A new dad says he can’t understand why his wife is so upset that he plays video games after work to ‘decompress’.

The 37-year-old dad works five days a week as a service manager for a high volume dealer, and says he leaves for work at 6am, and doesn’t walk back in the door until 6pm. His 33-year-old wife is a stay at home mum to their 18-month-old.

” My wife gets upset when I get home and after eating dinner want to get a couple of rounds of Call Of Duty in,” he explained on reddit. “(She) thinks it’s absolutely criminal that I want to get some decompress time at the end of the day.

“My daughter is still in the ‘mummy all the time’ phase so she prefers to spend more time with my wife than I. Usually when I get home I will eat dinner, do whatever honey-do’s she has for me, and then play for a little. After I’m done I will join them and spend time with my family which usually is her watching a movie/show and I reading the same book to my daughter 10 times lol.”

But he claims his wife isn’t happy with the way he interacts with her and their daughter during their ‘family time’.

“My wife says that even when I’m chilling with them I spend too much time on my phone. While we are all hanging out if my daughter is asking for my attention I will stop what I’m doing and do whatever she’s asking me to do. Whenever she wants to go back to mummy I will browse Twitter or reddit since I usually have absolutely zero interest in what she is watching.

“She accuses me of being absent/not present since I don’t focus all my free time on her and the baby. Also side note she is currently 20 weeks pregnant.”

The dad wanted to know if he was being the a**hole in the situation, and the reddit responders let him know that they think he is.

“You may work 12 hours a day but you’re a dad 24 hours a day,” one person commented.

“You have four competing interests: your family, your job, sleep, and your personal time. Right now you are giving 1/2 of your time to your job. Then you have to divide the remainder of your time between sleep, family and yourself. You can’t really take much time from sleep – I’ll assume you sleep about 8 hours. Now you have four hours for yourself and your family. Take an hour for yourself. Three hours for your family. Is that enough time? Are you happy being a father and husband for only 3 hours a day?”

What do you think? Let is know in the comments below. 

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  • I’m not overly sympathetic to hubby here. What time does the 18 month old go to bed? Can’t he play games once bubs is in bed asleep? I understand that he wants some down time but he’s not getting to spend much time with bubs all day, it would be nice if he put his phone down and waited until bubs went to bed before having ‘his time’.


  • I think they need to talk about it all and communicate better.


  • You have your game time, at least put your phone down while your in family time. Maybe your child is more mummy then daddy because mummy puts in more time and effort……without a phone


  • you both have your day full time jobs. after that its equal share of the parenting work. both parents need downtime, there’s nothing wrong with playing games occasionally (i do). it’s a good idea to talk about it and come to an agreement, decide on what days/times each person gets a break to do their own thing.


  • Communication is definitely key here and being open about what youre feeling


  • Ooh it’s a tricky one but you need to communicate with each other. Parenting is hard. I can understand where your wife is coming from as being a Mum is 24/7 vs a Dad who gets to go to work. But, I also understand a working Dad needs some downtime. Perhaps that can happen when the child is in bed. But you and your wife also need some time together. Communication is key.


  • You need to work out your priorities together


  • I understand that you need time to relax but so does your wife. You’ve been on the go all day but so has your wife. Your wife is pregnant so I’d say she just wants to have you with her. Why not play your game when she is watching a movie she likes and you don’t? What are you going to do when your new baby is born? Hope you both come to an agreeable solution soon.


  • I think you both need to sit down and work out an agreement.
    You should be allowed some alone time to do as you wish but so should your wife. You get a couple of hours a day then so should she….no matter what.
    I agree with her that when you are together and having family time you need to put the phone away…. put it on silent and leave it in the other room if you must.


  • Interesting to read all the answers :)


  • Parenting is 24/7 and if the parent who goes out and works for 8 hours a day comes home and gets a chance to decompress when does the stay at home parent get a chance to do this?
    While the child may very well be looking at the stay at home parent for majority of their interactions it’s more about the effort the working parent puts in that shows they care. If you’re having family time and on your phone what is the child actually getting out of that? Far less than if you actually put technology away and spent quality time with the child.
    Not saying that parents shouldn’t get a chance to decompress because they definitely should. Parents are still humans too but priorities. Children are only children for such a short amount of time. Blink and you’ll miss it.


  • I get the frustration, you rarely get to decompress from a day of being a parent, so its very tough to stay silent while your partner relaxes at the end of the work day. Being on the phone is also a hard habit to break, I am guilty myself of spending too much time on it, but it is my communication tool to the outside world and I would go loopy without it.
    I think they need a discussion about what is going to work for both of them, i often say to hubby come home, get changed out of work stuff and get ready to be DAD cos Wiley wants to spend time with him and he can have quality time doing dinner/bath time/bed time, then he can have video games, tv time and other activities to wind down from the whole day.


  • It sounds like the problem isn’t really the time he spends playing video games – it’s the time he then spends on his phone while “with” his family. And I agree that that’s a problem. It means he’s not really with them.


  • I don’t think there’s anything wrong. He works 12 hours, comes home and does whatever his wife asks of him and that’s still not enough to warrant a bit of time to do something for himself?!
    My hubby works 12 hours, gets home, eats, has a bit of time painting and then goes to sleep ready for the next shift. I don’t complain as I can’t imagine how exhausting 12 hours days would be and I’m not even a stay at home mum, i work 3 days and the other 2 are kids activities like dancing and swimming!


  • Ditto what the other are saying. Priorities man


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