Raising children in the early 2020s, parents may come up against a variety of opposition, especially those generational and religious in nature.
And sometimes a comeback to a snide comment is too good to pass up, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor indigeniusbabe was tired of hearing her mother’s comments about her two sons’ hair length, especially that of her younger son.
But after she delivered a witty comeback, the Original Poster (OP) couldn’t help but wonder if she had second thoughts about her behavior.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for using my mom’s religion against her after insulting my son’s hair?”
The OP wasn’t the most comfortable with her mother’s religious practices.
“I (32 Female) was raised Mormon but I’m not now, nor do I follow any other religion. My mom is still very much in the cult.”
“As such, she has the typical Mormon mindset regarding gender roles and all that bulls**t. Granted, I still think she’d be this way without her religion, though maybe not as bad.”
“We get along splendidly, except when the topic of her religion comes up, which doesn’t often.”
During a recent visit, tensions rose.
“She’s visiting right now. I don’t see her in person much but she came down for my birthday. It’s also important to note that I have two sons.”
“My 5-year-old has a Mohawk. My 3-year-old has shaggy, shoulder-length hair. He’s never had a haircut for a multitude of reasons, none of which would even be asked if he were a girl.”
“Not long after she got here, she started going in on his hair. This is not the first time she’s given her opinion on it. Why don’t I cut it? Don’t I want to prevent him from being bullied? Or from people thinking he’s a… GIRL?”
“Because he hasn’t asked and I want it to be his choice. Because he acts like I’m murdering him when I brush his teeth and hair. Because he also flails around like he’s having an exorcism so imagine that with a pair of scissors. Because if someone sees long hair and assumes ‘girl,’ that’s on them and a simple ‘he’s a boy’ corrects it.”
“But mostly it’s because I don’t f**king want to.”
The moment escalated.
“She got p**sed and said what she really thought, which was, ‘Well, I just don’t like long hair on boys.'”
“Clearly. Yet she has no problem with my other son’s MOHAWK. Guess that’s boyish enough for her. AND she said it in front of both my sons, which p**sed ME off.”
“I said the first thing which came to my head, which was, ‘If you have a problem with long hair on boys, I suggest you take it up with your lord and savior Jesus Christ. You can start by asking him to get a haircut. Call John the Barber.'”
“Bruh. If looks could kill, I’d be in outer darkness right now.”
“She stewed in her anger for a while but didn’t say anything else. She hasn’t changed her opinion nor will she, but I don’t think she wants to get roasted again either so she won’t bring it up anymore.”
After the fact, the OP felt conflicted.
“I feel like we’re both a**holes. As much as I hate her religion, that was also a low blow and I have a tendency to speak first, and regret later.”
“Though I don’t necessarily regret my words, I do regret how they made her feel. She is my mom after all.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some found the OP’s reaction to be perfectly hilarious.
“NTA and I’m a former Mormon, too.”
“This is HILARIOUS and I loved your response.”
“Sure, your mom is upset, but she doesn’t think twice about the dumb culty s**t she says to you too from the sounds of it. Don’t give none if you can’t take none.”
“Also, please keep using the word Mormon, it’s a win for Satan after all.” – notbonusmom
“As a current Mormon, I am cackling! I think all religious people who don’t act Christlike are just ASKING to have their religion thrown back in their faces. I’ve done it to my own parents.” – Honey_Concept14
“NTA and daaaa*mn that roast! I feel ALIVE again.” – virobacter
“NTA. Your mom should have kept her closed-minded opinions to herself, and you have nothing to feel guilty for. If she feels bad, perhaps she should have dropped the conversation.”
“You are a grown woman with children, and if she can’t respect that, then she might want to rethink another visit. Also, just because she’s your mother, does not mean you have to allow her to talk to you or your children like that. Family does not automatically get a free pass.”
“Your comeback was PERFECT, and I’m glad you were able to stand up for yourself and your children.” – DrFrankenfurtersCat
“NTA. I could have written this. My Mormon mom has commented on my sons’ hair numerous times. She even shaved off my sons’ Mohawks when they were left in her care. She said they looked like ‘hooligans.’ I swear half of it is her generation and the rest is religious.”
