Reddit users were quick to put him in his place.
We're all for dads wanting equal involvement in household duties and caregiving—in fact, we welcome it with OPEN ARMS because moms truly do have too much on their plates—but when it comes to the actual pregnancy, the reality is it's never going to be equal. Women are always going to be a million times more involved than their partner because they actually carry the child in their womb, suffer all the unpleasant side effects, and then of course, deliver the baby and recover from that.
Sounds painfully obvious, right? A post from a soon-to-be dad on the subreddit AmItheAsshole?!? suggests it's still worth repeating for some.
The user and his wife, who is seven months pregnant with their child, explained that they attended an appointment for an ultrasound the other day, and seeing the image of their baby girl brought his wife to tears. "During the appointment, the tech was pointing out our daughter’s different body parts, telling us where the legs and feet are. It was the first time we didn’t really need the help, because we could see our baby looking like a real baby," he wrote. "My wife started crying, and I was comforting her, when she said the words, 'I can’t believe I’m making a human being.'”
Although he continued to comfort her, once the tech was gone, he decided to use their time alone to emphasize his own role in the pregnancy. "I kept comforting her, but I waited a few minutes and, once the tech was gone, gently reminded her that we are both the parents, not just her. I also told her that saying she’s 'making' the baby on her own is not accurate, since I provided half the genetic material."
For reasons unknown only to the original poster, his explanation made his wife feel worse. "My wife was still emotional at this point, and she started crying again thinking I don’t appreciate what she’s putting her body through to be pregnant. Obviously this is false, especially since her pregnancy has been so tough that I’ve attended at least two doctors appointments every month. I show her with actions, not words, that I appreciate her. I just don’t think it’s fair to claim I haven’t contributed something to making our daughter. She is still upset the next day. So, AITA?"
While part of the story makes it sound like the user is well-meaning—telling his wife that they are both parents could be taken as a reminder that she isn't alone in the journey, the user mostly comes off, at best, extremely oblivious to just how unequal the responsibilities are divided when a couple is expecting a baby. A man telling the already-emotional, soon-to-be mother of his child that she isn't making the baby on her own because he provided half the genetic material isn't comforting; it's offensive, because it diminishes the physical and emotional toll pregnancy takes on women. Yes, providing half the genetic material is a contribution, but it's ridiculous to think that it's comparable in any way to carrying a child for nine months and all the changes that come along with it.
Oh, and attending two doctor's appointments every month is what you should be doing as a partner ANYWAY. Those few hours a month is nothing like the 40-week commitment that is being pregnant.
In the comments section of the now-deleted post, many helped the user understand why his response to his wife was far from comforting.
The verdict, by far: YTA (a.k.a., you're the asshole).
The top comment read, "You aren’t making shit. All you did was shoot a load into her. She’s the one dealing with the body and hormonal changes. Get over yourself."
One user wrote, "Her pregnancy has been so bad that 'I’ve' had to attend two appointments every month. Like seriously? Lose your I attitude. She’s the one going through all that. You’re just being a good husband as you should be."
Another reminded the soon-to-be-dad that he needs to learn empathy. "You will be equal parents but pregnancy and developing a fetus is 100 percent a maternal responsibility, and you can only do so much to support her. You can’t be nauseous and throw up for her. You can’t feel the back aches and foot pains for her. You don’t have to pee every 5 minutes or have your internal organs kicked from the inside. Empathy is really important in this phase of a relationship ... she’s putting in way more that you could imagine."
And it looks like the dad finally gets it. A day after posting to the subreddit and seeing the feedback, he commented, "I’m an idiot. I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m gonna apologize and make it up to her however I can."
Sounds like he's going to be a decent dad after all.
Written by Maricar Santos for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.