There is an increasing number of people who are now choosing to live childfree, whether or not they get married or in otherwise committed relationships.
But there are still some people who end up having children they do not want, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
After being asked by her daughter why she had never been allowed to call her “Mum,” Redditor ALennox11 decided to honest with her about her feelings about motherhood.
But when her daughter did not take the truth well, the Original Poster (OP) thought she was overreacting.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my daughter the real reason I don’t allow her to refer to me as ‘mum’?”
The OP was tired at the end of a long trip.
“In recent events (perhaps 2 weeks ago?), whilst touring across the country, I was stuck driving for eight hours and I was exhausted.”
“However, my daughter, 15, popped the question as to why I don’t allow her and her brother to address me as ‘Mum’ as most would.”
She had no patience left for a tough conversation.
“Usually in this situation (not the first time she asked), I use the excuse of how it would be easier for her to find me if she ever got lost in a crowd, and I would be able to find her easier.”
“But this time, she continued to push for the real answer as she is now grown. This was the same reason as to why I spilled to her the real reason.”
“For context, I have never wanted children. Being in my early forties when I had her and her younger brother was a choice of my partner as I gave in and complied to the idea.”
“I never held a deep affection for them at first, but as they’ve grown, I’ve realized how much I truly love them.”
“Continuing on, I told my daughter that I never wished to be a mother and I’d much rather not be tied down to the lifestyle of it.”
“I didn’t think much of this as I was tired and just wanted to arrive at our destination.”
“I can’t exactly recall the reaction she had, she only replied along the lines of, ‘So that’s the real reason.'”
It turned out that her daughter did not take the truth well.
“I didn’t believe that I might have been in the wrong for telling her when she was the one to push for the reason. However, she later broke down after her dad joked about how he would be fine to allow her to call him dad (he was drinking that night).”
“I admit, I did discuss that I wanted him and me to be referred to by our names rather than the titles of ‘Mum’, etc. Before the birth of my daughter, he was reluctant but allowed it.”
“My daughter then came out and said how I have burdened her with my words and how she is ‘second guessing’ her position as my daughter.”
This opened up many other questions about their relationship.
“She began to spiral and overreact, asking why I would tell her that, if I love her, etc.”
“Then she began to say how she wanted the intimacy of calling me ‘Mum’ and how she does not feel close to me.”
“We have never had a problem with how she calls me by my name, and I thought she would only ask simply due to the curiosity of a growing person.”
The OP didn’t see what the issue was.
“She has yet to calm down and is still fairly tempered with me. It’s been a few days and there remains a lot of tension, whilst her father does not remember the events that took place while being drunk, so I come here for judgment.”
“I love my children and I make an effort to make sure it’s clear to them.”
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 found the OP to be incredibly insensitive to her daughter’s feelings.
“Accusing someone else of overreacting is a red flag for AH behavior 98% of the time. ‘I said/did something horrible and now I don’t want to deal with the fallout from that, so maybe I can convince you and everyone else that the real problem is your emotional reaction to my s**tty behavior.'” – googleismygod
“She sounds extremely selfish and in denial as well. She said she doesn’t want to be tied down to the motherhood lifestyle?? I hate to break it to you, but you are in that lifestyle and have been for all over a decade.”
“Even after she sees how hurt her daughter is, she doesn’t care and calls it overacting. If anyone is overacting, it is the mother. She acts like if no one calls her mum, then she won’t be one. OP, YTA.” – BrownEyesGurl1
“I couldn’t believe what I read. I asked my daughters not to call me ‘Mom’ and asked instead for ‘Mama’ or any other version (we live in the southern US) when they wanted to move on from ‘Mommy.’ They accept it, and I haven’t had to explain (bad relationship with my mother who I have called mom).”
“I figured OP was going in this direction, and I was prepared to defend her. Her actual post is heartbreaking. No one should ever be told they weren’t wanted nevertheless aren’t wanted, and OP did both.”
“YTA. Do better, OP. Your children should not have to pay the price for your bad choices.”
