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Exhausted New Mom Irate After Spouse Won’t Hold Baby While Taking Call For Job Interview

woman cooking with infant in sling
Peter Muller/Getty Images

Parenthood with a significant other is a series of compromises and balancing acts.

One thing that’s certain to create problems is poor communication from either partner.

When first-time parenthood is still less than two months post-birth, fatigue and frustration make good communication even more critical.

When it breaks down, well…

A new father who found himself on the outs with his wife turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

WesternLetterhead186 asked:

“AITA for not taking the baby as soon as I was asked?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“Our daughter is 7 weeks old. My wife is a full time SAHM (both of us want this until our daughter is at least 5, starts school and can openly communicate with us).”

“I work full time making $25 an hour and while the pay is good, I’ve been looking for something a bit better just so we have more fun money, basically. We live in Kentucky.”

“I make much more than minimum wage and more than everyone I know. We have a bunch in savings. We aren’t hurting by any means.”

“I get home from work today at 3pm and she asks me to take the baby.”

“As soon as she asked though, I got a phone call that I suspected was from an interview so I said ‘hold on a second’ and took the call.”

“It was an interviewer—which I didn’t tell my wife until later—and he wanted to do an over the phone interview and asked if it was a good time.”

“I said yes.”

“About 40 minutes later I go back in and my wife is cooking dinner with the baby strapped to her chest. I said I could take the baby now and she said ‘looks like I’ve got it’ and dismisses me completely.”

“She then turns off the stove (dinner was done) and goes in to the bathroom with the baby and takes a shower, with the baby. I go in and say she’s being ridiculous and that I had to take a phone call and she snapped.”

“She said ‘I take phone calls while holding the baby all the f*cking time. I cook, clean, shower, sh*t and shave while holding the baby. Your excuse is pathetic’.”

“Our daughter just had her vaccinations. She’s fussy.”

“Putting her down in her crib would have led to screaming because she was already unsettled so my wife would have just grabbed her back out anyhow.”

“AITA for not taking the baby immediately?

The OP summed up their situation.

“I feel like an a**hole because my wife needs breaks and I completely understand that, but the phone call was important.”

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

Most Redditors decided the OP was the a**hole (YTA) for his poor communication.

“YTA. I get that a job interview is important and I also get that you wanted to be seen by the interviewer as accommodating, but a better way to handle this would have been to ask the interviewer to hold on for a minute while you checked with your wife whether it was okay to proceed.”

“You had no idea how her day had gone and where she was at mentally/emotionally in that moment, and at 7 weeks postpartum she and your child should be your main priority. By not looping her in on what was going on, she had no idea what was so important about the call and felt you were being dismissive of her and how rough her day was.”

“She was no doubt exhausted, touched out, and at the end of the rope, and instead of giving her the respite she needed and expected when you walked in the door, you dismissed her and gave her 40 minutes to stew about it.”

“The fact that she is a SAHM should only be relevant to the fact that she had been stuck at home all day. It does not entitle you to treat her as anything less than a full partner in household decision making.” ~ Aggressive_Today_492

“YTA. It isn’t about just taking the baby when asked, it is that you failed to communicate or be considerate.”

“You got a random phone call, you had to take it—that’s fine.”

“They asked if you were free—well you weren’t really free because you had just agreed to take a baby, but you could have certainly asked them to hold for a moment and gone and COMMUNICATED with your wife.”

“‘They want to do an interview now, so now I can’t take the baby’. Simple as that.”

“And then after being gone for 40 minutes and seeing she is upset, you follow her to the bathroom and tell her she is being ridiculous.”

“Dude, you left for 40 minutes when you said you would help with zero consideration or communication, and she is the ridiculous one?” ~ mfruitfly

“YTA for agreeing to take the baby and then not communicating to your wife when that plan changed.”

“Though it really sounds like this is not a one-time issue and you should talk to your wife about why this was a breaking point for her.”

