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New Mom Enrages Her Family By Skipping Sister’s College Graduation Because She Just Gave Birth

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Having a baby is hard work.  The physical pain your body goes through is unparalleled in the human experience.

It takes a lot of time, it’s exhausting, and at the end of it, you actually have a newborn baby—and you have to begin the process of caring for it.

Reddit user diazen found herself in this situation right when she was expected to make it to her sibling’s graduation.  She missed it, understandably, but her family was very upset.

After defending herself, she wanted validation for her choice, so she turned to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” to get some strangers’ feedback.

She asked:

“AITA for not going to sister’s graduation after having just given birth?”

Our original poster, or OP, explained this is an old issue that still brings up some tension.

“This is old (pre-pandemic), but something that still comes up and I’m looking for some perspective.”

“Several years ago, I became very unexpectedly pregnant with my first child. When I told my mother she was going to be a grandma her first words were ‘but what about your sister’s college graduation?’”

“I told my family that I would do my best to attend (the graduation was 3 weeks after my due date and a 9 hour car ride away).”

Labor was not an easy process for OP.

“My kiddo was born 4 weeks before the graduation. Labor was ok, but I had a couple non-emergent but very painful complications (one requiring surgery to correct shortly thereafter).”

“When my kiddo was 2 weeks old I asked her pediatrician about going and was firmly told ‘no.'”

“I had already surmised as much, given how fragile a newborn’s immune system is, the graduation being in a large indoor auditorium, and the fact that I was still too torn up from labor to sit in a car for that long.”

“I bit the bullet and made the call to say I couldn’t go.”

“My family was enraged that I wasn’t going. My mom took my sister’s side and my sister didn’t speak to me for almost 6 months.”

Still, this seems to be an issue for OP’s family.

“She still won’t talk to me about it because it is just ‘too upsetting’ to her that I didn’t attend. She swears she understands why, but apparently she’s still hurt that I wasn’t there.”

“It has led to some ongoing tension and frankly I’m baffled. I had to put my newborn’s health and mine first, and as I said- I wasn’t expecting to become pregnant.”

“It especially baffles me that my mom didn’t see this coming and also stopped talking to me for awhile, despite having had two children of her own and understanding how fragile a baby is and how long it can take before to heal after labor.”

“AITA? With how upset they were/still are I’m beginning to wonder if I did something wrong.”

“My family doesn’t bring this up to me directly anymore, but it has led to a lot of tension and contributed why my relationships with them (especially my sister) are so strained.”

“So I’m just trying to get some perspective on whether or not the way they reacted was reasonable or not.”

Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Reddit agreed that OP did the best that she could do.

“NTA. Your doctor told you ‘no.’ That should have been the end of it.”

“Feelings of disappointment and sadness that you couldn’t be there are understandable on their part, but rage? Gimme a break.”

“They’ve had well over a year to get over it. Still giving you crap about it is ridiculous. You did absolutely nothing wrong here.”~JemimaAslana

“OP this sounds totally bizarre. I know narcissism gets thrown around a lot around here, but if this is a pattern of behavior that isn’t unfamiliar, I’d be thinking about it.”

“The weird resentment over missing a graduation due to having a newborn and healing from birth is very, very strange.”

“There was a dear prudie a long time ago about your exact situation but it was a wedding and not graduation, and prudie basically said the same thing.”

“Your situation supercedes a graduation by far. Furthermore, you needed them in that time, and punishing you by going low or no contact was cruel.”

“You didn’t do anything wrong. You will likely never get it but you are owed an apology. NTA.”~amhran_oiche

“They are prioritising their ‘wants,’ of you celebrating your sisters achievement, over your AND your babies health and safety.”

“From your mothers initial reaction, through to their unreasonable reaction and treatment of you, it is clear your sister is the favourite and they care not one bit about your feelings or well-being.”

“Stop doubting yourself, or believing they may have been justified in being angry with you.”

“Their treatment of you was/is disgusting, they should be ashamed of themselves, and you should be angry that they could treat you this way.”

“You should not have apologise to them, you should be ignoring them and be refusing to talk to them until they can treat you with respect, and like a family member they actually give a damn about.”~Permit-Extreme-117

“You weren’t going to get any useful emotional support from them anyway. This is not normal behavior.”

“This is not loving family. This is Golden Child and Goat dynamic. A graduation is treated as much more important than a new grandchild and your health?”

“Enjoy the silence from them, it’s the best you’ll ever get. Extend it, let it fill the spaces between you. Find friends and your very own supporters. NTA”~Zhoenish

In fact, Reddit thinks OP’s family owes her an apology.

