Our lives have a tendency of being overly busy, and sometimes even when an important event comes along, we find ourselves unable to attend because of other responsibilities.
But sometimes, it’s a simple matter of having our priorities out of order, as pointed out in the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Unable to attend her younger sister’s 8th-grade graduation, Redditor Maleficent_Shoe3791 suggested to her mother that she attend in her place.
When she found out her mother wanted to go on a date instead, the Original Poster (OP) urged her mother to reconsider, much to her mother’s distaste.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my mom to cancel her date to go to my sister’s graduation?”
The OP was proud of her sister’s achievements.
“I’m 19 (female) and my sister is having her 8th grade graduation soon. She’s also receiving an award for her high academics.”
“I’m super proud of her and I told her that immediately.”
She was unable to attend her sister’s graduation due to prior commitments.
“I’m usually the one that goes to her ceremonies and sporting events, but her award ceremony is at the same exact time as my 5-week summer lecture and lab, so I can’t skip that. Attendance is required, as well. It happens to be the first day of school, too.”
“I told my mom she needs to go since I’m unavailable because of college, and she’s p**sed because her boyfriend apparently planned something special for her that day, and my sister’s graduation is basically a barrier.”
The OP made a suggestion her mother didn’t appreciate.
“There’s no one else in this household who can go to her graduation, and I know it’s not like a college graduation, but a date is not an excuse.”
“I told her a graduation is more important than a date, and she explained this was a special date because he’s usually busy working, so they usually never have free time.”
“Still not an excuse. And she considered me rude for not setting time aside to go to my own sister’s graduation?”
“AITA for suggesting she cancels her date to go to graduation?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some were sad that the OP even had to ask if she was the AH.
“NTA in any way, shape, or form. And that you’re even discussing this with someone means you’ve been conditioned to think this is pretty normal behavior. It’s not.”
“Your mother is a horrible parent, and I hope both you and your sister can free yourselves from the shackles she’s put you in.”
“Hey, it’s not your fault! You’re wonderful, and don’t you forget it.” – BobiaDobia
“Hold the dang phone.”
“You are upset that you can’t go to your sister’s graduation, which you would have done because you have a required college class that you have to be in and can’t reschedule. You’re ‘normally’ the one that goes to all your sister’s events.”
“Your MOTHER, your SISTER’s mother, WON’T go to her own daughter’s graduation because she has a DATE?”
“And you think YOU are the a**hole here?!? Oh, honey. I’m so sorry for you and your sister both.”
“NTA.” – stillnotthatgirl
“NTA. Are you serious? Your mom never goes to any of your or your sister’s awards ceremonies? What the f**k kind of terrible parenting is this s**t?” – superwholockian62
“You shouldn’t have to suggest it at all. Doesn’t matter if it’s kindergarten graduation, there’s no special date anyone can plan that will be more memorable or important than your kids’ milestones.”
“Anything her boyfriend has planned can be rescheduled. Might not be easy or quick if it was something like a real festival or a favorite band in town. She’ll have to wait a while for the next opportunity, but your sister will only have this moment once in her entire life.”
“There’s no do-over. There’s no repeat or makeup date. As a parent, she should be canceling everything to be there.” – Comfortable-Tell-323
“Your mom is absolutely the AH. You shouldn’t have to ask or tell her she needs to go. She should want to be there celebrating her daughter.” – Muted-Appeal-823
Others agreed and said the mother’s priorities were completely out of order.
“Your mom should be proud to celebrate your sister’s accomplishment. She is clearly prioritizing her dating life over her child’s recognition. It shouldn’t take you pushing your mom to go in the first place.”
“If the boyfriend is aware that the ceremony is taking place on the same day/time, it’s pretty s**tty of him to keep that same slot and make your mom choose between him and your sister. Maybe bring it up to him (if you guys are on that level of communication yet) and see if he reschedules out of respect.” – craptinamerica
“NTA. Has your mother forgotten she’s the parent? Dates can be rescheduled. Graduation from middle school happens once in someone’s life.” – ParsimoniousSalad
“NTA. What is wrong with your mother? Blowing off her daughter for some man?”
“You have legitimate responsibilities that you need to attend to, your mother does not.” – _ChipWhitley_
“OMFG (oh my f**king god), I could not KEEP my mom away from any ceremony or graduation or performance or game or art show, so it just blows. my. f**king. mind that your mother is like, ‘But my boooooiiiiiiiiiiffffwwwwweeennnnnndddd made a pwwannnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!'”
“OP: NTA! Sorry you got stuck with that woman for a mother!” – ladytypeperson
“I will be fair, there were a few times that my mom REALLY could not get away from work and would send me to my brother’s school as her representative. But I always knew that I was going to have to give my mom photos and a full breakdown of everything. I’ve known FBI interrogators who demand fewer details than my mom did on those occasions.”
“Sometimes a parent does need a stand-in. However, the reasons for needing a stand-in always need to be a far more important than a date.” – Betrayed_Orphan
“You know your mom isn’t going to cancel. If she does, she will act like a martyr.”
“This is terrible. I know it is a short summer class, but I would talk to the professor and see if you can make it up in another session. I hate for you to do that, I know you have done a lot.”
“I guess the third alternative is to ask another parent to record it for you and you celebrate with your little sister later.”
“Don’t bad-mouth your mom, as karma will get her when she is too old to get a man and she starts looking for her kids for comfort. I am sorry, I wish you the best.” – Accomplished_Two1611
Some also pointed out that this pattern looked a whole lot like parentification.
“Regardless of whether OP attended any of these events for their sibling, their mother should have also been there every time.”
“Your mom is a terrible parent (if you can even call her that), OP, and you are not her stand-in or substitute, despite having to be one up to this point. NTA.” – Trasl0
“Something tells me she never realized she was a parent in the first place. Seems it’s the norm for OP to take on the parental role.” – knit_stitch_ride
“NTA, if your mom wants to prioritize a date, make a note of it, and once your sister is out of her grasp, start dropping contact, as actions speak louder than words.”
“‘My boyfriend is a higher priority than my children’ is a very clear statement. It’s an absolutely terrible parent who makes it and doesn’t deserve consideration or to even Ever claim that title, but it is very clear.”
“You can’t set aside your education just like she can’t set aside work. What she can set aside is the boyfriend, and if he’s remotely fit to be dating someone with kids, his response would be, ‘Your child is the priority, I get it.'”
“I wish you the best of luck and I hope you and your sister one day get away from this woman who pretends to the title of mother.” – StrykerC13
“I’m from a country where 8th-grade graduation (I’m assuming around 13 or 14) or even after secondary schooling seems ridiculous but it’s a school event, a key milestone, and an achievement.”
“Your mother is a worthless AH and a neglectful parent who puts sex above her parental duties and that is sickening.”
“It’s lovely you try and compensate but this is also a form of abuse called parentification.”
“The boyfriend is also bad news as he dates a woman who is not only neglectful to her kids but books something on a special day for one of them.”
“You sound like an amazing sibling, please speak to your school or a trusted adult.” – bibbiddybobbidyboo
Not only was the subReddit heartbroken that there was a mother of two girls who wasn’t acting at all as a mother should, but they were collectively heartbroken for the OP thinking for even a second that she was wrong to suggest rescheduling a date, so her sister had someone there to support her.
Graduation ceremonies can’t be rescheduled, and when a student is proud of their accomplishments and even being rewarded, they absolutely should have someone in the crowd, there just for them.