If parents can agree on one thing, it’s how annoying unsolicited parenting advice is.
But most of us keep our mouths shut to keep the peace, then complain to a friend about it later.
Very few of us push back.
32-year-old Redditor confusedmummyy wrote into the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, wondering if she was wrong for snapping at her 37-year-old sister as a means to quiet her unsolicited comments.
The Original Poster (OP) asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my sister that she is not a mother?”
According to the OP, the family has had a strained relationship in the past.
“So, me and my sister were very close as children but as we became older she [distanced] herself from our family.”
“According to her, our parents forced her to become an adult early to raise her younger siblings, i.e. us, while they worked.”
“I understand her grievances and I am grateful for all that she has sacrificed for us but we didn’t [have] any choice in that matter and [I] was very hurt when she suddenly became very distant to me.”
After a tragic accident, the OP and her sister tried to mend their relationship.
“Five years ago my sister had a baby boy who unfortunately died in a freak accident, when he was one.”
“His birth and subsequent death brought our family again together and we have been mending our relationship from there.”
But the OP feels her sister has overstepped her boundaries as an aunt.
“I had a child too 3 years ago. Ever since the birth of my child, my sister is always giving me unnecessary advice and undermining the way I am raising my daughter.”
“Yesterday, when we were at our [mother’s] house, I casually mentioned that my daughter still gets a body massage from her grandmother. My sister again stated how that is wrong and how she as a mother would never leave her child in that condition in front of anyone.”
“I just snapped and told her that her opinion is not valid as she is not a mother, her baby died five years ago and she didn’t have any child after him.”
“Honestly, my child is not the same gender as hers was and has lived [past] the age of my late nephew, so I don’t think she is fit to give me any advice on how I should raise my daughter.”
The OP’s comments were not well-received.
“She hastily left after that argument and now my Mother is angry at me as she says that I could have jeopardized all the effort they have made to be close to my sister.”
“I don’t think I was wrong to defend myself in this situation, but what do you think? AITA?”
Redditors wrote in anonymously, rating the OP’s reactive comment and her sister’s interference on the following scale:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Many Redditors were appalled at the OP’s choice of comment.
“Wow, that was really insensitive! your poor sister’s baby DIED – a woman who has had a baby/adopted a baby etc. is a mother.”
“Her advice might be annoying, but that doesn’t change the fact that she is a mother. That was a horrible thing to say to her – you really need to apologise.” – DrSaks
“I can’t believe that as a mother yourself you had such complete disregard for another mother’s loss. Your statement and lack of empathy was absolutely horrific.”
“She had a baby, so she will always be a mother. You could have had a conversation asking your sister to stop with the unsolicited advice, but the way you snapped at her makes you the monster. YTA all the way.” – Wren1101
“YTA YTA YTA YTA YTA YTA YTA”
“Once a mother, always a mother. Her baby DIED.” – ISeeMusicInColor
“YTA. Wow. I’m not sure how you think that was a reasonable response to what she said.”
“Look, if what your sister says about raising you is at all true – I’ve been there. And it’s incredibly difficult to turn off parent mode when you’ve been forced to treat your siblings as your children your entire life. At that point, she basically is a third parent to you.”
“That is why she’s giving unsolicited advice. She’s treating you the only way she’s ever known how to treat you – like a parent treating their child. Because that’s essentially what you are to her.”
“So it was doubly uncalled for to say she was never a parent – she was, to you. You say you recognise how much of a sacrifice that was, but I don’t think you do.”
“She gave up her childhood so you could have one; you will never understand what that means for her. You will never understand how much she gave up so you wouldn’t have to.”
“You will never understand how much harm that caused her; to have to take on a responsibility that was too big for her at such a young age, something she should never have been forced to do.”
“And this is how you repay her – by rubbing her child’s death in her face? She gave up everything for you – how dare you?”
“I hope that’s not how you’re teaching your kids to act. Because that will come back to bite you – and maybe then you’ll understand a fraction of the pain you just caused her.” – LordofFullmetal
Some agreed unsolicited advice is annoying but added this isn’t the way to address it.
“YTA. There’s a world of difference between firmly telling someone you will raise your child as you see fit and using someone’s dead child as a prop in an argument.”
“You crossed the line—and that’s a h**l of a lot worse than somebody offering unsolicited parenting advice.” – belladonna_echo
“You took it too far. Defending yourself is one thing. You didn’t do that here. You said the most hurtful thing you could have to shut her down.” – Cutie3pnt14159
“You’re just…. Awful.”
“She is a mother. Yes she shouldn’t have been giving unsolicited advice, but you are so so much worse.” – celtic-piskie
“YTA she is a mother. Her baby is just not on this earth.”
“Sure she’s s**t for trying to out parent you. But how incredibly insensitive of you to tell her she’s not a mother.” – LunaPick
Others agreed with the sister’s decision to distance herself from the family.
“She’s not wrong to defend herself, but that’s not what happened here. She was purposefully cruel.”
“She will always be a mother. And OP wonders why her sister pulled away.” – Ok-Mode-2038
“Yeah…I’m starting to get why the sister distanced herself in the first place..” – this-is-nonsense
Not to mention the likelihood that the OP’s sister will distance herself again.
“Well, at least you don’t have to worry about her future advice because I don’t think she’ll ever talk to you again. – YTA” – anxiousginger11
“Well, that’s one way to get your sister to completely cut contact with you, and this time you can’t feign hurt, that she decides to keep distance.” – Cocoasneeze
“I can see the logic she used to make the statement but its so devoid of human empathy I cannot fathom how OP could be so callous as to say it. There are a thousand other ways she could have phrased ‘keep your opinions to yourself about my kid’ before going for a total sucker punch.”
“Her poor f**king sister. YTA and I’d be amazed if she ever talks to OP again.” – kathllinos
Receiving unsolicited advice can be super annoying.
But Redditors all agreed the OP chose the absolute worst way to address her frustration with her sister, letting the OP know she was definitely the a**hole.