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Parent Irate Over Husband’s Double Standard About Young Daughter Helping Watch Baby Brother

Young girl laying beside baby brother both wearing red love heart glasses

What’s fair is fair.

Whoever thought that was going to be an option in parenting?

Parenting is usually never fair.

Someone is probably going to feel slighted or overworked more often than not.

It’s all part of the journey.

That’s why when parents are lucky enough to be partners, it’s usually an easier ride.

But a lot of parents don’t see it that way or have a skewed view of the situation.

What’s good for one is good for all.


Case in point…

Redditor BookishJane08 wanted to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for being mad over double standards in my marriage?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“A week ago, I asked my daughter (8) to quickly watch her brother (10 months) while I picked up some things from the floor that I had been working on during his nap.”

“She rarely gets asked to watch him as I feel that he is my job, not hers.”

“Hubby came home and saw that she was watching the baby and went off on me about how I was irresponsible, accidents happen quickly and she wouldn’t know what to do in a choking event.”

“These are all reasonable fears so I made the necessary changes to ensure I am there to watch him at all times.”

“Today (Sunday) I asked him to watch baby as I started baking a large order.”

“I came into the room and noticed he was alone watching TV.”

“I asked him where the baby was, and he replied that our daughter was watching him in her bedroom.”

“Her bedroom is on the opposite side of the house, and with the TV blaring, you could definitely NOT hear what was going on in her room.”

“I pointed out to him how he yelled at me last week for the same thing, and he replied, ‘That was different.'”

“When asked how, he replied “She wants to look after him, she came to ask me if she could.'”

“I was so mad.”

“I didn’t leave them alone for prolonged periods of time, I was literally in and out of the room during all of that time as I was cleaning up.”

“But that was neglectful and dangerous because I asked her to watch the baby.”

“While at the same time, it is perfectly okay for her to be left, completely alone, rooms away, with the TV on, because she asked to watch him, so somehow that would mean that she pays closer attention to him?”

“Like accidents Don’t happen when you choose to look after a baby?”

“He is now mad at me, saying I am overreacting and that I am still in the wrong while he is not.”

“I accept that I was wrong in asking her to watch him, but am I wrong for being mad about the double standards???”

The OP was left to wonder,

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA. Rules for thee and not for me.”

“He’s clearly applying a double standard and doubling down when confronted.”  ~ JojoCruz206

“Also, he sounds like a sh*t dad.”

“‘I asked him to watch the baby while I made dinner’ watching like he isn’t the f**king parent?”

“I hope this guy doesn’t have a #1 dad coffee mug because he hasn’t earned it.” ~ sqeeky_wheelz

“Why do people insist any word other than ‘Parent’ implies that the man thinks he’s not also responsible for the child?”

“I mean I understand getting upset about ‘Babysit,’ but all these other terms like ‘Watch’ or ‘Take care of’ don’t imply that at all, they’re just everyday language.”

“Nobody says ‘Parent our child while I do this.'”

“Stop grasping at straws and just call out OP’s husband on the double standard.” ~ sbilly93

“I agree he’s the AH, but I don’t think saying someone’s ‘watching’ the kid means they are being a s**t parent.”

“My spouse and I regularly clarify who is ‘watching’ our kid – which means at that moment, they are the default parent.”

“If I’m cooking and my partner is ‘watching’ our kids, it means he’s the one to respond if a need arises.”

“It’s nice to know if I hear a fight break out, I don’t have to stop what I’m doing.”

“When we’re all home, we try to keep that specific job really clear.’

“It’s so helpful to always have one parent on high alert, but to know that who it is is clearly communicated and changes throughout the day, so we both get mental breaks.” ~ Whaleyquaily

“This, but also OP, you weren’t wrong for asking your 8-year-old to keep an eye on the baby while you moved in and out of the room picking things up.”

“It is a perfectly acceptable thing to ask an 8-year-old if you weren’t outside or in another part of the house, you were easily accessible if she needed you, and you were also keeping an eye on both of them.”

