Many of the questions posted to Reddit’s ever-popular forum “Am I the Assh*le?” are debatable. While there’s generally a consensus on who’s in the wrong there are often mitigating circumstances and an objective observer can see both sides of the issue. That was decidedly NOT the case when a recent poster asked “AITA for telling my husband I regret having our children and telling my daughter I never wanted her?”
Here’s the full post:
I (f24) have 4 children. I had my first when I was 19. My children are 5F, 3F, 2F and 1M. All of our children have been planned, but it’s always been my husband pushing to have another. If he’d have let me I would’ve stopped after our oldest. I never really wanted to be a mom, and don’t feel as though I connect with them very well.
A few nights ago I was putting my eldest daughter to sleep when she started asking me loads of questions. She’s a really curious little girl. I had a traumatic birth with her and post natal depression so always struggled with bonding, and still do struggle connecting with her. She told me she wants lots of babies when she’s older and then asked me how many I wanted when I was her age. I told her I didn’t want any and that I didn’t even want any when I had her. I know she’s only 5 but she massively misinterpreted it and got upset. I comforted her and put her back to sleep.
In the morning she must’ve told her father what had happened when he was making her breakfast as I woke up to my husband absolutely furious with me for traumatising our daughter and damaging her self esteem. I told him she’d be fine but he kept shouting at me telling me I was an awful mother. I replied that it’s hard being a good mother to kids you regret having. He asked if I was being serious and I said that I was being impulsive when I said that but that I didn’t want them and he knew that. He left the room absolutely furious with me and took the kids to his parents house. AITA?
Yikes. Big yikes. I mean from the immediate wording of the question alone it just sounds plain indefensible and like a clear case of You’re The Assh*le (YTA).
You just knew the original poster (OP) was going to get it from the commentariat…and get it they did.
Your daughter didn’t “massively misinterpret” what you said. You were incredibly inappropriate and hurtful to your small child, your daughter, your 5 year old who is tender and your responsibility. You need to get help. Get counseling. Figure out how to address your issues before you hurt your kids any more than you are. And meantime, don’t have any more until you want them. YTA
“I told her…I didn’t even want any when I had her…she massively misinterpreted it”
It sounds like she interpreted it pretty accurately.
Please seek therapy. I know you’ve struggled, but you can’t dump that burden on your children, and whether you feel a bond with them or not they need love.
Here’s the thing that jumps out at me–it’s the husband who’s been pushing to have the kids every time, while OP has remained not wanting kids (“I’d have stopped after her if he’d have let me“). While she was definitely wrong for saying what she did, the husband’s behavior is reading as potentially abusive.
I’m 37 and still remember the day my mom said she hadn’t wanted kids but did it to please my father. She also said I misinterpreted her. YTA for traumatizing that poor baby.
I’m 20 and I seriously treasure the love my mum gives me. Her cuddles are honestly the only thing on the planet that really take everything away. Her perfumes are my happiest memories. This poor kid had that taken away from her at 5 years old by her asshole of a mother who not only produced her despite not wanting to, decided to give another 3 kids a rubbish chance at a healthy upbringing.
As far as AITA goes, this woman is arguably the worst.
OPs response was horrific. Of course her daughter is traumatized. OP needs therapy. And I suspect antidepressants meds. Her first and foremost job is to be there as a healthy mother for her kids.
You write about yourself like you’re a victim. It’s your husband’s fault you had so many kids, it’s your daughters fault for misinterpreting you, it’s your husband’s fault for getting mad.
No you chose to have that many kids at a young age. You chose to be with someone who wanted kids. You chose to say that horrible thing to your daughter. Good luck because if your husband divorces you that little comment will come up in the custody battle.
YTA-this is going to effect your daughter for the rest of her life.
You need to be In therapy. Something is seriously wrong for you to say that to a 5 year old child. Please get help for the sake of your children. I’m worried for them.
yes YTA. You’re really, really, really an asshole.
That sort of thing really imprints on younger kids and now she probably has a thousand thoughts in her mind about how her own mother doesn’t want her and she doesn’t know how to interpret it into the adult reality that it is.
You should only tell your kids that you love them and that they’re wanted unless you want a whole lifetime of resentment against you.
Poor kid. That probably really fucking hurt her poor ears to hear, regardless of your intentions.
And at least one person thought everyone sucks here:
No one else is saying it, but ESH. [Everybody Sucks Here]
Your husband is clearly not the greatest person in the world for forcing you into having multiple children you didnt want. While others might think “you cant be forced since youre the one giving birth” i understand enough about toxic relationship dynamics to know you very well couldve been. I get that you didnt want them and feel disconnected.
However. That is not your daughters fault. She didnt ask to be born anymore than you asked to have her. But she exists now, and you are still responsible for that. And you do not tell a five year old “i never wanted to have you” no matter the context. There was no misunderstanding. She knew what you really meant. And lets face it, so do you.
The problem is, this inner resentment will always be present when dealing with your kids. Even if you dont intend to, you will end up hurting them again due to this latent resentment for them. Therapy would be a good start. If that does not fix the problem, then leaving them to your husband, or to adoption may be a better option if you cannot learn to control those feelings of resentment.
You may not have wanted them. But it isnt their fault they exist. You cannot take that out on them, even unintentionally.