It’s never a good idea to criticize someone’s parenting style.
Barring instances of abuse, one should always think very carefully before criticizing the way people raise their children, however different it might be from their own.
This is especially true with siblings, and Redditor saidtomysis found himself coming head-to-head with his sister when she openly objected to some parenting choices regarding his daughter.
Concerned he didn’t handle the situation in an appropriate manner, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for bringing up my sister’s failed marriage when she judged my parenting?”
The OP first shared the unfortunate situation which led to his older sister, as well as one of his nephews, to temporarily move in with him and his daughter.
“My sister Julie (48 f[emale]) is recently separated from her husband and she didn’t have a place to stay since he kicked her out.”
“Reason is she was caught having an affair.”
“I’m (29 m[ale]) not happy about what she did but I guess she’s still my sister, you know ,so for now she’s staying here with my 13 yr old nephew.”
“Her oldest is with his dad and doesn’t wanna see her at all.”
The OP then disclosed his daughter has reached an important stage in her life and his sister was surprised by how he was handling it.
“My daughter is 11, and she’s already having her periods.”
“Her mom’s not around so she’s with me full time.”
“We only have one bathroom so she keeps her pads there because it’s more convenient obviously.”
“Julie’s older so I know she has a different thinking.”
“She’s been super judgy about it.”
“When she first saw them she gave the pads to my daughter and told her ‘those stay in your room, honey, everyone else uses the bathroom too’.”
“I asked ‘her wtf??’ “
“My daughter is allowed to have them there.”
“Julie thinks it’s not appropriate to have her pads there because other people could see them.”
“Then she didn’t want to hear my argument because I’m a guy and just don’t understand.”
It was an issue the OP’s sister couldn’t drop, eventually coming to an unfortunately heated conclusion.
“My brothers and cousins are coming over later so we’re cleaning up a bit.”
“Again she tells my daughter she should put them in her room for now until everyone leaves.”
“I confronted her about it because it’s not even a big deal.”
“But it’s because everyone will know she’s on her period.”
“And I said there’s also toilet paper in the bathroom so everyone ‘knows’ people take a sh*t in this house, what does it matter if they know someone in the house is also having periods? “
“It’s not exactly this secret thing nobody knows about.”
“When she said she’s just caring about her niece since I’m not being a good father setting a proper example for her, I told her I’m not the one who imploded their kids lives for f*cking another man so she has no right telling me what kind of parent I am.”
“And that did not go well.”
“She called me a bunch of names and then she went to go cry in the guest room.”
“I’m still mad about what she said, obviously she thinks I was a huge asshole for what I said.”
“For bringing up the issues in her marriage right now that she’s in a vulnerable place.”
“Maybe because I’m mad it’s hard to see why I’d be TA when what I actually said was the truth, AITA?”
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 seemed to take the side of the OP, generally concluding that he was not the a**hole for the way he behaved towards his sister.
Many were even more shocked than the OP by her behavior, particularly as he was kind enough to take her and her amidst her very difficult situation.
“She thinks she’s being a great ‘parent’ by embarrassing your daughter( by the way, everybody stores pads in the bathroom), but gets mad at being called out as a shitty parent herself.”
“She is staying probably rent free in your house but cannot be polite?”
“Your sister is trying to teach your daughter to be ashamed of her normal bodily functions.”
“Put your daughter’s pads back in the bathroom and tell your sister if she doesn’t like it she can find somewhere else to live.”- elderpricetag.
“Does your sister also avoid groceries stores, drug stores and pharmacies because gasps she may see some feminine hygiene products?”
“At 48, your sister needs to grow up and stop shaming your daughter for being a girl.”
“She also doesn’t have a right to tell you and your daughter what to do in your own home.”
“She’s a guest.”
“Also the bathroom is where I keep my pads and tampons because that’s where they are used.”
“If my visitors want to go through my cabinets and learn I have periods, then they are welcome to do so.”
“They aren’t shameful things like your sister makes them out to be.”
“She called you a bad father.”
“You pointed out she’s a bad mom. “
“She shouldn’t judge others parenting if she can’t handle the judgement back.”
“She did negatively affect her kids by having an affair.”
“You didn’t say anything that wasn’t true, whereas she did.”
“Good job for standing up for your daughter.”
“Tell her to put the pads back in the bathroom where they belong.”- PotatoLover-3000
“NTA, but don’t blame it on her age.”
“I’m 53 and I don’t know anyone who thinks this way, including my own mom.”
“I don’t need them anymore (neither does my mom) but my kid does and we have some in all the bathrooms.”
“It’s nice for guests too, in case they need them.”- UrsaGeorge.
“NTA in my opinion.”
“If she doesn’t want someone to comment on her parenting don’t comment on others.”
“It’s your house and your daughter.”
“Honestly, where she keeps her pads should be up to the daughter and no one else.”-mlabchickidee.
“Your sister needs to get out of the 1950s and stop trying to shame your daughter.”
“It is her (your daughter ) house.”
“How dare your sister try to tell her she can’t have things in her bathroom.”- AppalachianEnvy.
“NTA in fact I would have went harder!”
“She has a lot of nerve and audacity to think she even has the right to put her two cents in like that when she did what she did.”
“She deserves to hear that.”
“Maybe that will shut her up.”-barbie245.
Others felt the need to make clear what an amazing father the OP was being, and that he was handling his daughter’s needs completely correctly, adding that leaving pads in the bathroom was a completely normal thing to do.
“Nta at all.”
“I hate stories where people try to vilify woman products like that.”
“Periods are completely natural and something that is always going to happen.”
“You are doing an amazing job with your daughter and she has no right to come in and try to do that parenting for you.”
“It’s also your house.”
“She has no say in where to put your daughter’s things.”- LegitimateBottle2343.
“Women in general and young teens in particular often feel embarrassed by their period.”
“What you are doing is letting your daughter know she has nothing to be embarrassed about.”
“Do not let her make your daughter be ashamed of her perfectly normal body functions.”-EastPractice2616.
“NTA and she is the guest.”
“You are an amazing Dad.”
“Your house your rules, she doesn’t care about anyone except herself that’s why she had an affair, she doesn’t get to parent your child.”- Sweet-Salt-1630.
“NTA- What the actual f*ck?”
“Historically menstruation products would be hidden so as to not offend the delicate mens and their feelings but you’ve just nixed that in the bud entirely.”
“I was once out to dinner (20ish at the time) and asked my mum for some panadol.”
“When people asked why I stated simply that I had my period and it was giving me a wicked headache.”
“Oh, boy! Did that set my aunt off.”
“Never mind the fact that 50% of the people at that table actively menstruated regularly, and the other men were all sexually active with partners (75% of the men were also fathers).”
“Ruined dinner, I did. 😂😂😂.”
“You’re fine. You’re more than fine.”
“You’re doing so good by your daughter to teach her no shame in periods.”- kirstieiris
There were also a handful who felt that the way his sister behaved opened the door for the OP to ask her to leave his house.
“Letting your sister stay long term is likely to result in her feeling entitled to pull more shit like that.”
“NTA but more importantly big sis needs to move out soon.”-pinguthegreek.
It’s hard to imagine how the OP’s sister could have possibly felt the need to behave that way, particularly when her brother took her in and initially chose to ignore her past decisions.
Here’s hoping she might not take her brother’s generosity for granted going forward and their relationship remains salvageable.