Parenting is all about compromise and communicating your needs. It is hard to take care of your kids when you’re experiencing burnout.
But, it is also hard to ask more of your partner when you know they are already doing all they can.
Opening up about your needs and finding your own rhythm can help.
27-year-old Redditor sleepythrowaway0 just encountered this very issue with her son and husband. So he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for refusing to take care of my son at night since my husband doesn’t work?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained.
“My husband (27M) and I (27F) have a one year old son. Last year, shortly after our son was born, my husband expressed the wish to quit his job as a janitor to pursue his dream career (which requires him to study full time for three years).”
“We talked about it long and hard, I made sure he was really committed, which he was, so I started taking on more hours of work to support the family (I am a highly sought after freelancer, so the more projects I take on, the more money I make) and allow him to quit his job and study full time.”
“It was a mutual decision and I do not resent him at all for this. I am happy to work hard if it helps him be successful.”
Then, things got complicated at home.
“Recently our son has suffered a sleep regression (for those of you who are not familiar with little kids, it basically means his sleep patterns reverted to those of a newborn, so he wakes up a lot during the night).”
“He took care of him during the night for the last month or so without expressing concerns, and it only seemed fair to me since I am the one who is working. But two days ago he told me he wants to do a rotation, and assign one night each.”
“Mind you, our kid is not up all night, he just wakes up, cries for a bit and then goes back to sleep if you cuddle him and give him his dummy. I don’t think it’s fair of him to ask me that.”
She tried to find a compromise.
“I told him I’d be happy to do it on the weekends, which I already do, but on a Monday night when I have an 8 am appointment with a client the following day? Hell no I’m not doing that.”
“Our son goes to daycare, which I pay for, from 8 am to 4 pm, so if it’s been a rough night my husband can catch up on some sleep during that time.”
“He says that just because I’m the breadwinner, doesn’t mean it has to always be up to him to get our son during the night. I think I am making enough sacrifices to make ends meet so that he can study, I shouldn’t sacrifice my sleeping schedule too.”
“Am I being unreasonable?”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Some Redditors argued everyone had some blame to share.
“If he’s studying full time, you’re both working. You need to find a way to compromise on this, even if the compromise is not 50/50.” ~ WebbieVanderquack
“It’s hard to make a judgement without knowing what your work is and what he’s studying but I can generally appreciate some of where you’re coming from.”
“In effect each day you’re performing for your clients. If you don’t bring your A game to a client meeting they may not hire you. On the other hand, it’s likely that most days (excluding assessment periods) your husband need not bring his A game as a slightly poor studying performance is not going to cost him a job from a client.”
“However, I agree with some of the other posts that there needs to be more compromise. Perhaps you take weekends and 1-2 extra nights per week. Alternatively maybe you split the nights but he needs to drop back his studying to part time and work part time for a bit.” ~ cdizzle516
“I think if roles were reversed we’d be seeing a lot of YTA, it’s your responsibility to look after your own child too. I think ESH. He’s not doing nothing all day if he has school work and then taking care of the kid after day care so it would only be fair to have a couple nights a week to rotate.”
“Like you said ‘he’s not up all night, just needs some soothing then he’s back to sleep’ so it shouldn’t set your whole sleep off if you have to be up early. But you also said you already do the weekends so even just adding one day during the week would be more or less your fair share of getting up with the kid.” ~ Unsolicitedadvice13
Some thought OP was right to be upset.
“While I do agree that full time studying is equivalent to full time working, but she is not working full time. She is working full time + extra to make up for the fact that he is not bringing money to the family.” ~ MurkyDetective6020
“Hold up…Studying is in no regard a job or ‘working’. OP made sacrifices to help put her husband so it is only far for the husband to do the same.”
“I say NAH because the husband wasn’t being too pushy about it and it can get annoying to wake up at odd hours of the night, by OP is NTA too. She has compromised by working longer hours so now it is up to the husband to continue with the deal.” ~ SeaweedThese3275
Others though OP should take some of the responsibility.
“YTA there are very few situations that make it fair for one person to get all the sleep deprivation you guys need to work out a compromise.” ~ babybrain469754
“YTA. Marriage is a partnership. You are working, but he is studying. Just because you are the main breadwinner doesn’t mean you get to dump every night on your husband.”
“His job is to get the best grades possible, and this is an investment in both of your futures, not a fun luxury for him.” ~ stiletto929
“YTA you’re a parent. You have to still get up with your kid. More than just on the weekends. He’s in school full time and 3-6 times a night is ridiculous to expect him to do nightly.” ~ MKAnchor
Parenting is tough, but it’s easier when you have a partner who supports your dreams and encourages you to grow.