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Man Wonders If He Is Wrong For Refusing To Care For Newborn At Night While Wife Is On Maternity Leave

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man with arms crossed and woman holding newborn

Posting to the 'AITA' subreddit, a man asked for advice after getting into a disagreement with his wife over their newborn baby.

In a since-deleted post, the man explained that his wife had been given 16 weeks of maternity leave by the company she works for. According to WebMD, six to eight of those weeks are spent physically recovering from childbirth, leaving just over two months for a mother and the family as a whole to get their bearings. While any new mom knows that these early days with newborns are long and exhausting and every parent needs a helping hand, this man seems to think this is not the case.

The man refuses to care for their baby throughout the night, believing it's his wife's responsibility.

Instead of offering to care for the baby as much as possible while he's home, he instead asked his wife to take care of their baby during the night while he slept. The man's excuse was that he works during the week, and has to wake up early every day, so he wants to be able to get enough sleep before having to go to work.

"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, waking up early or multiple times in the night for her to catch up on all of her needed rest," the man wrote in his Reddit post.

However, the wife doesn't find his proposal fair and asked him for an even split, which the man doesn't agree with.

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woman holding newbornPhoto: Hollie Santos / Unsplash

Maternity leave isn't a vacation.

For fathers who don't experience the physical side effects of pregnancy and childbirth, maternity leave may seem like ample free time akin to paid vacation. However, they often don't see or experience the emotional and logistical labor that mothers undergo, which one person on Reddit pointed out to this man.

"Looking after a child is emotionally and mentally draining, far more than work. Those tiny humans can bring you to your knees in an hour on a bad day. Even when you come home, her work is still there," they wrote.

RELATED: Man Refuses To Look After His Son While His Girlfriend Is At Work Because He 'Intends To Relax & Have Fun'



Another person agreed and compared the two schedules. "You work 9am-10pm, 13hrs (corrected) She works 10pm-6pm, 20 hrs. You get 8 hrs of sleep, she gets 4 hrs. You get alone time during the day, she does not. You get help at work. She does not."

A fair division of labor is key to making parenthood — and a relationship — work after giving birth.

Research has shown time and time again that having kids can put a strain on a relationship as mothers are often the ones to take on a majority of the emotional and mental labor it takes to raise them. Taking care of a child, especially a newborn, should be a 50/50 split between both parents, especially when one parent is already staying home all day with the infant. 

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