Bedtime is a special time between children and their parents.
Before children drift off to sleep, they are comforted and reminded that they have parents who love them more than anything in the world, ensuring they will have pleasant dreams.
Should they have a nightmare, they’ll wake up and remember they are loved and protected.
As a result, children badly miss their parents if they’re not around to wish them a good night, and parents feel that they are truly missing out when they can’t tuck their children in.
The husband of Redditor musa895 understandably wanted to be there to wish his children good night when he had to be out of town for a period of time.
But after his calls grew later and later, the original poster (OP) felt there was only one thing to do.
Worried that they may have been insensitive, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**Hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for not answering when my husband called to speak to our kids before bed?”
The OP explained how they were growing increasingly frustrated by their husband calling later and later, leading them to make a bold decision the next time they called.
“I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old so keeping them on a good sleep schedule is pretty important.”
“Whenever my husband is away, he’ll facetime with the kids for a little while.”
“We agreed before he left that he would call at 6:30pm my time as their bedtime is around 8pm.”
“He called late from the start but he was always apologetic and said his meeting overran so I let it go at first.”
“After the fourth time I told him I wouldn’t answer if he called later than 7:30pm as it was ruining their sleep schedule and he was calling later and later every day.”
“I never answered when he called to speak to the kids for 3 days because he called after 7:30pm and now he’s angry at me even though I suggested he call earlier if that worked better for him as it didn’t.”
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
The Reddit community wholeheartedly agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for not answering their husband’s call.
Everyone agreed with the OP that bedtime and a sleep routine was very important, and the OP’s husband calling later and later would only make getting the children to bed more difficult.
“He has no respect for how HARD it is to get little kids to sleep and for how exhausting it is EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.”- guileless_64
“Tell him you’ll revisit the rule after he takes the kids solo for seven days.”
“Irresponsible to get the kids all worked up before bed, he should know the schedule and needs to respect the fact that the kids need routine.”
“If he can’t call at a reasonable time that’s his fault.”- p1xieluv
“At that age, depending on the kids, that can mess them up for days.”
“You and your husband know your kids best and if it’s a big deal or not.”
“Try to take it easy on each other though.”
“This is a tough time for a family.”
“It’s easier if you can both be supportive and gentle with each other.”- WinnipegMom
“You’re home alone with two little kids on your own for a week?”
“For your sanity, you need their bedtime to go smoothly.”
“Can you call him at 6:30 and have the kids leave him a message?”
“And have him call to leave them a message they can listen to in the morning?”-Betalisa
“Sleep is important, and kids need schedules.”
“It is unreasonable of him to expect you to keep the kids awake past their bedtime.”
“Calling right before they go to sleep, or past their bedtime, will mess with their sleep schedules.”
“He agreed to 6:30pm!”
“And if that no longer works for him, he needs to find a time to call earlier in the day.”-Stan_of_Cleeves
“You both agreed on a time.”
“He is not upholding his part of the deal.”
“Question: Do you call his home when he has the kids, to say goodnight?”
“Are the calls short?”
“Why can’t he just call earlier on the day and stop trying to wish them goodnight, since he can’t manage the 6:30pm appointed time?”
“Has he given a reason?”
“Husband should be more understanding in my opinion.”
“He is away from home and mom is doing the work of a single mom when he is away.”
“He did agree to the time.”
“He could always leave a voice mail for kids to listen to in the am, the wife could have the kids do the same for him.”
“For some households, the sleep schedule is not flexible AT ALL.”
“I come from a family with several sets of twins, and believe me, those parents live and die by the schedule.”
“They do not mess with the put down routine, and they do not budge on the bedtime by a single minute.”
“This is truly inconceivable for parents who play it even a bit more loose with their schedules.”
“But parents have to do what works best for their OWN household.”
“For the people pointing out that he is calling before their bedtime, I would have to wonder if they have kids at all.”
“The put down can be one of the worst parts of the day with kids.”
“There is a reason it is a traded off chore in many equal parenting households.”
“It’s a whole routine.”
“Perhaps a bath, followed by PJs, then a five minute cuddle in the rocking chair, then you read two books, then into bed, where it is 3 kisses on the forehead, 4 good nights, a hug, 5 air kisses, a spin, a flicker of the lights, then a shut door.”
“Followed by being called back into the room five seconds later for a glass of water and something they just remembered they had to tell you before they go to sleep.”
“There are memes about these last few minutes before actual shut eye.”
“The other parent repeatedly calling in to rile the kids up and throw us off schedule would piss me off.”
“I understand and sympathize that he wants to see his kids.”
“But YOU are the one left home alone to FULLY handle two young children.”
“You have explained to him what he is doing makes this harder for you.”
“He should respect what you are struggling with and try to find a different time to speak with the kids that doesn’t add to your burden at a rough time of the day.”-ImaginaryAnts
“Your husband had been notified several times about the schedule and he should already be aware of it as their father.”
“Anyone who’s had toddlers knows how important schedules are to their health and wellbeing.”
“He can show respect and consideration for you and your children by calling before the nightly cutoff.”-BexFoxy
“Get him to call in the mornings before he starts work.”
“Most kids that I know are usually awake early, even when we wish they weren’t!”- Mishy162
“NTA but may I suggest you have the kids send him a video message at 6:30 every day and then he can send them one back and worse case they watch it the next day?”
“Like a letter but videos instead.”
“I couldn’t handle my spouse traveling that much while our kids are so young personally.”
“I hope you are able to work something out.”
“I know with my youngest no matter when he goes to bed he is up between 5:30-6:30am and so if he stays up late he is just cranky the next day.”
“I try hard not to mess with the sleep routine.”
“So I sympathize with you there.”
“I hope you can both find a compromise though as they deserve to have that time with their dad if he travels as much as you stated on here.”- alwayquestion
“It’s especially important for maintaining a healthy relationship to still feel like a priority when your partner is away.”
“He hasn’t done that and I refuse to believe he has back to back meetings thx whole time.”
“I’m curious about what the possible time difference is though.”- Useful_Experience423
“As a parent to young kids that has a husband who goes on business trips, there are times that he just doesn’t get to talk to them because of meetings.”
“It sucks but if he were to call when they were getting ready for bed it would make it harder on everyone but my husband.”
“NTA I can’t believe any parent of a young kid thinks keeping them up for a phone call with dad is worth making things harder.”- sleepygrumpydoc
It’s understandable that the OP’s husband wants to see his children before they go to sleep.
But he has to understand that falling asleep is more complicated for them than it is for him.
And every additional minute they spend past their bedtime could impact their sleep.