New Dad On Paternity Leave Tells His Wife His Time Off Is Short So He Wants To Spend It Relaxing Instead Of Helping With The Baby

His refusal to help completely defeats the purpose of taking paternity leave in the first place.

tired dad trying to comfort crying baby sitting on his lap Vaillery | Shutterstock

A new mom expressed her frustration with her husband's attitude toward taking care of their newborn, admitting that most of the responsibilities have fallen onto her. 

Posting to the subreddit r/AITAH, the 27-year-old woman claimed that her husband has made zero effort to help her following the birth of their daughter.

Her husband told her that since his paternity leave is short, he just wants to relax instead of helping out with their baby.

In her Reddit post, she explained that since giving birth to her daughter, most of the caretaking has fallen on her shoulders. Before having a baby, her husband promised that everything would be divided 50/50, but now she doesn't think his actions match his words.


It's gotten to the point where she can't even ask him to bathe their daughter without hearing the excuse that since his paternity leave is so short, he wants to make the most of it by relaxing. He routinely promises his wife that he'll help out "later," not taking into account that his wife has just given birth and is still in pain, so the least he could do is bathe and feed their daughter while she relaxes.

tired mother holding sleeping baby GrooveZ | Shutterstock


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"Now, my baby girl has gotten to a phase where she doesn't want to sleep. She'll sleep for an hour, but then she's up and back to crying, and I have to get up and try to soothe her. It's been happening for a week now and I've gotten so little sleep that I'm nodding off while eating or doing the laundry and stuff," she admitted. 

His refusal to help out also defeats the entire purpose of paternity leave, which is given so that new parents can have time to take care of their newborn babies, especially since it's less normalized for men to take time off compared to women. It's not a vacation, so his excuse of needing to relax is completely misguided.


Dads can get time off for paternity leave

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On top of that, his wife has just given birth, and during such a vulnerable time, she needs all of the help she can get. The entire purpose of having a partner, especially after welcoming a baby together, is for that person to be an active participant in the care and upbringing of the child. 


His duty as a father is to bathe his daughter, feed her, put her down for naps, and play with her. By refusing to be involved, he's neglecting those responsibilities and failing as both a partner and father. 

She decided to throw a family get-together to celebrate her daughter's first month.

"I decided to gather both sides of the family to meet her," she continued. "We had this gathering at my mother's house and all was well. Everyone was cooing over our baby, there was food, people were catching up or meeting for the first time. It was nice."

However, she'd only gotten a total of 3 hours of sleep that week from having to wake up and take care of their daughter, and was feeling lightheaded and clammy at one point during the party. 

tired young woman touching forehead having headache fizkes | Shutterstock


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She attempted to retreat to the bedroom for a quick lie-down but ended up passing out on her way there.

She wasn't out for more than 10 minutes, and when she came to, she tried to explain to all of the guests that she was fine but hadn't gotten enough sleep. From the corner of her eye, she noticed her husband visibly frown at her explanation.

"They gave me some of the dessert my aunt made to get my sugar up, and the party continued. I felt embarrassed about the whole thing, especially since everyone was still looking over me till we left."

Her husband accused her of trying to embarrass him by insinuating that he wasn't pulling his weight.

Once the celebrations were over and they returned home, she confronted her husband about his reaction to her fainting. He started going off, accusing her of trying to make him look bad. 


Confused, she asked how her passing out could have anything to do with him and pointed out that instead of being worried for her well-being, he was flipping the situation to make himself seem like the victim.

tired new mom oksanashufrych / Canva Pro

Parenthood is incredibly hard, especially if you're tasked with doing it alone. It's much more fulfilling to have a supportive and encouraging partner by your side who can see when things are becoming too much for you and swoop in with understanding and assistance. 


The worst thing that can happen is being in, what you assume is a partnership, but you're actually doing all of the parenting responsibilities on your own.

It's clear that this wife needed someone to lean on and share all of the responsibilities that come with taking care of a newborn child, especially when she was also trying to recover from giving birth. Instead of giving that to her, he chose to prioritize his own comfort and relaxation when that wasn't the point of taking paternity leave in the first place. He should've used the six weeks that he was home to spend as much time with his daughter as he could and be an active participant in the early stages of her life.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.