Bringing a new baby into the house is always a big adventure, and it can be a serious adjustment for anyone already living in the house, including teenagers.
But in the case of teenagers, they’re often unfortunately recruited as additional parents, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor BrotherFavourite found herself having to sacrifice a lot of her possessions for her little brother’s happiness.
When she brought this up to her parents and received backlash, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she should have said anything at all.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my parents they’re not meant to make it obvious who their favorite child is?”
The OP’s life changed a lot when her brother was born.
“I’m 16 [female]. I have a 20-month-old younger brother, we’ll call him Jack, who is pretty much the light of my parents’ life.”
“I understood that when he came along, I wouldn’t have my parents’ undivided attention or even much of it in the first few years of his life, but I didn’t really understand how much would really change.”
First, the OP had to change bedrooms.
“It started when he was about 6 months old. They asked me if I would take the smaller bedroom and move Jack into mine.”
“They have pretty valid reasons, so I did agree and took the smaller room.”
“My room was fairly bare when it was the bigger one. It was just my bed, a bit of decoration, wardrobe, dresser, and in that room, my TV was wall-mounted but my dad kept forgetting to wall mount it in the new room, so it was on the dresser.”
Then the OP had to give up other little things.
“I do prefer the smaller room, it’s easier to keep clean, cozier.”
“The room was just kind of the start of the whole, ‘Your brother needs more’ thing.”
“It was kind of just giving my brother snacks that I kept in the fridge or hotpress for a while.”
“Then it turned into, ‘Can we give your brother – instert thing I use regularly here-‘.”
Then there was the whole situation with the TV.
“Most recently it was my TV and Chromecast. This is kind of what takes the cake for me.”
“My brother slept in my parents’ room for the first 6 months and got used to falling asleep with the TV on.”
“Then until about a month ago, it was his iPad propped on his dresser. He ended up breaking his iPad, because he’s 1, and he shouldn’t even have one.”
“My parents decided they were going to take my TV to make my brother sleep, so they did.”
“But it’s not a smart TV and I used it mainly for my switch, PlayStation, and I had a Chromecast extension to watch things with.”
“So they decided to take the Chromecast too.”
The OP wasn’t happy about this.
“I got pretty p**sed about this.”
“They didn’t even ask this time, and when I brought it up, they said I’m saving for a new one anyway (I am saving for a smaller one, but I’m a bit off still), so I’d only need to wait another few months.”
“I asked them how they expect my brother to sleep in, say, a hotel or at a sleepover if they don’t break the habit now.”
“They said they don’t know but they’ll cross that bridge when they come to it.”
“I eventually asked what I’m meant to use my PlayStation on.”
“They said I can just wait until I get myself a new TV.”
“I asked about the Chromecast, and same thing, I’ll have to get myself a new one, no compensation.”
“Eventually, I got annoyed and said, ‘You know, you’re allowed to have favorites, but you’re not meant to make it so obvious who it is.'”
“They both got pretty p**sed at me for implying they have a favorite child, to begin with.”
“They think I’m a huge a**hole for that alone and for saying I want my TV back.”
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 said the parents were absolutely wrong for how they handled the situation.
“Maybe, maaaaybe I would give the parents a pass on the room thing if it was something like the smaller room was on a different level of the house and OP’s old room is right next to the parents’ room.”
“But that’s about all the leniency I’d be maybe willing to extend. NTA and I hope parents aren’t surprised when OP moves out in two years and never returns.” – SoullessCycle
“When we moved to a new house with 3 bedrooms, I was 7 almost 8 months pregnant. My son was 5 at the time. I gave him the choice between two of the bedrooms. One was quite a bit smaller. He chose that one but I asked him several times if he was sure and pointed out that it was smaller than the other one offered. That was the one he wanted.”
“So I can’t even imagine just usurping a teenager from an already established space where they have grown comfortable. Her parents should have worked with the room they had. Idk (I don’t know) about their own bedroom but in the beginning, I kept both of my kids in their bassinets in our room then moved them once bigger. Just kept their toys and baby stuff in their rooms.”
“I feel they could have made it work. But the whole watching TV and leaving a 1 yr old with an iPad is just … so bad. They’d rather put off dealing with the consequences of the future than curbing the actions creating the problem right now.”
“OP is not there to take from to supply for the little one. They are showing zero respect for her as their other child. They CHOSE to have another kid and if they are going to raise it using electronics then THEY need to provide those things. Not abuse their authority by taking from their other kid and saying, ‘well, sorry, buy yourself another.'”
“You’re NTA OP. You didn’t do anything wrong. As a parent, if I’m f**king up or making my kid feel less than in favor of the other, or in any other way, I want to know. So I can fix it.” – ambamshazam
“We had this predicament when my youngest was born. Our house is a townhouse on three floors, my younger son had the biggest room on the top floor (because of kids toys) which was opposite ours, and then my eldest son had one of the rooms on the middle floor (which he chose and we kitted out for him with a desk and Xbox since he’s a bit older).”
“The baby came along and it would have been more convenient for me to move the younger son downstairs with his brother but I didn’t want him to feel displaced or resent the new baby for taking his room, so baby’s nursery is on the middle floor, and we use a baby monitor.”
“I’m glad we made that choice because nobody had to give up their space for a baby which we as the adults chose to have. My kids adore the baby but they didn’t choose to bring her into the family so shouldn’t have to make sacrifices.” – FlossieOnyx
Others suggested the OP start preparing for the future now.
“OP – you need to plan on moving out of home as soon as possible unless you want to become a nanny for your younger brother.” – Fraerie
“Totally, if the age gap was smaller she probably would have to do his share of house chores and stuff like that. OP needs to plan out her next year’s so she doesn’t end as a free babysitter.” – Glitterdoomsday
“It is going to get worse too. They don’t see OP as a person. That is why they think it is OK to steal from her and not do things they should for her. And if it hasn’t started already, the parentification is going to be rough. She will be expected to take care of him. 2 years is a long way off.” – Ursula2071
The OP’s parents may have thought she was being ridiculous, but the subReddit felt otherwise. The room exchange may have been understandable depending on their house, but the rest of the parents’ behaviors were disrespectful to the OP, the sub agreed.
They also encouraged her to start making arrangements for when she turned 18, because likely, this behavior wouldn’t change as the baby aged.