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Single mom makes it awkward when she asks SIL to plan kid-friendly hangouts; AITA?

Single mom makes it awkward when she asks SIL to plan kid-friendly hangouts; AITA?


Choosing to have kids is a massive life decision, but it can be frustrating when child-free friends and family members express zero interest in sharing the joys (and challenges) of having children around...

If all your friends want to go to a winery for a relaxing and peaceful day but you can't find a babysitter, should you suggest a loud and chaotic trip to the local Chuck E. Cheese instead? So, when a frustrated single mom decided to consult the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the As*hole' about hanging out with her sister-in-law, people were ready to hear the family drama.

AITA for asking my SIL if she and her friends can include more child-friendly activities in their hangouts?

I (F27) am a single mom to three kids; 5, 3, and 2. My ex-husband left soon after my youngest was born and has since moved out of state.

I am close with my brother (M32) and have tried to get close to his wife (F26). She is very sweet and fun, and I genuinely enjoy her company. I obviously don't get to hang out with her a lot because I have my hands full. My family helps out occasionally with childcare but they are all busy too so I don't get a lot of time with my friends.

My SIL has invited me along with her friend group frequently. They are all very outdoorsy and like to have a good time. The thing is, I have to decline 9.9/10 times because the activities they plan are not child friendly.

Day-long hikes, wineries, kayaking trips down large rivers; you get the idea. Plus my SIL doesn't seem that interested in kids. She never helps or offers to help keep an eye on the kids during family gatherings. She isn't rude when I turn down the invites. She just says she understands and hopes I can join them next time.

We had a Barbeque a couple weeks ago at my parents house. I was chatting with my brother and SIL and she mentioned she and her best friend were going to head to a very fancy art museum out of town. She asked if I'd like to join them and I said I would have to see. She nodded and said she understood.

It was then I mentioned it would be great if she and her friends did stuff the kids could do once in a while. My SIL got a little awkward and said that none of her friends had kids and this is just what they liked to do. We continued talking but it was a little quiet and she excused herself.

My brother told me that it was an a*shole move to make a suggestion like that because she was trying to include me in her friend group and I don't have a right to change their vibe. I feel guilty now, but it's just really difficult to get out with three young kids.

Here's what the jury of internet strangers had to say:

CrystalQueen3000 said:

YTA. She’s trying to include you, she clearly isn’t deeply interested in spending her free time with 3 kids. If you can’t make it that’s a you problem she doesn’t need to make her plans kid friendly.

dianaprince76 said:

YTA. You are a mom, they aren’t and while it’s sucks, no one wants to hang around kids when they don’t have them. Heck, I’m a mom and I don’t want to hang around other people’s kids.

You’d be better off looking for friends with kids and make peace with the fact that your SIL and her friends won’t want to do kid-centric stuff until they have kids, if they ever do.

charlesmans0n said:

YTA, are you serious? 'She never helps or offers to help keep an eye on the kids during family gatherings.' Why would she? They're YOUR kids.

I don't have kids or want them, and it blows my mind to think that if I were at a family gathering anyone would be under the assumption that it would even cross my mind to take care or/watch their kids.

Why don't you offer to invite HER to do something with you? Get a babysitter and just grab dinner, or bring the fam to the beach or something.

Anonnymusse said:

I think you are being a little short sighted in this one. It is a little egocentric to expect a group of people to do things that only appeal to you, and it's unrealistic to expect her to coerce her childless friends to do the child friendly activities you want when it clearly isn't their thing.

She is offering to include you with her friends. Many parents occasionally spend time away from their children as a little adult time. Don't be surprised if she no longer does.

I also think you are being a little entitled expecting your family to baby sit. You had children, not them. You can't expect them to babysit just because you want it nor get mad when they don't offer. YTA.

GroundbreakingTwo201 said:

Very soft YTA. It sounds like SIL is really trying to bring you into her friend group. But she wants to hang out with you, not your kids. Implying that her child-free friend group should accommodate your kids is a slightly unaware thing to ask.

You should hire a babysitter or have your husband watch the kids, or continue to politely decline her invitations.

Selmo20 said:

YTA reluctantly because I’ve seen this happen and it can be isolating to not have friends because being a mom changes everything but you can’t ask a group of child free girls to include more kid friendly things because they are inviting you and not your kids, she doesn’t have to help you with your kids or make accommodations with her friends for your kids.

So, there you have it...

Everyone agreed unanimously here that this single mom is unfortunately in the wrong about this. Clearly her sister-in-law and her friends don't want to change their dynamic to accomodate children, especially when none of them are also parents. The fact that they're making an effort to include her is generous enough, but sometimes she must accept that she can't tag along because of her kids.

Sources: Reddit
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