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Woman Wants Childfree Sister To Babysit Her Kids, Asks Her To Stop Fostering Dogs
117points
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Dogs, Parenting5 months ago

Woman Wants Childfree Sister To Babysit Her Kids, Asks Her To Stop Fostering Dogs

Our relatives are there to support us when we need it, however, we can’t expect them to drastically change their lifestyles just to always adapt to what we want. At some point, we’re responsible for how we live our lives and we have to make changes if we’re constantly exhausted and stressed out. However, life usually isn’t as clear-cut as that.

Redditor u/Throw_away_no374828 shared a very open and honest story on the AITA subreddit about how she had asked her sister to stop fostering dogs so that she could help take care of her 4 children for free. While that sounds very egoistic on the surface level, the redditor showed that she was very self-aware and felt guilty that this might have been wrong of her. And that’s why she turned to the AITA community for a verdict on whether or not she was acting like a jerk.

You’ll find the full story, as well as how the internet reacted, below. Also, read on for Bored Panda’s interview with the UK’s leading charity, the PDSA, about the type of care and attention that dogs need to be happy and healthy. We’d love to hear what you think of the entire family situation in the comments and who was wrong, dear Pandas.

An exhausted mom who has 4 kids relies on her sister to help her with babysitting

Image credits: Anh Nguyen (not an actual photo)

The mom asked the internet if she was wrong for asking her sister to give up on a cause that she cares about deeply

Image credits: Marisa Howenstine (not an actual photo)

Image credits: Karolina Grabowska (not an actual photo)

The author of the post was very grateful for all the honesty. She had some additional sensitive info to share about her family

The redditor begged her sister to not foster a new dog in the future so that she could help take care of her kids, as she’s done in the past. The mom pointed out that she’s doing the best that she can, but that she can really use the support, as the house is in chaos and she is exhausted. She even noted that her sister’s babysitting helps her keep her sanity.

Meanwhile, the sister couldn’t have the kids over so that the dog she was fostering wouldn’t get stressed out. While sympathetic, the sister also didn’t promise that she’d give up fostering doggos in need. After all, our animal companions also deserve our love and care. Overall, the majority of redditors thought that the mom was in the wrong.

Vet Nurse Nina Downing from the PDSA, the UK’s leading vet charity, told Bored Panda about how owners can keep dogs happy and healthy. “Dogs that are well bonded to their people are at their happiest when their owners are around, their 5 welfare needs are met and they have lots to keep them physically and mentally stimulated while being able to rest when it suits them,” she said.

Our pets’ 5 welfare needs are health (protection from pain, injury, suffering, and disease), behavior (being able to behave naturally for the animal’s species), companionship (being housed with or away from other animals, depending on the species’ needs), diet (a suitable diet that helps prevent obesity or malnourishment), and environment (a suitable one with a comfortable place to rest, hide, exercise, and explore).
According to PDSA Vet Nurse Nina, ideally, owners should not leave their dogs alone for long stretches of time. They need attention, they need care.

“Dogs shouldn’t be left home alone for longer than 4 hours at a time as they will need to go to the toilet, get bored of waiting and they may even feel lonely,” she noted. What’s more, dogs who are left alone can then start destroying the home.

“When dogs are left to their own devices they can start to look around for things to do and this is when they may develop unwelcome habits such as knocking over bins, chewing, or generally being destructive,” she told us.

“You might even find that your neighbors report unwelcome barking—your dog could be looking out of the window for something to do and barking at anyone that goes past.”

What’s more, dogs need regular walks throughout the day and access to some toys to play with in between going for walkies. “If you don’t have time for this, then hire a dog walker or ask a friend or neighbor to pop around to walk your dog and have some playtime with them,” the vet nurse said.

A while back, parenting blogger Samantha Scroggin, the founder of ‘Walking Outside in Slippers,’ went into detail about boundaries between family members and asking them for help with babysitting.

“I think when establishing boundaries with family members, being clear and using good communication are the best routes. You wouldn’t want a family member to misinterpret your actions for rudeness or lack of appreciation for their help with childcare,” she told Bored Panda during a previous interview

“I would hope that close family members can communicate freely about expectations for child care, but I know that personalities differ and some would rather take on an extra burden and avoid conflict,” the blogger said.

“Some families are very close, and the aunts and uncles and grandparents are practically other parents to the kids. Others are more distant. Once again, I think good communication is important to set the ground rules and ensure everyone is comfortable with the babysitting expectations,” Samantha said. She also opened up about how her family approaches the whole babysitting question.

“My husband and kids and I live several hours away from both sets of grandparents, and other family members. Because of this distance, we are rarely if ever asked to babysit,” she told us.

“However when we visit family, the grandparents often take our kids so we can go on a date for dinner, and maybe even a short weekend away alone. I think the distance makes the grandparents more eager to spend what time with our kids they can. My husband and I try not to abuse this privilege and expect too much, but it is such a relief to have occasional help with feeding and caring for the kids.”

Most people thought that the mom was wrong, and here’s what they had to say. However, some folks might have been a bit too harsh

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Tamra Stiffler
Community Member
5 months ago

I've struggled with depression since I was a teenager and, yes, after my son was born. Once you become a parent, you simply do things you think you can't, because you MUST. That includes taking care of your child even though everything inside you wants to curl up in a corner and shut out the world. If the dad is getting therapy and taking meds, there is no reason he can't be present to help with the kids. I'm not saying it will be easy, but it's one of those things you have to *make* yourself do when you're a parent. Children come first. And they are YOUR responsibility, no one else's. It's hard, I've been there. OP definitely seems like she's taking her sister for granted.

Vanja Vidovic
Community Member
5 months ago

It looks like he doesn't have any problems with making new babies.

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UpupaEpops
Community Member
5 months ago

"Above all, my kids will always come before a dog and that's the reason I was willing to request it." To you and your husband, lady. To you and your husband. Your sister is child-free, presumably by choice, precisely because she doesn't want to have children. So stop forcing your sprongs onto her.

CMDR unematti
Community Member
5 months ago

This was exactly my thought. Maybe what she needs is teaching her kids to get their act together. I was depressed for a long time, so i understand how the husband feels like too. Help him out of it and train the kids. Maybe people won't like the word "train" in relation to kids, but that's what you do when someone doesn't act correctly. Screaming, running around, not cleaning after yourself, all that should be fixed by training (or teaching if they're old enough)

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CatWoman312
Community Member
5 months ago

I think the first response is the best. No one told her to have 4 kids and it’s not the sister’s responsibility to take care of them if she doesn’t want to. This is a case of “you made your bed, now lay in it.” Don’t have kids if you can’t afford to take care of them. That’s why I only have one.

Mir Adwari
Community Member
5 months ago

Plus, her sister is getting dogs that can't be around children... that might be a very deliberate choice!

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Izzy Curer
Community Member
5 months ago

I don't see the sister asking Op to help look after the dogs.

