A mum planning a family holiday without her stepson has received harsh criticism online, including some saying she ‘shouldn’t be allowed to be a parent’.
On the Reddit Am I The Asshole? forum, the 38-year-old explained that she’d been widowed at a young age, but got remarried to her current husband, 39, around five years ago.
Their blended family is made up of the pair’s two daughters, aged five and two, along with the woman’s son, 10, and her husband’s son, nine, from their previous relationships.
According to the post, the nine-year-old’s mother has ‘barely’ been involved in his life since the age of two, as she’d given complete custody to his dad when the couple divorced in order to get a ‘fresh start’.
The woman told how she’d received a bonus at work and wished to take her family on holiday – all except her stepson, that is.
‘I really want to go on vacation with just my family just once,’ she wrote.
‘We’ve been on family vacations all together lots of times. But just once I want to spend my money going on vacation where I’m not looking after someone else’s kid.’
She said she wanted her stepson to stay with his mum during the trip and that her husband ‘is okay with’ the decision to exclude the boy.
Yet when the woman’s mother found out about their plans, she wasn’t happy.
The poster continued: ‘My mom says that if stepson’s mom isn’t properly involved in his life, I should be even more involved in his life to compensate (I think this is a completely unfair expectation).
‘She also says that I’m being a hypocrite taking my son, but I think that’s totally different because my son doesn’t have another parent. I’m all he’s got.’
Although the stepmum claimed she’d take the young boy on the holiday if his biological mum wouldn’t look after him, she felt unfairly judged for considering leaving him out.
‘It’s not like I hate stepson or something, he’s a nice kid, he’s just not mine,’ she added. ‘Am I the asshole?’
The overwhelming response from Redditors was yes, branding her ‘evil’, ‘vile’, ‘appalling’ and saying she ‘should be ashamed’ of herself over her treatment of the child.
‘You are incredibly callous and selfish for even trying to do this,’ commented one user. ‘Step up and be a decent human being for the sake of this child – if you didn’t want to be his mother you shouldn’t have married his dad.’
‘What you are proposing is downright cruel,’ said another. ‘All that little boy will see is his entire family goes on vacation and he gets left out. There’s no amount of explaining or rationalising to him that would make up for that kind of gut-level heartbreak and pain.’
A third added: ‘God, this is awful. Asshole is not strong enough. I think the term “narcissist” and “monster” come to mind.’
Some also highlighted the boy’s father in agreeing to the decision, with one saying: ‘What kind of parent marries someone that treats their child like garbage, and is ok with it? A garbage one.’
Another wrote: ‘I can’t begin to fathom why your husband would in any way be okay with this. A decent father would have shut you down two seconds after you suggested excluding your stepson. I feel so sorry for this poor kid.’
Among those supporting the woman, one Redditor argued that her stepson ‘has a mother and it’s her responsibility to take care of him,’ while another commented: ‘Your feelings are valid and you’re not obligated to pay for someone else’s kid to vacation with you.’
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