Being a parent can be an incredibly difficult, but rewarding experience. Raising children involves long days with few breaks, if any.
It’s not exactly a job you can clock out of.
But it’s also not something you can easily prepare yourself for. When Redditor Objective-Guest5832’s friend asked for a taste of what it’s like, she obliged.
Now things have gone wrong, and the original poster (OP) is asking if it’s her fault. She’s taking her question to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to find out.
“AITA for ruining a friends idea of being a parent”
This is what happened:
“Players- Me(35f [female]) Husband( 40m [male]) Jill(33f) Kids( 10m, 8m, 5f, 1m)”
“I’ve known Jill since we were in high school. Jill has always dreamed of being a mom.”
“Recently she had asked me if she could come stay with me for a few days to shadow me and ‘just get an idea of being a mom’.”
“Now, I am a stay at home mom, though I do work from home part time while also going to school full time. Husband is the main breadwinner and is very actively involved in child raising.”
“After talking with husband, we agreed that Jill can come stay with us for and made the room in the house.”
“I’ve always been honest with Jill about being a parent. I’ve never said that it is the greatest thing ever or even made it seem like its all sunshine and rainbows.”
“I have always told her how challenging being a parent can be, especially when the kids, are well kids and act up and don’t listen or bicker between each other or any number of other kid things.”
“But I also share the good. The smiles and the just because hugs and kisses. The random drawings and the snuggles while watching movies.”
“So after getting an idea of what Jill wanted and how she thought it might go, I gave her a schedule of one of my typical days. Asked if she had any questions or anything. She said she didn’t have questions and then She laughed and said how hard can it be, you can do it. I just said you’ll see.”
“So beginning at 6am on the first day, which is when my schedule starts, I woke Jill up and started the day.”
“She complained non stop about how tired she was. How she didn’t feel like doing any of the daily chores, cooking, cleaning, laundry, kids, working, and schooling.”
“She was asleep on the couch by 8pm. I woke her to get her to bed, but other than that let her sleep.”
“Each day it was the same I would wake her up at 6am and she would complain all day long and be asleep by 8pm. My days usually don’t end until 11pm.”
“By day 4 she was crying to me saying she no longer wanted to be a mom or wife and it was all my fault. I tried to explain to her that what my days consist of may not be what hers are like when she’s a mom and wife.”
“It’s not necessarily the same experience for each parent.”
“After she left, I get a call from her fiancé, her mother, sisters and brother all telling me I was an asshole for ‘forcing her’ to see how challenging being a parent can be.”
“That I ‘ruined’ her life and I was a piece of crap and should have my family taken away from me because that’s what I did to Jill.
“AITA? Maybe I could have given her a ‘better’ view of parenthood.”
On AITA, people are judged for their roles in the story. This is done with one of the following acronyms:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
What your days will look like as a parent aren’t always going to be the same. OP also has four kids she normally has to watch, which can be a lot to just jump into.
Still, she tried to prepare her friend, and assure Jill that her experience likely won’t be the same.
AITA voted OP was NTA.
“NTA. She wanted the reality of being a parent and that’s what she got, not some sugar coated rose colored glasses version. If more people did this there would be way less unfit parents on the planet.” – seanthebean24
“I’ve always tried to be honest with people when they ask about being a parent. I don’t sugar coat it, but at the same time I try not to discourage it that’s something a person wants.” – Objective-Guest5832 (OP)
“Look, if it was that easy for her to be put off parenthood, maybe parenthood really isn’t for her. I am by no means saying what you’re doing is easy – it’s hard!”
“But as a non-parent, that’s… pretty much what I’d expect your day to look like? (And in her position, I would have been absolutely unsurprised at finding myself exhausted and drained at the end of the day.) I find it hard to fathom what she thought it was going to be like.”
“I mean, maybe she should’ve hit up a friend who has one or two kids, because honestly four kids is kinda being thrown into the deep end of parenthood, but if she’s not bright enough to realize that for herself or can’t imagine it even with one or two, then I’d say everyone’s dodged a bullet.”
“NTA” – FeuerroteZora
“First thing I thought when you let her go to bed at 8 was you were going easy on her.”
“NTA. She got what she asked for. If THIS is all it takes for her to give up entirely, she’s not cut out for it.” – ageekyninja
“I still have at least 30 minutes of school work I need to accomplish before bed tonight and its already 1045pm. I mean, I kinda get it.”
“Four kids is a lot to deal with all at once, especially when you’re not used to it. Maybe she’ll decide she wants only one or not at all. I don’t know.”
“But I did as she asked and now her family is jumping down my throat like I did something horrible to her. I’ve tried speaking to her, but she won’t pick up my call or respond to messages.” – Objective-Guest5832 (OP)
Other people pointed out that Jill’s expectations were radically different from what OP tried to prepare her for. OP warned her that it was difficult, and even gave an easier version of her own life.
Despite this, the fact Jill couldn’t handle it isn’t OP’s fault.
“NTA. Jill is ridiculous. She was a very rude guest, for one thing.”
And any reasonable person would maybe conclude based on this that having four kids while also working and going to school isn’t for them, not make a dramatic declaration that she no longer wants to be a wife (?) and mom.”
“As it is, I do hope she sticks with that decision because r/raisedbynarcissists is not lacking in content.” – OK_Sympathy6395
“Jesus Christ, this woman, Jill, is thirty three years old? From your description of her, I would have taken her for an oblivious high schooler.”
“She got a dude ranch supervised version of the real thing. Being a mother is a slog, a marathon of unending and tiring care and labor, hallmark and heartwarming moments notwithstanding.”
“Well, duh. You did good if you saved her future baby daddy and offspring from her. NTA” – Servantofbosco
There isn’t really much that can prepare you for raising children. There are ideas and concepts you can learn that will help, but the experience will always be different.
Most everyone who’s done it will agree that it’s hard but rewarding. There are good days and bad days, and the whole experience is exhausting. You shouldn’t need firsthand experience to know to expect you end up tired.
Maybe Jill can take another whack at it with a friend who has one child and see how she likes it then.