The Luv Doc: An On-the-Ball Housedaddy

Would a moat increase your property value?

The Luv Doc: An On-the-Ball Housedaddy

Dear Luv Doc,

Over the last 18 months my husband's company has been steadily downsizing. Luckily he has managed to stay at full salary throughout, but last week his boss asked if he would be willing to volunteer to take a 30% pay cut, but only work about half the hours he normally does. My husband doesn't hate his job, but he doesn't exactly live for it either, so he asked me how I would feel about him working less so he can spend more time with our kids and work on projects around the house. We both make decent money and could probably live off my salary alone if it came down to it, but I am not sure how I feel about becoming the main breadwinner. My husband says I should look at this as an opportunity to make our lives less stressful, but I am not sure that would be the case for me. What do you advise? Should I agree to let him take the pay cut? I am afraid it might become permanent and I might be stuck carrying most of the financial load.

– Working Mom

While I agree that your situation sounds a bit frightening, it could be way worse. I mean, it's not like your husband is getting his old doom metal band back together to make a last-ditch run at fame and fortune on Spotify. It doesn't sound like he's going to ditch his day gig to join an improv troupe. My guess is that by "working on projects around the house" he didn't mean excavating a scale-model medieval moat around your house. If he did, that would of course be fucking awesome. It wouldn't necessarily get him out of the rat race though because – news flash – rats can swim, but my cousin tells me they're easier to pick off with a .22 in open water. I know that sounds like a specious claim, but my cousin is one of those East Texas Duck Dynasty dudes who spends a lot of time poling a pirogue.

Would a moat increase your property value? Probably. In Austin, there is very little that can decrease your property value other than Joe Rogan moving in next door, and done properly, a moat would definitely add to your curb appeal – especially with the Ren faire set, which I'm guessing accounts for about 70% of Austin homebuyers. All that said, even if your husband doesn't dig a moat around your house, he might well use his time wisely in some other fashion: decoupage, day trading, home brewing, scrapbooking, puppetry, leather crafting, making bed-wetting amateur porn ... OK that last one might have been too specific, but you get the idea. The point is, either you trust your husband to be an industrious, on-the-ball housedaddy or you don't.

If you think your husband is likely to end up spending his free half-days sitting on the sofa, eating bonbons, and watching Hoda and Jenna, then by all means I suggest you put the kibosh on this deal – no dis to Hoda and Jenna. However, if you just have a vague feeling you're going to get the short end of the happiness stick, perhaps you should reexamine your own situation and your satisfaction therewith. If the COVID pandemic has taught us anything, it's that patterns of behavior that people thought were inviolable were in fact just ruts we lacked the energy or imagination to break out of. I mean, fuck, isn't that how we got Joe Rogan?

I suggest you sit with this idea for a spell and decide what it really is that's making you anxious. That way you can communicate it clearly to your husband. Who knows? This might be his best chance at having any income at all going forward. Plus, you might get some pretty sweet decoupage out of this deal. The most important thing to remember is that his happiness shouldn't come at your expense. You need to be happy with whatever you decide for your marriage to truly flourish – just make sure your decision is made for the right reasons.

Need some advice from the Luv Doc? Send your questions to the Luv Doc, check out the Luv Doc Archive, and subscribe to the Luv Doc Newsletter.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More The Luv Doc
The Luv Doc: Early Morning Texts
The Luv Doc: Early Morning Texts
The DPS never sends out Amber Alerts at 1am.

The Luv Doc, Dec. 3, 2021

The Luv Doc: Cranberry Volcano
The Luv Doc: Cranberry Volcano
People who don't have embarrassing stories are either exceptionally dull, or disturbingly dishonest

The Luv Doc, Nov. 26, 2021

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle