Mom Seeks Advice On Husband Asking For 'A Day Off' From Taking Care Of Their Baby

Can you ever really take a break from being a parent?

Mom, dad, and baby lying on bed Anna Shvets / Pexels

The mom of a 14-month-old baby wrote to Reddit wondering how other parents would handle a situation she and her husband found themselves in. She asked people on the "r/parenting" subreddit what their response would be to their partner asking to take a "break" from parenting duties.

The mom was seeking advice after her husband asked for ‘a day off’ from taking care of their baby.

She described their daughter as having “a ton of energy” and explained their typical schedule — she and the baby wake up at 7 a.m., eat breakfast, go outside, play, read, and then the baby naps around 11 a.m.


But on the day the mom posted to Reddit, the baby had refused to take a nap at her usual time. She further explained that on that day, her husband woke up around 10:30 a.m., took a shower, drank coffee, and then asked to have the rest of the day to himself.

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mom asks for advice after husband requests a day off from taking care of their babyPhoto: Tatiana Syrikova / Pexels


She reported feeling conflicted about her husband’s request, stating, “On one hand, I do understand, but on the other, I really feel like ‘too bad so sad.’” While she expressed that she aimed to be objective about his request, she also felt like “it puts ALL of the rest of the day” on her.

The mom disclosed that her husband said he was ‘having an off day’ and wanted time off from taking care of their baby for the remainder of the day.

A majority of the comments from other parents suggested that she honor his request for a day off, as long as she’s also able to take a day off from baby duty in the near future. A number of parents noted that in an ideal world, parenting responsibilities would be split evenly; however, the reality is that the labor of parenting is not always divided equally.

mom asks for advice after husband requests a day off from taking care of their baby Photo: Pixabay / Pexels


As one parent said, “It's never 50/50. One of us is always going to be doing ‘more’ and the other is doing ‘less,’” noting that they do what they can so they “feel it's equitable, can communicate before resentment pops up, and are always doing what we can to support each other.”

Someone else spoke directly to the mom, saying, “You both will need days like this sometimes and you both have to be honest about it with one another. Give each other grace.” Another person echoed that sentiment, stating, “It sounds counterintuitive, but you’ll both be much better parents if you take a break every now and then.”

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The mom who made the original post came to the comments to answer a question posed by one Reddit user, who asked if she was getting the same opportunity for a break. She replied that her husband offered, telling her to let him know if she wants a break. Yet she reported, “I don’t think I could ‘take time off’ at home without feeling guilty or not wanting to hang out with my daughter.’”


Her response seems to be where the crux of the conflict lies — the mom doesn’t feel like she can ask for a break in the same way as her husband does. Mom guilt is a major dilemma that stems from the strongly held societal idea that motherhood is an all-encompassing role and that asking for help makes you an inferior parent.

Parental burnout is a very real part of raising kids.

According to an article published by Healthline, burnout is defined as “the result of prolonged stress where the demands placed upon an individual outweigh their ability to meet expectations.” Healthline graciously acknowledged that if you’re a parent experiencing burnout, “You’re not a bad person. Nor do you need to live like this. There are ways to cope.”

They suggest that the first step in navigating burnout is to be open and direct with your partner about how you’re feeling, which is exactly what the woman’s husband did.

mom asks for advice after husband requests a day off from taking care of their babyPhoto: Gustavo Fring / Pexels


As someone commented on her post, “He seems really self aware and coming to you in a vulnerable place, with parenthood stressors, this is good news.”

Healthline also emphasizes being patient with oneself and holding onto the understanding that parenting, no matter how much you love your child, is inherently stressful. Scheduling breaks, even if it’s just for 20 minutes a day and even if it’s just to take some deep breaths, is undeniably valuable.

Needing time away from your kids doesn’t make you a bad parent. It just means you’re human, with valid needs and vulnerabilities, and sometimes, a break is the best thing you can give yourself.


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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers parenting issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.