There are some things that you’re better off keeping to yourself.
But when other people refuse to follow that same rule, sometimes you need to stand up for yourself, too.
One Redditor, after being pressured to have children, switched tactics and said her parenting siblings would change their minds about having kids someday.
Redditor “WowCleverUsername” wrote into the “Am I the A**hole?” subReddit, asking if she was in the wrong for having done this.
The Redditor shared a little about her family dynamic first.
“I’m 36 and my sister and brother are 34 and 37, respectively.”
“They each have 3 children. I have none and never want any. I like being able to travel, spend my money on myself, my pets and charities I support and I don’t want to ruin my sex life.”
Her family doesn’t agree with her view.
“However my siblings and my parents act like I’m the most selfish person who ever lived, because I ‘don’t want to experience the magic of motherhood’.”
“They call me selfish even though I’ve helped out both of my siblings financially on several occasions and never asked for the money back.”
As she gets older, the family keeps applying pressure.
“My family keeps saying ridiculous things like ‘your boyfriend will leave you if you don’t give him a child’. When I tell them he’s childfree too and if he wanted kids I’d let him go, they usually respond with ‘you’ll end up alone when you’re old’.”
“This, I think, is particularly scummy. Children should not be seen as a retirement plan. If you have a kid just so you can use him/her in your old age, then you’re the selfish one. When I tell them this, they just say that I don’t know what I’m talking about.”
She felt so pressured, it impacted her ability to visit.
“It had gotten to the point that I stopped visiting my parents and didn’t talk to my siblings for nearly a year.”
Then her sister reached out.
“But the other day, my sister called and told me she was inviting family over for her daughter’s 3rd birthday (lockdown rules have been relaxed in our area) and she would love it if I would be there.”
“I told her I wasn’t sure, since anytime I’m in their proximity, they gang up on me and attack my lifestyle choices. She assured me that my personal life would not be brought up.”
“So I went over to her house with a gift for the birthday girl.”
Her personal choices weren’t left out of the conversation after all.
“All was fine, at first. Then, it happened. My mom commented that I’d make a good mother ‘if only you’d give motherhood a chance’.”
“I stared daggers at my mom, then gave my sister a quizzical look. She looked a bit embarrassed, but then she said ‘we just want what’s best for you.'”
“‘You should probably spend more time with our kids. I’m sure that if you do, you’ll change your mind. A lot of people say they don’t want kids but then they change their minds when they see how wonderful kids are’.”
This was the Redditor’s breaking point.
“I was f**king pissed and decided to just give them a taste of their own medicine.”
“I said ‘you know a lot of people think they want kids, but then they begin regretting their own kids. So, I don’t know, you guys may stop loving your kids someday and resent them for draining your resources.’ My SIL gasped.”
“[Added to post] Some of you have asked if I said this in front of the kids. I didn’t. I waited for them to go away. I’m not a kid person , but the last thing I would want to do is traumatize a kid.”
The family is expecting an apology.
“Then I left without saying another word. Since then my parents and relatives have been bombarding me with angry texts and calls telling me I should apologize for saying ‘such a horrible thing’.”
But the Redditor believes it’s a two-way street.
“I told them they were f**king hypocrites as they insult my life choices but can’t take it when I insult theirs.”
“Tell me, am I the a**hole?”
Redditors wrote in on the OP’s (Original Poster’s) situation, using the following scale:
- NTA: “Not the A**hole”
- YTA: “You’re the A**hole”
- ESH: “Everybody Sucks Here”
- NAH: “No A**holes Here”
Some said the OP was not TA, because she was clear about her life choices.
“I’m 37 married with no kids. My in laws throw babies at me everytime we visit to see if i changed my mind.” – thepigfish82
“I’m in agreement. OP set a clear boundary about being badgered and they went and did it anyway. Consequences are generally not liked, that’s the point, and this was the consequence of overstepping. NTA.” – whita309
“Some family friends do the same to me. They tell me all the time how I should hurry up and get married and have kids, but these same people will complain to me about their spouses and not getting any sleep, and will legit tell me ‘don’t ever get married’.”
“Next day they will say, ‘why don’t you look for a boyfriend?'”
“After growing up raising my nephews and seeing the realities of parenthood, the no sleep, the arguing, the fact u can f**k up ur kids life if u mess up, and how most parents don’t know what they are doing, it doesn’t actually give a good case for me to have kids.”
“And then I see the other side of elderly in nursing homes where their kids don’t visit them at all so just because you have kids doesn’t mean you won’t die lonely.” – dontwannacare
Others said the family, and society in general, were out-of-line for expecting the OP to change her mind.
“Yup, my mom started in on that so we got a stuffed duck and said here’s your grandson.”
“I’ve also been condescendingly told by customers and coworkers I’ll change my mind. Which I might, but I also might not and both are fine.”
“In fact I had a male coworker say he hope I ‘have an accident’ with my [boyfriend] and get pregnant. I said just cause you’re miserable doesn’t mean I need to be lol” – Girls4super
“OMG. I hate the ‘you’ll change your mind’ s**t. I’m a 40 year old woman. I have never wanted kids. I am pretty sure I know my own mind by now.”
“It also really bothers me that you can have a whole list of accomplishments (great career, house, travel, college degree, independent), but if you don’t pop out a kid, you’re somehow less than or incomplete. Can’t a woman have an identity beyond being a mommy?”
“My brother has a few kids, I love them, but the lifestyle looks absolutely miserable to me. No f**king thanks.”
“Oh, and I also hate it when someone says ‘you’ll never know love until you have a kid.’ I will never know a lot of things in this life and I am totally ok with that.” – gnatgirl
One Redditor pointed out there isn’t exactly a “return policy” on having kids.
“Yes, OP has tried everything. It’s crazy that her mother thinks she should ‘give motherhood a chance.’ As if there is a return policy on babies.”
“Like ‘welp, I tried it, still not for me, peace out!’ is clearly not an option her mom would support. Sorry OP, time to start spending time with other people.”
“Calmly tell your fam that you will be leaving whenever their judgement starts up and then mean it, hang up the phone or walk away and continue to decrease contact until they get it.” – insomniac29
Though it may have been harsh to say what she said, the Redditor was right to reinforce her own boundaries.
Hopefully her family will learn that everyone wants different things and accept one of their own even with their differences.