Many people dream of having children of their own pretty much all their lives.
Of course, not everyone wants to have children, and it’s not said often enough that choosing not to have children is just as noble a decision as choosing to have children.
Some people simply know that they cannot provide all the love, attention, and support a child needs, making the responsible decision not to become a parent.
A concept that is still very difficult for some people to grasp.
The best friend of Redditor Some-Tension-4810 was among those who always dreamed of becoming a mother and finally made the decision to become one.
Taking the original poster (OP) somewhat by surprise, however, was how involved her friend expected her to be in her child’s life.
When the OP shared her discomfort with these expectations, her friend was anything but understanding.
Wondering if she was out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for refusing to babysit for my best friend?”
The OP explained how her best friend simply couldn’t understand their fundamental difference when it came to children.
“I (28 F[emale]) and Mia (34 F) have been best friends for 11 years.”
“I love her like a sister, and until now, we’ve never fallen out.”
“Neither of us have family close by or a wide circle of friends, so I really want to try and resolve this issue as best I can.”
“About five years ago, Mia told me that if she hadn’t met a man by the time she turned 35, then she would go the sperm donor route and become a single mother.”
“That time has now arrived, so she’s planning on starting the IVF process and getting pregnant next year.”
“I fully support her decision and think she’ll make an incredible parent, with or without a partner.”
“The problem started a couple of months ago when she casually mentioned over dinner that her future baby will love spending time with their Aunty OP.”
“I laughed and reminded her I’ve never had any maternal instincts, so the three of us will need to hang out as a trio because I’ll be new to being an Aunty.”
“She asked what I meant, so I clarified I wouldn’t be babysitting as I’m not comfortable being responsible for small children on my own, but I would happily spend time with both of them together.”
“Mia went quiet and then moved the conversation along, so I didn’t think much else of it.”
“Fast forward to yesterday when we were in her car, and Mia unexpectedly launches a story about her friend in Spain who also used a sperm donor to become a single mother, and her friendship circle has been helping look after the baby so she can continue building her career.”
“Mia then said, ‘having a strong female support network is so important when raising children. I love that we would do anything for each other’.”
“I noticed she was putting a big emphasis on childcare, so again, I reminded her I wouldn’t be able to babysit, but was quick to let her know I would support in any other way I could.”
“I told her I could cook, clean, keep her company, be at the hospital, buy her child whatever they need.”
“Anything outside of babysitting solo.”
“She laughed and said, ‘it’s so funny you have no idea how much you’re going to love this baby, you’ll enjoy taking care of your godchild more than you realize!’.”
“Alarm bells were going off, so I admittedly took a blunt tone and told her it’s not going to be my kid, it’s hers, and I’m not comfortable with the responsibility of looking after a baby on my own (I have sensory issues and anxiety, screaming kids make me panic in a big way).”
“I’m not doing it, and I’m not changing my mind.”
“She looked genuinely hurt and said most people would do anything to help out a single mum, and she couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t want to do this for her.”
“She also said it’s ‘worrying and abnormal’ for me to be so nervous about looking after a baby and mentioned she doesn’t have anyone else to help, so this has come as a horrible surprise.”
“She dropped me home, and we haven’t spoken since.”
“I feel awful about all of it – AITA?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for refusing to babysit Mia’s child.
Everyone agreed that the OP was in no way obligated ever to babysit Mia’s child, and if Mia thought being a single mother meant that all her family and friends would help her at a moment’s notice without ever being asked, then she should have thought much more carefully about becoming a mother.
“NTA she chose to be a single mother but doesn’t want to do the work of a single mother.”
“She has not thought her decision through at all and is an a**hole for trying to pressure you into helping her raise a child.”- Deucalion666
“She says ‘most people would do anything to help out a single mum.'”
“But first, she’s choosing to be a single mum, which is different from a woman who gets divorced or whose partner abandons her and may need temporary help while she regains her footing.”
“She’s planning a life where you are the de facto babysitter, which isn’t the same as lending a hand from time to time.”
“And second, she talks about ‘a strong female support network’, but she seems to mean…you.”
“And third, did she ask you if you were willing to be the godparent?”
“This sounds like she’s trying the rare stunt of baby-trapping a friend.”
“Don’t let her do this to you.”- TemptingPenguin369
“That’s a cute anecdote of how it’s going for her friend in Spain, but I’m sorry, in what world would ‘most people do anything to help out a single mum’.”
“All you have to is talk to more than one single mother to know how little help and support they often receive.”
“Your friend has created a fantasy world in her head and now expects you to live in it.”- Atarlie
“Single people can often have high expectations of other people caring for their kid.”
“And if she doesn’t have anyone else to help, then she is setting herself up for major failure as you’ve been clear with your boundaries.”
“I don’t doubt she will keep pushing them, too, so hold your ground.”
“You aren’t a bad friend for not wanting to, and she is a bad friend if she’s going to try to coerce you.”
“I think she’s realizing her dream is a rough reality and may be freaking out as she realizes how few options she actually has by going this route.”- Unable-Ad148
“She’s amazingly self-entitled to think that she can choose to become a single parent and make her friends bear the responsibility that comes with it.”- StillScrollingNow
“NTA, this entitled mindset is too common, especially with grandparents.”
“’Oh yeah, btw I decided to have a child, and they’re on the way’.”
“‘You’ll be providing countless hours of free childcare and will be happy about it!’”
“It’s nice for her to want to live her dream, but that doesn’t mean she can just dump her future child on unwilling people.”- paul_rudds_drag_race
“She is hugely mistaken.”
“Being a single mom does not automatically entitle her to ‘everything’ from everyone.”- PowerStocker
“She’s delusional if she thinks she’s entitled to all her friends caring for a child SHE IS CHOOSING TO HAVE.”- rosegoldblonde
“NTA, NTA, NTA.”
“Your friend never intended to become a single parent. She has been planning for you to become a parent right along with her.”
“The fact that you are not willing to do that should not come as a horrible surprise to her.”
“Someone needs to inform her that a single parent is just that, a person raising a child alone.”
“In my opinion, to intentionally plan on becoming a single parent does not warrant the same consideration as someone who inadvertently finds themselves in that situation.”- Stormy19611111
“She’s seriously delusional for thinking that other people should bear the burden of her life choices.”
“I don’t care how good of a friend you guys maybe this is out of line.”- Fun-Statistician-550
Not everyone is born with parental instincts in them.
While it is entirely possible that the OP might eventually grow to view the OP’s child as her own, Mia still shouldn’t have expected her to be at her beck and call.
Nor does it entirely make sense that Mia would even be comfortable with the OP watching her child after she openly admitted how uncomfortable she is around children.
One can only hope this doesn’t mark the end of their friendship.