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New Mom Balks After Partner Snaps At Her For Waking Him Up To Help With Late Night Feeding

A young woman feeding a baby a bottle.
Miljan Živković/Getty Images

There is little more exciting than the news that you are going to become a parent.

Of course, the excitement also comes with a small dose of fear and anxiety.

Fear and anxiety that only grows once that little bundle of joy arrives.

For no matter how many books you might read, or classes you might take, nothing and no one can truly prepare you for everything parenting entails.

Specifically owing to the fact that parenting is a unique and different journey for everyone.

Redditor aestheticaeryn and her partner recently welcomed a baby.

While it seemed like they had divided up parenting duties and responsibilities equitably, the original poster (OP) was beginning to grow more and more frustrated with her partner’s lack of involvement in one specific area.

Eventually leading to an emotional exchange of words between them.

Fearing she may have been out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for yelling at my partner for not helping at night with our newborn?”

The OP explained why she lost her temper with her partner, and why he did not appreciate it:

‘I (21 F[emale]) and my partner (21 M[ale]) are first-time parents.”

“He works around 8 hours a day in construction while I’m a SAHM.”

“We each have our own ‘jobs,’ and so far, it’s been working 85% of the time.”

“We decided early in the pregnancy that this was the plan because of how expensive and nerve-wracking childcare can be.”

“But like all first-time parents, we’d had no idea what to expect with a baby and how postpartum would affect me.”

“Our son is three weeks old and has a pretty good schedule at the moment.”

“He wakes up every 3ish hours for a bottle and diaper change, and my body is finally adjusting so I’m handling it well-until a surprise ‘rough night’ happens.”

“This is when our baby is more fussy than usual and scream-cries, fights sleep, eats WAY more than normal, and just rebels against his usual routine.”

“This is when my postpartum anger sets in.”

“I get so angry because I’m tired, can’t figure out what the baby needs from me, and I’m going through the motions.”

“Meanwhile, my partner sleeps through EVERYTHING. I wake him up numerous times saying ‘please tag me out/, ‘I’m getting too angry to think straight’, ‘I need help, I don’t know what’s wrong’, and he wakes for a second but goes back to sleep.”

“However, the last bad night we had I lost it and yelled at my partner.”

“I was so angry I couldn’t think, and my partner wouldn’t wake up to help, so I yelled at him and woke him up out of a dead sleep.”

“I instantly regretted it because he looked frightened, and after I said, ‘I’ve been asking you for help, and you won’t. I can’t do this, I’m tagging out’.”

“He got angry.”

“He called me a rude-a** for yelling at him, said ‘I’ll just get up then’ with an attitude, and yelled at me because I went to go cry in the bathroom saying ‘oh god, don’t be like that’.”

“I’m not asking a lot, just help on the bad nights and moments I need to tag out for safety.”

“However, I feel guilty I got angry with him.”

“I know we each have things we do for ‘jobs’ and he isn’t easy either.”

“So, AITA for getting angry and lashing out about the lack of help during bad nights?”

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 – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

The Reddit community was in agreement that the OP was not the a**hole for snapping at her partner.

Everyone agreed that it was the OP’s emotions talking, which she had no control over, nor was it unreasonable for her to expect her partner to step up to the plate a bit more often, with many parents expressing that almost all new parents have moments like this:


“He works 8 hours.”

“You work 24 hours day/night.”

“It is reasonable for him to help give you breaks and him be a 50% parent on his off times.”

“If you had a job during the day just the same as him and you both had hired a nanny or sent baby to daycare.”

“Who looks after the baby when you both get off work?”

“You BOTH do.”

“So why is it different because you are home instead of paying childcare?”

“Looking after A newborn is exhausting and can be dangerous to both baby and you if you don’t get enough sleep and help.”

“When both home BOTH are responsible.”

“When he is home.”

“You could both work in shifts so you have a rest/sleep for the first few hours he is home and he takes care of baby.”

“Then he goes to bed so gets enough sleep for work but you have had a sleep also which will then help you through the night.”

