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Aunt wouldn't hold niece as a baby, so mom bans aunt from ever seeing her.

Aunt wouldn't hold niece as a baby, so mom bans aunt from ever seeing her.


Babies are adorable for some and absolutely terrifying for others. So what do you do when you are supposed to love and cuddle something that freaks you TF out?

When a sister couldn't give emotional support to her sister who just gave birth, a rift started between them, and it grew for eight years. Now that auntie wants back in their life, mommy is not so sure. So, the mom (u/throwawaymomk) took to Reddit to ask for advice:

'AITA (Am I the as*hole) for not letting my sister around my daughter after she declared she had no interest in interacting or holding her when she was a baby?'

I had my daughter (8f) when I was 22. My sister was 25 at the time. I don’t know when she became childfree. At my baby shower she had a frown on her face the whole time and would say things like “Oh another expensive gift, wowww. Could pay my rent if I sold that”.

My pregnancy was quite scary but everything turned out fine. When my family came to the hospital to greet and hold her, my sister refused to even touch her. Her explanation was that she “Doesn’t like small kids, especially babies, and never wants to have them”.

I was quite sad at this, and asked her why she wouldn’t want to interact with her own family just because she doesn’t like or want kids. She just shrugged, and handed me a congrats card.

The rest of the family was horrified and she kinda became an outcast at that point. She was always starting some kind of drama with someone.

Fast forward to now, a couple months ago she started showing more interest in my daughter. She’d call and ask what her favorite colors and movies were. Drop her presents off on my door. I asked her why after all this time, she wanted to get to know my daughter.

She said it was because my daughter was quite older now and wasn’t a screaming baby. “She can hold a conversation now so I think we’ll get along just fine”.

I shook my head and said she made her decision to not interact with her years ago. I told her she doesn’t just get to randomly decide when she wants to act like an aunt. “I don’t even think you love her. How could you? You don’t even call me half the time.”

She said she was trying to be an aunt, I just had to give her a chance. I told her I had tried giving her many chances and she blew it. She called me an asshole, said I couldn’t let go of the past and that she knew me getting pregnant was the end of the sister she once knew.

She hung up and I told my husband everything. He says I have every right not to let her in my daughters life but I feel so unsure. The rest of the family agrees. After the family started shutting her out, she did talk crap about me and the baby on social media, to others etc.

I did give her many other chances to apologize and be in her nieces life despite this, but she blew it every time. Plus she had been a problem wayyy before I even got pregnant. She just wasn’t pleasant to be around unfortunately and most people were done dealing with her. She did stop the drama after awhile, she didn’t keep talking crap for 8 years. But the damage was/is done.

What do you think? Is OP overreacting and holding on to the past? Or should her sister apologize and realize that her past behavior was hurtful?

Reddit was actually extremely torn on this one! It was the intersection of those who hate kids and those who love to judge others! Here were the juiciest comments:

Andante79 says:

While I'm not defending how your sister reached initially, please consider my take. I don't like babies. I have zero maternal instinct, holding babies makes me very VERY uncomfortable. I don't know how to relate to small kids. I don't know how to play with them. When my two nieces were little, under 6 or so, there was not much of a relationship.

They could tell I was uncomfortable, which made them uncomfortable. As they got older and developed personalities, we started being able to connect a bit. Some people out there just do not connect well with kids. Most of us handle it with tact and grace, and I'm sorry your sister didn't.

I know how much harassment someone who is childfree can face, I've been going through it since I was 15. It can make you bitter.

And OP responded:

I don’t recall a time where our family ever harassed her for not having kids, so unfortunately I don’t think that was the cause for why she was the way she was.

ex_ter_min_ate_ disagrees:

Except for when she said she wasn’t comfortable holding your baby and then you got all sad and the family was horrified and she became an outcast? Not wanting to hold babies isn’t a character flaw it’s really inherently uncomfortable for some people. Neither of you handled this well and it escalated badly over the years, but don’t kid yourself about how you’ve reacted to her childfree status. Your family cut her out because she didn’t toe the line.

And RevolutionaryKale293 thinks so, too.

You were disappointed when she didn’t hold your newborn and the entire family disowned her after that. How is that not harassment? Aside from her poor attitude at your baby shower. Babies are babies even if they are family. She does not like babies and your family punished her for that. I’ve been through that. Childfree people sometimes take a beating for their choices.

But OP wouldn't back down:

I was sad yes. But that’s not harassment. I was sad because I had just labored for 26 hours and had complications the whole time, scared for my life and my baby’s life only for my sister to say “Oh I don’t like it”. Like, I get it ya know? Babies can be super gross. But it just wasn’t the time.

She should’ve just been polite and said she was uncomfortable and that be that. I was sweaty, hormonal, still shaking etc and just wanted support. She was shunned because everyone but her could read the room apparently, and it wasn’t the first time she had caused problems. Nothing to do with her childfree status or whatever people keep saying.

But _ewan_ wasn't having it:

It sounds like the sister was being treated as the problem and got fed up. OP's entire story, including the vague accusations about their sister 'being a problem' and 'starting drama' are completely consistent with OP being the golden child.

Coupled with her attitude - backed by the rest of the family - that she should vindictively cut her sister off now because years ago she didn't instantly comply with OP's wishes, and I'm not at all convinced that the sister was ever the problem.

Ladyughsalot1 couldn't disagree more:

Uh she was aggressively rude and acted like this daughter was somehow subhuman. You think she’s a healthy and safe adult with that attitude? This wasn’t “oh I’m uncomfortable around babies” this was straight up malicious behavior.

An adult who suddenly feels entitled to a child on their terms only is not a safe adult to have around. What happens when the 8 year old doesn’t behave like a mature kid and has a kid moment? How is this aunt going to respond? Based on previous behavior: not well.

Ladyughsalot1 agrees:

YEP. The second your kid has a kid moment she’s going to make some snarky comment. People with poor boundaries don’t get access to your kid on their terms only. She wasn’t “uncomfortable with babies” she behaved maliciously and she did so performatively. What’s to say she won’t go back into those behaviors when she has a day where she isn’t enjoying being the cool aunt?

mouse_attack writes:

What is all this “forget the past” nonsense? The past tells us who someone is. How they behave. Whether they’re trustworthy. Whether they’re kind. Whether they’re likely to be kind moving forward. I think forgiveness could be an option if sister puts in the work to repair her relationship with OP first - which she basically threw away because OP had the nerve to grow a fetus.

If OP is interested in a relationship with sister (and she has the right not to be), she can connect on her own now to decide whether sister is someone she’s willing to bring into her kiddo’s life. But at this point that privilege absolutely has to be earned. NTA (not the as*hole).

So, there you have it!

It's up to OP to decide how to proceed with her sister. I think we can all agree that whether she's TA or not, she should proceed with caution.

Sources: Reddit
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