Cookie
Community Member
5 months ago

That's because she's a responsible and mature person who doesn't bite off more than she can chew.

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LynzCatastrophe
Community Member
5 months ago

I can appreciate the that she's in a tough spot but at the same time, that's as far as it goes. She offered to babysit your kids occasionally out of the goodness of her heart, but she isn't obligated. I'm sorry that your husband is suffering from depression and glad that he's getting help but he can't drop his responsibilities to his kids because of it. I don't know if your 4 kids were planned or accidents but the end of the day, they are yours, and your responsibilities. My sister tried to do this to me when I announced I was moving back to our hometown, her first words to me were "yay! You can babysit your nephew while I go to work!" Didn't even ask and became unreasonable when I refused "you should want to help out your sister and your nephew." No. Child-free doesn't mean we are automatic babysitters. Child-free doesn't mean we don't have a life of our own. Child-free means we simply made different choices than you did.

Nikki Sevven
Community Member
5 months ago

You're not entitled to restrict other people's lives because you can't manage the consequences of your own actions. They're not your sister's kids, and she doesn't owe you.

Roman Hans
Community Member
5 months ago

Helping to care for children who have parents is NOT more important than the literal life-or-death difference of fostering a dog. Aside from the selfish request here, it's also the wrong priority.

Honu
Community Member
5 months ago

I was wondering if it had occurred to OP that the kind of dog her sister is fostering would likely be killed at the shelter otherwise. She's quite literally asking her sister to just let that dog die so she can perform free labor for her.

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Octavia Hansen
Community Member
5 months ago

So where are the parents of these sisters? Her In-Laws? Church perhaps? Even the 10 year old can be taught to do some cleaning, pick up around the house, learn by helping. As a single female, EVERYBODY thinks my time is free and their life is important. As a simple signal to the future, practice birth control the rest of your life. Looks like you think everybody owes you their time because you did not plan your life.

Flip
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

I was not planned. My brother is 8 years older. He always played w me, took me out. Wasn't even asked to watch me. He just liked doing it. My mom was lucky. He also helped my sister with her kids. He even lived there for a while. Just took em out, making fires and stuff.

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HappinessHealthPeace
Community Member
5 months ago

Stop having children. Don't guilt your sister. Seems like your kids might be out of control so getting control might be a must. I watched suppernanny and it can be done.

Lyone Fein
Community Member
5 months ago

1. Why isn't she paying her sister for her babysitting services? 2. Go out and hire help. 3. If she can't afford a babysitter, try to find someone who might be willing to exchange services. 4. Start using birth control. 5. Your oldest child is old enough to help out a little instead of being part of the chaos all the time.

nini
Community Member
5 months ago

Making the kids help by giving the age-appropriate little duties is okay. But no ten year old should be forced to be a babysitter for its younger siblings.

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Beata Santa
Community Member
5 months ago

YTA the audacity on this one holy F!!!

Kyndal T
Community Member
5 months ago

If I've got this straight: This woman has kids. She can't take care of these kids. She wants her child free sister to abandon her joy in life to take care of those kids, for free, for an indefinite period of time. Then she used guilt and the great "Family First" line to ensure the sister couldn't say no without being the AH. How bout you go stick it where the sun don't shine? Ask nicely without guilt if there's a way to work out the animal/kid situation and if the answer is still no- ACCEPT IT. Move on. Your lack of a solution to YOUR OWN problem doesn't mean others should sacrifice for you. If someone does, respect and cherish them. Be grateful you got any help at all. And yeah, I understand about the depression thing but you deal with it. I have 5 pets and they can't afford for me to check out. I have to live long enough to take care of them and give them a happy life. Is it not the same for this woman's kids?

Flip
Community Member
5 months ago

Sounds like she can't handle it anymore, cause her husband does nothing and is an extra load. She shouldn't dump it on the sister, but she needs help. Child care services help here for free in such a case, take the kids elsewhere some days.

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MagNat
Community Member
5 months ago

Sister should ask her to stop having children so she can foster her dogs.

Maggie Hood
Community Member
5 months ago

Lol

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SBW71
Community Member
5 months ago

Has the OP ever heard of birth control? She might need to look into it. You choose to have all those kids deal with it.

Anna Snorrepot
Community Member
5 months ago

yeah she's in a tight spot. But she should ask the sister for help with her problem instead of determining how that help should be shaped and ask her not to foster dogs.

Bee she/her
Community Member
5 months ago

Idk, this situation is out of control. I mean, I disagree with the people asking her to overstep her husband’s boundaries when he can’t help her much and I think the sister is in the right here, but the OP is not an AH. She’s stressed and people get desperate. She is in the wrong, but from what we know not an AH

Monday
Community Member
5 months ago

She might not be an a*****e, but she is the a*****e in this story. The YTA response is fair, it's not a judgement of her character as a whole, just her behavior and attitude in this particular situation. It's an a*****e move to expect your sister to stop doing something she cares about to look after your kids. Plain and simple.

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Christine Wright
Community Member
5 months ago

What bothers me is the admission that her house is in a state of constant chaos - her words. I have been close friends with women who had large families, one friend with 5 children and another with 6. These were the kind of freinds you could pop over to visit any time without calling - and I never once saw anything in disarray, let alone witnessed "chaos" in their homes. They were absolutely the most organized women I've ever known, with the best cared for children. Even without husband's who could help them - they didn't need it, and their husbands both worked long hours. I believe the poster needs to learn what is causing the chaos in her home, and rectify that. Because it's not a matter of simply having children - it's probably a lack of organizational skills and good discipline.

Jennifer Lee
Community Member
3 months ago

Yeah, the chaos part is alarming, especially since she feels just fine dumping chaos on her sister. No wonder the sister keeps fostering dogs that can't be around kids. The AH probably just does not take NO for an answer.

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Commander OwO
Community Member
5 months ago

I wish we could see some comments made after OP edited their post, it seems like the ones here were made before.

Fathia Baroroh
Community Member
5 months ago

Despite the edit i still think it's a selfish request... Yes I know it's not her fault that the husband is depressed... But it's not the sister either...

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Heather Menard
Community Member
5 months ago

Your sister chose not to have kids for a reason. Grow up and deal with your kids. You chose over and over to have them. It isn't your sister job responsibility or problem that you can't handle it. You are lucky she does what she does for you. Deal with it or Fonda way to get help elsewhere.

Sabrina Fisher
Community Member
5 months ago

YTA 100% it is not your sisters job to care for YOUR children because you can't afford another alternative. Your sister is a saint not only for putting up with your incredibly selfish ways and expectations but for having such a kind heart to be able to foster those poor dogs. Who clearly need her more than you do. Grow Up.

Id row
Community Member
5 months ago

I hate when people have a bunch of kids they can't take care of and then blame everyone else for not taking care of them. This child-free sister got the dogs purposely to dissuade the entitled sister from taking advantage of her. It sucks she had to go that far to stop this woman, but whatever works.

