At first it may seem that anybody lucky enough to live rent-free ought to have little to complain about.
But a recent post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit showed how sometimes things may not be that simple.
The Original Poster (OP), anonymously known as throwawaysavemepls on the site, injected some of his thoughts right into the post’s title.
“AITA for not being willing to take care of my blind, deaf, and senile grandmother while living rent free?”
OP first shared news of a recent shakeup in his living situation.
“I’ve got a pretty strong feeling I’m in the right here but the way my mother looked at me made me suspect maybe I’m being unreasonable.”
“I [20-year-old male] used to live on campus at university last school year via scholarship. After the school year ended my housing went with it.”
He tried to find a solution.
“My mother [41-year-old female] is recently married.”
“When it came time for me to start looking for a place to stay for the next school year I had the opportunity to move in w/2 friends for $400/month.”
“I told my mother about it and said I’d move in with them so I wouldn’t impose on her and her new marriage.”
“She objected and told me to move back home so I could save money. I said thank you and promptly moved back home.”
It seemed ideal at first.
“During this summer I transferred to online schooling so I can focus on training more. I am currently in the process of training for special forces selection in the military.”
“Switching to online made much more room for me to train the way I wanted to.”
“Selection is very rigorous and if I fail I will waste 4 years of my life so I take it very seriously.”
But ideal is, apparently, in the eye of the beholder.
“My mother does not and complains that I don’t have a job.”
“I have thousands saved up from previous jobs and told her I’d be willing to pay her for rent (despite the purpose of me moving in with her).”
Finally, yesterday I’m told my grandmother’s nursing home is closing and grandma (whom I have no connection to) is moving in with us…”
“…and it’s expected that I take full care of her as a job (not pay) since my mother and her husband work full time.”
OP was surprised. by that.
“I declined pretty harshly and said I am now moving out since more and more expectations keep being pushed upon me.”
“I was told I’m an a**hole for being willing to pay rent to strangers than take care of my grandmother.”
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
A majority of Redditors took OP’s side.
In fact, they were skeptical of OP’s mother’s motivations from the start.
“NTA. That’s why they wanted you to move in. Save yourself and move out.” — Ehaveachat
“NTA. It sounds like your mother might have known the nursing home was closing and decided to manipulate you into a position where you would be a free alternative.”
“Your grandmother needs to be in a facility that’s equipped to deal with her needs, with trained carers. In some situations, elders insurance will only pay if you have no assets that can be used to finance it.”
“Is it possible your mother is trying to preserve your grandmother’s money for something? Because it may be part of her motivation, and it will end up harming your grandmother.”
Find a way to move out as soon as you can. This is not a situation you can fix.” — TinyRascalSaurus
“NTA. Your mom thinks this is a neat little solution to their problem, but NO. Caregiving is so much harder than most people know- on top of school and training? For no pay? Just no.”
“Your mom will need to get part time help or something. You should find a place and move out.” — B4pangea
Some took the incident as a red flag.
“GET OUT! GET OUT NOW! For your own future, you need to focus on yourself and your goals. That is a very normal thing to be doing at this stage in your life. Your mom can hire part time care or do whatever she needs to do for her mother, it’s not your responsibility.”
“I’m sorry your mom doesn’t support your goals for your future. Take care of yourself, because it appears you’re on your own as far as that goes. Calling you an AH? Way out of line, especially towards someone who is clearly interested in a career that involves serving your country, not yourself.”
“Definitely NTA” — SweatyFig3000
“NTA – they can certainly ask if you’d be willing to help, but you are not obligated to become a caretaker for your grandma. If she was in a nursing home, it’s unlikely you’d be able to provide the same level of care she needs. She needs professional assistance.”
“If they are requiring you watch your grandmother if you stay, then get out of there and find alternate accommodations.” — dookle14
And many simply emphasized the difficulty of caregiving.
“NTA Elder care is a serious job. Your mother shouldn’t force you to do that.”
“To be honest, even if it were a simpler request about getting a job or paying rent, by saying you should come home and save money, she cost you the other living opportunity you were already planning on. Reneging on that offer makes her (safely) the TA.” — galacticbackhoe
“Much to my surprise, reading the whole thing led me to NTA. Caregiving requires full and unfettered consent. It is not a job you can volunteer someone else for or bribe them into.” — amej117
“NTA You’re still so young and I don’t understand parents who expect their kids in school or newly graduated to move out or pay rent. You are in school and not a caretaker.”
“Your mother needs to hire a nurse because someone skilled needs to be caring for her.” — Pepinosenespana
Here’s hoping OP’s grandma can find the care she needs–from someone qualified and available to do it.