Parenting, especially during the early years, is typically full of sleepless nights with feeding the baby, changing the baby and helping them establish a sleep schedule.
New moms often find themselves taking the brunt of this work and they need support from their significant other.
But when the mom continues to feel a lack of support, arguments are quick to arise about who's doing most of the work.
For this late-20's mom, Reddit user "Sadandconfused2020," she was sorely in need of a break. An unconditional, no strings or tasks attached, nap.
But when she shared her story in the "Am I the A$$hole" subReddit, it's clear that's not exactly what she got. And to make matters worse, she felt so bad about it, she was questioning if she was the one to blame.
The young mom of two opened her story by sharing a little bit about what parenting looks like in her home: namely, she is a SAHM and really only has help from her husband when he gets home from work. She makes no mention of weekends.
"For some background, spouse and I are in our late 20's. I am a SAHM to a 3 year old and newborn. He works in an office."
"Newborn is breastfed 99% of the time. I am lucky if he takes a bottle every few days. Naturally, I am in charge of all our baby's feedings, and most of our children's needs. I love my children but man can they be exhausting."
"The night before was AWFUL. I mean clusterfeeding every other hour barely got a wink of sleep awful. I can't sleep when baby sleeps during the day because no one can watch our 3 year old. Husband volunteers to watch them for an hour or two when he comes home so I can nap. Great!"
Obviously this mom was maxed out, especially with the essentially sleepless night she had the night before with her baby and having no chance of napping without leaving her toddler alone that day.
Her husband provided the simple solution of taking the children out of the house, so she could have some peace and quiet for her nap. But when her husband expected her to prepare their baby for leaving the house, by changing his diaper again, the mom really thought her husband could handle it, as part of helping her out.
"He eats dinner, I nurse baby and am practically passing out. He's taking the kids out on a drive. I give baby to him, he tells me he needs a diaper change. I had just changed him, and didn't want to do it for the umpteenth time."
"I just wanted him to do it you guys. I just wanted a real break for an hour or 2 max, because I have to feed him and recharge for tonight and of course continue this baby/toddler cycle every day."
"I asked him to please do it."
It seems like a reasonable enough request. If the husband is already taking the kids out of the house, surely he can handle changing a diaper before heading out?
But clearly he didn't see it that way, and his reaction surprised his wife.
"He gets angry and told me he's trying to help me get some sleep and I'm being difficult about it. It was in an aggressive tone, and I was taken aback and I kinda just froze. He looks visibly pissed, changes baby, and takes off. When he comes home we had a blow up about it."
"He thinks I'm trying to dictate the way he helps. I just wanted him to change his diaper."
Fellow Reddit users were quick to jump in, pointing out that the mother was obviously not being a jerk in this scenario.
First of all, as many people pointed out, she was simply asking her husband to be a parent when she asked him to change the diaper.
"NTA. You asked him to literally do a dad thing. You were completely wiped, which is the whole reason he was doing anything." - mothertothemax
"Dude, this. If he's a parent, then JUST DO THE PARENTING THING omg" - museisnotyours
"Yea, um.. changing your own child's diaper is not 'helping' the other parent. It's .. taking care of your child." - SarenForgotten
"Sooooo tired of reading posts by these poor moms who are like 'AITA for needing a godd**n 2 hour break/some sleep/a shower and asking my husband to PARENT for a little while?' S**t is heartbreaking." - whita309
"And it is even more heartbreaking to be in a position to question yourself if you are an a$hole for wanting a little break. I was/still am at this point and I really don't know what is normal anymore... it is only by hearing other people's opinions that I am starting to see what's wrong with my own marriage" - Annabenc
Second of all, quite a few people pointed out the possible red flags in the story, noting the husband's unwarranted anger over having to change a diaper, as well as the wife's internal need to verify if she was in the wrong for asking to be excused from a diaper change.
"This is where a line of red flags would be helpful. Hubby's letting his narcissistic side show, and gaslighting her. Kids are the point previously tolerable relationships can rip the blinders off potential abusive situations."
"Keep your eyes open, OP. Trust your instincts, and this keeps up, or escalates, get help."
"A parent does not " volunteer " to care for their own children." - VeryVeryTexan
It was clearly a situation that emotionally burdened the new mom, but she fortunately came back to the post and thanked many of the commentators for their thoughts, stating they gave her new confidence to discuss this matter with her husband again.
Hopefully they're able to work out a system that works for them, so everyone can get the sleep they need while still being the parents they're now meant to be.