Save your praise
“Just because I CAN do it all, doesn’t mean I SHOULD do it all,” this mum titled the post.
“I get it. I’m killing it,” she continued. “I get up with our baby while you sleep in. I make all our little guy’s food from scratch while sipping a (now cold) cup of coffee. Defrost something for dinner. Get him and I ready for the day. Drop him off at daycare.”
“Go to work and try to get as much done as the non-parents. God forbid someone realises I have a life outside of the office. Run out early every day. Pick up our nugget. Make him and us dinner. Put him to bed while you kick back and watch tv. Or, more likely, you head out to a bar for a drink since you’ve had a such a stressful day.”
“Save your praise,” she vented. “I don’t want to hear ‘You’re amazing! I don’t know how you do it all.’ You know why? You don’t frickin’ know. Because you don’t do it! BE 👏🏻MY 👏🏻PARTNER👏🏻”
Hundreds of Reddit parents responded to this post in solidarity. Many shared their own experiences, while others offered some good advice.
Tell me what to do
Lots of mums and dads lamented that their partners protested when they were asked to chip in, and suggested they only had to ask.
“But I am helping!” Tell me what to do.” “I thought you had it,” one mum wrote angrily, detailing the responses she gets when addressing the balance of duties at her place.
“Dude. Totally this!” another concurred. “‘If you just tell me what to do, I can help you’. I was too young and dumb to nip that in the bud before we had kids.”
Others were horrified that some people thought this was an acceptable way of treating their overwhelmed partner.
“Parenting is a whole different level of exhausting – it’s not the same as work because you never get a break. Working all day and doing 100% baby duties is crazy unfair to you. He needs to step the hell up. I hope he realizes that soon!! You need a break mama – It can’t be all you all the time.”
“I’ll never understand the idea that one spouse will just sit there and watch TV or stare at their phone while the other partner rushes around and does everything,” another gobsmacked commenter wrote. “Wouldn’t they be embarrassed?”
Divide and conquer
Some commenters offered practical advice, recalling how they worked on this very issue with their partner.
“He’s manipulating you,” one woman wrote. “Give him stuff to own. My husband does all meal planning, food shopping, and cooking. I don’t even think about those things. I do cleaning, household shopping, and scheduling. We split kid duty 50/50. Assign him things permanently.”
“Shortly after we got married,” another commenter explained. “I wrote a list of everything that needed to be done in our home, broke it into daily tasks, weekly ones, monthly etc. Then had him pick half. I had to remind him for a couple of weeks, but eventually, he realised I was serious and he chose half.”
The beginning of the end
But others thought if one partner was treating the other this way, there were deeper issues in this relationship. They based this on their own experience in similar marriages.
“Having children was the beginning of the end for us because of this,” one Reddit user wrote. “Seven years later, one month being officially divorced, he is finally being an active father because he now has to. He never cooked, cleaned, got up with them, watched them for more than 10 minute stretches, changed diapers, fed them…. You deserve better.”
“Kudos for sticking by him,” someone else posted. “I said bye to mine- and now I do it all myself but with extended family & neighbour support. He honestly drained me so much, it came down to- if you can’t give and just take then I need you to go. Buh byeee. AHHH sweet relief.”
If you’re experiencing a similarly difficult dilemma with your partner, seeking out counselling can really help to nut out the issues at hand in a safe and neutral environment.