Tsuki Ghost
Community Member
5 months ago

At least the mother feels like what she asked was wrong. Okay dogs are not important for YOU but they are for your sister. A bit annoyed about people who think they are the only one to struggle in life... I often see that kind of behaviors with parents who tend to use their kids as excuses for anything.

Suzi Q
Community Member
5 months ago

The OP sounds like she could use therapy and maybe meds too. She needs to be able to deal with the life she's made for herself and work with her husband on a plan to deal with the children. Her sister shouldn't be responsible for that.

Lee
Community Member
5 months ago

I love how she was like "I know this sounds unreasonable, but please just hear me out" and then proceeds to be extremely unreasonable.

Nubis Knight
Community Member
5 months ago

She has 4 kids and - as she says - no one to help her beside her sister. So she counted the sister in to babysit from the beginning? What if the sister has to or want to move to another place? Has she to stay cause of the 4 kids that aren't even her own? How very selfish of the mother. I think the sister takes the no-kids dog in to have time for herself.

Craig Reynolds
Community Member
5 months ago

YTA. Your kids should NEVER come before someone else's dog! Dogs and cats in need of foster care are 1000x more important than your need for free childcare. How dare you ask your sister not to help another dog? It doesn't matter what your struggles are because they are YOUR struggles and your sister is in no way obligated to help you out with the kids YOU chose to have. Your poor decision to have kids you are/were incapable of fully managing yourselves does NOT constitute an obligation/responsibility on the part of someone else.

GirlFriday
Community Member
5 months ago

I have gone through this time and time again with my family because I am single and without children. My brothers and SILs (two in particular) used to demand that I watch their children. I love my nieces and nephews, but I am not unpaid help at the drop of a dime. I have a career, a relationship, a home, dogs and things of my own to do.

Deborah B
Community Member
5 months ago

Totally the AH. The sister is deliberately getting dogs that "can't be around kids" to foster. I sympathise with parental depression, and stress, but you can't expect her to give up her passion to deal with her sister's kids. Do the math here: 4 dogs, each taking 8 months to find an adoptor (OP said most took more, but being conservative) is 32 months. This means that the sister had made herself unavailable as a babysitter a full YEAR before the youngest child was even conceived. This is not a sudden change, this is a long-term pattern. This mom has actively chosen to have another child well after the sister has set clear boundries of "I love coming over and spending time with my niblings, but I'm not your on-demand unpaid daycare center." You feeling stressed does not obligate your sister to take on your parental responsibilities.

Ellie Rosser
Community Member
5 months ago

I suspect her sister is fostering these specific difficult dogs because she too needs a break from Ops kids.

Israel Martinez
Community Member
5 months ago

This is one of those "I'm not calling you an a*****e, but you're behaving close enough to one" type of situations ...

Random Anon
Community Member
5 months ago

This is so clearcut and yet she need to ask? What made her think she's entitled to her sister's time at all? The sister can foster pangolins if she wants to or simply get stupidly hammered in her free time and that's none of her damn business. And yes, this lady and her husband are idiotic parents. If they cannot handle the stress and the costs of kids, why did they have 4? Surely after the first or second one they would have some inkling on the costs involved?

Hannah Bridges
Community Member
4 months ago

Why are you including the husband? He didn't develop depression until AFTER all the children had been born. He can't help that he's sick now. He needs support not ableism.

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Mariam Hambardzumyan
Community Member
5 months ago

I bet that even if her sister had a child, she would still ask her to babysit her children, because "you have only one child, and I have 4, I don't have anyone else to help me".

Sherman Von Gee
Community Member
5 months ago

I hate this woman SO MUCH. like.. the WORST kind of parent right here. I fucken hate entitled ppl. I'm depressed. Been suicidal since I knew what it meant. I've been on copious amounts of drugs since I was 8 (real REAL f****d up childhood.. I don't agree with drugging kids but I don't think there was a choice) so I know how hard it is to get out of bed some days n get s**t done. I run a small animal rescue... n they honestly find me. I have never once sought out an animal to help... so it goes without saying this was not planned.. not part of my life goal... n definitely not something that easy to do with depression... taking care of 5-10 dogs, 30+ cats, 20+ turtles, 10+ tortoises, 5-10+ wild animals needing rehabilitation... on top of taking care of myself is not fucken easy. But I get the F**k up n I do it because I don't have a choice n because they need me. I could t imagine looking at children who are half of me.. and saying "nah.. I'm not going to do everything I can to.. (1/2)

Sherman Von Gee
Community Member
5 months ago

...Make sure tha your lives are as great as possible.." I know depression isn't a choice. But how you handle it is. N this dude is not handling s**t right. You're not single. You can't just slack on s**t like this. You threw that away by popping out a whole ass litter. Also, why can't the 10 year old help out? Not a solution as it's not the kids responsibility. But it's more his than the aunts... this woman is the biggest a*****e. I'm so glad she's not my sister. N yes. Your husband is a deadbeat because he clearly doesn't care about his family enough to do what he needs to do. He's waiting for everyone else to fix his problems and that's just not how s**t works. You gotta do the work. N again.. I know how depression is. I once didn't shower for a fucken year (after I was SA.. it f****d me up) n didn't leave my house. Okay, I BEEN thru it. But once I started to actually make changes to my life it did start to get better. But I had to make that step myself.

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Tipsy FLYING mermaid
Community Member
5 months ago

She doesn't want to lose her husband by asking him to do more but is OK with asking other people who didn't help her make the kid to change their life and stress themselves by helping her with her kids smh

MCathenaE
Community Member
5 months ago

Your husband's depression does not negate his need to help you with your children. Your sister is not responsible for picking up your husband's slack.

Maggie Hood
Community Member
5 months ago

I absolutely agree. The husband sounds like he needs to get his s**t together for his family. I understand he has depression, I do too and it's very difficult, but I still take care of my responsibilities. They decided to have a ton of kids, and they need to take care of them.

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BusyLizzy
Community Member
5 months ago

I'm torn on this one. I was 100% YTA until I read her updates bit now I actually feel really sorry for her. She couldn't have foreseen her husband getting depression after their youngest was born,sometimes life deals you some nasty surprises. She comes across as someone who is exhausted and really struggling with her situation and it's clouding her judgement. That said, I don't agree that her sister has an obligation to adjust her life any further to babysit the kids. She needs to cast her net wider and ask for help from other sources, community groups, support groups and babysitters. I do think she needs help in dealing with her husband's depression too.

Mikey Kliss
Community Member
5 months ago

While I don't want to use the term a*****e here, I definitely find her fitting the description. If someone does you a favor and you demand they change there plans for more favors, then YTA

Irish Lad
Community Member
5 months ago

She mentions that she went to her sister because her husband is in severe depression and she does not want to lose him. She has already lost him if he isn't helping. She is in danger of losing her sister.

