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I stay remote (wfh) most of the time for my work, and travel about < 10%. My wife also stay home with our son. The benefit of getting to stay at home, especially in this consulting industry is (cont)

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Any chance your wife gets a part time job and send kid to daycare part time? Problem is with her not having a circle of her own, a life and world of her own, frustrations can mount up.. house work is endless and thankless.. also - you need to work from library or cafe or co-working space.. It is impossible for me to wfh if my kid is around.. Additionally, something that works for us - laundry only on weekend, batch cooking on Sunday that lasts us for 3-4 days, cleaning house (clothes lying around) only on Friday nights while watching something on tv.. rest of the week a mountain of clothes pile up and we are ok with it.. that way weekdays are more relaxed chores wise and both contribute to the work over weekend.

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This is solid recommendations. Don’t underestimate what A1 is implying here... communication and sharing feelings and creative problem solving is key here. You AND her need to both get there... solid response A1

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great and I get to grow up with my kid. But even in this situation, we have our own issues. I tried to help as much as I can with our daily routine. From feeding the kid breakfast, lunch, dinners, taking a bath, playing with kid, laundry, etc etc so that my wife can do her chores as well. But the problem is that the house work creep too much over to work work time. As a single income family, I still think it’s important to keep my job secure as we don’t have a backup, and with a mortgage in HCOL city. We can’t afford a hire help except a bi-weekly housekeeper. The frustration comes when I need to break out the routine like having a conference call at lunch hour or need some more time to work on a project. And my wife would be unhappy at these and end up her lashing out to the kid. I appreciate all the things she does and I know it’s not an easy job to take care of the kid. But at the same time, I think it’s important to keep the balance between house work and work work. Lately , the work is suffering and I’m barely committing the necessary 8 hours a day and just doing the minimum to get by. How do you navigate around this? Every time I talk to my wife, she said she gets it but nothing gets improved. Is my best bet to get a 9-5 job that leaves the house? It would mean she will be busier with less help but I figure if we keep it within a routine, she’ll get less frustrated on all these.

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Assuming you like your work/ it’s challenges, maybe you work with her on what makes her happy? Does she want to work to and you pay for more kids activities, nanny/ daycare, school? Yes her check may go to completely offset that increased cost, but her sanity/ happiness may lie there. Seems like she just isn’t happy/ onboard/ all-in.

Melissa, I’m sorry to say this but your spouse sounds like a spoiled prima Donna. Ask her to switch places. You stay home and she can join the workforce AND do chores, AND care for a toddler. Keep in mind this too shall pass. Faster than you think.

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I think the challenge is your wife doesn’t understand that when you’re working you’re at work even if you’re physically at home. Growing up my dad worked from home and he made sure to draw clear lines. As kids we knew he wouldn’t answer the home phone line during the day, we couldn’t ask him things if mom was around, we went on errands with mom even when dad was home, etc. I haven’t gone to that extreme with my wife (who is a stay at home) but we’ve definitely come to an agreement that during the week my top priority for my time is work (within reason) and helping with house chores is gravy on top Maybe part of what contributes is that you help throughout the day so it’s tough for your wife to know the boundary? Maybe make sure to get up and prep as you would if you were commuting and say “between x and y hours im working, treat me as if I wasn’t home”. It’s def a hard balance to find. Even my dad who had such strict rules for himself constantly would bother me with things when I used to live with them and work remote this past year.

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OP - I agree w D1 and Assoc1 about finding weekly routines that create a better balance for you and your wife. One thing that hasn’t really been mentioned is your wife’s perspective and her state of mind. Sounds like it’s your first child and that comes with a whole 24x7 set of responsibilities for the ‘primary’ caregiver. If she were in a professional career previously and she left it to be a full-time parent, her whole identify has shifted. That change combined with taking full responsibility for a little one’s life can be overwhelming for some new parents.

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My husband stays at home and we’ve had a very similar discussion about wfh boundaries and attitudes during the day. I give him a weekend day where I take the kids and bond with them, just me. And it gives him time to relax and have alone time. That’s helped a lot. Expectation setting has been key too. If my computer is open, I’m inaccessible. If I can help around the house during calls, I do. But we talk at the start of each week and sometimes day by day about how much I need to be focused on work for the day so I can be successful. Sometimes that’s 12-16 hrs. Sometimes it’s only 6. But I need to set that and be clear in expressing the importance of what I’m doing. We aren’t perfect still, but it helps a lot.

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May I ask what you do to be able to work remotely? I'm struggling to find a place within the firm that will allow me to do this long-term. I've proven myself during short-term WFH arrangements, but my team is not very conducive to a more permanent arrangement.

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Are there more opportunities on your team or similar?

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It sounds as though your wife may not be well-suited to staying home with a child if you feel the need to protect your child from her scolding, yelling. She might be better suited to working. Another option would be for her to leave on trips with the child regularly. In that way, the house gets less messy and she doesn’t feel trapped.

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Try working from a coffee shop, library, or the like. We have a place nearby where you can basically lease an office space- it’s targeted at remote workers. Sounds like your wife really doesn’t understand the boundaries needed. Alternatively, find a preschool program or hire a babysitter for a few hours a day so your wife (and you) can get a break and catch up on housework. A high school student acting as a “mother’s helper” might work too

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Thanks for all the suggestions. I totally agree on the boundaries thing. What makes it especially hard for me is that I can lock myself in my office to work. But my wife will get frustrated eventually with the kid and she starts scolding him on little things. I’ll then end up either unable to focus or getting out to help. What D1 suggests could work too. I guess I’ll need to try out and push for a hard couple of month to get things into rhythm.

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OMG at first I thought I wrote this post, except my version would have 4 kids under 7 years old. What did it for me one day was when she came home from an appt, with me at home working with the kids, and wondered why the laundry wasn't folded. I lashed out, probably more than I should have, and reminded her that it's Work from Home, not Home from Work. Needless to say it did not go over well. I ended up having to create an office space for myself in the basement, but as OP pointed out the interruptions still occur. I am still trying to work it out with her using communication and all that, so we'll have to see how it goes.

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Have your parents or your in laws said anything? When my wife was preparing to leave her job and go stay at home, both our moms told her separately that her priority/job now was our son and the household stuff since my priority now had to be work. Leaving aside some of the gender role subtext that isn’t great, hearing that from a third party may have helped get things off on the right foot?

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I agree with many of the comments so far -- it seems like a conversation about boundaries and expectations is essential. Can you set aside a time where you're both calm and focused? Talking about your shared values -- why you decided to divide your labor in this way -- may help you get on the same page to make decisions moving forward. We have exercises to guide these conversations in Parents Who Lead, if that's helpful.

Thank you for all the feedback and advices.

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