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A man relaxing and drinking beer while his wife carries their baby and cleans | Source: Shutterstock
A man relaxing and drinking beer while his wife carries their baby and cleans | Source: Shutterstock

I Fainted during a Family Gathering Because My Husband Won't Help with Our Newborn to Let Me Sleep

Junie Sihlangu
Jun 18, 2024
02:09 A.M.

My husband and I were meant to be a team when we welcomed our first child, but he turned on me. I was close to leaving him after his treatment of me became worse when something horrific happened in front of family and friends. Luckily, a massive change occurred with the help of outside help to save our marriage.

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A couple having a disagreement | Source: Getty Images

A couple having a disagreement | Source: Getty Images

Recently, I, Mary, 25, experienced one of the most embarrassing and eye-opening moments of my life. Let me backtrack a bit. My husband, Jake, 29, and I welcomed our beautiful daughter, Tilly, three weeks ago.

She honestly is my world. But here's the problem: whenever I ask Tilly's father for help with her, he says, "Let me relax; my paternity leave is so short." I've struggled alone with sleepless nights due to the constant care our baby requires. It's more exhausting than I ever imagined.

An exhausted woman holding a baby | Source: Getty Images

An exhausted woman holding a baby | Source: Getty Images

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My precious angel won't sleep more than an hour at a time, and Jake hasn't watched her even once since her birth! What breaks my heart about his actions is that he had promised we would split parenting duties 50/50. but recently, his version of "help" has been minimal at best.

It's gotten so bad that I'm so sleep-deprived that I often nod off while cooking or doing the laundry! But, things went too far last Saturday, and it was a defining moment for both of us!

A woman watching her baby sleep | Source: Getty Images

A woman watching her baby sleep | Source: Getty Images

Okay, so to celebrate our daughter's one-month birthday, we arranged a small get-together at my mom's place. It was supposed to be a joyful occasion where the people closest to us would finally get to meet Tilly.

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As the party progressed, Jake was all over the place. He was busy telling everyone, "I needed this paternity leave because I couldn't imagine how much more exhausted I would have been working AND taking care of the baby." I couldn't believe what I was hearing, but I had no energy to confront him right there.

A group of guys having a conversation | Source: Pexels

A group of guys having a conversation | Source: Pexels

As I mingled and tried to keep up appearances, my body finally gave in from utter exhaustion. I felt dizzy and clammy, and before I knew it, everything went black. I fainted right there in the middle of the party.

I awoke quickly and found myself surrounded by concerned family members. They helped me up, and someone handed me a piece of cake, saying it might help with my sugar levels. As I reassured everyone that I was fine, just tired, I caught Jake’s frown.

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A woman holding her head feeling dizzy | Source: Getty Images

A woman holding her head feeling dizzy | Source: Getty Images

I wasn't sure what his look meant, but I sensed he was more worried about his image than my well-being. People kept fussing over me despite my insisting I was okay. I tried brushing them off because I had gotten so used to handling everything on my own that a helping hand seemed strange.

The ride home was silent. Once there, Jake exploded because he was annoyed I embarrassed him, accusing me of making him "look bad!" He complained as he paced the kitchen:

"Can't you see how this makes me look? Everyone thinks I'm not taking care of you!"

An upset couple driving together | Source: Getty Images

An upset couple driving together | Source: Getty Images

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He even questioned my priorities because I went straight to bed instead of having it out with him. The next morning, he ignored me and little Tilly. Instead, he was consumed by his own feelings that he felt I didn't care about because I went to bed!

"I'm not the enemy here, Jake. I needed to rest, that's all," I tried to reach out to him, my voice weak yet firm. He scoffed, "You don't get it, do you? You go off to sleep while I'm left dealing with the embarrassment!"

A couple arguing | Source: Getty Images

A couple arguing | Source: Getty Images

I was at my breaking point and was SO DONE! Exhausted and feeling unsupported, I decided to pack some things and go to my mom’s place for a while. As I was packing, the doorbell rang and of course, I was the one who made the effort to answer it.

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I went to open the door and to my surprise, I saw it was my in-laws. They looked serious, and with them was a woman I didn’t recognize. "We need to talk," my mother-in-law (MIL) said, stepping inside.

A couple embracing and standing together | Source: Freepik

A couple embracing and standing together | Source: Freepik

She introduced the woman to me and my husband as a professional nanny they had hired for the next two weeks. "She’s here to help with the baby and to teach Jake about caring for her and managing the house," my MIL explained.

I couldn't say anything in response because I was in shock! My lovely and caring in-laws had been so deeply concerned about my well-being and the strain on our marriage that they orchestrated a detailed intervention!

