in , ,

Mom Stunned After Partner Refuses To Read To Infant Son Because He ‘Doesn’t Like Reading’


The word “parenting” is not enough to describe the actual demands of parenting, as there are so many sub-tasks that fall under that term.

It can be really hard when partners aren’t equally on board with performing those tasks, confided the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor shortchubbydino wasn’t sure what else to do when her husband became increasingly resistant to helping her with basic tasks around the home for their newborn.

But when he refused to even read children’s books to the baby, the Original Poster (OP) was at even more of a loss for what to do.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for telling my partner he’s being stupid?”

The OP’s partner had a rocky start as a dad.

“My partner (23 Male) and I (24 Female) have a seven-month-old son.”

“This is our first baby and things from birth have been stressful in the sense that my partner took a long time to start being a good dad.”

“I was doing 90% of everything until my son was the age of about four months, and then it was about 60/40, and it’s stayed that way since.”

Recently, things took a turn for the worst.

“Well recently, I brought books for my son to read to him before bed and I thought it was a great idea.”

“We’d be able to have that quality time with him.”

“Tonight I asked my partner if he wanted to read our son a book before bed, and he said, ‘No, I don’t like reading.'”

“I said, ‘Well, you should read to your son at some point or another, it’s good bonding time.'”

“There was just silence and he didn’t really look at me, so I asked, ‘Are you really not gonna read to your son because you don’t like reading?'”

“Silence again, so I said, ‘I think it’s stupid how you won’t read to your son because you don’t like reading, there are plenty of things I don’t like to do but still do not them ‘”

“He responded with a very grumpy, ‘Whatever.'”

“He hasn’t really acknowledged my existence since. I feel maybe I could have worded it better and my choice of words makes me the a**hole.”

After receiving the earliest comments, the OP updated her post with a few clarifications.

She addressed questions about a potential reading problem.

“As far as I’m aware, he doesn’t have problems reading. He has read things from his phone before and didn’t seem to struggle.”

There were questions about why the couple had a child together.

“People have asked why I had a kid with him, and plain and simple, it wasn’t planned.”

“It’s not an excuse, but I pretty much couldn’t have kids, went to doctors and everything, and I was getting tests done, because I was trying for a baby with my ex-husband for years, and would either not get pregnant or end up having miscarriages.”

“We got pregnant because we didn’t use protection one time.”

“We had a discussion when I got pregnant that if he didn’t want to be a dad, he didn’t have to be and he was more than welcome to leave if this wasn’t what he wanted.”

“He decided to stay and actually seemed excited to be a dad.”

The OP also shared a little more about who her partner was.

“He wasn’t like this when we first met. He was kind caring and helped me out when I needed it and helped me with my disability as well.”

“He now stays home all day with me (he gets paid from Centrelink to be my full-time carer) and mostly plays video games.”

“He doesn’t spend quality time with our son. He doesn’t stop playing games unless I ask him to feed or change his son. I’m lucky if I get quality time with him as his partner.”


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 wondered what the big deal with reading children’s books was.

“Oh, if I ever have a kid or two, I’m so gonna read them books I like until they can understand more, so I can do something I like and at the same time give them attention!”

“It would also help me get better at reading out loud.”

“I remember loving my mother reading ‘Harry Potter’ for me and my brother.” – KuaLeifArne

“I have a tween now, and both my spouse and I regularly read to her. (She reads a lot on her own too). Many of my best memories with my daughter are around books.”

“She used to bring me book after book on rainy days as a toddler and I would read until hoarse.”

“Read to your kids as much as they’ll let you. Read the same book 1000 times – I can still recite ‘One Duck Stuck in the Muck’ a decade later.” – LimbusGrass

“One time my BIL asked my MIL why she was talking so much to his baby because it’s not like the baby understands. He had never even considered that this is HOW BABIES LEARN. It doesn’t even matter what’s being read to a baby, just talk to them!” – loudlittle

“It’s not that they’re following the plot or getting invested in the characters, it’s that they’re learning sounds and how language works, the rhythm of speech, the tone of voice, and of course, there’s the comfort and emotional boost they get from having their parents pay attention to them.” – oregonchick

“My dad read me the Hobbit when I was a baby. Then read it to me again when I was older and could comprehend it better.”

