A little alone time goes a long way. If the past year has taught us anything, being stuck in the house with family and loved ones doesn’t always do the best things for one’s mental health.
Sometimes, one of the people in the house just really needs some solitary moments to recharge their mental state.
Reddit user Independent_Solid_28 found himself in this situation and in his frustration, expressed he didn’t know why it was too much to ask for some alone time.
In a debate with his wife over whether it was reasonable to think this was possible, the couple decided to go to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for some perspective.
“AITA for wanting some ‘me time’ every few days with 2 children?”
Our original poster, or OP, set the hectic backdrop of the situation that caused his frustration.
“To cut a long story short we have a 3 month old and a 3-year-old. The other night my wife and I were arguing that I wanted to watch the football as both kids were acting up at bedtime.”
“She was making dinner and the baby was screaming with her while the toddler was getting out of bed every 5 mins upstairs.”
“In my frustration I said ‘is it so much to ask to have 90 minutes to myself every few days’ to which she replied absolutely it’s unreasonable to want that with 2 young children.”
OP’s wife suggested they take the debate to objective voices for opinions.
“She suggested we take it to the internet to get some opinions.”
“The easy solution is for her to take the kids while I watch the football and when it’s not on i take the bedtime shifts so she can relax – but anyone with kids knows you can’t plan for their cooperation!”
“So AITA for getting angry in this situation and wanting to have 90 mins to myself every few days in the evening?”
Redditors put their voices in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors were clear in their responses.
“I seriously have no idea what this guy’s problem is.”
“Bedtime is the hardest bloody time, you DIVIDE and conquer during bedtime and THEN you can have all the time in the world to relax AFTER the kids are in bed.”
“His wife is literally trying to make dinner, with a screaming baby no less and he’s doing an Al Bundy. Why not ask her to bring you a beer whilst you’re at it?”
“Go read ‘the walk away wife’ and think about how easy it would have been to go grab the baby, take her upstairs with you, offer your toddler one more story if he promises to stay in bed, or he can help you bathe the baby and stay up late if he then promised to stay in bed.”
“Then read to them both or comfort/bathe the baby, put toddler back to bed and then cuddle with the babe in front of the football on the sofa. 15-20 minutes MAX.”
“That’s life with kids, when you split the work, and make adjustments it’s actually really lovely. If you always prioritize your own wants and needs, then it’s hard chaotic and horrible for everyone. YTA.”~Dark_fascination
“YTA. You know your wife is struggling, you hear your kids crying and acting up, and your priority is still a football game?”
“You gave up that right when you decided to have kids.”
“Wanting some alone time is reasonable. Leaving your wife to struggle in a difficult moment with two small children is not.”
“Suck it up, act like a parent, and take your alone time when it’s convenient for the whole family.”~swingmadacrossthesun
“Question: does your wife get 90 minutes of uninterrupted time to her self every couple days?”
“I’m not talking about time to shower or eat in peace, or to catch up on no sleep.”
“I’m talking about 90 minutes to sit down pretend her family doesn’t exist, without having to make up ‘missed work’ that she should have been doing in that time.”
“Do you give her that? Does she get to decide the time, and you just run the house because she randomly decided it was her ‘me time’ regardless of the needs of the kids?”
“Cause if you don’t then YTA.”~engg_girl
“YTA. You are absolutely entitled to alone time in order to recharge, and it would be great if your wife could also get that.”
“But to attempt to do it when your wife is struggling to take care of two young kids at one time just so you can watch a football game is insanely selfish.”
“Read the room. And if it’s that big of a deal to miss the game, get a form of TV that you can pause so you can take your alone time at a time that doesn’t screw over your poor wife.”~South_Praline4095
Redditors pulled no punches.
“YTA. It isn’t unreasonable in theory.”
“But in the situation where your wife is stressed, surrounded by screaming kids and an angry husband, trying to feed her family AND make a toddler stay in bed BY herself, yeah, it’s unreasonable.”
“If you find yourself getting mad easily, take smaller amounts of time, when the kids are in an easier mood.”
“And if you really want those 90 minutes, maybe make sure your wife has 90 minutes too. Fair is fair.”~jaideheda
“YTA. You couldn’t even be bothered to watch your two kids so that she could focus on making dinner for the family (which is parenting and not free time for her).”
“The easy solution here is for you to pick up your slack and parent with her so that she doesn’t have to split her attention between an essential household task and your two kids.”~FourLeafClover0
“First you got frustrated because your game got interrupted, and yet you’re not actively trying to rein in the insanity, just expecting your wife to do it.”
“She’s right, it is unreasonable to expect everything to revolve around you and your needs.”
