When a couple decides to expand their family and have children, it is important that both of them contribute equally to the required duties of parenting.
As a result, changing diapers, cooking dinner, bed and bath time should never be the sole responsibility of one parent.
Unless, of course, one parent has to be away for work, or is sick or indisposed, requiring the other to step up to the plate a little bit more.
When his pregnant wife, and one of his children, became sidelined with the flu, Redditor throwaway0119888 thought he was stepping up to the plate and performing double duty.
Until his wife called him out for doing exactly the opposite.
Questioning whether or not this really was the case, the original poster (OP), took to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for going to bed for a few hours while my wife has the flu?”
The OP explained how after the flu ran through his household, he took time off from work to help out, something his wife didn’t think he was doing at all.
“My wife is currently sick with the flu.”
“She’s pretty sick and is having fevers, muscle aches, her chest hurts from coughing, she’s also about 8 weeks pregnant.”
“Our 2 year old is also quite sick with it.”
“I took a week off work to help out at home while she recovers.”
“My wife has battled through to still do most of the things she does around the house with me picking up some of the slack here and there.”
“She hasn’t been talking about her symptoms much and I have to prompt her to tell me if she’s feeling okay.”
“I’m a bit sleep deprived from getting up with the 2 year old at night so my wife can get some sleep while she battles through her symptoms.”
“She isn’t sleeping well though.”
“Today I started to get a headache and I told her I was getting a headache and my nose felt a little congested.”
“So I told her I was going to bed for a few hours.”
“She said okay but she seemed upset.”
“I asked what was wrong and she said that it was typical.”
“Whenever she is sick she has 24-48 hours to recover completely before I come down with symptoms and whatever she feels becomes irrelevant.”
“I told her she wasn’t being fair and she said that no, I wasn’t being fair.”
“When I had the flu she did everything on her own so I could rest.”
“She is struggling and me going off to bed for a few hours while she’s battling fevers, headaches, muscle pains and leaving her with a sick toddler and an 8 year old is really unfair and selfish.”
“I ended up going to bed anyway and when I got up she was asleep with our 2 year old on the couch.”
“She then got up, made dinner and hasn’t spoken to me since.”
“I don’t think I’m being an asshole here but she thinks I am, my mum has told me I am being an asshole, pregnancy is hard and having the flu whilst pregnant would be even harder.”
“I need to do more for my wife to ensure she can recover.”
“So am I an a**hole?”
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
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The Reddit community tended to side with the OP’s wife and mother, agreeing that he was very much the a**hole for his lack of help.
Everyone agreed that the OP clearly wasn’t helping his wife out enough, regardless of whether or not she was sidelined with the flu.
“Maybe if you actually pitched in rather than helping out here and there, your pregnant wife would be substantially better by now.”
“This has to be a joke.”
“Nobody can be this clueless.”- Pink_RubberDucky
“You took off work to help her while she has the flu, so why is she still taking care of the majority of things?”
“Why is she looking after two kids, one being a sick toddler, and dealing with fever, muscle aches, chest pain from coughing, AND while dealing with a pregnancy on top of all of that, while you have a sniffle and a headache and you go take a nap for a few hours?”
“And when you woke up from your nap, and saw she was asleep on the couch with the sick toddler, you couldn’t even be the one to make dinner?”
“What did you even take off work for?”
“Your wife and your mother are both correct, you’re an a**hole.”
“You should listen to them.”- gluevah
“You’re still letting her carry the burden of managing the kids and the household chores while she has the flu and copes with pregnancy, even though you took off work.”
“Time to step up.”
“You only have mild discomfort at this point.”
“You can nap when you’ve done all the chores, started dinner, and settled the kids into naps too.”-ParsimoniousSalad
“’Picking up the slack’.”
“You should be doing more than picking up the slack, pal.”
“If you can’t handle a headache and a stuffy nose how tf do you expect your pregnant wife to handle it, and much more’.”- Kindly_Reward_8537
“If you’ve taken of the week, then why is your sick, pregnant wife still doing most of the stuff around the house?”
“She should be in bed recuperating, with you taking care of the house and sick people.”
“Have you tried taking an aspirin, or some other pain medication.”- Borgteddy
“Your wife is pregnant.”
“Not inly that she is in the first trimester at the peak of fatigue and nausea.”
“She has the flu and is really unwell by the sounds of it. She should be doing absolutely NOTHING but lie down and rest.”
“You should be doing everything for the house and kids.”
“This is why women leave their husbands.”
“Apologize, tell her you’ll do everything until she’s better.”- doing_somersaults
“You took the week off to help her at home so she could recover.”
“Read that and was thinking alright you stepped up while your wife was sick and while you maybe not done everything as she does you tried and was going to say you where not the AT.”
“Two sentences later she is still doing almost everything and you only doing a few things here and there.”
“Of course she is pissed at you you took a week off to help her and barely helped.”-One_Engineer_8317
“If you’re not working for a week to take care of things, then, you take care of things, you don’t ‘pick up the slack’.”
“And now you’re sick so she can forget about you ‘picking up the slack’.”
“She’s going to be pregnant, sick and taking care of everything while you rest.”- Primary-Criticism929
“You took off the week to do what?”
“Watch as your pregnant and sick wife still does the majority of her household chores while you’re there to pick up the slack and nap?”
“And then you weren’t even the one who made dinner after your got your nap while leaving your sick wife alone with your kids for hours?”
“The hell?”- LurksAroundHere
“Not sure how you can’t see the disparity here.”
“Your wife is handling the vast majority of household load while very sick and pregnant, while you tapped out at the first sign of illness.”
“And apparently this is normal for you to do.”
“It sounds like your wife is a stay at home mom, but you don’t seem to respect that as the job it actually is.”
“So essentially, you’ve taken a week long holiday while watching her continue going to work without any sick days.”
“You need to take care of everything while she’s sick especially if you literally took time off.”
“Get with the times, mate.”- nx85
“Pregnancy is very hard.”
“Pregnancy with the flu is even harder.”
“Pregnancy with the flu and a partner who takes an entire week off of work and only manages to barely ‘pick up the slack’ and then drops the ball on the laundry so he can take a nappy-wappy because he has a widdle headache is unbearable.”
“Buck up, cowboy.”
“Your family needs you.”
“You should not be ‘picking up the slack’.”
“You should be doing EVERYTHING while your wife recovers.”
“Pro tip for the future: if your wife and your mom agree that you are an AH, then you are an AH.”-CalamityClambake
It is hard to figure out exactly how the OP thought he was helping out, when he acknowledged that his sick, pregnant wife still did the bulk of the chores.
Perhaps he thought his presence alone was help enough?
If so, one hopes he heeds his mother’s advice, and makes much more of an effort going forward.