Whether we enjoy the company of children or not, most of us can agree there are events in life that are much more fun without the little ones present.
So when someone has an event and says it should be child-free, we should respect their wishes.
But some parents refuse to agree, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Road-Block30554 had to choose whether to stand up for his and his wife’s vision or allow his brother to disregard his invitation instructions.
When he received criticism from his family, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he made the right decision.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for making my brother leave after he brought his kids to my child-free wedding?”
The OP was concerned about his brother’s reaction to his wedding invitation.
“My wife and I got married days ago. We decided the wedding will be child-free.”
“We thought this was the best option considering several factors from budget to keeping the order, etc.”
“Everyone got an invitation but my biggest concern was how my brother, Ramsey (36), was going to react.”
“Ramsey married young and has 4 kids that he takes everywhere he and his wife go.”
“They’re always there at every family event. The kids are Grade-A-hyperactive to say the least.”
But when he received it, all seemed to be fine.
“I gave Ramsey the invitation in person and he read it out loud in a sarcastic tone then said, ‘Child-free, ha?'”
“I nodded, and he got somewhat mad, saying, ‘Are you serious? But my children have never been excluded from any event big or small let alone, their own uncle’s wedding.'”
“I said I’m sorry but it’s already been decided and everyone had to follow the rules, not just him.”
“He stared off for a minute and then to my surprise, he said, ‘I totally get it, man, no children means no children, no worries.'”
“I was glad he didn’t start an argument over it and seemed to accept the rule.”
That was, until the day of the wedding.
“The day of the wedding came and Ramsey and his wife didn’t show up until shortly before the ceremony began.”
“My best man notified me that Ramsey had arrived and had all his kids with him.”
“I was legit mad. I went to meet him at the entrance and saw he brought all his kids against me and my wife’s wishes.”
“I greeted the kids and asked my SIL (sister-in-law) to take them back to the car.”
“He loudly asked wtf (what the f**k) was wrong with me.”
“I asked why he brought his kids and who said it was ok.”
“He said no one, but he was planning on bringing the kids all along and figured that by initially agreeing to my rule and then showing up with the kids anyway, he would get me to agree on letting them stay.”
“I stated this was no event for kids for many reasons and that everyone respected the rule except him.”
“He complained about me disrespecting him and his kids since, again, he never attends any event without them. In his words, ‘Where-ever I go, my kids follow, period.'”
“I told him he needed to leave then.”
“Not only did he call me a lunatic but a terrible brother and terrible uncle.”
“He also called me a simp for agreeing to my wife’s ‘stupid’ rule, saying if that was him and his wife even hinted he couldn’t have the family’s kids at their wedding, he would’ve dropped her right there and right then.”
The family had mixed feelings about what happened.
“It was humiliating and loud enough for the guests to notice. My inlaws did too. I told him to leave.”
“That’s when my mom and aunt tried to convince me to let it go and let them stay, but I refused and had him leave after a massive argument between us.”
“To say that I felt absolutely s**tty is an understatement.”
“Everyone gave me grief ever since that incident and are siding with Ramsey, saying I wronged him and acted cold towards him and his kids when they showed up to celebrate me and my wife.”
“My dad is especially p**sed at me for potentially, permanently f**king up my relationship with Ramsey, his wife, and his kids by kicking them out of my wedding. He said Ramsey won’t ever forget this day.”
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 brother needed to respect the wedding plans.
“As a parent, I hate people like the brother so much. Makes the rest of us parents look like idiots. I didn’t even read it, and I will say NTA.”
“Childfree is child-free FFS (for f**k’s sake). Get a sitter. D**n. Quit pushing your kids down people’s throats.”
“I read the post shortly after posting my opinion. It did not change my opinion. In fact, it was worse than I originally suspected.” – UDontKnowMe__206
“The bride and groom get to make the call about their wedding. Don’t like it? Don’t go.”
“If it seems unreasonable to you, DON’T GO. If you care about the people, send a nice gift anyway.”
“It makes me INSANE when parents try and drag their kids to things when they’re clearly not invited (and I’m a parent who takes their grade school-aged child to fancy-a** restaurants on a regular basis – because we’ve taught said kiddo how to behave and they do great… and if they don’t, WE LEAVE).” – Sashi-Dice
“There weren’t 4 extra meals RSVPed for, there’s not child-friendly furniture or entertainment, it may be loud & overstimulating, and otherwise responsible adults may be drinking…”
“Rather than framing it as an ‘exclusion,’ sometimes it’s a win-win for kids or anyone genuinely not suited for an event to stay home.” – DisastrousOwls
“You won’t forget that day ever. It was the day your brother decided his wants were more important than your specific requests on your wedding day.”
“Your brother explicitly told you his plan was to blatantly ignore your request to try and force you to Just Accept It.”
“NTA, and tell your parents that if they keep supporting someone who deliberately tried to ruin your wedding then they will have permanently f’ked up their relationship with you.” – SadCapybaraInSand
“Yep, for some people anything but total acquiescence and subservience is ‘disrespect’.”
