Everyone wants to feel celebrated.
We all want to feel like we are appreciated but what happens when someone wants to be appreciated for something that they haven’t done yet?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) reneehoney987 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to get opinions on a hypothetical she was concerned about.
“WIBTA (Would I Be The A**hole) For not celebrating my SIL (who doesn’t have kids) on Mother’s Day?”
OP began with a background.
“I (Female 27) have a brother (Male 26) and two sisters (F30) (F32).”
“My brother got married a year ago to my SIL (F24).”
“Before they got married they only knew each other for a few months, and SIL has yet to acclimate to our family since.”
“My sisters and I are very close because we all have children and we’re close in age.”
“I was looking forward to celebrating Mother’s Day with them as we do every year.”
“We usually have a big brunch in our family home and spend the day with all of our children. This will be SIL’s first Mother’s Day with us.”
Everything was fine, until…
“Today, my brother sent a message in the family group chat expressing that he would like us to equally celebrate his wife on Mother’s Day because they have been trying to conceive for the last year.”
“I have sympathy for the difficulties of conceiving and thought I would just get her a card, even though I intend on getting my sisters and my mom gifts.”
“I have also had drawn-out periods of trying to conceive and though I would never put my grief onto other people and expect them to act accordingly, I do understand.”
OP followed up with a bit more clarity on Sister in law.
“A little context on brother and SIL.”
“SIL makes a living on an adult content subscription site and they both live off of it.”
“They live very free lives of partying and festivals.”
“They travel and sleep until 2 PM. All of these things are fine. They should live their lives and enjoy them before they have kids.”
“However, SIL really hit a chord for me when she responded in the group chat.”
“She said word for word, ‘please comply with our wishes as I am just as much of a mother as you girls are.’ ”
“I am a mother of three, two of which I homeschool while working from home with a newborn. Both of my sisters have four kids.”
“This kind of rhetoric is really disturbing, offensive, and disrespectful.”
She was left to wonder…
“WIBTA if I completely ignore this request and celebrate my sisters and mother like I initially planned?”
“My sisters want to do the same and are also deeply offended by her clueless comment.”
Having explained the situation and her possible course of action, OP turned to Reddit for some outside thoughts.
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 felt that SIL was too pushy.
“I don’t think OP is the AH here b/c SIL was being too aggressive.”
“But you technically don’t have to be a mother to celebrate mother day it actually up to whoever you see as a motherly figure in your life.”
“My mom is fully in my life no issues, but my aunt who had no children of her own literally went above and beyond in me and my sister lives.”
“Hell I’m 23 and she text me every other day if I’m good or need anything.”
“So growing up my sister and I would celebrate her and my mother on mothers day getting her gift and call her to thank her for all she done in our life’s I have been doing that for as long as I can remember.”
“So SIL honestly in my opinion if she is just a good aunt for now and is actively present the kids honestly might want to celebrate with her as well.”
“And hopefully if She does do that OP will be ok celebrating along side her because she will be a active person and motherly figure in her kids life and is an amazing aunt.”
“But again only if SIL is actually actively doing stuff for the kids like my awesome aunt (sorry to brag she’s an amazing person)😊 If anyone is unclear my opinion is NTA” ~ Zeo_Toga64
Others suggested embracing spite.
“Get one of those mom gifts based off your kids.”
“Like get everyone necklaces with each of your kid’s names and birthstones. Or mugs with photos of them, or etc.”
“Then get her a blank mug or an empty chain.”
“(Probably don’t really do this. But honestly I don’t think I’d be able to hold my tounge on her being just as much of a mother as I am.”
“She’s not a mother. I don’t go around claiming to be a veteran on veteran’s day.)” ~ TheHatOnTheCat
Of course, there were also personal stories.
“So my sisters and I do get each other small gifts for Mother’s Day – but we all love giving and receiving gifts.”
“It’s always something small, but luxurious (to us).”
“Think expensive mascara or nail polish. Or a cute pair of earrings.”
“We’re close, and I think we just like to celebrate each other.”
“We go in together to get our own mom something bigger and nice each year.”
“I’ve had friends tell me it’s weird, but I love doing it.”
“I started doing it for my SIL (who has two kids as well), and she’s so happy every year. It’s fun for me.” ~ JenniJS79
There was also confusion as to SIL’s original request.
“I know I’m getting old…half century here…but don’t you have to have kids in some capacity to be a mother? Does she even have a pet fish?”
“NTA…but I would tread carefully here….if you invite her out to celebrate, but exclude her, this could be just as hurtful as not inviting her at all.”
“I would suggest speaking with your brother and ask him to explain why she is to be considered a mother when she’s not even pregnant?”
“I mean, as much I want it to, sitting in a Fire Truck and pulling the siren doesn’t make me a Fire Fighter..” ~ The_Fires_Of_Orc
“Not a mother? No mother’s day celebration.”
“I grew my family through adoption.”
“We brought my first son home on May 18th.”
“Mother’s day was a few days prior that year (the 14th maybe?). I wanted to celebrate mother’s day with my wife knowing that we’d pick up our child in just a few days – my wife flat out refused.”
“She was sad that our pick-up was delayed by a week and she missed mother’s day that year – but that didn’t change her position that she was not yet a mother and should not celebrate mother’s day.” ~ t_a_degen
“That is a strange request.”
“Just because she’s trying to conceive does not make her a mom.”
“If she’s given a present or card and she has no children wouldn’t that make the day mean nothing?”
“Having children makes you a mom, whether they’re biological or adopted or something like that.”
“They’re just has to be children that is/was raised after by a woman, right? SIL is none of those.”
“I probably would not get her sh*t, because of those words of ‘please comply with our wishes’, WTF?”
“I wish I was a millionaire, but here we are.” ~ katminte
OP did return with some final thoughts,
“I do NOT look down on my SIL for what she does for work. I wish sex work was something I was capable of, I’d have a lot more money lol.”
“More power to her.”
“I was giving context to their life because it’s not like she’s raising foster children.”
“She lives her life solely for her AS SHE SHOULD.”
“But she is not as much of a mother as I am, I live and breathe my children every day. That’s what Mother’s Day is about.”
“When I say she hasn’t ‘acclimated’ to our family, I mean she’s been completely nuts on more than one occasion and doesn’t try to hide her crazy.”
“She asked us not to celebrate Christmas because she is Jewish and my brother apologized privately.”
“I called my brother to apologize if they had lost a child(ren) that we were unaware of.”
“He told me they hadn’t and he’s mortified.”
“He said they are in an explosive fight because SHE SENT THE TEXT FROM HIS PHONE without his permission.”
“He also said he is beside himself about her nasty comment because SIL justifies it by saying she will birth sons that will carry on our family name and my sisters and I don’t even have the family name anymore.”
“We all took our husband’s names.”
“She believes she is more important because she is carrying on my father’s surname. My brother probably should not have told me this but he’s obviously upset and hurting.”
“I’m at a loss for words.”
Of course, there are many ways to be a Mother.
The care and love that you give to others can transcend biology in any number of ways.
But to demand praise for behaviors you aren’t exhibiting may not be the best way to go about it.