While there are wonderful single parents worldwide, who manage to impressively handle things all on their own, many would agree that parenting is a two-person job.
Finding an even way to distribute diaper changes, baths, feedings, and everything else usually results in a happy household.
If one parent does all or the majority of the work in a two-person household, things will likely be anything but harmonious.
Redditor Better_Command3720 was frustrating his wife by not helping out with their child during certain hours.
Even more frustrated by the original poster (OP)’s actions was his mother-in-law (MIL), who made her frustrations well known.
Having finally had enough, the OP felt there was only one solution, a solution that did not please his wife or MIL one bit.
Wondering if he had gone too far, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for not helping my wife with our newborn at night because I work early mornings, and for asking my MIL to leave our house?”
The OP explained why he felt asking his MIL to leave was the only solution to an ongoing problem in his house.
“I’m a (34 M[ale]) and my wife is (32 F[emale]).”
“We’ve been married for six fantastic years, and we recently had our first child, a beautiful girl who’s now six weeks old.”
“Things have been tumultuous lately, and I’m not sure if I’m the one being unreasonable.”
“I work a physically demanding job in construction that starts at 6 a.m.”
“This means I have to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to get ready and commute.”
“My job needs me to be alert, as any lapse could lead to serious accidents.”
“My wife is on a year-long maternity leave and has the responsibility of caring for our baby throughout the day.”
“Here’s the problem.”
“Our newborn, as they do, wakes up several times throughout the night.”
“My wife has been insisting that I help with these late-night feedings and changes, but I’ve explained to her that a lack of sleep could seriously jeopardize my performance at work and my own safety.”
“To add more drama into the mix, my mother-in-law has moved in with us to ‘help’ with the baby.”
‘However, her idea of help often involves criticizing my wife’s parenting, which only adds to her stress, and dictating how we should run our household.”
“She’s also been siding with my wife on the nighttime assistance issue, making me feel ganged up on in my own home.”
“I help as much as I can when I’m off work – I take on most of the cooking, cleaning, and tend to the baby as soon as I’m home till she sleeps.”
“But the continuous pressure and lack of sleep are becoming unbearable.”
“After a particularly heated argument, I told my MIL that if she weren’t going to contribute positively, she’d need to find somewhere else to stay.”
“My wife was upset, saying I was out of line for kicking out her mother.”
“I feel bad, but I also think that the current situation isn’t sustainable.”
“I should also mention that I have two stepsons from my wife’s previous relationship.”
“In addition to my work and the baby duties, I also pick them up from school, help with their homework, and take them to their sports practices after I get off work.”
“It’s not just about the newborn; we have a whole family to take care of.”
“So it’s not like I’m lounging around sipping a beer post-work.”
“Balancing all these responsibilities is what makes the situation so challenging.”
“So, Reddit, AITA for refusing to assist with our newborn at night due to the nature of my job, and for asking my intrusive MIL to leave?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
While the Reddit community was largely divided, they generally agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for kicking his MIL out of his house.
Many felt that no one was truly at fault, per se, but everyone needed to sit down and have a discussion regarding how to make their household a bit more efficient.
“MIL should be actually helping more.”
“If she took the baby for 2-3 hours during the day so mom could sleep, mom could handle the nighttimes better.”
“You all three need to sit down and work out a plan so that you all get enough sleep.”
“There are 3 of you and one baby – make a plan.”
“When a baby is asleep – mom is asleep if she’s breastfeeding.”
“This won’t last forever.”
‘Even if you got up 15 minutes early to change the baby then take it to your wife to feed her, it would probably help.”- OverRice2524
“I’ve been married for 28 years, two kids, 25 and 15.”
“My husband also worked construction during the younger years, and we ran our own construction business as they got older.”
“Having a newborn is hard.”
“It takes everything out of you and can be extremely stressful.”
“I always took it upon myself to be sure and be up with the baby during the night so that he was able to sleep and be ready for those early morning work hours.”
“When he came home, he helped me with the babies, and if I needed it, I took a nap while he did that.”
“I stayed home, and I did as much as I could to make things easier for him as he worked a high-stress, physically demanding job outside the home.”
