It’s easy to forget that life can change in the blink of an eye, even if you’re already living your life exactly as you would want.
Suddenly having to adopt a close relative after committing to being child-free would certainly fall into that category, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
While Redditor act103__ and her husband wanted to be child-free, they did not hesitate at all to take in their two nephews who had struggled through a traumatic childhood.
But when her friends began to accuse her of prioritizing her kids over her friends, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was somehow doing this all wrong.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for hurting my friend’s feelings at her engagement party?”
The OP and her husband committed to adopting their two young nephews.
“I (Female) never wanted kids. My husband too.”
“But life happened and now we care for my two little nephews (I’m their aunt). Their five-year-old twins, and they’ve had a traumatic childhood.”
“It was an easy decision for both of us.”
The OP and her husband had to seriously adapt their lifestyle.
“I’m not saying I regret anything but it’s not easy, especially with little kids that are traumatized (all you really need to know is that their parents were not good people).”
“Many of our friends (many who are child-free) have been great. They’re especially understanding of the fact that, though we didn’t give birth to them, we are now parents and the kids are our first priority.”
“They also understand that we can’t hire babysitters or ask anyone else to watch the kids due to several reasons, including their fear of separation.”
“We had to skip one wedding, and another couple allowed us to bring the boys to their originally child-free wedding. Both couples were happy and there are no hard feelings between us.”
The OP recently tried to juggle going to one of her friend’s engagement parties.
“Now, another friend is getting married and she knows what’s up as well.”
“When we declined her invitation to her engagement party, which would just be adults due to alcohol and other kinds of adult activities, she called me and begged me to come.”
“I said I’d try my best.”
“My husband and I decided that he would watch the kids on his own while I went.”
But the evening did not go as smoothly as planned.
“While I was getting ready, the boys were watching me, and they started to cry because they realized I was going out. This caused me to be late.”
“I apologized to her and while she said it was okay, I could tell she was slightly hurt.”
“Regardless, I tried to have a good time with her and other friends. I didn’t drink any alcohol but she kept trying to make me.”
“Then my husband texted me a couple of hours in, saying that one nephew is refusing to eat and the other is screaming.”
“I stepped outside for ten minutes to call them and when the boys calmed down enough, I went back in.”
“At this point, my friend looked angry. I had apparently missed a speech. She said I ruined the entire night by stressing her out with my attitude. She even accused me of thinking that I was better than her because I’m a parent now and she isn’t.”
“I told her that isn’t true and that I didn’t mean to ruin her night but I’m sorry.”
The bride lashed out at the OP.
“She told me to f**k off and said something like, ‘It’s a few hours. Those kids don’t have to be on your mind all the time.'”
“I was just going to leave but I felt so insulted. I told her that she can’t put her night being ruined on me, and that I’m sorry she had a terrible night because I didn’t drink, and because I refused to forget about my kids for a couple of hours, but her feeling hurt not my responsibility and she can figure it out herself.”
The OP’s other friends took the bride’s side.
“She started crying and our friends (kindly) told me to just leave.”
“While they all understand my position, they think I should apologize because it’s her party/wedding. And I did hurt her after all.”
“I haven’t been thinking about this much but I have some free time and I just got a text from said friend, telling me that I’m uninvited from her actual wedding.”
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 thought the bride needed to sort out her priorities.
“NTA. I don’t know why she was hurt that you turned up late. The fact is, YOU TURNED UP! You could have not bothered to go at all and then what? Did you ruin her evening because you didn’t show up?”
“She’s not entitled to your time and I don’t see what you did to actually ‘hurt’ her. Why was she so hyper-focused on you instead of just getting on with and enjoying her event? You didn’t make a scene, as you went outside to take the call. Also, why was she trying so hard to make you drink?”
“I guess once she has children, she’ll see for herself what it’s like being a parent. It’s probably for the best she uninvited you, one less person you have to stress over in your life.” – Duckie_plantmom
“You see, she wasn’t just late, she was late… because of the kids. And she didn’t just choose not to drink, she didn’t drink just in case… because of the kids.”
“So OBVIOUSLY, it makes sense to be upset because OP is choosing the kids over friends and flaunting That Parent Life in front of everyone.”
“(That was sarcasm.)”
“It’s weird, OP, because I’d expect that reaction if you were of central importance to the party (like if you’re the maid of honor, it’s a joint party, etc…). Otherwise, I don’t see why what you do, as one guest among many, matters.”
“It ruined her party because she hyper-fixated on everything you did instead of enjoying the party with all the guests. NTA.” – Limitless-Megan
“The bride sounds like the type who thinks the guests need to put heir lives on hold for a whole year until the Grand Wedding happens!”
“How dare you CARE about your kids while she, the only worthy and bestest bride to be, is partying, OP?”
“NTA of course. If your friends make you question this, drop them too. Your kids come first. Hope they’re in therapy to help them cope. You’re a good parent.” – Rohini-rambles
“Unless you are not telling the whole story… NTA.”
“Did you make a scene, did you loudly announce to the whole room that you had to call the kids? I assume not. You were late but you apologized for that. All in all no behavior that ‘ruins the whole night.'”
“And honestly… why is she so focused on you when it is her engagement party? Maybe let her cool down and talk again if you feel like it.” – face-in-a-crowd
“NTA at all. When we adopted our nephew (age three at the time), we thought he would be okay at daycare because he was previously going. He screamed and cried for hours in a way that breaks your heart, so much so that we couldn’t leave, at least one of us needed to be with him.”
