my wife is desperate for another child and wants me to be the main carer again, which I don’t want to do.

We’ve argued about it a couple of times.

She says she still earns more than I do (which is true) and she believes that taking significant time out will damage her career.

We can’t agree on the solution.

Please can you help?

Coleen says

You have some tough decisions to make.

Anyone with kids knows sacrifice and compromise are part of the deal.

In your case, maybe it’s a case of agreeing the next child goes to nursery a lot earlier so you can both return to work much quicker.

If her argument is that she doesn’t want her baby going to nursery full-time that soon, then I think it’s up to her to make a choice.

It’s unfair to say you should be the one to stay at home just because you earn less.

She’s not allowing for the fact that your career has blossomed and you’re enjoying it.

I’m certain about one thing – don’t try for a baby until you’ve worked something out that you’re both happy with.

Right now I’m not sure there’s space in your life for another child if you can’t agree on who is going to look after it.

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