For anyone who wants to have children, the journey of finally inviting a child into their home can be incredibly taxing or heartbreaking.
Despite how grateful they may be to have them, the parents have to understand that there are moments when bringing their children, no matter how much of a miracle they are, would be inappropriate.
But there are some people who seem unable to put anyone before themselves, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor AITArainbow2016 made arrangements for a childfree wedding and told everyone in advance to plan for childcare.
But when her brother demanded his “rainbow baby” to be allowed to attend anyway, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure how to proceed.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to make an exception for my brother’s son to attend my childfree wedding just because he’s a rainbow baby?”
The OP and her future husband wanted a childfree wedding.
“I (33 [female]) am getting married come October to my fiance Derek.”
“Wedding planning went okay but as soon as we started sending out invitations, the problems began coming our way.”
“The thing is Derek and I decided the wedding would be childfree, it wasn’t out the blue, and this possibility was there.”
The OP’s brother was not childfree, however.
“I have a 42-year-old brother, Paul, who’s married but he and his wife suffered from several miscarriages and failed pregnancies during their marriage.”
“They finally were blessed with a son that everyone calls a miracle and a rainbow baby.”
“My nephew is 4 years old and everyone salutes him and treats him as a king and also turn blind eyes to any misbehaviors he has, which caused him to become loud, destructive, out of control, and punish-less.”
When he received the wedding invitation, he was not happy.
“When Paul received the invitation and found out kids weren’t included, he and my mom lost it and decided on an urgent meeting with me and Derek.”
“Paul said, ‘My son is an exception, right?'”
“I said no and this rule is to be followed by everyone.”
“He argued that I was making a mistake by excluding my nephew.”
“He and my mom went on about how he’s a miracle since he’s their rainbow baby/grandbaby.”
“Then Paul said he had no problem with my wedding being childfree but expects me to make an exception for his son. He explicitly said, ‘You can have your ‘childfree wedding,’ but you’re gonna have to make an exception for my son and you know why.'”
The OP’s future husband spoke up at this.
“Derek apologized and said we won’t since our friends and my inlaws had kids, too, but now have to leave them home and arrange for babysitters and advised him to do the same.”
“Paul was offended and said if his son isn’t invited, then he won’t come and gave us an ultimatum to drop out if we don’t edit his invitation.”
This led to an argument with the family.
“That caused my family to freak out because Paul is the only and oldest sibling I have and they said his presence at the wedding is a must.”
“I had an argument with my mom and dad who said the fact I’m choosing this to be my hill to die on and treating Paul and my nephew like that was appalling.”
“They emphasized how my nephew is special and I should be ashamed to exclude him even when the wedding is childfree.”
“My parents said if Paul won’t come, they won’t come either, which devastated me a lot and caused me to break down.”
It only got worse from there.
“Derek said they were the ones being unreasonable and disrespectful of our wedding and we should wait, maybe they’ll come around eventually.”
“But they’ve doubled down. This morning my aunt and uncle dropped out, as well as my other uncle last week.”
“Paul told everyone and they’re supporting him and won’t come unless I make an exception for my nephew, but that will upset my guests and they’ll call me a hypocrite.”
“My family is divided, saying I’m ruining my own wedding basically saying this is all on me.”
“[I also want to add,] my family has normalized this behavior from Paul and also his wife.”
“Whenever I point out how unacceptable it is to expect everyone to cater to my nephew and his parents, Paul would chime in with, ‘She’s jeeeealous,’ because he and his wife have a kid while I can’t/don’t (I was married before meeting Derek and was divorced from my ex-husband because of my inability to have kids, but that’s another story).”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some agreed the OP had the right to choose a childfree wedding.
“First of all, I already feel sorry for that kid. If he is allowed to do everything and act however he wants to just because he is a rainbow baby, he will most likely grow up to be absolutely spoiled and disrespectful.”
“As for Paul’s behavior – that’s just rude. Child-free means child-free, what does he not understand?”
“Not only was he trying to push something on you, but also… did he think of the possible outcome even if you had agreed to his demand? Suddenly, you’d have everyone offended because ‘his kid could come but mine could not.’ Absurd.”
“Stand your ground, OP.” – No-Jellyfish-1208
“NTA – you are not the one dying on this hill. Your brother is, and he’s involving the rest of the family.”
“If your family cares more about whether a 4-year-old gets to go to a wedding and/or reception (which, as the only child there, won’t be any fun for him) than they do about celebrating you and your new husband, then that will make the decision about which family to spend the holidays with that much easier.”
“You are not being malicious, you are making a decision about your guest list. Your wedding is about you and your fiancé; it is NOT about your nephew, or your brother and his wife. The fact that they are making it about them is absolutely shameful.” – chiterkins
“[They said,] ‘His presence at the wedding is a must’?”
