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Woman sets boundaries with friend who begs her to help with childcare; 'Your husband is a DEADBEAT!' AITA?

Woman sets boundaries with friend who begs her to help with childcare; 'Your husband is a DEADBEAT!' AITA?

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When this woman is annoyed with her friend, she asks the internet:

"AITA for telling my friend it’s not my problem she married a useless man?"

I(32F) am a single mother of two kids (6M and 5m F). I am a single mother by choice (my kids are donor conceived).

I am lucky enough to have a good job (French teacher in a private school), and a paid off house (parents’ life insurance and inheritance).

Before I had either of my kids, I made sure to have a year’s living expenses saved, then I would take a sabbatical to recover from birth, as well as bond with my kids. While on sabbatical, I still tutor some kids for some extra income.

My friend (34F), just had a baby 2 months ago. She is the breadwinner in her household, and her husband has been unemployed since he was laid off during COVID.

It was great to be pregnant at the same time, as well as having a friend with a newborn. But it has turned sour.

She has been saying how jealous she is of me being able to take off a whole year from work, how she would have loved to not worry about losing their home, how she doesn’t even have a couple hundred dollars in her savings account, let alone a whole year’s worth of living expenses….

I usually ignore it, or brush it off, because I kind of can understand the stress she is under.

Well, starting about 10 days ago, she started hinting at not being able to afford daycare, and any mention of her husband taking care of their kid is brushed off. Then she started remarking on how much free time I must have, which I deflected by saying -truthfully- that being a single mom to a baby and a small kid left me no free time actually.

Then last night she came out with it, and asked if I could “do her a favor” and watch her kid while she’s at work. I was firm, but polite, when I said that I couldn’t, that I am not capable of watching two kids under 6 months.

She started almost begging me, saying she can’t afford daycare, and if she is not back at work, she will lose her job, and they will end up homeless. I again brought up her husband, and she said that he was not good with kids, and isn’t capable of taking care of her kid.

I kept saying no, she kept pushing, until it escalated to her calling me heartless, and me telling her that it’s not my problem she chose to have a kid with a useless man.

Now she blocked me, I am feeling very guilty about what I said, and feeling like an AH. AITA?

Let's see what readers had to say:

owlcard writes:

Eek. NTA. I think there were no assholes here up to the point of her PRESSING you to do this favor, which she shouldn't have asked for in the first place.

You're exactly right that it's not your problem that she is in this situation, and while I do think a heavy dose of empathy is important to your friendship, her having a husband who isn't employed AND cannot contribute to the child care she needs is a problem that she needs to solve.

It is annoying and impractical for her to think the answer here is for you to provide child care. It is dismissive of the fact that you are busy already, and you only have about 7 months remaining of the time you've allowed yourself to be on hiatus so it's a short-term solution.

It's too bad that she's letting her situation cloud her judgment. You are not heartless and that was an unfair response for her to have had, and inappropriate behavior all throughout this interaction.

gaff writes:

NTA. We all have been unemployed at some point or struggled for money, I get that. What I don't get is how her husband has been unemployed for almost four years .

Even if it's burger flipping or Doordashing until something better comes along, he could've figured something out. And on top of that, he's "not good with kids"? SHE HAD A BABY WITH SOMEONE WHO ISN'T GOOD WITH KIDS???

Maybe it was a little harsh that you called her husband useless, but he, in fact, is useless if he isn't capable of taking care of his own baby while his wife works. He needs to pick a struggle.

She's mad you're not helping her and I'm willing to bet she's mad because you made her realize that having a baby with this useless man was a mistake on her part. Either way, NTA. She kept pushing, so you pushed back.

pensaa writes:

Whoa, at first I was yep, you one. Because i thought you were feeling superior. But after reading how you were pestered, and she went hostile towards you, going with NTA.

I thought you were going to play the i’m better than you planning my life. But regardless of how successful you were in planning, that has nothing to do with her pressuring you with her pity story. Its a hard no.

Even if offering to pay you, a hard no. I suppose she expected you to pay for any slacking on her part. Diapers, formula etc that she forgets to have enough. Once started, she would be after you to babysit till the kid is in school. And might even then expect you to be the uber for her child. Be glad she blocked you.

clasiccon writes:

Definitely NTA. My wife is the breadwinner and my income couldn't afford the cost of daycare in our area. You know what I did? I became a stay at home dad because that was the way that I could best accommodate the needs of our family.

Your "friend" is mad because she made a bad choice in partner and now she's taking it out on you. Imagine having a kid with a guy who "isn't good with kids" and then complaining that your "friend" doesn't want to pick up his slack...

They're both losers and sounds like they deserve eachother. The sad part is they have a kid that deserves so much better.

becomemaxxxx writes:

NTA. You made a plan and worked the plan. She pushed and tried to guilt you into making her poor planning easier on her. You had to be honest and make her confront the situation she has put herself in. A good friend has to point out the truth so she quits trying to dodge the tough decisions she has to face.

I doubt that she will stay blocked. If she is desperate for you to take care of her infant I don't thinks she had enough of an emotional support network to handle being married but single parenting.

She's going to want someone to vent to, cry to and bond over parenting with. Apparently that's not her baby daddy. I don't think you will get an apology. She'll probably want one from you. But sometimes a real friend has to poke with honest truth.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice?

Sources: Reddit
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