How good does a nap sound right about now? And how jealous would you be if your partner passed out on the couch after work while your two kids still needed to have dinner? We want to keep both of those questions in mind as we consider a Reddit post from a frustrated dad who is super pissed at his wife for napping.
“I have a decent job with awesome benefits, so I was willing AND able to take all 12 weeks of FMLA leave and have it paid from my accrued PTO,” Disgruntleddad27 wrote on the AITA subreddit. “It was great bonding time with my new son and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Disgruntleddad27 has a 5-year-old daughter and a 3-month-old son, and his wife had to return to work after only five weeks of leave. It was his first day back at work this week, and things did not get off to a good start, as the baby kept him up until 1 a.m. and woke him up again at 5:30. For some reason, the wife did not take a turn feeding him, but they did split drop-off duties. As expected, it was a rough day back at the office — that’s always a tough transition, and we sympathize. His wife picked up both kids so he’d have an easier evening. Then, when they got home, she collapsed on the couch while he cooked dinner and fed the kids.
“Here I am busting my ass for my family, wish I could spend more time, and she squanders the precious few hours we have together as a family by fucking sleeping,” Disgruntleddad27 wrote. “What about me? I’ve been up since 5:30! Went to bed at 1:00 a.m.! Had a shit day at work, the train of responsibilities doesn’t end when I get home, yet she’s able to pass out for a few hours without a care in the world.”
There are a lot of mothers out there who have probably been in this dad’s shoes, rather than the other way around — mostly because most workplaces still don’t give fathers adequate parental leave time. So we absolutely can recognize the outrage of seeing our partner’s blissful shuteye. That’s why this is so good to see from the other side too. From this post, we know nothing about what the mom’s day was like. What was she going through when she had to return to work after five weeks? How did she feel at the end of this day, knowing that her baby is in daycare instead of home with his dad? There are two (or even four) sides to this story.
Still, Disgruntleddad27’s martyr complex is off-putting. He did all these extra chores while the kids were still awake. He’s mad that when his wife woke up, she wanted her daughter to go to bed at her proper bedtime for a school night. He presumes that his wife has not “a care in the world.” Reddit was not going to let him vent like this without repercussion.
“[You’re the asshole], not for being frustrated and for having a hard day, but for feeling like you get to decide what she deserves,” FinancialTennis6 wrote. “You have no clue what she’s going through physically, mentally, and emotionally, and don’t get to decide if she ‘deserves’ a nap that day. If you’re frustrated, talk it out, but the mindset of her not doing enough and deciding that she doesn’t deserve the rest is a toxic mindset in my opinion.”
Others pointed out how the mother’s physical challenges probably exceeded his. “She’s 3 months postpartum, she’s still healing for crying out loud,” BoundaryStompingMIL said. “If it was that big of a deal, gently wake her up and ask for help. I doubt she did it intentionally, she was tired and fell asleep.”
Marzipan_civil wondered if the dad could have made things easier on himself, writing, “To be fair, first day back after a three month break is going to be tough. Could [you] maybe have ordered food in or done something super easy to reduce the number of chores that day? There’s no real solutions, the first twelve months of a new baby can be pretty sleep deprived.”
But it took Fakemonalisa to really get through to the dad about his resentment and lack of communication.
“I see nothing regarding you bringing up this issue of the division of labor to her,” they wrote. “I see nothing suggesting you’ve fought about this, etc. Just you being bizarrely bitter that someone took a nap that you, the Emperor of Naps, haven’t deemed Worthy.”
In a rare twist, Disgruntleddad27 agreed with this criticism.
“I definitely feel like the asshole,” he replied, and because of that, he’s glad he vented to Reddit instead of complaining to his wife. “Despite the overwhelming majority of people rightfully telling me I’m the asshole, I’m still glad I did this instead of opening my big dumb mouth and ruining an otherwise decent first day back and possibly damaging the relationship I have with my better half. I appreciate the reality check. I needed it. Going to chalk this up to sleep deprivation partially, but man… reading my own post now? I am firmly the asshole.”
Maybe we should close the internet for the rest of the day, so we can end on this high note.
These gorgeous photos show moms who love their postpartum bodies.