Home is, ideally, where you should feel safest.
Where you can be yourself and perform all the little routines and rituals that get you through the day.
What happens, though, when what you do in your home makes a neighbor upset?
This was the issue plaguing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) neighprob when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for clarity.
“AITA for refusing to accommodate to my infertile neighbour”
She began with a brief apology and the background of the issue.
“Sorry for the formatting and my writing, English is not my first language”
“My husband (29M) and I (28F) have been living here for 5y, ever since we married.”
“Our previous neighbours were an adorable couple in their 60’s-70’s, we had a fairly good relationship and was kinda sad when they left.”
And joyous news.
“This year I gave birth to my son (6mo).”
“When my new neighbours (lets call them Paul and Anna) moved in I was 2 months pregnant.”
“We weren’t friends but we would say hi to each other here and there.”
Then she detailed her routine and the reason behind it.
“I sunbathe every day, it’s something I have been doing since childhood.”
“I was a very anemic kid and my mom made me do it to help with my anemia. I don’t even know if it works, but it is a habit that helps me start my day.”
“This was not a problem until my pregnancy became apparent.”
A quick word on location.
“The left side of the yard has two kinds of fences, one low (1,5m) that used to have a hedge on the neighbour side (that they cut off) and one taller (2m) in the rest of the backyard.”
“It’s hard to see it from the ground, but they still can see our whole yard and part of our main floor from the second floor.”
Everything was okay until…
“When I was 5 months pregnant Paul told my husband that my sunbathing was making them uncomfortable.”
“I sunbathe in shorts and tank tops, nothing out of the ordinary, I just ignored them and kept my routine.”
“The following month he did it again.”
Tensions continued to rise.
“Until my 8th month, I was back from a walk with my husband, and Anna was in the front of the house, once she saw me she stormed inside and slammed the door.”
“The following day Paul came to our house and told us that they have fertility problems and seeing me pregnant was making her heavily uncomfortable, and I was an insensitive bit**. “
“Currently I am working from home and the baby is close to me in a playpen in the living room, and we have another in the backyard on the terrace.”
“So I can have him close when gardening or just playing with him.”
“Well, I made his wife uncomfortable again yesterday.”
“I was in the living room playing with the baby when he knocked, he asked me to move from the living room because his wife could see me from their balcony.”
“I told him to tell her to look in the other direction and leave me alone.”
“Today, my husband and I were grilling some meat in the backyard.”
“The baby was hungry so I started to breastfeed.”
“When I looked at their house Ana was on the balcony, she went in and a few minutes later Paul was at our door again.”
“I gave my son to my husband and I answered the door. Paul went off on me for breastfeeding in public (again my fenced yard) and being inconsiderate.”
“When he finished I told him to leave us alone, don’t knock on my door again, and if his wife is so upset over seeing a baby she needs therapy and not him harassing my family.”
“And I will do everything I want in my own home.”
“At the time I felt justified but I was venting with my mom and she told me I was wrong, and I couldn’t understand because I never suffered from infertility and I need to apologize.”
So OP was left to wonder…
Her confidence shaken, OP took the question to Reddit for some outside perspectives.
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
Some gave advice.
“NTA. Document everything and fill a restraining order if this behaviour continues. This is harassment.”
“You are not being inconsiderate for living your life. The world doesn’t stop spinning because this couple can’t have a baby.”~MaybeAWalrus
Others were very succinct.
“NTA. She needs a therapist and you need a restraining order against them.”~whoistimkono
People were concerned for the child.
“NTA. These people need to mind their own damn business. That woman clearly needs therapy. I’d lock my doors and keep an eye on that baby at all times. Psycho.”~AdCool7681
There was talk of how absurd Paul and Anna’s requests seemed to be.
“This is harassment.”
“And extreme entitlement. ‘Stop doing things with your kid in your own home because my wife is uncomfortable’.”
“I think she’s deliberately pissing herself off to make OP and her husband bend to their will because biology is screwing them over with their infertility.”
“That isn’t OP’s fault. If this were me and I was being constantly harassed by these people, I would threaten a harassment charge and if they kept going, I would go through with it.”
“This needs to stop”~HeyYouShouldSmile
OP’s mother didn’t escape criticism, though.
“Yeah, I’m not happy with the mom at all in this. ‘You don’t know what it’s like’.”
“No. Maybe she doesn’t.”
“But it’s not hard to see what’s healthy and what isn’t, and demanding the world around you stop existing in a procreative manner is ridiculous.”~yay_darkness
OP did return to give an update on what’s happened since her original post.
“Edit: I sat down with my husband to talk about the precautions.”
“I was so annoyed that I wasn’t thinking about the risks.”
“We will be installing cameras and a taller fence.”
“Unfortunately, the vision from the balcony will stay the same because the city won’t let us build taller than 4 meters.”
“But this is will help anyway.”
“I called my dad to get some help with the fence, and he ended up talking to my mom.”
“She called and apologized, she suffered from infertility and postpartum depression, when I spoke to her she felt Anna’s pain, but she also remembered some crazy things she did at the period and gave me some extra precautions to take.”
“About the restraining order, we called our lawyer, he told us to get a few footages, because until now we only have our word and our other neighbors testimony.”
“And if he shows up again to record it and call the cops if he came to my house 5 times to call the cops each time.”
“But still will be hard to get one.”
“Thank to all of you for your responses, I didn’t finish reading but all of your advice was more than useful!”
Home is a place where you are free to be whatever version of you is most comfortable.
While it’s always important to respect the feelings of those around you, it’s equally appropriate to have those places where you feel protected.
We should all remember to be mindful of others’ safe places and never force ourselves into them.