Society traditionally expects young women to want children. Women often face criticism for not wanting them and parents often dream of the day they will become grandparents.
But what if your child would not make a good parent?
Or they simply do not want kids?
Many parents would be upset but in this instance one dad told his daughter the opposite.
Redditor Demonicfurby999 looked to the “Am I The *A**hole” (AITA) subreddit for judgement on a difficult conversation.
“AITA for telling my daughter she wouldn’t be a good mother?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My daughter is 18 years old and struggles with many mental and physical health problems. Most days she needs my help preparing simple meals for herself because of severe executive dysfunction.”
“Ever since she was a child, she was adamant that when she had kids she would adopt. But in recent years, she’s changed her stance from adoption to not having children at all.”
“Both my mother and my wife’s mother have severe mental illness, and they were both incredibly neglectful. She sees how we both resent our mothers (Just something she picked up on as she got older) and began to self evaluate.”
“Eventually she came to the conclusion that some people simply aren’t fit to parent and she’s one of them. She’s not upset about this. She’s gay and says that she feels free from the expectations of having a nuclear family because of it.”
“I told her that in all honesty, I think she’s right. I said that might change as she grows older, but if she remains as she is now, I don’t think she’d be able to take care of another human life on top of her own.”
”She seemed happy to have her opinion validated. I thought all was well until my wife came to me in tears over what I’d said. She demanded I apologize to my daughter and take it back because I was ‘stigmatizing her illness to her’ and ‘limiting her future.’”
”I don’t see it like that. My daughter is young, but she’s an adult. She’s had this opinion for 2 years now.”
”And, being the child of a mother who wasn’t fit for the role, I’m incredibly proud of my daughter for being able to reflect on herself like that. I’m open to being TA here. I just want to know if I messed up by agreeing with her.”
”If I need to take it back, I will.”
“The last thing I want is to hurt her.”
Redditors were asked to pass judgement by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided this dad was NTA.
”NTA .Your wife isn’t thinking about what your daughter needs. I think she’s making this about herself. As a mom, it’s validating to hear that your daughter wants to be a mom, too.”
”It feels good to hear that your kid wants be like you. I think she’s taking it personally that your daughter doesn’t want to be a mom.You did an excellent job of listening to your daughter and recognizing her as an adult.”
“However, now that your wife has turned this into a big deal, I would check in with your daughter and make sure she’s still good. She might have felt hurt about it later on after reflecting. Also, her mom may have talked her into feeling hurt about it.”~GoddessArtemis85
“NTA. You’re right. Some people really aren’t fit to be parents. I’m self-aware enough to acknowledge that I’m one of them.”
”I love kids, but I know I don’t have the patience to deal with one 24-7 with every up and down of raising one. Plus the expense. It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of responsibility even with a partner let alone if you’re single.”
”Your daughter is the one that said she wouldn’t make a good mother. All you did was agree. Your daughter sounds like me in that she’s self-aware enough to recognize and acknowledge her own limitations.”
”Which is 100% a good thing. If you had tried to tell her she would make a good mom she’d know you were being patronizing toward her, and she wouldn’t appreciate that. I know I wouldn’t, in that situation.”~ShadowKitty2002
“NTA. You said things might change later, but that as things are in the moment you agree with her choice. This hardly seems limiting to me. You’re validating her where she is now and acknowledging (and pointing out to her) that things can and do change.”~anathema_deviced
After some comments went towards his wife OP added edits to clear the air.
“Some people seem to be vilifying my wife or making assumptions about why she got upset. We’ve talked and I understand her side of things.”
”Maybe I misunderstood the sub, but I was just looking to find out whether I screwed the pooch, not whether she did. She’s a wonderful person and supports our children unconditionally. We’re teammates, not opponents.”
The validating dad also gave an update to the Reddit community.
”I had a talk with my wife and daughter. My wife explained that she doesn’t want our daughter to think there are things she can’t do just because of her health struggles. Our daughter’s response was ‘but there are’.”
“My wife listened while she explained that there are some things she can’t do, and that doesn’t make her life any less fulfilling. She said knowing her limitations makes her feel freer to explore other things, and my wife realized that her perspective was based around overcoming disability rather than accepting it.”
”I still apologized, but my daughter said she felt understood and was glad I said what I did. I showed them this thread and we all had a laugh about our new family therapist, Reddit. My daughter says I actually am the a**hole, for click-baiting you all with my title (fair).”
“Thank you all for your replies. They helped a lot and we had a great conversation. We also found out my daughter doesn’t want kids anyways, it was just this “bad parent” line of thinking that made her realize that.”
This question thread and responses led to a more open conversation for this family and they all felt heard in the end.
Good on these parents for finding the best ways to support their daughter’s choices.