Any of us who have children of course want what’s best for our children, but we also hope that the people around us want what’s best for them, too.
Unfortunately, “what’s best” doesn’t always include all of the people we have around us.
This was a hard truth one mother-to-be had to address, according to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Tasty-Carrot4321 had to decide whether it was even worth having her family around during her high-risk pregnancy, given their toxic behaviors.
But when they voiced differing opinions, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was being too harsh.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not telling my toxic family members about my pregnancy until after I had my baby?”
The OP struggled in her relationship with her sisters.
“I (27 [Female]) have three older sisters that are ten, eleven, and fourteen years older than I am.”
“While I love them all, I hate being around them. They all are emotionally unstable and instead of getting the help they need, they take everything out on each other and other family members.”
“They have no problem completely disregard any boundaries by gaslighting and manipulating people, including their own family.”
“My mother, who did her best as a single mother to raise all of us, is constantly having to deal with their antics, to the point where the stress has made her ill at times.”
“I, personally, have had countless anxiety attacks because of them. I’m still in therapy to this day because of my chaotic childhood.”
“As soon as I got the chance, I moved 45 minutes away from the city they live in.”
The OP made a tough decision when she found out she was pregnant.
“At the age of fifteen, I found out that I have endometriosis and my physician told me that I would never be able to carry a child to term safely.”
“It really messed me up for years because I’ve always had dreams of being a mother. Especially since I’ve met my fiance, M (27 [Male]).”
“In November of 2020, I found out that I was not only pregnant but an entire month along! My fiance and I were over the moon with how excited we were.”
“My doctor warned me though, that since I was a high-risk pregnancy, that I had to take special precautions; with stress being a big no-no for me.”
“Since I was unable to take any anxiety medication and this pregnancy being sensitive, I decided not to tell anyone on my side about being pregnant, except for my mother.”
Her family did not take the news well.
“On June 4th of this year, I gave birth to my son! He is healthy, beautiful, and the greatest thing that ever happened to me. M is an amazing father and I’m really loving motherhood.”
“I decided to wait until last week to tell everyone that I had given birth, and that’s when things hit the roof.”
“My sisters were all extremely upset with me, to the point where they had started crying, which they never do, and it took me by surprise.”
“They all called me, telling me that they are hurt that I did not tell them about being pregnant, and that they wouldn’t have done anything to stress me out.”
“They said that I had missed out on a baby shower and beautiful memories and that my son is missing out on having a family, given how they haven’t seen him yet and due to me living 45 minutes away from them.”
The OP wasn’t sure what to think after that.
“My fiance backs my decision 100%, as does my mother.”
“AITA for not telling my family that I was pregnant?”
“I’m starting to worry that I’m an a**hole for not telling them about anything and not letting my son meet his aunts earlier.”
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 the OP did the right thing for herself and her baby.
“NTA. Congratulations on your little boy! And don’t let anyone guilt-trip you into thinking what you did was wrong. You don’t have to share your pregnancy with anyone until you are ready, even if that means after giving birth.”
“It’s not about them and they can get out of their feelings. This was about you feeling comfortable and stress-free during a high-risk pregnancy.” – whatasadworld
“This is so complicated but NTA. You managed to safely give birth to a happy healthy baby, and if you had told them before you gave birth and something went wrong they might’ve been manipulative and hurtful.” – Odd_Interactions
“Also, OP, don’t forget what you wrote about them yourself: ‘they have no problem completely disregard any boundaries by gaslighting and manipulating people, including their own family.'”
“Their actions in the past have shown you their toxic sides that have greatly affected your health. There was (and still is) no reason for you to disregard your own experience with them and putting yourself and your (unborn at the time) son at risk. Not telling them anything and removing yourself from their immediate surrounding was the best decision you could have made.”
“Congrats! NTA” – Sterne-Zelt
“OP did what she felt was right for her and her baby. As she now has a beautiful, healthy son, I think that’s justification enough that her decision worked for her.”
“Her sisters have historically caused her stress and anxiety, and she acted accordingly – that’s on them and their past behavior, not OP. If they want to make sure OP wouldn’t make that decision again in the future (not necessarily with pregnancy), then it’s on them to prove that they can change.”
“NTA, OP. Congrats to you and M on the birth of your child, enjoy your new adventure!” – True-Entertainment16
Others said the family’s reaction was telling.
“NTA. ‘We wouldn’t have stressed you out!’ they cry while stressing you TF (the f**k) out.”
“They can take it personally all they want, but you knew what you could and could not handle, and the best predictors of future behavior from your sisters is past behavior.”
“Your son is also not missing out on much, he’s a newborn, and if his aunts chill for a second, he can meet them at some point. They are trying to guilt you for a good decision that hurt their feelings, because it was about their bad behavior.”
“Congratulations on your new family member!” – queeftheunicorn
“They’d rather create drama while OP is less than 4 months postpartum. Her hormones are probably still out of whack. Her son isn’t missing out on having a family; he probably only regularly thinks about and misses mom, dad, and food.” – TitaniaT-Rex
“You said, ‘that they wouldn’t have done anything to stress me out.’ Why does that feel like a lie?”
“Nobody has to tell anyone they aren’t comfortable with anything about their pregnancy. You weighed up the options and decided their behavior is not worth risking your pregnancy over which is more than understandable.”
“Congrats on the baby and don’t let them stop you enjoying motherhood!” – emotionalhazard
Though the OP felt torn after how her family reacted, the subReddit supported her decision to keep the news on the downlow.
Not only is it every parent’s choice to decide when they will announce their pregnancy and baby’s birth, but with a high-risk pregnancy, there are much-needed added precautions the parent must consider.