Having a child is not for the faint of heart. Though it is incredibly fulfilling for some, having children around changes what a person’s day-to-day life looks like and what they can go out to do for fun.
If they aren’t ready to trade some of those social events in, they might not be ready for kids, concluded the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor MidnightMajestic7208 had all of this in mind when her sister told her that she had baby fever and was thinking about having a child of her own.
But when she thought about the life her sister led, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t convinced children would fit into her life.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my sister she is not in a good place to have a child?”
The OP and her mother were honest with her sister about her readiness to have a baby.
“Over the weekend, my sister (who I don’t talk to very much) randomly texted my mom and me and said that she has baby fever.”
“My mom responded, ‘Go hold a friend’s baby,’ and I said, ‘Ew,’ at first (as a joke).”
“My sister then responded, ‘Why are you being so cold. Why can’t I have a family?'”
“My mom said, ‘I’m not being cold. I’m telling you how you can relieve the baby fever in a more obtainable way right now.'”
“I said, ‘How are you ready for a child? As far as we know, you are still struggling with money? You have a family now without kids. They aren’t going to magically make your life special.'”
“My sister was p**sed with me after that and said I was being an a**hole. But honestly, that was me being as nice as I can.”
But the OP felt she had good reason to be skeptical of her sister’s readiness.
“My sister works at a liquor store, goes to raves every single weekend, does a heavy amount of drugs.”
“She has several mental health issues that are unchecked, and can’t even keep her apartment clean (I’m talking moldy mountains of dishes, clothes all over the floor, cat poop everywhere, etc), and she has asked me for money sometimes (I’m 28 and she’s 34), etc etc.”
“She has never expressed wanting a child before and there are a million reasons for me to believe she should not have them.”
“(BUT I DID NOT MENTION ANY OF THOSE THINGS.)”
“AITA for telling my sister she is not in a good place to have a child?”
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 were worried this was the sister’s way of breaking the news.
“NTA. It was a text. Is she already pregnant and easing you into the news?” – peonyhen
“You should definitely panic, especially if you live geographically close to your family.”
“Because yeah, you should expect your sister to announce a pregnancy, and you should also expect her to assume that she can just give the kid to you to raise when she’s done with it in a month.”
“This might be an excellent time to relocate ‘for your career.’ Perhaps to another continent, just to be safe.” – Istarien
“Please do what you can to create even more distance, move if she knows your address, not being funny.”
“She’s more than likely testing who will take care of the baby and then literally dump the baby with you if you want to or not.”
“People like you’ve described she is, do NOT care and will try to just drop a baby on a doorstep if you won’t willingly take it.” – Auntimeme
“Being pregnant and having a baby is another type of drug.”
“The attention from pregnancy from medical staff, strangers, family, and friends combined with the shiny views of parenthood on social media entices people who feel empty. Those like your sister do not see long-term. Just day to day.”
“Source: have known probably 4 dozen people like this who planned for and had kids without any comprehension of the reality.”
“Also? Yeah, she’s pregnant or thinks she is.” – BendingCollegeGrad
“I also think this is kind of a setup. She’s gauging how likely they are to be free childcare so she would have to change her life as little as possible.”
“NTA because the sister started this conversation and catering to her would possibly have encouraged her to bring one into her life which sounds irresponsible and dangerous for the child.”
“I don’t blame you for being a little harsh in order to make sure she knows there is no support for this sudden and rash decision.” – opinionswelcomehere
“You said she’s 34, maybe she said it because her biological clock is ticking. That said, from everything you posted, it sounds like your sister is in no way mentally, financially, or emotionally ready for a child and shouldn’t have one.”
“NTA for pointing that out.” – HappyCabbage9013
Others agreed the sister definitely didn’t sound ready to have a baby.
“If she actually has cat poop everywhere I hope to God she isn’t pregnant, among other obvious reasons.”
“When my wife became pregnant, one of the first things I ‘declared’ was that she wasn’t cleaning the litter box for 9 months, and h**l, I was iffy about her petting the cat in general.” – IDUU
“NTA. I think you could’ve even been more pointed in your response to sister, this is a child’s life we’re talking about.”
“As the child of someone who was a partier and did not stop partying for pregnancy or to raise a kid, please make a few more ‘a**hole’ comments to her if necessary.”
“Whatever it takes to ensure you don’t end up having to call protective services in two years because your sister is letting her infant child crawl around in cat poop with loose drugs and mold growing all over the floor.” – DrippyMagoo
“NTA, OP. I’d love to tell my SIL this, but would go down like a lead balloon. Especially as everyone in my in-laws think ‘having a baby will calm her down.'”
“She gets blackout drunk at least once a week, and last week broke her nose flipping over the handlebars of a Byrd scooter while drunk. But she’s actively trying with her husband and just bought ovulation kits. FML (f**k my life).” – Relevant-Ad6288
“She kind of opened up the discussion on this issue by informing you and your mom that she has baby fever. Why? Is she expecting you guys to take her future kid so she can still go out and party? If she didn’t want your opinion, she shouldn’t have started the discussion.”
“Side note: if she does have a kid and continues her lifestyle, child services may take that kid from her and ask you or your mom if you want custody of her if your sister can’t straighten up her act.” – Jammy913
“Oh my god. Thank you. I commend you and your mother for your good sense. For not being those families who celebrate every dumba**, ill-considered pregnancy.”
“For not thinking that just wanting a child is a good enough reason to bring one into the world. And finally, for not encouraging a broke, drug-addled mother from birthing a child into a life of hardship. We have enough of those. NTA.” – Forsaken_Slug_521
“You’re a reasonable a**hole.”
“My sis has 3 kids: 1 (female) who lives with my parents, 1 (male) who lives with the father’s parents, and 1(male) who got adopted out. Many a time, she tried to pull, ‘But I’m her mother,’ to my niece who my sis hasn’t seen in years, and that was before the pandemic lockdowns…”
“She always tends to block me and not talk to me when I call her out on Facebook when she posts saying she’s my niece’s mother.”
“That’s when I let my inner a**hole out and tell her she’s not a mother, because she doesn’t do anything to qualify for that title, doesn’t visit, doesn’t call… My mother will get text messages asking for money, though.”
“So keep being the a**hole. Your sis might not agree with you and still pull her s**t, but at least you will be satisfied that you told the truth and called her out on it.” – motherofdemons20
While the OP wasn’t sure whether or not she had been too honest with her sister about how she felt her lifestyle would fit with the raising of a child, the subReddit appreciated her honesty immensely.
Not only did they agree that the sister wasn’t ready, based on how she’s currently living, but they highly doubted that she would care for the baby properly. They even went so far as to suggest that the baby would wind up living with another family member or being adopted out altogether.
But they were also worried about why this conversation happened at all. The sister might just be worried about getting older, since she was 34, but there was a distinct possibility that she was reading the room before breaking the news of a pregnancy her family didn’t think she was ready for.