“NTA, when I graduated from my doctoral program, my parents were supposed to be there but my dad had had a heart attack about a month before and was still not able to travel.”

“While it broke their hearts in mind, I would absolutely never hold it against them for not being able to be there…”

“What you did was keep your child safe, and if you have tried to go there so recently after giving birth you might’ve hurt yourself as well.”~livingfire8357

“NTA, but your sister and mom sure are. Graduation ceremonies aren’t worth it at the best of times, and your doctor said no.”

“My mother died two weeks ago when I was 33 weeks pregnant with twins. My doctor told me to absolutely not travel, which meant I couldn’t be there.”

“And was great advice, because I ended up giving birth six days later. Not a single member of my family was angry about it. As a new mom right now, I’m livid on your behalf.”~Prncssme

“Wow wow WOW. I have graduated (several times) and given birth and IMO the former was a total non-event compared to the latter.”

“One is a ceremony where you walk across a stage for a sum total of 15 seconds and are handed a testamur.”

“I wouldn’t ever demand a family member drive 9 hours to witness that even if they were in perfect health with no demands on their time.”

“Getting the degree was an achievement but family can just call or send a nice card or flowers or whatever. Giving birth to your first kid is another thing altogether.”

“You’re never more physically and emotionally vulnerable in your life, even if things go smoothly. Even leaving that aside, you had complications to the extent your doctor basically ordered you not to risk traveling.”

“That alone would make you NTA here. But I’m flabbergasted at your family’s attitude in ranking the graduation as a bigger deal than your health after giving birth, not to mention your baby’s.”

“Something is seriously off here.”~Sweeper1985

“I’d probably counter with did you want your graduation ruined by me needing to go to the hospital due to tearing and bleeding while at your graduation?”

“Is your niece/nephew that horrible that you wouldn’t have minded them getting sick and being unable to take medicine due to their age risking death? Both of us risking death for your graduation?”

“NTA OP, I might be but seriously to expect you to risk your life and your kid’s (worse case scenario) is ridiculous and then to pull that emotionally abusive stunt? Oh wow.”~Purple_Elderberry_20

And people are also saying the behavior OP’s mom and sister displayed and continued to display was troubling.

“You need to contact your mom and sister again and take back your apology.”

“Tell them that what they did to you is unforgivable and narcissistic, and that you have now realized it and you are completely going no contact with them.”

“If they don’t see the light, believe me- you dodged a bullet and got rid of horrible toxic ppl in your life. NTA.”~Maru3792648

“NTA. Frankly I wouldn’t have gone even if I hadn’t just given birth. There are few things/people I’m willing to drive 18 hours for, and a graduation is definitely not one of those things.”

“Hell, I didn’t even go to either of my younger sibling’s high school graduations, let alone college, and it would have been a much shorter drive than 9 hours for either of those.”

“Graduations are boring as f**k. No one actually likes them. My high schooler doesn’t even want to go to his own graduation so I don’t get the ridiculous, over the top reactions from your horrible family.”

“I’d take lots of space from them, like all the space. I would keep your child away from them as well. You don’t want your child to know they are the less desired grandchild once your sister has kids.”

“The children of the scapegoat are the scapegoat grandchildren, don’t set your children up for hurt due to favoritism.”~Hufflepuffknitter80

“NTA My brother, who is my best friend, didn’t come to my wedding because it was too long of a trip.”

“While I wish he did come and plan to hold it over his head for the rest of our lives (in a funny way), I was not mad nor did I punish him in any way.”

“I don’t know what your family was thinking but this isn’t something anyone should get torn up about.”~OrangesMarmalade

“What planet is your family from? My god.”

“Your doctor said no. The graduation wasn’t a 30 minute drive away. You had serious complications of birth that required surgery. Your doctor said no.”

“Disappointment is completely understandable. But if they love you, they want you to be safe and should unquestioningly accept the medical opinion.”

“(Bubs would have been fine, they’re tougher than you think… but sounds like you were pretty ripped up.)”

“NTA x 1,000,000. I’m so sorry. And congratulations on your toddler? Lol”~NoiseProvesNothing

It’s always very comforting to know you aren’t in the wrong, but at what cost do you learn that information?

Will this feedback change OP’s relationship with her family forever?

We wish all involved the best.

Written by Mike Walsh

Mike is a writer, dancer, actor, and singer who recently graduated with his MFA from Columbia University. Mike's daily ambitions are to meet new dogs and make new puns on a daily basis. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mikerowavables.