Parenting is hard. It can feel like your life becomes nothing more than an extension of the process of keeping this little human alive and growing into a competent adult.
Which is why it’s important to get a break every so often. Some people will get a babysitter and take a night to themselves, but others rely on family for assistance.
Redditor nogoyolo is having an issue with that. Her own family is very obsessed with their children, but the original poster (OP) just wants a short break.
She asks the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA):
“AITA for following through and not going to Easter because I’m tired of EVERY family thing being about the kids?”
OP tells her story:
“I’m 26, two kids, and 4/5 sisters have kids, with the exception of Serena, who is the travel the world with a knapsack kind of gal.”
“I love my family, but every single family outing, get together, every dinner, lunch, everything has to be ‘family friendly’ and kid-centric. I can never get my sisters other than Serena (when she’s even in town) to go to a movie, have lunch, sit and chat without it being all about the kids.”
“Even if the kids are having kid play time with each other and the adults are sitting around drinking coffee, the conversations are about the kids, kids are called over to talk to us, etc etc…”
“Pre-COVID, I asked my sister Julie to come with me to get our nails done and just have ‘us’ time. She changed her mind last minute and said she was bringing her daughter as a ‘bonding activity’.”
“We do nothing but bonding activities.”
“And the same thing has happened time and again.”
“Shopping? The kids NEED to come.
“Taking a hike? All on board!”
“I expressed my frustration and she acted like I was being super out of line, shocked and went on about how she can’t imagine doing things without her mini me and that it was weird.”
“It became a whole ‘are you okay? are you SURE? are you depressed?’ thing.”
Her family’s constant inclusion of children took its toll on OP.
“The requisite zoom family things were all about the kids with no adult time. So when we were talking about getting together for Easter, I thought hey, maybe they’ll want to catch up!!”
“I asked during a planning call, ‘Do you think we can maybe just have some time for the adults when the kids are playing, so we can all catch up?’”
“My mom and sisters acted like it was the most ridiculous ask, Mom did the ‘Are you okay?’ and ‘I can’t imagine wanting to spend time with my family and exclude you girls from any part of it. That’s not normal’.”
“I said that I really can’t sit through another kid-centric get together and that if we aren’t going to at least do something and sit and have cake and coffee together and catch up, just the family, then count me out.”
“Well, they went through with it and I ended up sending the girls over and staying home and having a great time just me and Serena.”
“She said that she understands how I feel, and she stands with me, because they exclude her as well since she doesn’t have kids and has been clear that she never will.”
“Of course she and I are being talked down to and told we’re a**holes to treat family like that, that we should have all been together as a family, and that it’s time to ‘grow up’ and accept that it’ll never just be the sisters again.”
“I cried about this a lot.”
“Am I really wrong here? Is this normal and I just need to accept never seeing my other sisters one on one without their kids being the focus of everything?”
OP struggled with how to react, and chose to follow through on her threat to skip Easter. But was it the right thing?
OP is judged on the AITA board for how she reacted with one of the following acronyms:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
Parenting can take a lot out of you, and a break is necessary to save your sanity.
For asking for a break on discussing child related things, OP was judged as NTA.
“Being a parent is important, but so is nourishing all the parts of you that exist outside being a parent.” – Lucyfiir
“100% this! I love my kids. I love my husband.”
“I love the fact that when we get together as a family, we have adult conversations that do not revolve around the kids or involve the kids.”
“You know why? Because me and my siblings are full grown adults who have identities outside of our children.”
“NTA, OP. If you were my sister, I’d totally be down for some one-on-one sister time. I LOVE when I get to do that with my sister.”
“Your family acts like outside being parents, you are nothing. You’re a mom and that’s all you are. I’m so sorry your family does this.”
“What are your sisters going to do when their kids grow up and leave home? Who are they going to be outside being moms?” – TKD_Mom76
“Any parent who’s honest will tell you that they’d love (and in fact, need) adult only time, occasionally.”
“NTA” – vorticia
“The problem is, a lot of them forget how… so it takes a while for the conversations about kids to burn out, so non-kid topics can start being discussed.”
“When I meet my family, it takes a good hour hearing about all the funny and stupid shit kids have done, before we start hearing about each other.” – thepennydrops
Even with the perfectly acceptable explanation of just needing a break from kids’ stuff, there was more to the story than anyone believed.
The bomb was dropped in another comment.
“NTA. Like you, I adore my children, but I am my own person and need some adult & alone time. It sounds like your sister Serena gets left out a lot as she doesn’t have children and that’s really sad.” – MamaofTwinDragons
“That’s part of what Serena and I talked about, and I felt bad. I’ve always tried to include her in everything, but she’s all over the place.”
“I think part of it is because everyone knew she didn’t want kids from the start, so they started pushing her off to the side like she matters less somehow.”
“We have plans to go hiking together (without the kids!) through the summer, which makes me happy.”
“I was always closest with her growing up, and she was the one who was there for me when my late husband was murdered.” – nogoyolo (OP)
“Wait wait wait wait hold up ✋ your husband was murdered and your family can’t spend any quality time with you to check in and see how you’re doing as a human being, and not just a legal guardian?”
“F* that $#!+. No wonder you are feeling awful about your family, they have totally and completely failed you.”
“I know it’s hard, but PLEASE don’t see this as a commentary on your worth. It is only a comment on their own lack of identity.”
“Please enjoy this opportunity to be real family to Serena without the distractions of anyone else’s agenda or failures. I am so happy that you have each other.” – KittyKiitos
“I didn’t want to include that part of the backstory in the post because it feels a little outlandish and a lot of people have a hard time believing it (people can believe death by illness or accident, but a lot of people draw the line at murder).”
“Plus I really never connected the two, to be honest.”
“I never really sat and thought about how much it would have helped to have my sisters and mom and dad around more after it happened. I always felt thankful to have Serena around, because she was always my favorite sister.” – nogoyolo (OP)
With this tidbit, OP’s situation is beyond understandable, it’s tragic.
Losing a partner is difficult, but that was also someone who could help keep OP grounded outside of being a parent.
You’d think with that in her history, her family would be more than willing to help, and even just talk with OP about her or anything really.
Instead, they seem to have let themselves become absorbed in the life of their children, leaving OP and Serena on the outskirts.