Husband won’t let pregnant wife take full time maternity leave


Is it so much to ask that a woman be allowed to recover – physically and mentally – from childbirth? 

Any woman who has ever had a baby knows the total insanity that is the first few months of parenthood. Your hormones are crazy, your body looks weird, your sleep has gone out the window… and you’re suddenly responsible for keeping a small person alive. The best thing you can hope for is a good maternity leave policy and a supportive partner to give you a chance to rest and get back on your feet.

Well, one woman has taken to mumsnet to question if she was asking too much. She explained that she was a freelancer and was currently 31 weeks pregnant:

“My husband is also self-employed and earns much more than me but is not supportive of me taking full time maternity leave and thinks I should try to keep on working even during the first few months postpartum.” 

She went on, explaining that her husband has two kids from a previous relationship and that despite being married, the house is in his name and their finances are completely separate. She said he has “trust issues since his first wife left him”. (Cue giant eyerolls from every woman, ever.)

On top of that, he’s keeping the house they live in for the kids from his first marriage – so while he still expects her to pay half the bills, she can’t have her name on the deed.

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The woman’s husband expects her to do all of the child rearing while still working. Image: iStock 

“He expects me to pay” 

All of this sounds pretty fishy, and more than unreasonable on the husband’s part, but then the woman said her husband was basically putting all the burden of child rearing on to her. 

“My husband expects me to continue to support myself through this pregnancy and beyond – it is also becoming clear that he expects me to pay for everything that will be needed for the baby.”

She clarified that it wasn’t like it was an accidental conception – she is 42 and they have been through IVF and she’s had 7 miscarriages – but she feels like if she’s forced to go straight back to work she won’t be able to spend the quality time with this much longed-for child.

“I know he won’t let us starve but this pressure to keep working is really ruining this time for me which I had dreamt of for so long. Am I really being an unreasonable brat for expecting to enjoy some time with our baby if that means I won’t be able to pay my own way?” she asked.

Photo of a young mother holding her newborn baby, while putting him to sleep

The woman has longed to be a mother forever. Image: iStock 

“I’d divorce him”

As you can imagine, the internet was up in arms, finding it unbelievable that a man who has two kids already doesn’t understand the enormity of the first few months of new parenthood. 

“Honestly? I’d divorce him. He’s not your partner, doesn’t see you as his equal and is a twat.”

Others agreed she should be having some very big conversations in the next few weeks and that she should be see a solicitor, stat. 

“You’ll be entitled to a share of the house, possibly spousal support and certainly child support,” someone pointed out, continuing, “he had no business making a child with you if he didn’t intend to support you both, emotionally and financially.” 

Mother Cuddling Newborn Baby In Bed At Home While Husband Is Sleeping

The man has no plans to support the woman or his child. Image: iStock 

“Get out”

Everyone agreed she was in no way being unreasonable and that a few months off after birth was the least any new mum could expect. If he didn’t understand that, he was never going be a supportive partner or father. They also pondered what happened in the first marriage.

“He has ‘trust issues’ because of a previous partner? Yes, how convenient. I’d like to hear their side of it! He isn’t a good man, OP.” 

One put it, quite simply:

“Your marriage is over. Indeed, apart from the sex, I would suggest it was never really there from his point of view. Get a sh*t hot lawer and get out.”

The original poster came back to the forum to thank everyone, agreeing it was pause for thought. 

“Reading your replies, I can see that my concerns are not just raging hormone moments of panic but actually as reasonable as I feared… I’m afraid he does come across as a bit of a monster but I hope that he will surprise me… I really am starting to wonder whether I would be best off completely on my own.”



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