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Mom Tries To Force Daughter To Transfer To Stepsiblings’ School To Cut Down On Her Commute

Mother and tween daughter arguing
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Blending families requires some transition, and for Redditor AssociateBulky3193 that transition is not so seamless.

The Original Poster (OP) is trying to navigate her own daughter’s private school along with her new step-children’s private schools and all the logistics that entails.

The stress of the situation pushed her to post on subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA).

She asked:

“AITA for trying to get my daughter to switch schools?”

She went on to explain.

“My ex and I share custody of our 12 year old daughter, Kelly. She was 3 when we split.”

“We have a court order that we have to share the cost of her education (through her graduating high school) and we have a 2 yes, 1 no policy.”

“We did this as we always intended for her to attend private schools, which is quite the investment. Plus, she’s both of our kid.”

“Kelly’s been a private school that focuses in STEM. It’s K-12, so she’s been there since kindergarten. She loves it.”

“The only issue has been it’s a bit of a drive (45 minutes) and they don’t have busses. We’ve tried to find carpool situations but the only person from the school in our area moved a few years ago.”

“No relatives nearby to help. We tried hiring someone to drive her but they weren’t reliable. Still, it’s been worth the sacrifice.”

“Important note, Kelly lives with me during the week and sees her dad on the weekends. I am the one who brings her to and from school.”

“Last year, I remarried. My husband brought 2 children into the relationship. They’re 16 & 17.”

Both attend a private school in town. Similar issue with no bussing, we also don’t have their own cars as we can’t afford that.”

“My husband is a widower, so he’s their only parent. He starts work at 6 am, so it’s up to me to get the kids to school every day.”

“It has been a bit of a mess trying to get everyone there on time. My step-children’s private school doesn’t have before or after school programs and starts after Kelly’s.”

“It’s a tight squeeze to get her there, then get back to their school.”

“After much discussion, my husband and I decided it’d be for the best for Kelly to start at her step-siblings’ school.”

“We talked to my ex about it and he was very hesitant but said if Kelly wanted it, he’d be on board.”

“Kelly doesn’t want to. This school doesn’t have a STEM program. She doesn’t want to leave her friends.”

“She asked why her step-siblings don’t have to move to her school and I said it’s because it’s more than my husband can afford.”

“I’d chip in, but I can’t afford to pay 2.5 tuitions (the half being what I pay for hers). Plus, they aren’t into STEM or science, which is what the school heavily focuses on.”

“Kelly is refusing to go. I’ve tried talking to her, bribing her, etc. She isn’t budging. Therefore, neither is her dad.”

“It’s frustrating and I’ve voiced that. I even tried the compromise that it’d just be until her step-siblings graduated (2 years!!) and she said, then I can easily put up with this for 2 years.”

“Now she’s been at her dad’s and says she’s not coming home until I drop the matter. I said I want to talk about it more but she refuses.”


The OP went on to provide further clarification.

“As it’s come up several times. Prior to me, my husband and his kids lived closer to their school. Now, they live with me and that’s out of walking distance.”

“My step kids are on financial aid for school. We have a mortgage. It isn’t just the cost of the car but gas and insurance.”

“Yes, I can afford my daughter’s tuition and a driver at one point, but I was splitting the cost with my ex, who makes far more.”

“The money saved from going from 2 homes to 1 has gone to medical debt from his wife dying of cancer, plus helping me pay off my mortgage.”

“We don’t have the money. There’s no public transport. No one is willing to take them.”

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:

“YTA. You have a child who actually LIKES going to school, and you pull her out because of your stepchildren.”

“Ask your husband to drive his own kids before work, instead of neglecting your own.” – Glittering_Owl8001

“‘After much discussion, my husband and I decided it’d be for the best for Kelly to start at her step-siblings’ school.’”

“No you didn’t. You decided it would be best for YOU.”

“Your daughter has a valid point. Why does she have to give up everything?”

“Get the older kids their school permits and a used car to drive themselves to school.” – mdthomas

“You can afford three kids in private school and to hire a driver but can’t afford cars for the teenagers?”

“That’s laughable. Get them cheap banger cars like most teens get or tell them to save up and buy their own car like the rest.”

“But you can absolutely afford a car, just maybe not one as nice as your apparently lifestyle would be accustomed too.”

“And YTA. It’s sounds like she’s in the better school and it wouldn’t be such a tight run if she was dropped off a bit earlier (not a hardship for her).”

“You can’t just uproot her social life, aspirations (STEM) etc like that because it’s easier for your new family (which she didn’t get a say in).”

“Maybe you should switch so she lives with her dad in the week and you at weekends to make school transport easier or hire a better/more reliable driver for her.”

“But she should stay in the school she’s in, why should she get a raw deal because it’s inconvenient for you and your new family when she as your bio daughter should come first.”

“If hubby can’t afford his kids school fees that’s his problem not hers.” – BenynRudh

“YTA. Your husband said he would agree IF she WANTED to. She doesn’t so he’s not agreeing. 2 yes 1 no remember.”

“His vote is no bc she didn’t want to. Drop it and move on.”

“Now the question becomes how did your husband magically get his 16 and 17 year old teenagers to school before you got married and took over it.”

“He had it figured out before.” – Wandering_aimlessly9


“It’s not best for Kelly at all. It’s convenient for you. You made the offer and the other two parties involved, including Kelly, who’s the one whose opinion matters the most here, disagreed.”

“You lost. Move on.”

“Find a different way for her or the older kids to commute if that’s the problem.”

“You mentioned there is nobody else in the area who goes to Kelly’s school. What about the step-kids’ school? Is there anyone they could carpool with?”

“Do they have any friends who drive to school who might be willing to pick them up?”

“If they can’t be dropped off at the school early, can you drop them off at a friend’s house who they can then carpool with? Can you get a taxi service daily?”

“Find a different solution. From your daughter’s perspective, you’re prioritizing your new family over her.”

“I’m sure this isn’t your intention or how you feel, but it’s how it’s being perceived by her.”

“You got a new husband with new kids and suddenly Kelly is a problem and has to uproot her entire life to conform with the new family.”

“You’ve already damaged the relationship and her trust in you just by suggesting and pushing the school change.”

“If you force the issue your daughter is going to be extremely resentful to you and might never trust you again.”

“And to the “you can put up with it for 2 years” point, 2 years is 17% of her entire lived life so far. It may not sound like a long time to you, but for her it’s an eternity.”

“And if you think back to that age, those 2 years are going to include the beginning of High School. That’s an incredibly formidable period in a kid’s life.”

“Don’t make her give that up just to be more convenient for your new family.”

“She’s right: if you don’t think 2 years is that big of a deal, then you can deal with the inconvenience for 2 years.” – VVillyD

“YTA. Kelly is in a STEM focused private school yet you made a decision with her step-father to relocate her to a different school because it’s more convenient for him and his children.”

“Both you and him are total AH. I’m glad that her father is on her side.”

“Kelly is 12. She should he a priority over everyone else in that family yet you’re putting everyone else before her.”

“Why didn’t you relocate to be closer to her school? You’ve had 7 years to figure that out.”

“IMO Kelly should be with her dad on weekdays and you can get her on weekends since you’re willing to jeopardize her STEM education.” – callmesillysally

Two yes, one no.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)