Health concerns with our children are scary and sometimes wildly complicated.
It’s hard to know what the best thing is to do in order to help them.
One guy struggled with this recently on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor aitathrowawaneicadau found himself having to juggle the needs of multiple children in his household, one of which had medical concerns.
After he was criticized for his attempts, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he made the wrong choices.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for limiting my niece’s amount of baths?”
The OP’s daughter had some medical concerns.
“My sister and her daughter live with myself and my daughter. My daughter is five, and my niece is thirteen.”
“My daughter lived with her mum for the first three years of her life and due to diaper-related neglect, now suffers from almost constant UTIs. Yes, she’s constantly at the doctor, but apart from antibiotics, they aren’t sure how to help.”
It was difficult to accommodate her with more family living in the house.
“My niece takes daily, three-hour baths. I never really understood why, but my sister did the same growing up.”
“Now, with the only bathroom being occupied, this doesn’t fair well with my UTI-having daughter.”
“Due to her UTIs and how painful they can be, she is not required to get to a bathroom if she can’t.”
“In public, she’s still in pull-ups. At home, I keep her in underwear to avoid potty training regression and to avoid worsening her problems.”
“She will obviously try to get to a toilet, but if not, accidents are allowed. Generally, we have about five minutes from her realizing she has to go to her being in pain.”
The OP tried to establish a reasonable compromise for all in the house.
“As I mentioned, my niece has very long baths. And even if we knock on the door, it takes her about ten minutes to get out of the bathroom, by which point it’s too late.”
“This has only been a recent issue, as she’s usually been pretty speedy, and accidents were few and far between.”
“But it’s gotten to the point where my daughter is begging for her pull-ups back, and as such, I explained to my niece that she needs to either be quicker or have showers instead.”
“A few more accidents and a tantrum from my niece, and I implemented a new rule: no baths unless myself and my daughter are out of the house, which I don’t think is too bad as we leave the house most days.”
“My niece, however, thinks I’m the worst person in the world. She either doesn’t understand or doesn’t want to understand the effects that constant accidents are having on her cousin, but either way, no wiggle room.”
The family was divided on what was fair.
“My sister is trying to have me ease up the rule, saying my niece needs her baths and I wouldn’t understand because I’m not a woman, but hasn’t outright said anything against me.”
“My parents also agree that I’m being cruel, and I should let her have the little privacy she can get.”
“Friends of mine (who are mostly women) are saying I’m in the right and my niece’s comfort doesn’t come above my daughter’s emotional wellbeing.”
“So, am I the a**hole? I’m a little confused.”
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 didn’t understand how this was even a debate.
“‘My parents also agree that I’m being cruel.’ By not allowing your daughter to be in constant pain from UTIs?”
“Making your niece shower is causing her no pain and it shouldn’t be a problem.” – oopsthoughtoutloud
“You have no obligation to your sister or your niece. You have an obligation to put your child first. And anyone getting in the way of her normal development doesn’t belong in your house.”
“They are either there to help you or hinder. And it sounds like they are doing more hindering than helping.”
“There is no one more important than your child and I would have already kicked them out and said the arrangement no longer is working. Take care of your child and anyone in the way can go get f**ked.” – latetacos
“If OP lets this go, his poor daughter could become immune to antibiotics, and get a kidney infection. Kidney infections are hard to get rid of with normal antibiotics. Not to mention the irritation, burns, and skin breakdown that urine can cause.”
“I agree that they’re a burden on the poor girl, both of them need to go ASAP. OP is being neglectful of his daughter if he lets them stay.” – Humorilove
“EXACTLY!!!! Turn that around: why are the daughter/mother/grandparents so cruel to the 5-year-old who has suffered from neglect at her own mother’s hands? Why do they want to inflict physical and emotional pain on her? What a bunch of whack-o’s.” – ceiligirl418
Others suggested some of the family came off as very entitled.
“The niece is exhibiting entitled behavior, which she clearly learned from her mom, who clearly learned it from the grandparents.” – Trashmanjoe
“Favoritism creates entitled behavior. I’m confused why the aunt doesn’t love the niece. Those aren’t good family dynamics at all.”
“I would reconsider living arrangements.” – Michalusmichalus
“NTA, I’m a woman and think 1 hour is too long. I would be a wrinkled prune after 30 minutes.”
“Your niece is entitled. Considering that her mother did this, we know where the BS comes from.”
“The only thing you’re responsible for is your daughter’s health and well-being. Your sister and niece can kick rocks at your parent’s home.” – Professional-Lynx124
“Seriously. Even if we put the UTIs aside, who the f**k takes three hours long baths?!”
“1) Even as a teen, I did not have that amount of time to just spend in the bathtub.”
“2) That’s a LOT of water simply wasted. Every day. It’s not economical or ecological.”
“3) No, women don’t need to have three hours long baths every day. It’s not necessary for our physical or mental health being (it’s nice when your muscles hurt or for period pain, but not necessary). If it was, what would those people do, who have room only for a shower…”
“I can’t wrap my head around the fact that your family sees this as not only normal, but necessary because women.”
“4) Nobody can go to the bathroom during that time? Nobody? That’s so ridiculous! Don’t you or your sister ever need to go there during that time? That’s really selfish of your niece.”
“But given that there is a medical issue, your niece’s wants come second. If she neeeeeeeeds her baaaaths (she doesn’t), compromise would be to just use the bathroom even when occupied, but something tells me it would ‘disturb’ your niece’s piece or something.”
“I’m sorry your daughter has to deal with your shitshow of a family on top of constant UTIs. If neither your sister nor parents see it, it might be time for your sister and niece to move to your parents and then limit your contact with them.” – Understanding-Busy829
The subReddit was quick to agree on this one, that any medical needs far precede personal needs for privacy. Though the living arrangement might feel strained right now, that hardly calls for daily lengthy baths, let alone at a child’s expense.