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New Mom Refuses To Attend Sister’s Zoom Wedding To Keep Her Baby A Secret From Her Family

Getting away from toxic family can sometimes be a long and complicated process, particularly if you need to untangle false beliefs, vital paperwork, safety, and who stays v who goes.

That process gets even more complicated when you become a new parent and need to worry about your child’s wellbeing as well as your own.

A Reddit user who has since deleted their account asked

“AITA for refusing to tell people I had a baby, meaning I can’t attend my sister’s wedding?”

Before we get into the difficult details of their story, let’s go over how the AITA (“Am I The A**hole?”) subReddit works. AITA is devoted to those moments when you’re not sure if you’re being the bad guy or not and it operates pretty simply.

The original poster (OP) explains their situation as a post. Then other Reddit users share their thoughts in the comments before casting their votes.

Voting options are: 

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

Here is her original post: 

“My sister called the whole family a week ago to say that she and her fiancé have to bump their wedding up, so they wanted to know when we’re all free so we can watch them sign the certificate over zoom, though they are planning on having a reception in person at some point in future.”

“We all responded with time slots and she’s booked a zoom call 2 weeks from now.”

“I had a baby last year. I gave birth in May, to be exact. I have not told my family, because my relationship with my family is difficult.”

“If I were being nice, I would call it dysfunctional. If I wasn’t being nice, I would call it deeply upsetting.”

“Of my entire family (5 siblings, parents, step parents, extended relatives) only 1 brother and the sister who’s getting married know about my daughter, and they’ve both sworn to secrecy.”

“My sister wants everyone on camera with their microphones on at all times, and after the signing she wants us all to hang out for a bit, which would be perfectly reasonable, except because people don’t know I have an infant, there is no way to go on camera/mic and hide this.”

“My flat is entirely open plan. Everywhere is covered in baby stuff. It would be impossible to show my flat and still hide all the baby stuff, and that’s not even considering the actual baby.”

“My child is crawling at this stage, and is learning to pull herself up onto things and her new favourite thing to do is pull herself up to sit beside me.”

“And even if I managed to hide all visible traces of my daughter, I guarantee that in the hour long zoom call my sister has planned, they will definitely hear her.”

“I’ve told my sister I can’t do it. Attending the wedding would mean announcing the pregnancy/baby, and that’s just not something I’m comfortable with.”

“My sister responded that she wants me there, so I asked if I could have the camera/mic off, but she said no because she’s planning to record the call and use it like a wedding video.”

“I said in that case there was just no way to make it work and apologized.”

“She said that’s bullsh*t, I can clearly make it work, either by announcing the pregnancy/baby now, giving her a 2 week window for people to move on from the information, or I can lie and say my daughter is someone else’s child who I’m babysitting or something like that.”

“I said I’m not going to lie about my daughter’s existence, nor will I announce it when I am not comfortable.”

“The argument went from there, with my sister’s side being that if I announced it now and dealt with the responses ASAP, her wedding would be able to run smoothly, and it was sh*tty of me to refuse when this was important to her.”

“My side was that it’s shitty of her to refuse to make accommodations for my attendance (letting me leave the mic/camera off) and it’s completely unreasonable to expect me to plaster that I have an 8 month old all over social media just so I can attend her wedding.”

“We’re now at a stalemate, and neither of us is backing down.”

And some additional important details that came out in the comments:

“I have a couple of things to sort out regarding my family. Issues with documents and contact, among other things, and once those are sorted out I will be going no contact.”

“If my parents find out I have a daughter before I go no contact, they could try for grandparents’ rights when I do cut them off.”

“I don’t want my family to know for my own reasons that I can’t explain, but I swear they’re good ones. I will be maintaining a level of contact with my sister and brother who know but that’s it.”

“My family are encouraging contact between themselves and a dangerous individual while also restricting my contact with vulnerable family members. I need to be able to maintain communication with the vulnerable family members and ensure my family distances themselves from the bad person.”

“My parents also have the original copies of several important documents I am struggling to replace, so I need to get those back. Once that’s all sorted, I can go no contact.”

“Yes I’m planning on hiding the baby til she is an adult. I’m moving away as soon as I’ve done what I need to do here.”

“Regarding them finding out, ideal circumstances would be that I’d already moved away and gotten married, but if they find out before I’ve moved and I’ve not sorted out everything yet, then my plan is to just go ASAP.”

Reddit was kind of all over the place on this one.

There was no way the sisters “no mute” rule was going to work, but many didn’t believe OP was being realistic either. 

“You’re either incredibly naive or extremely stupid if you really think that you’ll be able to hide the existence of your daughter for oh, I dunno, the rest of her life?” 

“Even if you’re just planning on waiting until your older family members die (still messed up by the way) then what’s your game plan until then?”

“What are you going to do when your daughter asks about the family she never gets to see? “Oh sorry sweetie, grandma and grandpa don’t know that you exist.” ?”

“What about when she’s old enough to look them up herself?”

“You haven’t thought this out in the slightest and it shows. This is beyond unsustainable and essentially guaranteed to royally mess your daughter up.”

