Reddit Mom Asks, Is It Wrong to Fake Sleep for Support?

One mom says her husband was furious when he found out what she was doing. But Redditors came to her defense.

It's 1000 percent possible that nightly wake-ups and feedings are the worst part of the newborn stage. (Not that sleep regression is welcome at any stage of development.) The reason for those nightly disruptions varies. But the exhaustion of waking up to support your child when all you want is a good night's rest can awaken the beast in any parent.

Inquiring minds want to know: is there a co-parenting or partnered duo that hasn't gone back and forth on who will handle the dreaded midnight shift? Society is making some important shifts toward an equal division of parenting roles. But there's still a long way to go before mothers aren't handling the largest share of around-the-clock caretaking.

One mom's Reddit post points out moms get tired too but starts a dialogue on labor division while parenting, communication, and boundaries between in-laws.

In a post labeled, "AITA for faking sleep to make my husband get up with the baby," Reddit user throwra-65474433, sought community feedback on whether she was wrong to pretend to be asleep so her husband would pick up more slack with nighttime caretaking.

"We do everything equally except I used to have this one issue and that's getting up with my son at night. He'd leave this 'task' to me claiming he's too tired to get out of bed." She writes of waking three to four times a night with their son and asking her husband "if he wants to get up with the baby." He'd respond saying since she's already awake she's got it.

She followed this pattern for six months until she didn't. "I had enough so I started faking sleep whenever our son wakes up," she said before giving a few details about how her husband would try to wake her before going to their son himself.

An image of a woman sleeping in bed.
Getty Images.

The plan worked pretty well until her husband overheard her chatting on the phone with her sister about what she'd been doing. It led to an agreement and him threatening to call his mom to set her straight. "He literally said 'just wait til mom finds out about what you've been doing to our son,'" she wrote. "The argument escalated and his mom called me neglectful towards her grandson and my husband's work."

The post, which is no longer accepting new comments, had more than 1.5k responses, the overwhelming majority affirming she wasn't wrong.

One dad, TheCableGuyMark, commented "NTA. Parenting is sharing responsibility on all things with your child. Me and my wife share the same, sometimes she wakes up and nudges me cause I can work on next to no sleep the next day whereas she can't, on the other hand, there's nights and mornings she'll get up with our daughter and leave me to sleep or tell me she's got this time etc. It's all about sharing the responsibilities and not expecting the other to do it all."

Some reminded OP that both parents are equally responsible to overnight tasks and her husband is the jerk for bringing in a third party.

"He's a parent, too. But apparently he's still a little kid as well since he ran to his mommy whining about what you did. OP he doesn't respect the care work you do as a parent and he seems very immature. Now is the time to stand your ground, otherwise things will never improve," said fatalisticshrug.

A few posted how they intend to approach the issue as pending parents. "I am having a baby tomorrow and hubby and I already agreed he takes the 10p-2a shift and me the 2a-6a shift since he is the night owl and I am a morning person. We both get sleep and help. And getting his mom to fight his battles is ridiculous."

In the end, the original poster said she thinks she might be the wrong one saying, "I basically lied to hubbs and took advantage of him instead of reaching a compromise with him."

It's true, honest communication and compromise are crucial parts of a healthy relationship. The newborn stage is hard, and we all need rest to come up with the best solution. Still, the internet agrees telling your mom to chastise your wife isn't the right way to do it.

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