Moving with kids is a daunting experience. But once everything is unpacked and the dust has settled, you can relax and enjoy the view.
Redditor AmIWrong-AITA has two boys—ages 10 and 12—and they may have admired their view a little too much. Or they were at least curious enough to do whatever was necessary to get a better look at something mom didn’t approve of.
When the mother’s subsequent actions upset her husband, she took to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA for punishing my sons and not the woman?”
So who is this woman?
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I’m going to try to keep this short since frankly – I’m exhausted. Any questions can and will be answered in the comments.”
“Long story short, my family(35 m[ale], 12 m[ale], 10 m[ale]) and I(32 f[emale]) just recently moved into a new apartment complex.”
“Our unit is at the very back of the building, at the back of the property, so behind us is just a wooded area, nobody lives there.”
“At the very back of our unit and the one across from ours is a small balcony that faces out towards this wooded area. Because it the way the building is constructed, you can’t see onto another persons balcony unless you go to the stairs and lean over the railing – otherwise the wall blocks you.”
“Across from our unit is a family of four – a young looking mother, her husband, and their two children who are both under the age of two.”
“I haven’t had the chance to go introduce myself because I think one of their babies is a newborn, and honestly mama seems exhausted.”
“Anyway, a couple of nights ago, I made a horrific discovery.”
“Went outside to call the boys in for dinner and found them both with their upper bodies flung over the railing, staring into our neighbors balcony.”
“I grab both by their pants and ask them just what they think they’re doing, and that’s when I see it.”
“From their vantage point, they could see straight into the neighbor lady’s balcony, where she was sat completely topless, with underwear on listening to headphones.”
“I. Was. Livid. Not with her, but with the boys.”
“The way I see it, she’s on her own personal property, where no one is SUPPOSED to be able to see, and not drawing any attention to herself.”
“Plus, if she’s breastfeeding, I get not having a top or bra on. It’s tedious to remove every few hours and for every feeding in between. And who wears pants in their own house?”
“Anyway, I digress. I pulled the boys in the house and took away their video games and phones until further notice, and told my husband immediately when he got home.”
Plot twist—she didn’t see this coming.
“But surprisingly, HE was mad at ME! Saying boys would be boys and the lady should have some decency to wear clothes outside, and asked me to speak to her about it.”
“I ripped him a new one and spent the night on the couch, after which he apologized but the boys still seem upset with me.”
“AITA for punishing them, but not saying anything to the neighbor?”
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditor hallownest_undead was awarded multiple Reddit awards, including the “Ignite!” and the “Helpful (Pro)” awards for the following comment.
“NTA good for you! Your husband is out of line and frankly acting in a manner that could give your sons the idea that it’s okay to just ‘get’ from women without respect for personal boundaries whether it’s looking or worse.”
“A plus parenting from you and thank you for respecting your neighbor!”
Others agreed that mom was NTA.
“agreed its very disrespectful to the woman and i totally get her just wanting to relax and not feel like she’s being watched (plus if the boys were ‘flung over the rail’ it sounds like it would have been pretty hard to see her normally and they had to strain to get a glimpse.”
“big NTA.” – callofthewildflowers
“Yup, the balconies have privacy barriers that they are going out of their way to circumvent.”
“They are acting like pervs and are in extreme violation of her privacy.” – my0wnsummer
This Redditor suggested for the OP to talk with her sons about matters of respecting privacy.
“This is an extremely important point here.”
“If they could just glance out if their window and easily see her, I might say something gently (and non judgementally) to the neighbor like ‘just so you know, my boys bedroom looks into your living room.'”
“But as it stands the neighbor had an expectation of privacy that these boys invaded.”
“When talking to the boys I would focus on the expectation of privacy as well. It is completely normal for boys to want to see boobs.”
“The important lesson here is not that the desire is wrong. It’s that we should all be able to be naked in our own homes without other people looking.” – melodypowers
The notion of letting the boys off the hook for their curiosity by saying “boys will be boys” was quickly challenged.
“The ‘boys will be boys’ left me angry. They were SPYING on a woman.”
“If they’re not told off now, who fucking knows what they could end up doing because of that awful phrase.”
“OP is the good parent and should drag her husband for trying to blame the neighbour.” – BooeySchmooey
“This ‘boys will be boys’ is mostly the mild excuse for sexually assault or violence towards other human beings.”
“I had a twelve year old that slapped my butt while I was working. I politely told him to stop, but after he continued I had to hold his hands and had to say it more firmly. His mother went nuts.”
“After she calmed down I tried to explain again what he did and that it makes me uncomfortable. She was like: ‘Oh shut up you dang slut. Boys will be boys. Just bare it like a f’king grown-up.'”
“Luckily my Boss was a really nice guy who instantly came while she was screaming at me and kicked her and her son out because of ‘inappropriate behavior.'” – JustLetBe
“boys will be boys is meant for boys doing dumb and mildly dangerous things, like jumping off things and digging in the dirt, not sexually harassing or assaulting women.”
“i hate how it’s used to excuse gross stuff like this.” – diccpiccs101
Overall, Redditors approved of the OP’s handling of the situation while the hubby lost major points with his reaction.
“Yes, ‘boys will be boys’, but parents need to be parents too.”
“Which is exactly what the OP is doing. Children are curious creatures, whether they are boys or girls.”
“The parents’ job is to teach them that there are boundaries (not spying on the neighbors, regardless of whether they are men or women, dressed or no) and that there are consequences to their actions.”
“OP is doing an excellent job of this. Her husband is failing miserably.”
“I wonder how cute hubby would think it was if OP was sunbathing on their balcony and the neighbor men where spying on her?” – MidnytStorme