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'AITA for asking my sister to stop fostering dogs so she could help me with my kids?' UPDATED

'AITA for asking my sister to stop fostering dogs so she could help me with my kids?' UPDATED

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"AITA for asking my sister to stop fostering dogs so she could help me with my kids?"

Here's the original post:

Okay just writing the title like that made me feel super guilty, but please hear me out before judging too harshly. I (38 F) have 4 kids ages 11 months, 3, 5, and 10. I love them all more than anything, but I’ll be the first to admit that our house is constant chaos and it can get very exhausting. My sister (33F) is child free, but loves my kids and was happy to watch the older 2 or sometimes 3 to help me keep my sanity.

This has been extremely helpful and I tell her all the time how grateful we are for her help. The thing is that the kids used to go over to her house, but right now they couldn’t because my sister was fostering an elderly chihuahua. My sister claims she couldn’t have them over for the time being because they would stress out the dog. Her dog was extremely frail and timid so I think this was a fair assessment.

This was the 4th dog she has fostered, all of which couldn’t be around my kids. This most recent dog took 8 months to find a home for, but most of her other dogs took even longer. When she told me she found an adopter I knew I could finally breathe a sigh of relief and joked about how I was so glad she could babysit again.

My sister proceeded to tell me that there was a second dog that desperately needed a new foster, so she planned to take in that one as soon as her current dog was gone. So, she couldn’t do anymore babysitting than she already is (sometimes she comes over to my house in the morning to help out). I could literally feel my stress levels spike.

I haven’t ever done this before, but I opened up to her about how much I have been struggling since she got the dog. How little sleep I get each night, how my husband hasn’t been helping as much as he should, and some other deeply personal issues that I’ve been struggling with. Then I asked her, point blank, to not get another dog.

She comforted me, but ultimately didn’t agree on anything and said she needed some time to think. I know I am asking a lot of her since rescuing dogs is her passion and that is why I feel so guilty. But I don’t have anyone else to help me. I can’t afford a babysitter long term, and my friends all have their own kids to look after.

Above all, my kids will always come before a dog and that’s the reason I was willing to request it. I’ve told a few different people about the situation and gotten a wide range of heavily biased opinions. So that’s why I decided to come on here and as you guys. Was this unreasonable? I would never demand her to do this if she didn’t want to, but is it really so wrong to just be honest my situation and earnestly ask?

What do you think? AITA? Commenters weighed in, and they did not hold back:

said:

YTA. Absolutely no one loves to admit this to themselves, but your own life choices led you to this point. Your exhaustion, your sleepless nights, that fact you're broke, your inability to find a consistent babysitter... these are all problems you've invented for yourself by having children outside your means.

Your sister's time isn't any less valuable just because she's child-free. Child-free people don't exist on this earth to watch your children. It's wonderful that she's offered to watch them as much as she has, and it's great that you remember to thank her often,

but you have to understand that when she does watch your children, it's not because her time is worth less than yours and it's just naturally expected that she help you. Her time is not something you're entitled to, and her help is not something that's owed to you just because you're a parent and she's not.

Try to take the incoming flood of criticism as a wake-up call. If your husband isn't pulling his weight, it's time to consider counseling. Cast your net out over the area and see if you can pin down an affordable babysitting network. Field your options and stop leaning on your sister to solve your problems.

said:

YTA. It's your HUSBAND, the children's FATHER, you should be requesting more from. Not a sister who has already done way way way more than required! Go sit your husband down and let HIM know you're struggling. Don't try to manipulate your sister when you haven't even tried to fix what's in your own backyard ..

said:

YTA...I don't understand why you think your sister is responsible for taking care of your life choices,, but apparently your husband isn't? Who do you think you are? The entitlement is astonishing.

Your kids come first for YOU. Don't expect other people to put your kids first. I'd never want to baby sit for you again. Very selfish. Yeah, it sucks for you. But that's on you.

And said:

Stop having kids with men that will not pull their weight.

Commenters overwhelmingly voted: YTA.

In response to the comments, OP shared these two updates:

Edit 1: I am grateful for the honesty from people respectfully telling me that what I did was wrong. However I have also read a lot of horrible assumptions from people as well and I’d like to clear them up. I am not some careless mother who just keeps “popping out children” that I can’t take care of. My husband is not a deadbeat dad. After our youngest was born he got severe depression.

He isn’t out having fun while I’m working 24/7, he is miserable. I went to my sister instead of him for help because I don’t want to lose him. I love my kids and I have always made every one of my decisions with what I believe are their best interests in mind. And no I don’t think my sister is obligated to do anything for me, I was asking for help not demanding it.

Edit 2: Insulting my husband doesn’t help anyone. Yes he is in therapy and is on antidepressants. Anyone who has actually dealt with depression would know that that isn’t an instant cure all. Still my husband does the very best he can. I asked my sister because I needed more help than he can provide right now.

Then, six months after her original post and comments, she shared this major update:

So I wasn’t sure whether or not to update since I received so much genuine hatred on my last post. Not just people giving their opinions, but people calling me a horrible person, and just some terrible untrue assumptions. But I wanted to update because my life has changed so much since that post and to thank the few people who messaged me and gave me genuine advice (even if I didn’t respond, I read it).

Also my sister actually did find my post because it was on a TikTok makeup video. I actually did take the good advice to heart though, so I had to disagree with her. So 2 days after posting this, I asked my husband for a divorce. He was very upset, but said he saw it coming. After we got divorced he wasn’t well enough to watch our kids on his own, so I received full custody.

My sister did decide to foster the dog because it would have been put down otherwise. And my ex husband needed a companion so he actually ended up adopting that chihuahua later. He was really improving for a bit, but then he got into an accident and passed away. I still don’t know how to process that.

I’m just moving on day by day now. I’ve used some community resources to help with my kids. I still ask my sister for help sometimes though. I think things will improve despite the tragedy. Thank you for taking the time to listen to my story, even if you commented something negative.

I think I speak for everyone when I say, woof.

Sources: Reddit
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