Major life events have a way of making a person’s life radically better or flipping it upside-down.
And some people aren’t really sure how to cope with that, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor NoKidsAlloweds was taken aback when their sister, who was newly divorced, wanted to go on a journey by herself all summer to rediscover her youth.
When she demanded that they watch her two children for her during that time, the Original Poster (OP) felt the only answer they could give was no.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not watching my sister’s children while she finds herself?”
The OP was unable to do something their sister wanted them to do.
“My sister is going through a messy divorce and her ex-husband has ghosted her.”
“She was a stay-at-home mom during the marriage and that’s what she has done for the last ten years.”
“My sister is in an I-must-reclaim-my-youth phase. She wants me (I’m single and live in a small one-bedroom apartment in California) to watch her kids for the summer while she heals.”
“The thing is, my sister lives about 1500 miles from me, and even though I work from home 3 days a week, I’m still working about 50 hours a week.”
“There’s no way I can take care of a 5-year-old and 7-year-old the whole freaking summer.”
“It’s not like I can just magically take off work for 3 months.”
But their sister wasn’t ready to take no for an answer.
“My sister is hurt and said I can get a nanny and I can afford it.”
“She started crying, saying that she needs to reclaim herself over the summer.”
“I told her that’s bulls**t, and millions of people go through divorces, and I doubt many people have someone else watch their children for them all summer.”
“She was crying over the phone, saying how she needed this, and that it’s not fair that I don’t have to take care of children.”
“I don’t even have a boyfriend, she told me.”
The call ended with an argument.
“I ended the call with, ‘You need to stop being selfish and think of your children during this divorce. You just can’t dump them on other people while you ‘find yourself.'”
“I also said that I don’t know where she’s getting this advice from and that it’s stupid.”
“My sister took it as calling her stupid and said I talk just like her ex-husband.”
“I was exhausted from arguing with her, so I just said no, it’s not happening.”
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 felt terrible for what the children were going through with both of their parents.
“The poor kids. Dad pulls a Casper and mom tries to dump them on their aunt/uncle for 3 months.”
“Their lives have been turned upside down so hard, they probably don’t remember what right-side up looks like anymore.” – sissyjones
“The kids already are going to have abandonment issues from one parent leaving, and she wants to double down on that.” – 23skiddsy
“Her poor kids! Sorry, but the sister is acting like a s**tty person and SUCH a poor parent.”
“I don’t care if you’re going through a divorce, you don’t get to check out on your godd**n kids because you want to ‘eat pray love’ your way around for a summer, grow the h**l up.”
“My parents went through a very ugly divorce, and I wouldn’t have ever forgiven them if either of them had checked out of being our parents whilst they were navigating it, for a reason as pathetic as OP’s sister.” – elag19
“If the ex ghosted, then the ex is 100% crappy. I don’t care how unreasonable, stupid, or crazy OP’s sister is.”
“That’s not even a question.”
“You. Don’t. Bail. On. Your. Kids.”
“Ever.” – Netlawyer
“Seeing as they live 1,500 miles apart, an auntie they’ve probably not seen a lot before.”
“Let’s just take kids who are already emotionally vulnerable and specifically dealing with abandonment by a parent, and dump them for a summer with the aunt they’ve met maybe a handful of times at major holidays. That’s a good idea!” – calliatom
“It could be a lot of things, including yoga retreats but why does her sister have to make up for a problem that her ex should be involved in? Why during the summer when the kids aren’t in school?”
“Never mind the irreversible damage to the kids.”
“NTA.” – AccousticMotorboat
“My ex-MIL did it, she dumped the kids on her ex (incl my ex who was his stepchild) and went off to Scotland to live in a commune for 2 years.”
“Then when they were teens (my ex was 22, and they were 15 NS 17) she left them with us while she went to New Zealand to do a nursing degree which she never finished. She also claimed benefits for them preventing us from claiming them and you know, actually supporting them.”
“Shockingly they don’t have a great relationship.” – Jennabenna84
“‘Hey, kids! Your life blew up to shit cuz your dad sucks. Now go sleep on the floor for three months.'”
“I also noticed the sister didn’t ask for help affording a nanny while she does any of this.”
“She flat out doesn’t want her kids right now. And while I’m sure that would be nice for her, it isn’t nice for the kids.” – BendingCollegeGrad
Others were incredibly critical of the mother’s actions and motivations.
“Ah… flowers blooming, the sun setting just so, and trolling for d**k on a summer evening! Or 90 evenings, in this case.”
“It isn’t that I don’t feel for the sister. Her husband is a jacka**. Yet the trade-off of being a parent is you are on-call all the time.”
“If her ex won’t step up? That’s awful. Truly. It also isn’t the kids’ problems.” – BendingCollegeGrad
“It’s almost like she was planning to go out and try to score a new sugar daddy to retain her SAH status and knew that the kids would certainly hinder that plan.” – ofcbrooks
“One parent sending their kids halfway across the country is not the thing you do DURING a divorce when custody may be an issue.”
“This is a situation where you stay out of the whole thing and the potential FBI child abductor manhunt, even if it makes sis a little mad. She shouldn’t be sending people places when she doesn’t even know where she is.”
“OP’s sister is the kind of person who needs a ‘you are here’ sticker on a map of her front yard.” – Shawslate
“Sounds like the sister is harboring some jealousy for OP too. OP doesn’t have kids and life is sooo easy for them, so why shouldn’t she be entitled to a child-free 3 months.”
“Their dad just dipped out, how much worse can it get? Oh yeah, mum can vanish for a few months and leave them in an apartment that doesn’t fit them.”
“Also, the audacity to not even offer to pay for a nanny! Again, jealousy because OP is child-free and apparently owes some backward debt to their sister???” – TheTrashCaptain
“All of this and to add on, what kind of person says, ‘It’s not fair you don’t have to take care of children.'”
“Imagine me telling someone that about anything else. ‘Hey, it’s not fair you don’t have to work as a waiter,’ ‘Hey it’s not fair you don’t have to write a thesis,’ etc., and so on.” – StrykerC13
“‘Reclaim my youth’ means she wants to run around bars and pick up people for random sex, which is why she needs the kids out of the house. A nanny would prevent her from getting her ‘youthful groove’ on.” – PaisleyPengin
“The first few months after my divorce, I was functional only because I had two small children. They got me through.” – eva_rector
“I cannot imagine dumping my kids on someone after a divorce, trying to ‘reclaim my youth’ or whatever the f**king bulls**t this person is claiming…”
“You’re a mother, first and foremost, and you want to basically give your kids more abandonment issues after their father f**ked off and left them?!”
“I feel so awful for those kids! If I were in this situation, I’d think I’d need my kids with me more than ever, not be trying to get rid of them; I can’t imagine not seeing my kids for a week let alone an entire summer. Jeez.” – riskytisk
The subReddit could sympathize with going through a bad divorce, but they were much more concerned by what the children were being forced to go through.
They were already mutually being ghosted by their father, according to the OP’s post, and they potentially would not see their mother for the entire summer while staying with someone they likely hardly know, if the OP were to agree to the mother’s plan.
The ironic thing is that the summer is the best and easiest time to make new, fun memories with children, memories that would easy those of the divorce.