It can be a struggle to raise kids on your own. But things can be better when you have family to back you up.
Humble-Piccolo9513 is someone lucky enough for just that. As sad as the original poster (OP) is for losing his wife, he’s grateful his family have stepped in to help with raising his daughters.
But there’s now someone new trying to interject her way into OP’s life, and he’s not sure he appreciates it. But on the other hand, should OP try to give his daughters a new mother?
To find out, he asks the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit the titular question.
And while he’s sure of what he wants, he wants to think of his children.
“AITA for not looking for a mom for my kids?”
Is he denying them something?
“I (30M[ale]) am a father of 3 girls. My wife passed 8 years ago when my youngest was 10 months old. My girls are 12, 11 and 9.”
“I love them dearly and they’re my whole world. It was a tough balancing act at first because I really struggled to not replace healthy adult interactions with them and make my entire identity ‘dad’.”
“My mother, wife’s mother as well as my two younger sisters have always been there to provide strong female role models for my girls. I don’t imagine growing up without their mother has been easy but the women that they have in their lives to provide guidance are all fantastic and I’m truly blessed to have their help.”
“My cousin Emma (34F[emale]) moved back to our hometown and her best friend from highschool Amy (36F) and her have been around a lot. Emma’s a vet and a brilliant, hardworking woman.”
“I’m really worried about screwing something up with my daughters because there are things that no matter how hard I try I’m not going to get right the first time because I’m a man with a man’s lived experiences and I don’t want my oldest to be a guinea pig for my first crack at parenting through things with her so.”
“We were close as kids as well so having another friend around is good for me as she and I share a few interests I don’t share with other friends like hiking and rock climbing.”
“Amy started coming around with her as well and three things became apparent: 1) she’s got some issues regarding her own mother’s passing when she was young to work on. 2) she wants to be a “mother figure” the way my girls aunts and grandmothers are. 3) She’s a spoiled brat that’s always gotten what she wants.”
“I’m quite religious. I believe my wife is waiting for me in heaven and when my time comes I’ll be with her again. I have no interest in romance with anyone other than her.”
“This came to a head when Amy told me (not asked, told me) that I was taking her to a movie because she’d been dropping hints and I wasn’t picking them up. I told her that I was flattered but not looking to date and that I was busy with the girls that night even if I was.”
“She seemed to take it well but an hour or so after she left with Emma she started texting me about how I’m a terrible father and that my daughters deserve to have a mother in their lives and that she knows from personal experience. I told her not to come around anymore and blocked her.”
“I told Emma as well who was horrified and apologized profusely for ‘bringing that evil’ into my home.”
“I’m not going to go trawling for a mother for my girls but Emma suggested that having one of my sisters live in the garden suite (this sister lives at home with our folks) and if she doesn’t want to, Emma would consider it in order to give the girls a ‘mom-figure on tap’ as she put it.”
“I’m not too keen on this idea as the girls have never had difficulty getting support from their aunts or grandmothers but they’re also getting older and to be honest I’m wearing really thin. AITA/WIBTA for not trying harder to have a ‘mom’ around for them?”
OP felt insulted for how Amy tried to insert herself into OP’s life, but does she have a point? Should he at least have his sister or cousin move in?
On Reddit, the users of the board judged OP for not trying to find a mother figure for his daughters by including one of the following in their response:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
While being a single parent is difficult, it’s not impossible. There’s a lot to be said for role models, but they don’t have to live in the house.
On top of that, Amy’s insistence on trying to get OP to date her is weird. The justification of a mother figure for OP’s daughters is weird considering the number of women in their lives who can be just that already.
OP is NTA to turn down Amy.
“NTA. Your kids are not there to heal this woman’s old wounds.”
“Also, don’t marry someone so the kids have a mother. That is putting them in the position of being responsible for your marriage. Don’t do that to them.”
“Nta. You sound like a great guy and even greater dad. Don’t let that woman in your life and your daughters’ lives because she sounds toxic.”
“What she did and say is not okay. If you dont want to remarry, you don’t have to. The girls really have enough female rolemodels in their lives. No one should force a mother on anyone.”
“Good luck. The part about your wife waiting in heaven is really beautiful but please don’t be lonely. I’m sure your wife wouldn’t want that either.”
“You don’t sound lonely, so I won’t assume anything. Just be happy. It will be enough for everyone.” – DystopianTruth
“NTA — First of all: Good job blocking Amy. She probably would have destroyed your family. Secondly, don’t let Amy’s attempts at manipulating you get inside your head.”
“Trying to ‘find a mom’ for your daughters is not the way to start a longlasting relationship with a woman. That should either happen naturally or not at all.” – IllDivide3316
“NTA. This isn’t a romance novel and you aren’t required to contract a marriage of convenience to provide a mother for your kids.” – rainyreminder
That said, there’s something to the idea of having a woman in the house. Some girls may feel uncomfortable asking their dad about certain things and another adult presence may help.
OP shouldn’t do it just because Amy or the board suggested it, but maybe he could consider having family around.
But the feelings and well-being of his girls comes first, and OP should ask them what they want.
“NTA Sounds like you’re doing a great job and your girl have plenty of females they can rely on. If you don’t want to date, you don’t need to for your daughters.”
“At their age, anyone you date would probably be resented if they tried to act like a mom to them.”
“I will say, your cousin’s idea of having one of your sisters stay in the garden suite isn’t a terrible idea. It might be nice for the girls to have someone around and available in person all the time for things that may come up at their age” – XStonedCatX
“NTA. But your daughters are coming up to puberty and that’s going to be a rough ride for all of you. If I were you I would sit down with all of them and talk to them about how you feel about your wife and why you haven’t been dating.”
“Also tell them what people have been telling you about them ‘needing a mom’, and what they think about it. People may have been telling them the same thing, and they may be feeling uncertain about what you may do.”
“Also, would the girls like having Emma basically living with them? Announcing that someone they hardly know is going to be installed as their ‘mom-figure’ may not go over so well.” – FitOrFat-1999
“The idea that someone had been talking like that to them never even occurred to me. I’m going to have to find the right way to broach that subject.”
“My oldest is in an awkward spot because she’s very smart and perceptive but she’s still a kid so she hears, sees and deduces things but doesn’t always have the emotional maturity to process it so this is something I should head off early if it’s happening.”
“As for Emma, I agree. I grew up with her as more like another sister than a cousin but she’s only been back in town about 8 months now. My girls love her but there’s a big difference between loving having another fun, cool aunt around and having her move into the garden suite.”
“Thank you very much for your insight.” – Humble-Piccolo9513 (OP)
In the end, it looks like OP is doing right by his girls, and cutting Amy out was the right move. He can move forward with open and honest communication with his daughters, and see if they want to have someone move in.
But they don’t have to, and trying to get a live-in mother figure just because isn’t going to help anyone. They’ll live and grow together by talking about what they each want.