When you’re a working mom, sometimes the only thing that keeps you sane is a night away from home, whether that means drinks, dinner or just some child-free socialization with close friends. Unfortunately, not all dads understand this. In fact, some seem to take the mom’s domestic labor as a given, while viewing their own contribution to parenthood as a favor.
This is the problem Reddit user zazar1986, who posted to the Parenting subreddit, is facing. She works from home full time while caring for her 8-month-old all day—a schedule she adopted just four days after giving birth! She’s clearly overworked, but her significant other has been of little help.
“I really want to go for dinner with a friend, or a couple of early drinks with another friend—just to be free for a couple of hours,” the OP continued. “I am forgetting who I am and I feel like I’m just existing one day to the next. I had pre- and post-natal depression and I’m exhausted.”
There’s just one thing getting in the way. “My SO is against it and doesn’t think it’s right I do so because that’s for ‘single people,’ despite the fact he goes out often and never babysits. He accused me of not wanting to be with the baby,” she wrote.
Talk about double standards!
“I just want some space where I’m not mom, working or being a housewife. Just like two hours a month,” zazar1986 wrote. She ended her post with a question for all Reddit husbands and fathers: “Would you be cool with your wife going out for a couple hours with a gf for a drink or dinner?”
Here’s what they had to say.
“Your husband needs to grow up and start helping you out. Put your foot down and force him to be a present father to his LO. Every parent deserves time to be with their friends. Don’t let him walk all over you and gaslight you. HE’S the bad parent,” commented Redditor 7thAndGreenhill.
User hawtgawbage said the OP should treat her significant other’s response as a dealbreaker, writing, “I’m currently home with a sick toddler, a sick preschooler, a bored af ADHD kindergartner and a giant puppy that needs nonstop supervision. Mom is happily enjoying a three-day trip to the coast all by herself, just to escape the stress of home and work. If you can’t get out for two hours, you need to get out for good.”
Moms had just as strong a reaction.
“Any ‘man’ who denies you this is an ass,” wrote user Pie_J. “My husband makes me go out with my friends when he sees I am in need of it. You have every right to grab your purse and say ‘See ya’ for a few hrs. Heck even a full weekend. And remind him that when he is taking care of the baby it isn’t called babysitting it’s called parenting.”
Redditor pikaboo27 believes the OP is right to make self-care a priority and commented the following: “Your child doesn’t seem to have a father as much as a sperm donor. Look, we moms live our lives in guilt. If we work too much, we feel guilty we are ‘abandoning’ our kids. If we don’t work enough, we feel guilty that we aren’t doing enough for our career…It never ends. You have to take time to be you. And have a support network since you certainly don’t have one at home. Pay a sitter, tell your SO to go sit on it sideways and go get a drink or two with a friend. You need it.”
You’ve got that right, Reddit. Moms and dads should be equal partners in life and parenthood, and anything less is unacceptable. This dad needs to step it up, almost as much as this mom needs a stiff drink.