Minnie-me
Community Member
5 months ago

YTA - no one told you to have 4 kids! God forbid you actually have to take care of them.

PSimms
Community Member
5 months ago

I sympathize with the woman, and I don't doubt that her sister loves the children, but it's evident that her sister just doesn't want to babysit often, and there's nothing wrong with that. The dogs give her a way to say "I don't really want to babysit that often, I find it too difficult," or something.

S
Community Member
5 months ago

I don't think anyone here is an outright a*****e but the OP is certainly in the wrong.

Spampampams
Community Member
5 months ago

You had them, you raise them.

Ruth Higbe-Harrah
Community Member
5 months ago

First: I don’t want to be harsh but the comment “above all, my children will always come before a dog” was extremely entitled. That is perfectly appropriate for the mother to feel but flat out presumptuous and selfish to assume and obligate these feelings onto her sister. Second: My immediate thought was, why jump straight to no dog at all? Perhaps she could have asked her sister to attempt to foster a dog that could benefit from the affection and socialization of children. The children could even offer help caring for the dog or something else for the sister so it is a more reciprocal arrangement. The mom could perhaps pay them a small allowance for the chores. I can understand asking infrequently for help with the kids in a pinch, but it should not be a routine thing to impose on the sister unless she offers/enjoys it.

mm65851
Community Member
5 months ago

It would seem that the chaos did not magically start after baby #4. Yet she already had three children and chose to get pregnant with the 4th when the youngest was 2-ish. Why would you do that...

M K
Community Member
5 months ago

YTA. In your follow up you say that your husband is not a dead beat but that he is depressed and on medication and in therapy. A lot of people are depressed but they still manage to handle their responsibilities. You mention you don't want to push him because you don't want to lose him. I hate to tell you this all the others have but he needs to man up.. If he would leave you over asking him to help with his own children which he should be doing doing anyway then he isn't worth a d*** anyway. He should be just involved in taking care of those children as you are and certainly more than your sister. To expect that your sister would pick up the burden of your depressed husband because you don't want to lose him is ludicrous. To expect that your sister would pick up the burden of your depressed husband because you don't want to lose him is ludicrous. She has tried to tell you this by adopting dogs one after the other and you aren't listening to her.

Hannah Bridges
Community Member
4 months ago

Hi you seem reasonable, I just wanted to remind you that many people with depression CAN'T do those things. I agree with the part about her not wanting to lose him, that sounds extreme, but it's wrong to assume all people with depression can handle their responsibilities and incredibly ableist, which you don't seem to be. I just wanted to like, mention that.

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Sara Blu
Community Member
5 months ago

That first response spoke VOLUMES

amy hipps
Community Member
5 months ago

Also pisses me off that some parents like her with MULTIPLE children expect free babysitting food money and etc. My cats are like my kids and guess what. I pay for pet sitters, i pay for vet bills and i pay for thier food. Don't have something if you can't afford it

amy hipps
Community Member
5 months ago

Why do people always assume us who choose to be childfree can't have a life. She chose to have kids that is HER problem. Her sister chose to take care of dogs in which she is fulfilling her responsibilities. We choose not to have kids because we don't want them and we have a life also that is no less important. You don't have kids and try to shrug your responsibility elsewhere. I feel for the one sister. I take care of cats and don't want kids. I would be pissed if my sister tried to use me as a servant because she and her husband don't know what the hell protection is.

Claudia Espindola
Community Member
5 months ago

That is unfortunate but having four children is a huge commitment, the fact that the sister used to babysit (up until the fourth one) kinda give me the idea that after the fourth she just didn't wanna do it anymore, the poster didn't say how often she used to babysit, maybe it was a little too often? Perhaps she should ask her sister if she can do it once a month, I mean, that would be at least some respite. It is unfortunate but her kids, her responsibility, her husband needs to step up, if he's depressed well, she's going to get sick if wife doesn't get any help so, they both need to tough it up

Gretchen Esquilin
Community Member
5 months ago

I have 4 kids, I always appreciated help, but only asked when needed. I never had the opportunity to "rely" on anyone. Our 4th was a surprise (long story) & I live nowhere near my family, so I had no choice but to work things out. And my 2 youngest are less than a year apart, so trust me when I say that having anyone to help at any time was a blessing! My in-laws are much younger than my family so they all worked & were still raising their own young kids.

Katinka Min
Community Member
5 months ago

Your choice to have not one but FOUR children, your problem. Of course your children come before a dog in YOUR life. But your sister is allowed her own life, even though she is not reproducing. She does not have to be there for you, she owes neither you or your children anything. Whatever she does for you is voluntarily and she is allowed to have her own priorities. This story is doubly annoying to me, because I had the same 2nd class citizen postion because I did not have children (and not even by choice!) Entitled parents just suck.

jtrisn1
Community Member
5 months ago

Depression is not an excuse to neglect children. Unless the husband is so severely depressed that he is practically catatonic, he can get his ass up and sit on a couch and watch TV with the 4 kids. Besides, one of the suggested treatments for depression is to get up and do daily activities, interact with other people, and try your damn hardest to establish a routine. She's basically just trying to save face at this point because people are saying she's an a*****e when she expected people to pat her on the back and say different.

Hannah Bridges
Community Member
4 months ago

Have you ever had moderate to severe clinical depression?

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Aballi
Community Member
5 months ago

I have a lot of empathy for op, her husband and the sister. I struggle with severe depression, and it's actually the main reason I decided not to have kids, which does make me sad sometimes. Anyhow, I understand how hard it is to do very basic things like shower while depressed; I can't imagine how hard it is to take care of kids. That being said, it is not the sisters responsibility to take care of the kids. I don't think anyone in this story is in the wrong, I can understand op's frustration and helplessness. It's unfortunate all around. I'm glad the sister is fostering dogs, so many of them need our help and love. I wish the best for everyone in this family.

Maggie Hood
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

I don't think OP is an a*****e, but she's not in the right. I feel for her, everyone needs help sometimes, but your problems shouldn't get in the way of someone else's life because of the choices you made. OP had four kids, and as a mom I feel she should always have a way to take care of them if something goes wrong. I'm sorry, but that's on you and if your sister helps you out that's great, but if she can't keep taking care of the foster dogs because your husband can't get it together, then look somewhere else. You AND your husband had the kids and you should be the ones to take care of them. I have depression too, and I get it, but he does need to get it together. Maybe that sounds insensitive, but it's not your sister's fault that you had such a large family that you can't handle. Maybe I'm bias because I hate it when people have a bunch of kids and then arent able take care of them and then they make it everyone else's problem. Husband needs to get it together for his family.

