Bringing children into this world is an extremely big decision.
A decision people should never take lightly, as one should always decide whether or not they are capable of giving children the love and attention they need and deserve.
With that in mind, one can only admire those brave enough to bring children into this world, as well.
Redditor throwawaydnsnssnsn and her husband fell into the latter company, making a definitive decision that having children was not part of their life plan.
But things took a complicated turn when the original poster (OP) was asked by her sister to care for her niece for an unspecified amount of time.
Something the OP agreed to do despite her husband’s outspoken protests.
Wondering if she was out of line for doing so, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA).
She asked the sub:
“AITA for taking in my niece despite my husbands complaints even though we are childfree?”
The OP explained how she felt she had no choice but to come to her sister’s aid and watch her niece, even if it meant directly defying her husband.
“25 F[emale] and 27 M[ale].”
“Niece is 3 years old.”
“My sister asked me if we would take her daughter since she had to go out of town for a surgical procedure, and wouldn’t be able to care for her daughter while she recovers.”
“I ran this by my husband who immediately said no and shook his head.”
“I said it was my niece, and that just because we weren’t really fans of having kids ourselves doesn’t mean we can’t do a favor for family.”
“It ended in an argument but I ended up taking her anyways.”
“He refuses to do anything with her.”
“This isn’t the first time they’ve met, he’s just never really interacted with her, which I don’t expect him to, but when I brought up that he could have a better attitude about this he just said that I shouldn’t have brought a kid into our home.”
“He also went on a rant that because of this I’m probably going to change my mind about having kids, and he won’t put up with that.”
“Said that he will divorce me if I even suggest it.”
“My niece hasn’t even been much of a problem, in fact, she’s usually quiet unless she’s hungry or tired.”
“Yes she gets into stuff and makes messes but I assume that’s pretty standard toddler behavior.”
“I don’t understand why he’s so angry, since it’s not like he’s having to do anything.”
“I should add that she’ll only be here for about a week and a half, maybe longer if my sister has complications but we don’t know yet.”
“Also, I told him he should have a better attitude towards her because I read that kids can tell when you don’t like them, and being away from her mom is already hard enough for her.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community generally agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for taking in her niece, even if it was behind her husband’s back. Just about everyone agreed that the OP had no other choice but to temporarily take in her niece, as it was the right thing to do.
They also found her husband’s behavior alarming to the point of disconcerting, with a few questioning if the OP should remain in this marriage.
“You didn’t ‘take her in’ you’re just babysitting for a week or two.”
“And your husband’s idea that babysitting will somehow make you change your mind about wanting kids is silly, and a bit paranoid.”
“You’re an adult, you know your mind, and you’re old enough to have spent enough time around children to know what caring for a child means.”
“You can do so when necessary, and you know whether or not you want to long-term.”
“Frankly, his idea that you’d be that likely to change your mind, just from doing a favor for your sister, is insulting to you.”
“He also doesn’t get to say he won’t ‘put up with’ you changing your mind.”
“If you DO change your mind, that’s your right.”
“He doesn’t have to stay, but he doesn’t get to say he won’t put up with you having your own mind about things.”- Jazzlike_Humor3340
“OP did a favor for her sister, who is having a complicated surgery.”
“I’m sure the sister tried finding other means of child care.”
“This is what family does for one another.”
“Doesn’t mean she is entitled to do it but OP has the empathy to do so, which OP’s husband is seriously lacking.”- coffee-cats101
“I think, hope, you have learned something very important about the man you have married.”-Queen_Sized_Beauty
“I’d be pretty upset for my partner telling me that I can’t help out my sister in a tough situation like that.”
“It’s not like it’s permanent.”
“For no real reason apart from him not liking kids.”
“This isn’t a social visit, it’s a family ’emergency’.”
“Maybe not urgent, but still vulnerable.”
“And then the comments about divorcing at the mention of wanting kids?”
“That’s a big leap.”
“Shows where his head at (spoiler: not focused on sisters surgery and well-being of niece).”
“And just a pretty AH thing to say in general.”
“I’d say NTA.”- Ceecee_soup
“Your sister didn’t go on vacation!”
“She had a medical procedure and needed your help.”
“You’re a great sister but I just wish your husband was more empathetic and less of a jerk!”-Future-Jury8212
“You’re helping your sister out while she’s recovering from what seems like a major surgical procedure.”
“It’s not like it’s months of babysitting.”
To get that upset and also throw around the divorce like it’s nothing if you state you want kids, sounds like your husband needs to know how to compromise.”
“Not on having kids, because we’re childfree and I get that.”
“But being able to compromise on things like this.”- Crazymtdewluvr
“Your niece is probably terrified of your husband going by she’s so quiet.”
“Kids pick up on things.”-GennyNels
“It’s just babysitting.”
“You and your husband can still be childfree without being allergic to children.”
“NTA but your husband is.”
“If you have niblings in your life then just consider how he’s going to treat them over time.”
“How much can you tolerate?”- Individual_Baby_2418
“Who’s the baby here, your niece or your husband?”- bluewolf6000
“From the title, it felt like, god forbid, your niece had become an orphan or so and you had to take her in to raise.”
“But this is literally an emergency and temporary.”
‘You are doing your sister a favor and your husband is acting just so petty.”
“I’ll be honest with you, but the moment he threatened with divorce I’d lawyer up and divorce him.’
“He can throw his tantrums elsewhere.”- jasemina8487
“I’m 35 F, childfree.”
“I have spent weeks at a time with all of my nieces.”
“When my sister had her second child I kept my niece for three weeks because she had a C-section with complications.”
“That’s what families do.”
“Your husband is very selfish.”- ugkfl
“Your husband sounds like a real peach.”
“Your sister needs surgery FFS.”
“Is your husband this inflexible most of the time?”
“There a huge difference between not wanting to raise a child for two decades and helping a family in need for a short period of time.”- jenniw3g
“You went from 0 kids to 2 real quick.”
“You are just babysitting, not changing your entire lifestyle.”
“Next time I suggest you stay at your sister’s house for the time you need to babysit so he isn’t inconvenienced.’
“But for this time he could be less of a jerk about it.”- pudge-thefish
“Just because you chose a childfree life, doesn’t mean your personality has to be hating children.”
“I don’t think you should bring your niece around your husband anymore, the kid might develop some serious issues in the future because of his behavior towards her, and it might also affect her relationship with you in the future.”- Professional_Task956
“It’s a family member.”
“People here who are angry at that are ridiculous.”
“The parent is having a medical procedure and needs help.”
“He should care enough for that.”
“It sounds like he is angrier that you’ll change your mind on kids than he is on the little one actually being there.”
“He may be taking this as a sign you are ‘hinting’ at wanting kids.”
“If the man can’t see how helping family is important, it may be time to have a talk.”
“That’s what this boils down to and his being a child.”
“He is definitely the AH.”- its_batgirl
One could argue that all decisions regarding a household should be a mutual decision.
At the same time, it’s hard to sympathize with the OP’s husband, as his wife was helping her sister out during an emergency.
Not wanting childre and not helping with children are two very different things.
One can only wonder if the OP’s husband has any nephews or nieces, and how he might behave should the tables have been turned.