It’s second nature to worry about our nearest and dearest.
Particularly if they find themselves in situations where their health is at risk.
However, there is such a thing as being “too helpful,” when everyone’s care and concern instead turn into a hindrance and only make the situation worse.
Redditor MarchPractical9837 wanted to make sure his pregnant wife was given the care and comfort she needed.
Which, in his mind, meant that the behavior of her children from a previous marriage needed to change immediately.
An opinion that the original poster (OP)’s wife didn’t appreciate one bit.
Wondering if he was out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for telling my step kids to stop hanging off their mom?”
The OP explained that after taking a while to get used to it, his annoyance with a particular trait of his wife’s relationship with his stepchildren once again became an issue for him.
“I will be the first to admit that I grew up in a very ‘hands off’ type of family.”
“There was no hugging, snuggling, or anything of the sort.”
“So when I met my wife and saw her three kids love on her so much, it did make me incredibly uncomfortable.”
“BUT that was a me issue, and I just checked myself into therapy and worked through it.”
“Now the kids are like this with me, and sometimes it’s still hard, but it doesn’t make me nearly as uncomfortable as it did.”
“However, my wife is fully aware of this because through therapy, I was taught ways to communicate these things to her.”
“So I never asked the kids to stop and never tried forcing my opinions, but I did communicate WHY I became so weird about it.”
“So she knows.”
“Anyways, fast forward to now.”
“My stepkids are currently 13, 11, and 7.”
“All of them are still very much so snuggly kids and easily wrap my wife up on the couch four times a day.”
“The ONLY issue I currently have is that my wife is currently pregnant.”
“They have her on bed rest, and she’s only 16 weeks.”
“I simply do not like how rough the kids seem to be with her.”
“Though they might not actually be super rough it seems like it to me, and I’m worried about my wife and my unborn child.”
“Like my 7yo stepson will still lay on his mother’s chest (granted, he also is a small kid and has some ailments: ASD and ODD).”
“I don’t want him laying on his mother’s chest.”
“Or the two older ones will lay beside her but like.. half on her.”
“I don’t want them doing this either because their legs/half of their torso is on top of their mother’s stomach, and again, she’s high risk.”
“I don’t want them unintentionally hurting her.”
“So whenever I see it now, I either tell them to stop or constantly remind them to be careful of their mother’s stomach.”
“My wife flipped yesterday.”
“She never snaps, but she absolutely did this time and told me quite bluntly to ‘shut my f*cking mouth’ because if my attitude makes it so her kids stop snuggling her, she will never forgive me.”
“Insists she is fine, and if she wasn’t, she would say something.”
“It’s been tense here.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The OP found little to no sympathy from the Reddit community, who unanimously found him the a**hole for telling his step-children not to cuddle with their mom.
Everyone agreed that the OP’s wife was perfectly capable of knowing whether or not her children were harming her baby, and his behavior was totally out of line.
“Dude, I get that you’re stressed about your wife’s pregnancy, but nobody ever had a miscarriage from their kids curling up next to them on the sofa.”
“Nothing you’ve described here sounds ‘rough’ in the slightest.”
“Your old discomfort with the family’s cuddly ways has seized your anxiety as a mask.”
“Trust your wife’s judgment.”- MonarchOfDonuts
“Why don’t you think a woman who’s already given birth to and raised three kids would know her own limits in relation to her pregnancy?”- The1_And_Only_
“YTA, it’s best you stay in therapy because your issues are unresolved.”
“You’re projecting your upbringing onto your wife and step kids, and it’s not healthy.”
“They have a healthy, loving relationship.”
“Embrace it, don’t discourage it.”- One-Awareness3671
“Your wife is pregnant. She isn’t a porcelain doll to be placed on a shelf.”
“It is not ok to tell her she can’t cuddle with her kids.”- MyRockySpine
“My dude, YTA, she is right. You are wrong.”
“You have not ‘worked through your issues,’ and you are on track to favor one kid over the others.”
“Take some time to reflect.”- somewhatclevr
“Her laying down with her kids snuggling her is bed rest, and it’s probably the healthiest thing for her.”
“Kids snuggling can release some serious warm fuzzy hormones, which will allow her to be peaceful and relaxed.”
“On the other hand, your negativity which is very much unwelcome by her, is causing her stress ergo, you are the bigger danger to her high-risk pregnancy.”- SlinkyMalinky20
“I get that this is making you uncomfortable, but you’re the AH.”
“There are not many years that kids want to cuddle with their parents (I’m sorry yours were so unavailable emotionally), but I would also be livid if my partner told my son to stop cuddling me.”
“I’m also going through a high-risk pregnancy, and I guarantee my son sitting on me isn’t going to cause a miscarriage.”
“Keep going to your therapist, have a talk with your wife about your worries, but understand that she will decide how much cuddling she can deal with.”- Alive-Armadillo-126
“Your concern is entirely misplaced.”- Steelguitarlane
“YTA, and part of me wonders if there may be any particular reason why you would be more concerned about this kid than you are about your stepkids.”
“Your wife is an adult, and the kids aren’t made of lead; they’re not crushing or injuring her or the baby in any way.”
“In fact, having them close during a high-risk pregnancy is probably helping her stay calm and comfortable.”- LingWisht
“Your wife can speak for herself.”
“Also, this is hard for the kids, their mum not being able to care for them.”- Infamous_Control_778
“Your wife has done this before and has autonomy over her own body.”
“If she felt the kids were being too rough, she would say something.”
“You are very much forcing your lack of familial bonding with your family onto her and her children.”
“She has a very normal and healthy bond and relationship with her children and definitely doesn’t need you to put boundaries in place that she hasn’t asked for.”
“Please resolve your issues before your wife gives birth because her mama bear instincts will step up more, and these are the kinds of things that can break a relationship.”- Aggressive-Client456
“Your wife likes to be physically affectionate.”
“A kid laying on her chest or draping on her will not harm the unborn.”
“You need to have a conversation with the doctor or midwife on what is ‘rough’ and what is you overreacting.”- sparkio79
“Your wife has been quite clear. You’re treating her like an object.”- madelinegumbo
“YTA and I actually feel sorry for you.”
“You are obviously incredibly uncomfortable with physical displays of affection.”
“To the point where you are somehow making it seem dangerous for your stepchildren to cuddle their mum?!”
“My kids are these ages.”
“We snuggle a lot.”
“Everyone is certain of the love they have for one another.”
“My kids know without a doubt that I am their safe place.”
“This interaction is precious.”
“It has a limit.”
“Kids become older and no longer want this contact (or at least to a lesser degree).”
“Your wife knows this.”
“She’s rightly treasuring these moments and is ensuring they continue as long as possible.”
“You are threatening this.”
“Rest assured; your wife will dump you in a heartbeat if you continue to threaten this dynamic.”
“Get your sh*t together or risk being kicked out of this lovely family.”- Srumlicious
“You found a loophole to ‘righteously’ express your discomfort with their level of physical affection with each other, and you are milking it for all it’s worth.”
“Tell your therapist about it. This is something you still need to work on.”
To his credit, the combination of his upbringing and concern for his wife’s safety does make the OP’s behavior somewhat understandable.
But instead of yelling at her kids to get off of her, it’s a shame he didn’t first think of asking her if she was ok.
Hopefully something he’ll now do going forward.