New Dad Asks If He’s A Jerk For Wanting To Play Video Games Instead Of Caring For His Baby On Weekends

A recent post on the infamous “Am I the A–hole” forum on Reddit attracted a lot of attention after demonstrating what appears to be another case of a man not wanting to pull his weight when it comes to raising the kids. It’s 2022 and we still have dads acting like taking care of a baby isn’t 100 times harder than working a full-time job, because you’re on 24/7 instead of just 40 hours per week and for zero pay.

This case was even worse than usual as the OP admits that the mom actually works a job half-time on top of doing nearly all the household chores, cooking, and childcare while struggling with insomnia. But when she asked him to step up for a single extra hour per week so that she could get a little more sleep, he balked because it cut into his video game time.

“My wife and I have a six month old baby girl. She’s mostly a SAHM, she works two half days a week and her sister watches the baby,” the OP writes. “I work full time and go to school one day a week. We’ve always had an arrangement where she takes care of the household duties (cooking, cleaning, and now baby care) while I happily support her monetarily. Honestly, we are both living our dream life and my wife does an absolutely spectacular job taking care of me and our little one.”

Are you both living your dream lives, though, really, OP? Are you?

The Redditor reports that he and his wife “share baby duty” on weekends to make sure that both of them get some time to themselves. Or, rather, it sounds like this allows the mom to actually get some time to herself, since dad presumably gets that every weekday when he gets home from work because his boss doesn’t follow him home and start screaming every time something’s off.

As many babies do, theirs has entered a period of waking up every two hours, and for the convenient reasons that OP’s wife produces breast milk and has trouble sleeping anyway, she is almost always the one to get up. Likely approaching pure exhaustion, the mom recently asked the Reddit poster if he could give her a small amount of extra help on top of the small amount he does.

“Recently my wife has been asking me to wake up with the baby both days on the weekends so she can get an extra hour of sleep. Baby wakes up around 7am. I get the baby dressed and take over for that hour.”

It’s an hour. One extra hour from a man who is blessed to be a deep sleeper and is already sleeping through nights while his wife suffers through chronically interrupted sleep after caring for the baby and keeping the house clean and cooking all day long. It’s just too much to ask, says OP.

“But sometimes, I want to be the one that gets to sleep in an extra hour. I brought this up to her and she says while she’s happy to let me nap during the day, she really needs that hour bc she can’t nap like I can. We got into an argument about it, and she said I’m being very insensitive when I know she is very exhausted and cant nap during the day and she struggles going back to sleep every time the baby wakes up.”

If you’ve never experienced the horrors of insomnia, please do not do this to people who struggle with it. Beyond being utterly miserable and making every part of life more difficult, sleep deprivation has detrimental effects on every part of one’s health and can cause permanent damage if it gets bad enough.

For many readers, the breaking point came when the phrase “video games” came up.

“But I’m exhausted too, work wears me out, and school days are long… and I sometimes want the hour in the morning. I don’t want to spend my off time napping, I want to play videogames [sic] and chill out.”

Broseph, we all want to play video games and chill out. All the time. But when you have a kid, you put away the controller — at least until said kid is old enough to play video games themself. Those who truly understand how hard it is to be a full time parent, let alone on top of still working a job half the week, were unsympathetic with OP and he was widely voted to be the a–hole here.

Lindsey Weedston

Lindsey is a Seattle area writer interested in all things society, including internet culture, politics, and mental health. Outside of the Daily Dot, her work can be found in publications such as The Mary Sue, Truthout, and YES! Magazine.