While most relationships start off being fun and exciting, big milestones like having a child can dramatically change and test the dynamics.
Some of these relationships become concerningly imbalanced during these times, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor SamiMoon opened up to her boyfriend about needing more help at home and some time to herself after feeling burned out from parenting.
But when he was furious with her for suggesting this, the Original Poster (OP) began to feel guilty for saying anything to him.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for demanding a daily hour of ‘me time’?”
The OP’s and her boyfriend’s responsibilities were imbalanced.
“My (27 Female) boyfriend (28 Male) and I have an 8-month-old daughter, of whom I am the sole caregiver despite us all living in the same house.”
“All of the housework is my responsibility with the exception of my boyfriend’s clothes.”
“Neither of us cook regularly, as he is fed meals at work. and I fend for myself with things that are simple to prepare without much mess or effort.”
“He works 4 days with 12-hours shifts and has 3 consecutive days off. His downtime is spent locked away in his office playing video games.”
The OP attempted to keep her feelings to herself.
“My boyfriend loves his work, but he is on his feet all day and has a relatively stressful job working with teenagers at a paramilitary school.”
“I feel privileged to be a stay-at-home mom, but money is very tight, and this is a huge source of stress for us.”
“For these reasons, I haven’t complained too much about taking on all of the childcare responsibilities, but the strain is wearing on me and I have grown resentful.”
The OP finally had to speak up, though.
“Recently I have decided that I cannot do it all on my own anymore for my own health, and for our baby’s safety.”
“Yesterday he made a joke about being the best dad and I snapped.”
“I told him he can’t be a good parent without even being involved in her life.”
“Then I said from now on, he needed to dedicate an entire hour every single day to giving her his full attention and allowing me to have a break.”
But the OP’s feelings were conflicted after that.
“I feel like I might be the a**hole for telling him he isn’t being a good father, and demanding a full hour every day when he works 12-hour shifts and is tired.”
“I feel guilty for wanting a ‘break’ from my daughter.”
“I mean, I’m not working or even keeping up with housekeeping tasks or cooking meals. I literally ONLY take care of the baby and our dog.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the OP ironically was working far more hours than her boyfriend.
“NTA. So he works 12-hour shifts while you work 24-hour shifts. You deserve a break. An hour a day isn’t much.” – Sleepy_felines
“What? His 12-hour shifts leave him with 12 hours of off time, and the OP has 0 hours off time. How in the world is it not feasible that he takes his child for 1 hour a day?” – ShotBarracuda6
“If he can play video games for hours, he has time to give his partner a break. Or, maybe clean up something. Get off the video games, your family needs you.” – Glitterasaur
“One of the best things my husband ever did for me was to enact ‘Wednesday night off duty.’ Every Wednesday night, after dinner, I’m off duty.”
“In the beginning, I had to leave the house. Go shopping, go for a walk, go sit in my car in a parking lot, and doodle on my phone. I’m off duty for the rest of the night. Now our kids are used to it and know that Wednesday night is dad duty.”
“I don’t have to leave the house – I can take a long bath, lay around in bed and watch TV, whatever I want to do. The kids know to go to dad for whatever they want and need.”
“Hands down, the best thing I’ve ever done for my mental health. My husband doesn’t understand why I need this (he’s an extrovert while I’m an introvert), but he completely supports me and has seen the huge difference this has made to my mental health, our relationship as partners, and his relationship with the kids.”
“There have been several times where things are rough – a sick kid or whatever – and I’ve told him I’m skipping my night off. He refuses to let me do that, assures me he has everything under control, and politely kicks me out of the house (or at least to the bathtub).” – TopSecret4970
Others agreed and said the father really needed to step up.
“You’re exactly right, child care is work 100% of the conscious time where the only tenuous break is sleep, and I made a point of giving my wife 1-2 hours every day because work is no excuse to shirk parenting responsibilities.”
“That hour is so vital to getting back patience and just relaxing. We all need breaks.”
“Plus, why have kids if you don’t spend time with them?” – You_stupid_c**t
“Yeah, just because someone works long hours doesn’t mean you get a pass on being an absent parent. They both decided to have a child and both need to step up and do their part.” – autumnals5
“It doesn’t sound like she has a boyfriend… she’s got a sperm donor who just about covers the bills for the childcare he’s abdicated. Doesn’t sound like any kind of relationship from here.” – deathboy2098
“OP, my husband also worked 12-hour shifts, but five days a week, and often on the weekends (and what I mean by that is that he worked 10 hours and had two hours of driving every day).”
“When he came home, he changed and immediately took over with our baby (later, babies). He wanted to spend time with them, missed them all day, and wanted to give me a break.”
“He did 90% of baby duty when he was home (outside of nursing, which was needed A LOT, and nighttime duty, which was almost 100% me, because it was always nursing).”
“Your husband needs to step up as a father.” – crystallz2000
Some suggested how they felt the home schedule should really be set up.
“He has three days off? So why doesn’t he care for the baby 50% of her waking hours on those three days?” – Careless_Mango
“My wife and I are at home right now with our 1st and he is two weeks old.”
“We are both splitting his care as evenly as possible and I feel like I am failing her because she can’t get enough sleep and her migraines are returning (used to be an issue but hasn’t been for some time). And that is with both of us home taking care of our child full time. I’m dreading going back to work and leaving her alone.”
“You are 100% not the a**hole. Unless he is waking up at night to change diapers and helping when he is home, you definitely need more than an hour. And his off days should be spent with his child bonding.” – Connee14
“NTA. He should be spending the majority of his 3 days off with the family. Maybe a couple of hours during those days take time for the video games and decompressing, but not the majority of those days.”
“My husband is out of the house for over 12 hours, 5 days a week, comes home to eat quickly, and then spends a little time with the kids, and puts them to bed, because otherwise he wouldn’t get to spend any time with them that day and wants to see them.”
“After they go to bed on Friday nights, he plays ‘Call of Duty’ (sometimes Saturday too). On his two days off, he spends a lot of time with the kids. That’s a good dad! Your husband needs to step up.” – Christinemfm_84
“2-3 hours on days off is pitiful. He should be taking half the day and night on days off. And asking for a couple of hours break on days he works is totally reasonable.”
“Him being on his feet is not relevant, he can snuggle with the baby or do a bath or lots of things that are not hard physical labor.”
“Honestly, I would ask him to step up and contribute equally or leave and get child support because he is doing basically nothing as it is.” – asecretnarwhal
While the OP was feeling guilty for being honest with her boyfriend, the subReddit insisted she deserved better than she was getting.
Not only did it sound like she’d been doing all of the parenting and household duties, whether or not she felt capable of keeping up with them, but the OP also sounded alarmingly like a mother hitting her burnout point.
If anything, she deserved to feel proud of herself for reaching out when she needed help for herself and her baby.