“It was honestly the best getting to see him read books he loved because he got so into the characters and such.” – kaitlynnkidd

“I once saw my cousin-in-law read the pilot’s manual to his daughter (who was around five months at the time). She was out in less than 10 pages. He thought he struck gold that night.”

“From that point on, every time she cried, he’d read the manual to her, and it’d be like peace and quiet for hours.”

“Oftentimes, it’s not about what you read to the baby. They just need to feel secured, and there is nothing more soothing than her parent’s voice.” – throwaway_8126

“Heck, maybe OP’s baby daddy could read aloud gaming strategies. Or lots of games have books, like lore books. Older games had manuals. Read that to the baby. Teach baby Konami code.” – ZeldLurr

Others agreed and questioned the husband as a life partner.


“But uh, your partner sucks if they can’t even read a baby book to a baby.”

“It’s a baby book, right? Not like something huge like ‘Wheel of Time’?”

“(I chose ‘Wheel of Time’ as an example because I think it’s the type of book someone who doesn’t like reading would absolutely hate, due to length and scope of the story.)

“(But I think ‘Wheel of Time’ would be great to read to a baby, though.” – ZeldLurr

“Yeah, almost no adult enjoys reading toddler-age books, yet they do it for their children because shock the point is bonding with the children, and they enjoy bonding with their children.”

“Parents might not enjoy having their toenails painted or watching ballet recitals or soccer practice, but they enjoy bonding with their child and that’s the point.” – Broutythecat

“My first thought was that maybe he has dyslexia or some other manner of learning disability. My boyfriend says he doesn’t like reading and he won’t play games that don’t have voice acting, but it’s because his dyslexia makes it unenjoyable for him.”

“Then I went back and reread the bit about this lad taking forever and a day to start doing anything even resembling an equal share.” – SarahSyna

“There’s a strong vibe here of partner being someone who isn’t ready (didn’t want?) to be a dad.”

“I think this is something OP should talk to him about and if he can’t or won’t change, it would be best for the kid for them to split up (people forced to do something they don’t want to do will weaponize their ‘incompetence’ if not become physically angry.)” – pcnauta

A few shared books they read to their children outside of standard, simple board books.

“I made the mistake of reading ‘The Giver’ to my infant. I forgot there is a non-zero number of dead babies in that book. I was sobbing.” – WaffleFoxes

“I read ‘Charlotte’s Web’ to my daughter and absolutely lost it at the end, and my daughter was just looking at me like I was a lunatic.” – dirkdastardly

“I used to teach middle school, and in the kids’ homeroom class, they were expected to read for 20 minutes. Teachers were encouraged to read too, so the kids could see us reading.”

“I made the mistake of re-reading ‘Holes’ by Louis Sachar. The ‘I’m not crying, you’re crying’ with a roomful of 11-year olds was not an experience I’ll forget.” – Groundbreaking_Mess3

“LOL (laughing out loud), I once caught my husband reading the soccer scores from the newspaper to our 4-month-old baby.”

“He was listening to his dad with his mouth slightly open, lying completely still, like he was reading him the most beautiful story he ever heard.”

“It was adorable. He’s 13 years old now, and still loves watching soccer with daddy.” – 19niki86

“We listened to ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ on a drive TO A FAMILY FUNERAL. WTF was I thinking? I had totally forgotten the emotional damage. Kids’ books are rough, yo.” – WaffleFoxes

The subReddit agreed with the OP that her husband could at least chip in with reading and the other parenting duties, but they were alarmed as to why the husband wasn’t willingly doing this already.

Some worried about his dedication as a father, and if he wasn’t a dedicated father, how long would he be a dedicated carer?

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.