A nanny with a baby | Source: Pexels

A nanny with a baby | Source: Pexels

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While I was still processing the first thing they told us, they whipped out a brochure and handed it to me. My eyes went wide when I read that it was for a luxury wellness resort! My FIL insisted:

"You’re going on a spa retreat for a week. Rest, heal, and rejuvenate. You need it."

A woman holding an envelope | Source: Freepik

A woman holding an envelope | Source: Freepik

As much as I couldn't say anything, Jake was equally, if not more, stunned by what was happening! Their gesture was meant to give me the physical and mental break I desperately needed but also to whip my husband into shape!

Overwhelmed by their kindness, I immediately agreed and left for the retreat. The week was blissful! Massages, meditation, and most importantly, uninterrupted sleep helped me recover.

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A woman reading a book in a bath tub during a spa treatment | Source: Pexels

A woman reading a book in a bath tub during a spa treatment | Source: Pexels

Back home, the changes were remarkable! The nanny had put Jake through a rigorous "baby boot camp." He had learned to change diapers, cook nutritious baby meals, soothe a crying baby, and manage a sleep schedule!

My in-laws had stayed to support him. They shared their own early parenting struggles and emphasized teamwork. Jake greeted me with a heartfelt apology and a surprising announcement when I returned!

A man being romantic and sincere to a woman | Source: Freepik

A man being romantic and sincere to a woman | Source: Freepik

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"I sold my collection of vintage guitars to reimburse his parents for the nanny and my retreat," he explained. "It’s time I focus on what’s truly important," he told me. This gesture showed his true priorities and commitment to our family over his hobbies. It also revealed his readiness to be the partner and father I needed.

That evening, with his parents gone, we had a long, honest conversation about our feelings and expectations. We also discussed the new dynamics in our family life. The intervention by my in-laws wasn't just a relief; it was a turning point in our marriage.

A man lovely holding his baby | Source: Freepik

A man lovely holding his baby | Source: Freepik

It taught us both - but mainly my husband - about responsibility, empathy, the values of sacrifice, and teamwork in strengthening our marital bond. We also learned the importance of supporting each other.

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A happy older and younger couple sitting together | Source: Freepik

A happy older and younger couple sitting together | Source: Freepik

My tale had a good ending because of the support that I had from my in-laws, but sometimes that's not always the case. The new mother in the following story tried teaching her husband a lesson when he failed to show up as a parent, but just like my spouse, he made it about himself.

My Husband Wouldn’t Watch Our Newborn To Let Me Shower, So I Came Up With a Plan To Teach Him a Lesson

Oh, how I relate to this tale of early parenthood and the quest for just a moment of peace! It’s been a whirlwind these past two weeks since my little one arrived. She's a darling, truly, but as a strict breastfeeding mama, I’ve barely had a moment to myself!

A happy woman cradling her baby | Source: Getty Images

A happy woman cradling her baby | Source: Getty Images

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The other day, I managed to sneak a quick shower—my first solo attempt since her arrival—and guess what? It lasted all of three minutes before my husband brought our crying daughter into the bathroom.

Now, I love that he wants to help, but it seems his solution is always to hand her back to me. Meanwhile, his life seems unchanged. He enjoys his long, uninterrupted showers, and I can’t help but feel a pinch of envy and frustration.

A woman taking a shower | Source: Getty Images

A woman taking a shower | Source: Getty Images

Fed up with the quick, stressful showers, I decided it was time for some real self-care. So, I called in the big guns—my mom. I didn’t tell my husband until after she arrived, and let’s just say he wasn’t thrilled! He felt undermined, wondering why I felt the need to call her just for a shower.

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His reaction sparked quite a debate when I shared my story on Reddit. I received a flood of support and suggestions. One commenter pointed out the irony in my husband’s logic—if showers calm our daughter, why doesn’t he take her with him during his marathon showers?

A happy woman holding a baby | Source: Getty Images

A happy woman holding a baby | Source: Getty Images

Others suggested more drastic measures like locking the bathroom door to get some privacy or having a serious talk about the division of parenting duties. It’s clear I’m not alone in this struggle, and many emphasized the importance of communication and setting boundaries.

This experience has opened up a necessary dialogue between my husband and me. We’re starting to navigate this new chapter together, learning to support each other better. It’s not just about the shower—it’s about understanding and respecting each other's needs in this crazy, beautiful journey of raising our daughter.

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A man taking a shower | Source: Getty Images

A man taking a shower | Source: Getty Images

This work is inspired by real events and people, but it has been fictionalized for creative purposes. Names, characters, and details have been changed to protect privacy and enhance the narrative. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

The author and publisher make no claims to the accuracy of events or the portrayal of characters and are not liable for any misinterpretation. This story is provided "as is," and any opinions expressed are those of the characters and do not reflect the views of the author or publisher.

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