There’s no denying that parenting has its tough moments. Sometimes kids get sick or get their hearts broken or start asking tough questions.
This last one is really hard for some parents to navigate, truth be told.
Some parents try to avoid tough conversations altogether, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
That includes a friend of Redditor Pomlemonde who tried to avoid the subject of who her kids’ father was by avoiding men entirely.
When the friend balked at her refusal to get involved, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she should be more supportive.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my friend her kids not having a dad isn’t my problem?”
The OP was supportive of her friend, Stacy, and Stacy’s children.
“I’ve been friends with Stacy since we were in elementary school.”
“When Stacy was in her early 20s, she was a wild party girl and ended up getting pregnant twice (before anybody asks, it was consensual; she just liked going to ‘parties’)”
“I helped her look for the father of both kids, but many paternity tests later, she still doesn’t know.”
“I’m the godmother of both of her kids and I love them to bits.”
But then Stacy made an unexpected request.
“My son’s birthday is next week (which is allowed where we live) and Stacy asked me if my friends don’t bring their husbands.”
“I was very confused and asked why?”
“Stacy told me her eldest daughter has been going through grief that she doesn’t have a father in her life.”
“Stacy didn’t want her daughter to see the kids being happy with their dads.”
The OP had to decline.
“I felt terrible, but I told her I’m not going to do that since my husband and I are friends with them.”
“She had the audacity to call me selfish.”
“I told her, ‘I’m sorry, but my god kids not having a dad isn’t anybody else’s problem, but yours.'”
The OP also reflected on why she was so honest in the comments:
“I always felt like I enabled Stacy because I was always excusing her behavior. I know it sounded harsh, but I felt like she needed a reality check.”
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 said that Stacy sounded incredibly entitled.
“NTA. People who demand that everyone cater to their issues are obnoxious. Sure, it’s nice to be considerate, you try not to drink wine in front of an ex-alcoholic or have blinking lights if someone is epileptic.”
“But from there to demand that everyone cater to their demands and accommodate for them at every turn? You’re gonna see happy dads with kids all over the place anyway. In movies, books, in school.”
“You can’t get away from it, and you need to learn to live with it. Just like an alcoholic can’t demand a shop removes all their liquor because it triggers him. It’s incredibly entitled.” – tuviapollack
“I’m perplexed as to why she thinks it’s ok to put restrictions onto others because of her own mistakes.”
“She effed up by effing around – I’m sorry, that’s her problem, not yours.” – DiamondHeist1970
“NTA. That’s honestly quite entitled of Stacy, she can’t expect the rest of the world to pretend to be fatherless just because her kids are.”
“I have no issue with partying and casual sex but honestly, this is extremely irresponsible on her end. Obviously, I don’t know the details of her encounters and birth-control can fail, condoms can break, but you’d think after the first oopsie pregnancy she would be a little more careful.” – pacifiedperoxide
Others agreed and said further enabling her would not help.
“Sounds to me like you have been a wonderful and supporting friend. Sometimes, our friends require a little attitude adjustment, even if it means you have to drag them kicking and screaming back into the world of reality.”
“After all, if you can’t depend upon your friends to save you from yourself, who will? NTA.” – TheDissentingGopher
“NTA. She got pregnant not once, but twice by one-night stands and chose to keep both kids. She had to know that sooner rather than later her kids would want to know about their fathers.”
“You are not obligated to pretend that your son’s friends don’t have fathers in order to make Stacy’s life temporarily easier. Even if you did, this problem isn’t going away, she should get her daughter into therapy.” – Consistent-Leopard71
“Husbands are banned? OMG, this woman needs help. Actually, if her daughter is really struggling, SHE needs help. If she’s having a hard time processing her feelings about her family life/lack of a father, she deserves a place to be heard.”
“I wonder if the request really came from the daughter or if Stacy is feeling insecure.” – AffectionateBit3827
“It’s unrealistic and stupid. It’s her fault, not yours, and you all shouldn’t have to hide your husband’s like they are some toy all because your godchildren don’t have a father.” – Ok-Complaint8368
A few kept pointing out holes in Stacy’s plan.
“What happens if there is a single dad? Or, two gay dads? Or, if the mom can’t drop the kid off and the dad can?”
“It is much better to acknowledge that the daughter is feeling sad, and point out that families come in all shapes and sizes. Some have a mom and dad, some have more than one dad and/or mom, some have only a mom, and some have only a dad. And all are ok.” – Glittering_knave
“It is unrealistic. Instead of coming up with an age-appropriate way to explain why her kids don’t have fathers, she’s creating a world where men and fathers don’t exist.”
“It’s not going to help the kids.” – Ok-Raspberry7884
Though the OP had mixed feelings about how she approached her friend’s request, the subReddit agreed she had done nothing wrong. Her phrasing may have been harsh, but they inferred that it was time for Stacy to hear it, and that obviously it would be wrong to demand someone to limit their child’s birthday party guest list.