Parenting is a unique anomaly in that there is little more rewarding to being a parent, yet there is also little more exhausting.
As a result, all parents in two-parent households rely on their spouses and partners to help each other out and have each other’s back whenever needed.
That being said, when a parent comes home from a long day at work, they are often exhausted and have trouble summoning up the energy to play with their children.
Redditor Aware_Objective9275 is an almost full-time-mom, who often relies on her husband’s help with their two children when he comes home from work.
Unfortunately for the original poster (OP), her husband often has a different priority when returning from home.
Having grown increasingly tired over this, the OP finally stood up to her husband and put her foot down that helping her with the kids should be his top priority when he gets home.
A declaration the OP’s husband did not appreciate.
Wondering if she was being unfair, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for not letting my husband shower when he wants?”
The OP explained why her husband’s desire to take a shower was becoming increasingly frustrating.
“Mostly SAHM of two kids here, ages one and three.”
“I work two days a week at most, usually only one.”
“Most of the time I’m home with them.”
“My husband is a blue collar worker in construction.”
“He works long days, his job is pretty physical, and he works really hard.”
“He gets up at 5am and gets home by 630. My days are usually around the same, give or take an extra hour in the morning.”
“Every single day my husband gets home, he wants to go to the bathroom and take a shower the second he gets in the driveway.”
“This would be one thing if he was quick–but he takes at least 25 minutes on the toilet and 25 minute showers, and I cannot start dinner with the kids hanging off my legs.”
“They just scream and cry every single time.”
“I’ve started to ask him to wait until they go to bed, given I really only have a 2 hour window to get dinner ready, eat, clean up the dishes, clean up their chairs, get them ready for bed, get them baths etc.”
“He complied at first, but he’s now telling me it’s very unfair to ask him to sit in dirty clothes and be a sweaty mess for two hours until they get to bed.”
“Which I understand it’s uncomfortable, but you know.”
“I’ve just been alone with the kids for 13 hours straight.”
“I have stuff I still need to get done, too.”
“My kids are in their tantrum phase as well, which has been really hard.”
“He got really snippy with me today and said I was being incredibly selfish when I asked him to wait.”
“I said I felt he was being selfish by running to the bathroom for almost an hour every time he gets home when he knows I have stuff to get done, too.”
“None of this is about decompression time, it’s about getting the kids to bed on time because they wake up even earlier if I don’t get them to bed by 8pm.”
“We have plenty of time after they go to sleep for ourselves, and I don’t mind him doing whatever he wants to do at that point.”
“I have exactly 1.5 hours to get dinner done, clean up, clean them up (and no, I can’t give them a bath before dinner–they’re messy eaters), read them a story and get ready for bed.”
“If you take 50 minutes away from that, I have no time left.”
“I also want to add I am very much just saying construction as a general term.”
“He’s a very sweaty person and his job is not ‘dirty’.”
“I don’t want to say his job title as there are people in this sub I know.”
“I’m not asking him to wait two hours to shower, I’m asking him to wait 30 minutes so I can get dinner done, get him and the kids fed, and then he has the rest of the evening to himself to shower, decompress, play his games etc.”
“I take care of the rest of the night.”
“So, AITA here? Or is he?”
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 was somewhat divided on whether or not they found the OP to be the a**hole for refusing to allow her husband to shower when he got home.
Some had trouble sympathizing with either the OP or her husband, feeling that her husband did need to be a more present and helpful father, but the OP forbidding him from showering when he got home was going a step too far.
“ESH a compromise needs to be found but everyone’s just complaining and saying it’s unfair.”
“Can he bring down his shower and poop time?”
“Is there any part of the nighttime routine he can take over so you can divide and conquer.”
“Can any kitchen cleanup be pushed to the morning?”
“What activities/distractions could occupy the kids while you cook?”- No_Magazine2270
“I know that he needs to unwind and clean up from a long day at work, but I remember coming home from work and seeing my wife with that 1000 mile stare from taking care of a toddler for 10 hours.”
“I think some compromise is necessary.”
“Yes he needs to clean up, but he needs to do it quicker than what it is taking.”
“Good luck!”- JTBoom1
“Sounds to me like you’re both the a**hole, and neither.”
“Y’all need to consider each others needs and compromise, and news flash… compromise doesn’t mean one person gets their way and the other caves.”
“It means you BOTH give a little and get a little.”- heathenfloydsson
“If he’s coming home that dirty, he should take a QUICK shower when he gets home.”
“Ten minutes to wash the filth off.”
‘He needs to save the leisurely shower and poop for after bedtime.”
“Why aren’t you prepping meals before he gets home or transitioning to simpler meals, batch cooking, leftovers, or some other scenario that makes your evenings more manageable?”-uptownbrowngirl
Others felt that the OP was being overly harsh on her husband, thinking that she could reevaluate her household schedule, and felt that forbidding her husband to shower was controlling.
“You are in control of the household on a daily basis.”
“Adjust the schedule, routine, process to be a better fit.”
“The kids can eat while dad is in the shower.”
‘Meals can be prepped for days in advance.”
“Then have the kids bathe while dad sits on the toilet after his shower and watches them.”
“Timing showers smacks of controlling behavior.”- UseResponsible4368
“You have so much time at home.”
“It really should be possible to prepare dinner while he is away and have it ready when he comes home.”
“Other mothers manage to do this just fine, some with more than two children.”
“Put the one-year-old in a playpen, give the three-year-old some things to play with and tell him to stay where he is, and then tell them not to scream around and if they still do it, ignore it while making dinner and punish them age appropriately later for it.”
“For example, a good punishment for the 3-year-old would be no bedtime story for misbehaving.”
“You have to learn to control your children a bit and not let them control you so much.”- opelan
“The man spent all day in dusty, grimy, physical exercise.”
“Let him have a shower.”
“You can work around the other details.”- SwimmingStale
“Why does he have to be home for you to start cooking?”
“You seem to be a complainer and I side with your husband.”
While a few wholly sympathized with the OP, agreeing that her husband could put off his shower until the kids were asleep and help her out, or at the very least speed his showers up!
“People be like oh let him decompress.”
“My god, I would choose to work in construction over caring for kids for 14 hours straight.”
“That guy needs to let you decompress lol.”
“You’re not asking for much, and he’s taking way too long.”
“Does he ever even parent?”- Neurodiversily
It’s not an overstatement to say that there is likely no one more exhausted at the end of the day than stay-at-home mothers.
Even so, it doesn’t seem too unreasonable to allow anyone who spends all day working on their feet, with their bare hands, to take a shower.
It seems like the OP and her husband need to work together to figure out a better system that pleases both of them and allows them to remain as rested and comfortable as possible.