in , ,

Dad Of Three Snaps At Freeloading Ex-Wife For Eating Kids’ Snacks While Living In His House

Woman snacking on cake
Paul Bradbury/GettyImages

Sharing is caring or so they say.

Mooching, on the other hand, is… just tacky.

A father of three is open to sharing his home and food with his ex-wife, however, there were a few strictly off-limits items.

When that boundary was crossed, his reaction later led him to seek judgment on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

There, Redditor ReadRightRed99 asked:

“AITAH for snapping at my ex wife for eating one of the kids’ lunch treats?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“I’m a dad of 3, ages 3, 4 and 5. I have full custody of the kids. My ex wife currently lives with us because she either can’t or won’t work. That’s a different discussion for another post.”

“AITAH for snapping at her just now when I discovered she’d eaten one of the three snack cakes I had for the kids’ lunches?”

“While I generally don’t object to sharing food with the ex, I’ve asked her on several occasions not to eat the treats I buy for the kids because I generally apportion them equally and plan my grocery shopping accordingly.”

The OP explained more about the stolen treat.

“I just went to make lunch for the kids and one of the three remaining Zebra cakes in the package was missing. The kids are still not into pilfering food so I asked the ex if she ate one of them. She smirked and said ‘yeh, sorry.’”

“I’m already tense over having her on my home while I still do approximately 80 to 90 percent of the child care. This was too much.”

“I snapped, and while I didn’t yell, I very forcefully told her she shouldn’t take their food and that she needed to shop for herself (I’d just picked up a few things for her this morning at Wal-Mart because she rarely has the wherewithal to shop for herself—see a pattern here).”

“She responded by telling me that she’d be open to a discussion if I didn’t use such an aggressive tone.”

The OP threw it over to strangers online to gain their insight.

“So am I the a**hole for taking an aggressive, forceful tone and pretty much chewing her out for once again screwing up my plans for the kids’ lunches?”

Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

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

Many Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole (NTA) here, but they pointed out a concerning flaw.

“You are not doing the right thing for the kids. Their mother eats their food, does almost no childcare, doesn’t help in the house and is making their caregiving parent more stressed (and therefore more short tempered).”

“She’s also using up your resources – energy, time, and money – that support her, which could be going to you and the kids.”

“When you say she only does 10-20% of the childcare, I assume that means she is not spending any extra quality time with them either…”

“NTA, but really, I think you’re being TA to you and your kids by letting her keep taking advantage of you.” – LimitlessMegan

“Get her out or continue to deal with her. She’s an adult and not your responsibility to take care of like she’s another child.”

“‘I’m weak-hearted ‘… She’s taking advantage of you because she knows she can; and so far she’s right.”

“NTA.” – StonewallBrigade21

“I know you may think you’re doing the right thing for your kids, but they’ll either grow up to think that what your wife is doing is okay, or they’ll resent her for being a mooch.”

“Also, you doing right by your kids means not adding unwanted stress to your plate so you can raise them properly. Is there no one else she can stay with?” – phostacio

“Uh, you’re basically married again without the legalities.”

“You’re definitely not doing the right thing for your kids. You divorced your wife for a reason, you have full custody for a reason.”

“Your ex-wife is living in your home. You admit to buying her stuff from Walmart. She can see her kids whenever she wants, but you have all the parental responsibility. What motivation does she have to find a job and move out?” – Environmental_Art591

“You are definitely being taken advantage of and she is never going to change if you don’t make her. Why would she? And you’re NTA for snapping at her.”

“She knew what she was doing, and she doesn’t give a crap about you or your requests. She’s lucky you didn’t snap and tell her to pack her stuff. Which you should.” – snickerdoodle_25

“NTA. Sounds like you’re raising a 4th kid. Time to push her out of the nest. I’m not sure that doing otherwise would really be better for the kids.”

“I mean, what lesson are they learning if mom’s just there to take advantage while taking no responsibility. It’s her job to establish and maintain a relationship with the kids. If she is unwilling to do so, it is not on you to be her crutch.” – disappointedvet

“NTA. She might be making progress, but her presence is bad for you and the kids. You are teaching them it is okay to be a doormat.” – Crafty_Meeting2657

“NTA, she’s not only defiant & disrespectful of your request that has to do with her kids, she doesn’t give a flip about discussing anything with you. She’s not going to change. She’s freeloading & a mooch.”

“Time for her to go bye-bye. It doesn’t matter she’s the mother of your children, she apparently doesn’t care enough about them to help out. So letting her take advantage of you because of the mom card.” – Correct-Jump8273

“NTA. Son, listen. You have full custody for a reason. Get that woman out of your home, now. She is not contributing anything to your life, or your kids. If she will literally take your CHILDREN’S FOOD, what else is she doing?”

“Get her out now. Your children will be better off with only one parent, who is not so stressed. Kids pick up on that. The more and longer you are stressed out, they will become more clingy and stressed. Get her out.”

“Ex is not your problem. She can go to her own family, or grow up and get a job. She does not need to be around your children until she gets some help for her mental issues.”

“Get her out. You will feel better.”

“Yes, I am more than old enough to be your mother. I am worried about those kids.”

“Hugs from an internet Mom.” – Fickle_Toe1724

“NTA, but you would be if you let the situation continue.”

“She’s a leech, stealing food from your kiddos, and being an absolutely terrible influence on the kids. She can go to a homeless shelter, get a job, get on disability or social security, or live on the streets for all it matters; she needs to not be under your roof though, no matter what her next living situation might be she’s a grown adult and can figure it out!”

“If I was married to her, I’d divorce her over her behavior, but she’s already done something else big enough to get divorced over so why give her any more leniency?”

“Having both parents around only helps the kids if both parents are being parents and putting the kids first. You are, she’s not, she’s gotta go.” – Zestyclose_Seaweed_1

“NTA but I think you know what the problem is. She needs to move out. She can go stay with her parents or friends etc. She doesn’t respect you and you’ll continue to be subject to her food stealing and general disrespect until you force her out.” – asecretnarwhal

“NTA. Not gonna judge you on your situation, but start treating her likie a bad roommate rather than an ex-wife. Or like a naughty child when she steals treats.”

“Make her go apologize to the kids for eating their dessert. Don’t give her any respect, she doesn’t respect you. Make her embarrassed to be… well her… around her kids or she has zero motivation to be better.” – upsidedownbackwards

“NTA You are enabling her. You are also teaching your children bad relationship habits.”

“Have her move out as soon as possible… For your sanity and the kid’s…” – somewhat-sane-in-NYC

“NTA, remove her so she can either sink or swim. Right now you are enabling her laziness and she’s taking advantage of it. The aggressive tone probably stems from your feelings about her and the situation.”

“It’s not healthy and you both will benefit by moving on. If she does end up sinking just know you did more for her than most are willing for an ex-partner.” – kiernyn

In edit, the OP provided an update.

“UPDATE: Thank you for all of the feedback. The kids and I took my parents out for my dad’s 79th birthday. I couldn’t believe there were so many responses when I got home. I’ll try to read as many as I can and reply when relevant. Thank you!!”

Overall, Redditors thought the OP telling his ex-wife off for having her cake and eating it too, in all senses of the phrase, was warranted.

However, many of them also thought he bordered on being partially at fault for subjecting the household to her freeloading, and they strongly continued encouraging him to demand changes or go to plan B, which was essentially to give her the boot.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo