For young couples, raising the first baby can be a very challenging experience.
No matter how many books each partner read before the kid popped out, no matter how many wise, experienced people offered advice, there simply is no way to fully prepare for the unexpected dynamics of rearing a new human being.
So it’s very important that both parents are on the same wavelength to take on that challenge together.
A recent post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit illustrated what happens when that collaboration isn’t happening.
In the post’s title, the Original Poster (OP), using the anonymous name throwwawayNB133 on the site, showed that frustration had reached a peak.
“AITA For telling my husband he wasn’t the one who experienced difficult pregnancy and birth?”
OP began with a note about just how early the drama has arisen.
“Me and my husband had our first baby together 3 months ago. We’re overjoyed but like any new parents, we’re struggling.”
Then she got right into the struggles.
“My husband recently started posting about how exhausted he is. How having a newborn is exhausting and draining. He posts about everything he does. Talks about the fun/calm times he sacrifices. Sleepless nights but he goes to bed at 10 and wakes up at 9.”
“He tells friends about how demanding it is to be a new parent completely acting like he’s a single dad or something which’s strange because everyone around us noticed how he was acting.”
OP was blunt about how those complaints struck her.
“He does little compared to me. I do most of the hard work from feeding/changing diapers/bathing/while he does simple occasional things like going to the store/cleaning the bathtub/changing the sheets etc.”
“I thought he was just venting.”
An unexpected development left OP stunned.
“But I had family and friends reaching out asking if my husband’s is okay and why I was making him overwork and not giving him a break.”
“I was berated by my own parents after seeing his posts.”
She had to confront the situation.
“Yesterday I talked to him about what he’s been doing and how he was exaggerating with his posts about his contribution in both our son’s care and house chores. He said there was nothing wrong with what he was doing.”
“I said actually there was. Told him he’s out there and on social media complaining all the time so much that everyone thinks I’m sleeping 24h doing nothing.”
“He argued that he wasn’t lying.”
OP had plenty to say in response.
“I said well, he wasn’t the one who went through the difficult birth experience. That I was struggling for 9 months of intense symptoms and my birth was extremely difficult.”
“I’ve never experienced anything more difficult. (I have several medical issues btw) and I’m still recovering.”
“I’m not trying to minimize his struggle but whatever he’s dealing with I’m suffering x10 more than him despite the physical and emotional stress I keep my mouth shut and just get things done.”
But her husband dug his heels in.
“He snapped saying he couldn’t believe I made it all about me and that he’s the right to be able to vent and say whatever he wants whenever he pleases, wherever he pleases.”
“I asked what’s up with this attitude, I mean he’s always been the ‘woe is me’ type but he’s making me look bad to everyone.”
“And that’s not okay. I asked him please stop or get himself some therapy if he’s feeling overwhelmed.”
Eventually, an impasse was reached.
“He looked at me shocked then argued that I needed to stop policing his words and opinions. And trying to tell him what to feel and how to deal with it.”
“He went into the office. Minutes later I saw a new post from him talking about me thinking he’s not doing enough and acting as if me going through labor/birth makes me a better parent than he is.”
“I was…I mean I might have been too harsh but now he’s getting others involved.”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
An overwhelming majority of Redditors threw their full support behind OP. They were outraged on her behalf.
“Wait he’s going to bed at 10pm and getting up at 9am? I’m sorry, but WTF?! He’s getting a solid 11 hours sleep a night in a house with a newborn baby, and complaining online about how tiring it is.”
“He needs a reality check yesterday. I don’t even have kids, but I’ve seen enough of my friends with babies to know 11 hours straight of sleep is unheard of.”
“If he wants to act like he’s doing all the work online to his/your friends and family, then he needs to be doing it. Otherwise he needs to sit his arse down and zip it. If he won’t, then you need to lay down the law.”
“He doesn’t get to claim to be Superdad if he’s not even pulling half his weight with baby care. Which it certainly doesn’t sound like if he’s sleeping 11 hours straight, seriously how do you even do that as an adult with a job? Especially when you’ve got a newborn at home.” — Nixie_D
“He’s getting 11 hours of sleep a night, doesn’t do any actual parenting, and is complaining about how hard being a parent is?”
“Dropkick him into the sun.” — ReplacementCool598
“NTA, congratulations, you’re a mother of two.” — Trin_42
Plenty of people had some suggestions.
“NTA you should comment on every post and call his a** out publicly.” — 4thxtofollowtherules
“You are NTA.”
“The petty part of me thinks you should start posting photos of him asleep at 10pm and still asleep at 8am. Respond to his posts saying you can’t believe he has time to go on Facebook when he’s so busy doing everything.”
“Honestly, He shouldn’t be talking sh** on Facebook. It also sounds like he’s quite happy to diminish your contributions and he doesn’t care how other people see you as long as he gets to scrounge for attention.” — Current_Can8134
“NTA. Start being petty. If he wants people to know all of your business, make a tally chart. Everytime someone changes a diaper, feeds the baby (or pumps milk for later), soothes them when they’re crying, etc they get a tally.”
“If they are the ones to wake up with the baby at night, they get two or something. At the end of each day, post it on Facebook.” — Mammoth_Ad1374
It looks like OP can rest assured her frustration is exactly in the right place.
But, this being the anonymous internet, we’ll never know if those petty Facebook-based responses ever take shape.