Being a new parent and coping with chronic lack of sleep is hard enough, but can you imagine guests calling over and staying for 10-12 hours regularly? Can you imagine your husband being the one who invites them over, and then not understanding why you’d be annoyed? One exhausted mum has taken to Reddit for advice after her pleas to her husband to stop inviting his family over to hang out at their house all day fell on deaf ears.
I will cut right to the chase. We had a baby 4 months ago. I get collectively 3-4 hours of sleep a night, if I’m lucky. He’s never up at night with the baby because I breastfeed. I’m okay with this. However, he doesn’t understand why I’m so tired and he will plan shit the next day and expect me to be my best self. Like inviting his family over, for instance, despite me being exhausted and not wanting to entertain. He doesn’t see the issue. I’m tired of communicating the issue, as I’ve done so multiple times and it goes no where.
Frustrated that her husband won’t listen, she decided to take matters into her own hands and give him a taste of his own medicine. Maybe then he’d be more sympathetic and understand how hard it is to function on very little sleep, and why she didn’t want to entertain family all day.
So, the night before last I had gotten no sleep. The baby was up until 4am and then I was woken up at 8am to the doorbell. He invited over his mother and niece. They didn’t leave until well after 3pm. I was pissed, exhausted, etc. Last night I decided I was going to show him how it feels vs tell him to see if he got the hint. I did not tell him my plans. I kept him awake all night with the baby. All night. I intentionally kept passing her off to him every single time she got “busy” (she loves moving around). She fell asleep around 3am. I invited my mother and siblings over. They arrive at 10am. They did not leave until 10pm (so 2.5 hrs ago). My husband was drained, all day. Completely exhausted, irritated, etc. Kept asking me when my family was leaving so he could relax/sleep. I didn’t make them leave however because he never makes his family leave.
Once they did leave he said “that was so fucking annoying. I’m literally exhausted.” So I said “now you know how it feels. Maybe next time you’ll listen to me.” Now he’s pissed because I devised this plan against him and he feels played. Says that I could have done anything else and that this was ignorant and petty because he’s “had a migraine all day” and “needed to fucking sleep but was expected to entertain” and “my family isn’t as fucking loud as yours is”. AITA?
ETA: to clear up confusion, MIL does not come over to see the baby or to help me in any way. She has held the baby maybe 4 times (one of your “you’re gonna spoil her if you hold her too much. Stick her in her crib and let her cry it out” types of person). She walks through the door and starts immediately following my husband around and telling him how great he’s doing. All day. My daughter hardly knows this woman (due to lack of interaction even when she’s here) so my daughter screams when she’s remotely close to her. So, needless to say it’s of no help and it’s definitely irritating. It just makes my day worse. I do NOT trust to just hand my baby over to my MIL or my husband when she is here because of her opinions on parenting (crying it out is not okay with me and she has tried pushing that on us several times). I own my own company, for all the people pulling the “but do you work” bullshit.
Commenters applauded the woman, and agreed that if he refused to listen the only way to get through to him was to make him feel what she goes through.
Those who don’t hear must feel. (Maya2661)
Tell him some people learn by listening, some by doing. As he wasn’t listening to you, you made the correct assumption that he would learn by doing.
He has been playing you by refusing to acknowledge your point of view.
I’d say nothing more unless he raises it and then calmly keep repeating you didn’t understand where I was coming from until you experienced it. See what happens. If he does it again, he gets another lesson. (After-Distribution69)
NTA. That shiny new spine looks good on you and I love that for you. Next time you need to teach him a lesson let him know that you’re just matching his energy. (TwistedSisterinabox)
Whilst most people agreed that the husband had got what he deserved, others were doubtful that this would be enough to make him change.
Exactly. I can’t help but feel that the complete and utter lack of empathy and self-awareness from hubby is a bigger problem than anything else going on.
The absolute hypocrisy of getting annoyed after ONE day of visits after a sleepless night when he’s subjected his post-partum, breastfeeding wife to months of similar events is extremely concerning.
Hoping that he can grow empathy overnight seems too much to wish for
And NTA (WhizzoButterBoy)
The irony of him being annoyed after going through one day of what he had put her through for months was not lost on people.
You explained your feelings on multiple occasions and DH ignored them. You finally snapped and decided to make him experience what you’re being forced to endure on a regular basis. Karma is a bitch and your husband was just bitten! The irony of him feeling “played” when he’s been forcing you to “play” to his tune all this time is unreal.
I hope he has more compassion and listens to you going forward! (Apprehensive-Web3355)
Definitely NTA. Your husband sounds pretty pathetic, tbh. 1 night of not much sleep is basically nothing with a baby. If he’s going to invite people over, then he needs to be ok w you napping while they’re there. And really, people coming over just to socialize when you have a new baby is rude of them, ime visitors typically bring food or help with household tasks to give the parents a break. (MrsC*ntface)
Some commenters thought that moving forward, she should just stop letting her husband’s family through the door if he continued to invite them over at inconvenient times.
I know it doesn’t feel simple, but it is. Say no. Lock the door and don’t answer it. That’s it! They do this because you allow them to, so just stop participating.
This isn’t the politeness Olympics and if it was they would lose based on their behavior already. There’s no need to allow rude and inconsiderate people to control your life. Teach baby to require better by doing it for yourself. (suziesunshine17)
Honestly, it’s fine for you to NOT entertain his family. My dad is the type to invite people over anytime he feels like and used to expect my mom to cater to them. After decades of this, she just stopped. She will literally get up and say “well I need to get some rest, enjoy.” And go to bed. If guest come over unannounced, she will refuse to come out her room and just chill with her iPad. She may say hi but that’s it. My dad has overtime learned that if he doesn’t want to lose face, he will set the boundary or entertain them himself. Stop catering to his family. Go take a nap, and leave them with the baby or take baby to nap too. You don’t need to stay up just because they’re around. They will get the hint. NTA. (mrsgip)
The best comment came from a commenter that suggested that the woman take her mother-in-law’s parenting advice on this occasion…
Just let your Husband cry it out. (Jumbo-Mills)
What do you think? Was the woman right to give her husband a taste of his own medicine? What would you have done in her position?