“I have no use for people like that and I hope the OP comes to the same conclusion. Those who enable them can sit in the same rocking boat (and drown with them when it sinks.)” – frygod
“Someone said that sometimes people use ‘respect’ to mean ‘treating someone like a person’ and other times to mean ‘treating someone like an authority’.”
“For some, ‘if you don’t respect me, I won’t respect you’ means ‘if you don’t treat me like an authority, I won’t treat you like a person’.” – maorihaka
“NTA With the plan of a child free wedding you will almost always step on someone’s foot and it will escalate to some degree, that has to be expected.”
“But It is your day and your wishes should be accommodated.”
“And if someone does not like you plans he can ask you to change them or stay away.” – Revolutionary-Pay188
“NTA and that was VERY manipulative behaviour to pretend to ‘agree’ to your rule and deliberately showing up with them to make you agree for them to stay.”
“He knew well in advance and should’ve arranged childcare too.” – HattieTheSwann
“‘…but he was planning on bringing the kids all along and figured that by initially agreeing to my rule then showing up with the kids anyway would get me to agree on letting them stay’.”
“So he was dishonest, disrespectful and apparently proudly manipulative but suffered the consequences of his antisocial behavior rather than be rewarded for it by getting his way.”
“‘My dad is especially pissed at me for potentially, permenantly f’king up my relationship with Ramsey, his wife and kids by kicking them out of my wedding. He quoted Ramsey won’t ever forget this day’.”
“Tell your father ‘good’ and point out how valuable a lesson Ramsey and his kids got by not being rewarded for being dishonest, disrespectful and proudly manipulative.”
“Tell your father if he’d done a better job parenting Ramsey, perhaps this problem wouldn’t have occurred.”
“NTA.” – VT_Maid
“NTA. It reminds me of when people want to meet you to buy whatever you are selling and they are OK with the amount, but when you go to meet them, they say they only have a certain amount and we all know they have the money but want to guilt trip you into taking the amount.”
“People do sh*tty things like that all the time to get their way. Your brother thought he could get away with it, and your family backed him up.”
“Is he like the favorite or something? Because that kind of behavior shouldn’t be accepted.”
“You told him and he agreed, but then showed up with his kids. That’s very manipulative behavior.”
“The fact your brother knew as well says a lot about his character. You made it perfectly clear and he didn’t follow your wishes.”
“He doesn’t respect you or your boundaries. He’s the a**hole. And I have 2 kids myself. There’s no excuse.” – WynterYoung
Others pointed out the brother probably needed to reconsider the “wherever” thing.
“Several years ago when my kids were young teens, we took them to a 4-star German restaurant in Milwaukee. We didn’t start out taking them there, we took them to diners and worked our way up. They had to use eye contact with the server, please and thank you to the servers and runners and bussers, and learn how to tip along the way.”
“Point being: kids aren’t supposed to go everywhere. They learn, show mastery of certain social graces as manners, and earn the right to progress to ever more elite gatherings.”
“Brats just get taken everywhere and their parents seem to expect little to nothing of them. Like, ever.” – Opinion8Her
“I’m child-free, but when I was a kid it wasn’t optional to behave in public and be polite. I distinctly remember several times I tried it at a restaurant and ended up having to sit in the car until the rest of my family finished their dinner – I was a pretty s**tty kid.”
“So I get kids can be difficult, but FFS (for f**k’s sake), you train them up. It’s not the rest of the world’s responsibility to put up with someone’s untrained little beasts just because.” – calm_chowder
“Any time there’s a child-free event, I’m down for it.”
“I have friends that constantly try to make every event I or others host a kid-friendly event. Like cmon dude, I’m trying to get drunk and listen to 90s rap. Not gonna sit here and listen to your kids scream and cry for Kids Bop.”
“It’s such a mood kill when you have kids screaming, climbing, and just all over the place. On top of that, you have parents yelling at them all night. This is why I started drinking by myself versus going to a friend’s house.” – SipPeachTea
Even some parents pointed out how the wedding would be more fun child-free.
“As a mom, I would love a child-free event. As it is, people expect me to bring my kids. I get it, they’re awesome, but parents deserve a break.” – Temporary-Story573
“A friend of ours is having a child-free wedding on her mom’s property at the beach, but the stupid [pandemic] keeps making them postpone it.”
“I JUST WANNA HANG OUT WITH MY FRIENDS AT THE F**KING BEACH WITHOUT MY KIDS!!”
“But for real, my kids are awesome. They’re so well-behaved that we get compliments from complete strangers almost every time we go out (humblebrag). I just need a break from talking about Minecraft, FFS.” – jhonotan1
Though the brother and family were certain the OP was wrong for wanting a child-free wedding, the subReddit reassured the OP there are valid reasons to have an adult-only gathering.
But perhaps more than any other reason, the brother should have understood he needed to get a babysitter for his kids when the invitation for someone else’s party had explicit no-children instructions.
When we’re invited to someone’s event, we should be grateful for the invitation and prepare ourselves to have a good time, not try to change the plans.