in ,

Childfree Woman Fed Up With New Neighbor Mom And Her Daughter Dropping By Unannounced

a mother and young daughter at a front door
Robert Daly/Getty Images

I knew very early in life I didn’t want children.

I’ve never felt the longing for parenthood others speak about, I have zero interest in holding anyone’s bodily fluid spewing baby, and I find most young children incredibly sticky and annoying—all great reasons for me to remain childfree for life.

I’m not a fan of babies or toddlers, so I shouldn’t create one.

And that’s OK as long as I don’t impose my preferences on other people outside my own home. If a home or environment is child-friendly, I need to remove myself if I’m uncomfortable instead of forcing others into discomfort or telling them to leave.

If only other people took the same approach.

It’s unfathomable to me why so many mothers have tried to force me to hold their baby or interact with their child. If I tried to hand my pet to someone and they said “no, thank you,” my impulse wouldn’t be to completely ignore them and try to shove my pet into their arms.

Yet women have pushed their infant against my body—after I’ve said no to their offer to hold the child—expecting me to immediately cradle their baby. When my arms remain by my sides as they’re loosening their grip on their kid, they get mad at me.

It’s a miniature, very breakable human.

What would possess someone to fling it at someone that has stated they don’t want to hold it?

That’s just dangerous and irresponsible.

As a society, we need to protect the vulnerable from harm. But no one other than a child’s creator or voluntary caretaker is obligated to meet their child’s wants.

But some people can’t seem to grasp that concept. “It takes a village” is about health, safety, and basic needs—not forcing the neighbor lady to entertain your toddler because they decided they wanted to go visit.

A young, childfree woman dealing with a mother who thinks unannounced, uninvited, unwelcome visits are mandatory if the unwanted guest is “just a child” turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Klutzy_Hedgehog_1516 asked:

“AITA for turning away my new neighbour and her child?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“I (26, female) just moved into a new, small apartment block two weeks ago. I’ve been busy setting up the place, furniture, and everything else.”

“The afternoon I moved in, one of my neighbours came up to the steps—each apartment has a little front area, and mine faces the carpark. She introduced herself, single mom with a 4-year-old daughter and gave me a small succulent to say welcome.”

“I was very appreciative, said thank you and we spoke for a few minutes.”

“They’ve lived here for years and I have seen them being friendly with other neighbours. To be fair, all the neighbours are friendly. It’s 8 apartments in total, and I’ve met all the others and they’re fine.”

“I wave to most people, but I do not go out of my way to interact with them.”

“I work three days from home and am usually home in the evening after work and at night.”

“This neighbour has started showing up a lot, can generally hear her approaching with her daughter and they’ll show up with a painting, or something the daughter has made to give to me.”

“It is nice, but I do prefer to keep to myself, and often I’m in my baggy tee or not dressed for visitors, I have to kind of make myself presentable in under a minute with no notice.”

“This latest instance, they showed up around 7pm. The daughter had made some kind of drawing and wanted to drop it off.”

“I’d had a long day—was in a giant sweater, looking a mess but insanely comfy, ice cream on the couch, watching a film—saw them through the window, had to quickly jump up, put on shorts, and greet them at the door.”

“Said thank you as always, daughter wanted to come in, see what I was watching. Nothing terrible, just a bit too grown up for a 4-year-old.”

“I politely said, ‘look, thank you, but I’m really not in the mood tonight’ and asked could they please leave.”

“My neighbour responded ‘but she’s just a kid’, ‘it’ll only be a few minutes’, ‘she loves making things to show you’, etc… and I finally said, ‘look, I’m childfree by choice, can you please leave? Thank you. Good night’.”

“They have not been back since, but left a note in my mailbox explaining I was rude and her daughter was upset, had cried and they’d be open to an apology.”

“I haven’t responded, but I don’t want to apologize for saying no.”

“I wish I could take back that child-free line, but at the end of a long day, I want my bed socks, my R-rated movie, my couch, my ice cream, and that’s it. And she refused to take no for an answer.”

“In my mind at the time, it was ‘there’s a reason I don’t have kids and this lack of boundaries is it’.”

“Am I the a**hole for turning them away?”

The OP summed up their situation.

“I was quite abrupt with my neighbor and her 4-year-old daughter in asking them to leave.”

“I believe I might be the a**hole for not simply being more polite in what I said and how I said it.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).

“Rude is—after hearing the words ‘no’ and ‘please leave’—deciding because you have a child, no one is allowed to say ‘no’ or ‘not now’ to them.”

“NTA. They asked, you answered, they decided to disregard your response because ‘she’s just a child’. So you told them the truth—a childfree person doesn’t want a 4-year-old to control their life in any way.”

“Mom thinks everyone else should indulge whatever whim her kid has. Nope, mom signed up for that by having a kid. No one else is obligated to cater to her kid.” ~ LakotaGrl

“This is my nightmare, and I have no idea how I’d deal with it. While I wouldn’t have said the ‘child-free by choice’ part.”

“You set a boundary, and they are basically respecting it. It sucks when you’re friendly, and people overstep.”

“Which they VERY MUCH DID. NTA.”

“Mom is probably lonely, but that’s not your responsibility. Just nod and say ‘Hi’ when you see them, and carry on in your undies.” ~ ex-farm-grrrl

“As a tip for the future, just because someone knocks at your door doesn’t mean you have to answer it.”

“Unless it’s emergency services, feel free to continue watching your movie in your bed socks and eating your ice cream.”

“Even if they can see that you’re home, you’re not required to receive guests just because they want to visit. NTA.” ~ Ready-Cucumber-8922

“Just avoid that confrontation. One of the guys with my HOA will knock on my door, and I just don’t answer because I’m lounging around, and I don’t need him trying to invite himself in.”

“My car is there, so he knows I’m probably home, but I don’t care. It’s not the 1970s. NTA.”

“He’s one of those older guys who can’t—or won’t—tell the difference between me trying to be friendly to him as a fellow human and an invitation to disregard boundaries.” ~ gloomyrain

“NTA. That kind of kills two birds with one stone. She knows you’re childfree by choice, which means it won’t be as easy for her to hit you up for free babysitting.”

“They were invading your personal space. Who knows, if you would have let them in, how long they would have stayed.”

“Then you’d have to ask them to leave. Better to nip it in the bud now.” ~ Vandreeson

“I think it was right to say this. Not everyone wants or even likes kids, and it’s not fair for people to expect you to accept them in your private space just because they’re children. NTA.” ~ CrayolaViolence

“No, you were 100% right to say this. It’s super bizarre how pushy she was to get into your house.”

“I am also majorly happily childfree and always will be. Parents need to know that I’m not interested in babysitting or establishing a friendship with their toddler.”

“You did the right thing. You said exactly what you need to say to make sure she doesn’t try to pawn her kid off on you. NTA!” ~ Sufficient-Value3577

The OP provided an update.

“I’m going to speak to my neighbor in person in the morning—not a note reply—and say that I’m sorry for my choice of words, but boundaries need to be in place, and they cannot keep showing up unannounced.”

“I don’t plan for it to be combative, just human to human. I realize I should’ve said something from the beginning, but that is neither here nor there.”

“However she decides to respond, that’s what it is.”

Whether a conversation resolves any hard feelings is up to the mother.

She can either recognize how rude forcing her kid on others is, or she can continue to think being a child overrides anyone else’s boundaries.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.