“But we always made sure that each of our needs was being met and communicated with each other.”
“This is the key.”
“What are your needs?”
“What are your limits?”
“What do each of you expect from each other.”
“Being tired after a baby clouds everything and can be super emotional for everyone, but especially the mom.”
“It would help if you guys can talk this out and lay out your terms so to speak.”
“Get a schedule and stick to it so that you both are comfortable and feel heard.”
“The mother issue is a whole other thing.”
“Sometimes it can be helpful and sometimes a real nightmare.”
“I wish you guys the best.”
“I guess my judgment is everyone needs to be open and have more grace for each other during this time.”
“I hope you guys can work through this and come up with solutions that make this work for each of you.”
“That compromise and grace can become the norm for you.”
“Except for the MIL who is not being part of a solution to help, when just even a little bit of compassion and care from her, could go a long way here in helping these parents not feel so hopeless or helpless.”- daisies4me
“There’s a difference between getting uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep and napping.”
“While naps can help, they aren’t a feasible replacement for your wife getting the sleep she needs.”
“She is working 24 hours, 7 days a week.”
“I don’t say that to negate the hard work that you do, but I’m concerned that you don’t recognize just how hard your wife is working around the clock.”
“What you and your wife are currently doing isn’t sustainable.”
“Obviously you need your sleep because making a mistake literally puts people’s lives on the line.”
“Your wife also needs uninterrupted sleep.”
“What happens if she falls asleep behind the wheel because she’s so exhausted, causing both her and your daughter to be killed in a car crash?”
“What happens if she falls asleep and doesn’t hear your daughter choking on something she found in her crib?”
“Your wife not getting adequate sleep at least once a week is, quite literally, risking your infant’s life.”
“Can you turn down overtime without it significantly impacting your career?”
“When people choose to have kids, they also choose to make sacrifices.”
“If not working overtime means waiting another two years for a promotion, then so be it.”
“Right now your wife and kid need you, and this isn’t a situation that can be put on hold.”
“Can you financially afford to turn down overtime?”
“If possible, the first thing you should cut is working overtime.”
“If you absolutely have to work overtime, then you and your wife need to find someone to help with overnights.”
“If it’s not your MIL then do everything in your power to find someone to give your wife a night or two of uninterrupted sleep.”
“NAH but y’all need to figure something else out before someone inevitably ends up getting hurt.”-theoisthegame
“Just a thought, but before you planned for your baby, did the two of you discuss how taking care of it would work?”
“Obviously, you work a lot, and she may be doing more of the baby duties, but this stuff probably should be talked about beforehand.”- amandapanda190
There were a few, however, who felt that the OP did absolutely the right thing by kicking his MIL out and was not the a**Hole for doing so.
“I don’t know why everyone’s so quick to jump down this guy’s throat.”
“Look, I’m a woman and if my husband were working a dangerous job, I would want him to get a full nights sleep.”
“Especially if I have a year’s maternity leave.”
“This guy doesn’t sound like he’s slacking.”
“It sounds like he’s as tired as any person would be working full time and taking care of the house and kids when not at work.”
“And it also sounds like his wife is exhausted bc, let’s face it, babies are exhausting.”
“The division of labor is never going to be equal.”
“Some weeks Dad will do more. Some weeks mom will.”
“Right now, during this time of the baby’s life, mom has to do more work at night.”
“As long as dad lets her rest when he comes home from work, it’s not entirely fair of her to ask him to also get up with the baby.”
“I know she’s probably feeling hormonal, and nothing fair isn’t on her mind, and that’s ok too.”
“But it is unreasonable to ask the husband to pick up an extra task when it could hurt him or someone else.”
“And dad, maybe you could have a set weekend day where you don’t accept overtime, and the previous night you’ll take care of the baby.”
“MIL just sounds exhausting and a waste of space, especially if husband is already doing all the cooking and cleaning.”- jmp1993
It does seem that the OP’s MIL has been anything but helpful since moving in, and if that’s the case, she doesn’t have much reason to be there.
However, it seems that the OP and his wife should have come up with a better system regarding feedings, etc., which could have avoided all the existing tension in their house.
Perhaps after this whole experience, they will come up with one now.