“It could be as simple as having a long day with a fussy baby and not getting the break she needed, or there could be a deeper issue where something you do is letting her down and this was just a straw that broke the camel’s back kind of thing.”

“I’ve had a newborn AND spent 10 years working in hiring for various levels of jobs, so—no, most newborns can’t be set down for long (if you think that, you’re probably thinking of babies over 4 months old who are more independent), and most jobs will absolutely reschedule an interview.”

“But even if you don’t want to risk that, you can always say ‘Hang on just a moment’ so you can update your wife.” ~ harbjnger

A few felt the job market justified his lack of communicating clearly with his “ridiculous” wife.

“NTA. It appears that the mom expected him to take the baby anyway despite it being a job interview. Doesn’t matter when she found out. Mom should honestly chill the f*ck out.” ~ myneckbone

“Better yet, she should get a job and the husband stay home to care for the child.” ~ kookaburrakachoo

“OP is NTA for taking the call or for proceeding with the interview then and there. When you have a baby, a job, and a household to tend to, when is a good time to do the interview?” ~ Spaghetti_Jo

“NTA. This was not a personal phone call. It was a call that might turn out to benefit the entire family.”

“Your wife was being downright silly.” ~ BlueGreen_1956

“Things f*cking suck out there right now. You gotta do what you gotta do, especially as the sole provider for the family. NTA.” ~ Danominator

“NTA. I’m assuming this fun money is fun for the family money. $25/hour is barely enough to support three people in this economy even in a low cost of living area in the US.”

“Your wife needs to get a grip.” ~ Probably_Outside

“She’s an adult. She could have figured out that it was an important call instead of being mopey.” ~ PretendRanger

“NTA. Tell her to go get a job if she’s going to pitch a fit when you have the opportunity for an interview.” ~ Casualpasserbyer

But others pointed out taking an extra five seconds before disappearing for 40 minutes could have kept this conflict from happening.

“When they asked [if it was a good time], you could have said ‘can you hold on so I can go to the other room, etc…’, put them on mute and then explain to your wife what was going on.

“Or ask if you can call them back in five minutes so you can get settled somewhere in the house, and explain then.”

“The disappearing for 40 minutes without communication is probably why she’s pissed. And even if the reason is valid, once a tired momma is pissed off, she isn’t going to down shift that fast. YTA.” ~ idkhow2userddt

“And then he followed her around dismissing her reasonable anger and disappointment as ‘ridiculous’. He was incredibly rude to her.” ~ Veteris71

“YTA. You f*cked up. You should have said ‘one minute’ and then explained to your wife that it was a job interview for more money so that she knew what was going on and why it was urgent in the moment.” ~ Crashtard

“She had 40 minutes while she made your dinner, while she dealt with your fussy baby, after you told her ‘just a second’ to become enraged and she had every right to be pissed at you.

“Did you know it was for an interview before you answered the call? Does your voicemail not work? Do you really want to work someplace that wouldn’t understand if you called them back 30 minutes later?” ~ One-Confidence-6858

“YTA. This feels like watching a movie where the entire conflict comes from not saying one sentence: ‘Sure I can talk now’ then mouth to wife: ‘it’s a job interview, I’ll brb’ and cross your fingers.”

“If you and your spouse are on the same page around you applying for jobs, that simple sentence in the moment seems like it would have bypassed all the conflict, or at least downgraded it tremendously to a point you two could have had more effective communication on how to handle the situation in the future.” ~ wohaat

And they also advised the OP to look at who was telling him he was OK, but his wife was an a**hole (NTA).

“OP, this might be one of those posts where you change your mind precisely because of who thinks you’re N T A. You’re definitely going to get a lot of incel energy on the N T A side.” ~ SuzieQbert

“Yeah . . . Buddy you might want to consider who is saying you aren’t the a-hole and if you really want to do something which those people agree with.”

“Sure, a broken clock can be right twice a day. This is the other 23 hours 58 minutes.” ~ br_612

The OP hasn’t provided any response to the ruling, but hopefully he has a better understanding of why his wife was upset.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.