Family can be difficult.
Everyone wants to help the family when they can, but the demand for help can sometimes take its toll.
Everybody has a limit.
And family has a talent for burning down that limit, which can lead to chaos.
Case in point…
Redditor Dinnertime78 wanted to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
“AITA for telling my S[ister] I[n] L[aw] we weren’t going to cater to her just because she is pregnant?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My SIL is 6 months pregnant and is high risk.”
“Because of that, she’s unable to work so she couldn’t keep her apartment.”
“The father isn’t in the picture, so she moved in with us.”
“Her and I have never had the best relationship, but I put that aside because my husband wanted to help her.”
“We are not charging her rent or anything, as she has very little money.”
“We are buying all the groceries, and I do a lot of cooking.”
“Here is where the issue is.”
“We live a pretty healthy lifestyle, and I don’t like a lot of junk food in the house as we want the kids to have healthier options, so I don’t buy a ton.”
“We aren’t super strict or anything, but we will have a thing of ice cream for a week or so, and then next trip, we might get a box of brownie mix or a bag of candy.”
“SIL has been requesting candy, ice cream, chips, pizza rolls, basically all junk food constantly because she has cravings.”
“Now, we aren’t exactly rich, so I don’t really want to be spending money on food that no one but her would eat.”
“And I don’t want to be dealing with the kids constantly asking why Nan can have ice cream for breakfast or pizza rolls for dinner.”
“She has also been asking me to cook different meals as certain things make her not feel well.”
“I totally get nausea, but making meals that both of my kids will eat without complaint is hard enough.”
“Last night, she complained again that I don’t keep anything she can eat in the house, didn’t want any of the food I made, and later when we didn’t have ice cream, she asked me if I would go get her something from the store or D[airy] Q[ueen].”
“I got a little short with her and flat out told her that we are fine helping her, but we aren’t her kid’s father, and we aren’t just going to cater to her because she is knocked up.”
“She cried, and my husband feels stuck in the middle”
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.
“NTA. You’re going above and beyond in allowing her to live in your home and provide quality shelter and food for her.”
“Cravings are not necessities- they are wants.”
“She’s in a situation where pure and simple, she didn’t prepare herself to get all of her wants.”
“Your comment was not out of line.”
“She’s not the first pregnant person ever, and her failure to plan is not your problem to solve.” ~ dontwannadoittoday
“I couldn’t have chicken or mashed potatoes until I was around 4-5 months.”
“First 2.5 months couldn’t keep anything down and felt like the world was ending.”
“Then suddenly needed everything pickle-y.”
“NTA. Yes, pregnant women have cravings, but you can definitely control them when the situation comes.”
“If she would have been working now and suddenly wanted pizza routinely during office hours, I think she would have managed without.”
“She’s expecting to be pampered like a princess, which is not done.” ~ catculture8
“Certain vitamin deficiencies can cause cravings.”
“I have never been pregnant, but I went through a few months where I constantly craved ice.”
“I can’t even tell you how much crushed ice I ate in a day, but it was an obscene amount.”
“When I went in for my annual check-up, my doctor brought up how well hydrated I was, and I joked with her and told her it must be from all of the ice I was eating.”
“That raised a red flag, and she sent me in for blood work. It turns out that I was severely anemic, and the anemia was what was causing the intense cravings for ice.”
“That being said, OP’s SIL’s cravings for junk food are very likely not caused by any sort of deficiency, and OP is not responsible for purchasing groceries to satisfy her SIL’s cravings.
“OP is NTA.” ~ Snarkzilla
“Plus if her pregnancy is a high risk, all that junk food is not helping.”
“All that sugar, fat and salt content is not helping with her blood pressure or sugar which could make things worse.”
“She should be eating healthy food and leaving the junk for once in a while. NTA.” ~ TypicalAd3575
“She needs to get food stamps, and maybe that will help her understand how expensive all that food is.”
“She should probably get all the government assistance she can, especially insurance, as things are about to get astronomically more expensive once the little one is out of the briar patch. NTA.” ~ Reddit
“NTA. She’s living in your house without contributing.”
“She needs to stop being a choosing beggar.
“Also, just going to be a big meany and say it.”
“If you cater to her, then that gives her less incentive to start planning how she will manage to eventually get out of your house and on her own two feet once the baby is born.” ~ Formal_Air1697
“It’s probably SIL’s dream to be a S[tay] A[t] H[ome] M[om].”
“And she’ll lay it on thick that she can’t afford to work and pay daycare fees.”
“So if she stays home with the baby for the first 12 months, she’ll get a job after that when the fees slightly decrease.”
“Only then she’ll find a reason she can’t leave her baby at 12 months, then 18 months, then 2 years.”
“OP’s husband needs to be firm with his sister that housing her is a limited offer, and even if she doesn’t have everything figured out by so many months after the baby is born, she will have to leave anyway.”
“She can either leave employed, or she could make herself homeless and jobless, but either way, she’s leaving.”
“And then serve it in writing.” ~ IllustratorSlow1614
“NTA. I think you’ve done a lot by allowing her to live in your home, and you offer her healthy, home-cooked meals.”
“That’s a win.”
“I get the ‘high risk’ thing, but I work alongside a surgeon who is also going through a ‘high-risk pregnancy,’ but she didn’t quit her job lol.”
“I guess I shouldn’t assume anything.”
“As a mother, I understand the cravings, but to have it all the time is a little extra.”
“I’d hate for that type of behavior to negatively influence my kids.” ~ NobodyLoud
“INFO – does the pregnancy being high-risk mean sil can’t cook, or requires a special diet?”
“Are her parents able to provide any support?”
“Your husband seems to be leaving all the work and all the boundary setting to you, which isn’t fair.”
“On what is in your post, NTA.” ~ Positive-Amphibian
“NTA. You are not an all-inclusive resort, and she isn’t paying you the amount those costs.”
“You are already doing her a big favour, a clear case of choosing beggar to me.” ~ tatasz
“I mean, realistically, SIL is going to live with you at least until first grade when child care becomes significantly cheaper.”
“The three adults need to sit down and figure out what SIL being part of the household is going to look like, what is allowed and what isn’t, etc.”
“Because both of you are on course for major resentment, which is going to impact your mental health, your children, and your marriage. NAH.” ~ catsthis
“I second what the others are saying – with how she’s acting now, she’s definitely not going to leave once the baby is 3 months old.”
“You have to get your husband completely on your side (no wishy-washy, it’s so sad for her!) and be really firm about this or you’re going to be stuck with her for a very long time.”
“You might even want to get the agreement in writing – now, not later.” ~ chriswillar
“NTA, You maybe didn’t phrase it in the kindest way, but you are absolutely not obligated to purchase goods according to her preferences, even if they are pregnancy related.”
“You don’t have to let her live there at all, and you are already going above and beyond.” ~ GundyGalois
“You’re already doing a lot to help her out, and her asking is fine occasionally, but it crosses the line when she starts whining and making demands.”
“Yes, I know she’s high-risk, but there’s a limit to how much leeway she should be allowed to get.”
“You were harsh but right – you’re NOT her partner or parent to her child, and she has to stand on her own eventually.”
“You cannot and should not cater to her forever.”
“Also, you have your own family to take care of too.”
“I suggest you have a proper talk with your husband about this, then lay out some set house rules and boundaries, or you might all burn out and grow bitter at each other.”
“And if she can’t accept or tolerate this… well, she might want to find a different place to stay. NTA.” ~ chriswillar
OP, Reddit is with you.
You are doing all you can.
You are allowed to have limits.
Communication is key.
It may be time for a big family sit down.