The merging of families is an exciting chapter for new beginnings, and when it goes smoothly, it’s like winning the lottery.
But when teenage step-siblings share the same living space together, it’s not always rosy as it was depicted on The Brady Bunch.
Come to think of the all-time popular syndicated TV show, it’s baffling how three girls and three boys shared ONE bathroom together without major drama, but that’s neither here nor there.
Redditor “chancecreator” is a man with three teenage boys who welcomed his new wife and her daughter into his home. Drama ensued after one of the boys had a problem pertaining to his stepsister’s gender-specific bathroom needs.
So the dad took to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to find out what readers had to say about his reaction to the dilemma.
The Original Poster (OP) asked:
“AITA for telling my stepdaughter to stop using period products in the bathroom she shares with my teenage sons?”
He began the post by describing the new living situation.
“I have been living with my new wife and stepdaughter for about 6 months now. She’s 19, almost 20, and I have three sons aged 18, 16 and 15.”
“She’s a really good kid and she’s a good influence on my sons, I really enjoy having her around.”
“My wife and her daughter moved into my house and sold theirs. My stepdaughters father isn’t present in her life, nor is my sons’ mother. All four children share a bathroom.”
“My sons have never lived for a long period of time with a woman, nor have any of them had long term girlfriends. They had short visitation periods when they were younger but never longer than an hour, so living with two women has been unusual for them.”
The OP had a man-to-man discussion with his son who had a complaint about his stepsister.
“My eldest son, 18, came to me last week and told me that his stepsister disposes of her used sanitary products in the trash can they share, but doesn’t use toilet roll or sandwich bags to disguise what they are, and it makes him uncomfortable which I think is reasonable.”
“My sons are teenage boys and don’t want to see their stepsisters period products on full display.”
Subsequently, there was a discussion between the OP and his stepdaughter.
“A few nights ago I went into the kitchen to grab a snack and she was there doing some work for university.”
“My wife had mentioned that she knew she was on her period so I took it as an opportunity to have a word with her. I told her my sons were uncomfortable and asked her if she’d mind putting her used products in diaper bags or flushing them down the toilet.”
“She laughed and told me it was rich coming from a man who ‘sheds like a gorilla’ and has produced ‘three skid marking sons’ which I thought was just an unnecessary attack.”
“I’ve been nothing but nice to the girl and it’s hardly a comparison. My sons shouldn’t be subjected to her unhygienic products if it makes them uncomfortable.”
School was officially in session, but the OP proved to be an uncooperative pupil.
“She went on to lecture me about how tampons can’t be flushed and that it’s bad for the environment if she uses diaper bags for every one which I think is just an excuse.”
“I called her a scruff and told her that this was my house and that what I say goes.”
“I later asked my wife if she could have a word with her and she told me I was being ridiculous and that her daughter has had her period for ten years and knows what she’s doing.”
“When I told her it was making my sons uncomfortable she said my sons needed to get a grip and turned over and went to sleep.”
“This is a genuine issue to me and she didn’t care enough to have a discussion about it. I asked my stepdaughter again in the morning and she did the same as her mother, completely dismissed it.”
“Both of them have told me to stop being so silly but I don’t see how I’m being unreasonable when it makes my sons uncomfortable.”
Not knowing who else to turn to, he sought Redditors’ advice and asked AITA.
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors representing both genders flipped on the OP for his ignorance.
“YTA. Sorry but what? I’m a guy and realize this is ridiculous.”
“You need to help yourself and your son’s become better men and accept that it’s a natural process.”
“Are you uncomfortable with your wife’s use of the same? I assume not so teach your sons to be better.” – manwithoutaplanTO
“Also chiming in on the top comment to say that not only is this post ridiculous, it’s sexist af. It is normal for a 19 year old female body to menstruate.”
“OP’s sons need to get comfortable with that fact, fast, and learn that women don’t have to adjust their behavior to make them comfortable.”
“It is not, on the other hand, normal or okay to leave skidmarks (or tons of hair) in shared spaces without cleaning up after yourself. YTA, OP.” – GalacticaActually
This person justified the stepdaughter’s reaction.
“Hijacking the top comment since I doubt Op will edit to add this in.”
“He said in his replies that she wraps the pads/tampons in the packaging before throwing them away. So the sons can’t even see any blood! And the garbage bin has a lid.”
“This is beyond ridiculous. I’m not surprised the stepdaughter snapped.” – witchwhichwish
“Wait, what? From just reading the post, I thought maybe she was just laying them open, blood up, in an open trash can.”
“But she’s wrapping them in the package in a trash can with lid? This is just ridiculous.”
“OP, YTA, and you should be thanking your lucky stars (and your wallet, and the plumbing gods) that she’s not agreeing with you to flush her products.”
“Hey, OP, how about instead of shaming your stepdaughter for a natural function, you teach your sons all about natural body functions, and how it’s nothing to be grossed out about.”
“Help make them better men, and then if they ever do get married they’ll be better husbands. Or, y’know, keep doing what you’re doing and then wonder why your second marriage crumbled, and why your daughters-in-law keep complaining about what jerks your sons are.” – Brightspt2
When one of the comments implied that the boys would still be triggered from catching a glimpse of the disposed product in a lidded trash receptacle, this Redditor responded.
“I think just knowing they’re there is enough. They probably get triggered seeing the box of unused ones on ‘their’ shelf.”
“It’s not bad enough sharing her bathroom with four dudes, when you know damn well she gets stuck with all the cleaning, but they have to give her sh*t about her period too.” – PassThePeachSchnapps
“OP, she’s doing them a favor by treating them like mature human males who can handle the fact that women have periods.”
“This is something they need to come to terms with now so they don’t act like childish jerks when they have a girlfriend, wife, or daughter of their own.”
“In fact, I think they should have to buy products for her just to get over their supposed fear of periods. And make them take the bathroom trash out. I promise it won’t hurt them.”
“Oh – YTA for vilifying a woman’s basic bodily functions.” – Alarmed-Volume
The OP gave a positive update, describing the brilliant manner in which the ladies schooled the men in the household about menstruation.
“UPDATE — Not even two hours after I posted this, my wife and stepdaughter gathered my sons and I and gave us a full intensive ‘periods for pricks’ course, Powerpoint and all.”
“It was a hoot, they made an interactive quiz and everything. My sons and I learned a lot and apologised to my stepdaughter.”
Good on them. Can we get a copy of those slides?