'My wife is mad I don't wake up to help with baby - I'm just a heavy sleeper'

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The man
The man's wife is exhausted (stock photo) (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Parenting is no easy task, and when you've got a newborn who doesn't sleep through the night it can be even more draining and exhausting for you to deal with - especially if you're having to get up every night by yourself. That's the situation one mum is facing now, as her husband is too much of a heavy sleeper to wake up when their son is crying, leaving her to do an "unfair amount of work" at night to soothe him.

But the dad has insisted it isn't his fault that he doesn't wake up, and believes it should be on his wife to shake him to wake him up in the middle of the night so that he can take care of their son and she can go back to sleep. However, his wife has accused him of "weaponised incompetence" by making her do the job of waking him up, and is livid at him for not doing more to make sure he wakes up by himself.

In a post on Reddit, the man said: "My wife and I just had our third child one month ago (4 weeks). For the first week or two my wife had to wake him up every couple hours to feed him but now we just let him sleep until he wakes up to eat. Here's where that becomes a problem: I am a REALLY heavy sleeper. There is nothing that can wake me up short of being attacked by a bear or shaken or something.

"It's been that way since way before my wife and I had kids. Babies crying or screaming do not wake me up. They didn't even when we had our first [child], so usually I've woken up when my wife turns on the lights for changing and stuff like that. Apparently, I sleep through A LOT when my wife is getting up a lot, so she is saying she does an 'unfair amount' of work at night because of it.

"I feel bad because I recognise that if I'm asleep, I'm not contributing to the night stuff. So I asked my wife to wake me up when the baby wakes up, and she told me that made it so much worse and that it was like 'weaponised incompetence'. She just doesn't want to wake me up for some reason. I am not WEAPONISING my heavy sleep against her, I just want her to wake me up so I can help. But like I said, she said that makes it worse, and now she's mad."

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Commenters on the post were largely on the mum's side, as they explained to the dad that having his wife wake up just to wake him up was unfair, as by the time she's successfully woken him up, she'll already be wide awake and could have spent her time taking care of her son. Instead, they suggested the dad invest in a vibrating baby monitor - like this one - designed to wake up deaf parents.

One person said: "Look up vibrating baby monitors for deaf parents. Wear the bracelet," while another added: "Your solution is just more work for her. That's why she's mad. It's on you to get yourself sorted. Plenty of people sleep like the dead (I'm one), but when your baby is screaming you get up. Your wife has always been there so you've not had to. Make yourself. There's plenty of help and appliances out there that aren't your wife."

Zahna Eklund

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