Many people dream of getting married, having kids, and having a huge family. It’s a dream fostered by Hallmark movies and romantic tales that get everyone feeling nostalgic.
But we often fail to think of the possibility that everyone may not get along as well as we might have hoped to give us that picture-perfect life, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor kthrowaway244 had been in a strained relationship with her family ever since she announced that she was engaged to a man who they did not approve of, but her relationship with them became infinitely more complicated when she had her first baby.
When they threatened to end all contact if she did not give them what they wanted, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she needed to be more flexible or to draw a firmer boundary with them.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to go on a ten-hour-plus flight with my baby?”
The OP had a strained relationship with her parents because of her husband.
“Long story short, my parents hate my husband. But because I am their child, they accepted him ‘for my happiness.’ For context, my mom was fine with him until my dad found out (I told my mom first).”
“It’s not like he’s a bad person. My parents just had someone else in mind.”
“Anyway, my parents moved back to where we’re from while I stayed behind, and I eventually met my husband. We’ve been dating since we were 19, and we kept our relationship a secret from my parents for years until he proposed to me.”
Things became more complicated when the OP had her first child.
“Now, I just gave birth to our first child and obviously my parents want to meet him.”
“The thing is, they live nowhere near North America, and the flight would be miserable. I hate flying in general, but with a baby? I get anxious thinking about it.”
“I’ve put it off for a long time and even asked my parents if they could fly over (we’d pay for everything), but they said it was disrespectful for me to even ask.”
“I’ve been stuck between ‘Fine, we’ll come,’ and ‘No I can’t do this,’ and it’s affecting my whole life.”
“My mom calls me twice a day just to remind me that I have to come and that she wants to see her grandbaby before he gets too big.”
“I finally came to the conclusion that I can’t. He’s a fussy baby and needs to be held by me a lot. He lets his dad hold him for a couple hours, but then he won’t stop crying until I hold him.”
“I can’t do that on a plane. And I’m terrified of the reaction he might have since he does make a lot of noise.”
“If it was a shorter flight, I could make do, but it would be over 10 hours. I’m exhausted just thinking about it, and then I have to deal with my parents and their passive-aggressive comments daily.”
The OP set a boundary, but it had serious consequences.
“I called my mom and told her that we won’t be coming.”
“She got very angry and kept ranting about my husband keeping us away from them.”
“She eventually said, ‘Forget it, we don’t want to see his child. Don’t call us again.'”
“My aunt (who I don’t talk to) said that she’s very upset with me and my mom has been so excited to see the baby but we crushed her.”
“Apparently, my dad doesn’t even want to see the baby, but my mom really does (but she refuses to travel without him), which is why she’s been pushing me so hard.”
“I feel bad because I know how much my mom adores babies, and I get she’s in a tough spot, but I can’t fly for over 10 hours with a four-month-old.”
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 reassured the OP that she was NTA and her parents were being unreasonable.
“Omg (Oh my god), girl. NTA. You said that you would pay for everything. Repeat that to your mother if necessary.”
“And even if you wouldn’t pay for their tickets, you’re at most an ESH, but you are also a recent mother for god’s sake, and you shouldn’t be put under that much stress when there’s a much easier option.” – Ok-Schedule9947
“Your aunt said, ‘My mom has been so excited to see the baby but we crushed her.’ Don’t be fooled by that bulls**t. Your mother is selfish and manipulative. If she really wanted to see your child, she’d get on a plane without creating drama.”
“I’m sorry to say that I don’t think that she is THAT concerned about seeing your child; she just wants to look like a good grandma. A truly loving grandmother would not want her precious grandbaby on a germy plane, much less put pressure on you to come. A truly loving grandma would get on the plane herself, without grandpa, and come to spend time with your child.”
“I suspect that your father might come along if she made reservations for herself. Something about this makes me suspect that he is one of those retro guys who doesn’t cook or do his own laundry.”
“You have your own darling family now, OP. Don’t let your parents’ toxicity extend to another generation. If their whining and manipulative behavior bothers you too much, get some therapy to help you deal with it. NTA.” – Swedishpunsch
“NTA, OP, and I give you permission to not feel bad about any of this.”