Hippofan62
Community Member
5 months ago

Her sister chose not to have kids for a reason, she’s obviously not ready or just doesn’t want kids. So why would she want to continuously babysit her sisters kids

Nicole Normand
Community Member
5 months ago

I'm really with the others who think the sister started having dogs that couldn't be around children deliberately because her older sister wouldn't take a no. Leave your sister have her own life. If you want unhappy family gatherings, use your siblings as babysitters.

smithyjones
Community Member
5 months ago

Nope. Nope. Nope. You know where babies come from. You made the decision to have 4 & now you don't want to take care of them. Someone call CPS on this woman.

Kathleen Schwab
Community Member
5 months ago

I can't help wondering if the sister is taking in foster dogs to shield herself from how much was being asked of her by family. Taking care of an elderly chihuahua sounds much more peaceful than taking care of four kids in a house that is described even by the mom as chaotic. I have sympathy, I really do. But I have been in this position, and it is draining and eats away at you. People come up with ways to protect themselves.

Cookie
Community Member
5 months ago

Don't breed more than you can take care of. If you can't take care of them, give them up for adoption.

Gwyn
Community Member
5 months ago

As a parent, I can say that even if you are totally a responsible person, parenting is really hard. Especially when they are young. It gets better as they get older but sometimes due to events, kids being in a certain stage, certain unexpected issue it can become very difficult quickly. In this country we don't care about parents or offer them many resources, they are expected to do everything on their own and that's just not realistic. It's healthier for all, not just parents, to have strong communities where people help each other. We lack that and live in a very individualistic society. I don't think she's the AH but she can't expect her sister to be unlimited child care and as someone else pointed out, she may be continuing to foster on purpose to avoid it. I think the mother needs to talk to her doctor, look for other services to help her get through this. Also remember... The pandemic makes it really hard on parents.

Mir Adwari
Community Member
5 months ago

I agree having support and a strong community is extremely beneficial but the reality is that it doesn't exist for a lot of people. What did she think having four kids was going to be like? It is hard work but she's had three already and so it's not exactly like the amount of work should be a shock. It only gets more difficult if you keep increasing the numbers unless you expect older children to help out - which isn't very fair on them. Maybe this is harsh but people should only have the children that they can manage and they need to be very realistic about it. People's ability with this varies - some sail through with many and others can't cope with one or two. You can't always rely on extended family (or quite frankly a partner) as life goes wrong, people leave, get sick or die. Be realistic about how many you can handle, it's not fair to the children otherwise as they have to put up with parents who aren't coping - I've seen that and it's scary for a child.

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Squiddles
Community Member
5 months ago

Controversial opinion: in a marriage you should negotiate every pregnancy. I know we have problems with bodily autonomy laws in this country but just because you get married and are pregnant that doesn't mean you should go through every pregnancy just because you feel like you should have X amount of kids. If your husband is not into it (usually with men actions and involvement are the indicator, but alas admitting to exhaustion) do not have that extra baby! It's terrible to assume you'll just weather the difficulty. With children the difficulty setting never goes down it just showed shifts. This is going to be a whole other relationship you're on the hook for tending to until you due, so every time you have to talk and get the vote and deal with those emotions and resentments

Svelte Pantologist
Community Member
5 months ago

I think it would be great if there were some services accessible to people of low means to have a safe 3-hour break from their kids at least once per month. Everyone has these times, but people of means are able to pay for a break.

The Toast
Community Member
5 months ago

I feel bad for you having to deal with all of this but yta you need to understand your sister is doing something she loves you cant take it away maybe if you live near relatives you could ask them for help

Miss Kat O
Community Member
5 months ago

I wanted to stop reading when she said her kids are more important than dogs... but I continued... her kids are more important than dogs TO HER... I can only speak for myself here but my dog is more important to me than anyones kids

MrJoeh1234
Community Member
5 months ago

I will not comment on the past, or even present. Look at the future: you don't want to ask your husband to do what he agreed to do because you don't want to lose him, but apparently aren't worried about losing your sister. Yes, you can lose her. She's been tolerant, but she did not sign on to be a substitute father. Pushing her to give up those things she wanted more than she wanted children for herself will eventually cause her to move out of the area. Would you give up your children and husband to help her be child free? Nope. Yet you have no problem demanding the equivalent of her.

Marvelous Rex
Community Member
5 months ago

About time she and her husband learned "personal responsibility". I could have sympathy if everything was going well and then something out of their control changed that, such as having a good job but being laid off from covid. But it doesn't seem like that's the case. She's complaining about everything being so hard but she has an 11 month old. No one forced you have 4 kids. Without that last one, you'd be getting a break with most of them going to school by now. As far as I'm concerned, they should end tax benefits at 2 biological kids. If you don't have the means to take care of the kids after that, you shouldn't be having them. What your sister is doing is a wonderful thing. You have no right to impinge on that because of the choices you and your husband have made.

Jeannette
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

I have depression. I have for years. I suffered from migraines frequently too. I had NO family such as a sister to help me. I never got a vacation or weekend away as I raised them. They were my responsibility. My husband worked long hours. I decided I could only have two kids in this situation. He had a vacectomy. I think it is so wrong to expect your sister to not help dogs. You have your kids. She wants dogs. She isn't your nanny. Don't have more kids. Go to counseling meeting with your husband. You have to live life through depression. So many moms get postpartum and still carry on. **** Also, why do you need her sister's house too!? You want more time alone to make another baby? Your sister helping at your place or a park should be good enough. Sounds like your husband is sad because he can't get "his" time to me.

Sherita Judkins
Community Member
5 months ago

I don't blame the sister at all. She is not getting paid and I know that she loves her sister and all and her nieces and nephews but but she needs to put her life first his sister is so wrong for telling her to step fostering dogs to help her out when she won't even help herself out. I think this sister is fostering these kind of dogs so that she won't have to babysit her sister's kids and I don't blame her. There is a limit to every situation. This one is just ridiculous.

Yoga Kitty
Community Member
5 months ago

We do not know how severe the husband's depression is, therefore I would not be too quick to say that he just has to help out more, maybe it would be unsafe for the kids? To those suggesting birth control - well, it is a bit too late for that, isn't it? And if the husband only fell ill after the birth of the youngest then maybe they did fine before? Putting the work load on the sister is absolutely no option, though. I am not sure if she choses these special dogs consciously or subconsciously but that does not even matter - these are not her kids, not her responsibility, and no, somebody else's kids do NOT come before any dog she decides to foster. I am not a big fan of those suggesting that the 10 year old should already be able to manage the whole household on their own, however, at least the oldest two should be able to understand that a family is a team effort and that they can really help mommy and daddy running the whole show by doing their own part best they can.

CeeJay
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

What is going on in this world where people blame others for their own actions!!! Get a grip regardless of gen z..boomers.. millennial...what ever grow..the uck up and stop blaming others for your stupidity!

CeeJay
Community Member
5 months ago

OMFG! THEY are your kids not ur sisters! People need to start being responsible for their actions! I don't believe this is true as it sounds ridiculous! I have kids so does my sister and we never do this to each other!! Get a grip people absolutely selfish narcissistic b.atch

Collie
Community Member
5 months ago

Poot sister. Maybe she doesn't have the passion THAT big but her excuse to avoid the other person burden.

