Sleep Struggles – A New Parent’s Quest for Equitable Nights

Young father under stress due to baby crying at night. Holding a clock.

The journey into parenthood is a whirlwind of emotions, bringing with it a mix of joy, exhaustion, and a whole lot of sleepless nights. One recent viral post on a popular social media platform has ignited a passionate debate on a topic that hits close to home for many new parents: the division of nighttime baby care responsibilities.

The story of a father seeking guidance on how to contribute more effectively during those sleep-deprived nights has opened the floodgates to a myriad of opinions and insights from the online community. In a heartfelt post, the Original Poster (OP) shared the backdrop of his story.

A month ago, his family of four expanded to five with the arrival of his third child. The mother, having been through this journey before, was no stranger to the round-the-clock demands of a newborn.

Here’s where the twist comes in. OP confessed to being a “heavy sleeper” of epic proportions, likening his sleep patterns to that of a hibernating bear, saying that it would take something extreme to wake him up.

It wasn’t just the coos and cries of the baby that failed to wake him; even the piercing wails of their first child hadn’t managed to jolt him awake. OP has always been a heavy sleeper, even before becoming a parent, and this is where the heart of the issue lies.

During those first few weeks, it was his wife who shouldered the nightly duties, waking up every few hours to tend to the baby’s needs. But as time went on, OP’s wife changed her approach, and now, they let the baby sleep until hunger woke it up. Seemingly, this was a reasonable adjustment, but the mother was becoming increasingly tired. She felt that the nighttime responsibilities were falling heavily on her shoulders.

A Helping Hand or Weaponized Incompetence?

In an attempt to address this, the OP suggested a straightforward solution to his wife: wake him up when the baby awakens. Sounds simple, right? Well, not quite.

The response he received was unexpected. His wife likened this request to “weaponized incompetence,” leaving OP perplexed and, perhaps, a tad hurt. He believed he was merely seeking an active role as a parent, a way to ease her burden. However, in her eyes, the solution appeared more problematic than the problem itself.

In light of this, OP sought advice on whether he was in the wrong for requesting his wife to wake him up when their newborn stirred during the night.

Diverse Perspectives on Sharing Nighttime Responsibilities

As the online community delved into the situation, a mix of perspectives emerged, each shedding light on different facets of the dilemma.

One commenter, TipsyBaker_, didn’t hold back in delivering their verdict: “Yes, you are wrong. Your solution is just more work for her.”

Instead, this user recommended exploring modern tools and devices that could alert OP to the baby’s needs without adding to his wife’s exhaustion.

ShaftedArc chimed in with a thought-provoking scenario. The user asked OP to consider what he would do if his wife were unavailable due to illness or caregiving responsibilities. The implication was clear – the care of the child should be a shared responsibility, regardless of the circumstances.

Wandering_aimlessly9 offered a more empathetic perspective. The user acknowledged the challenges of waking up OP, suggesting an alternative: dedicating weekend nights to baby care.

By redistributing the responsibilities, both parents could find moments of respite while ensuring the baby’s needs were met.

marygpt introduced a thoughtful perspective, emphasizing that the responsibility rested with the OP to find solutions that could bridge the parenting gap. The focus wasn’t on assigning blame but, instead, on actively searching for ways to support each other in this new chapter of their lives.

“It’s on you to find ways to balance this parenting gap instead of placing even more on Mom’s.”

Bethsmom05 delved into the emotional toll nighttime caregiving can take on a parent, highlighting the potential frustration of trying to wake up a heavy sleeper.

In the midst of the discussion, the term “weaponized incompetence” emerged as a humorous but meaningful reminder of the challenges that can arise when responsibilities aren’t shared equally.

As ShaftedArc playfully suggested, maybe this phrase should serve as a lighthearted warning for those who unwittingly find themselves caught in the trap of imbalanced parenting.

The Verdict

In the end, the viral post served as a microcosm of the complexities that come with parenting, particularly when it comes to nighttime care. While OP’s intention to contribute was genuine, the comments shed light on the need for open dialogue, empathy, and creative problem-solving.

As the online community explored various angles, one thing became clear: parenting is a joint effort that requires both partners to actively participate and adjust for the sake of their child and each other’s well-being. In this challenging journey, the key lies in being open to listening, learning, and evolving together.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Do you think the OP from this social media post was wrong?

Featured Image Credit: Elnur_ /

This article was originally published on Ash & Pri.

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Pri Kingston

Ash & Pri are the Founders of and have spent the last decade building their way towards financial freedom and a lifetime of memories. Having successfully achieved their early retirement goal in under 10 years, they look forward to sharing their financial sense with like-minded people. Read more about Ash & Pri in the 'About Us' section.