Pregnancy announcements are everywhere, but some people don’t share in the joy to the same degree as other people.
But sometimes there’s a valid reason for that, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
When her older sister came over to announce that she was pregnant with her fifth child, Redditor Alive-Kick8154 offered a less-than-enthused response.
But when she thought more about what the fifth child meant for her own life, the Original Poster (OP) expected her older sister to understand her reservations.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for how I responded to my sister’s pregnancy announcement?”
The OP recently heard her older sister’s latest pregnancy announcement.
“I (18 Female) have a sister (38 Female) who we will call ‘Kay’ for privacy reasons. Kay has four children with her husband (2 Female, 3 Female, 8 Female, and 11 Female).”
“Kay is a stay-at-home mom, and her husband works in air conditioning.”
“Kay and her husband came over with their kids on his time off to tell us something. She said that they are pregnant with their fifth child.”
“My mom was overjoyed, but I wasn’t really paying attention. I was focusing on the TV.”
The incident led to a brief argument.
“Then my sister said, ‘So what do you think about the news?”
“I said, ‘Cool, awesome.'”
“Then my sister said, ‘Just cool? You don’t seem that excited for me.'”
“I said, ‘Well, what do you want me to do? Jump up and down and scream my head off? I can see if this was, like, your first child that you were expecting, like a first-time mother moment. But you’ve got four kids and on your fifth pregnancy by this time you get used to it.'”
“I asked, ‘Was this baby really hard to conceive? Like, was it hard to like to get pregnant?'”
“Kay said, ‘No, it just happened. I took the test a week ago.'”
“I said, ‘Okay then, so at a certain point, after baby number three, people’s reactions are not going to be that enthusiastic as if was you were expecting with your first.'”
“Kay said, ‘I thought you would be happy for me.'”
“I was like, ‘I am, but it’s not that exciting for me since you’ve been pregnant before.'”
“She got mad and left with her husband and kids and did not stay for dinner.”
“My mom thinks I should apologize to Kay for not being excited about her pregnancy announcement.”
The OP clarified more about her relationship with her nieces.”
“I have been financially supporting her other kids, giving her money and food constantly, and babysitting her kids so she can go out every weekend to hang out with friends.”
“I did not add it to my original post because that was not what I was focusing on, I wanted opinions on my reaction to the announcement and not me supporting her kids.”
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 understood exactly where the OP was coming from.
“Your lack of enthusiasm for someone who is unable to take care of the four children she already has, yet expects you and your mom to take care of, and financially support, her 5th child is COMPLETELY understandable!”
“I hope your sister finds your observations support her to face, and deal with, the reality that she shouldn’t have yet another, not especially wanted, child.” – Flat_Cantaloupe645
“I could tell by your post prior to the update that this was the issue. I’ve seen it a million times. And it happened to me. My family has 1 kid… spoiled, can’t say anything to them about his bad behavior (or complain about his parents) or everyone gets mad at me and cold shoulders me.”
“He hits dogs and just does everything an unpunished spoiled kid does, but god forbid I tell him to knock it off or eat dinner before begging grandma for sweets. I can’t be irritated that they dropped their kid off and watch them tell him, ‘We’ll pick you up later…’ and then not see or hear from them in days.”
“So no, I wasn’t jumping around in joy when they decided to make another one.”
“I’ve been very vocal that they cannot treat this one like the first. Don’t even get me started on my broke cousin wanting to keep having kids until he gets a girl. Resentment will build up when you find yourself constantly giving more of yourself, your time, and your money away to irresponsible people.”
“It’s hard to be happy for someone when they frequently burden you with their choices.”
“Your sister knows she can’t handle any more kids. She lashed out at you for basically feeling the same as she was, but you were free to be open about it. She’s not happy having this baby.”
“I would keep an eye out for her having a bad case of PPD because if she’s already unhappy, it’s not going to get better without solid support. The best way to support them is after this kid is born to get them to get fixed. Both of them.” – AmFmCoffee
“Honestly with finances involved, definitely NAH. Your sister is old enough and should be responsible enough to take care of all of her children and not burden you or your mother with their care. You aren’t obligated to take care of her children, yet you do so out of the kindness of your heart.”
“Your lack of enthusiasm is totally warranted.”
“Kids are expensive! And if having four was causing strain in the family, imagine having five. Were you harsh? Yes. But sometimes people need to hear it. And with your sister having another baby, she and BIL need to work harder than ever to provide for their children.”
“Those are HER kids, not yours.” – starbarrie
“F**k all of these people telling you your response was inappropriate, they’re obviously ignoring the details about you financially supporting her and her children.”
“If I was supporting someone and their children because they wouldn’t work or do anything to help themselves, and they told me they were pregnant again with a child they intend to keep, I would be getting my a** out of that situation before I end up taking care of someone else’s kids for 18 years.”
“She should be working at least as hard as you are to take care of her children, but she’s obviously not. You have to stop letting her take advantage of you. She’s not going to stop on her own if you keep enabling her.” – jFextul349
Others found the OP to be rude and out of line.
