Far more people are involved in toxic family units than any of us would like to believe.
When they have children, they have to decide whether to include the family in their child’s life or not, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Nevertheless999 found herself in a difficult place with her family as her parents wanted her to allow her sister to help her make decisions about her baby, since her sister wouldn’t be able to have one of her own.
But when her sister demanded to choose the name of the baby, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure how much more she could take.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not wanting to name my daughter after my sister?”
The OP and her sister didn’t have a positive relationship.
“My sister and I have never gotten along (let’s call her Jenn).”
“Jenn was born a cleft lip (which she had surgery to correct) and has lazy eye, most likely will never be able to have children, and some other minor health problems.”
“My parents always baby her because of that.”
“All throughout my life I been forgotten about. My parents forgot to come to my school plays or my basketball games, and they forgot to pick me up from them. They have not gotten me gifts for my birthday but got Jenn stuff.”
The OP felt like her sister could get away with anything.
“Now, all of that I could live with, because they are my parents’ wrongdoings and not my sister’s.”
“But my sister enjoys it, she uses my parents’ favoritism against me.”
“For example, she had once cut a big chunk of my hair because a guy she liked asked me out (which I declined). When I told my parents about it, all she had to do was cry, and they started feeling bad for her and forgot that she ever cut my hair.”
“On another occasion, I worked my butt off to convince my parents to allow me to have a pet dog. When I was like 14, I got a lapdog and paid for him all by myself. My sister fell in love with him and convinced my parents to give him to her.”
Now the OP felt like her sister was getting away with everything involving her baby.
“I have since become pregnant and am expected to have a baby girl.”
“My sister became obsessed with the idea of becoming an aunt and started to buy things for my daughter, texting me with instructions on how I should decorate her nursery, and made a name list for her, which her top name ended being her very own.”
“She even brought a little onsie that says, ‘Mini Jenn’ on it, and told me that’s what I’m gonna be naming my daughter.”
The OP had enough.
“Of course, I told her no way, I’m not naming my daughter after her.”
“I also told her that if it wasn’t for her being my sister, I would have already cut contact with her.”
“She told me that since she allowed me to date her crush, it’s only fair that she gets to pick the name of our first child.”
“Which, I honestly think is beyond ridiculous. She didn’t even tell me that she liked the guy I was dating until I became engaged to him. She also continuously commented on how ugly she thought he was and even if that was the case, her logic still doesn’t make sense.”
But then the OP’s parents lashed out at her.
“I ended up getting a call from my parents with them commenting on how selfish I am.”
“They said that I know that my sister will most likely never be able to have children of her own and that I should just give her this one, and that I hurt her feelings.”
“So I gotta ask, am I the a**hole for not allowing my sister to name my daughter after her?”
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 were concerned for the OP’s and her baby’s safety.
“The thing is, her physical problems are less a barrier to romance than her personality and there are other ways to become parents than by biologically producing them.”
“Sounds like the parents did poorly by both these kids. Teaching one that they will never have a normal life and told her that her sister’s life was partially hers as a consolation prize and told their other daughter she had to sacrifice anything they thought the other sister wasn’t going to have.” – Groaningleopardjuice
“She cut OP’s hair because she was jealous, what will she do to a baby who can’t speak for him/herself?”
“Go NC (no-contact) with all (sis, father, and mother) and explain to parents that based on their past inability to protect you from her in the past makes you insecure about allowing them into the baby’s life.”
“NTA.” – canadiangig
“Oh, sis is already preparing for that baby to be hers. She’s decided the name, the nursery decor, and everything.”
“The whole family has reduced OP to an incubator at this point. She said it herself, that the parents said, ‘I should just give her this one.’ …WTF (what the f**k)?” – Optimal_Sherbert_545
“OP needs to set up security on her child. Password pick ups, Password access to schools, Password friends.”
“This behavior is borderline kidnapping stalker. It doesn’t take much to fool a babysitter, or a school. May seem excessive, but reading the behavior reminds me of a case I had a do a forensic psychology examination on. When I read a situation that reminds me of cases I have worked on, I immediately get red flags flying largely in mind.”
“Password your child’s and future children’s lives. Especially when you give birth, request the strict restriction of access to viewing and visiting.”
