Every couple goes into a long-term relationship with an idea of what they want in the immediate and distant future. That can mean determining what kind of lifestyle they want to have, if they want pets or kids or any other big compatibility deal-breaking or making factors.
One poster on the /AITA subreddit shared that she and her husband — who had already decided they would taking a childfree-by-choice route (respectable! we get it!) — encountered a hiccup when a family emergency tasked them with temporary toddler triage care. Because her husband went kind of nuclear at the mere thought of having to coexist alongside a family member toddler for just a week and a half.
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“My sister asked me if we would take her daughter since she had to go out of town for a surgical procedure, and wouldn’t be able to care for her daughter while she recovers,” the OP wrote. “I ran this by my husband who immediately said ‘no’ and shook his head. I said it was my niece, and that just because we weren’t really fans of having kids ourselves doesn’t mean we can’t do a favor for family. It ended in an argument but I ended up taking her anyways.”
She went on to say that her husband is pretty cold with the toddler, refusing to do anything with her and maintaining that she “shouldn’t have brought a kid into [their home].”
It got a little messier too when she said he went on a “rant” about how a week and a half of toddler care was going to make her “change [her] mind about having kids and he won’t put up with that” and threatening divorce if she even suggests a change to this OG plan.
A few commenters noted that bringing the kid in without her husband’s okay is a little problematic but that the overwhelming, aggressive “no” to being able to help OPs sister and lack of flexibility and kindness in the situation is a red flag.
“People are saying Y T A bc he said ‘no’ and that should be a mutual decision, and I would normally agree, but I’d be pretty upset for my partner telling me that I can’t help out my sister in a tough situation like that, it’s not like it’s permanent. For no real reason apart from him not liking kids,” one commenter, r/Ceecee_soup, said. “This isn’t a social visit, it’s a family “emergency” (maybe not urgent, but still vulnerable). And then the comments about divorcing at the mention of wanting kids? That’s a big leap, shows where his head at (spoiler: not focused on sisters surgery and well-being of niece), and just a pretty AH thing to say in general,”
Other commenters raised similar concerns that the “lack of kindness and generosity” in the situation felt really severe and off-putting. After all, childfree-by-choice doesn’t inherently mean “I will remain cruel, cold and indifferent to children in all contexts forever’— it generally just means opting to play a different role in your community and family. And that can occasionally mean helping a sister or brother out.
And I can’t help but shout-out r/Throwing3and20‘s amazing point of one of the best perks of being a person without kids: “One of the fun things about being childfree is borrowing other people’s kids and then giving them back.”
Before you go, check out the most OMG-worthy Goop products we’ve found:
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