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Dad Upset After Wife Chastises Him For Going To The Gym Instead Of Helping With Newborn

Man lifting dumbbells to build arm muscles in gym.

Every parent needs a break.

They need certain amounts of time for themselves to recalibrate and be still.

But when one is a parent to infants, it’s hard to make that time.

They take almost every moment.

And behind the kids, there is work.

So when one parent insists on certain break times against another parent’s wishes, a lot of drama can ensue.

Case in point…

Redditor jj2304 wanted to discuss his experience and get some feedback. So naturally, he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

He asked:

“AITA for continuing to work out after kids?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I (30 M[ale]) and my wife (30 F[emale]) have two small kids (2 years and 3 months).”

“Ever since having our first child, it has been a continuously sore subject that I still go to the gym multiple times a week when I could be at home instead.”

“Context: I work a pretty demanding full-time job, and my wife stays at home with the kids and works part-time remotely.”

“I usually go to the gym in the afternoon after work.”

“On the weekends, I only go when the kids are napping.”

“Sometimes, I’m even just trying to use our stationary bike inside the house, which provokes the same angry or passive-aggressive response.”

“The response when I say I’m going to work out is usually a variation of ‘Well, I was going to ask you to do {chore} but whatever, just leave instead.'”

“Or ‘must be nice to be able to go workout whenever you want.'”

“I have offered many times for her to do the same and leave the kids with me while she goes, but she usually doesn’t feel like going in the times when I’m available to do so.”

“I’ve given up pretty much all of my hobbies since having kids in order to focus on the family when I’m not at work.”

“So I don’t feel like it’s unreasonable to ask for 4 or 5 hours per week in order to take care of myself physically and mentally.


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP WAS the a**hole.

“YTA. You’re going to the gym straight after work, which is…”

“A) the absolute worst time of the day with small kids.”

“They’re tired and cranky, they’re clingy, there is dinner to cook, and if the schedule gets behind, the kids are late into bed.”

“Even ignoring the fact that she’s trying to work part-time with two very young, very high-needs kids, that’s a terrible time of day to dip out of parenting.”

“Doing the 5-7 pm slot solo is hellish.”

“Doing it because your partner had decided that’s the most convenient time to work out is worse.”

“Which brings us to…”

“B) you get to work out at the time you’ve decided works for you, and she can just deal, apparently.”

“She gets to work out if you happen to be available and offer to take the kids.”

“In both scenarios, you’re getting to choose the schedule.”

“You’ll agree to parent if you’ve taken care of yourself first.”

“She gets to take care of herself in the scraps of time she isn’t default parent.” ~ anarmchairexpert

“Dude needs to understand that his commute and his time at the office and his lunch break ARE his time to himself right now.”

“This season won’t last forever, but with a toddler and a newborn, that needs to be his focus right now. Mom doesn’t get downtime in the form of a commute.”

“She doesn’t get a lunch break.”

“She doesn’t get to chat with coworkers or go out for lunch.”

“Every minute that he’s out of the house at work or at the gym or whatever, she’s home alone with those babies.”

“This guy needs to grow the hell up. Now.” ~ butbutbutnotfair

“This is what my partner and I would do.”

“We would get up and work out in the unfinished basement before we got kids up.”

“It was usually the only time we had just the two of us all week.”

“Sometimes, we would take turns going for a run in the morning.”

“We would also make exercise a family activity on the weekends.”

“We’d run with the kids in a stroller and take turns with the dog.”

“One would hang at the playground while the other went into the Y and used the gym then we would switch.”

“We never bailed on each other.” ~ Honest-Layer9318

“YTA. Not because you want to work out, but because you’re doing it on your time, and not when it’s most convenient for your wife, who is still three months postpartum, and CONSTANTLY taking care of the kids.”

“This is not about working out. This is deeper.”

“It’s clear your wife feels you don’t help her enough.”

“instead of offering for her to work out when it’s convenient for YOU, maybe talk to her about what you can do that’s convenient for HER, so she gets a break on HER time and not yours.” ~ ginger_ryn

“This!!! And what would she come home to if she left, OP?”

“Chaos and destruction, are you simply keeping kids alive, or are you actively participating in household chores and doing household things while she’s gone?”

