A Redditor and mother of two has drawn the line on taking calls from her husband right before their kids’ bedtime.
The mom, who goes by the Reddit username “musa895,” recently sought advice in the “Am I the A—–e” (AITA) subreddit after declining her husband’s calls when he phoned the kids to close to their “lights out.”
“AITA for not answering when my husband called to speak to our kids before bed?” the woman asked in a post she shared on Dec. 13.
The mother wrote that keeping her two young kids — ages 2 and 4 — on a good sleep schedule is “pretty important.”
She said that when her husband travels for work, he always FaceTimes the kids at night.
The couple made an agreement that he would call at 6:30 p.m. since the kids’ bedtime is at 8 p.m., the mother shared.
However, the husband never quite stuck to the plan, the woman on Reddit wrote.
“He called late from the start but he was always apologetic and said his meeting overran, so I let it go at first,” musa895 wrote.
“After the fourth time, I told him I wouldn’t answer if he called later than 7:30 p.m., as it was ruining their sleep schedule and he was calling later and later every day.”
The mother admitted that she declined her husband’s calls to speak to the kids for three days when the phone rang after 7:30 p.m.
“Now he’s angry at me even though I suggested he call earlier if that worked better for him…”
Fox News Digital reached out to the original Reddit poster for comment.
The family’s difficult situation has thousands of others on Reddit debating who’s in the right.
“Heck, my kids are 8 and 11, and I would not answer after 8 p.m. as their bedtime is 8:30 and getting them into [pajamas] and in bed in that 30-min. window is hard enough without any interruptions,” Redditor “Friday-cat” commented.
User “anneofred” added in a comment thread, “Jesus Christ himself could call a half hour before kiddo’s bedtime and I wouldn’t pick up. I have a 10-year-old and still, bedtime routine is followed over all else!!!”
Licensed psychotherapist Amy Morin, editor-in-chief of Verywell Mind and based in Florida, weighed in on the argument in an interview with Fox News Digital.
While it’s easy to sympathize with the father who’s handling his work schedule and engagements, the mother is the one who’s at home and “in charge,” said Morin.
“She set clear boundaries on the time frame that phone calls work for her and the children,” she said. “Not answering the phone after the scheduled time is a great example of sticking to her limits.”
Added Morin, “She’s refusing to allow the husband’s work schedule to interfere with the children’s needs. She’s showing that she values herself and her children’s needs.”
While the kids are the main concern, Morin suggested the healthiest solution for their sake would be for the dad to figure out how to call the children earlier in the evening.
“That may mean having to switch up his work schedule, or it could mean not having contact on some days,” she said.
“The family could develop some creative solutions, such as [the] dad sending a video message that he recorded the day before.”
It’s important for the at-home parent to take the lead of the family, added Morin, and set healthy boundaries in the best interest of the kids.
“Parents should keep their disagreements away from the kids and actively problem-solve solutions together,” she said.
Parenting expert and educational psychologist Dr. Michele Borba of Palm Springs, California, also weighed in on the situation, agreeing that the best way for kids to achieve sound sleep is if their parents keep to a schedule.
“The more irregular the sleep routine, the harder it is for kids to stick to it,” she told Fox News Digital.
“Some kids are easier to put [to sleep], but only Mom would know.”
Even though the situation is hard for the dad who’s on the road, Borba said a plan B may be in order for this family — and the ritual of calling at a certain time is crucial for keeping a “strong relationship.”
“Dad may be able to find time before dinner, during lunch, or some other time that is agreeable to all,” she said.
Borba, who is also the author of the book “Thrivers: The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine,” suggested that the father invest in a recordable book — or save a recording of himself reading the kids’ favorite story to be played for them before bed.
“When Dad returns, Mom should help him be part of the bedtime ritual, so he understands the value of the routine,” she said.
“Dad can also go to the next pediatrician’s visit and hear the doctor describe the value of a sleep routine.”