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Teen refuses to help uncle with cousins while aunt recovers from surgery. UPDATED.

Teen refuses to help uncle with cousins while aunt recovers from surgery. UPDATED.


Resisting familial pressure can be incredibly difficult, particularly if they make you feel like your boundaries are unreasonable. Since families have such complex insular dynamics, it can be helpful to get an outside perspective on disagreements.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a teen asked if she was wrong for not wanting to help her step-uncle with her cousins during her aunt's surgery. She wrote:

"AITA for not wanting to take care of aunt's kids while she's in surgery?"

I (17F) was kind of 'nudged' by step-uncle (~50-ish M) to come and take care of his three kids while his wife was in surgery, my family is now angry at me because I said no. Some backstory first, both my mom and aunt have had bad blood before I was born, and it has worsened in the past couple of years due to my grandpa passing away.

In the late stages of grandpa's life, aunt never really was around to help or support my mom when their dad was dying. She never made trips to see him, never offered financial support, never got involved in his medical care/medical power of attorney, nothing.

Aunt married a very stereotypical 'neck-beard'; overweight, no job, doesn't contribute to house chores, has more steam hours than I do somehow, and really doesn't parent his kids whatsoever. He was a lot more fun to be around when I was a kid because I didn't realize how immature he was.

Whenever they come to family functions aunt usually tells me (never asks) that I am now watching her kids while she hangs out with cousins, which I was probably going to do anyways because I do enjoy hanging out with my younger cousins. Recently, she had complications with a very safe non-life threatening condition and had to go back to the hospital.

This means step-uncle has to watch his kids by himself because she's recovering. My parents are out of town and he keeps sending me videos of all three of them (2f, 7m, 11f) misbehaving inside the hospital, climbing on furniture, saying stuff like "really need some help right now lol", or "I don't know what to do haha."

I have a pretty mean concussion right now, so I really don't want to leave my house or do anything for that matter. Extended family keeps telling me that I should go help because "I'm the closest," but I live two hours away and really haven't ever driven that far before. AITA for saying no?

Redditors had plenty to say.

-FaithTrustPixieDust wrote:

NTA. Its not your problem. Your Aunt and her husband should have arranged for proper and local child care. Not be dependent on family. Especially a 17-year-old with a concussion who lives 2 hours away.

ritlingit wrote:

You don’t have to have an excuse to be able to say no. Your step-uncle’s circus act isn’t your responsibility. It’s good you said no and didn’t go. Boundaries and fences are made for good living. NTA.

Socknitter1 wrote:

NTA. You always have the right to say no, even when you aren’t nursing a concussion. Let this be the start of you setting boundaries with your pushy aunt and uncle.

pyrola_asarifolia wrote:

Good lord, NTA. Even without a concussion. It's his responsibility, not yours. He's being immature and my guess is sexist by trying to foist them on you. But small point, his weight and facial hair have nothing to do with his deficiencies. You don't want to casually insult people who are overweight among your readers.

Knightoforder42 wrote:

He doesn't have to "watch his kids" because he's alone- he needs to parent his children like an adult, so his wife can recover. He needs to grow up, and your grandmother can help out if she's going to be so vocal. Block them. Go take care of yourself. Hope you feel better. NTA.

After receiving lots of support, OP shared an update.

EDIT: Blocked grandmother who keeps asking me to help and stopped being on my phone up until now, thanks for all the advice. He kept texting me so I kept the text open for evidence/screenshots, he started calling me ungrateful/lazy and told me to not talk to him or his kids unless I apologize.

Aunt came out of surgery and agreed I should have been there. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ anyways I got my school note in and I can play video games now because I’m on the back end of my concussion.

She's NTA in this, if anything, it's good she's learning to assert her boundaries early.

Sources: Reddit
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