Dad Lies In Bed While His Exhausted Wife Struggles To Put Their Baby To Sleep Because Helping Would 'Stress Her Out'

What she needed was some help and some rest, not her husband videotaping her as he offered no assistance.

The Norton Family TikTok

Exhaustion is a common experience for many new parents, as taking care of a child requires a lot of time, energy, and attention. Parents need all the help they can get, especially from each other. 

When one parent is overcome with mental and physical exhaustion when it comes to taking care of the baby, the other one should take over for a little while so that their partner can catch up on some much-needed rest. However, sometimes “default parenting” means that the main responsibilities of childcare fall onto just one parent. In most cases, it is the mother. 


One father sparked outrage after he filmed his over-tired wife after she dealt with their baby all night with no help from her husband. 

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The father was lying in bed as he recorded his exhausted wife struggling to put their baby to sleep. 

In a TikTok video that has been viewed over 7 million times, the father is in bed as his clearly exhausted wife enters the room. “When you check on your wife to see if the baby went to sleep,” he wrote in the text overlay of the video. However, he did not appear once to move out of bed in the video to check on his wife or help put their fifteen-month-old son to sleep. 




Shaking her head, his wife claims that he was unsuccessful and that she had to leave the baby awake in his crib. “I can’t, I just can’t do it anymore,” she tells her husband who continues to lounge in bed. “I put him in his crib and left.” The mother wanders into the bathroom to hopefully calm down and have a few moments for herself. 

While the man found his wife’s reaction to be comical, other TikTok users were disgusted by his behavior and his lack of willingness to help take care of his child. 

“Wow. Real husband of the year material…,” one user sarcastically commented, poking fun at the unhelpful father. “What a great dad! I love when my husband sees me struggling and is comfy in bed,” another wrote. 


“Help her! Get up, put your phone down, and help her!” another user encouraged. 

“This is code for ‘it’s your turn now,’” another user pointed out. 

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The video brought attention to the problematic parenting issue known as 'default parenting.'

In a two-parent family, the default parent is usually the parent that is automatically expected to provide the majority of the childcare. Being the default parent, which is usually the mother, can be emotionally exhausting and taxing. When discussing default parenting as a syndrome, clinical psychologist Amber Thorton points out the expectations imposed on mothers that are not expected of their partners. 


“When we place both of these concepts together, we can see how the Default Parent Syndrome is more than just an individual problem; rather, it is a systemic and collective experience in which there is a bias toward women and mothers in providing primary care for parenting and home-related tasks,” she wrote in Psychology Today. “This bias is largely the product of decades of patriarchal cultural history that has continued to evolve in various ways throughout our time.”  

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However, the father in the video alleges that he did not help his wife because it would ‘stress her out.’ 

This is a feeling that other mothers admitted to feeling in the comments, believing that they were the better-suited parents for their children, being more familiar with their routines. 

“As a mom, I get in this frame of mind too,” one TikTok user shared. “It’s just easier for me to do it, until it’s not and I’m burnt out.” 


“I get that too, but my husband will insist on taking the baby so I can calm down,” another user wrote. “Now we’ve learned to swap and step in if one is overwhelmed.” 

While the man’s wife may be more in sync with their child’s routine and feel more comfortable taking care of their son herself, she is clearly burnt out and overworked and could desperately use a break. Her husband could familiarize himself with their child’s routine and help get him to sleep so that she does fall into the default parent trap. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.