There are some milestones all parents simply can’t wait to witness.
Seeing their children appear in their first sports match, school play or concert, seeing them graduate from high school and college, and seeing them get married.
But of course, the milestone all parents look forward to first and foremost is being present for the birth of their first child.
Something Redditor Alfredd6 managed to miss.
And while the original poster (OP) felt that he had a more than valid excuse for missing this once-in-a-lifetime moment, his wife and in-laws thought otherwise.
Not helping matters one bit were the OP’s claims that his father was the one responsible for his absence.
Still thinking that he did do the correct and responsible thing, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for missing my daughters birth?”
The OP explained how his work and family situation kept him from being there for his wife as she went into labor, effectively ruining a day he and his wife had been looking forward to for years.
“For a little background information, I (28 M[ale]) have a beautiful wife (27 F[emale]).”
“We’ve been trying for a baby for about 3 years now, and have known each other since we were in high school.”
“When my wife found out she was pregnant, we were thrilled and have been getting prepared for months now.”
“She’s 9 months pregnant.”
“My dad is a real a**hole, but he keeps me employed.”
“He owns a pretty nice Italian restaurant that has been run by my family for decades.”
“I’ve worked there since I was about 15 and I am now head chef.”
“The problem is, he treats his employees pretty bad, including me, and if you even miss one shift you get demoted or even worse fired.”
“I was in the middle of a very hectic shift on the busiest day of the week when my MIL called saying my wife went into labor and I needed to get to the hospital right away.”
“When I asked my dad if I could go he said ‘you can go if you’re ok with being unemployed’ which I couldn’t risk because after the baby was born my wife would be off work for quite a while to be a stay-at-home mom.”
“The reason my dad was so mad at the idea of me leaving was that he was understaffed and really needed my help.”
“When I tried calling my MIL, she wouldn’t pick up so I just kept working and I thought could explain myself later.”
“Later when it was time to go home I drove to the hospital but MIL and her sisters refused to let me in the room and called me names like ‘a bad father and a bad husband’.”
“When it was finally time to leave the hospital my wife and newborn baby went home with MIL and they haven’t spoken to me in days even when I try and apologize and explain myself.”
“I thought I was doing the right thing but I need to know, 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 OP found little to no sympathy from the Reddit community for missing the birth of his first child, who unanimously agreed he was the a**hole for doing so.
Everyone agreed that since the OP knew that his father was a bad employer who treated his staff poorly.
He should have taken his refusal to let him leave for the birth of his first child as the cue he needed to quit, and his wife and child should have been the clear priority.
“So when are you going to start looking for a new job?”- Typical_Golf3922
“You had cards in your hand, son.”
“You forgot to play them.”
“You should have taken your knives and said, ‘good luck with never seeing your grandchild, then’ and disappeared into the night.”
“You had all the aces.”
“Him facing his wife for saying that.”
“Their being the grandparents, you knowing all the recipes and how to follow them.”
“You just didn’t play them because you were afraid.”
“Getting one more saltimbocca out is not worth missing your child’s birth for.”
“You did wrong.”- Aggravating_Net6733
“You had 9 months, and even years, since you’ve been planning to have a child for a long time even before your wife became pregnant, to make contingency plans and work out with your dad how to keep the restaurant staffed during your daughter’s birth.”
“You apparently failed to take even cursory steps to plan for time off around the time of the birth.”
“That’s a serious failure as a parent.”
“What was your plan?”
“Were you going to leave your recovering wife home with a newborn and never take any time off to help her and to bond with your child?”- puppyfarts99
“Restaurants everywhere are looking for staff.”
“You’d find a new job in a kitchen in a MINUTE.”
“You should have grown a pair and left to see your child born.”- TenaciousNarwhal
“If you are a head chef at a popular restaurant there is nothing stopping you from getting a job at another restaurant.”- HairyPairatestes
“Grow a backbone.”
“You left your wife to go through one of the hardest things without you because you can’t set boundaries.”
“And you didn’t even have the decency to let her know you weren’t coming.”
“Obviously your dad is the biggest a**hole.”
“But you’re a close second for allowing this and for basically abandoning your wife with no explanation.”- Britsgirl30
“The answer to you can’t leave is ‘if you ever expect to see your grandchild, I suggest you modify your tone and say good luck to me.'”- GoodAcanthocephala95
“I’m going to offer some advice.”
“Don’t try to explain yourself.”
“In this case that will seem like you trying to shift the responsibility of this off onto your dad being an a**hole.”
“And you know what, he sounds it.”
“But you actively chose not to be there for her when she went into labor.”
“And explaining your reasons, again and again, will never give her the support of her husband that she expected when she went into labor the first time.”
“Women die in childbirth.”
“Sometimes they have to have surgery.”
“It’s scary and painful and hard and that was one of the moments in life you were meant to be there for her.”
“She had to do it without you and you can never undo that.”
“I’m saying YTA for that reason.”
“Your dad may be an a**hole, but you agreed to do what he wanted.”- maggienetism
“YTA and so is your father.”
“What kind of AH makes his own son miss the birth of his child?”- Admirable_Bad3862
“What do you plan to do if there is ever an emergency with your child and no one else is available?”
“Or even if others are available, what if your daughter needed YOU, her father, to comfort, protect and nurture her?”
“Consider getting a new job, your father is an a**hole and you’ve picked him over your family and every time you give into his threats, he gets stronger and has more power against you.”- turdennis
“In the 9 months you’ve been preparing for this baby, why wasn’t finding a new job a priority preparation?”
“Because you have to realize that this kind of setup isn’t sustainable in the long run if you want to have a family.”
“My guess is that for your wife it wasn’t just that you missed the birth but that in doing so you gave her a picture of what her life as a mother would be like with you.”
“She and your child will never be a priority.’
“AH daddy will snap his fingers and that will be it.”
“How many big moments will you miss, how much of the everyday grind of childcare will you miss?”
“This job is a choice.”
“You didn’t miss the birth of your child and fail to be the support your wife needed during a typically physically traumatic life-and-death event because you had to, you could have found a new job long ago.”
“So why haven’t you?”
“What about working for your abusive father is so important to you as to risk your new family?”-Potential-Educator-6
“You need to look for a new job.”
“This won’t stop as your baby grows up.”
“When you have parent-teacher conferences, games to watch, dances to chaperone, your dad will be the centerpiece of every excuse why you can’t go and soon your wife and kids will not accept that excuse.”
“She didn’t accept it now.”
“Do your new family -and you- the biggest favor you could ever do and get a new job.”
“I understand the pressure of parents and manipulation, but frankly your dad is the AH for knowing your situation and putting your family’s future at risk for his business.”- burnttchicknug
If there’s anyone more excited for a baby’s arrival than the parents, it’s the grandparents, making the behavior of the OP’s father all the more shocking.
One can’t help but pity the OP, as he will likely regret missing his daughter’s birth for the rest of his life.
One can only hope that he took this unfortunate experience as the wake-up call he needed to seriously re-evaluate if it’s worth working for his father.