Gary Metz
Community Member
5 months ago

Is anyone really thinking that the person with the children has any right to ask / insist that the person who has another life give it up for them?

Marie Cole
Community Member
5 months ago

This woman asked for help and it looks like she's gotten mostly criticism. Let me make some suggestions. 1. Learn how to be organized. Women with multiple children with no spousal help do it, so can you. 2.Teach each child that is old enough a chore appropriate for their age. (your children are not your slaves but they can help) 3. Establish a quiet time during each day where the children are either napping or laying quietly on their bed with a book. Use this time to a. Clean something, b. Fold laundry, c. Relax. 4.Check into couples counseling at a discount (Churches, the Y, etc,.) to help both of you to cope with a busy household. 5. Hire a babysitter once or if you can afford it, twice a week, for an hour or two so you can tackle the "disaster" that is your house. This is temporary. 6. Leave your sister out of your married life. If she can babysit now and then, she will. Let her live her life. You will both be happier. 7. Seek counseling for yourself. Take each step one at a time.

rabbit
Community Member
5 months ago

Op is in a difficult situation. There was nothing wrong in asking, but sister has the right to say no. Op needs to look for community services that might be able to help. She is part of a family in distress. Finding the right help may take more than one call. For those trying to shame her for having four kids, you aren't helping. OP needs help for the situation at hand.

Noorma Hanifah
Community Member
5 months ago

Do tubectomy OP, please

MagNat
Community Member
5 months ago

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Flip
Community Member
5 months ago

She needs help, but can't dump it on her sister. I know a guy who was depressed and his now ex had borderline. They got help from child care services. Kid stays at 3 homes now.

Phil Vaive
Community Member
5 months ago

I honestly think nobody sucks here. The OP said her husband became severely depressed after she had her 4th kid, and is in therapy and on medication, and is caring enough about his mental health to not want to put more stress on him at the time. She feels trapped between wanting to look after her own mental well being, and wanting to take care of her husband's. The sister is doing a wonderful and often thankless job that not enough people can do, and also tries to help the OP out when she can. I honestly think this is just a crappy situation all around. I feel bad for the OP

Say What
Community Member
5 months ago

So dad's not watching the kids, mom's not watching the kids, so it's the sister's burden? So if she didn't have a sister to do their jobs, she would just give them up for adoption? People with depression go to work every day and parent their kids as best as they can or seek help. OP decided for her sister that her sister's passion is meaningless just because it inc conveniences OP. If that's not an AH I don't know what is. She hasn't bothered to find other parents in a similar situation to take turns caring for all the kids so they each get some time off. Perhaps her sister doesn't have kids because she doesn't want them but now she does. Perhaps the sister can't conceive and fostering dogs is the next best thing for her, yet OP would deny her that so she can work for OP for feee? Perhaps the sister wants to get married and have kids but can't because she's stuck at home raising her sister's kids. All of those possibilities make OP extremely self-centered.

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Maureen Matthew
Community Member
3 months ago

Difficult situation - yes the husband is depressed, but what is he doing about it? There is counselling, treatment, drugs etc. Don't know the exact situation, but it is clear that the husband is not actually doing anything to improve the overall situation. I suspect the sister sees this and is tired of 'helping'. I'm willing to help people a lot, but when nothing is changing and those I'm helping are not even trying, then I stop because it is a waste of my time and I have interests and dare I say passions that I wish to pursue.

Samantha Lanning
Community Member
3 months ago

4 kids and its exhausting wow, no offence I see single parents looking after three/ four kids and their house and have a job to provide for their kids. maybe you should consider childcare instead of relying on other people. Also stop opening your legs and having kids if it is too difficult for you to handle. Also expecting your sister to stop doing what she loves so she can live your l;ife is selfish and very self entitled. If your sister's thing is fostering dogs and that makes her happy you shouldnt interfere with that. Also you have no right to demand it non at all you decided to have a family that was your choice not your sisters. No sympathy at all for you.

Esgain Erin
Community Member
3 months ago (edited)

"My sister is childfree and I have four kids, I can't afford a babysitter and my husband does not help, so my sister should just stop living her life so she can babysit my kids for free; so I ultimately can rest. AITA?" OP is a total, absolute, major a*****e. Her further explanations make things even worse. "I am not just popping out children that I can't take care of" You literally started by saying you couldn't process with exhaustion from constant chaos anymore. "My husband is not at deadbeat dad" oh yes he is. Depression is not an excuse not to assume your duties as a parent. I've struggled with mental health issues almost all of my life and yet, I take care of my own kids... Stop breeding if you can't deal with children. "My husband is miserable" So you sister should give up her life, because he just can't process with his own life choices? Seriously, what an entitled, horrible person, and what an irresponsible twat is the husband. Poor sister and poor kids.

Viv Hart
Community Member
4 months ago

I'm disgusted with those who slam the father as a Deadbeat, while he's suffering from depression, and is undergoing therapy. I'm actually sorry for all 3 of them, nobody asks for this, but the youngest should not have been born.

Brandi Gouran
Community Member
4 months ago

I know very much how depression can be. That doesn't make it an excuse ton9t help out with your kids. I have 3 that I raise alone and I had severe post-partum after the last cause I got out of an abusive situation with a 10month old and being 6 months pregnant. You find the energy to pull yourself together for those that need you because they have no one else. Yes 4 kids is probably very difficult and trying because I often lose my temper with 3 and 2 have autism. But your sister is not a free babysitter..... Taking care of fosters is her passion. If she was a doctor doing what she loved, would you ask her not to go to work just to watch your kids? She's entitled to her own life, she already goes and helps sometimes in the mornings and watches 2-3 at a time. She didn't give birth, she didn't make the choices to have that many kids and you should worship her for helping at all when she doesn't have to! If you're that overwhelmed go hire a babysitter

Chloe Kosch
Community Member
4 months ago

If she loves dogs and maybe not kids as much. (I'm not positive just saying since she is child free) then don't force her to give up the dog. Its a foster will probably leave sooner or later. Besides even if she does stop it will make her want to babysit so much less.

neutral
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

Yet again a woman not taking responsiblity for the choices she and her husband made and excusing the husband for his lack of effort. If your husband is that depressed that you are sooo terrified to ask him to pull his weight in the marriage, sounds like therapy time or find a new and better partner who will care for the kids. Your sister is not your babysitter and to see your sister as such is a terrible thing. He's probably depressed because of all the kids they have and I wouldn't blame him. Amazing how people with kids will try and guilt folks without to handle their own parenting tasks because they can't handle it themselves. The irony. IF YOU CANNOT HANDLE HAVING KIDS THEN DON'T HAVE THEM! They didn't ask to be put on this planet. You made a lifelong choice/commitment to have kids, and raise/take care of them, until the day you die, live with it and don't push it on anyone else. I'm usually a very empathetic person but it truly grinds my gears when folks get upset over being told no or someone refusing to help others. Even with my own mental health issues, having to see a partner using someone elses's mental health as an excuse is shitty. Your kids should bring you happiness and if they aren't, then that's a sign you should have put some more thought into why you decided to have kids.

