The internet has slammed a new dad for saying that his wife should take care of their baby during the night while she is on maternity leave.
Shared on Tuesday by Reddit user rayzrisme, the post on the popular r/AmITheA**hole forum asked: “AITA for asking my wife to take care of our newborn during the night hours while she is on maternity leave?”
With thousands of upvotes and comments, the post continues to explain that while he works Monday through Friday, his wife is currently on 16 weeks of paid maternity leave.
“I only asked her that during that 16 week time period, she take care of the baby during the midnight hours while I sleep,” wrote the poster: “I told her that after I get off work I will take over entirely, do all chores, cook, take care of the baby and even more so on weekends where I have no issue staying up late.”
The post concluded with the poster writing: “Be honest, I may be the a**hole, I just want opinions.”
Reddit users overwhelmingly sided with the man’s wife. One wrote: “YTA. What exactly is she doing during the day while you’re at work? Daydreaming? Looking after a newborn during the day, alone, is stressful. She’ll be deeply postpartum, healing, and you expect her to get up every night?”
Another commenter said: “The idea that she can just walk away when he steps in the door is laughable. Parenting isn’t interchangeable. Letting your wife have a nap and take a shower is not ‘giving her a break’ it’s ‘allowing her basic needs’ and more men need to understand that.”
Stanford Children’s Health says that most babies don’t start sleeping through the night (six to eight hours) until they are at least 3 months old—in most cases before this babies will wake every three hours.
Research shows that not getting enough sleep as an adult has a wide impact on your health, affecting your mood, memory and immunity.
A study from Hopkins Medicine found that sleep-deprived adults are three times more likely to catch a cold, have more cravings for sweet, salty and starchy foods, and are at greater risk of depression, irritability, anxiety and forgetfulness.
One user replied to the post and said: “She needs rest just as much as you do. Getting a bit of sleep on weekends doesn’t come close to making up for being up nights all week,” while another wrote: “I’d argue that she needs MORE rest then he does because she is healing from a large traumatic health event.”
In the first six weeks after giving birth, the body needs time to heal and adjust to not being pregnant. Called the postpartum period, it can take four to six weeks for women to feel mostly recovered—and possibly even longer if they have had a cesarean birth.
Despite most Redditors agreeing that the man was in the wrong, some did agree with the poster. One user said: “If you’re taking over everything in the evening and planning to split nights evenly once she’s back to work that’s a reasonable ask. It’s what my husband and I did and it worked well for us. That said, some nights with a newborn are really difficult, and if she needs your help, even just emotional support, you better be doing it without any fuss.”
Newsweek has reached out to rayzrisme for comment.