Parenting is a difficult undertaking, especially if it’s not something you were planning on doing.
Teen mothers in particular find themselves needing to grow up and take care of a child, when they are still very much a child themselves.
And this was no different for one young mother on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor CatB***h104 found herself struggling with her new role and asked her parents for help.
But when they replied negatively, the Original Poster (OP) had mixed feelings.
She asked the sub:
“AITA? I asked my parents to help me buy formula, and my entire family thinks I’m irresponsible.”
The OP with an unexpected expense for her child recently.
“I’m 17 [female] and I have a 4-month-old. Her father isn’t in the picture at all and refuses to even believe she’s his and his family is taking his side. I have support from my parents and friends though.”
“Last week, I had to get a few 6-9month clothes because she decided to have an early growth spurt, meaning she’s also more hungry than normal so we’re going through formula like it’s air.”
“The formula isn’t cheap and I can’t breastfeed enough to sustain her.”
The OP reached out to her parents for help.
“This caused a problem because I don’t work. I do claim benefits, but since I’m classed as a dependent living at home, it’s usually not enough to raise a baby on.”
“Cloth nappies have helped and so have reusable wipes but that doesn’t save much throughout the week.”
“To put it plainly, I’m flat out broke right now, and I’m not able to get formula before I get paid again.”
“So when my mum said she was going to the shop this morning, I asked her if she was able to pick me up some.”
“She asked if I had the money for it and I said no, I’ll pay you back next week. Worth a note, I’ve never not paid my parents back the money I owe them.”
The OP’s parents did not react well.
“She got p**sed at me. She pulled the whole ‘you’re so irresponsible’ thing, and got my dad involved.
“He got even more p**sed and started calling me an a**hole, saying how if I didn’t want to be broke, I shouldn’t have gotten her new clothes (they were needed, 3-6 were leaving marks).”
“They ended up not getting the formula and they’re still mad at me. Anyways, AITA for this?”
The OP later clarified her situation with the baby’s father.
“I’m going through the family court in order to get a paternity test. He (ex) has got a good solicitor (lawyer) and I don’t have one.”
“And for anyone telling me to get a job, it was my parents who originally said I don’t have to and they don’t want me to until I’m out of college.”
“[They also said] that they would provide the financial support needed until then.”
The OP also answered a frequent question about her baby.
“Oh, and since everyone needs to know, my decision originally was just gonna be to yeet (abort) her.”
“[My] parents said they didn’t want that. I didn’t either but knew I’d be broke as s**t. But then they said (actually, no, promised) that they’d help out financially.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said it sounded like it was time for the OP to make some tough decisions.
“The baby is only going to get more expensive as she gets older. What happens when she’s eating solid food and formula? That’s only a few months away. And bound to be more expensive.”
“OP, while in this situation your parents are AH’s for how they reacted and refusing to pick up formula, they aren’t wrong. You do need to be more responsible; benefits will only help so much.”
“Look into programs that can help short term while you finish school and get a part time job. Look into sites where you can sell baby clothes that she can’t wear anymore and buy secondhand from other parents doing the same. You have to figure this out so that you don’t need to rely on your parents.” – wolfj2610
“I’m in several free and buy nothing groups on facebook and have gotten an entire wardrobe for my 4 month old daughter for free. Also a changing table, 2 strollers, diapers, swim diapers, toys, play mat and bottles.”
“If you know where to look you can get things for free, and I’ve even passed on things because the people donating have said they want to give to a mother in need; I’m just a mother trying to save a buck.”
“OP should get out of this funk and realize that her parents don’t have to support her or her daughter and do everything she can to make her money stretch. That means finding new ways to solve problems.”
“I know of two organizations near me that help families with expenses like formula – OP needs to do her research to find similar ones near her because babies just get more expensive in the coming months” – X-cited
Others were against the parents for declaring false promises.
“She says they swore to support her financially and told her not to get a job until she’s out of college. This sounds like a case of ‘we’ll pay for everything if you don’t get an abortion’ and now they’re being s**tty about it.” – DelsMagicFishies
“You don’t get to browbeat a child into keeping a baby they don’t want and can’t afford and then turn around 3 months in to complain about how babies are too expensive without being the AH. The parents are absolutely the AH here.”
“They should have supported her initial abortion choice in the first place, and doubly so if they were just going to turn around and renege on their offers of support if she didn’t abort before the kid’s even on to solid foods. And why aren’t the parents helping her hire a lawyer to sue for child support? These parents sound like total AH’s to me.” – Smishysmash
“NTA. Especially since your parents basically forced you to have the baby. (‘They didn’t want that’ in terms of the abortion? Even when you said you didn’t want the baby? F’k that.)”
