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Teen Won’t Help Dad’s Wife With Baby After Being Forced To Care For Siblings When Mom Died

Teenage boy holding a baby
ruizluquepaz/Getty Images

Content Warning: Parentification, Childcare, Child Neglect, Trauma, Parental Death, Cancer

There’s an unfortunate statistic that when women become terminally ill, such as with cancer, their male partners are more likely to leave them or cheat on them than stay by their side, through sickness and health.

So not only could a family be torn apart by tragedy, but they may have to deal with affairs and other acts of unfaithfulness, too, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Virtual_Credit_9458 looked on while his mother fought cancer and became increasingly disgusted with his father, who participated in multiple affairs and also left him alone to care for his two younger siblings when he was barely a teenager himself.

When his father married another woman and started a family with her, the Original Poster (OP) was even more disgusted when they expected him to help with their baby.

He asked the sub:

“AITA for refusing to help my dad’s wife with their baby and saying I am not her helper?”

The OP’s dad treated his family terribly while the OP’s mother struggled with cancer.

“Dad and I (17 Male) do not have a good relationship. When my mom was sick with cancer, my dad was out cheating on her and he left me to take care of my younger siblings (12 Female and 11 Male).”

“He even let me catch him with two different women during that time and my mom was on hospice, so it was really difficult not to say anything, but I was so overwhelmed and scared that saying the wrong thing would take her from us sooner.”

“This was four years ago (I was 13, and they were 8 and 7), and I never forgave him for what he put me through.”

“I told him before that I never want to be like him when I grow up and he’s no role model for me. I also called him a failure as a husband and a father.”

“He was p**sed at being called a failure as a father. But when his three kids needed him the most he wasn’t there; instead, he was screwing women on the side.”

“He also said he loved my mom and never wanted me to say he was all bad as her husband.”

“I said I found it so hard to believe and he would never convince me he actually loved her.”

The OP and his siblings had to grow up way too fast.

“I was still mostly in charge after my mom died, but eventually, my siblings started to pick up some skills, so I wasn’t basically doing it all.”

“It really helped and made us regular siblings again instead of me being almost a dad.”

“But it was also tough because they’re really young and I hated that they were forced to grow up so fast. Losing our mom did that anyway.”

The OP’s dad moved on way too fast, too.

“Dad met someone a couple of years ago, and he introduced her to us last year. It took only a few weeks for her to move in. Then suddenly she was pregnant and they raced to get married before the baby was born.”

“My dad’s wife tried to involve my siblings and me in her pregnancy excitement, but I wasn’t excited and I don’t think they were, either. I’m pretty sure we all avoided her as much as we could.”

“She knows the whole story from the cheating, from him cheating where I caught him twice in public spaces of the house, to not being there for his kids during or after the death of their mom and leaving me to take care of us. She acted like it was no big deal that he left me to shoulder the burden, and she acted like it was a great thing. She was already aware and has defended his actions.”

“She knew a lot and it surprised me but she was aware before she married him.”

The OP’s stepmother expected him and his siblings to connect with the baby.

“The baby was born in December and she has been reaching out to me to help pretty often.”

“But I don’t help her. I check in on my siblings where I can but other than that I focus on me.”

“I know biologically that baby is my half-sibling but I don’t care. I don’t see them as a sibling and I’m not planning to bond with them or keep them in my life once I’m in college. I won’t speak to Dad or his wife, either. Just my siblings.”

“Recently, Dad’s wife has been pressing more for my help, and the other day, she asked me why I could be such a great big brother to my younger siblings but I have never even held her baby or cooed over her baby.”

“She told me she sees me do so much for my siblings and knows I was the person who helped them through when mom was sick and then when she died. She told me she figured I would want to be the same for her baby.”

The OP put his foot down.

“I told her it wasn’t my job to help and to get her husband to help if she needed it.”

“She told me she wanted her baby to be accepted and none of us had accepted the baby yet. None of us had interacted with the baby yet. She said it’s not fair and she needs help.”

“I told her I was not her helper and she needed to hire someone if she wanted the help, or again, to get dad. But I won’t be doing anything for her or her baby.”

“She called me disgusting.”

“I don’t blame the baby. I’m just not interested in the baby, either, and don’t see them as part of my family. And the reason for that is to me, my family is my siblings and me. Dad doesn’t count, his wife doesn’t count and their baby doesn’t because all I share with them is DNA and not a real parent.”

“She defends the man so she has earned the dislike I have for her. There’s also no way my relationship with dad gets better. I’ll be no contact in a few months and never see him again.”


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 couldn’t believe the stepmother’s level of delusion.