“At this point in your life I’d focus a little more on giving your daughter a less dramatic childhood and a little less on your own pettiness. Because while you may say that your family is dysfunctional and difficult to deal with, you sound no different.”

“Oh, and YTA by the way, if that wasn’t already obvious.”

“From one victim of a dysfunctional family to another: you’re a part of the problem, and if you keep this up then you won’t break the cycle and your daughter will have to deal with the exact same problems that are currently torturing you.”

“You have to stop.”

“By no means do you have to involve your parents (or any of your family members for that matter) in your daughter’s life.”

“You don’t have to invite them over, you don’t have to answer their calls, you don’t have to involve them in anything if you don’t want to. Your family is not owed that, and you have every right to be selective with who you allow in her life.”

“But deliberately hiding her existence from your family isn’t helping you or her, it’s just going to hurt your daughter far more than you realize.” – aphinion

“To be honest, it sounds like you are throwing up roadblocks on this rather than trying to find a way to make it work. Which is fine, just be honest with yourself and your sister.” – mollycoddle99
“NTA, you’ve asked her for a very reasonable accommodation and she is refusing to meet you halfway.”
“This isn’t relevant to the conflict, but speaking as someone who spends a lot of time on Zoom, she really does not want people to be unmuted the whole time. That’s a lot of background noise she isn’t going to want to deal with if she is going to use the zoom recording as her wedding video.”
“Sounds like she has a specific image in her head of what she wants, and she isn’t willing to consider anyone else’s needs. It’s pretty ridiculous that she won’t let you go on mute since you said you would be willing to use a background or face the laptop towards a wall.” – photosbeersandteach

“YTA”

“You’re already lying. Trying to state one lie is better than the other is semantics. It’s all not being honest.”

“I wouldn’t announce your child or cover it up. You don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why the child is there.”

“If anyone asks during the wedding all you have to say is ‘this is my sister’s day.’ And If they press the issue hang up. At least you tried to be there.”

“But you’ve made your choice not to inform people about the baby. That’s okay.”

“I would just be part of the call and not discuss the baby at all.” – DarcyKnits

“NTA. Just because she’s family doesn’t mean you have to attend the wedding, even though she’s someone you like and get along with.”

“People don’t understand this concept: you are never under any obligation to go to any event, even if it’s for family.”

“It sucks for her that you can’t/don’t want to attend but also she has respected your choice in the past about not want to tell the rest of your family about your child so why is this different?”

“You want to protect yourself and your baby from a family that was not the nicest to you, she needs to understand that if they found out then it could be horrible for you and the baby.”

“I say you do you. It’s your baby, your mental health and your choice” – apeers29

“YTA. From reading your comments you seem unwilling to budge.”

“It is possible to hide baby stuff/face a wall. It is possible to say it is someone else’s baby (you’re already lying by omission).”

“It is possible to mute your mic for a few minutes here and there when the baby is making noise, your sister will be so busy with the wedding she wont have a spot light on you.”

“Just own that you don’t want to participate and deal with the consequences.”

“That being said if you truly do want to attend there are ways to suppress background noise on zoom and use headphones so most of the sound that is picked up is from you.” – BCalifornia267

“YTA. Kinda?”

“Firstly, she can’t actually stop you muting yourself and secondly she’s going to very rapidly want people muting themselves because unmuted mics on zoom are a nightmare, particularly during the ceremony.”

“Lastly, she’s going to be in the ceremony not sitting at the laptop checking everyone’s sound settings.” – acatgod

“YTA for not even trying. Keep yourself muted, and say there is construction in your neighborhood. Hell, play construction sounds through YouTube if you need to.”

“If your sister is one of the two people you trust and confide in, you need to be there for her. It’s the right thing to do.” – teamoctopus

“There is a way to mute your microphone through the computer and not through the zoom application so it doesn’t show that you are muted.”

“Or maybe say your computer speakers/mic are not working right and get a cheap headset.”

That will limit the amount of “other noise” that could come through the chat. (some of those headsets have their own mute button so you can switch it on and off as needed)” – neckbishop

“NTA. You have a difficult relationship with your family, I feel that if it is difficult enough to not even tell them about your baby then you have good reason to not talk to them at all.”

“To be honest it’s really weird your sister expects you to talk to your family anyway if she’s aware of how difficult the relationship is.” – pobream

Whatever the OP opted to do, we sincerely hope she and her baby are able to get to a point where their lives are safe, happy and healthy.

Erica Diaz

Written by Erica Diaz

Erica is the consummate cool-kid. She’s so cool that she’s been talked about in magazines, on blogs and on the radio after losing her left eye because of a piece of glitter. She is still actively mourning the passing of Prince and hopes to one day do an all-iguana remake of Graffiti Bridge since iguanas are plentiful near her home in South Florida. She has yet to find one that can really nail the “ahhhyayayeaheaheah” that Tevin Campbell does in Round and Round, and everyone knows the music is the important part of any Prince film. She’s a mother, singer, writer and (if the internet is to be believed - which we all know it is) a Nigerian socialite mid-ranking member of the Illuminati. She prides herself on being the most popular one-eyed rock star under 5 ft tall in pretty much any room she walks into.