Responsibilities just never stop.
Whether it’s paying bills or taking out the trash, the small responsibilities of life just keep coming.
So, what happens when the person you’re relying on to maintain those responsibilities in your absence is unable to do so?
This was the problem facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) aitathrowawffee when he came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for an outside opinion.
“AITA For getting mad at my wife for not feeding our kids despite being sick?”
First, he explained the background.
“Five days ago my brother called me to let me know we had a pretty bad storm coming, asked me to drive up to help him patch up some stuff.”
“He has livestock and didn’t want to risk them getting injured.”
“My wife said she and our two sons (four and six) would stay at home, not wanting to risk getting stuck during the storm.”
There was a sudden illness.
“Three days ago she called, to let me know she and the boys were sick.”
“I asked if she wanted me back early – my brother could of dealt with the rest on his own.”
“She said no, and so I stayed.”
“Storm hit pretty bad, and I didn’t get home until last night.”
“I got in and my oldest (nonverbal autistic) was really clingy.”
“I didn’t think much of it, he’s always like this when he’s sick.”
“Youngest was sleeping.”
“This morning he gets up and is clinging to me as well, which he doesn’t usually do.”
“Lets me know he’s hungry so I make breakfast and they both finish it, oldest signs more and youngest agrees.”
“At this point I’m concerned – to get our oldest to eat is a struggle, and its worse when he’s sick.”
OP then lays out the problem.
“I get them more as asked, but ask my youngest what’s going on. He tells me ‘mama is too sick’.”
“I ask about it, she confirms she was too sick to make them food, so all they had mostly been living on whatever the boys could grab for themselves.”
“All of the lower cupboards are filled with little snacks – gummies, crisps, the like.”
“Which is all they had for three days.”
“We were running low anyway, so who knows when the snacks ran out (we had none left, I checked).”
“I got mad.”
“Told her she can’t let our kids live on junk just because she doesn’t want to get up and make food.”
“She says she was too sick, I say she should of called for help.”
“She has a sister less than ten minutes away.”
“Her parents are around the corner from us.”
“My parents are thirty mins in a car, but I know they would of driven down.”
“There is absolutely no reason to let them go hungry.”
“On top of the fact that I offered to come home and look after the boys so she could rest up.”
“She’s claiming I’m insensitive, I don’t know how sick she’s been, etc.”
“Her older sister came over to ‘help’ but mainly to call me an abusive husband.”
“Essentially saying that if I cared that much I should of taken the boys to my brothers with me.”
“Which, I was going to, but my wife literally asked to stay at home with them.”
“Her parents are also siding with her, saying that a few days without set meals is hardly neglect.”
“My parents are disgusted with her behavior, but have told me to let it rest until she and the boys are better.”
“I dont know if I’m being irrational or not.”
He explained that his concerns didn’t stop with the food issue.
“But I feel like if food was going amiss, what else was she neglecting?”
“Their teeth brushing?”
“Our oldest isn’t potty trained.”
“Was she leaving him wet for hours on end?”
“I get she’s sick and wasn’t thinking straight, I do feel a little bad as she does seem worse this afternoon.”
“But my kids deserve better.”
OP was left to wonder.
“Am I the a**hole here?”
“(Lmk if info is needed – some was cut for character limit)”
Having explained his various concerns, he sought Reddit’s wisdom.
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
The health of the children was a prime concern.
“She can’t be blamed for being sick, but she CAN be blamed for not setting up some sort of support system so her kids don’t starve.”
“That might mean having a family member come over, or maybe asking you to come home early.”
“In any case, what she did was incredibly dangerous.”
“What if her sickness got worse and she needed to go to a hospital?”
“What if one of the kids got hurt?“~JanusIsBlue
“The scariest part is that the 6-year-old is nonverbal and almost surely knows how to open the front door to their house.”
“The kids could have left the house and most people don’t understand how to interpret sign language.”
“This was seriously dangerous.”~NahDawgDatAintMe
Some pointed out that there were other options.
“Parenting does not have sick leave.”
“If she’s really so sick she couldn’t handle making her children food, she needs to let you know to come home or ask a friend or relative to help out.”
“Leaving an autistic 6-year-old and a 4-year-old to fend for themselves is not acceptable.”
Others shared personal experiences.
“Having been severely sick recently while watching two kids myself, it took next to no effort to order a pizza.”
“There is no excuse to not feed your kids.”
“I can say there are days where well-balanced, home-cooked meals go out the window, but there are tons of other options.”
“Unless she was in bed wallowing in her excrement she was well enough to get up.”
“Op please take a hard look at this.”
“She may be dangerous to leave your kids with”~Katnis85
There were even calls for more permanent actions.
“Divorce and gaining full-custody STAT.”
“That is just so gross and negligent.”
“Omg, that poor baby.”~PheonixFire459
He did return for a final comment.
“ETA: Before I left we had about six packets of crisps left, maybe ten fruit gummy bags, a twelve-pack of mini rolls and a six box of cereal bars.”
“And then whatever snacks were at the back that we hadn’t pulled out.”
“All three were eating that stash, so safe to assume they ran out quickly.”
“I am also a stay-at-home dad.”
“This is the first time she’s had the boys overnight by herself, which is why I was going to take them with me.”
“She had this week pre-booked off work because our oldest’s birthday was earlier this week and we were meant to be taking him to soft play and the zoo.”
“She just booked the whole week off rather than individual days.”
“To the few people asking if she’s autistic too bc genetics and what not;”
“While she may be autistic in her own regard, she didn’t carry the babies (which may explain her being less attached than I) and has no genetic relation to them.”
Responsibilities do not stop.
Not for illness, or bad moods, or difficult days.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help.