A mom was annoyed that her sister’s dog fostering was getting in the way of babysitting — and Reddit had thoughts. Here’s how the whole messy situation went down. The mother took to Reddit’s “Am I The A**hole” message board to find out if she was in the wrong about a confrontation she had with her sister.
“I (38 F) have 4 kids ages 11 months, 3, 5, and 10. I love them all more than anything, but I’ll be the first to admit that our house is constant chaos and it can get very exhausting,” she explained. “My sister (33F) is child free, but loves my kids and was happy to watch the older 2 or sometimes 3 to help me keep my sanity. This has been extremely helpful and I tell her all the time how grateful we are for her help.”
Lately, though, her sister has been fostering dogs, which makes it tricky for the kids to come over. Her latest is a shy, frail chihuahua who can’t be around children. “This most recent dog took 8 months to find a home for, but most of her other dogs took even longer. When she told me she found an adopter I knew I could finally breathe a sigh of relief and joked about how I was so glad she could babysit again,” the Reddit user continued.
Her sister responded that she actually wants to foster another dog who is desperately in need of a home. That’s when the Reddit user broke. “I haven’t ever done this before, but I opened up to her about how much I have been struggling since she got the dog. How little sleep I get each night, how my husband hasn’t been helping as much as he should, and some other deeply personal issues that I’ve been struggling with. Then I asked her, point blank, to not get another dog… above all, my kids will always come before a dog and that’s the reason I was willing to request it.”
Her sister comforted her but couldn’t make any promises either way, instead saying that she needed some time to think. “I know I am asking a lot of her since rescuing dogs is her passion and that is why I feel so guilty. But I don’t have anyone else to help me,” the mom concluded. “…Was this unreasonable? I would never demand her to do this if she didn’t want to, but is it really so wrong to just be honest my situation and earnestly ask?”
The nearly unanimous answer was that she was, indeed, being unreasonable.
“Your sister’s time isn’t any less valuable just because she’s child-free. Child-free people don’t exist on this earth to watch your children,” one person wrote. “It’s wonderful that she’s offered to watch them as much as she has, and it’s great that you remember to thank her often, but you have to understand that when she does watch your children, it’s not because her time is worth less than yours and it’s just naturally expected that she help you.”
Many pointed out that it’s her husband who should be stepping up to help, not her sister.
“OP even admits her husband isn’t pulling his weight as the other parent,” a user noted. “Well, that means it’s time to have him take responsibility for creating those kids with you. Your sister had no part in that whatsoever and is not obligated to provide help when the parents aren’t doing their job.”
Another added: “She even specifies that rescuing dogs is her sister PASSION but, still asked her to stop doing the things she enjoys so her sister can watch her kids instead of their own father.”
And then there was some empathetic advice offered. “Honestly I would rethink how you organise your day, make sure you have that 10 minute decompression when they’re finally in bed,” someone suggested. “And remember when they’re all at school you can start working again and gain some of your identity back, it does have an end. I won’t call you an a**hole because you’re feeling overwhelmed but you need to figure out how to get by without a support network. Please stop pestering your sister though.”
What do you think? Was this Reddit user wrong to ask her sister to stop fostering dogs?
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