Working from home has been a lot for everyone this quarantine season, but for this OP, it has been way too much family time. Is he in the wrong for demanding some peace and quiet?
The global quarantine has put a lot of strain on individuals and their relationships. It can range from complete isolation to non-stop quality time with significant others and family members. That alone can put a lot of stress on people who are also confined to working from home. It can also put a lot into perspective for spouses who have not taken the time to appreciate what the other does. While one is at work all day, the other is also working all day taking care of the family and getting things done. But now that they’re both home together, worlds collide.
This OP is currently still working from home seven months after the start of quarantine. He has a wife and two twin toddlers that can be a handful. OP needs absolute silence to work, but doesn’t have a home office. Since he and his family are in a small apartment with just enough room for the four of them, tensions can run high. Hey, we get being a bit on edge OP, the state of global health has put a lot of us in tough situations. It’s a lot of time at home to juggle work and family.
“It has been slowly ticking me off,” OP opened up, “because I am working hours and I hear noises such as my wife talking, watching TV, kids playing from the other room. I have been VERY patient with them telling more than once that I need 100% silence to focus but even if they are trying to be ‘quiet’, I still hear some noises.”
OP would hear his kids playing and walking around. He’d hear his wife taking care of them, making food and cleaning. But with all the buzzing around, OP could not bring himself to focus on his work. The work that he needed to accomplish to provide for his wife and his kids. To pay for their small apartment. The work he needed to do to make sure he had a secure income especially in times of uncertainty.
“I got fed up with it and told my wife off. I’m the one working in this family and paying for everything. The least they can give me is peace and quiet while I do my job.” OP’s wife is a stay at home mom and with the added stress of working from home, OP believes it’s also his wife’s job to be silent and shut the kids up.
“If I don’t have complete silence, I cannot work and could lose my job. My wife on the other hand doesn’t appreciate any of it.”
OP’s wife on the other hand has a lot to juggle with taking care of twin toddlers. That’s double the trouble! But once the can of worms was opened, nothing stopped OP from continuing his vent.
“Even when I wasn’t working from home she would ask me to do chores after work and take care of the kids when I am obviously very tired needing to wind down and relax for the night. Then when I’m off on the weekend, I’m still expected to help out. I would remind her that that’s her job as a stay at home mom, but she refuses to listen to me because ‘they’re my kids and my home too.’ It hurts that she doesn’t appreciate how hard I work or my feelings. I do my part by supporting this family financially, if it wasn’t for me we wouldn’t have a roof over our head, or food to eat.”
Working all week and coming home to have to do more work is a lot, we get that. But is OP stretching it here? Maybe he’s just needing to let off some steam, but should he had said all this to his wife?
He continues, “Despite me voicing of my feelings she not only has the nerve to disturb my work but also expects me to work more afterward. My wife is angry at me and refuses to back down. The worst part? She claimed that I don’t appreciate her."
Well… does OP appreciate all that his wife does for him and their family? Does his wife not do enough? What kind of common ground can these two come to in order to survive the unknown remaining time in quarantine? Other Reddit users were quick to chime in.
"You sound like you don’t appreciate your wife at all. Remember that you get breaks from your paid work; your wife gets none from her unpaid work. What kind of AH expects complete silence from toddlers? Why can’t you invest in noise-canceling headphones?" Said mckinnos.
Other users wanted more info on the subject before they offered any clarity, asking "How did you work in your office before, was it absolutely silent there?"
"They're toddlers. They're going to make noise, no matter how hard your wife tries. And you expect her to be silent also while trying to accomplish this magical feat? You have two jobs - one of them is being a parent. So yep, when you're not doing your other job, that's when parenting comes into play. It doesn't sound like you appreciate her at all." Another user commented.
"I feel like OP is one of those men who would get home and complain dinner was on a paper plate while his wife is balancing a toddler on a hip trying to get the lasagna out of the oven while the other plays in the cat box." Mentioned another. "He would even walk past her to get a drink and then mention they were out of buds as he walked to the lazyboy and tossed his shoes on the floor while turning on the game."