Parents will tell you that not only is parenting hard, because it’s specifically tailored to each child and family, but some aspects of parenting also appear strange to those without children.
For people who have never really been around kids, they might question the legitimacy of some of the actions performed by parents and guardians, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor throwawayaitabra tried to prepare her friend for her first visit with her baby by pointing out that her baby was grabby during her breastfeeding stage.
But when her friend insisted she was sexualizing and policing her body, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure what to think.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for suggesting that my friend wears a bra or thicker shirt before coming over?”
The OP tried to prepare a friend for her first visit with her baby.
“I have a 6-month-old and just started allowing visitors.”
“My best friend came to visit and I texted her, suggesting she wear a bra or a thick shirt if she plans to hold my son because he grabs nipples, very hard, and my friend has hers pierced and has told me they’re super sensitive.”
“I explained this to her and she ignored my messages. She came over anyway, nipples poking through her shirt, and my 6-month-old was staring, hands ready.”
“I offered to give her a sweater and she looked at me sideways and suggested I was sexualizing her breasts and she isn’t covering up.”
“I explained that wasn’t the case but she didn’t want to hear me.”
The friend soon found out what the OP was referring to.
“I respected her decision and asked if she still wanted to hold the baby.”
“She grabbed my son from me and within 5 minutes he had a death grip on her nipples and she jumped up, screamed in pain, and pulled him off of her.”
“We argued, and in the midst of our arguing, she suggested that I should teach my son to not grab nipples, but he is just a baby.”
“I said, ‘That’s why I suggested a bra.'”
“This made her even madder and she said, ‘No, you suggested that because you’re a misogynist.'”
“I was so confused and she left abruptly.”
Her friend continued to push the issue.
“She keeps telling our mutual friends that I was sexualizing her breasts and was trying to make her wear a bra or that I wouldn’t welcome her but that isn’t at all what happened.”
“Am I missing something? I feel like her reaction is really uncalled for.”
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 wondered if the friend wasn’t just trying to cause problems.
“NTA, you explained why you’re suggesting that so it should be clear it has nothing to do with sex, and she’s the only one sexualizing the situation. She sounds like a drama queen. Is she always like that? Must be tiring for everyone involved…” – Everything0w
“Yo, why are you friends with this person? She was bringing up her miscarriage at your baby shower?????? And then ignored your warning in regards to your own child, then had the nerve to insult you?”
“You have a kid now. Is this really someone you want to have an influence on them? Someone who insults their mother and one-ups her at milestone events?”
“NTA for Nipplegate. She sounds just awful.” – no_rxn
“She not only insulted OP but tried to tell her to teach her (presumably breastfed) 6-month-old baby to not grab nipples! Hahaha, what?!”
“This person has clearly never been around babies or young children before.”
“My youngest will be 2 next month and nipple grabbing is one of her favorite pastimes! We’re working on it (as it’s one of my least favorite things in the entire world) but she does it almost unconsciously at this point.”
“That’s just how breastfed babies are. It’s not only food for them, but comfort as well.”
“OP needs to drop this friend like a hot potato, she seems insufferable.” – riskytisk
“She suggested you teach the baby not to do it… You should have said, ‘Baby, don’t grab nipples,’ and when he still did, you should have reassured her that he was going to be grounded for at least 2 weeks for his disobedience.”
“NTA, obviously.” – impolite_no_caps_guy
“OP: cover your nipples. Baby will grab and it hurts.”
“Friend: no. Stop sexualizing me!”
“OP: no, I don’t care what you do or do not wear when not holding baby… but he is gonna grab your nipples in his fierce vice-like maniacal, grip! It will hurt! Please.”
“Friend: no. You are a misogynist!”
“OP: ok, don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
“Friend grabs baby, and baby grabs boob.”
“Friend: why did you do this to me, OP?” – Ursula2071
Others questioned the friend’s thoughts on misogyny and sexualization.
“I was babysitting my nephew and he was hungry and breastfed, but my SIL didn’t have any stored milk so I couldn’t give him a bottle, I had to wait until she got home (it was only half an hour, but he was less than a year old so it was torturous for him), and the poor thing was just howling.”
“And as he was howling, I was walking him around and singing and bouncing him to try to distract him, and he is full-on slapping me in the tits. Repeatedly. Hard.”
“Like, ‘Hey, idiot lady, this is what I want!’ And at that age, you can’t explain to them that some tits are just for show and don’t actually do anything.”
“So, yeah, OP is NTA. Breastfed babies like boobies. They just do. It’s a risk you take when holding a baby, just like you risk them spitting up on you, so you don’t wear something fancy and use a burp cloth.” – ReservoirP**sy
“I mean, OP is doing the exact OPPOSITE of sexualizing boobs. She’s saying hey, boobs are food right now. So unless you want yours to be on baby’s radar, wear some protection.” – suspiciouscupcake23
“Yeah, as a person with boobs and no kids who has held friends’ babies and had them IMMEDIATELY turn and smush their faces into my chest, I have to wonder if OP’s friend has just never been around a baby before or what.” – bibliophibian19
“It is fully impossible to ‘teach’ a six-month-old anything. My baby used to yank women’s shirts down trying to get to the boobs.”
“I warned people what would happen, some decided not to hold him – that was fine. Some people watched his hands and gripped them when they got close to cleavage, that is fine.”
“Once he got old enough to understand what no meant we worked on consent and not pulling on clothes.” – Music_withRocks_In
“NTA – play stupid games, win stupid prizes.”
“Top tip – babies are vicious and should be treated as such, don’t give them access point – no delicate chains, dangling earrings, or tank tops (they WILL be pulled down).”
“OP warned friend and friend didn’t listen then paid the price.” – xLostandAfraidx
But one Redditor was especially critical of the OP’s actions.
“She didn’t help her friend. She could have hovered nearby and intercepted the grab that she knew was coming.”
“Instead, she let it play out, which is FINE. NTA for that, she warned her friend.”
“But her other comments, how she focuses on the nipples, and her offering a sweater that wouldn’t do anything to help her all makes me feel something is off.” – Awesome_possum90
“OP, you knew what was going to happen and stepped back to smugly watch the fireworks.” – Awesome_possum90
“YTA, this is super weird for you to harp on so much. It’s clear you did have a deeper problem with her sexuality.”
“You warned her, she didn’t listen, she got punished for it. It sounds like you didn’t need to do anything for the situation to resolve itself.”
“And offering a sweater? The kids I know will grab boobs regardless if they know where the nipple is or not. A sweater won’t do s**t. You just wanted her to cover up because nipples make you uncomfortable.” – Awesome_possum90
After receiving feedback, the OP shared a thoughtful update in the comments.
“Honestly my friend has been through a lot. I’ve known her since we were 12, and I’m now 26.”
“I guess I was giving her the benefit of the doubt because she wasn’t like this growing up, but after this and reading all of your lovely comments (and I don’t mean that sarcastically), I realize she’s a toxic friend who I can’t help unless she helps herself.”
“Unfortunately it looks like cutting contact might be the best thing for the both of us right now, and I hope she seeks therapy because this behavior is not acceptable, and I refuse to tolerate it anymore.”
The subReddit understood why the OP was so perplexed by her friend’s behavior, as her attempts to prepare her friend for the visit were far from examples of misogyny or sexualization.
Perhaps it had more to do with the history the OP reported in the comments, specifically the friend’s miscarriage that she brought up at the OP’s baby shower. If she was bitter that OP somehow reached a milestone before her, that might explain the behavior.