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Mom Balks After Ex Blames Her For Him Missing Family Dinner Because She Didn’t Remind Him

Couple arguing during therapy session
Prostock-Studio/Getty Images

As adults, our lives have become increasingly busy, and when we have multiple kids with different schedules, and perhaps multiple jobs to pay the bills, it can feel impossible to keep all of those commitments straight.

But no matter how busy we are, it’s still our responsibility to keep our own schedules straight, argued the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, not anyone else’s.

Redditor Less-Prize-9077 had just recently started to let her ex back into her and their daughter’s life, and this also included family dinner nights for her ex to spend some quality time with their daughter.

When her ex completely forgot about the most recent family dinner night, the Original Poster (OP) was shocked when he blamed her for not reminding him of his own scheduled commitments.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for not reminding my ex that he was supposed to come over to see our daughter?”

The OP recently started to let her ex back into her and her daughter’s life.

“I (26 Female) have a seven-year-old daughter.”

“My ex (28 Male) wasn’t involved in her life by his own choosing.”

“Over six months ago, he reached out. It took some time, talking, and a little therapy. He’s been back in our daughter’s life for about four months now.”

“We are working with the courts to establish paternity and for him to get custody.”

“In the meantime, I’ve let him visit her at my place. He’s taken her on day trips. Since getting a bigger apartment, he’s had her spend the night.”

But the ex did not hold up his end of the deal on a recent family night.

“He was supposed to visit her Wednesday, have dinner with us, and watch a movie.”

“We try to do things the three of us do, per the therapist’s recommendation, so she can see us get along. My ex said he’d be over around 6:00.”

“He didn’t show up. By 6:30, my daughter was hungry, so I fed her.”

“I tried to put off the movie, but eventually, I let her watch it.”

“She was disappointed about her dad not showing up. I put her to bed at 9.”

The OP’s ex blamed her for not reminding him.

“At 11:30 PM, my ex called, freaking out. He said he forgot we were supposed to have dinner. He only remembered because his girlfriend came home from work and asked how everything went.”

“Rather than apologizing, he got mad at me and asked why I didn’t call him.”

“I said I’m not going to chase him down. I already spent nine months doing that when I was pregnant, begging him to be in her life. I’m not going to do that now.”

“I said it’s up to him to make an effort and remember this stuff.”

The argument continued during the next family therapy session.

“We had therapy the next day and she was on my side.”

“However, my ex insists that I should’ve called.”

“I’m frustrated that he hasn’t tried to apologize to our daughter.”

“And my mom said that I should’ve called.”


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 reassured the OP that she did not need to remind her ex of anything.

“NTA. It’s not your responsibility to keep your ex on schedule. As a 28-year-old adult, he should take responsibility for himself and his time.”

“One thought: maybe set up a shared calendar, so when you have activities that are planned, it can go on the shared calendar.”

“Not that you have to by any means, but just a thought to keep track for you and to eliminate any ‘I forgot’ excuses from him.” – RevolutionarySir1409

“NTA. He’s an adult, presumably with a phone to add reminders and important dates. It’s not up to you to carry his mental load as a parent, especially since you’ve been doing that by yourself for seven years already. He needs to grow up and get over himself.” – anonymoustrashpandas

“NTA. He’s just mad his girlfriend saw him for the deadbeat father that he is.”

“Ignore your mom. Listen to your therapist.” – _A-Q

“Nah, definitely not the a**hole. As a forgetful man, I can understand forgetting, feeling like crap, and making a big effort to make it up to you and your daughter.”

“In that vein, I say this point is one you can’t hold against him if he wants to make it right with y’all’s daughter. However, it’s not your job to make his relationship work.”

“And if he wants to blame you for his mistake, that’s a great indication of what is in his heart and what to expect in the future.” – New_Tonight_1687

“Mom’s wearing her internalized misogyny loud and proud.”

“Her generation did everything to make men feel more comfortable and enable their minimal attention and effort to planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning, and clothing so Disney dad could get 100% credit for any family time.”

“Was she like my mom? Did she fully absorb 50%-90% of the effort to make family meals, get-togethers, vacations, birthdays, school events, and holidays happened?”

“And when dad didn’t show up (either he didn’t want to go, had friends to hang out with, could ‘catch up on work/sports/hobbies), did she make plausible and humble brag excuses for him?”