“LMAO (laughing my a** off), it ain’t.”
“I’m sorry that your family is doing this to you. It’s pretty abusive. No one gets to dictate the guest list at someone else’s wedding.”
“And it is crazy to create this much family drama over an ill-behaved 4-year-old at an event they probably don’t even care about. Someone, please explain to me why this is important at all.”
“I’m happy for your brother that he finally has a child, but he isn’t any more special than other children are, and treating him this way isn’t serving him or loving him, it will hurt him in the long run.”
“NTA” – wildeflowers
Others suggested low-to-no contact with the family.
“OP, it looks like your choices are to:”
“1. P**s off all your other guests,”
“2. Have your wedding without your family, or”
“I’d suggest numbers 2 and 3. 2 because you deserve to celebrate with your friends. 3 to avoid drama and expense.”
“If your family wants to put a 4-year-old, who likely would hate going to the wedding anyway, ahead of you, they’ve basically chosen to eliminate themselves from consideration.”
“Your family has ranked you low on a scale of importance to them. How will you respond?”
“NTA.” – usernaym44
“I can’t believe her brother has previously taunted her about her own fertility, and that’s only included as a side edit. I think OP is better off without such cruel and unsupportive people around her, especially at her wedding.” – Lamenardo
“Sorry, but can I just clarify one thing – apart from all the dramatics about your wedding (which isn’t even about them, yet they’re making your nephew the center of it) – you mentioned in your edit that you can’t have kids, and this is something your brother thinks is okay to taunt you about? And calls you jealous because you can’t have kids and he has one?”
“I mean, all things aside, if I’ve understood this correctly, all these people who value this kid so highly because your brother and his wife suffered from infertility… they’re all okay with you being teased about your own infertility which was also the cause of your divorce?”
“Because if that’s the case… This wedding is the least of your worries.”
“If all these people think it’s okay to treat you like that, then you really really need to evaluate whether they should be in your life. Which I know is so much easier said than done, and it’s painful to realize that your family is toxic, but that is a seriously awful way to treat you!”
“And you deserve better than that from the people in your life. I know that doesn’t help much with your wedding dilemma, but if the wedding leads to you distancing yourself from them, I can’t help but feel it would be a good thing. Your family are not kind people if that’s how they treat you, and you deserve to have good people around you.” – Pookie103
“Your brother considers himself (and his child as an extension of him) above everyone else. He is intentionally trying to hurt you by taunting you about your infertility – a subject that no doubt causes you great pain and drags up painful memories. He’s hurting you to make himself feel superior, and he’s enjoying doing it.”
“Your family is enabling him, and I will bet you have many, many examples of this behavior from both your brother and the rest of your family going back all the way to your childhood.”
“This is your moment to decide whether or not you think this behavior is something you can condone and live with in order to maintain a relationship with your family, or whether it’s time to break the cycle, demand to be treated with respect and kindness, and let the chips fall where they may.”
“Good luck OP. I wish you and your fiancé happiness.”
“NTA” – satisfymycuriosity
“OP, I know this is really hard. But family isn’t defined by blood. Let them skip your wedding. You’ll be better because of it. I honestly would be low to no contact with them. Embrace your new family.”
“The term – the Trash takes itself out – is very relevant here.”
“Honestly, your parents are the worst in this scenario.” – MAnnie3283
Some parents with rainbow babies of their own chimed in about entitlement.
“OP, I have a rainbow baby and I don’t think you’re being unreasonable. Also, because of the pandemic, I wouldn’t want to be bringing him out to a wedding.” – midsummerxnight
“My nine-year-old son is a ‘rainbow’ baby. Yes, he’s special to me and my husband but that doesn’t mean he won’t be disciplined or face consequences if he is disrespectful or misbehaves.”
“Your brother and sister-in-law are setting your nephew up to fail in life by the way they’re treating him. Other kids aren’t going to think he’s anything special, they will just think he’s a spoiled little brat. If having no manners, no friends, no control is what they’re looking for, then they’re certainly on the right track. Poor kid is destined for a rude awakening when he gets older.”
“Also NTA at all OP.” – bada**mamabear
“Your brother and parents are trying to blackmail you into doing what he wants instead of what you and your fiancé decided on for your wedding. That is textbook a**hole behavior.”
“I have a rainbow and a pot of gold. Know what happens when I get an invitation to an event where they aren’t welcome? I get a sitter, or their father stays home with them and takes them out for pizza. It really is that simple.” – MelodyRaine
The OP may have been torn because of the number of people threatening to not attend the wedding, but the subReddit thought it was for the best. Not only was it the OP’s right to choose whether or not to have a childfree wedding, but her family’s reactions spoke volumes about their collective character and how they felt about the OP.