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Mom skips Christmas eve at daughter's house to visit disabled daughter instead. AITA?

Mom skips Christmas eve at daughter's house to visit disabled daughter instead. AITA?


When this mom is upset how she split her time on Christmas, she asks Reddit:

"AITA for not attending Christmas Eve at my daughter's new house because of my other disabled daughter?"

I (65f) and my husband (67m) have two daughters our eldest (36f) is neurotypical and our younger one (33f) has high needs nonverbal autism.

She's in a group home and requires 2:1 aides at all times, we bring her home every Christmas but she cannot handle "outsiders" in our home so we cannot have the assistance of aides (just as she doesn't like us in our group home because we don't "belong" there). She is like a toddler in an adult body, is incredibly strong and requires constant supervision.

I have a bad back (ruptured disc) so I do this every Christmas against the advise of my doctor, this level of care isn't even something I'm supposed to be doing but i do it because she expects Christmas just as it's always been and has no way of understanding not being able to come home so I push through it even though it causes me horrible pain for days.

My elder daughter just brought her first house and wanted to be host Christmas, I felt horrible but told her (even though she was prepared to include her sister) that I could not properly supervise her in her house and she could not handle the disruption to her routine, and expects christmas just as its always been, but that we definitely plan on seeing her new house just after the holidays.

She proposed Xmas Eve instead but that's not possible because I have to get the house ready for her sister plus the extra travel to her house (she's over an hour away that travel hurts my back badly and I have to preserve what little energy I have for her sister for Christmas and thought she would understand). She's upset and thinks "if I can tough out my back for her sister I can do it for her too"

I just can't do both so close together I need to space it out. I appreciate she's had to make alot of sacrifices her whole life but her sister literally cannot understand, she can. AITA?

Let's see what readers thought.

thatisnotacceptable writes:

I also have a daughter in a group home and there is a fair bit of pressure from them to take your family member on the actual day because of their staffing complications (the group home staff also want Christmas off to spend with their own families).

Even if not everyone in the home leaves, they often combine the stragglers from different houses to minimize the number of staff needed and give as many as possible the day off. There's going to be some disruption of routine/potential meltdowns for OP's daughter no matter what she does.

All of that said, sometimes it needs to be about the other children, adult or not, and you have to accept that if you want any kind of relationship with them at all. Yes, your special-needs child was dealt a horrible hand, but so were your other children. Their lives are also worse when they grow up with a sibling that sucks up so many of the family resources.

There isn't really fault or blame here in many cases, it's just reality. But you need to acknowledge the reality and at least make an attempt to address it. And choosing to leave your older daughter in care when you are not able to care for her properly AND to repair your relationship with your other child is not an unreasonable request.

Soft YTA. I get it, but you can make the choice to do better. You can start by apologizing to your daughter who DOES understand - better than you do.

tiredandbored37 writes:

YTA and I say this as a parent to a son that is a lot like your younger child except he's 12. Never utter the words "she can't understand but you can" to your older daughter ever again. It's not her job to understand. It's your job to make sure both are given equal attention.

This is the exact reason that so many adults go NC with their parents when they have a neurodivergent sibling. I make time for my other kids and never ask them to sacrifice a damn thing for their baby brother. It's not their job or responsibility to suffer for another person. I don't want them to hate me.

I don't want them to hate their brother, and because I worked so hard to make sure they all got the same amount of attention, they don't. Please stop before you lose your oldest. She will get tired of this shit eventually.

cataclysmys writes:

I feel for you. You want both of your kids to be happy, and your youngest was dealt a crap hand at birth. It’s not her fault. HOWEVER, this situation has become untenable.

Working everything around for your disabled daughter is causing you physical pain and is hurting your relationship with your eldest. She grew up with this, and her childhood was probably a long list of things she didn’t get to do because of her sister’s condition.

Listen, you are lucky enough to have a group home available. Most people don’t have that luxury. They are trained and paid to handle people like your daughter. Lean on that resource and put your eldest first for once. Gentle YTA, and I think it’s time to start adapting to needs other than your disabled daughter’s.

Looks like OP is YTA. What do YOU think?

Sources: Reddit
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