When you’re in a relationship and you become parents together, the stress that happens during this phase is real. You’re sleep-deprived, not always confident about what you’re doing or how you look, and all this plus a screaming baby puts a whole lot of pressure on a relationship. Conflicts arise often about workload and balance between the two partners, and a viral Reddit post is highlighting this common issue, but it’s taking some heat. A mom admits that she turns off the WiFi when her husband is using the bathroom, and people have feelings.
There’s a popular subreddit called AITA (Am I The A**hole) where people look to the community to get feedback on any particular situation. In this case, Reddit user u/FinalWintersEve shares that both she and her husband took parental leave so they could care for their newborn twins together. Sounds like the best plan of action if financially you can make it work. Newborns are hard and twins mean double the stress. And stress is what she and her husband seem to be under.
She writes, “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.
“I would rather let him use the restroom first than have to put down a baby mid-task, but over the past couple of months he has been spending more and more time in there,” she adds for clarification. Continuing, “He always takes his phone. He is always watching YouTube. His average session is 25 minutes in there, often longer, rarely shorter.”
The mom went on to give more context to their situation saying her husband is on medication that has caused him to need to use the bathroom more often. She says she has spoken to her husband’s doctor, who told her it wasn’t impossible but “highly unlikely” that his bathroom visits are a result of the medication, as her husband claims.
Mom grew fed up and implemented a “new rule,” saying, “if he is in the bathroom for more than 10 minutes, I flip the WiFi off.” She continues to share that since this rule, his time in the bathroom has not been longer than 15 minutes, and he’s “extremely upset.”
— Am I the Asshole? (@AITA_reddit) January 8, 2020
She follows up asking the community, “TLDR: AITA for turning off the WiFi when my husband is in the bathroom for extended periods of time, avoiding domestic and fatherly duties.”
My initial reaction when I first read through her question is that yeah, what she’s doing sounds controlling and passive aggressive. Maybe just have a conversation with your husband? But the more I read through the comments and the original poster clarifying and replying throughout, the more I am conflicted about this.
She goes on to explain that she has had many conversations about this with her husband, asking what’s up, suggesting going to the doctor, explaining how this “convenient” need for a bathroom break makes her feel. She shares that her husband has a lot of downtime and space to himself; he spends 8 hours a day playing video games? And he told her she’s being unreasonable and suggests sleep deprivation is making her an a**hole.
I don’t have twins, but I was parenting 3 kids 3 years old and under at one point, and I have zero idea how he can find that much time to himself without it being because his wife is “on baby duty” during that time. And really that’s what this is about–she’s overwhelmed, asking for help, but not in the best or most direct way, and he’s getting too defensive to listen. I can totally empathize with her wanting and needing for the balance of parenting duties to be shared. This is less about his time in the bathroom and likely more about her stress of feeling the heavier load of parenting when both took time away from their careers to tag-team the newborn twin phase.
The comment section is a mix of people who let the mom know she’s not unreasonable, and there’s some good advice in there, too. Hopefully, this couple can have a good deep conversation about parental workload and the division of these new duties and the critical balance of being on vs having self-care time.