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An exhausted new dad says he’s found himself in a difficult situation, balancing 100 hours of work per week, and the demands of a newborn. And it’s putting his relationship under immense pressure.

The 27 year-old dad and his 27 year-old partner have been together for more than seven years, after meeting at university. His partner was forging her career as a teacher, while he was working a surgical resident when they discovered they were pregnant.

“Last year she took a pregnancy test after missing her period and found out she was pregnant,” he explained on reddit. “We were both happy, but also concerned about taking care of a child. My main concern when we found out was that I could not help out with the child because I work 80-100 hours a week.”

‘She’s demanding I take care of our kid as soon as I walk in the door’

However, he says as a couple they decided that they did want a family and decided to keep the baby, with his partner committing to taking time off work and looking after their newborn while he completed his residency. The deal was that when he was working ‘more humane’ hours, the child care duties would be split equally so his partner could return to work.

“It’s been three months since our kid was born now and things have been rough to say the least. I’m still working nearly 100 hours a week and am constantly at the brink of exhaustion, if anything my workload has increased since then, as I am now learning how to perform larger operations. My sleep is almost non-existent and I’m constantly under intense pressure due to my work environment.

“Things have obviously been rough for her, too. The pregnancy and delivery were without complication, but it goes without saying that it was still hugely taxing on her mentally and physically.

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“Recently, my partner has been asking me to take care of our kid when I get home. Initially I helped her without hesitation, feeling like it was within my capacity and wanting to support her, but in the past few weeks she’s been asking more and more of me and a few days ago she demanded I take care of our kid immediately as I walked into the door.

“I hadn’t even had time to take off my shoes yet and when I said ‘just give me a second’ she told me to ‘hurry the f**k up.’ I later learned that she had an incredibly rough day and was just at capacity, but in the moment I was so caught off guard I yelled at her to ‘back the f**k off’. I was too exhausted to deal with it then so I locked myself in the bathroom to take a long shower and calm down.

“We later talked about what had happened and apologised to each other, but during it she essentially told me that she felt like I wasn’t doing enough to take care of the kid and that it was our responsibility equally. I told her that I felt like I was already doing more than we agreed on and that I can literally not do any more than what I am currently doing. After talking and arguing about this for about two hours we still couldn’t come to an agreement and decided to leave the topic for now. So am I the a**hole for not wanting to take on a larger parenting role during residency?”

What advice would you give to this exhausted new dad? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • It’s a job for both parties but some understanding needs to be taken on her part. Having a new baby for the first time is very hard and it takes quite a long time for some people to fall into a routine that they are all happy and comfortable with

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  • No-one is in the wrong here – but some outside help just may be called for. Expectations seem to be high, but 100 hours working a week plus travel time to and from would be hard to cope with even without a baby. If the mother wants her husband to be a surgeon, then I think she just might have to cut him some slack, so outside help would be the easier option. Otherwise neither partner might achieve what they originally set out to become and the poor little infant might end up being brought up by a single parent – think about all the alternatives before making an ultimatum, please.

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  • Having a baby …new responsibilities…plus stress and normal day things are just sometimes to much to handle. Maybe its a time to ask for help.

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  • I think they need some outside help. It’s hard on both of them. The first 3 months are the hardest slog and they’re obviously both doing it tough. They had a plan, and babies don’t work to a plan so they need to revisit it so it works for everybody.

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  • Is there anyone who can come in and help for a while. Maybe get in a cleaner a couple of times a week? As long as your wife doesn’t need to have a tidy house and dinner on the table that may take a bit of pressure off of her.

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  • Maybe it might be time for some outside help?

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  • I think everyone is just tired and Mum and Dad probably need some time to themselves to remind them of who they actually are and why they’re together. It does us all some good to have that time!

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  • Wow dad has a huge workload, that is something to consider. For me personally, I feel us women always have our goals pushed back while the man is free to reach them.

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  • Best to think about what you want out of life is it all about money? or having a happy family? If your not willing to half your working hours you just may end up alone your partner wants help from you if she doesn’t get it hate and resentment could break the relationship. Talk it out cut the hours or get help from other people.

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  • Not wrong, but exhausted. As is your partner from the sound of it. If you dont have family to help (mine are all overseas and having twins was …horrible!) could you explore the possibility of friends helping one night a week for a few hours. or a home help/nanny/au pair. Perhaps you could investigate how much it would cost to put the baby in childcare one morning or a few afternoons a week. You are both very, very tired people in need of support and help. I hope it gets better for you soon.

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  • Oh dear! Nobody is in the wrong I think the deal may have sounded great when neither of you knew just how draining having a baby can be. Perhaps mum needs help from family and friends if you are too exhausted (understandably)

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  • Ooh, the first 3 months are tough for anyone. Add in other factors eg. bub not sleeping, feeding properly, etc. and it can be hell. Whilst I feel it is all about communicatnoi, I do feel that they have tried this and it has not worked. They did have an agreement, but babies don’t understand agreements. I think they need some help, in whatever form that might be, eg. family, external help, etc. so that they can both have some me time as well as alone couple time.

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  • Neither is wrong but if he’s working long hours and she’s not working then I feel for the time being she shouldn’t be asking him to do more. Why not see about getting some help to take the load off of her for a while. Won’t their parents babysit for a while?

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  • I don’t think either party is in the wrong but I do think they need to look at getting someone in to help give them both a break. Ideally it might be nice if the two parents can go and have a coffee or something at a cafe, just the two of them so they can reconnect together as well.

    Reply

  • If Dad is working 100 hours a week then I think Mum should have help from someone else, perhaps a friend, parent, sibling. Mum can’t do it all herself and Dad is too exhausted when he comes home to be an effective parent. No-one is a winner here

    Reply

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