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18th Aug 2021

Woman won’t have another baby if her partner won’t take parental leave – and fair

Sarah McKenna Barry

He said she had a “toxic” attitude.

A woman on Reddit sparked a debate for refusing to have more children with her husband unless he takes paternity leave.

However, her husband is reluctant to take paternity leave, as, according to him, it’s “not the norm” at his place of work.

Posting anonymously on the Breaking Mom subreddit, the woman explained that while they both want more children, she has no more maternity leave to take. On top of that, they have another young child, so it would be difficult for her to manage childcare and work together.

She said that unless her partner takes a more proactive role in the childcare and opts for paternity leave, she’s not interested in having more children.

The woman wrote: “My husband reeeealy wants another baby. I do too, but I have zero maternity leave, and he won’t take leave because it’s not the ‘norm’ at his work. Plus I want to be home with the child I birth.

“So, last night I flat out told him that we would only be having a baby if I could be a stay at home mom until Kindergarten this time around.

“Childcare is a nightmare, plus I’d have to balance that and Lo’s school day, and I’m flat out refusing putting myself out like that anymore when he does the bare minimum of childcare.”

She added that he said she had a “toxic attitude” and walked away from the conversation.

The woman then asked her fellow redditers if they think she’s being “toxic” for wanting her husband to take a more hands on approach to childcare before agreeing to having another child.

In the replies, others offered her support and reassurance.

One wrote: “I am so sorry he has you doubting yourself. He is apparently willing to make NO sacrifices, while you must get pregnant, give birth, coordinate care for both children while WORKING when you don’t want to…but you are the toxic one…hmmm.”

Another reiterated that the woman is within her right to refuse to get pregnant for any reason. They wrote: “Just to be clear – it’s reasonable to refuse getting pregnant for literally any reason at all. Like – ‘cost of childcare’ and ‘just don’t feel like it’ are both completely valid reasons not to get pregnant!”