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Single Woman Balks After Family Demands She Care For Disabled Sister Since She Doesn’t Have Kids


Sometimes life likes to throw buckets of lemons at people.

And making that much lemonade isn’t easy.

Often times when difficult choices have to be made, it feels like no one winner is in sight.

It’s especially daunting when family is involved.

Case in point…

Redditor cherrywasheree wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for refusing to care for my disabled sister?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I (28 F[emale]) have a sister (24 F) who has Down Syndrome.”

“She is unable to look after her self so my parents have been the ones to look after her.”

“A year ago my father passed away in a car accident so it has been my mother as her sole care taker.”

“My mother (60 F) was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer a few months ago so it has been very difficult for her to care for my sister.”

“My mother has been extremely ill from the treatments and is constantly at appointments.”

“I have been doing my best to try and support her and my sister during this difficult time.”

“My mother recently had a discussion with me that she is no longer able to care for my sister anymore and wanted me to take on the role as her caregiver.”

“My mother is worried my sister wouldn’t cope well in a home and wants her to stay around family.”

“I told my mother that I would not take on the role as her caregiver. “

“The reason I refused is that I am currently working as an RN and am currently going to school to become a nurse practitioner.”

“It has been my life dream to become a nurse practitioner someday.”

“If I was to care for my sister I would have to give that up.”

“I told my mom I would help in getting my sister into a home and would constantly visit her to make sure she wasn’t being/feeling neglected.”

“My mother told me that I’m being incredibly selfish and should be ashamed of myself.”

“She also said that its unfair that she would have to pay for this home as well (I offered to help pay as well).”

“She told the rest of my family and they all have said that I’m a horrible person for not helping out.”

“They all think I should look after her as I’m single and don’t have any kids of my own.”

“Am I really a bad person?”

“I’m posting here in hopes of getting an unbiased opinion.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“NTA. This is a horrible situation, but it comes down to this…”

“You did not choose to have your sister.”

“Your mother chose to have another child, and the fact that your sister is developmentally disabled and needs a caretaker is not on you.”

“You do not owe her anything.”

“More than that, if you don’t want to do the job but feel like you have to, you’ll be miserable and resent her, which is bad for her.”

“You do not have the obligation to give up your entire life for this.”

“Being a caretaker is a really time-consuming and stressful thing, and not everyone is suited for it.”

“In your position I would do the same thing.”  ~ T3HN3RDY1

“Also: what if something happens to OP?”

“Having a single caretaker is not a safe option.”

“Long term, a group home is much preferable.”

“There are some good ones around.”

“The socialization might actually be really good for OP’s sister.”

“Then OP and she can visit together more like normal family.”  ~ ReluctantVegetarian

“That was my thought.”

“Sister will forever be dependent on (maybe reluctant) family unless she gets into some type of group home or other situation where she can learn to be more independent.”

“Her mother should welcome this instead of potentially being shuffled between relatives for the rest of her life.” ~ pittsburgpam

“Kind of exactly how OPs parents got into this mess right now?”

“She should have been having a caretaker as soon as the father passed.”

“Putting THAT much on anyone person that has to juggle different roles will put TOO much stress on them.”

“She should had at least a separate caretaker once it became a one person gig to help alleviate the burden.”

“Too bad many people see asking for help as a weakness.”

“I’d rather have someone be taken care of fully rather than someone barely keeping it together and hanging on by a thread just to save face.”

“By the way NTA.”

“And tell your mom ,yes she is your sister and yes you love her and it’s because of this love that you can’t/won’t take the burden of solely taking care of her.”

“Ask your mom does she not love you enough to see you succeed in your own goals and life or should you just abandon everything because of the situation SHE brought on everyone.” ~ GhostEchoSix

“NTA I’m severely disabled.”

“I understand how exhausting our constant needs are.”

“Which is why I’ve already told people that if my husband dies I’m going to move into a group or nursing home.”

“There are programs specific to diagnosis and severity of medical condition, including socializing and fun activities.”

“The most important thing is to have one or more people who visit on random days of the week.”

“People without visitors–or whose visitors come on a set schedule with large swaths of non visiting time in between–are at best neglected because it’s easier to just leave people in bed with once a shift diaper changes.”

“At worst, they are subject to abuse.” ~ Fantastic_Nebula_835

“This specific part got me too. OP is only 28.”

“There is still a lot of time for her to find a partner and have kids (if she wants to).”

“Even if she doesn’t, she still has plans for her life.”

“She is doing a lot to offer to financially support the sister and regularly check on her to ensure she is getting excellent care.”

“It’s unfair of mom to expect her to give up all future plans to look after her sister. NTA.” ~ Accomplished-Group60

“And add in the fact that all these other family members who are so outraged haven’t offered to care for her either.”

“I especially like the ‘logic’ that you’re single with kids.”

“When I’m sure that if you did marry and have kids then you’d still be the carer because she’s ‘used to you’ or ‘your sister’ or some other excuse they can use to make sure they get out of caring while trying to keep their conscience free. NTA.” ~ Foronceinmylifetaken

“Yep. OP, every person who tells you you’re terrible?”

“Immediately tell them ‘Oh, THANK YOU SO MUCH for offering to take care of [sister]!'”

“Then immediately either jump over to social media or send out a mass email to family, ccing them, saying ‘[family member] disliked that I refused to give up my life to care for [sister] so they offered to do it instead! Isn’t that amazing?'”

“Just keep doing this until they shut up.”

“Your sister will adjust to a good home; and if she doesn’t, then it’s not a good home and you’ll find another.”

“And she’ll do better at a place with people trained to help her and with you watching over to make sure she’s doing well, than being stuck with a resentful single caretaker with no life.”

“Besides, are you just supposed to STAY single the rest of your life ffs? NTA.”  ~ JadieJang

“NTA. A lot of the comments have pretty much covered how I feel too.”

“I just want to share with you a happy story about a friend of mine who was in a similar situation.”

“She had a younger sister with developmental disabilities and felt she was unable to care for her and was guilted horribly by her parents and family.”

“Long story short, she helped get her sister into a wonderful group home where she is thriving.”

“Her sister has a boyfriend and a part-time job and a pet hamster.”

“We went out to lunch with her the other day, and she was so excited for all the upcoming activities the group home had planned for the Fall.”

“Please don’t think you are consigning her to some awful situation if YOU don’t take her.”

“She can still have a wonderful life and be very fulfilled.” ~ SpaceyAwesome

OP responded…

“That’s really awesome!”

“I’m glad to hear that they are thriving in the group home.”

“I’m hoping it will be better for my sister as well.”

“We told her and she is getting excited for the new opportunities to make some new friends.”

“Luckily my mom has started to come around and we both are on the hunt for a good home for my sister.”

Reddit seems to be on your side no matter what.

That is a whole lot to handle in one lifetime.

Sounds like you got things under control OP.

Good luck on everything.