Many new parents struggle when it comes to taking care of baby—who is in charge of what and when? All too often, childcare falls to moms. When one new mom found this was the case in her house, too, she took matters into her own hands—and came up with the funniest solution.
In a now-gone-viral Reddit post, user u/FinalWintersEve asked whether she was being fair in how she handled her dilemma. She explained that she and her husband are parents to twins less than a year old, and both are currently on parental leave. Yet, she’s felt she has had to do 80 percent of the childcare because her husband always runs to the bathroom when there’s a diaper that needs changing or a bottle that needs warming. A conversation with him about the issue led nowhere, so she started shutting off his wifi.
“Anytime my husband SHOULD be doing something with the children (it's his turn for a diaper, a bottle, even just soothing a fussy newborn) he ALWAYS goes to the bathroom first,” she wrote in her post. “His average session is 25 minutes in there, often longer, rarely shorter. It's the most frustrating when it comes time to feed them (one of the twins needs to be held specifically for health reasons, so I can not double feed) because we will get up, I will warm up bottles, change one baby, get the first one fed, burped, and laid down in their crib, get the other baby changed and be settling down to feed baby number two before he can be bothered to emerge and figure out why one child has been screaming.”
In his defense, she does clarify her husband’s on medication that makes him spend more time in the bathroom than normal—but not to this extent. The mom took it upon herself to track how much time it actually was (an average of 25 minutes each time). After a week and a half of tracking, she began to shut the wifi off after 10 minutes of her husband being in the bathroom. He hasn’t spent more than 15 minutes in there since, but he is “extremely upset,” she wrote in her post.
“He feels I am being unreasonable, and I need to make sure sleep deprivation isn't making me an a**hole,” she continued. To justify her solution, she turned to the internet—and it didn’t disappoint.
“People aren't going to recognise that parenting is a 50/50 responsibility until these same guys start doing the 50 percent,” one person commented, while another said, “Growing up, I used to ‘hide’ in the bathroom because it was the only place where I could have uninterrupted time to myself. But I was the Overly Put Upon Eldest Sibling not the parent. Parents don't get to hide, bro.”
At the end of the day, though, communication is key, as yet another commenter wrote. “Talk to your spouse. I'm not sure if he is shirking duties or not, but this relationship feels more mother and son than wife and husband. Punishing him isn't going to magically turn him into a better father. TALK.”
When it comes to splitting up the work of baby, communication between parents is essential. According to a 2015 study from PEW Research Center, 64 percent of moms in two-parent households feel they do more than their partner when it comes to parenting. Though 53 percent of dads agree, they are also more likely to say the responsibility is shared equally (41 percent of dads vs. 31 percent of moms).
If you’re soon-to-be or already new parents, make sure you’re taking steps to prepare your relationship for baby. After all, if you’re prepping your house, finances and even pets, your relationship definitely has a place on the list.