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Childfree Woman Balks After Husband Asks Her To Quit Her Job To Help Raise His Daughter’s Baby

People holding a baby
Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Redditor Late-Satisfaction228 was recently faced with a quandary regarding her husband and stepdaughter.

The Original Poster (OP) is intentionally childfree and was upfront about that decision when she met her husband.

Recently, the OP’s stepdaughter had a baby, and now the OP is getting pressured to quit her job to take care of that baby.

This drove the OP to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA).

She asked:

“AITA for refusing to help my step daughter with her baby?”

She went on to explain.

“I [Female age 38] married my husband Sam [Male age 47] five years ago. Sam always knew I did not want to have children of my own. He was fine with it.”

“He has a daughter Leah [Female age 25]. His wife died when Leah was 10 years old and I met him when she was 15.”

“I didn’t meet her till after a year of dating. She was a sweet young adult, and we got along great. I did not move in with Sam till Leah left for college though.”

“Leah got pregnant last year. Her boyfriend did not want to keep the baby but she wanted to keep it. He broke up with her.”

“Leah moved back in with us cause she could not afford her lifestyle without him. She worked as a teacher, and he was the breadwinner.”

“I had concerns about how she was going to raise a child on a teacher’s salary by herself. I suggested getting him to pay child support. She did not want that.”

“Sam thought I should stay out of it. Fine.”

“But once she had the baby around 4 months back, Leah seemed to realize having a baby is not the sunshine and rainbows she thought it was.”

“She barely got any sleep during the last four months. All the while Sam was helping her with the baby while I did almost all the chores myself.”

“Now her leave is ending. She did not want to leave the baby at daycare or with a nanny. Sam and I both work as well.”

“She asked if I could stay home with the baby. I said no. First, it is not my baby, and I never wanted to raise a child. Second, I have work.”

“She asked Sam who asked me to do it instead. I refused, stating the reasons again. Sam couldn’t stay home because he earned more than me and covered more bills.”

“I asked why Leah can’t stay home with the baby herself. She said how she was young and had to build a career.”

“I said many people take breaks to raise kids, and she broke down crying about how she was so tired all the time being a mom and she needed something else in her life too.”

“Sam feels bad for her and thinks we should help her. I suggested she pay for nanny with her income, but Leah doesn’t want strangers looking after her baby.”

“Both of them are pressuring me to stay home with the baby so she can go to work. I am standing firm on my decision.”

“Leah said yesterday how she wished her mom was alive since she would have had her back. She said I didn’t love her, and my husband is also mad at me.”

“AITA for refusing to help my stepdaughter with her baby?”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided: 

“NTA. She didn’t ask you to help she asked you to pretty much give up your career and raise your step grand child!”

“Help would have been if she said, ‘Can you see about maybe watching the baby when my school has evening staff meetings?’”

“Or ‘Can you and dad maybe work out your schedules so the baby spends as little time in day care like doing a late start for work and dropping her off on the way to work and I can pick her up after school?’”

“Many day care centers give discounts to teachers because they know how hard they work and little they get paid.”

“Also, once she knew she was going to keep the baby, that was when she should have started asking her coworkers and friends for child care recommendations.”

“(I wouldn’t say that to her now as I am sure she knows it).”

“Explain to her that you are not refusing to help with your granddaughter but that you need to focus on your career as well and that you will help her come up with a plan.”

“She needs to find reliable child care for when she is teaching during the day, and I am sure someone at the school can help her.”

“She needs to get child support from her ex to help pay for the costs (it’s his child too, and he can pay child support without having visitation rights).”

“You and your husband should then sit down with her and figure out a good childcare option for when she is working…”

“…and what emergency plans will be if say she has to stay late for a staff meeting or travel overnight for a conference.”

“I can 100% guarantee you her late mother would agree with this.”

“Also don’t take to heart what she is saying: postpartum depression can be very difficult to cope with and I promise she still likes you and is just dealing with a lot right now.” – Difficult_Safe_9155

“NTA. This is Leah’s baby that she alone chose to have. That doesn’t obligate you to change YOUR life to suit her desires.”

“The whole business of saying you don’t love her because you won’t quit your job to watch her baby is so manipulative and messed up and i’m shocked your husband is siding with her.”

“If I were you I’d sit down privately with husband and remind him that Leah is the one who chose to have this baby, and she is solely responsible for it…”

“…that you never signed up to be a full time babysitter and it’s unreasonable to expect you to quit your job…”

“…and that you’re disappointed and hurt that he does not understand that.” – Stranger0nReddit

“NTA You were told to stay out of it – none of these choices are yours, she didn’t want to get child support etc. Now she’s trying to leave you will all the consequences of her decisions.”

“Stand your ground. You’re not going to give up your career and raise someone else’s child. You’re going to be the free baby sister for most of the kid’s life if you go down this path.” – LePetitPorc


“Your husband and Leah are acting like this baby was somehow part of your responsibilities. He’s not, not even a little bit.”

“If Leah needs childcare, she has to trust a nanny or sacrifice her career for the baby. She can’t guilt-trip you into playing her role as a mother and give up your job for someone else’s child.”

“Let her fend for herself and assume her responsibilities. Your husband should teach her to act like an adult instead of confusing you with the baby’s dad or something.”

“You don’t have to be a SAHM for someone else’s baby while the real mother builds her career. That’s the sacrifice parents make, not you.”

