Not all families look the same. Doing what’s best for kids is making sure they have access to opportunities and a lot of love and support. That’s what being a “parent” is all about.
Redditor throwboone58 encountered this very issue with her friend. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for saying I ‘raised’ my two younger sisters?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My (28F) parents died when I was 18 and my twin sisters were 11, from a car crash.”
“We had no other relatives to take my sisters in. I was about to start college. Thankfully, my parents left us a very generous life insurance payout and a wealthy trust—enough to last my sisters and I through college and some years after with appropriate housing and living expenses.”
“I didn’t take any chances with the money.”
“I smartened up and talked things out with my parents’ financial adviser to make sure we would be set. I proceeded to college and took a part time job just in case.”
“I knew I wasn’t in a capacity to handle my sisters full time and we absolutely had nobody else to go to, so I explained the situation to them (with a counselor present) and enrolled them in a private boarding school.”
“I kept tabs on them all throughout their education: I spent as many weekends and my holidays with them. I went to PTCs, as many recitals and games as I could—even helped them shop for prom dresses.”
“I was very involved in their life.”
OP did everything she could to take care of her sisters.
“I also made sure to schedule them sessions with a therapist and received constant updates from their guidance counselor.”
“My sisters ended up graduating with no trouble, and they’re lovely, well adjusted human beings both in college now.”
“I am now a college lecturer doing my PhD. We have a close relationship and I am so lucky that they have been kind and understanding throughout the years.”
“I spent the weekend with a friend’s (28M) family last weekend and they asked me about myself, all the usual.”
“Somewhere in the conversation I said ‘I raised my sisters’ and my friend’s sister disagreed. She said the boarding school raised them and I shouldn’t take credit for that.”
“I disagreed and said I fulfilled the role of a parent, so yes I raised them from age 11 onward.”
“She said I was an asshole for pretending to be a parent, and I give ‘real parents’ a bad name.”
“Weekend went downhill after that and I didn’t feel comfortable after. Friend and his parents are on my side but the sister’s now posting passive aggressive stuff on social media. AITA?”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“Yes, you raised them. You ensured they had their needs met, you provided a responsible adult role model, and you were actively involved for milestones. You did it a little unconventionally, because that’s what was best for the three of you to move on and succeed. NTA and don’t let anyone take away from what you accomplished.” ~ PlanktonOk4846
“Completely agree with this comment, NTA.” ~ unknown_928121
“NTA. What do YOUR sisters say when asked who raised them? That is the only answer that matters. Every one else reads their own prejudices into the story. Ask two of the three people whose opinions matter and smile at the idiot.” ~ dixiebelle64
“That was my first thought, I think OP took on a role that I feel is much harder than ‘real parents.'”
“‘Real parents’ got to have their childhood and young adult years, then in most cases actively chose to have kids and start a family. OP was only 18, she missed out on all those fun young adult years to immediately become a capable adult in charge of 2 kids that had just been through one the most traumatic things that could happen to a child (loosing both parents), all while OP is dealing with the same trauma.”
“OP had the sense to recognize her limitations and implore the necessary help to ensure those kid’s grew up in the best possible scenario given the circumstances. OP deserves a freaking medal!!! NTA!” ~ bloseja
OP did what was best for her sisters.
“The classic cliche is unwanted kids dropped off unwillingly by detached parents. I did not go to boarding school but my neighbors did. They came home every summer and they loved their school. Always seemed happy enough to go back.” ~ dixiebelle64
“My youngest went to boarding school as a HS freshman. I was shocked when he said he wanted to go. He still speaks fondly of that year, but his dyscalculia needed more support than they could give.” ~ cappotto-marrone
“My dad went to a boarding school that he loved so much he went back to teach there after graduating from college. Later his son in law taught there. I would have gone to it except they didn’t have the same accommodations for my disability that the public schools did.” ~ SnipesCC
“I went to a boarding school (although I was a day student) and I don’t think any of my classmates who had well-intentioned & involved parents would say that their parents ‘abandoned them’ or weren’t their parents anymore. NTA and that girl’s opinion is so wrong.” ~ ummherewego
“NTA – I was going to say the same thing. Does she think anyone who sends their child to a boarding school didn’t raise them?”
“It would be one thing if she put them there and never said another word to them again/never saw them, but that was not the case. I would imagine there are even kids out there who already have a 10 and 20 year plan who think getting to go to boarding school (usually a higher standard of learning) is supporting their long-term goals.”
“I would be willing to bet that if the OP has any social media accounts, they correctly reflect the time she spent with her sisters. She needn’t pay any attention to the jealous friend who is trying to make herself feel better by making others feel bad. SMH.” ~ RollMeBaby8ToTheBard
OP did a great job raising her sisters.