For a mother-to-be, there are many questions and concerns that she has to try to answer for herself and for her baby.
Unfortunately, there is such a thing as being too careful, advised the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor cleaningaroundwife was at a loss for what to do to make his wife feel more comfortable after she kept insisting that cleaning the house would stress and potentially harm their baby.
When him taking over the chores wasn’t even enough for her, the Original Poster (OP) didn’t know what to do.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for cleaning around my heavily pregnant wife?”
The OP’s wife was preparing to give birth soon.
“My wife and I are expecting our first child in early April. We’re very excited, this was a much-planned-for baby and we can’t wait to meet the little peanut.”
“Since becoming pregnant though, my wife has all but stopped doing a lot of the housework and has reduced her work hours to only a couple of days a week. All this is to reduce stress and not upset or even lose the baby.”
“As a result, we’ve cut back on a lot of luxuries to accommodate the loss of income and I’ve picked up on most of the housework.”
The OP was trying to accommodate his wife’s concerns.
“She’s now 7 months pregnant, and is looking at going on maternity leave early and even possibly quitting her job, and has now stopped doing housework altogether. All this is in an effort to reduce stress.”
“I really want her to be comfortable and more importantly, I don’t want anything to happen to the baby, but the house is now getting really messy and even dirty and I’m having a hard time keeping it clean while also working.”
“She is now not wanting me to clean around her, especially the vacuuming, as the baby can now apparently hear and she doesn’t want to disturb bub.”
But it was getting to be too much for him.
“Well, as I said, the house is getting to a really poor state as it’s not getting cleaned enough.”
“Last week I had enough, we had friends coming over for dinner and the house was dirty. So I cleaned the whole house. My wife wasn’t happy cleaning around her, but allowed me to just dust and wipe things.”
“As soon as I put on the vacuum though, she started yelling and told me to put it away. She said the noise was too much for the baby and could stress them out, which stressed her.”
“I immediately turned it off but said the floors really needed to be done, they were very dirty, we have guests coming and how else was it going to be cleaned?”
“She just told me to wait until she was out of the house at least, but I pointed out that she just lies on the couch or bed resting and it’s hard to wait.”
“She got really angry and said she needs to rest and relax to reduce stress on her and baby.”
“AITA for cleaning around my pregnant wife, and potentially putting stress on her?”
“I don’t want her to be stressed and I don’t want anything to happen to our baby, but the housework is getting too much.”
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 were concerned for the OP’s wife’s health.
“Movement of the mother is actually beneficial to the child (and obviously to the mother), and also hearing normal household sounds in the womb will mean that a) the baby won’t be bothered by them after birth, and b) they will actually be comforting as the baby already knows and recognizes these sounds.”
“These are not normal pregnancy behaviors. There is no reason why she should avoid noise. There’s also no reason for her not to move at all, in fact, it’s unhealthy. I don’t know where she picked up these strange ideas, but they’re not helpful for the child or for her.”
“I hope you can get her to therapy because this is not good.” – Farahild
“The chances of her having a hard labor and recovery are high because she is on the equivalent of self-imposed bed rest.”
“Weakened muscles and bone loss, it’s bad for her and the baby to be in bed all the time, and for no real benefit, as it seems the doctor hasn’t even ordered this.” – kairi79
“I hope this is simple anxiety but it seems more serious. She needs to see her doctor and maybe the two should go together so the doctor has a full picture of what is going on.”
“I drove across town and picked up my MIL at the airport (walking a long way) after cleaning the house and making up our guest room the day I was induced and had the baby 24 hours later.”
“Many women exercise, clean, and even work in loud environments right up to their labor.” – JuryNo7670
“If he’s not allowed to vacuum now, what kind of extreme requirements will she have after baby is born? Pregnant with my second right now and loud ambient noises like the vacuum, the washing machine, or the bathwater running help the toddler fall asleep and makes the one in the womb stop kicking and flailing.”
“Besides that, I’m wondering if this woman’s bed rest is self-imposed or doctor ordered. My OB wants me to stay active by doing things like walking and limited yoga and stretching daily. The more active you are, the easier labor is.”
“It’s called LABOR for a reason. You need muscle and endurance to get through it. Bed rest is typically only recommended in extreme cases. Depending on your job you can work right up until the day you go into labor.”
“I left work to go straight to the hospital with my first because my boss was able to accommodate me so I spent most of the workday sitting and I didn’t have any lifting to do. Resting too much and being too careful could end up being worse for mom and baby. This woman needs therapy to help with the anxiety immediately.” – LizaRhea
Others insisted the static noise would actually help.
“This is too much and unless the doctor told her to avoid physical efforts, sounds can be soothing. It is a known trick to turn on some appliances so that the constant noise helps soothe and make babies sleep.”
“NTA” – DarkestSideMoon
“I’m also not sure where the wife got the idea that babies don’t like the noise. From everything I’ve read and talking to our doctors, a mother’s womb is actually quite noisy, which is the reason white noise helps with their sleep, especially the first few months after they are born as it mimics the sound of the womb.”
“NTA OP and I know you probably don’t hear it enough, but you are doing an awesome job and am sure will be an awesome dad!” – Important-Curve-5299
“The body is actually extremely loud! Background in utero is about 85 dB, or the equivalent to a loud restaurant or loud traffic with spikes to 95 dB with every heartbeat from Mom, (so every few seconds), which is equivalent to the noise of a normal motorcycle or subway going right past you.”
“We’ve had parties at my friend’s house that my nephew slept right through cause they use a white noise machine to mimic the in utero sounds, and he cannot hear anything about that.” – BabyCowGT
“I’m currently 37 weeks pregnant with my third, and I still ran the household during all of my pregnancies. The notion that the baby would hear the vacuum and get ‘stressed out’ is simply insanity, as is her refusal to help with household tasks.”
“If her OB put her on bed rest or gave any indication that she needed to stop doing those things, I’d get it, but it really sounds like she’s drinking the Google Koolade and needs to stop. NTA.” – Sad-Raise-754
While the subReddit could sympathize with the future parents wanting to be careful during the wife’s pregnancy and with a new baby on the way, they were more worried about what was worrying the mother-to-be.
There’s such a thing as being too careful, from too quiet of a home to taking on too much bed rest.