Sadly, not all parents are there for their children.
There are an overwhelming amount of children in the United States alone who are without the care of either of their parents. Or they are technically in the custody of one parent and are in an even worse situation because of it.
Reddit user jackson_jr37 found himself in an uncomfortable situation with his own absent father, after a Facebook post represented his dad’s role in his life as greater than it ever has been.
After calling his father out, he felt a bit guilty about his conduct. Seeking perspective, he went over to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for clarification.
“AITA for embarrassing my dad on FB over his post about being a single dad?”
Our original poster, or OP, set up the scene of his life and the role his father has played in it.
“I’ve (M[ale] 16) lived with my grandparents my whole life. My mom took off when I was a baby and haven’t seen her since.”
“So my dad left me with his parents and they basically raised me. My dad was kind of around but not really.”
“He’d sometimes come to take me to his house for the night every month, drop me off and be gone again.”
As OP has grown up, he has seen why his dad isn’t around.
“As I kid I used to always ask him how come I can’t live with him and his reason was always because he works a lot.”
“When I got older I sorta saw the truth which is he likes to live single life style. He’s had like a million girlfriends and that’s how I ended up with 4 other half sibs.”
“But you know, they still live with their moms so we only get to hangout when it’s my dad’s custody time because he just leaves them at my grandparents and doesn’t hangout with any of us.”
OP’s dad puts on a different front for his girlfriends.
“We’re all used to it by now but what’s annoying is to his girlfriends and friends he acts like he’s a hero for being a single dad.”
“He talks about how hard it is. Then brings me up specifically because my mom walked out so it’s like he cares for me full-time. I usually don’t say anything but it bothers me.”
OP’s dad crossed the line when he made a Facebook post.
“He made a FB post the other day. It was an older pic of him with me and my brothers the one time he took us to a soccer game 4 years ago.”
“He was talking about ‘sacrifices’ but it’s worth being a single dad. This made me mad and I commented ‘u haven’t even come to the house in like a month.’”
“Which is true haven’t seen him since a few days after thanksgiving.”
OP’s dad did not react well:
“He deleted his post and got mad at me for embarrassing him. My dad said I was being disrespectful and I don’t know what it’s like to be a single dad providing for us so I don’t get to act that way.”
“He was really mad about it and after I thought about it for some time I guess it was petty to embarrass him by calling out his bs so I wanted to know if it was a**hole-ish for doing it?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors took OP’s side easily here.
“NTA. Truth hurts I guess.”
“A once a month parent isn’t as comparable to single parents who have their kids full time. He is only sacrificing one night a month to be with you.”
“Though, a question does pop into mind, does he provide financial support to your grandparents for expenses? Same goes with your half siblings?”
“I hope he is being financially supportive. Also, does he celebrate holidays and birthdays with any of the Kids?”
“But other than that, one night a month is quite isolating so you are right in calling him out. Also, his post embarrasses itself since he used an old photo, guess he doesn’t have anything more recent?”~Hangingoutwithyou
“Once a month isn’t even comparable to most part time parents who do every other weekend and then like half the summer.”
“And the fact that the dad thinks he’s ‘making sacrifices’ is absolutely disgusting; he’s pawning his children off on his parents and not caring that they exist unless it’s to make him look good. Wow.”
“As a parent, who did the single parent thing for 9 years before trying to settle down (and eventually doing so) I absolutely loathe people like OP’s dad.”
“Kiddo is NTA but also shouldn’t expect anything better from the dad, like dude has issues.”
“Probably best to go into therapy and then later decide if staying in contact with the dad once at adulthood is something they want to pursue.”~GoddessPyroVixen
“It sounds like I do more for my goddaughter (who has two full-time loving parents and lives in a different state) than this guy does for OP.”
“He should be ashamed of himself for trying to get sympathy for being a single parent when he’s basically the equivalent of a semi-involved uncle.”
“Very much NTA.”~UESfoodie
“NTA and good for you. You spoke your truth which was a verifiable fact. He deleted it because he knows you’re right.”
“It’s not your fault that the truth makes him look bad, it’s his.”~LibrarianFish
After all, it seems like OP’s father wants all of the glory with none of the work.
“NTA but your father certainly was for posting that on Facebook.”
“Sure there could be more to it like he’s working a lot to help his parents take care of you, but in the end he wasn’t there for you and that is what being a parent is so yeah definitely not you, but him.”~chaedog
“This is tough but if he is really as absent as you say, NTA.”
