You never know how much you don’t know about parenting until you become one yourself (you could say it’s one of those “on the job training”-type gigs). But nobody was more surprised by the things they didn’t know about parenting than the mom who thought that you had to watch babies while they slept.
As in, stay awake all night long, watching your baby sleep.
Redditor sad_whale_8 learned that she was being a little too observant purely by accident, when she posted to the Relationship_advice subreddit to figure out how to deal with the fact that she didn’t trust her husband as a father.
“My husband and I had our first child a week ago,” the 28-year-old wrote. “It has been a very stressful week to say the least. Adjusting to this new normal isn’t easy for anyone but it can be that much harder when you don’t feel supported.”
Her post went on to explain how she and her husband have been splitting the night shift, but she keeps waking up to find him sound asleep. “I get it; we are both sleep deprived, but I feel like he doesn’t even try to stay awake so that I can get some relief,” she writes. “I feel like I have to watch both him and the baby. My anxiety is through the roof and I am so tired.”
It’s perfectly normal for babies to have their days and nights mixed up in the beginning, which is why she seemed to be making a valid complaint at first. “I tried to speak to him about this calmly, but I must be too nice because he doesn’t seem to understand how upset I am,” she wrote, adding that they ran into the exact same problem directly after their talk when she woke up to find him sound asleep again. “I was dead tired but I was anxious he wouldn’t stay awake to watch the baby. He got mad at me for mentioning that he keeps falling asleep during his shifts and I sat there and cried for like 10 minutes,” she wrote. “He didn’t say anything while I cried. So I got upset and told him to just go back to sleep and fuck my well-being. Now he’s asleep and I’m awake shivering from sleep deprivation.”
Sad_whale_8 concluded her original post by asking what she should do. The comments poured in to break the news gently (and sometimes not so gently) to her that nobody actually needed to be staying awake to watch the baby sleep.
“No. Parents take turns waking up to feed/change the baby, not to watch the baby sleep,” wrote juswundern. ”The baby’s sleep time is the time for parents to get rest!!! Please go to sleep, hun.”
Another user congratulated OP before letting her know that she was being a little too vigilant about supervision. “Your baby doesn’t need 24/7 watching,” wrote No-Passenger-6205. “If you talk to your pediatrician, he or she will give you a lot of resources on infant care. Hopefully you will be able to relax… and get some sleep!”
A few people also pointed out something that may not have been obvious to OP, but was plenty obvious to the seasoned parents on the board: OP should probably talk to her doctor about her anxiety. “Gently, I think you have some postpartum anxiety, which is super common but can be a real problem,” wrote anarmchairexpert. And user la_mujer_roja47 added their thoughts as well. “Jumping on this, please tell your doctor how you’re feeling,” they wrote. “This is not normal, BUT it’s not your fault and it’s nothing you should be ashamed of.”
There’s a reason why the old adage is “sleep when the baby sleeps,” and we hope OP was finally able to join her husband in getting some shut-eye. We also hope she took the advice of the other Redditors who suggested that she reach out to her doctor to talk about her anxiety. Postpartum mood disorders are very common, and very treatable.
We don’t think OP’s ever heard of co-sleeping like these famous celebs.