“Your friend doesn’t understand this, and that’s okay; but it’s not okay for her to treat you like your current situation isn’t important. Time to find some new friends with kids.” – Intelligent-Panda-33
“OP, I would like to be your friend for the following reasons:”
“1. You would’ve preferred to be child-free but due to some reason (which I’m guessing was pretty traumatic), you now have two young children. You and your hoozband are stand-up people for putting aside your personal preferences and doing a great thing. I am in awe.”
“2. You are such an amazing creature that your friend, the Enraged Engaged, holds you on such a high pedestal that your absence (taking the phone call outside) caused her to miss you SO TERRIBLY that her entire engagement party was ruined. You weren’t there for a speech; oh noes!”
“You would’ve preferred to stay home with your children because they’re still traumatized (and probably will be for quite some time) but you compromised, having your awesome hoozband stay home with them so you could be there for her, AND THAT WASN’T ENOUGH FOR HER.”
“3. Because you’re a strong, loving person and because you’re obviously super incredibly amazing that the Unhinged Engaged friend can’t be without you… Man, I have some supremely awesome friends but you sound awesome-er. Are you accepting applications?”
“OP, you’re soooooo NTA. Please accept my respect and gratitude for what you’ve done… and let Upstaged Engaged go until she meekly contacts you sometime down the road with apologies.” – Flat-Succotash5369
Others felt that the OP and the bride both could have behaved better in this situation.
“Your friend was s**tty for not understanding your situation and you were s**tty to your friend. If you really are friends, you should both apologize and try to understand each other. After that, you can decide if you want to keep being friends.”
“But your friend is probably far down the priority list. Especially since you describe taking care of kids with trauma. You did not go into their situation but to me, it says a lot about how they react to you not being there. I’m really happy to hear that people do this for each other.”
“And while I actually understand how hard that situation at home can be, you must keep working on ways to lessen the burden of trauma. For you and for the kids. Stay strong!” – RetroJens
“It sounds like you and your friend have grown apart. She wants the version of you that doesn’t exist anymore. It doesn’t sound like either of you means enough to the other to make the transition easier for the other, but oh well. On to a new chapter of your life. Soft ESH.” – LadyJusticeThe
“ESH. Unfortunately, this is a situation you may need to just sit out next time. Hanging out with friends yet constantly having other things on your mind and taking phone calls isn’t always the best time for anyone involved.”
“You’re stressed about your kids, your friends are stressed about your stress and the wedding, and it’s all so unnecessary.” – Scared-Ad-7678
“ESH. I recognize this might be an unpopular opinion, but I think that no one is in the clear here.”
“The engagement party friend has her own issues and needs to stop taking OP’s focus on the nephews personally, but it can be hard when your friends shift their priorities suddenly.”
“Did OP have to take the call during the party? Is the spouse not able to watch these kids for a couple of hours on his own? Certainly, I can understand being available for emergencies, but the issues at hand sound like behavioral situations with natural consequences, not emergencies.”
“There is no one in these people’s lives that can babysit these two kids? I am hoping there are pieces that are left out to protect privacy, but to me, the OP sounds a little bit like they and their partner are playing savior/martyr as the ONLY ones who can help these kids.”
“All that being said, I cannot imagine the burden of going from childless to the parents of two traumatized kids overnight, and OP’s friend group should cut them some slack while they figure out how to manage parenthood in a balanced fashion.”
“Finally, pushing people to drink at parties is obnoxious and OP is not an a**hole for refusing drinks, and her engaged friend needs to accept OP’s decisions about alcohol consumption.” – SimonettaSeeker
“You accepted the party invite, knowing full well the expectations of this friend. They are your friend, you should be well acquainted with their personality and lifestyle. You were also well aware that she would want you to fully participate with them which you were particularly against doing.”
“If you didn’t intend to fully commit to the night, it would have been better to sit down with her better explain that you felt that you could give her what she wanted the way she would want it and maybe offered to get hangover brunch the day after. That way you show you care about her, but acknowledge that you can’t afford to live that lifestyle at the moment because of your personal responsibilities.”
“She was being a bit of a drama queen and clearly want more from you than you are willing to give and that is kind of a toxic trait, but brides be like that.”
“She sounds like she was drunk and that she got her feelings hurt that one of her best friends would not commit a few hours of her life to celebrate a major milestone in her life. Which can hurt to feel even when sober. I personally think that she is letting drunk emotions bleed into sober fallout, but that’s me.”
“Outside of that drama, your husband is also the a**hole for using you as the ringer, while you are out with your friends at a special party. In-laws exist for a reason. I know he was having to play in-zone for a few hours, but come on, man. Don’t be dropping the ball like that.”
“I think both of y’all need to apologize to each other because I think both of y’all have very fair points and there is clearly a failure in communication and empathy from both sides. I think it would be a shame to lose a relationship of several years to a silly spat.”
“Apologize. Even if she doesn’t. You can only be responsible for your actions. Hopefully, she is woman enough to admit to her fault in the problem as well.” – RandomPerson_7
The subReddit could sympathize with the fact that it sounded like a lot had changed in the OP’s life very quickly, and not only was this something that the OP and her husband had to get used to, but it was also something their friends had to accept or let go of their friendships over.
And that was clearly a decision that the OP’s engaged friend needed to make right now. If she only wanted to be the OP’s friend when the OP acted like her former self, it was better for her to disinvite the OP from the wedding and walk away now, rather than continue to demand behavior from the OP that simply wasn’t possible for her now with two children depending on her.