“He doesn’t deserve the accolades (he is giving himself, no less) for something he isn’t doing.”
“It was petty, but his posting and patting himself on the back while neglecting his kids is damn tasteless and since you were the one used as a prop for likes, I say you do you.”
“I hope you can take this feeling and maybe write something out, figure your real feelings out about how your dad makes you feel and let him know now that this door is opened.”
“He might just be a dick about it if his ego won’t let him see how he has hurt his kids, but at least you’ll have told him how you really feel.”~i-Ake
“NTA. Your dad is mad because you corrected him, but he’s the one who involved you so that’s on him.”
“He made you a part of his lie and you have every right to set the record straight. You aren’t a prop, you are a person.”
“Moral of the story: don’t abandon your kids if you want credit for being a good parent.”~bluebell435
“NTA: ‘after I thought about it for some time I guess it was petty to embarrass him by calling out his bs.'”
“Right here, you are demonstrating that you are fully aware what he is doing is wrong. You know what he’s doing is BS.”
“And yet you’re still worried you might be the a-hole. I want to make sure you’re aware that the only reason you feel that way is because he used his position of authority over you to make you feel bad.”
“You called out his lying, and he didn’t like that, so he decided to act victimized and get all ‘how could you do such as thing to your own father.'”
“You need to know that not only has he not sacrificed in being a single parent, he has outright failed at being a parent at all.”
“You said it yourself, you’ve got multiple half siblings he’s done this with. These circumstances you’re in are not, in any way whatsoever, your fault.”
“He created this situation. As the saying goes, he’s played a stupid game, now he’s winning stupid prizes.”
“All that said, you do need to be careful about how you go forward from here.”
“As much as I want to tell you to keep calling out his crap, your family as a whole sounds very fragile, and throwing more stones could just ruin what little good you have in your life.”
“Talk with grandparents about all of this, as well as your siblings.”
“Tbh, I’m a little disappointed to hear your grandparents have put up with him. It sounds like they just let him do whatever and then they take all the responsibility.”
“They need to know that on top of all that, he’s trying to claim credit for their hard work. It’s high time they made him re-evaluate his life.”~Zonorheso
And folks think if OP’s dad is going to lie about how active of a parent he is, he deserves to be called out on it.
“NTA. I grew up with my mom working 6 days, 70-90 hours a week.”
“I lived with her full time & she always made sure I was in extracurriculars & we would go to the museum or art gallery (I’d like to mention we were not well off).”
“She worked hard to give me the best life possible. These are the sacrifices a single parent makes.”
“Your dad wants all the praise single parents get, without doing the work. It’s not fair to you or your siblings, & it’s disrespectful to single parents who do put in the work.”
“Good on you for calling him out.”~JemmaBearDabDab
“NTA! In fact, what I would suggest is making your own FB post memorializing how it was your GRANDPARENTS who really stepped up to raise you and how appreciative of that you are.”
“(Might even mention how hard it must have been to raise a grandson because their son wanted to be a playboy, but that might be a bit petty.)”
“You aren’t an AH for calling the old man out on what is practically stolen valor.”~Animegirl300
“Man I am a full time single parent raising a toddler on my own. This ‘once a month’ crap is exactly that-crap.”
“He’s barely a parent, definitely more of a donor than a dad, and his behavior and bragging is pathetic.”
“NTA hun, he’s just using you and your siblings to pick up women with the ‘hardworking single dad’ card, and it’s not a card he gets the right to play.”~Gl0ri0usTr4sh
“NTA. Your father, definitely not your dad, is wants the glory without the effort.”
“Real single parents, like myself, will tell you that parenthood of any kind is not glorious.”
“It’s not chic, it’s not easy, it’s not pretty, not a joke, not a part-time or occasional endeavor, not a task to only do when you you’re bored, it’s not for attention, not clean or tidy, and certainly not just for sh*ts and giggles.”
“If I were you I’d be making a very lengthy post about who the guy really is, his lack at attention to his kids, his lack of financial support paid to your grandparents, etc.”
“And tag every single person he knows so that they can see the real him. I would tag your siblings, your father and whatever new girlfriend he has.”
“Then I would personally file for child support from him, or even emancipate myself from him.”~hesterpry
Though it may have been petty, what OP’s father was doing was much worse, in Reddit’s eyes.
Claiming credit for a difficult task you’ve never completed deserves to be exposed for the lie it really is. Now, how will OP’s relationship with his father evolve from here?