There are few things more annoying than being roped into a responsibility you've repeatedly said you don't want to be part of. Being pushed to say no over and over can quickly cross the line from annoying to a violation.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she's wrong for refusing to help her stepdaughter with her baby. She wrote:
I (F38) married my husband Sam (M47) five years ago. Sam always knew I did not want to have children of my own. He was fine with it. He has a daughter Leah (F25). His wife died when Leah was 10 years old and I met him when she was 15. I didn't meet her till after a year of dating. She was a sweet young adult and we got along great. I did not move in with Sam till Leah left for college though.
Leah got pregnant last year. Her boyfriend did not want to keep the baby but she wanted to keep it. He broke up with her. Leah moved back in with us cause she could not afford her lifestyle without him. She worked as a teacher and he was the breadwinner. I had concerns about how she was going to raise a child on a teacher's salary by herself. I suggested getting him to pay child support.
She did not want that. Sam thought I should stay out of it. Fine. But once she had the baby around 4 months back, Leah seemed to realize having a baby is not the sunshine and rainbows she thought it was. She barely got any sleep during the last four months. All the while Sam was helping her with the baby while I did almost all the chores myself. Now her leave is ending.
She did not want to leave baby at daycare or with a nanny. Sam and I both work as well. She asked if I could stay home with the baby. I said no. First, it is not my baby, and I never wanted to raise a child. Second, I have work. She asked Sam who asked me to do it instead. I refused stating the reasons again. Sam couldn't stay home because he earned more than me and covered more bills.
I asked why Leah can't stay home with the baby herself. She said how she was young and had to build a career. I said many people take breaks to raise kids, and she broke down crying about how she was so tired all the time being a mom and she needed something else in her life too. Sam feels bad for her and thinks we should help her.
I suggested she pay for a nanny with her income but Leah doesn't want strangers looking after her baby. Both of them are pressuring me to stay home with the baby so she can go to work. I am standing firm on my decision. Leah said yesterday how she wished her mom was alive since she would have had her back. She said I didn't love her and my husband is also mad at me.
AITA for refusing to help my stepdaughter with her baby? Maybe necessary info? Leah's mom was a SAHM.
NTA. She didn't ask you to help she asked you to pretty much give up your career and raise your step grandchild! Help would have been if she said, "Can you see about maybe watching the baby when my school has evening staff meetings?"
Or "Can you and dad maybe work out your schedules so the baby spends as little time in daycare like doing a late start for work and dropping her off on the way to work and I can pick her up after school?"
Many day care centers give discounts to teachers because they know how hard they work and little they get paid. Also, once she knew she was going to keep the baby, that was when she should have started asking her coworkers and friends for child care recommendations. (I wouldn't say that to her now as I am sure she knows it).
Explain to her that you are not refusing to help with your granddaughter but that you need to focus on your career as well and that you will help her come up with a plan. She needs to find reliable child care for when she is teaching during the day and I am sure someone at the school can help her.
She needs to get child support from her ex to help pay for the costs (it's his child too, and he can pay child support without having visitation rights). You and your husband should then sit down with her and figure out a good childcare option for when she is working and what emergency plans will be if say she has to stay late for a staff meeting or travel overnight for a conference.
I can 100% guarantee you her late mother would agree with this. Also don't take to heart what she is saying: post-partum depression can be very difficult to cope with and I promise she still likes you and is just dealing with a lot right now.
NTA. This is Leah's baby, that she alone chose to have. That doesn't obligate you to change YOUR life to suit her desires. The whole business of saying you don't love her because you won't quit your job to watch her baby is so manipulative and messed up and i'm shocked your husband is siding with her.
If I were you I'd sit down privately with husband and remind him that Leah is the one that chose to have this baby and she is solely responsible for it; that you never signed up to be a full time babysitter and it's unreasonable to expect you to quit your job and that you're disappointed and hurt that he is not understanding of that.
NTA. You were told to stay out of it - none of these choices are yours, she didn't want to get child support etc. Now she's trying to leave you will all the consequences of her decisions.
Stand your ground. You're not going to give up your career and raise someone else's child. You're going to be the free baby sister for most of the kid's life if you go down this path.
NTA. Your husband and Leah are acting like this baby was somehow part of your responsibilities. He's not, not even a little bit. If Leah needs childcare, she has to trust a nanny or sacrifice her career for the baby. She can't guilt-trip you into playing her role as a mother and give up your job for someone else's child.
Let her fend for herself and assume her responsibilities. Your husband should teach her to act like an adult instead of confusing you with the baby's dad or something, you don't have to be a SAHM for someone else's baby while the real mother builds her career. That's the sacrifice parents make, not you.
She could have asked the father to be a SAHD, but he's no longer in the picture. Expecting this of her stepmother is way out of line.
NTA. Especially in the face of all this pressure and manipulation to give up your work/career at only 38 years of age and raise a baby while you had been clear you never wanted babies. This isn't "helping stepdaughter with baby."
This is a full-on giving up your life for something you've never wanted to do so that your stepdaughter could have a life instead of raising her own baby she insisted on having. No. I mean -- if this continues, I'd consult a divorce lawyer.
OP is NTA, if anything - this situation is exposing serious red flags in her marriage.