Time is the only thing we can’t ever get away from.
The hand on the clock is always moving, so we have to really consider how we spend the moments we’re granted.
That urgency doesn’t even account for all the time taken by chores, jobs, and sleep.
So, what happens when the time you do have isn’t enough to divide between the people in your life?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Turbulent-Dealer-464 when he came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for deciding to spend time with my newborn daughter than my wife?”
OP got right to the situation at hand.
“I (27m) am doing my residency in a surgical specialty working 12-hour shifts regularly. More often than not, I work more than 80 hours a week.”
“A few days ago, I worked a 24-hour shift at the hospital and got Monday evening off.”
There’s only so much time.
“My wife (24f) wanted us to go out for dinner, but I told her that I’d prefer staying at home with our infant daughter.”
“That way, I can spend time with both her and our daughter, who I don’t see nearly as much as I want to, and also get some rest.”
“I told her that I understand being cooped up all day at home can be very boring, so we could do something quick (<30 minutes) but that I want to spend most of our time at home.”
“She was pretty upset by this, but I’m honestly past arguing at this point.”
“Don’t get me wrong, my wife is a wonderful mother and wife, and taking care of a newborn is certainly not easy.”
“But she is also supported by my parents, who live with us, and is not doing anything anywhere near as physically or cognitively demanding as what I am doing.”
“I’m dangerously close to crossing over into burnout territory with how much I am working, and it would be hard to continue functioning at this pace without any rest.”
“Besides, I don’t want to compromise a single second with my baby for anything else unless I absolutely have to. I’m not spending nearly as much time with her as I should.”
OP was left to wonder,
“Edit: I just realized I goofed with the title here, but like I said, I’m pretty gassed right now.”
Having explained the situation and apologized for the title of the post, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Doctors decided to chime in.
“Speaking as a doc almost ten years out of residency, I completely understand where you are coming from.”
“I too only wanted time with my babies when I got home, and to this day, I profoundly regret how much time I gave to work over them.”
“I can also say that they don’t feel like I wasn’t there for them- but my husband remembers doing so much alone.”
“Residency is about survival, but talk to your wife and recognize she is trying to survive too.”
“Residency is hard on a family.”
“And when you can catch your breath, put some emotional work into the relationship to avoid finding yourself in a married roommates situation.”
“Send her some flowers, have a meal delivered unexpectedly one night, so she doesn’t have to cook, leave a post-it on the fridge telling her she’s wonderful and how much you love her.”
“You’re both busting your @sses in different ways.” ~ SpeechNumerous696
“As a physician as well, I tell all aspiring parents that this challenge doesn’t go away.”
“You’re exhausted, and you come home ready for a break, but now it’s your stay-at-home spouse’s turn for a break.”
“Good on OP for wanting to spend time with your infant, for communicating your need to rest, and for compromising by offering to go out a little.”
“But this problem isn’t going away, so let her win some by going out next time.”
“Your kid(s) are going to want you to take them out to a park in a few short years.”
“This is all a good problem to have.”
“The worse alternative is that your family gets so depressed and lonely they don’t ask to go out at all.”
“So when OP comes home, the work for OP as husband/father is just beginning (which responsibility OP clearly understands), but it takes this inexhaustible supply of energy.”
“Best wishes.” ~ OneOfUsOneOfUsGooble
Not everyone felt that NTA was the right call.
“Honesty, I’d say NAH.”
“You don’t see what she goes through when you aren’t around, just like she doesn’t fully get what you go through.”
“But if you don’t prioritize some one-on-one time with your wife, you might find yourself in a much bigger relationship problem.”
“Yes, you want and need to spend time with your baby. But your relationship with your wife is important too.” ~ NoNameForMetoUse
“The most important advice I ever got before having a baby was this:”
“Don’t keep score. Don’t waste time and energy trying to ‘prove’ how much more exhausted and hard you have it vs. your partner.”
“All this does is breed resentment. Thank your partner for what they are contributing—and they should do the same for you.”
“Just being acknowledged and SEEN can do so much to prevent problems arising.” ~ Kitty_Kat_Attacks
“Exactly, there are NAH here, just two very tired and stressed-out parents.”
“And imagine that a small disagreement blew up. They need to hang in there and try to find some time to spend together when they can.”
“I’d love to see an update where the in-laws took the baby for the morning, and the parents slept in and then went to brunch together.” ~ hey_jojo
“Pretty much this.”
“I totally understand feeling like you don’t see your child enough during residency. I also understand feeling burned out and just wanting to stay in.”
“But the wife is also burned out with always being around the baby.”
“She wants to go out, wants some adult time, wants some conversation with her favorite person.”
“And when OP says he is not willing to compromise a ‘single second’ with his baby… well, that doesn’t really leave the wife any time, does it?” ~ ImaginaryAnts
“OP and his wife really need to sit down and plan out their week with some expectations and constraints. Having the in-laws living at home provides a lot of flexibility. For example:”
“Plan one date night each week with OP and wife only after a ‘normal’ 12-hour shift or on a day off.”
“No plans after a 24-hour shift.”
“OP needs some time to rest and relax at home.”
“Wife needs to get out of the house without OP. Ask the in-laws to watch the baby while you go have lunch with friends or run some errands without bringing the entire family.” ~ Schillelagh
Comparisons never end well.
‘”But she is also supported by my parents who live with us.”
“Being stuck at home with an infant and her in-laws is not many people’s idea of a good time.”
“It’s great that your parents are helping, but that relationship itself can often be awkward and exhausting, particularly as your wife figures out parenting.”
‘”and is not doing something anywhere near as physically or cognitively demanding as what I am doing.'”
“It’s not a contest.”
“Do your marriage a favor, and don’t dismiss what your wife does as ‘less than’ what you are doing.”
“Her work is exhausting and burnout-prone as yours, in its own way.”
“The one thing new parents crave the most is adult time. Your wife *needs* this as much as you need rest.”
“But you and your wife need to communicate and figure out how to meet everyone’s needs.”
“Thanks for the shocking number of upvotes!”
“To clarify, absolutely he should rest after a 24-hour shift.”
“But he still needs to think about, overall, how he can help meet his wife’s needs for adult time together with him.”
“My response wasn’t about what they should have done that night.”
“My response was about overall needing to stop mentally belittling what his wife does because it will be obvious to her that he does not value her contribution, and that’s sure to lead to problems in their relationship.”
“Just to be clear, I fully acknowledge that OP’s wife is also not meeting his very real needs.”
“He needs (as close as possible to) sufficient rest and time with his baby daughter.”
“Those needs compete with his wife’s need for adult time with her husband away from the baby.”
“Figuring out how to meet everyone’s needs enough of the time is not going to be easy.”
“They have taken on something extremely difficult, having a baby during OP’s residency.”
“It will take teamwork to succeed. I wish them the best!” ~ PurpleVermont
“The minute you find yourself comparing your needs to your spouse’s, you’re in trouble.”
“It’s not a contest.”
“It’s dealing with a newborn and a residency. You’ll both get through this. But you both want to acknowledge each other’s burdens instead of comparing them.”
“It’s entirely possible for both of you to be fried in different ways.” ~ Zealousideal_Bag2493
Our time is fleeting and precious, and so is everyone else’s.
Communication and compromise go a long way to spending our time well.