“Easy” gets a bad reputation.
People think that easy is equivalent to lazy and really that’s almost never the case.
The word “easy” gets thrown around a lot by people who are good at doing something to people who are not good at doing the same thing.
What you find very easy I might find incredibly challenging.
Easy just means access.
So, what happens when someone calls you out for using a device that makes your life more accessible?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) well_fck_me_i_guess when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for calling my SIL ableist”
OP got right to setting the scene.
“My wife (female 27) and I (female 25) were shopping for baby things with my MIL and FIL and we stopped at a café for some lunch.”
“My SIL (f32) ran into us with her husband and toddler and my FIL invited them to sit with us.”
She touched on the backstory.
“My wife and I aren’t talking to SIL at the moment because of how judgy she has been about how I handle my pregnancy (such as my decision to continue to exercise) because it’s not how she’s handling hers so it was very awkward.”
“I am an amputee so I bought some items to help me to look after the baby with more ease without a right hand.”
“SIL started looking into our shopping bags and pulled out a machine that makes bottle prepping easier and said that she didn’t know we were so lazy.”
“I tried to explain that I bought some things to make life easier as an amputee and I don’t want to have to struggle with accessibility.”
“She said that life isn’t supposed to be easy and didn’t listen when I said that so many things are made to be used with two hands by default and I don’t want to make life harder for myself when I don’t have to.”
“She then decided to say that I should have thought about being able to put together a bottle before we tried to get pregnant and my wife told her we did think about it and that’s why we’re buying stuff like this.”
“She said we were ‘cheating’ and here’s where I might be the A-hole.”
“I said that she’s being ableist and I hope she never has a disabled child because she would be a terrible mother to them if she thinks that making small adaptations is ‘cheating'”.
“She shut up and was very sheepish for the rest of lunch.”
“I have since got a message from my MIL asking me to apologize because SIL is really upset and is stressing about the possibility of having a disabled baby and not being able to cope and that she was just ignorant and not acting out of malice.”
OP was left to wonder,
“Should I apologise for what I said?”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Many responses had strong words for SIL
“NTA What you said to your willfully ignorant bigoted SIL was entirely correct.”
“Do not apologize.”
“Notice that SIL is worried about having a baby that has a disability, and not about being a rude opinionated bigot.” ~ solitarybydesign
“Her mindset is bananas. “
‘”Well you should have considered disabilities before becoming pregnant. Wait, I hadn’t realized that a disabled child could enter MY life due to pregnancy. How upsetting, I demand you apologize for making me consider disabilities during my pregnancy.”‘ ~ seventeenblackbirds
“You just told her the blunt truth, she would be a horrible mother to a disabled child.”
“Without any malice? She was being incredibly mean and rude.”
“She’s extremely ableist and she doesn’t deserve any kindness or apology.” ~ Javeslein
“I also think it’s pretty f*cked that she can’t cope with the prospect of having a disabled child.”
“I know that’s never what parents hope for their children, yet I find that pretty telling. Tell her she shouldn’t have gotten pregnant if she wasn’t open to that very real possibility.” ~ Alti0raPet0
Some were surprised that MIL got involved.
“What gets me is the mother-in-law saying she should get an apology because she was only ignorant.”
“If one is ignorant then one extends the apology…one doesn’t demand an apology for having been made aware. No wonder she’s like this!” ~ seventeenblackbirds
Others pointed out that this is indicative of a larger cultural problem.
“Too many people view disabilities as moral failings.”
“So many people don’t understand that they could be perfectly healthy and do everything right and still end up disabled or give birth to a disabled child.” ~ LalaThum
“For real, not to mention that even if you have a perfectly healthy baby and child they can always have an accident.”
“OP you were right to call her out on her ableism and I’m sorry she was so rude.”
“MIL can shove that want for an apology right up her a$$ too.”
“Anyone who wants to defend someone like SIL is just as bad IMO.”
“This is your hill to die on OP. NTA.” ~ CuriousPenguinSocks
Commenters shared personal stories, of course.
“I had a friend who was climbing a tree in college, fell when she didn’t grip a limb quite well enough, and became a quadriplegic.”
“She’s handled it remarkably well, in large part because of the kinds of things OP is mentioning that made her feel like she could have some sense of “normalcy”’.
“Most often they’re developed by someone who is facing the same challenges.” ~ justmaybemaggie
“I have hearing aids and my biggest fear of having a kid is not hearing them cry or call for me.”
“So I would absolutely be investing in things to help me with that. Guess I’m just a lazy cheater….” ~ pillowcrates
Some pointed out SIL’s hypocrisy.
“‘She said that life isn’t supposed to be easy'”
“Does she handmake her own candles for light, or does she prefer the convenience of clicking the lightswitch for instant electric light?”
“Yeah, somehow I knew it was the latter.”
“She’s being ridiculous and deserved to be called out.”
“NTA” ~ ieya404
“Does she use a dishwasher?”
“How about a washing machine?”
“Dryer? Wait does she have a flush toilet and fresh, clean, temperature controlled water at the touch of a tap?”
“What a ChEaTeR lIfE iSn’T sUpPoSeD tO bE eASy WAHHH! OP, NTA” ~ mybooksareunread
“Obviously NTA but she is.”
“If she insists on the ‘cheating’ you tell her she is cheating too because she uses a washing machine instead of washing all the clothes by hand as a good wife is supposed to do.”
“I do have a question.”
“She seems fixated to invalidate your pregnancy journey. Is she one to think that you and her being pregnant at the same time is ‘stealing her thunder'”?
“Or why on Earth is she acting like such an inconsiderate person?”
“In any case, she is clearly TA” ~ Europeangirl101
Commenters pointed out that this might be an ongoing issue.
“Keep a close eye on her as your kids grow up.”
“Your SIL is the type of person who will make everything a competition between your kids.”
“I have a cousin born a few months apart from me, and an aunt (not even his mother) would always be comparing us, even into adulthood.”
“He was my favorite cousin growing up because we were so close in age, but that feeling of competition eventually put some distance between us as we got older.”
“Even now, part of me feels like I’m still in competition with him and we were never even trying to compete.” ~ 1pinksquirrel1scotch
OP did return with a brief epilogue.
“Thank you all for your comments.”
“I told my wife that she could send the messages she had lined up to MIL and SIL.”
“SIL’s been silent but MIL sent a reply saying that because she’s never really seen me use mobility aids and they’re not the traditional wheelchair, crutches, etc, she thought that SIL wasn’t as out of line as she could have been.”
“And it was easier to ask me to apologize than deal with the tantrum SIL would have.”
“My wife told her that’s not good enough and that she doesn’t want to hear from her again unless it’s with a genuine apology.”
“MIL sent me an apology message and came over to talk after work.”
“We explained how out of line they both were.”
“I asked her if my sister had talked to my wife like that, would my wife owe her an apology.”
“We’re keeping MIL at an arms length until she proves herself but it’s a step.”
“My BIL challenged her to take her coffee cup and toast from the kitchen to the living room one handed after hearing about the situation and she failed at the first door”
We all have varying degrees of talent in every aspect of our lives.
While a specific thing – sewing, dancing, holding a glass, taking a breath – might be incredibly easy for you, that doesn’t mean that the same is true for anyone else.
Be thankful for your skills but be understanding that they aren’t universal.