Parenting is very hard work and involves unending hours to make sure the new child is cared for.
Because of this, only people who want and feel prepared to parent should really take the plunge and become parents.
But what is a couple to do when they're divided on child-bearing and want to keep both sides of the couple happy?
Even though the future mother wasn't interested in having kids, one couple decided to have children anyway, under one condition. The father had to be a stay-at-home parent and provide all care for the child.
According to the mother, the father agreed and promised to uphold his end of the deal. But with self-isolating, their boundaries and responsibilities have become kind of fuzzy.
The mother, Redditor "husbandbrokedeal," explained in the "Am I the A**hole?" (AITA) subReddit that she and her husband were arguing, because he had asked her to help with several child-related tasks during her normal work hours.
The woman expressly asked Reddit:
"[Am I the A**hole] for wanting my husband to honor his deal?"
She stressed first how differently she and her husband felt about having children, ever since they were dating.
"My husband really wanted kids, I like kids and sort of wanted them, but I hate the work associated with babies. I would rather work a 18 hour shift than change a diaper and clean up vomit."
She later worked out a choice—no kids for her husband or no child care for her.
"So I made him agree before we got married if we have kids, he'll stay at home and do all of the nights and cleaning up."
But with self-isolating and now having to do her job from home, their responsibilities have blurred a bit.
"Well I've been working from home, and as I've been home he's become increasingly difficult. He sleeps half the day away, and spends most of the time just lying in bed. I've been having to wake him up in the morning or he'll sleep until noon."
"Then at night when she cries, he won't get up and will wake me up and try and get me to do it. Obviously I say no, in which case he lets her cry for 5-10 minutes more before he finally gets up."
The woman claims her husband's requests have been increasing in frequency, too.
"And now he's been asking during the day too. Can I just change her once, can I just clean this up, can I just hold her. In the middle of work, I'm doing my job and he comes in and interrupts me."
"It's ridiculous that I have to put up with it when he specifically agreed to do it. I've been locking my office door during the day, and tonight he blew up at me saying that I have to help out since I'm home anyway."
The couple is now arguing over who should do what, and who is in the wrong.
"I went through pregnancy, I make our money, now he wants me to do what he promised to do. He says it's unfair that he has to do it all, when again, he promised he would. How is it fair that I have to work and harass him to take care of her?"
"We've been fighting all night about it, and now he's locked himself in the bedroom. AITA (Am I the A**hole)?"
Feeling at her wits' end with childcare and work, the mother turned to Reddit, asking if she was in the wrong for holding her ground on her husband's promise.
Other Redditors anonymously wrote in on the Original Poster's (OP's) question, using the following scale:
NTA: "Not the A**hole"
YTA: "You're the A**hole"
ESH: "Everyone Sucks Here"
NAH: "No A**holes Here"
Some of her fellow Redditors were quick to point out that parenting is hard work and a shared experience.
"Everyone I know who's had a baby alternates... because unless you have a night shifted and day shifted person it doesn't work. A newborn needs to be fed every 2-3 hours; they will starve to death without that. So unless you alternate the nighttime wakeups, sleeping only 2-3 hours at a time isn't enough; if you alternate you get 4-6 hours of sleep." - Pandalite
"100% ESH for making a deal where the kid is the one who compromises most."
"The reason both parents should care for the child is so the CHILD knows both of you care. It has nothing at all to do with fair work loads." - reallybirdysomedays
"ESH. If you're working and are the breadwinner while he stays at home (even with no pandemics) to care for the child he should not be interrupting you when you're working and should be the PRIMARY [care-giver] of the child."
"However, I did say the PRIMARY and not THE ONLY because this is a ridiculous agreement and you both suck for making it in the first place. A child is tough work and it's a shared responsibility, and expecting him to care for the child alone 24 hours a day while you simply ignore her existence is an absurd expectation." - gettingitreal
One Redditor was much more on-the-nose in their responses and said the couple really shouldn't have had children.
"ESH. You guys should not have had children. Thinking that a child and everything they entail would always fall under the purview of one partner only, all the time, no matter what, was naive at best and disingenuous at worst."
"What you're looking for is completely unrealistic - that you'd never have to change a diaper or take care of the child during the day at all ever during their entire childhood because 'he promised'. He had no way to plausibly make that promise, so he sucks too."
"Saying he'd be fine with effectively being a single parent at home while you work was something he had no way of being prepared for and is a silly agreement all around. I'd suggest counseling as soon as possible but this isn't looking great, I'm sorry." - DorothyZbornakzArmy
Another Redditor directly agreed, wondering what kind of relationship the OP really had with her baby.
"I agree. I guess I could understand the diaper thing. I had a cousin who couldn't change diapers because every time he did he'd throw up. But to compensate for that he took care of everything else he could."
"Late night wake ups? He was up and out of bed before the second scream. Baby wouldn't calm down? He'd stop what he was doing to take her for a ride, no matter how long, to give his wife a break and calm down the baby. There were other things but basically he understood that it was a big thing he couldn't do and he hated it so he did what he could when he wasnt at work."
"But not even bothering to sooth her after her husband spent all day with the baby? Child care is full time work. That why babysitters and daycares get paid it's not just lounging around with the baby in a play pen."
"Has OP spent any time with her child? Jesus."
"Hes kind of an a** for trying to make her do stuff while shes on work hours, but hes not TA for asking for help when shes back off the clock." - AnimalLover38
Others were even appalled that a person with OP's beliefs would have children in the first place.
"It's amazing how many people have children who have no business having them. People think a baby is going to be like a doll or a cute accessory, not [an] actual living breathing human being who needs to be tended to CONSTANTLY for about 5 years, and then cared for for at least another 13 to life."
"If the answer to the question to 'Do I want to make another human and take care of it forever?' isn't an emphatic 1000% 'H**L YES!', it should be 'no'." - vonsnootingham
There were those who pointed out that an adult not wanting to parent is not the same thing as a child not wanting to care for a pet.
"ESH - A child is not a pet that you are giving to a little kid, that promised to take care of it. Kids are a full time job that need 24/7 attention. I agree, you should NOT have had kids" - bikabika12
"Even if it's a pet under the care of a kid, you still help them and make sure the animal is being properly cared for. Both you and the kid agreed to take on the responsibility. The pet had no input in the decision-making process and shouldn't have to suffer while its caregivers bicker over who should do it. So actually, exactly like a baby!" - cyberllama
One Redditor shared how she hadn't wanted children, either, but made a different decision than the OP.
"When I told my mom I didn't want kids, she said something like, 'Well maybe your future husband will want them, and he can take on most of the parenting.' That was so gross of a concept to me. If I choose to be a parent then I'm going to be a parent."
"OP, you chose to be a parent. So buck up and do it." - revolverklc
Clearly the parents have some issues to sort out and will definitely need to talk about how they're going to handle child-care going forward, especially while self-isolating.
*If you enjoyed this article, you can read more like it by clicking on the AITA link below.*