Making decisions as a parent isn’t always an easy thing to do.
This is doubly true when you’re dealing with a blended household or when there are more than two parents involved.
So, what happens when you make a decision another of the parents reacts poorly to that choice?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Throwawayll2h when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for braiding my stepdaughter’s hair without her mother’s permission?”
OP began by the background.
“I (29 female) have been married to my husband(29) for 2 years.”
“He has a 7-year-old daughter from a previous relationship and we also have an 11-month-old daughter together.”
Including some insight into her perceptions of the ex’s character.
“My husband and his ex aren’t on good terms, because she’s very controlling and a bit crazy.”
“I therefore have never had contact with her. I’ve never spoken to her and don’t have her contact info. Everything regarding his daughter goes through email or his attorney.”
“I’m Afro-Caribbean, my husband and his daughter are white. I often braid my 11-month olds hair with beads on the end of her hair. My stepdaughter had been constantly asking if she could have the same hairstyle as her sister.”
“I told her no every time, but last Thursday she told me she wanted beads like her sister, so they could be real sisters.”
“It really touched my heart and didn’t want her to feel left out.”
“I braided two front pieces of her hair. She’s was beaming with joy, it made her absolutely ecstatic to finally have her sister’s hairstyle.”
“I wanted to take the braids out before she went back to her mom, but she refused and became very upset.”
“My husband told me it was okay, and her mother will take it out.”
Everything was fine, until…
“Her mother was not okay with me braiding her hair and we received an angry email from her.”
“In the email she wrote that she had to cut off her hair because she couldn’t take the beads out.”
“She also threatened to call cps on us and take full custody. I feel really guilty for braiding her hair.”
“Her mother cut her hair and it’s my fault, should’ve never braided her hair without her mom’s permission.”
“She probably doesn’t know how to take out these type of hairstyles and I should’ve known that.”
“on the other hand, I couldn’t force her to take them out.”
“It of course also would’ve sucked if I took out the braids against her will.”
“I feel really sorry for her and my husband. They absolutely don’t deserve to go through this again.”
OP was left to wonder,
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
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
Many pointed out that there were other alternatives to cutting the girl’s hair off.
“NTA – Her mother did NOT have to cut her hair.”
“A simple Google search (or an email to you, which she clearly is fine with) would have given her everything she needed to resolve the situation.”
“Another option would have been to just leave the braids in.”
“She’s creating drama where there doesn’t need to be any because of her bruised ego. I feel very bad for your stepdaughter that her mother can’t see past her own feelings for the good of her child.” ~ BeepBlipBlapBloop
“Also this is the age of the internet, she could google it or watch a video… or even take her to a salon if she really didn’t want to ask OP.”
“The fact that she chose to cut her daughter’s hair and probably emotional harm her out of spite tells you everything you need to know about the ex.” ~ glegleglo
“YouTube could show her how too. She could have taken her to a beauty shop.”
“She could have called you and simple asked. I’m sure there are even more options besides cutting her hair. NTA You did nothing wrong.” ~ No-You5550
Others felt bio-mother was just being cruel.
“Also taking braids out is not hard, even with beads in.”
“Putting in braids is a skill that takes practice, even more when it’s a more complex braid and has beads.”
“But taking them out just takes some patience. Any parent who bothered to try could do it without even needing a tutorial.”
“The mom didn’t try. I guarantee she got mad and then just cut the hair out of spite, or to try and turn the daughter against OP. It’s an awful thing for her to do.”
“I feel awful for OP and even more awful for the daughter.”
“(P.S. OP if you happen to see this, I would buy some lightweight plastic beads in similar colours to the ones you use on your daughter “
“- that way you can put them in her daughters hair without risking any damage. Let her have the braids to match her sister when she’s with you, and just insist on taking them out before she leaves.”
“It’s so sweet that she wants to match her little sister – please don’t take that away from them just because bio-mom wants to spite you.)” ~ robot428
“That’s my issue.”
“My sister and I got our hair braided a few times on vacation as kids on vacation in the Caribbean in the 90’s and our mom figured out how to get the braids out.”
“And I have really fine, curly hair. No cutting necessary.”
“And that was full heads of braids. This was what? 2 little braids? Ex- was trying to make a thing.” ~ rak1882
“Even if she was too dumb to use Google or email OP:”
“Why would you have to cut off the whole strand to get rid of a tie at the bottom of a strand of hair??”
“You’d have to cut off a tiny amount of hair at the bottom! Cutting off all of the hair was done out of pure spite.” ~ InsipidCelebrity
Some pointed out that this could be something far worse.
“‘That sounds like child abuse to me honestly'”
“It does to me, too.”
“Does anyone else remember the story of the divorced man in Ohio who got his daughter a boyish cut after her mother got her highlights in her long hair for her 13th birthday?”
“That guy lost custody over the incident.”
“Save any communications, OP, and take pictures.”
“It sounds like this poor little girl’s mother may do enough nasty things that sooner or later you and your DH could get total custody.”
“NTA” ~ Swedishpunsch
“The mother’s reaction (cutting her hair) would be a red flag for CPS, not braiding it since you can actually reverse it. She is delusional” ~ MayoBear
“She cut her child’s hair because she wanted to fight with her ex-husband and her husband’s new partner.”
“Even if the braids were hard to take off does she live like a caveperson that she has no access to the internet?”
“Could she not have called you to ask or could she not have called her child’s father to ask? This person is someone who uses her child as a tool to make her ex-husbands life miserable simply because she is no longer in his life.”
“Let her call CPS they will take her child away from her for cutting her hair, for trying to use her as a weapon against her father. She is bluffing.”
“A good parent cares about their child she is talking with her hurt ego as a woman because she no longer has this man in her life.”
“Don’t think too much about it.”
“Talk to your husband and if necessary get a good lawyer. Your stepdaughter was vocal enough to ask for braids she can say what happened.”
“Also there is no doubt her mother is telling her your child is not her real sibling.”
“Assure her that they are real sisters.”
“Would there be a possible racist undertone to this as well?”
“Just make sure that she is okay and really give her love and communicate a lot with your husband about this because you never know with people that are bitter about things they cannot have.”
“This has nothing to do with you or the child it has more to do with her and her ex-husband.” ~ ChimiJae123
Others pointed to old-fashioned ulterior motives.
“I see her actions as a calculated attempt to distance her daughter from you and your husband.”
‘”Oh you don’t like your hair now? Blame OP and Dad, they put the braids in your hair, they’re the reason I had to cut your hair off.”‘
“A text to your husband or a quick Google would have shown her how to remove the braids, her actions were carefully chosen to try to ruin your relationship with your daughter and create distance/discontent while showing both of you that she’s ‘in charge'”.
“She’s a nasty piece of work.” ~ R_Mack
Choices have consequences.
When someone tries to inflate the consequences of a choice to specifically hurt someone, that’s a sign that there are deeper problems.