Any parent of a young child knows that nighttime can be the toughest part of parenting.
Getting up for feeds and nappy changes all while trying to catch a little bit of sleep in between can take it's toll — particularly on moms who are also dealing with post-pregnancy hormones.
One couple found that the best way for them to compromise was for the father to be in charge of night duty so mom could rest. However, the tired dad is now voicing his thoughts about the decision on Reddit.
The man’s fiancé refuses to wake up during the night to feed their daughter, yet gets up to smoke weed and hang out with colleagues.
Sharing his dilemma to the subreddit thread, r/beyondthebump, the father sought the advice of other users of how he should approach his fiancé about the situation.
He began his post by revealing that he and his fiancé have an 11-month-old daughter who still wakes up during the night to be fed. He recently began taking the sole responsibility of feeding their baby at night.
“I took over getting up for the night feeds, because my fiancé has had postpartum depression, and she would get into a fit of rage if our daughter can't go back to sleep after feeding,” the man wrote.
Although, the mother remains awake at night regardless of whether or not she feeds her daughter.
“She would still get up in the middle of the night to smoke weed or fix herself food,” the man shared. “She would stay up late, and she would go out with her colleagues to drink, smoke weed, and stay up till 1 or 2 am,”
While he is doing his best to sympathize with his fiancé who is clearly struggling mentally, he never expected her to stay out as late as she is and feels as if she is taking advantage of him. He works a full-time job and waking up several times a night can be taxing.
However, he refrains from addressing his frustrations to his fiancé to avoid a fight and worsening her depression symptoms.
“I'm keeping a lot of these resentments to myself for now, because I'm tired of getting into fights and I don't want to have that rage and screaming in our home again,” the man admits.
Despite his fiancé’s postpartum depression, he emphasizes that she is a committed parent who loves their daughter.
“I see all the effort she puts into her parenting, and without a doubt I know she is trying her best,” he wrote.
“She's the one that finds and signs our kid up for activities and meetups. She buys her more stuff - clothes, toys, etc. She's involved in every aspect of our daughter's well-being - doctor visits, helping out when our daughter is sick, cooking food, etc.”
Before she gave up her nighttime feeding duties, the couple would alternate nights completing the task.
However, her postpartum depression has completely changed their lives. “Her postpartum depression was unlike anything we could honestly prepare for or expect, and our lives have taken a humbling 180 since the birth of our daughter,” the man wrote.
The woman is finding it difficult to connect with her daughter and is seeking therapy. Her depression has also resulted in an increased amount of fighting with her fiancé, as she often goes out to smoke weed and drink instead of caring for their daughter at night.
This is why I'm mad…she's gone out with her colleagues, she stayed out later than I expected. She doesn't come home drunk, but just visibly high off weed,” the man wrote.
“It just felt wrong that she'd do that when I'm sleep deprived at home with our kid.”
He admits that he is struggling with feelings of guilt after the difficult year she’s had, yet believes that he deserves the same compassion he’s shown his fiancé.
“I hate the position all this is putting me in and the fact that I'm contemplating the whole relationship and whether I want to spend the rest of my life with someone who is going to continue going out and doing stuff like this,” he wrote.
Reddiors validated the man’s frustrations and offered him advice.
“You sound really understanding and compassionate. Also, really patient and tolerant. I can tell it's coming from a good place - loyalty to her and care for your daughter,” one user praised the man.
“LIFE CHANGES when you have a kid. You become a PARENT. Most adults with kids need to change their lifestyle when they become parents. It sounds like your partner hasn't accepted that…regardless, you're not out of line to sit down and find acceptable parameters around recreational outings and activities.”
“You give her a lot of credit and so I want to take your word that she’s a good and loving mom,” another user commented.
“I’m all for parents being able to enjoy themselves and be human adults and take a break but she’s actively ignoring her daughter’s needs and choosing to go get f–ked up with friends ALL NIGHT LONG.”
“She chose to have a kid. That responsibility comes ahead of some of the things that make her happy,” another user pointed out. “Same with being in a committed relationship. That requires compromise and empathy, and sometimes that means you put your partner's needs over your own immediate happiness.”
Others pointed out that the woman’s recent behavior was likely a symptom of her postpartum depression.
Around 20% of mothers are affected by postpartum depression.
Symptoms of the illness include irritability, lack of concentration and anger, which would explain why the man’s fiancé is neglecting her responsibilities that revolve around their baby and staying out late to avoid her.
Thankfully, she has a supportive partner who is there to guide her through her emotions.
Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.