It’s a tale as old as time: husband goes to work, wife stays home to care for their baby, husband spies on wife during the day to make sure she’s following his rules — wait, what? Yes, that is exactly what’s happening to this one mom on Reddit. After complaining about the “dread” she feels when taking care of her 15-month-old daughter, she explained that her husband watches her through cameras in the house to make sure she doesn’t turn on the TV. It’s a wild story, and Reddit is coming through with advice for her.
The mom posted on the Parenting subreddit at 4 a.m. today, writing that she “can’t fall back asleep because I know my daily dose of torture starts soon.”
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Here’s how she explains it: “My 15month old wakes up anywhere between 6am-8am to start her day. I absolutely dread days with her as I only do it out of obligation to her. I wish she could be in daycare and I could actually spend some time doing things I enjoy.”
At first glance, her experience is pretty relatable. As a former stay at home mom, I also felt relief when my kids started going to daycare. It made them happier, it made me happier, and we were able to spend much more pleasant time together in the afternoons and evenings.
And it seems like this mom is making the best of it by trying to do enriching activities with her daughter.
“The weather has been lovely and I try enjoying it with her,” she wrote. “It lasts maybe 10mins. She truly sucks the life out of me. I do not feel rewarded knowing I gave every f*cking ounce I have in me and facilitating an enriched day for her. I’m only left feeling exhausted and drained.”
I mean, that’s also understandable. Kids — especially babies — tend to not appreciate the things their parents do for them. She’s probably picturing a nice picnic at the park, but in reality it’s probably hot and there are flies everywhere and the toddler isn’t old enough to explore the playset on her own. We’ve all been there! But this mom’s reaction to her child seems to take a turn.
She continued, “If I had a time machine I would go back and never have had her in the first place. Life is f*cking awful.”
It’s absolutely heartbreaking! Her feelings are made worse by the fact that she isn’t really sleeping. “Oh yea, and did I mention she still doesn’t sleep through the night?! I’ve actually been up since 1am (when she woke up) and it took over an hour for her to fall back to sleep. I hate this. I hate this.”
Since writing it, the mom posted an update to clarify her situation even further, which will help you feel more empathy for her situation.
“I have planned activities for my daughter 3 days a week. Mommy and me gymnastics, swim lessons, and an hour session at a local trampoline/bounce park,” she wrote. “I cook all her meals and work very hard at meal prepping in order to always have something on hand for her.”
That’s fine if she wants to do that, but it seems like her husband is making her. “My husband is very controlling and does not allow me to turn the tv on during the day,” she continued. And, I’m sorry — what? That is NOT OK. It’s one thing to try to limit screen time for your kids, but for your wife?! I’m livid on her behalf.
This ridiculous rule has led to the wife sneaking around to watch her favorite show. That’s when she discovered she was being spied on. “I have tried to sneak it before and he caught me by hearing the sound of the tv when he was checking the cameras that are throughout our house,” she continued. “This is a stressor because I would love to kill some time with her by plopping her down in front the tv for 30-60mins. Even to just prepare a meal without her on my hip.”
Like, duh! She just wants to be able to cook your damn dinner in peace, sir. He should be groveling at her feet for all she does at home with your baby, but instead, he’s imposing abusive rules and breaching her privacy by literally their homes security cameras during the day to see what she’s doing. No wonder she is depressed and wishes she never became a mom! He is using their baby to control her, and it is so infuriating.
She went on to clarify that she has a “strained relationship” with her husband (duh!) and his parents. “This is probably contributing to the extra stress that I am feeling,” she added, which, yeah, understatement of the year.
The mom also opened up about her mental health struggles. “I have diagnosed mental health disorders that I am not going to get into. I’m 27 and started getting diagnosed with different things since I was 21,” she wrote. “I’ve been medicated on and off and have had a terrible struggle finding a balance. I’m currently in therapy and on medications. I’m actively getting treated and there is a plan in place if things get unbearable. I do have tremendous support when it comes to my mental health needs.” The problem isn’t her mental health — there is only so much therapy and medication can do when you are exposed to this level of emotional abuse every single day.
Her last note was about her baby. “My child is well cared for and loved. I am truly just venting.”
There’s a lot to unpack, and the Reddit advice was spot on. “Firstly sleep deprivation is a real and huge thing that should not be ignored, it can have such a negative effect on us all, you are not alone in this,” one person wrote. “If there is anyone to help overnight, even one good nights sleep for you will help wonders.”
This prompted a response from the mom, who wrote, “Reading this sweetness made me tear up. Thank you for your kind words and inspiration 💜.”
Other people asked if she had help or could do daycare one day a week, and the mom responded. “My husband helps for about 30mins at night after he gets home from work,” she said. “He’s gone before she wakes up though. This past week my husbands work picked up and he has been gone for 10 days straight just working and then coming home to sleep. I knew his busy season was coming, and I thought I was prepared. But only 10 days in and I am tapped. Feels a little hopeless and idk how I can deal with this until December when he slows down a bit.”
So she truly is in this completely alone. She added, “I’m in therapy and on medication to help balance my moods and emotions. I’ve always struggled with mental health but I do feel it’s in check. If that even makes any since after reading everything I’ve already wrote. Lol. I will say that I live in a region where access to mental health care has been a challenge. All the professionals in my rural area are over worked and honestly, they just do the best they can. I do question the quality of the care I receive considering how over worked they are. We’ve even thought about moving to an area where better care is accessible. Sorry to ramble, it’s just tough out here 😩.”
But the biggest part of her post was the husband’s controlling behavior.
“Op you mention your husband is controlling. I just want you to know that you don’t have to live that way,” someone wrote. “It may be the resentment you feel towards him presenting as resentment toward your daughter because you feel trapped. I hope you can reach out and find some support to perhaps get out from under his thumb. I’m wishing you and your baby all the best.”
“Is anyone gonna mention the fact how INSANE it is for a husband to spy on you through cameras in your house and ban his wife from turning the TV on? That is so toxic I can’t even …” another commented. “Either you guys need mariage counseling or you need to leave. Kids that age are difficult. Does she like to play in the mud? Let her. If it’s cold get her a mud suit.”
“Sorry but your husband won’t allow you to turn on the goddamn TV?!? The red flag f****** drill core is marching through this post,” another wrote. “I’m sorry but maybe you’re unhappy because you’re trapped in an abusive relationship. Your partner is supposed to be your teammate and collaborator, not your boss or your jailor.”
“Watch the damn tv if you want. Who gives a sh*t if he doesn’t like it?” someone else said. “What will happen if you do it anyway? You’re a g*ddamn adult.”
The mom responded to this comment saying, “He will lecture me and it is the most annoying thing to listen to. I’ve made up my mind that today I am unplugging the cameras and chilling with my daughter while we watch movies all day. You’ve encouraged me.”
Hopefully this will be the wake-up call her husband needs to see how ridiculous he’s being. But if not, the mom shouldn’t stay in a relationship that seems so toxic to her and her baby.
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