Arenite
Community Member
5 months ago

Sister should start charging for her babysitting services. That will scare mom off!

Tigerpacingthecage
Community Member
5 months ago

I really understand that she's tired and need help, and I feel for her. I wouldn't say she's the AH in general because I understand her way of thinking - but it's not the sisters problem. I wish she would put some more of that anger/wish for effort on her husband. I understand that depression is really rough (been there myself many times) but you can't "check out" from your kids. You need to find coping strategies that makes you be able to take responsibility. Or find other ways of treatment if it feels too impossible. Don't just "let it be" too long. Sounds like she's very empathetic with him (too much maybe) and not with the sister. No one wants to care for others kids without getting paid, even if it's your sister/friend/etc.

Ash Turnbull
Community Member
5 months ago

I don't think there IS an a*****e in this story. Should you have asked your sister to stop fostering dogs? No. But with 4 young children and a depressed husband, I understand. You also didn't go about asking your sister in an entitled manner from what I can tell, which makes you not an a*****e in my eyes. I DO think there are other solutions however. Try to encourage your husband to do more. Little things, dishes, trash. 10 minute chores. Watch the kids while you take a 20 minute nap or breathing break. And of course show your appreciation for these things. Having at least a little help will help you, and doing things that are productive and appreciated often helps battle depression. Trust me, I would know. Medication and therapy are great, but feeling productive and useful helps a lot too. As does exercise, even mild activity.

TheLadyMagic
Community Member
5 months ago

Wait....🤫. Did she just describe her husband getting postpartum depression? He only began to suffer depression after this last pregnancy?🤔

Ruth Higbe-Harrah
Community Member
5 months ago

The father needs to contribute more. If she is willing to sacrifice all of her time to take on the majority of the workload to help make things easier for her husband, that is very kind and generous. However, even in this case he still must force himself to pick up the remainder of the responsibilities to meet their children’s needs. The woman’s sister doesn’t need to put her kids before the dogs, her husband needs to put their kids before HIMSELF.

Debrina Blackmoon
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

This bullshiit is so ridiculous I just don't have sufficient words. Yes, obv the ASSSHOLE including the father(s?)!

Susie Smith
Community Member
5 months ago

That you have an ENTITLEMENT DISORDER speaks volumes of your attitudes that your sister is there FOR YOU. You and your kids have no claim to her life, her ways of living and enjoying it, or what you think by mere relationship, SHE OWES YOU. That you had the GALL to TELL her not to get another foster dog because YOU HAVE DECIDED how YOU WILL ALLOW HER TO SPEND HER time AND live HER life is so far out there. Clearly you're missing HER point IN THAT she considers HER LIFE AND JOY NONE OF YOUR BUSJNESS. AND, YTA, SHE CLEARLY HAS TOLD YOU for MONTHS that YOUR LIFE, SELF-CREATED CHAOS, and KID. MONEY, SANITY AND HUSBAND PROBLEMS ARE NOT HER BUSINESS!! Using your familial relationship to manipulate her indicates you are in need of expert psychiatric care. OBVIOUSLY you have NO PROBLEMS establishing needs and boundaries for yourself. BUT you don't meet your own standards.and clearly dont respect your sisters. In fact, You refuse to acknowledge her RIGHT to HAVE LIMITS. SHE'S RIGHT. GET LOST.

Alan Madlane
Community Member
5 months ago

As much as I feel like overpopulation is the single worst and biggest problem in the world today, I understand there are a number of factors that can lead to four kids, including religious beliefs and even not having enough money to buy contraceptives. At least not reliable once. It is clear that the sister is indulging in her passion, which is absolutely right. If it's not a hint that she doesn't want to babysit anymore, at least it is serving the same function in the end. She may have been okay helping watch two children, maybe even three, but maybe not four. The only thing that might be fair to ask is if she could leave the dog for an hour or two at most and maybe come over and help do dishes or tidy up a bit once a week or something. Even still, the sister should take her out for a nice meal or get her a gift card or something, not expect totally free labor on a regular basis. That's just not realistic.

Ren Karlej
Community Member
5 months ago

She does say that her sister comes over sometimes in the mornings so she is helping at times. No matter what the reasons the sister doesn't want to go beyond what she is offering, she's creating her own life. OP needs to accept that and sort out a better way of coping for herself. There are probably other options that she's not exploring.

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MC Xenix C
Community Member
5 months ago

What you needs is not help from your sister. But you need a brain to think (plan your financial n family) and to control (your lust when you can afford). Why should your sister giving her life for yours? For your fun at sex without control?? Her helps is your gift. When she dont it is her rights. Go f*****g get a condom when you can afford maid or can take care them alone

Gayatri Chitale
Community Member
5 months ago

It takes a village to raise a child. If you have a sister its ok to ask for help and its ok for her to refuse. Theere is no Ah here. Its all good. People are too individualistic and judgemental here.

Marigen Beltran
Community Member
5 months ago

I wish the OP had included in her first post that her husband was depressed, maybe people wouldn't have been as harsh. Still, she is the AH but is a desperate AH. I wish she could find more people that could give her a hand so she would not rely entirely on her sister.

Emmydearest
Community Member
5 months ago

I'll be the devil's advocate here: ok, the mother had "too many" 😕 kids and she is not capable of taking care or them, she should have thought about it before having them, blah blah blah... Yes, it's all correct. BUT. The kids are here now. There's no turning back time. Point one. Point two: she had kids with a responsible healthy husband. She was able to rely on him. But s**t happened: the husband is having mental problems so he's unable to pull his part. Would you judge him the same way if he was battling cancer instead of clinical depression? People always blab about "mental health is important, depression is a real severe condition, blah blah blah" but how come that now you're all "yeah he's depressed but he should man up and take care of his kids". Well, it's not that easy, unfortunately...

Nubis Knight
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

My mother had depressions for my whole childhood and still had to take care of three kids and the household of my grandpa in addition to her own and worked a few hours every week cause we were short on money. My dad had to work 12 hour night-shifts, so all he could do was do errands. Sometimes one of her sisters or her mother came to help but she was mostly on her own. So how's it come that Moms HAVE to find a way to deal with depression AND Kids and this dad seems to be excused? I'm sure if the sister wasn't there he also must find a way to help the mother himself. Also she seems to be a stay at home mom, so It might sound gruel, but why does she need a babysitter at all? Oldest kid should be in school half of the day, the other two in kindergarden, so it's the 11 month old...

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Lola
Community Member
5 months ago

Definitely sounds like a personal issue. I say too bad.