“Are you sharing the mental load of running a home?”

“Here’s a test: What size clothes are the kids in?”

“Approx. height and weight of the kids?”

“What size shoe is the eldest in?”

“When was their last Pedi visit, and when’s the next? Who schedules them?”

“When was their last sick visit and why, and who scheduled, monitored the kid, and decided it was time to go in?”

“When was the last time you clipped a toenail?”

“How much of your eldest’s favorite foods are in the home?”

“How long does it take the youngest to eat?”

“How often do you brush a kid’s hair or teeth?”

“How much Tylenol is each kid’s dose if they suddenly needed some?”

“How much shampoo and baby body wash are in the kid’s tub? When will they need more?”

“If you can’t answer all of these AND THEN SOME, you are not an equal partner to raising the kids. Full stop.”

“Not only does she know all of this, but she also knows your clothing sizes and preferred socks, underwear, deodorant, body wash, etc, and picks it all up for you too, when it’s on sale, or she knows you’re possibly running out soon.”

“So. Yup. YTA, OP.” ~ legocitiez

“Yes, absolutely YTA.”

“Every day after work you add an extra 1.5 hours to your day while she stays with the kids solo.”

“Then you come home already having had your ‘me’ unwind time while she’s still working.”

“Then you tag team the last bit of time before they go to bed- so she’s cooking dinner while you’re with the kids or vice versa.”

“And then she works at night after they go to bed?”

“Are you not seeing that she never gets a break here?”

“And you go on the weekends too?”

“Yes you are absolutely the AH and for you to say you ‘gave up your hobbies’ is so false.”

“You sound incredibly selfish and I’d be pissed if I was your wife too.”

“Maybe start with picking two days a week where you go to the gym after work, say Monday/Wednesday, and Tues/Thurs you come home after work, and SHE goes to the gym.”

“Then the other days find a different time of day to work out, get up before the kids or work out after they go to bed.”

“The schedule you have here is entirely for your benefit, and you aren’t thinking about anyone else’s needs but your own.” ~ phoenixintrovert7

“YTA. Your wife is taking care of a toddler and baby and works part-time for 3 MONTHS POSTPARTUM (that’s insane, I’m going to assume you’re in the US or another equally backward country when it comes to maternity leave).”

“You go to the gym ‘multiple times a week,’ including the weekend. 4-5 hours is a fantasy.”

“You have to get there, use the equipment, presumably get changed/shower, get out, get back home.”

“That amounts to many more hours.”

“Your wife doesn’t want to go to the gym.”

“She wants to NOT BE A SINGLE MUM every evening and weekends too.”

“She wants to NOT BE A HOUSEKEEPER.”

“She wants to not have to nag and ask you to do chores.”

“You can wrap yourself in ‘I work long hours,’ but you’re fooling yourself.”

“And you DO have ‘hobbies.'”

“You go to the gym.”

“During the worst possible times.” ~ MamanBear79

OP came back with more information…

“Judgment received-additional context provided in reply to INFO requests.”

“Housework is divided based on who is watching the kids.”

“If she is, then I cook and clean and vice versa.”

“Our infant sleeps in our room, and whenever she feeds them, I do the burping and re-settling.”

“Not 100% of the time because I do sleep through some of the feedings, and my wife will feel guilty and try not to wake me up.”

“My wife’s job does not interfere with her sleep for the most part (9 pm is the common time for Zoom meetings and they are <1 hour).”

“The rest of her work can be completed at her own pace throughout the week whenever I am home and watching the kids.”

“She has a home office set up for this.”

“I don’t work out in the mornings because I get up with our 2-year-old anywhere between 530-6 and do breakfast/spend a few hours with the kids before work.”

“It would be possible to go to the gym very early or late, but I haven’t tried due to the night schedule I mentioned above.”

“To clarify, my wife is specifically asking for time to work out as well, not just free time away from kids.”

Well, OP, Reddit has some issues with your choices.

Yes, staying active and healthy is a key part of life.

But so is parenting.

There has to be a way for you and your wife to sit down calmly and hash out a schedule.

This isn’t impossible.

Good luck.