“I don’t think you’re the AH for not being excited for your sister to have another baby especially given the context of the situation, but I do think you were an AH for your response, considering you did sarcastically ask her if she expected you to jump around and act excited when you she seemed disappointed by your dismissiveness.”
“It seems you resent her for having more kids given that it seems to impact your life, and that bled out into your reaction when she told you. I think it’s better for you to establish better boundaries with your sister if she’s really unable to take care of her children the way you say and she burdens you with them when you’re still a kid yourself.” – Feefifofanna
“Good lord. Why is it such a terrible burden to be happy about the things that make someone you love happy? Are only firstborn children worth celebrating? Is a child less valuable because their mother doesn’t struggle with infertility?”
“You’re N T A for not being overly effusive, but your speech about why this baby is no big deal to you puts you in YTA territory.” – LadyPent
“Eh. YTA, A simple ‘congratulations’ would have been easier than all the effort you put into tearing her down lol. Couldn’t even muster an ‘I’m happy you’re happy’?”
“Why did you do that? Pregnancy announcements are boring, but shaming the mother’s excitement or wrecking their vibe never occurred to me as an appropriate reaction.” – DerelictDilettante
“You didn’t need to tear her down like that. You went too far, YTA. Even if she already has four kids, it’s still a big deal to her. We can’t hear tone over text, but your ‘cool, awesome’ could very easily have come off as uninterested.”
“Your whole post you sound uninterested, saying you weren’t paying attention, etc. It’s not that hard to even just pretend you’re happy for someone instead of making sure they know every detail of why you don’t give a f**k. Of course, you’re entitled to your opinion, but in this situation, you’re just acting like a brat.” – Loesje2303
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update in another post.
“I just wanted to add some stuff and information that I felt like I should have added. I wanted to clarify some things.”
“When my sister said she was pregnant, it was not really an announcement. She was just talking to my mom, and my mom was like, ‘OMG CONGRATULATIONS.'”
“I heard but was too zoned into the TV to respond at first, so when Kay was like, ‘Oh, what do you think,’ I responded, ‘Cool, awesome,’ and smiled and went back to the TV show I was watching.”
“She got mad that I didn’t respond the way she wanted me to and left.”
The OP clarified her relationship with her sister.
“She and I have never been close. When I was seven, she was gone and out of the house.”
“The only time I would see her was if she came by to drop the kids off on the weekend so she could go out with her friends, while my mom or I would watch the kids.”
“I did it because the kids really didn’t cause that much trouble; they would just sit and watch tv, and sometimes they would spend the night, and sometimes they didn’t.”
“My response was not meant to come off as rude, but at the same time Kay before was asking me and my mom for money and food for the kids and I was like, ‘Where is the money going? Are you financially statable?'”
“And she would say, ‘Yeah, we just ran out of this and that,’ so my mom and I gave it to her.”
“I’m not sure if she is buying the kids the food they need or if she’s spending the money on other things. I don’t know if her husband’s checks are not going towards the house and them. So I kept buying kids’ stuff if they need it because if a child is hungry, I’m going to feed them.”
The OP had doubts about her sister’s future.
“I was annoyed because it’s like, bro, you are struggling to take care of your other kids and dropping them off at my mom’s house, we care for them when you could be going out and making more money for the kids instead of asking me for it.”
“I didn’t want to respond with, ‘BABY NUMBER FIVE, YOU CAN’T TAKE CARE OF YOUR OTHER KIDS,’ but I responded the best way I could, even though I was annoyed that a baby was going to come into this world and my sister does not have her s**t together.”
“I have tried everything, and she refused help from me, and I can’t keep helping people; I just can’t.”
The OP received an update from her sister.
“Kay called me today and was like, ‘I’m sorry for how I reacted, I just thought if people were happy, then I would be happy for this baby. I don’t know what I’m going to do like BIL is barely making anything.'”
“I told her straight up, ‘You need to go out and look for a job and bring more money in for these kids and try the best you can because I know you love your kids, even though we are not close like that. But when you are sometimes at our house, I can see that you love your kids.'”
“I added, ‘You just need to get your s**t together because mom and I can’t keep helping you out. I can do it sometimes but not all the time. Until then, start looking for part-time jobs. Daycare for the little one.'”
“She responded, ‘Yeah, I need to get this situated and help myself and the kids. I’m going to look for some part-time jobs.'”
“I said, ‘Yeah, start doing that, and if you are willing to change, I can watch the kids while you work.'”
“She responded, ‘Thanks,’ and she hung up her phone.”
“I really hope everything gets on track and they are finically stable.”
The subReddit was divided on how the OP initially reacted to her sister’s pregnancy announcement, with some hoping that the OP could have at least given her sister a peppy response.
But some appreciated the OP’s honesty about her relationship with her sister and her nieces, and how much had been expected of her as an 18-year-old. With another baby on the way, it was reasonable to worry that even more responsibilities would fall on her.