“OP is NTA.” – Aimlesskeek

“He has to understand that he’s a parent now. Not a child. He’s the one who is responsible for being places when he says he’s going to be there. No one else is responsible for making sure he’s there.”

“He has a myriad of ways to calendar that he’s supposed to see his daughter on a certain date at a certain time.”

“It’s on him to follow through. Not on you.”

“NTA.” – rak1882

Others questioned the ex’s validity as a legal father figure.

“She’s definitely NTA, but she needs (and fails to) understand that it’s better to have no father than a sh*tty father. Regardless, I hope we’re wrong and that everything works out for them. Maybe the deadbeat narcissist will learn something from therapy or his new girlfriend.” – LittleBeesTwin

“I’m not saying to prevent custody but come on. He bailed for seven years and has only been back for a few months. You say his girlfriend doesn’t want him to be involved, and he got mad at you for his own f**k up.”

“I agree that he should dig his own hole, totally get that, but the person you have described doesn’t seem like someone that you should trust with that just yet. Maybe just let him prove he can even be a parent first? Is there a reason for this being so rushed?”

“To clarify, I also want to make it clear I see you as NTA in this situation. You’re being a great mom and trying to do the right thing in a really hard situation. But the stuff you mentioned in this post is just a tiny bit concerning.” – Odd_Biscotti_7496

“I mean, she’s kinda the AH if she’s choosing to charge ahead with this custody stuff after the ex has shown REPEATEDLY that he doesn’t give a f**k about the kid.”

“It’s an AH move to encourage a relationship like that deliberately. It’s the OP’s responsibility to care for and protect her kid. Pushing for custody given to basically a stranger who can’t manage to remember to see his kid is NOT protecting that kid.”

“OP wasn’t the AH for not calling the ex. She will be the AH if she doesn’t reconsider this custody push.” – Puzzled-Case-5993

“This child has reached the age of seven wondering why she didn’t have a father, and now she’s learning he won’t always show up when he’s promised to. That’s very damaging and will only harm her more if he doesn’t genuinely take responsibility for his failure and make real changes.”

“Meanwhile, there’s no need to rush into legal custody arrangements when he can have visits and isn’t showing up for them.” – fullmetalfeminist

“ESH. So hard. You don’t owe him anything besides the common courtesy you’d offer to any living breathing human being.”

“That courtesy here is a text at 06:10, ‘You okay/plans change?'”

“He’s an absolute c**k for forgetting dinner/move night with his daughter, don’t get me wrong, but yeah. His reaction later in the night was also extremely d**kish but as an overreaction rather than something completely unfounded.”

“Can you honestly say that if anyone else had made plans to have dinner and a movie with you and your daughter, then no-showed, you also would have shrugged, not reached out, and continued with your night? No. Obviously not.” – Iwasahipsterbefore

“ESH. Your ex for deciding to ‘not be involved’ with a child he helped create, come crawling back the better part of a decade later, and almost right away start being a d**k about expecting you to remind him of things that he needs to take responsibility for.”

“You for letting the previously described guy back into your daughter’s life so quickly. Occasional visitation, fine, but custody already? Overnights? He sounds like a flaky jerk, and for me, it would take a lot longer than four months to believe that this guy was for real.”

“Let him prove himself. Don’t make it so easy for him. If it’s really important to him to take up the role he declined before, he’ll do whatever it takes. If not, you’re better off without him, and so is your daughter.” – overnightnotes

After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update.

“I’ve let him because if he is trying to work on himself (which I do genuinely believe), the alternative is in 20 years, she’ll hate me for keeping them apart.”

“If he isn’t going to do the work, he’ll dig his own hole.”

“But forgetting like this isn’t reoccurring where he’ll forget and not say anything, but he has canceled last minute before.”

“I’ll mention a shared calendar going forward. It’s nice to get advice from someone who has been in my daughter’s shoes.”

The subReddit completely understood why the OP was upset and agreed that the onus of remembering family nights and other appointments was totally on the OP’s ex, who was also an adult.

But they were more divided over how the rest of the situation was handled. It wouldn’t take much to make sure the ex was okay and still coming for family night, and that small bit of outreach is hardly more than what we’d text to a friend who was running a few minutes late for brunch.

There was also the matter of custody to discuss, which some found to be rushed and even unnecessary. Perhaps the OP needed to focus on one aspect of the relationship at a time. Maybe if her ex wasn’t ready to take responsibility for his own appointments, maybe the discussion of custody shouldn’t be sitting at the dinner table yet.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.