“That isn’t how marriage and children work. You don’t get to just ignore it and let it fall on your wife’s shoulders.”
“My daughter is 6, when she was an infant her father basically expected me to do everything, dinner, chores, kid.”
“It was exhausting and a far cry from the ‘We’re in this together’ he had promised me.”
“He used to get frustrated trying to watch his shows because the baby was crying, and he expected me to get her to be quiet without any help from him.”
“He was dead set on walking that path no matter the consequence.”
“He’s my EX husband now, and my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.”
“Keep this up and you’re heading down that same path he walked. Re-evaluate your priorities and fast. YTA”~Miss_TiedandTrue
“YTA as a parent you are absolutely entitled to alone time, I recommend you record the game and enjoy your ‘me time’ a few hours later after the kids are actually asleep so that your wife isn’t in hell.”
“Demanding that she juggle making dinner, taking care of a screaming infant, and putting a stubborn toddler to bed over, and over, and over again all at once.”
“All while you sit there and do nothing because it’s ‘just 90 minutes’ is not reasonable.”
“Pick a different 90 minutes, and maybe more like every week more so than every few days given the age of your kids.”~JustheBean
Reddit saw he was frustrated, but he was doing nothing to help according to his original post.
“YTA. Your wife was making dinner AND taking care of the kids at the same time while you sat around and did nothing.”
“You WERE having time to yourself, you just also live in a house with two small children and as you’ve said, you can’t plan on their cooperation!!”
“And it’s especially hard if you’re having to multitask, which you were forcing your wife to do.”
“It’s honestly comical how inconsiderate you’re being.”
“It reminds me of the episode of Spongebob where he and Patrick raise a clam together and Spongebob grows extra arms to do everything at once while Patrick watches tv.”
“It’d be funny if I didn’t feel so bad for your wife.”
“Everyone needs alone time sometimes and it’s reasonable to want it, but you do need to make sacrifices when you have a toddler and a baby, and it seems that you’re fine with forcing your wife to be the only one to make those sacrifices.”
“If you want some peace and quiet then do your JOB and PARENT YOUR CHILDREN”~toadpixie
“YTA. Is it unreasonable for you to have a few hrs to yourself maybe once a week? No.”
“Is it unreasonable for you to have a few hours to yourself while your wife is making dinner, taking care of a screaming baby and a misbehaving toddler? YES.”
“What the hell is wrong with you?”
“If you know there is something coming up like a game you really want to watch then you need to plan for it, you cant just dump the kids and housework on your wife.”~Fabulous_Title
“What’s with these posts lately where the mom is doing all the work and the dad is absolutely useless?”
“Dude, you contributed to the making of those kids. Responsibility doesn’t end after you’ve successfully gotten your wife pregnant.”
“Don’t be a deadbeat and fricking help her you selfish a**hole.”
“If you wanted more ‘me time’ you should’ve thought of wearing a condom and spared your wife all the trouble, because she’s clearly as overwhelmed (if not more) as you.”
“YTA. Take responsibility and stop complaining.”~blep38
“So in general no, it isn’t unreasonable to want some ‘me time’ every few days with kids those ages. Still, YTA in this scenario.”
“Your wife was overwhelmed, you could have stepped away for a few minutes until things got under control.”
“My husband gets down time, so do I, we have since our kids were 0, 1 and 3 years old. However, you have to be realistic and considerate about your downtime.”
“Bedtime is chaotic for kids that age, you don’t just walk away and tell your partner to deal with it. If you wanted to watch football then you should have prepared for it.”
“Why was your wife cooking dinner? Why didn’t you prepare dinner ahead of time if you knew she was going to be managing both kids while you sat and watched TV?”
“You can’t plan your kids moods but you can plan for everything else so that the moods are easier to handle.”
“You can hold the baby while you sit on the couch and watch or strap him or her in a carrier at least until she finishes dinner.”~emfred999
With all the replies, OP provided an update to try to change the perception.
“I’m not sure I explained very well. This was more of a debate than an argument as I originally posted.”
“I am by no means a deadbeat dad as some have suggested.”
“I am so hands on with my children, love playing with them and will always take them if my wife needs a break.”
“I’m usually the one making dinner so please don’t think I don’t pull my weight. This night was after a really tough day of work and I really just needed to unwind.”
“I appreciate what people are saying that I could record the game but I needed a break at that particular point – I’d already spent a long time putting the toddler back to bed and was so frustrated.”
At this point, we’d imagine the debate is settled.
OP got his answer, whether he liked it or not.
Infants and toddlers don’t respect “me time.” As a parent, you’re bound to their needs on their time, whether you’re frustrated or not.