“Even if her daughter was grown, this information should never have been shared with her. It’s awful to feel like your parents never wanted you. It has to be complete hell to have it confirmed.” – SincerelyCynical
“YTA. ‘I never wanted you, only had you to keep my partner, and I may love you now but not enough to let you call me mum.’ How would you possibly NOT be the a**hole for telling a teenager that?” – ProPlumDidIt
“Being tired often results in saying stuff without thinking about it, so I get that.”
“But let’s look at this one. You think there’s never been a problem and that she’s asking out of curiosity. Did you ever consider that she’s asked multiple times because she may be deeply anxious about it? Insecure about it?”
“Because friends and classmates have asked her why she didn’t call you mom her entire life or assumed you weren’t her mother, and she had no answer to them?”
“I can tell you right now that kids are cruel, and that if she had no answer, some kid would’ve definitely said, ‘Haha your mom doesn’t love you.’ This has probably been building for a long time.”
“Sit down with her. Have a good talk. Say that you’re sorry, and ask if it has impacted her.”
“If she says yes, don’t blame her. Don’t make excuses. Apologize for not seeing it. Listen to her. Don’t try to overexplain unless she asks you to.”
“Find out where this came from. If she gets loud, be calm and don’t start any ‘Don’t you raise your voice/ take that tone with me’ stuff parents love to do. If your child is suddenly inconsolable there’s a reason.”
“YTA but you don’t have to keep being one if you truly love your children now. Do right by her.”
“Just know that this will be a defining moment for your family. How you handle this will matter. Don’t downplay her feelings, they’re absolutely understandable. What you said must be heartwrenching to a child of 15 who doesn’t quite get nuance yet. I’d be upset at 23.” – CoffeeBooksCookies
Others were appalled that anyone would ever say this to their child.
“I have a friend who really doesn’t like ‘Mommy,’ so she wants to go straight from ‘Mama’ to ‘Mom.'”
“We’ll see what her kid is willing/able to do (the baby is 3 months old at the moment so not talking at all yet), but it’s still a form of mother, you know?”
“This OP is… something else.” – RoseFyreFyre
“My mom has told me multiple times that I was an accident, she didn’t want to get pregnant, and that I destroyed her life by being born.”
“Well, thanks mom, I really wanted to know that.” – VirtualMatter2
“I have always been acutely, painfully aware that my mother did not want me (she made it abundantly clear in word and deed).”
“She is the kind of mother where people don’t believe you when you mention in passing what she’s like… then they meet her and say, ‘……wow, you totally undersold. She is SO HATEFUL.’ Yup!”
“So yeah, forced-birthers, super traumatic self-upbringing, and a lifetime of baggage is not the ‘sanctity’ you a**holes are looking for. If I could have a do-over, I’d choose ‘don’t.'”
“But they 15/10 don’t care about the reality of children trying their best to grow up decent in desperately unhappy, abusive environments.”
“To the actual post: OP is TA, obvs. Who on earth actually TELLS their child that they were unwanted? My mom and this lady, apparently.” – jezebella-ella-ella
“This secret was an example of something that should be carried to the grave. There is no amount of tapdancing in the world that could erase that poor child’s idea that she truly wasn’t wanted.” – Accomplished_Two1611
“My mom didn’t want kids, she had them because she was ‘supposed’ to. Nothing quite like knowing you were simply an obligation and a box checked off on the Things To Do list.”
“My dad ALSO did not want kids, but he never showed it, ever. My mom did on the daily.” – Budget_Psychology280
“Up until her dying day about 7 years ago, my mom was Mom. I would have weird calling her Pauline. Dad was Dad as well, never Russ.”
“I would have felt like I was punched in the gut if she EVER told me what this heartless br**d did.” – Natural-Seaweed-5070
The subReddit was totally appalled and heartbroken on the daughter’s behalf after reading the real reason why the OP didn’t want her to call her ‘Mum’ or any similar title.
Even if that was how she felt about motherhood, that was a secret that should have been taken to her grave, not revealed to her daughter after she had “grown.”
Not to mention the fact that fifteen years of age hardly qualifies as “grown.”