“NTA. Dad’s new wife is delusional if she thinks a teenager who a) barely knows her and b) already had to take on a parental role for his younger siblings is going to be in a hurry to do it again. Even if Dad was a great guy that would be an absurd expectation, it’s just f**ked up when Dad is such an a**hole.”

“And no, it’s not your job to be this kid’s big brother. Your dad knocking someone up obligates you to do precisely nothing. Move out and go low contact with a clean conscience.”

“She told me she wanted her baby to be accepted and none of us had accepted the baby yet.”

“Is she high? Seriously, she’s either high or an idiot. If she wanted her baby to be accepted by her stepkids, she needed to wait much, much longer before moving in and spend much, much more time building a relationship with you and your siblings before popping out dad’s do-over baby and expecting you all to be thrilled about it.” – oceanteeth


“Wow, they just expected you to become the nanny because your father, the actual disgusting one, was too busy sleeping around to care for his dying wife and kids.”

“And the new wife thinks you want to do that again?” – ThatsItImOverThis

“NTA. It sounds like you do plenty to help, just not in the way she prefers. You check on and assist your siblings so she’s not left to care for a newborn AND two older stepchildren. You taught them to be somewhat independent as well, which continues to help her even when you’re not around.” – SunshineShoulders87


“‘She called me disgusting,’ but I think it’s disgusting that your dad completely and utterly failed you, your siblings, and your mom while she lay dying.”

“I think it’s disgusting that she defends a man who so completely failed his family.”

“I think it’s disgusting that she started a new family with someone who so completely failed his first family while they were in crisis.”

“I think it’s disgusting that she expects you to step up AGAIN when your father fails.”

“She knew who your father was, yet she married him anyway. She should keep her yap shut and leave you alone.” – NotoriousCrone

Others agreed and reassured the OP that a relationship was not required.

“It’s amazing how people think you can force someone to interact with your stepfamily! I am sorry you went through all of that with your Mom and your Absent Dad! There is obvious trauma from your ordeal and When and If you want to accept your step-siblings is up to you!”

“Good job on raising your siblings! Tell her and your Dad you made the baby, you take care of him yourself.”

“NTA.” – Trick_Parsley_3077

“NTA and this woman is delulu if she genuinely expected you to have the same relationship with her baby as you do with your other siblings. She can hire help or ask your father. You don’t owe her free childcare.” – BiQueenBee

“NTA. The only way you are actually related to that baby is through your so-called father. And if he couldn’t even be a real father to you and your siblings, then you’re not really related to that baby.”

“On top of that, children should not be expected to take care of their siblings, ever. It’s different if the help is offered. You were forced into raising your siblings because your mom was too sick to do it and your dad is not a true dad.”

“If your father and his wife cannot see the difference there and she needs that much help, they never should have had that baby. If she was a good woman and just a person in general, she would’ve realized that your father is not the man to have children with if he so easily abandons them for her.”

“I’m 17 (Female), I have younger twin half-sisters, and I help take care of them. That is because I WANT to, I love them, and I also get paid to do it. Your situation is completely different and you have no obligation to do anything for that baby whatsoever.” – AdOutside3014

“NTA. The Y T As saying he is taking out his anger and frustration on the baby is weird.”

“He’s not being angry with the baby, he’s just decided, kind of through the guidance of both his father and this new woman, that his only importance in the new family they’ve built without ensuring the children he already had were a part of the blending, is as a caretaker.”

“It was his father’s job to build bridges between his children, this new woman and the new baby, and he didn’t do that, and judging by this interaction, she didn’t either (defending his father’s actions clearly wasn’t going to warm any of the kids to him) and only reached out and tried to find a place for OP when she decided she needed help.”

“What his father has done is basically create a new family. He had minimal interaction with his children through their grief and loss and immediately got himself a bed warmer and a new child. Of course, there is going to be resentment there. And OP seems to be placing it with the father and is in no way obligated to ‘step up.'”

“I think the best thing he can do is what he’s doing. Keep the bond with the family he knows and that has shown love him strong and distance himself from the ones who see him as something to be used.”

“It’s not his job to care for a baby and in reality, there are a lot of people who have half siblings that have nothing to do with them. The relationships we have with people as babies and children are relationships our parents foster, and neither she nor his father have done anything for him to be a part of this baby’s life.”

“I can’t fathom the father’s decisions in all this. He’s going to end up with all his kids not speaking to him if he continues the way he is.” – jjknowsnothing

The subReddit completely felt for the life that the OP had led so far and encouraged him to move out as soon as he could so he could start the life he deserved, with only his own responsibilities to worry about.

Hopefully, his younger siblings would be motivated by that and move on as quickly as they could, too, leaving their father to his new life, brought on by his choices.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.