“Please go to your doctor to talk to them also about your postpartum as you need help with this now rather than later.”- Strong_Storm_2167

“Went through the same exact thing and got the same exact response.”

“and then people wonder how new mothers snap and do awful things, and say ‘wow i never saw this coming’.”  

“NTA.”- Busy-Cauliflower8307

“Dad here.”

“You’re 3 weeks in and it’s a problem.”

“Dad here needs to step up.”

“Since you’re bottle feeding, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t trade off.”

“You take feeding/changing number 1. He takes the next, and so on.”

“That’s fair.”

“That allows each of you to get rest.”

“Talk this through with him when you’re both calm and not angry.”

“Come at it from a place of ‘the current situation isn’t working and we need to figure out a new system’.”

“Don’t get angry, if you feel one of you is getting angry, table the discussion.”

“If he constantly gets angry with you when you bring it up, then it’s time for couples counseling to get a neutral third party involved.”

“Newborns are tough.”

“They’re a lot of work, and a lot of missed sleep.”

“But you’re doing great.”

“You’ve done nothing wrong, and there’s no reason to be upset about him not helping on the bad nights.”

“You got this.”

“NTA.”- Inner-Nothing7779

“NTA and I am really concerned for you and your baby because you mention postpartum anger.”

“Is there a health professional you can speak with?”

“You are exhausted. Health professionals likely try to look for these signs at appointments, but they need people to be honest.”

“Yes, he works construction, but taking care of a baby and driving with a baby all require concentration as well.”

“I’m sure you could both try to work out a better routine.”

“Babies go through growth spurts, some go through sleep regressions, and it can feel like a never-ending cycle.”

“Be kind to yourself and your baby.”

“If you and your husband have a good relationship, you may need to have a chat about how each of you is feeling.”

“Your body is likely still healing as well.”

“It sounds rough all around.”

“All the best to you and your family.”

“Congratulations on your baby.”- Confident_Wave_5048


“During the daytimes, you each have a job.”

“His is 8 hours in construction, yours is looking after a newborn.”

“There are 16 other hours in each day.”

“During those 16 hours, you and your husband should share equally all the jobs between you, including taking care of your newborn.”

“He isn’t ‘helping you’ when he looks after your son – please, PLEASE don’t ever phrase it like that.”

“He’s looking after his son, as is his responsibility as a parent.”

“Bear in mind that while your husband may have a physically-demanding job, so have you.”

“You’ve literally created a whole new human being out of your own body (which can take a terrible physical toll on a lot of women), and you are continuing to create his food out of your own body, in circumstances where the longest period you can sleep is 3 hours at a time.”

“That is a recipe for exhaustion.”

“Your husband needs to step up.”

“I think you need a rota, as awful as it sounds.”- abitofasitdown

There were others, however, who didn’t think the OP’s partner was explicitly the a**hole either, pointing out that it was late at night and both of them were tired, making it easy for both of them to say things they would later regret.


“Trust people who have kids to let you know, the first 3 months are a real trudge.”

“For everyone involved.”

“If I had to give you advice, it is to contact the hospital you gave birth, and do not lie to them that postpartum is affecting you.”

“Every single hospital has specialists to help you work your way through these times, exercises to help you center, and sometimes short term medication to help you.”- Finklesfudge

“This isn’t an asshole situation, the first 8-12 weeks sucks.”

“It gets better.”

“Hang in there and try to be nice to each other.”

“NAH and congratulations!”- Dszquphsbnt


“You sound exhausted.”

“But it sounds like you both need to find a way to get him up more efficiently.”

“It doesn’t sound necessarily like he is unwilling to help, more that he doesn’t wake up very easily at all.”- stoat___king

Parenting is an emotional experience full of high highs and low lows.

The latter is particularly complicated for new mothers experiencing postpartum depression.

Hopefully, after a little more sleep and a strong morning cup of coffee, the OP and her partner will figure out an equitable and efficient method of dealing with any future “rough nights.”

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.