“Your husband is being an ar**hole about this because he knows he is wrong.” ~ soilbuilder

“Even if OP was outside or in another part of the house, eight is old enough to be trusted if a parent tells them, ‘I need to go do X. I need you to keep an eye on the baby- come get me if they start crying or if anything happens. I’ll be back as soon as I’m done.'”

“Like as long as it’s not an extended period of time without checking in and it’s not an all-day thing I feel like you can reasonably ask and trust an eight-year-old to play in the same room as a baby and come get you if anything happens.” ~ FureverGrimm

“I read this article about the ‘bumbling dad’ syndrome that talks about how fathers are so often depicted as clueless and detached that everyone kind of expects dads to be a little bit bad as fathers.”

“So they think it’s okay for them to constantly mess up or check out while mothers, on the other hand, are expected to be child-rearing geniuses since birth and get nailed to the wall if they make even a minor mistake.” ~ zombiedinocorn

“This is such a frustrating post.”

“It is not a double standard – it is misogyny.”

“The wife needed to be watching the kid at all times because she is a wife and mother.”

“Dad gets to be lazy because.”

“Sister could watch baby over dad because she is a girl, but not when mom is free.”

“The rules are clear – he said baby cannot be left alone, you go take the baby and put it on his lap and if sister wants to help, she can sit with dad too as they all watch TV together.”

“I won’t say this is a red flag for divorce, but you’ll need some counseling, and dad needs to pull his ‘dad’ weight.” ~ InfinMD2

“Jumping in here to tell u/BookishJane08 – you were NOT in the wrong to ask your daughter to watch the baby.”

“You know your daughter and her maturity level.”

“You know what she is capable of and whether or not you can trust her to keep an eye on the baby.”

“You are aware that it is not her job, so you are not taking advantage of her.”

“Asking her to help you is perfectly fine.”

“You sound like a good mom, keep doing what you’re doing.” ~ DisneyBuckeye

“NTA. ‘Hubby’ needs to stop babysitting his kid and start parenting his children.” ~ snowednboston

“NTA. If it’s not safe in his mind, it’s not safe whether your daughter wants to do it or not.”

“He’s absolutely in the wrong for being inconsistent when it benefits him.” ~ Illustrious-Shirt569

“Kids want to do a lot of things that aren’t safe.”

“I spent a chunk of last weekend trying to keep my toddler nephew from jumping in and out of the swimming pool in a slippery area.”

“He wanted to. He asked if he could, and in my role as the adult who was responsible for his safety.”

“I told him no, that wasn’t safe for him to do.”

“If OP’s husband truly believed it wasn’t safe for the 8-year-old to watch the baby, the fact that she really wanted to do it should have no bearing on this conversation at all.”

“It sounds like he’s more invested in ‘lady-shaped person watches babies’ than in ‘8-year-olds shouldn’t babysit.'”

“And that is misogynist and gross.” ~ readthethings13579

“Yeah, this whole thing is silly.”

“The 8-year-old isn’t ‘watching’ the kid if the parent is still around.”

“Presumably, parent left ten month in a safe place and within earshot.”

“You don’t need your eyes on a kid 24/7.”

“That the 8-year-old is assigned to ‘watch’ the kid is only to give them a taste of responsibility and not actually relying on them for childcare.” ~ jamintime

“NTA. Sounds like a terrible marriage. Does he ever support you?”

“What can you do?”

“Sounds like he’s the kind of guy that just expects to put you down and get away with it.”

“Do you live like this a lot?”

“You need to stand up for yourself and tell him to be better.” ~ Nimmzy13

OP had a response…

“Been like this for years.”

“But a lot more subtle.”

“I did not realize how bad it got till a few years ago.”

“And by then, he had completely isolated me (apart from my parents, who cannot help us).”

“I am working on getting back into the workforce while building a business (to have some form of income), but it is hard as he tries to take all the money I do make.”

“I have been thinking of leaving for a long time, but it has been 14 years of subtle jabs that eroded a lot of my self-worth, etc.”

Well, OP, Reddit is with you.

You are in a rough situation.

If the family can’t help, perhaps there are local organizations or shelters you can reach out to.

You and your kids deserve better.

Stay strong and good luck.