Internet commentators were split after a father-to-be explained why he was opposed to letting his brother-in-law spend a weekend at his beloved den.
In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITeA**hole, Redditor u/PSkatebo7 (aka the original poster or OP) said this upcoming weekend could be his last without a child, and described his desire to have his personal space to keep personal.
Captioned: “[Am I the a**hole] For not wanting to give up my cave for mine [girlfriend’s] Brother sleeping in on a spontaneous visit to our town?” The post received almost 7,000 upvotes and 3,500 comments in the last day.
“My [girlfriend] and I live together and we will welcome our first child any day,” OP began. “We live in a house with 2 bedrooms, a living room and a study.”
He went on to explain that his mother-in-law had been staying with the couple for the past month and said he had recently been informed that his girlfriend’s brother would also be staying with them over the weekend.
But after they suggested their newest guest sleep on the living room couch, the original poster said he faced a difficult decision.
“[My girlfriend] mentions briefly how awkward it is to sleep outside in someone’s living room,” the OP wrote. “20 minutes later she comes and asks me if I mind letting him sleep in my den.
“I stopped for a moment and let them know that I actually did, mind you,” OP continued. “I spend 85% of my free time in the cave.
“I’m quite an introverted guy, I like spending time alone and I’m very aware that very soon I won’t have nearly as much,” OP added. “This could very well be our last weekend as a childless couple… so I want to enjoy what little time I have left to spend alone.”
In addition to the natural excitement that comes with welcoming a child into the world, expectant parents are often overcome by nervousness and anxiety about life with children—and the life they are leaving behind.
Newborns need full attention at all times. And while some parents assure you it’s getting easier to move forward, others say it never stops, not even when kids grow up and have kids of their own.
For introverted parents, the prospect of never being alone a second time can be daunting.
“Not having time to yourself can be a burden for introverted parents — it can lead to… conflict,” author Susan Cain told Fatherly in 2020. “Introverted parents have to be really vigilant when it comes to these to take time alone. “
Despite the challenges and inevitable moments of tension that come with childhood sensory overload, Australian parenting website First Five Years recommends that introverted parents use every free minute – whether one minute or 20 – to re-center and reset.
But not everyone agrees that all parents deserve this time, especially those who haven’t carried a child for nine months.
Throughout the comments section of the viral Reddit post, many Redditors called out the original poster for refusing his pregnant girlfriend’s request to have her brother confiscate his den for a weekend.
However, other Redditors showed support for the original poster and defended the 28-year-old’s right to his own time and space.
“[You’re the a**hole]” wrote Redditor u/86max86 in the top comment of the post, which received more than 13,000 upvotes. “It’s been 2 days – he’s not moving in.”
“If you can’t handle that kind of ‘intrusion’ into your routine, you’re going to be in for a big shock when the baby arrives,” they added.
Redditor u/robodoodle, whose comment received more than 3,000 upvotes, echoed this sentiment.
“It’s a weekend,” they wrote. “Rather than stressing her out and having to apologize for your reluctance, why not just be cooperative?”
In a separate comment, which received more than 1,500 upvotes, Redditor u/ProfEmerita contested this notion.
“People who aren’t introverts have no idea how important it is for an introvert to have a quiet place to recharge,” they wrote. “It shouldn’t be hard on them [brother-in-law] sleeping on the couch for two nights—sounds like he invited himself in and he’s getting a free lodging, so it’s not unreasonable.”
“Do the people answering here have children?” Redditor u/mari287 intervened. “I totally understand wanting some rest before the baby comes.
“The brother can sleep well on the couch, especially since, as people say, it’s only for a weekend,” they added.
news week asked u/PSkatebo7 for a comment.