If you're a parent, you know that raising a baby is HARD, especially when said baby isn't on a predictable sleep cycle. And, more often than not, in heterosexual relationships, it tends to be the mother who loses out on the most sleep.
Recently, Reddit user u/tireddad667 (or OP; for original poster) brought this topic to the interwebs when he asked the Am I The Asshole subreddit if he's wrong for asking his wife if he can have a "morning off" from taking care of their baby on weekends:
Let's get right into it. Here are the details, according to OP:
"My wife and I have a 6-month-old baby girl. She's mostly a stay-at-home mom. She works two half days a week, and her sister watches the baby. I work full-time and go to school one day a week. We've always had an arrangement where she takes care of the household duties (cooking, cleaning, and now baby care) while I happily support her monetarily. Honestly, we are both living our dream life, and my wife does an absolutely spectacular job taking care of me and our little one."
"On the weekends, we share baby duty. We usually make sure each of us gets our own alone time to do whatever we want. However, our girl has hit a bit of a sleep regression, waking up every two hours — since my wife breastfeeds, she's always taken care of the baby full-time overnight. She's a light sleeper and unfortunately has insomnia, whereas I am a deep sleeper and wouldn't wake up for baby cries anyways."
"Recently, my wife has been asking me to wake up with the baby both days on the weekends so she can get an extra hour of sleep. The baby wakes up around 7 a.m., so I'd get the baby dressed and take over for that hour."
"But sometimes, I want to be the one that gets to sleep in an extra hour. I brought this up to her, and she says while she's happy to let me nap during the day, she really needs that hour because she can't nap like I can. We got into an argument about it, and she said I'm being very insensitive when I know that she is very exhausted and can't nap during the day, and struggles going back to sleep every time the baby wakes up. But, I'm exhausted, too. Work wears me out, school days are long, and I sometimes want the hour in the morning. I don't want to spend my time off napping; I want to play video games and chill out."
"I've gotten mixed opinions on who is in the wrong here, or if there even is anyone in the wrong. [Am I the asshole] for asking us to share mornings off for sleep?"
People were quick to share their opinions in the comments, and the main consensus was that, yes, OP is indeed in the wrong and should let his wife get some damn sleep:
"If she's taking all the night duty because you don't wake up, then you get the morning duty when you do wake up so she can catch up on her lost sleep in the night. You want a morning off, give her a night off."
"She is up aaaaall night. She does not get breaks like you in the week. She is asking you to get up at 7. A defined time. Go to bed earlier if this is an issue. She is surviving. I doubt she is living her 'dream life' if this small request has been so poorly supported by you."
Others weren't too pleased with the fact that he seems to be prioritizing "video games" over the needs of his partner and child:
"I was so close to [saying not the asshole] because new babies and sleep is hard, but then we got to "video games"....Nope! You can't have both nights and mornings. And your video game time might have to just suffer for a while."
"Nothing wrong with liking to play video games, but you shouldn’t prioritize it over your spouse’s literal welfare. Plus, this is just a temporary phase, so it’s not like he won’t be able to get back to his more usual weekend routine once the baby gets a little older and starts sleeping through the nights again.
Sacrifices must be made when you have a kid. And it should be both parents shouldering that load, not just one."
And some took issue with the fact that OP thinks he should be off the hook because he supports his wife "monetarily" while she deals with all the emotional labor or raising their child:
"Not only is she working, but she is enabling OP to work by providing childcare —for free — for their joint child which he would otherwise have to partially pay for. But no, he 'supports her monetarily.' She's supporting you."
"I also don’t understand how he’s supporting her monetarily when she works two days a week AND is responsible for cooking and cleaning and baby care. My dude is doing well less than he should."
"These dudes act like they do soooo much when they have no idea what all emotional labor women are just expected to do by default, and work, and be a flawless mother."
Lastly, someone who's been in a similar situation as OP's wife shared that OP's behavior can definitely have consequences:
"I needed nighttime support from my partner when my child was a newborn. He didn't take it seriously, and it took more effort from me to wake him up to help than it was to just do it myself. I stopped feeling like a human. The resentment never went away. We divorced when the kid was 2."
Personally, I think parenting should be an equal endeavor, and that doesn't seem to be happening here. But what do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Note: Responses have been edited for length/clarity.