Parenting Is Not a Competition (Why Your Spouse Might Need a Break, Too)

We laid there, silently. The monitor was buzzing and lighting up. The baby was crying, again. Before I was even aware of what I was doing, I began mentally tallying up all the times I had previously gotten up in my child’s life. I was getting really good at counting how many hours of sleep I had gotten that week versus how much my husband had accrued. I was really good at showcasing my tired logic: “Surely, I have slept less. I have rocked the baby more. I deserve to sit this one out . . . right?”

The next morning, the craziest thing happened. My husband dared to utter the following words: “I am so tired.”

I scoffed. I laughed. I snorted out my precious coffee. How could he be tired? He isn’t the new mom! He isn’t recovering from delivery! Doesn’t he get how tired I am? How could he be so foolish as to tell ME that he is tired?! DO THESE BAGS UNDER MY EYES MEAN NOTHING TO YOU?!


And then I remembered something. My husband is human too. Though his work looks incredibly different than mine, he is working from eight to five every day, often times without a lunch break. Oh, he is also a full-time student working on his master’s degree. Annnnd he is involved at church. He’s a good son. He’s a fantastic father who invests in our son’s life . . . . Basically, he is the dream man. But, I had fallen into a common trap for mommas: I thought I had a monopoly on being tired.

You see, I had forgotten to consider that my husband had a life that existed outside of helping me care for the baby. He was working hard at his job. He was staying up late studying, readying, taking exams. He was doing a great job at parenting. But, because he got to leave the house every day, I assumed that his mental load and physical exertion were MUCH less than mine. I had to nurse. I had to change diapers. I had to not shower. He was simply not allowed to be tired or need a break like I did.

Now, hear me say this: I am not advocating for laziness. I am not saying that men and women both shouldn’t contribute to the house and the kiddos. But, what if our spouses need a break too? What if we assume the best about their time away from the home and allow them space to be tired? Yes, we moms work HARD at what we do, raising these littles to survive into adulthood. We cook, clean, wipe, sing, drive, shop, and everything. I know that we work from sun up to sun down, and often throughout the night, as well. Your spouse is working hard, too. Just in a different way.

Here is what I am saying momma: Let’s give grace to our hard-working spouses. Let’s give them a mental health day. Because they deserve to rest, too. They deserve to relax. They deserve a foot rub every now and then, too. Let’s give up the title of “most tired in the house” and let others be tired, too.

Julie B
Julie B was born and raised in Oklahoma and will forever proudly call herself an Okie. She moved to India after college to study language and culture, where she worked with women and children. She has since fallen in love with all things Bollywood. She moved to Texas in 2014 to attend graduate school and found her handsome husband Sam while there. They welcomed sweet baby Hudson into their lives in 2016, and Julie is now a stay-at-home mom taking graduate classes in her “free time.” She is a recent coffee convert and loves to cook spicy Indian food with her husband. You can discover more about Julie on her blog Sweet Tea and Chickpeas.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here