“I can absolutely imagine this scenario happening to us. Thank god I got my kids out of Utah. ‘John the Barber’ is killing me, couldn’t help but laugh.” – kaismama
Others were glad the OP stood up for her sons.
“I’m really struggling with Mormonism as of now, so I commend you for doing this. Let the boys wear whatever hairstyle they want. They’re young and it sounds like they both look adorable. Definitely NTA.” – inreallife12001
“I’ve been going to a Mormon church for about a year now and the closest thing I’ve found is in my “For The Strength of Youth” booklet that’s about dress and appearance is this: Young men and young women should be neat and clean and avoid being extreme or inappropriately casual in clothing, hairstyle, and behavior.'”
“But things are evolving and becoming more accepted, a friend of mine in the church has multiple piercings and another line in the same book says: ‘Do not disfigure yourself with tattoos or body piercing. Young women, if you desire to have your ears pierced, wear only one pair of earrings.'”
“She has a nose piercing, and multiple ear piercings and is planning on getting another eventually. People always comment saying how cool it looks and NEVER make rude comments.”
“I think the mother personally just doesn’t like it and is using religion as an excuse to say these things because I’ve yet to meet a single Mormon who would say something like that. I’m sure there are Mormons out there who are like that, but I’ve yet to meet any. OP is NTA.” – Shadowhunter648
“Coming from someone raised Mormon whose brother had shoulder-length shaggy hair growing up, no one really cared. Most thought it was sick since he was a skater. Some of the oldies would tease him but it was also out of love and never demeaning.”
“If anything, following the church’s standards, the Mohawk would be considered more inappropriate than the long hair.”
“Also, there was a Polynesian family that came to church, and growing up the little boys kept their hair long hair until they decided they wanted to cut it. The family really focused on sharing their culture with the church members so I’m assuming that choice was part of it.” – antifame_monster
“Men have had long hair throughout history. It’s only relatively recently that short hair became the norm. Now, men can wear their hair any length they want and it’s pretty well accepted. There used to be the expectation that when women reached a certain age, they had to have short hair. We don’t do that crap anymore.”
“NTA. Plus, who’s going to be bullying him at 3 years old?”
“My nephew used to have screaming fits while getting his hair cut, so much so that it was dangerous. My brother bought a Flowbee and buzzed his hair for years without a problem.” – Sciencegirl117
“NTA, I don’t think this is anything to do with religion though.”
“This is just her personal preference. Technically you are right, if she prays long enough, at some point I have no doubt he will have a hair cut, it might be years but she can still consider it a victory, as her prayer will have been answered, just not in the timeframe or way shes hoping for.” – thefore
But some weren’t convinced that this needed to be a religious issue at all.
“The gentlest of ESHs, and only because it’s not clear Mom’s Mormonism is directly related to her issues with your son’s hair (which to be clear are problematic for other reasons, but that’s neither here nor there with this judgment), and her Mormonism did not seem to be relevant at the moment.”
“I mean, it was a sick burn, admittedly. As an atheist, it’s even appreciated. But it wasn’t really relevant, so it feels more like an opportunistic swipe at Mormonism, than a defense of the kid’s hair. Maybe.”
“Even as I type, I’m on the fence on this one, but I’ll stick with ESH, barely.” – jermleeds
“Going against the flow here and gonna say ESH, like you said.”
“It may have been a low blow like you said, even if it was funny for us. I wouldn’t say that she’s that much of an a**hole either since your son being bullied for a haircut is a very reasonable fear, kids can be ruthless, and ‘I just don’t like long hair on boys’ is just her opinion with an opinion that is not even a**holish.” – genasugelan
“I actually think ESH. I won’t explain what she did wrong, she should have dropped it.2
“But here is why I think you messed up. You clearly value and try to preserve the relationship, and so does your mom. It must have taken a lot of energy and mental effort on her part to decide to drop the religious conversations around you, out of the value for the relationship with you and her grandkids.”
“And you disrespected her effort by turning it into a joke. It is not a joke to her, it’s a painful point of difference. In your shoes, I would apologize.” – HarmoniumSong
While everyone could admit that the joke was funny and something the OP could be proud of under better circumstances, they were more divided over what this could do to their mother-daughter relationship.
Though some appreciated the humor, others thought religion was unnecessarily brought into the conversation, after the OP’s mother had been willing to stop bringing it up.