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Woman Wonders If She’s Wrong For Asking Stepdaughter To Wake Up Early To Make Breakfast For Her Kids

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Woman Wonders If She Is Wrong For Asking Her Stepdaughter To Make Breakfast After Husband Yells At Her

A confused mother came to Reddit’s “AITA” subreddit to ask if she was in the wrong after a conversation she had with her 16-year-old stepdaughter.

In a since-deleted post, the woman explained that she has two step-kids from her husband’s previous marriage and four of her own, the youngest being only a month old. She writes that though she and her stepdaughter don’t have the closest relationship, “she’s really close to her younger siblings.”

During her previous pregnancies, her husband had a more flexible schedule to help out more. His new job requires him to be at work by six in the morning while the kids “mostly wake at 7-7:30.” Meanwhile, she explained that tending to the kids on her own has burnt her out. Her stepdaughter, on the other hand, is self-sufficient and tends to spend mornings in her room while the other kids eat breakfast.

The mom asked her stepdaughter to wake up 20 minutes earlier to feed the kids while the mom rested.

She felt that this solution would allow her to get more sleep and feel better throughout the day, but her stepdaughter said no and explained that “her siblings are pretty energetic, and she doesn’t feel she can’t take care of them or get Louis to eat all of his food.”

This also meant that along with all that, she had to make sure her other two siblings were ready for school, which included dressing them and making sure everything was in their bags.

When the woman tried to explain that she hadn’t been feeling well, her stepdaughter shrugged her shoulders and said, “I said no, I’m not their mom. Ask dad to help you or get a babysitter. I also stay up until late doing homework, but I’m not asking you to make me breakfast every day or drive me to school.”

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Her husband was not happy with her.

She texted her husband about what had happened and asked if he could convince her to help out. Unfortunately, her husband told her she was wrong and that his daughter was right. He continued to say to her that she shouldn’t have asked her in the first place.

Now, she wonders if she’s truly in the wrong because she “only asked her to help and wake up 20 minutes early.” Considering the daughter lives with them, she didn’t see the big deal.

With over 4,000 comments, almost everyone sided with the stepdaughter.

Many people quickly highlighted signs of parentification, which Trauma-Informed Therapist and Author Logan Cohen explains is a "lesser-known type of childhood trauma more generally associated with child emotional neglect." In a TikTok video, Cohen notes that being forced to prioritize the needs of other family members at a young age in ways that are outside of what we typically consider healthy as well as having to take care of a parent's needs when they're struggling to do so on their own are two signs of parentification, and applicable to what this mom asked of her stepdaughter.



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“You are the parent. She is not,” one person wrote, noting that the mom wasn't simply asking the daughter to make breakfast, but also "do the full morning routine for all her siblings."

Photo: Reddit / Codioful via Canva

Left unchecked, parentification can affect children as they grow older, leaving them prone to chasing perfection and experiencing burnout and anxiety.

The situation is a reminder that many parents, especially those with newborns, don't have enough support.

Many people recognized the fact that the mother was likely not being malicious in asking for the daughter's assistance, but rather at her wits end with all of her responsibilities. For example, although one user “farsighted451” agreed that OP was wrong, she also remembered feeling “ready to punch anyone who said ‘sleep when the baby sleeps.’”

Photo: Reddit / Codioful via Canva

While some users suggested the husband may be able to take on more responsibility after work than the woman was giving him credit for, ultimately it's a good idea to have empathy and understanding for the woman's situation as often, families, especially those with a lot of kids, don't have the daily support they so often need.

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Ashley Darkwa-Anto is a writer at YourTango who covers news and entertainment topics.