Parenting is hard sometimes, and for parents of multiple children, it seems to become more impossible with the addition of each new child.
And it only seems to be even harder when there's little support backing that parenting.
According to one mom, who wrote into the "Am I the A**hole?" (AITA) subReddit, she felt the need to teach her husband a lesson after feeling a lack of support from him.
Redditor ClassroomLonely, who made herself unavailable on her husband's day off, wondered if she took her lesson too far.
The Original Poster (OP) asked the sub:
"AITA for making my husband take over for a day so I can play video games?"
The OP reached out to the sub only for this situation.
"Hello Reddit! Long time lurker, but I felt like you might be able to tell me if I was in the wrong here."
"I am a mom of 4. I know, that's a lot of kids, but I wouldn't change it. The kids are 10[male], 9[female], 6[male], and 2[male]. I am a stay-at-home mom while my husband works [Monday through Friday] 9-5."
The OP felt she and her husband lived opposite lives.
"His Saturdays are pretty relaxed. He hangs out with the kids [and] then goes out with the boys that night. Sunday is church and a family dinner. My weeks are the complete opposite. I don't relax. I'm 100% overwhelmed and 150% stressed to the max."
"[I also want to add] My husband is a web developer. When he gets home, he sits down and relaxes for the rest of the evening. He doesn't entertain the kids, he doesn't help with the house, he relaxes because hes worked so hard and is exhausted."
The OP gave an outline of her day as an example.
"My normal, daily schedule is: 5:30: wake-up, shower, [and] coffee in silence. 6:30: set out clothes, [and] wake up house. 7:30: cook [and] tend to 2-year-old."
"8:00: eating, make husband's lunch. 8:30: get kids logged on and set up for school. 9:00 to 11:00: breakfast cleanup, help kids with school, entertain 2 year old, light cleaning, [and] fix snacks."
"11:00 to 12:30: fix lunch, feed kids, [and] take kids out to play while tending garden. 1:00 to 3:00: deep cleaning 1 room, [and] entertain kids. 3:00 to 4:00: laundry. 4:00 to 5:30: dinner prep and cooking."
"5:00 to 6:00: feed everyone. 6:00 to 7:00: run errands [and] after dinner cleanup. 7:00 to 8:00: bath time [and] snacks, bedtime routine. 8:00 to 9:00: get kids in bed. 9:00 to 10:00: clean then sleep."
"[I also want to add] My kids do not get fed junk food, Kraft meals, or frozen meals. I make everything from scratch because it's healthier. They get 30 minutes [to] 1 hour of screen time a day. They do have small chores that help a little but I do all of the big stuff."
"I have tried to talk to him about this before and have laid out exactly what can be done to help me. I get ignored."
The OP finally had enough of it and decided to give her husband some perspective.
"This finally came to a head this last Friday when my husband got upset with me for complaining that I was tired."
"I asked him what he did every day that he's too tired to help out and maybe that's why I am exhausted, that I do everything. I haven't had a break since my 2 year old was born."
"He told me I didn't need a break, that it's easy to do my job."
"I ended up screaming the next day that he is tending to the house and kids and that I was locking myself in our room and playing video games all day."
"True to my word, I refused to unlock the door Saturday or do anything."
Others didn't exactly appreciate the OP's reaction.
"My MIL called me p**sed that I could do that to my family and that I was the AH (a**hole) for ignoring my family to play games."
"I told her that maybe if she raised her son better, it wouldn't have came to this."
"My husband is angry, my MIL is angry, and I feel like the AH. AITA?"
Fellow Redditors reached out to the OP anonymously, rating her reaction on the following scale:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You're the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some were quick to affirm the OP was not in the wrong for taking time for herself.
"NTA. And she's working all day as is he. It's not fair that he then comes home and is taken care of. A good husband comes home and then picks up 50% of the load because when you HAVE KIDS, you don't get to STOP." - MossyTundra
"NTA. Agreed, baller move right here, he wants to make it so you do everything 99% of the time, start making him do it 50%, share the load. He's lazy." - WolfPetter42
"Exactly, she's doing 16.5 hours everyday without any breaks- childcare is exhausting! Props to op for giving hubs a taste of it" - f**kimtrash
"It's a tough job period. Add a pandemic and hybrid/remote learning and it's now an impossible job to do alone." - mostlyminischnauzer
Others agreed and said the husband needed to learn the depth of her responsibilities.
"OP's husband probably grew up with his mother doing all the housework and tending to the kids. it's normalized to them. MIL is probably perplexed at OP for not being a subservient housewife who just puts up with her husband's s**t." - justgetinthebin
"NTA. That was a baller move and I salute you."
"If your husband can't acknowledge that being a stay at home mom during a pandemic is a tough job, then he can learn the hard way." - Deliquante
"imagine having to re-educate your husband to be a good partner and dad."
"on top of everything else she's handling she has to basically be a second parent to her husband and 'teach' him to actually appreciate her? that's f**ked up."
"what's a good way to get husband to understand OP's side better without putting more pressure on her, a therapy session maybe?" - justgetinthebin
A few also had questions and critiques regarding the mother-in-law's involvement.
"100%. It's hilarious he called his own mom when this happened, as if MIL has any power in this situation. Good on you OP."
"I hope a constructive conversation happened Saturday night." - bakarac
"The same person who is MIL to OP is grandma to the kids. Why wasn't there any grandkids [and] grandma quality time in 2 years or more? If she cares about her son's family she could gift them a couple's day once in a while and take the kids to the zoo or something. That's the only way a grandma's nose belongs in the picture." - Draigdwi
Couples who are trying to raise their children well should do their best to see eye-to-eye, especially considering how their home is run. Though everyone has a right to be tired, invalidating someone else's reasons for being tired is unacceptable, especially in front of their own children.