“Your parents need to be good on their word and help support you. It’s not like you’re spending the money you ARE getting on frivolous things.”
“Your child needed new clothes. So you bought a necessity. 🤦🏻♀️”
“Also, see if you can get a (forced) paternity test done. Mr. Deadbeat Dad can help pay child support since he did half the work in making the baby!!” ~ bookaddict1991
A few were sad for the baby, who needed food.
“I agree, you don’t guilt an impressionable 17 year old by telling her to not get an abortion or a job and then yell at her for not having money to raise a baby.”
“Who the h**l are they punishing by not buying formula? Does a starving baby seem like a reasonable consequence?” – RaisinAnnette
“Exactly this! Withholding formula isnt going to ‘teach OP a lesson,’ it’s going to make the baby malnourished.”
“NTA OP. Your parents promised you financial support and buying formula for a hungry baby is the most BASIC neccessity for a baby.”
“Since you are living with them they should know what you need for real. Also its not like you spent the money on fancy clothes for yourself, you bought them for the baby! Ugh, what a s**tshow.”
“Hang in there, when the baby’s a little older, see if you could get some part-time work and go after the dad for child support.”
“Also check out free stuff pages on facebook, people always have tons of baby stuff to give away, cos babies grow super fast, so most of its almost brand new anyway!” – CorianderSuuucks
“Just a tip: get second hand clothes, items, toys etc… Find a good moms group on Facebook or something where people may have free hand me downs.”
“Even a local subReddit can be helpful. Good luck to you!” ~ sez82
“I’m going to be the AH here and suggest you think long and hard about your situation. Look up how much it costs to raise a child to age eighteen.”
“You’ll be astonished by how much it actually costs. Think about adoption as a possibility.”
“This is your decision to make, not your family.” ~ kingofsnarks
“YTA! You had a child that you cannot support in any way, shape, or form.”
“You are a textbook example of someone who is EXTREMELY irresponsible!”
“Why in the world are you even asking?!” ~ ExtremelyBored67
“YTA. You brought a life into this world knowing you can’t support it or afford it and expect others to pick up the tab when you’re still a child yourself that they’re paying for, and expect your parents to be chill with that?”
“Get real about what kind of a burden you’ve placed on them and your poor kid. What kind of a life is this kid going to have when you can’t even buy it formula? How about solid food, classes, medical expenses, etc…?”
“Sorry but you’re to blame here due to your own irresponsible decision, and it’s pretty messed up you think your parents are a**holes, they’re not only paying for you but also paying for the kid you irresponsibly brought into the world.”
“You sound very entitled. I would hate to be your parents, raising and paying for another kid basically when they thought they were about to have an empty nest soon most likely. Be a little more appreciative and humble, jeez.”
“Also adding that if OP can’t afford to feed the kid and isn’t willing to get a job she should consider adoption since the baby literally isn’t getting fed properly and that’s like the most basic requirement of childcare.” ~ baeyayrea
“YTA for prioritizing clothes over formula. Food should be number one budget priority.”
“If you’re at the point where you have limited funds that you can only spend on food or clothes, food should win every time. A naked baby is better than a hungry baby.” ~ normVectorsNotHate
“YTA, simply For saying you’re going to yeet her as though any baby deserves that just because you’re irresponsible and had unprotected sex—gross get a job.” ~ NoImTheOtherEmily
“Personally I would return the unused new baby clothes, if possible, and hand make her some gowns to wear instead. Gowns are easier than regular clothes to make and since you are unemployed you have plenty of time to learn.”
“You can even use fabric from old shirts that you, your parents or your friends don’t wear anymore to try to get pretty patterns. At that age babies grow so fast it is almost a waste of money to replace their clothes every month, and in the old days babies all wore gowns regardless of gender because people didn’t have the money to spare on products with such a short window of use.”
“Then you can use the money from the returned clothes to buy her formula with.”
“As for a judgement I’m going to say ESH. The baby’s well-being should come first.”
“You need to learn how to save money when possible and you need to increase your income somehow, but your parents shouldn’t let their granddaughter starve just because they are mad at you either.” ~ packingllama
“OP sounds like your parents are trying to trap you. (Not letting you get a job. Promising to support you but don’t.).”
“Maybe the best thing would be to have your baby adopted or looked after by someone else and you need to get out of that house.” ~ DifferenceDistinct62
The subReddit agreed this sounded like an unhappy and toxic living situation for everyone involved.
Though it’s going to be hard for the OP to find her own way, it’s clear her parents are not ready to provide the kind of support they guaranteed when they discovered she was pregnant.
Perhaps with some distance, the OP and her daughter will be happier, and the parents will be more comfortable as, simply, grandparents.