Mom Doesn't Want To Go Back To Work

Anthony is a police officer on a modest budget. His wife doesn't want to go back to work after being home with their kids. Should he push the issue?

QUESTION: Anthony in Portland is a police officer on a modest budget. Six years ago, he and his wife started having children, and she wanted to stay home with the kids. They agreed she would go back to work when the children started school. Now, she doesn’t want to go back to work. Should he push the issue?

ANSWER: I don’t know that she’s making excuses. She just sees that she’s doing a lot of other things that she didn’t realize she was going to be doing.

I think if you want to pick up some part-time work for now, that’s fine. I guess it’s like anything else in marriage. It’s a matter of it’s got to be continually talked through, and this time, when you come to agreement, maybe you guys write it up—not like some kind of big formal thing. But you could both initial it and file it away in case you forget what you agreed to. Obviously, that can change, too, but at least you’ve agreed and know what you’ve agreed to. The first time you had this discussion was seven or eight years ago, and that’s easy to forget, and it’s easy to have a different view of things, too.

For now, you’re way early on this, and you’re having a fight you don’t need to have today. Maybe the kids all go to school, she gets bored, and it solves itself. That can happen. But I can tell you a lady raising three little kids is not lazy. That doesn’t enter into this discussion.