Did you hear that?
Community Member
5 months ago

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This lady is not a monster. Stop treating her like she is. She needs help, she's asking for help. If she went nuts and hurt someone the same people saying this negative crap would say" why didn't she ask for help?" Families are meant to take care of each other. Reliable birth control is hard to get ESPECIALLY if you are low income. And for anyone who says not to have sex, well why don't you try to be in a healthy romantic relationship without sex. This poor woman is reaching out for help and you all are knocking her down. No it's not her sister's responsibility but maybe she could help find alternatives. I have three kids and serve depression and it's hard to find time for a shower once a week. So i understand when baby sitting plans fall through.

Alex Bailey
Community Member
5 months ago

Children are thousands of times more expensive than birth control, so it is worth paying for it. That argument makes little sense. Husband might well be depressed because he finds four children too much, the chaotic lifestyle too much. It happens. Mums aren't the only ones who struggle. However, they chose to have four children while, it would seem, being ill equipped to cope. Her sister has reduced her help for a reason. I don't think OP is a monster but I do think this 'poor woman' is very selfish. She wants her sister to choose to go without dogs and be there for her, but why should she? Why cant the OP look for alternatives? The older children will be out the house for large parts of the day at school and these children didn't suddenly get difficult just because number four arrived. OP also hasn't thought enough about the children she already had before having more. She already knew the work children bring. At the very least she is thoughtless.

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Ray Arani
Community Member
5 months ago

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I don't like how people keep saying not to have kids if you can't afford them, like that's a solution here. It isn't. Plenty of people have kids who can afford them, then circumstances change, people get laid off, there's a world-wide plague, a spouse falls ill, one kid winds up having special needs that require extra help, and it's a huge relief to have family you can rely on. That saying the "it takes a village"...raising kids can and should be a community effort. She's not demanding anything from her sister, she's asking for help, help that, yes, involves personal sacrifice on her sisters part. They are in their 30s, so chances are that they've helped each other a lot over the years, that could be the nature of their relationship. If my sister, or even just a friend, were in this position, I might not give up an existing pet to help, but I'd happily help her out instead of taking on different responsibilities I'm also not obligated to do. Hubby could also ask his people too tho

Dill
Community Member
5 months ago

It is actually fairest to the children themselves to keep the number you have safely within a comfort zone financially and from a coping perspective. Do your best by the first children you have and only have more if you are bloody sure you can do it. Having more because someone wants to is not good enough, neither is accidentally getting pregnant in this day and age. I come from a childhood of poverty and watched a depressed parent struggle and I'd not wish that on anyone. It is flipping scary and has had life long consequences for me and my siblings. I know it has impacted others in similar or worse situations. Yes, life changes and things go wrong so FFS use some sense and give yourself as much wiggle room as possible. OP wasn't coping with three from what she's written (four dogs and taking 8 months to rehome the last and yet baby number four is 11 months...). Unlikely this is a new situation. Her sister was helping and then reduced it... there was a reason for that.

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Cora Vi
Community Member
5 months ago

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NTA. You ASKED. You were HONEST. You chose to be vulnerable. This isn't forever, because soon your children will be older, your husband's health will (Hopefully. Likely.) improve. Your sister can say yes or no. But you have EVERY RIGHT to ask; to show your cards. How do you get the support you need if you don't ask? Also, ask your sister to be honest. Is she getting more dogs because she's trying to avoid babysitting without hurting your feelings? Ask her to talk honestly about her boundaries and limits on the help she can provide to you and your kids. This is all about the stigmas people hold around choosing to parent or not, and mental illness. If your husband was fighting cancer no one would think you honestly asking for the help you need would be inappropriate. Good luck to you.

V33333P
Community Member
5 months ago

I think asking is okay, and important, and like you said open communication should be there for everyone. What I think she did wrong was assuming her sister's choice to foster dogs could just be set aside to help her RIGHT THEN. As a lot of people pointed out, in America especially, animals in foster care would otherwise be killed in most shelters this is life or death for them. It isn't just something you can take a break on.

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Real Name
Community Member
5 months ago

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What a dumb little brood mother! don't have kids if you can't take care of them. What an utter loser. Hopefully her sister cuts all contact with her.

Jake Kallos
Community Member
5 months ago

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Good grief everyone on here is an ass. Not everything that is read on social media is black and white.

Wynn Williams
Community Member
5 months ago

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Tatjana Peskir
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

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Actually, I agree that the sister should stop fostering dogs. Her own family has issues and needs help. As in, health issues. The dogs have issues too, but her family has. Why does it make more sense for her to help the dogs and not her family? Makes no sense. You could just as well tell the dogs ‘Well don’t get yourself into a situation where you need fostering’. I would, as a sister, try and help in a more productive way - such as dedicate 6-12 months to make my sister struggle less - find some other sources for childcare, better depression treatment etc.

Maggie Hood
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

It isn't the sister's fault that OP and her husband had 4 kids and now they can't care for them. Yes it's amazing of her to help out, but it shouldn't ever be a burden on her life. It's not the sister's responsibility, and it shouldn't be. Never EVER make anyone suffer the consequences of your actions, even if they're family. Blood relation does not mean you can take advantage of them.

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Becky Moore
Community Member
5 months ago

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Maybe she could foster dogs that like children? Then she could still help out occasionally?

Liam Walsh
Community Member
5 months ago

She is helping out - re-read it. She goes over in the mornings. However, maybe the sister is picking dogs that don't like children to give her a get out as she's fed up with how much the OP expected her to do and she feels used. Maybe the child-unfriendly dogs are more difficult to home and actually NEED her the most. The OP might think children are more important but her children are only more important to HER. It isn't the sister's job to make life easier for the OP. The OP chose to have this many children and all the work that comes with them - work that is not a surprise after having three already.

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jk nbt
Community Member
5 months ago

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family comes before dogs... get your social priorities & thinking straight... a$$hole

Ren Karlej
Community Member
5 months ago

These four children have two parents. The dogs have no-one unless someone steps up to help them. I get that you clearly don't see animals as important but we share this planet and have a duty to help animals that humans have bred and humans have let down. The sister HAS got her priorities and thinking straight. Unpopular opinion here but maybe the OP should have been a tad more thoughtful herself and actually had less children - not very responsible having four on a planet heading downhill due to the number of PEOPLE on it.

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Tamra Stiffler
Community Member
5 months ago

I've struggled with depression since I was a teenager and, yes, after my son was born. Once you become a parent, you simply do things you think you can't, because you MUST. That includes taking care of your child even though everything inside you wants to curl up in a corner and shut out the world. If the dad is getting therapy and taking meds, there is no reason he can't be present to help with the kids. I'm not saying it will be easy, but it's one of those things you have to *make* yourself do when you're a parent. Children come first. And they are YOUR responsibility, no one else's. It's hard, I've been there. OP definitely seems like she's taking her sister for granted.

Vanja Vidovic
Community Member
5 months ago

It looks like he doesn't have any problems with making new babies.

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