Parenting is full of pitfalls, and at times it can be all to easy to become judgmental of others’ parental shortcomings.
A woman on Reddit found herself facing this dilemma after she got angry at her brother and his husband for not being prepared for their daughter’s first period.
The Original Poster (OP), who goes by throPeriodAita on the site, wasn’t sure about how she handled the situation, she she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for input.
“AITA for calling my brother and his husband stupid for not preparing for their daughters first period”
“I can’t believe I’m actually writing this, but here we go.”
“The people in this story are me (F[emale] 32), my twin brother ‘Kevin’, his husband ‘Cole’ (M[ale] 31) and their adopted daughter ‘Kelly’ (F10).”
“Kevin and Cole got married 6 years ago and adopted Kelly two years later when she was 6.”
“So a few nights ago, at around 9 pm, I get a call from Kevin, who’s majorly freaking out, because Kelly got her first period.”
“Turns out he and Cole didn’t prepare for this happening AT ALL, so not only do they not have any pads ready, they also have never talked to Kelly about this, meaning they now have a hysteric 10 year old in their bathroom freaking the fu*k out because she’s bleeding. So I do what every aunt would do, grab a pack of pads and make my way over to their place.”
“I get to their apartment, shoo the guys out of the bathroom and have the period talk with Kelly. She calms down somewhat, explain how to change the pad to her and then tug her back into bed, since it was past 10 by that point. Afterwards I sat down for a cup of coffee with Kevin and Cole. This is were the conflict starts.”
“They thanked me for coming over so fast, I said it’s no big deal. Then I ask why they weren’t prepared for this to happen. Kevin explains that they thought they’d have more time, to which I say that was stupid since the first period can happen as early as nine years old.”
“Kevin got defensive and said that he googled (Are you serious man?) and the average age to get it was 12, so they expected it to be around that age. I felt like facepalming.”
“At this point Kevin and I get more heated in our argument until Cole tells us to either stop or have the argument elsewhere because they have a sleeping kid here. We agree that we should calm down and discuss this later.”
“Two days later, I meet up with Cole and Kevin again, Kelly obviously in School. I once again said that not preparing was stupid, Kevin says they had good reason to believe it would be later and that I’m too harsh on them. I tell them that they are supposed to be this girl’s parents and that situations like these aren’t optimal.”
“Cole says I have a point, but Kevin is still defensive. He says that they’re trying their best, but their still just people and I get that, but this is basic Daughter stuff. We argue again for a bit, but eventually just apologize to each other and promise to try and do better next time. At this point, we’re not mad at each other anymore, but we still both believe to be in the right.”
“Which is why I’m here. Was I wrong here? I feel like I wasn’t.”
Redditors were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this conflict based on the following categories:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
And most of them agreed that everyone’s actions were understandable in this situation, even if OP didn’t handle it quite perfectly.
“While your brother probably should have been more prepared and should have been more appreciative of your help, it’s not really helpful of you to be calling him stupid.”
“He messed up, but hammering home his lack of preparation won’t make it any better. Being a parent is hard, and being a parent to an adopted child comes with additional challenges.” —teamwithsocrates
“Overall, NAH I think although I’m slightly tempted by a light YTA. You had a point about being prepared but lots of parents make the mistake of not expecting it so young so calling them stupid was a bit harsh.”
“It certainly wasn’t necessary and Google is most people’s start point for information so I don’t think it’s like they never cared. It seems like you’ve all owned your parts in the conflict and resolved it sensibly.” —PinkGinFairy
“Puberty is starting earlier these days, but the default expected age to men is likely still around the 12-13 mark. Hell, I was 14/15. It can start as early as 8/9, but that’s rare enough and 10 is still on the early end of the normal range.”
“I’m not surprised they thought they had more time. Should’ve, could’ve, would’ve on the mistake, mistakes happen in parenting, especially with a first child. Calling them stupid was probably not the nicest way to handle it, but glad you could sort out the poor kid.” —RandomPotato43
After reading her fellow Redditors’ responses, OP returned with some updates.
“EDIT: I have read as many responses as I could for the last couple hours, responded to some and taken a lot of view points into consideration. I now realize calling them stupid was a bad choice of words and that bringing it up again was unnecessary.”
“I sent Kevin an apology text and asked him to meet up when he and Cole have time so we can discuss other things they need to know going forward. He responded in kind.”
“There’s also a few things I think I need to add since people have made some claims:”
“First off, multiple people have mentioned that Kevin’s defensiveness might have been a response born from experiencing homophobia in regards to same sex parenting. I didn’t even think about this and I feel awful. I’ll have to buy the two of them a muffin basket for this alone.”
“I also don’t think Kev and Cole are bad parents. On the contrary, I think they’re doing great. This situation was a big mistake on their part, but that doesn’t mean I think they’re incompetent. I neglected to show this both to them in person and in this post, which is something I need to get better at.”
“I would also like to point out that Kevin and I have always been close. This is a bigger argument, but there is no way in hell we won’t get through this.”
“To finish this edit off, I want to thank everyone who recommended books and additional readings that Cole, Kevin and I as a unit can use to help Kelly along as she grows up.”
“Thank you all for your advise.”
Good on all of the adults here for being able to overcome their differences for Kelly’s sake.