“I don’t know why my gut is telling me to say this, but please document everything, all interactions previous, now, and future. And please be ready to file restraining orders… I usually do not have this gut feeling, but please have this advice close to hand.”
“What gave me the biggest fear is the line where OP stated her parents said she ‘should give her sister this child.’ That line gave me a double meaning. Either it meant that OP has to physically give up this child to her sister, to appease her, or keep the child but allow the sister to have 99% of say over the child.”
“The case I worked on, what little I can legally say is, there are many similarities that lead to a legal case that is still sealed to this day, and while it eventually had a positive outcome, for 3yrs it was h**l for the innocent involved, and 12yrs on, all innocent parties are still in deep trauma therapy.” – OriginalDogeStar
“I wouldn’t trust extended family. Because they could switch their loyalty to sister-and-parents any time. OP’s husband’s family, on the other hand, might be valuable allies, and most likely not invested in handing their grandchild off to OP’s sister.”
“I think another good idea would be an email chain or the like where OP expresses her worries, but also states that she’d never give up her baby for adoption, and especially not for her sister. Because, if push comes to shove, and fake adoption papers do make an appearance, she’ll have written proof of her intention as well as her worries about her family doing something to her child.”
“Another important ally will be OP’s baby’s pediatrician. OP should keep documentation of all check-ups and whatnot to avoid problems should her family call CPS on her for alleged ‘abuse.'”
“I don’t think therapists will be helpful at this stage unless it is for OP to sort out her own feelings and learn to put up serious boundaries.”
“I have no idea if attorneys can help at this stage, either. But making a will where she states quite clearly that she wants her husband to have sole custody of their child should something happen to her, and maybe add a secondary or tertiary person, might be an idea, too.”
“Also, get the clinic involved that OP intends to give birth at. (And, just in case, spread to her family that she chose clinic A to give birth at when, in fact, it’s clinic B.)”
“And, last but not least: digital detox is your friend. Keep any and all baby news off the internet – date, and place of birth. Heck, maybe even lie to your family about the date. If a fake adoption paper with the wrong date of birth turns up, this will hopefully raise some eyes!” – melympia
“This isn’t funny or loving, it is a terrifying possibility. Your child will NOT be safe with your parents or your sister. NC (no-contact) is the only way to go forward, I’m sorry.”
“NTA as long as you protect your child.” – moodyfish7777
Others agreed and urged the OP to cut ties with her family.
“That line about giving the sister her baby stuck out to me. Add that to the situation of OP’s dog and the sister’s immaturity (I LET you ask out my crush, so name this kid after me) makes me think she’ll feel entitled to this baby and simply take her when OP tells her no.”
“OP password protect everything for your baby and honestly go NC (no-contact) with your family. They’re giving me goosebumps.” – BaoBunny44
“I agree with the creepy vibes, and the password advice, but I’d go further. I would return all the wacky sister’s gifts, change my phone number and e-mail, update locks, get cameras, make sure the outside of my home had good, bright lighting, and if possible, move (you need a great school district, right?).”
“If you then feel the need to give your parents some kind of way of contact for emergencies, get a P.O. box. These are not safe, stable people for a child. Marinara flags are flying everywhere.” – Organized_Khaos
“I honestly wouldn’t put it past sister to call CPS and make false claims about how OP is an unfit mother to try to get the baby taken away and turned over to her.”
“I would absolutely go NC (no-contact) with the lot of them. NTA.” – LinkZelda05
“Definitely time to go NC (no-contact) with all of them. With the way sister manipulates her parents, the only surefire way to go NC with her sister is to go NC with them too.”
“The first chance they get, they will bring the baby to her sister ‘since she’ll never know the joy of having her own child.'” – ABeggyChooser
“OP, this is your life now, put your foot down and start doing what you wish your parents had done all along for you – advocated for your feelings.”
“Please, don’t name this baby after your sister, and it’s time for you to start putting some serious boundaries in place with your parents.”
“If they continue to trample over them in an effort to ‘do right by your sister,’ then consider going low or NC with them as what they are suggesting could definitely be taken another way.” – Puzzled-Passion7255
What might have been annoying overstepping in another family turned dark for this theorizing subReddit. Not only were the fellow Redditors worried about the family controlling the OP’s child, but they were worried about them trying to take the baby away altogether.