“I’m sorry if your culture is making you feel poorly. You’re allowed to just be a mom and a wife. There’s no rule in the universe that says you have to bend over backward to continue being a daughter. Raise your kid and live your life.” – Happy_Laugh_Cry
“‘But they said it was disrespectful for me to even ask.’ Bulls**t. They don’t want to be inconvenienced. I wouldn’t take my newborn on a flight that long, it would be miserable and really hard on the child. Think of all the germs you’d be exposing your child to!”
“If I were you, I’d stipulate if they want to see the baby, they have to do the traveling. It is disrespectful to you for them to demand you put your child’s health at risk just because they imagine some slight that doesn’t exist. They aren’t reasonable. Period.” – IamIrene
“I’m working on figuring this out… your parents brought you to North America, then left you and moved somewhere else? Have you ever asked if they considered that you might not choose to move to wherever they live and they might not see you anymore?”
“You are NTA. Baby doesn’t need to be on an airplane for 10 hours and then in a totally different time zone for however long your stay lasts then back on a plane. There are just so many reasons, like differences in food and water while you are gone.”
“The pressure changes during the flights are hard on their ears and sinuses. Unless you are able to fly non-stop every landing and take-off makes it worse. Then all the germs in the air, dehydration, besides the issues that they don’t understand what is happening and are miserable.”
“I don’t fly unless I absolutely have to. The last time I flew across the US, I was sick for three weeks with a miserable upper respiratory infection I caught on the plane.”
“Then there are all the possible infections from the baby being exposed to everyone you encounter on the trip. In grad school, I took microbiology classes, one of my professors said that babies shouldn’t go anywhere for at least six months because their immune systems need to develop. Keep your baby healthy, stay home!”
“Hard on you, harder on the baby. Your mother said don’t call again. I am sure this hurts, but take her at her word for now.” – ArreniaQ
Others agreed but also thought the OP could have handled the situation better.
“You’re NTA for not being comfortable with this and asking your parents to fly over instead (why are you even offering to pay for that?).”
“But you ARE the a**hole for letting your husband take the fall and even allowing the disrespect towards him. Why does your mother blame him? You clearly haven’t been honest about your reasons for not flying.”
“Furthermore, why did you start the post explaining that your parents hate him? It must be a pretty big topic…”
“If my parents showed ongoing hate towards my chosen life partner, I would tell them to suck it up and show some respect or don’t expect a relationship with me.” – Cool-Scallion4573
“You let your parents put down your husband so badly, and yet you’re still considering traveling ten hours with a four-month-old to see them?”
“Focus on your child and partner, the family you get to build, love, and cherish. Prioritizing anything beyond them is going against what it is to be a mother and wife (and vice versa for your husband if he were in this situation).” – WealthAndTheRest
“ESH. It is like you are purposely seeking out drama. Why are you talking to your mom twice a day anyway? Especially if she is being critical of you? Cut the freaking cord already.”
“Tell them if they’d like to meet the baby, you’ll be happy to see them when they visit; otherwise, they need to drop it. If they can’t drop it, stop talking to them until they do. Problem solved.”
“The reason you are also the AH is because of how easily avoidable and preventable this is. You enjoy it. You desire it. Otherwise, you just wouldn’t do it. You are upset over an aunt you don’t even talk to. Stop taking her calls. Talk about manufacturing drama.” – Ok-Number-8097
“I was gonna say NTA but I decided YTA. There’s a lot to be had here. Did you consider your family’s feelings before marrying out of country? You knew that would separate one family or another and you still did it. So your parents are not wrong for feeling frustrated by that.”
“Then you won’t even have the courtesy to TRY sitting with your baby for 10 hours. This is a controversial take, I’m assuming, but it really seems like you haven’t made loving decisions towards your parents based on this post.” – chewbaccaccino
“YTA to yourself. You know what’s right for you, but you’re ignoring your inner knowing because you care too much about pleasing others, especially your mom.” – QMC2023
While the subReddit could understand the conflicted feelings the OP had about this situation, they reassured her that she didn’t need to feel bad for having reservations about a ten-hour flight with her baby to see parents who were deeply critical of her husband and potentially her baby.
Some felt that the OP could handle the situation a little better by trying to work out a different compromise than what had already been discussed, but most found the parents to be overwhelmingly unreasonable.