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'AITA for telling my SIL that kids like hers are the reason I’m childfree?'

'AITA for telling my SIL that kids like hers are the reason I’m childfree?'

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"AITA for telling my SIL that kids like hers are the reason I’m childfree (because they stole my keepsakes)"

WorthPickle5161

I can’t decide if I should feel guilty about this or just be angry. Tending toward angry right now but I need a reality check, especially because I’m not a parent. My husband and I are in our late 30s.

My family doesn’t care about me being childfree, but my husband’s family has asked pointedly about “time running out” a few times. My husband is a really sweet man who actually loves kids, and even I find them endearing most of the time.

But we don’t think parenting is worth it for us. We have cats. My SIL has 2 kids, they’re 7 and 9. They are staying with us for a week because they wanted to visit our city for vacation. We have a bookcase of keepsakes in the living room.

We have flowers from our wedding in resin, I have my granddad’s coin collection, we have trinkets from trips we’ve been on, and other things like theirs. 2 shelves worth of stuff. None of it is worth any money, just very sentimental.

Well today I noticed 2 things missing - our wedding flower and a bracelet from my middle school friend. Obviously I kind of freaked out and I asked my SIL if she had any idea. Her kids were also there and they looked a little odd so I asked them if they knew anything.

They said no but they looked upset. SIL got mad and said I can’t accuse her kids of anything. I insisted on looking in their room and I found the things. I asked the kids why they took them and they said they looked cool.

I was really mad but my SIL told them to go down. She told me not to make such a big deal and the kids were scared. I said kids like this are why we’re childfree. She said I crossed a line.

I think the kids heard too because they were probably hanging around upstairs and trying to listen in. But I truly didn’t mean for them to hear. My husband says I’m right but since we got the stuff back I could have let it go. And not drag him into it.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:

Content-Plenty-268

They were staying at your house for a week, as guests, because they wanted to visit your city for a vacation. Your SIL does not get to get mad at you, her host, and she does not get to tell you not to make a big deal out of her children stealing your stuff because "it looked cool."

WITAF? If she is displeased with your hospitality for any reason, there are hotels and Airbnbs. Your really sweet husband, btw, does not get to yell at you for "dragging him into it" -- it's his family, that's why they were staying in your home.

Saying that you are childfree because there are children like your SIL's out there doesn't even rise to the level of an awful thing to say. If ever there was something not to make such a big deal about, this quip is it. You are NTA, and maybe they won't impose on your hospitality again, although I'd be surprised.

stephnetkin

OP, I don't know the details of your conversation with your SIL. The facts are that her children took your mementos without your permission. Your SIL was offended apparently by your reprimand of her children and your comment about remaining child free. It sounds like you were being truthful.

Apparently your SIL does not want to accept your truth. I suppose as a parent she needs to justify her choices; realistically her choices only need to be correct for her. Ideally she should respect your choices. Not all choices require peer affirmation. NTA.

naraic-

Hey OP. Most important question? Have you kicked your SIL and her pet thieves out of your house? Generally I say that parents have to deal with their own kids and should be allowed do that but the mother's response here was that you weren't allowed accuse her kids. 99% of the blame is on your SIL rather than the children here. This means she should be kicked out. NTA.

McSchneibitz

NTA, and those kids need to learn that they can't just take things because they "look cool". Their apparent guilt means they knew it wasn't right to do. What if they did that in a store when you're out shopping? If you didn't find the items, would they have returned them Granted my opinion isn't very neutral here as a no-kid person myself.

SlinkyMalinky20

This question seems to ignore the real issue. Who cares if you said that? The bigger problem is that your guests stole from you, lied about it and then made excuses. Your SIL should be humiliated that her children did this and apologizing effusively. What you said or did is irrelevant to the big problem.

voyageur1066

Your sister in law should have been furious with her children for stealing from their hosts and then for lying about it. Children of that age should know that people don’t take things and they don’t lie.

Your SIL taking the position it’s no big deal is failing as a parent. She needs to do better, and your husband refusing to help enforce these lessons to the kids and the SIL is wussing out. NTA.

ahopskip_andajump

She actually told you that you couldn't accuse them, and then after you found the items in their room she tells you not to make a big deal about it? No. Just, no. SIL is raising self centered, lying little thieves. Your husband needs to let his sister know that she was out of line and suggest they find other accommodations. NTA.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

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