When an exhausted father posted on Reddit, the reactions were surprising based on his initial headline, which read:
My (M) wife (F), Sonia, is a SAHM of our 2 children (7M and 5F). I really try to help with the kids when I get home, I know being SAHM is pretty tiring even though she has part time off from school, but help with homework, make food and taking care of kids can be exhausting.
When I get home, I make dinner, wash the dishes and stay with our children for a while so she can have her moment too. These weeks have been pretty exhausting. It is a very important month professionally, in November will be the delivery of a 6-month project that my team and I are idealizing.
Last week was the final touches and review of the entire project, so I went to work at 8AM, got home at 5PM, took care of my kids until 9PM and was actually working until 3/4AM. To maybe get 4/3 hours of sleep (I have trouble sleeping). So if I slept 12 hours in 5 days it was a lot.
I was exhausted, I wasn't even driving because I didn't trust my senses to drive. I couldn't vent to Sonia, because she was stressed too (our children had the flu). I was dragged to the hospital by my co-workers after nearly passing out for only walking. The doctor demanded that I take a week's medical leave because I was already on the verge of a burn out.
When I got home, I spoke to my wife and she seemed to be understanding. I asked her to give me a day off from everything, as I would try to get as much sleep as possible that night to come back better. She said fine. I offered to also give her a day off because I know she was tired too.
I went to sleep at 9PM and woke up to Sonia nudging me to take the kids to school (I walk with them). I talked about what we talked about yesterday and she said 'Yeah, but that's your part of the morning and I have other morning plans' (yoga class, gym and house cleaning).
I asked her 3x more to do this for me, as I was still exhausted (6:30 am), but she just said 'You're still a father, tired or not'. It could be tiredness or not, but I ended up losing my mind and screaming 'I just need a few hours of sleep, please respect what I asked of you yesterday and let me sleep, man.'
She was in shock and said okay then. She took the kids and I slept until 4PM. There were several messages from her saying that I shouldn't have yelled at her for asking me to take responsibility as a parent and that it was toxic behavior of mine. Well, we haven't talked much more than necessary for 2 days. AITA?
Reddit ruled a solid NTA (not the as*hole) on this one.
Given the context, NTA. A doctor literally ordered you to rest. Your wife agreed to help you. If roles were reversed and you took time off work to step in for your wife, you would be TA for waking her up. She didn’t respect your valid medical need to rest. Your doctor ordered a WEEK of medical leave to rest. If this isn’t a recurring thing outside of this isolated incident- NTA
Honestly, I can’t stand people who throw around words like toxic behavior and crap. Those words are heavy and shouldn’t be said lightly. Yelling at someone does not mean it is toxic. Just for that the wife is TA.
I'm probably going to catch some flak for this, but being a SAHM is a lot more than cooking and cleaning. Idk what OP's situation is like, but I have a pretty hefty mental load. Keeping track of laundry, what food we need at the store, medical appointments, if my kid has outgrown clothes and needs new ones, names of friends and friend's parents and teachers. The list goes on and on.
That being said, OP is absolutely NTA and it sounds like he really does do more than his fair share. His wife needs to change her perspective and adjust her attitude.
NTA. Regardless of everything else, she agreed to your request of a day off from everything in order to catch up on your rest, by order of your doctor. She then tried to renege on that deal. Her fault, not yours.
Imagine not having to work, hearing that your SO is on the verge of a breakdown because they are the sole provider for the family and needs rest as described by a physician, and still having the audacity to wake OP up at 6:30 because they’re “still a father!”
Are you sure you want to live with someone that just feeds off of you and doesn’t respect you? NTA. And if this was me, I would have taken a break away at a spa overnight. She’s lucky to have you.
NTA. You are not asking to be permanently excused from your morning parenting duties, you are asking on this one specific occasion for your wife to pick up your slack.
It sounds like you are having health issues that can be resolved with more sleep. Your wife should absolutely be prioritizing your one time health need over her regular morning workout/yoga class.
This is what good partners do, pick up each other's slack when the other is down. As long as you'd do the same for your wife (which it sounds like you would) then I don't see why this is should be an issue.