Laying down firm boundaries does not always garner a happy response. But that doesn't mean you're doing the wrong thing. In fact, in many cases, the backlash confirms just how important the boundary is.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for telling her sister she won't help with her second child. She wrote:
My sister is an idiot. She had my niece when she was 19. She dropped out of college but didn't want to ruin her boyfriend's life so she never went after him for child support. The truth was that it wasn't his baby and she's not sure who the father actually was. I am a fair bit older than her and I make a good living so I helped her out with money and free babysitting. That sort of thing.
My niece is five years old now and is basically a bonus kid for my family. Even my husband's family has sort of adopted her as one of ours. My sister just told me she's pregnant again. She hasn't mentioned a boyfriend so I asked her what her relationship with the father was like. She said it was a Tinder guy and that he ditched his profile after she told him. I asked her what she was planning on doing.
She said that she was having the baby. I told her that was great and I hoped that everything would work out for her. I added that I would not be giving her money to support her new baby and that I would not be babysitting for her. I am back to work and I don't have that freedom anymore.
I said that we would continue to help support my niece but that was it. And that if she chose to use the help we were giving her for my niece for the new kid we would have to stop helping at all. She lost it. She said that I'm judging her and how she chooses to live her life. I'm not. She can do whatever she wants.
But she has no right to expect my husband and I to pick up the slack from her refusal to be a responsible person. It didn't take long for our mother to call me to chew me out for saying what I said. I asked her how much money she had given my sister for my niece. And how much she was going to give her for the new kid. I said I would give my sister the same amount my mother gave me for each of my kids.
The cost of a onesie from Walmart. She said I was a terrible daughter and sister for saying what I said. She said that if she has more money she would have given us more. I said she could sell her house up north now that she lives in Florida to help support my sister if she is really running out of money. (She isn't, my dad left her well set up when he passed away).
OP didn’t just buy a few onesies for her first niece. Believing the unplanned pregnancy with an unknown father was a once-in-a-lifetime event, she provided an extraordinary level of support. She contributed significant emotional, practical, and financial support.
She’s not in a position to do it all a second time. Being generous for the first child does not oblige OP to do the same for the second. Better OP should tell her sister what to expect before the child is born, so she can plan accordingly.
When someone is planning their life using magical thinking, you can’t deliver bad news kindly. It is just ignored or dismissed. I’m afraid that if OP were less blunt, her sister would believe OP could be persuaded to change her mind. NTA.
NTA, even if it seemed to be random it had to be said at some point. Anybody who purposely has kids they can’t afford is an AH, but they tend to have more kids in the long run knowing everybody around them will help out.
She had to know at some point that she needs to be able to financially support her own kids that she brings into this world. She might have also chosen to go through with the pregnancy under the assumption that she would get help.
Definitely NTA. Your sister made choices and she needs to take responsibility for them. Your mom kicking the ball to you to help her whilst doing nothing herself says a lot about her!
I get where you are coming from. This isn't about not loving No 2 baby as a family member, this is about not financially assisting with baby No 2. Circumstances have also changed and you no longer have free time to assist with baby sitting duties.
ESH. What you will do is help grow horrible sisters. No child deserves that. That baby is innocent. Either cut off support or you help both. Your sister sucks for expecting help, but in no way is she wrong for being upset that you would treat one better then the other.
What do you think the older sister will act like when her little sister is treated differently. Plus take some responsiblity for spoiling your sister. Helping all the time without expecting her to do as much and setting a bar led her to continue her ways. My cousin had her kids young. The rule for my aunt to help was she continue college, have a part time and confine to raise her daughter.
ESH. You’re not obligated to financially support your sister or her children. However, the reason I can’t give NTA here is your weird obsession of “othering” her second child. Guess what? You’re related to new kid in exactly the same way as the older kid. Your stance on if she shares something you gave an older kid you’re cutting her off is just weird.
This sounds more like the response of a spouse being asked to care for an affair-baby that has no relation, and that’s tough but makes more sense in that scenario than wherever is going on here.
People can't agree on this one, but the verdict currently seems to hover between NTA and ESH.