We are all entitled to our beliefs.
What foods are appropriate, how to dress, the best opening line of a comedy show.
We are not, however, entitled to force that belief on someone else.
So what happens when your own family tries to do just that?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Economy-Writing-332 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for calling the police on my sister when she was ‘just trying to help?'”
“My sister is 27f.”
“We had babies within two weeks of each other, and our sons are now 3 and 5 weeks old.”
“Her son is breastfed and mine is not.”
“I needed to get surgery recently, and because my sons father isn’t around, my sister and BIL offered to babysit my son while I was in the hospital (3 days total) free of charge.”
“When I came home today, I walked into my son on my sisters breast, which I actually didn’t have an issue with to begin with because it was probably easier to BF him than make bottles.”
A bad decision.
“But she told me after she had thrown out all of the ‘garbage’ I was feeding him and she was going to pump+donate milk to him.”
“I was kind of in shock so I didn’t react straight away but I went to the bathroom and called the police on her.”
“Apparently what she did wasn’t a crime, and the child is being fed so they couldn’t even do anything about it.”
“My sister then blew up at me, saying it was completely wrong of me to call the police on her when she was just trying to help. I told her she dumped 14 cans of formula without even consulting me and currently had nothing to replace it with, just plans to.”
“She now wants me to pay her for the babysitting she did, but I told her I can’t even afford to replace the formula while I’m on maternity leave, so I won’t be paying her for the babysitting.”
“She ended up storming out and blocked me on everything.”
“Our parents were able to replace 2 of the cans she threw out but can’t do much else.”
“They also think I was a d*ck for calling the police on her because getting a record could affect her government job and, therefore, my Newphew.”
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
I am the law!
“Seriously – that’s, at a minimum, theft by unlawful disposition!” ~ finnegan922
“Yeah, I’m not sure what the heck these cops are thinking. This is most definitely a crime!” ~ my3boysmyworld
“She may not have told them anything clearly.”
‘”I found my sister breastfeeding my baby and says she threw out my formula’ doesn’t particularly sound like a criminal matter if you don’t specify it was $xxx hundred of dollars worth of destroyed property.” ~ apri08101989
“Also I’d wager most police officers don’t know that it’s a criminal assault to breastfeed someone else’s child without their consent.” ~ Careless_League_9494
“Destruction of property would be illegal, but proving it would be another matter entirely.”
“More likely in small claims court, where the standard of proof is lower, but she’d need to have SOME sort of written statement on it.”
“(minimum: a few texts exchanged that acknowledge what happened before sister blocked her?)” ~ GalumphingWithGlee
“She owes you for the 14 cans of formula that she stole and threw away.”
“She can disagree with you all she wants, but theft is theft – and now that she’s blocked you everywhere, she’s leaving your child to go hungry.”
“Small claims court?” ~ Diasies_inMyHair
Breastfeeding isn’t for everyone.
“14 cans of formula is no joke. NTA.” ~ Prestigious_Isopod72
“I know, right!?”
“It’s super expensive and, depending on what type it is, really hard to find.”
“My cousin can’t produce enough milk for her baby and has been doing both formula and milk to keep that baby fed.”
“Problem is, the baby has an extremely sensitive stomach and needs a specific type, whose factory burned down a year ago, and it’s really hard to find.”
“The entire family has been looking across the country for it and mailing it to her. It’s not even available online.”
“Thank you all so much for the offer to look for formula! I’ve sent a note to my cousin, the baby has started real people food, so we’re praying for that, milk and what’s left of the formula to be enough to see her through!” ~ LadyAbbysFlower
“I have a low supply myself, and I have to supplement with formula.”
“Thankfully, both my kiddos aren’t picky, so I don’t have your cousin’s issue but let me tell you!”
“I don’t go formula by choice! I’d much rather strictly breastfeed, but I can’t!”
“Breastfeeding isn’t an option for some people. The breastfed is best people make me livid. Fed is best! ~ kourriander
“Tell me about it.”
“My sister-in-law’s milk came in the 8ish hours after birthing my niece and dried up not even 24 hours later.”
“She tried and tried, but not a drop.”
“Boo had to be formula fed. Some people just don’t have luck, never mind that OP had surgery and therefore shouldn’t be breastfeeding anyways” ~ LadyAbbysFlower
“I have an infant, and I’ve never been able to make enough milk for him, so I have to supplement with formula.”
“My sister somehow found four containers at a big box store where she lives and mailed them to me states away as a gift.”
“When I opened it, I sat on the floor sobbing because I was so happy that he’d have something to eat even if I couldn’t make enough milk.” ~ Rainbow-Mama
“I can’t believe people are saying NTA.”
“Yes, she was a jerk for throwing out your formula and owes you to replace it, but this is your sister.”
“Your first reaction was to call the police? Extreme overreaction and, as you saw, useless. What a waste of police resources.” ~ Myystque
“You were right to be upset, but absolutely YTA for calling the police.”
“How about telling her to replace what she pitched?”
“How about, ‘Don’t ever do that again?’ How about ‘You’ll never watch my child again because you can’t respect boundaries?’ Many different ways to deal other than calling the police.”
“You do realize she could potentially have had her child taken away, right?” ~ ladyredcyn
“Yeah your response was a bit off the top – calling the cops on your sister, but she definitely was in the wrong in throwing out the cans of formula;”
“And needs to take responsibility for her lack of foresight.
“My conclusion is your BTA in this situation.” ~ Administrative-Air73
“Ya, you do NOT call the police on family!”
“Especially family that is taking care of your child for free and seems to care about your child’s health..”
“The police are not your friend. Your sister could’ve lost her job and even custody of her child for you doing that!! If I were her, I would block you also.. sorry to be blunt, but that is my honest opinion!” ~ Chadadaa
This comment summed it up nicely.
“She destroyed $140+ worth of formula and endangered your ability to feed your child.”
“Also, a lot of jurisdictions consider breastfeeding a child that is not your own without the permission of the parents a form of battery, regardless of what that one cop said (cops aren’t lawyers, they often do not know the law, especially in odd cases).”
“Others can charge it up to sexual assault since it involves breasts, so she got really lucky you were actually okay with that part, if not the destruction of your property and child endangerment part.”
“Your sister majorly crossed some boundaries that, in many respects, could be considered criminal.”
“If this were the first time she did anything that disrespected your boundaries, I would say calling the police was an overreaction, but it seems that she has been very vocal about things that are none of her concern, and this was just her escalating her behavior, which was already over the line.”
“Plus, she’s messing with your infant and your ability to care for him while you are vulnerable, in the hospital, and depending on her support, all of which she leveraged to violate your boundaries.”
“I don’t think that expecting you to take that calmly is fair.”
“My bad, formula is more expensive than last time I bought it for a friend with a baby. “
“14 cans worth of it is more like $300+.”
“Yikes, that’s totally out of pocket to destroy that much of someone’s property over a healthcare disagreement, particularly when you know an infant is depending on that property.” ~ beanfiddler
OP did return with some clarity.
“Edit:”“There’s no way my sister would have replaced the formula. She is completely against it and has been vocal about her dislike for me using it.”
“My sister did not have a supply already pumped, nor has she even used her pump yet, so not only did she not have anything to replace what she threw out, she had no idea how her body would respond to a pump.”
“The only way she could have been feeding my son over the next few weeks would be to put him on the boob, which would take time away from me being with him.”
We are all entitled to our beliefs.
We just aren’t entitled to force them on others.