“She could have asked the father to be a SAHD, but he’s no longer in the picture. Expecting this of her stepmother is way out of line.” – Ousmousse

“NTA. Especially in the face of all this pressure and manipulation to give up your work/career at only 38 years of age and raise a baby while you had been clear you never wanted babies.”

“This isn’t ‘helping stepdaughter with baby.’”

“This is a full-on giving up your life for something you’ve never wanted to do so that your stepdaughter could have a life instead of raising her own baby she insisted on having.”

“No. I mean — if this continues, I’d consult a divorce lawyer.” – Content-Plenty-268

“Leah is incredibly immature. No child support, when she has two people to support on a teacher’s salary. Incredibly naive budgeting decision.”

“Her child needs the money. I don’t want my child raised by strangers, so now it’s step Moms problem. It sounds like she is never moving out, and hubby has her back, not yours.”

“I wouldn’t quit my job to raise my children’s children just like my Mom didn’t quit her job to raise mine. NTA. Good luck, you are going to need it to keep living with them” – Nervous_Hippo8855


“1. She doesn’t want him to pay child support? WTF? It’s his responsibility too. If she doesn’t want to use that money now, she can put it into a college fund for the child’s future.”

“2. No having kids is not all sunshine and roses. Sam helped her while you did all the household chores? Great so you already help with the baby.”

“3. She is tired of being a mom all the time after four months? Errr… while I get that she needs something beside that, it’s HER responsibility to figure something out.”

“She asked you. That’s OK. You said no. End of it.”

“She asked her dad. Dad said no. End of it. Now she has to make the choice of what is more important to her: no strangers around baby or her career.”

“4. As hard as this sounds, but she can wish all she wants that her mom was still alive. That’s not the reality. And she has no idea what her mom would have done in this situation.”

“5. Besides, YOU actually have her back. Just not in the way she wants.”

“‘She said I didn’t love her – wow manipulative much?” – Wolfmoon-123

The OP wrote a follow-up post about how things played out.

“First of all, thank you for your support. I needed it more than I realised.”

“Your replies, advices and suggestions gave me a lot to think about. I was taking this situation independently and not really seeing the whole picture.”

“I had some tough conversations with my husband and step daughter. I showed my husband the post and replies. He was upset I posted about this in social media, but I convinced him it’s anonymous and we would not have any ramifications.”

“The sad truth is, even with overwhelming number of NTAs, he refused to see the point. He accepts I have always been true about my boundaries. But he still needs me to step up and help out more. Be more understanding.”

I” realised the fact is he sees his daughter as his babygirl and me as the adult in this situation. So he needs me to act like an adult and support the child. I tried to make him realise she is not a child, she made her own decisions and she needs to be an adult. He says I won’t get how a parent would feel and he needs to be there for her.”

“I realised his long term plan is to keep supporting her as long as he can and she wants it. To be frank, I sort of respect his stand. A father wanting to be there for his daughter and wanting to live for her is admirable. But that is not the life I envisioned. Loving grandmother that babysit occasionally? Sure. But raising Leah AND her baby? Nope.”

“Before we decided on anything extreme we had a talk with Leah as well. To know what her plans are. We revisited the topic of Child Support and this time her dad was adamant to know why. Your replies made him concerned, I think.”

“Well apparently the reason is Leah is still in love with him. She is scared pushing a court case and responsibility on him, on a decision she made will scare him away. She is still holding on to hope he will come back.”

“We don’t think she is being realistic. But have decided to table that talk for later since Sam is anyway ready to fund the baby’s life. And child support can be demanded with back pay when she decides to follow up.”

“We offered her multiple solutions. Such has lesser work hours, career change, nanny, daycare. She did not accept any offer. She loves the school she works at and does not want to leave it. She claims reducing hours will impact her career trajectory and since she wants to work, she might as well work full time. She does not want to leave baby with strangers (nanny/daycare) and is refusing to hear it. She wants her baby to grow up with family feeling loved, and she can’t be at peace unless she knows one of us is with the baby.”

“Sam is refusing to cut down hours himself since he can’t afford bills himself. Let me clarify. He had refinanced this house to pay for her college education, did not want her to have any loans. I had suggested we downsize from this three-bedroom house to a one-bedroom one, we can both afford. He wanted to have space for his daughter. I understood that but I couldn’t afford to pay for it. We came to a understanding I wouldn’t pay for it and won’t have any rights to the house either. That is his biggest payment. We split rest of expense proportionate to our income till Leah moved back in.”

“She doesn’t help financially. I contributed to normal day-to-day expenses but all baby related expenses are being met by Sam. If Sam stops working or reduce hours, he won’t be able to do all these. I would take up being the winner but we would have to downsize and Leah would atleast have to cover all baby-related expenses herself. Neither of them wants that.”

“The conclusion of all discussions were the same. They needed me to stay home with baby. Sam wouldn’t be putting anything to my savings or retirement funds cause he won’t have funds for that. He also thinks it isn’t necessary since I can just go back to work when baby starts school.”

“Long story short, I left. Packed all my clothes and stuff, out everything I have heard in my car, and is now crashing at a friend’s home. I don’t have any rights to the house or own any furniture there, so leaving was easy.”

“I have booked an appointment with my lawyer. I think this is the best decision I can take for myself.”

“Both Sam and Leah called me selfish AH for leaving. I guess it will have to be this way.”

We applaud the OP for keeping such a level head in this situation and for doing what she felt was best for herself and her own future.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)