Working Dad Explains Why He Still Takes Night Shifts With New Baby

The first few months of newborn life take parents on a wild ride — a sleepless, waking zombie kind of ride that requires brute mental strength. So many parents are doing those night wakings and endless feedings with zero villages. So many moms are up during those sleepless nights totally and completely alone because of unmotivated, disinterested partners.

One new dad doesn’t get that kind of scenario at all, understanding that while he may be working at an office full-time, his wife is also working a full-time job. She needs sleep too!

Neil (@professorneil) responded to a video from Paige Turner — a known advocate for equal labor distribution in homes — where she was getting criticized for having the audacity to suggest that a new dad (who, yes, already went back to work) still wake up with a new baby from time to time to give his wife a break.

“I always suggested that new dads could participate in the overnight feedings with their new babies and Jen here thinks that’s crazy and selfish,” she said before reading her comment. “How can you expect her husband to wake up when he has to work in the morning?”

That’s when Neil chimes in with his perspective, currently in the thick of newborn life.

“So it’s currently 2 a.m. and I’m awake with this little one,” he says while recording himself in what appears to be a dark nursery.

“And I’ll be on call for another two hours or so. We switch at 4 a.m. — my wife and I.”

“I’m still working full-time at my job. She’s on parental leave which means I work full-time and she also works full-time. So, I might have to work a full day on four hours of really awful sleep, but I mean, what’s the alternative? That she has to work a full day on none?”

Parenting‘s work, parenting’s labor. Stay-at-home parents work. I have no idea why we are still having this argument. Yeah, I can’t figure it out there.”

Before anyone comes at me, I know that a dad waking up with his child to help with feeding in the middle of the night is the bare minimum. We’re not here to give this dad a gold medal. All partners should be pulling their weight and doing their part to help make newborn life a little less draining.

While we all know this, several people (including the woman who commented on Paige’s video) cannot seem to grasp that being at home all day with a newborn after six night wakings is not for the faint of heart. Several TikTok users thanked Neil for his honest opinion, hoping more dads will stop up to the plate.

“Everything you said, and also the way to bond with a baby is by caring for it. That bond is worth some lost sleep,” one user said.

“Personally, it’s easier to go to work with little to no sleep. But to watch a baby, with no sleep is literally insane,” another wrote.

One wrote, “Say it louder for the fathers who help with nothing!!! Teamwork allows everyone to survive!”

One mom said, “I never understood the work argument. I still have to stay awake all day to taking care of the baby and other kids. I need sleep lol”

Another mom shared, “My son was exclusively breastfed, so I had to get up every time. But my husband got up with me and we watched shark tank 😄”

An older mom wrote, “Oh I’m 44 and when I had my babies I fell for this lie that it was fair to let hub sleep. when I returned to FT work nothing changed. I was the one that got up in the night 😭 we’re [divorced] I burned out.”

“My husband gets up even thought I stay home. My grandpa said ‘I never did that I had to work; my grandma piped up & said ‘I had to work too but I still got up’😩 men got away w/ too much that’s crazy,” another shared.

One mom wrote that she prefers to be the one who stays up with the baby all night. She wrote, “my husband doesn’t get up with the babies but that’s my choice. I think the level of hazard associated with his job deters me from him helping at night and going in sleep deprived.”

Other users praised the idea of sleeping shifts so that both partners get a good chunk of sleep.

“My husband and I had a great plan: I would go to bed around 8:00 and he would wake me up to switch around 1:00 or 2:00. We each got 5-6 hours each night. It worked for us!” one user wrote.

“Yeah we definitely did full night shifts. I’d take one night and husband would take the next. Lifesaver knowing you’d get a night of sleep every other night,” another said.

Stay-at-home parents, especially sleep-deprived ones, have one of the hardest jobs in the world. They might not be heading to an office every day or dealing with traffic during a commute, but there is just as much critical thinking and if not more emotional labor that goes into the work of being a stay-at-home parent. Let the default parent get some sleep!

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