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Young Mom Asks If She's Wrong For Not Bathing Her 3-Year-Old For A Month Because She's 'Exhausted 24/7'

Photo: Sergey Makashin / Pexels
Mom cuddling toddler

Being a young single mom is no easy job — it can be isolating, costly, exhausting, and difficult to sacrifice for the well-being of your child.

In addition to limited time, single mothers in the U.S. are also subject to paying outrageous premium prices for childcare while they work. 

For single mothers working full-time nationwide, a great majority pay between 50-70% of their total incomes on childcare each year.

For this Reddit mom, however, she begins her story by mentioning that she and her 3-year-old toddler live with her 44-year-old mother and her grandmother.

Fortunately for her, they sometimes opt to take care of her child for free, but unfortunately for them, she criticizes the way her mother "doesn't do much."

Wondering if she was wrong for criticizing her mom, she goes to the subreddit "r/AmItheA-hole" (AITA) to see what internet strangers had to say.

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Blaming work and mental health, she thinks her mother is wrong for criticizing her lack of parenting.

In the now-deleted Reddit post, this Reddit mom posted about her situation with her mother/babysitter and her 3-year-old toddler.

“I work five days out of the week, noon to 8, but I leave at 11 A.M., and usually get home between 8:15 and 8:30,” the young mom mentions, “My mother and grandmother don’t work and just stay at home all day with my son and also take care of my 15-year-old brother and sister.” 

She mentions that she has two days off a week, but often spends those days cleaning the house, doing her laundry, or taking care of her "rapidly declining mental health."

“Needless to say, I’m exhausted 24/7 and always taking care of something,” she complains, “My mom and grandma keep berating me for the fact that it’s been a month since his hair has been washed — but, I’m rarely home…I can barely take care of myself.” 

Comments seem angered and confused by this mom’s reasoning, suggesting she’s making "excuses" for the shock that parenting is actually not a "walk in the park." 

“If she can’t take care of herself,” one comment writes, “she has absolutely no business having a child.”

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She claims that she'd be more willing to take care of him if he wasn't already taken care of.

Instead of appreciating the fact that her toddler is dressed for bed and sleeping when she gets home, she writes that she’d be more willing to do bare minimum tasks like a bath if he wasn’t already ready for bed.

"Now, I don’t expect my grandma to do much with him other than sit with him to make sure he doesn’t hurt himself," she claims, "but I’m frustrated that my mom doesn’t do much."

Despite having two other children to watch, she claims her mother is always "sitting at home — reading her books or watching Netflix."

After almost a month of caring for her toddler, however, her mom and grandma spoke up about her absence.

“I’m tired of the two of them ganging up on me,” the young mom says about the confrontation, "for not giving him a bath when I’m barely home."

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Being that her mom ‘sits home all day’ watching her kid, she believes she should be responsible for tasks like washing his hair.

When spending time with her 23-year-old boyfriend, she often talks about her annoyance with her mother, to which he responds with jokes about her detached parenting.

“Even my boyfriend will say things like, ‘oh, you have a kid?’ every time I mention something about my son — even though he knows that I do. I know he’s being sarcastic..it hurts.”

Comments are astonished that she even mentioned her date nights or hangouts with her boyfriend, assuming that she had no time to spend with him since she doesn't even spend any with her toddler.

Even just a 10-minute bath seems unreasonable — according to her "absolutely ridiculous" and time-consuming schedule.

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Despite free childcare, she says that living in their home is a ‘struggle’ for her mental health.

Many of the comments defending her seem to point to this section in her Reddit story, where she points out the hostility of the household in confronting her parenting.

“Being here with them is driving me crazy and it’s a struggle trying to repair my mental well-being when they’re chiseling away at my hard work,” the young mom writes, “but, the moment I mention wanting to leave they start crying.” 

It seems like there might be a disconnect between who is actually parenting this child — the young mom says they “tell me not to take their baby.” 

“It feels like he’s only ‘my baby’ when it’s convenient for them and I don’t know what else to do. If I say anything about it I know they’ll throw the ‘well it’s your kid’ or ‘having a baby and not taking care of it…what a woman you are.’”

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Plenty of comments suggest this mom is ‘neglecting’ her child — especially when she makes time for a boyfriend. 

Despite her pleas to get readers on her side, it seems many of the comments believe she’s full of excuses and is far too inexperienced to have a toddler.

Being a young mom can be a difficult place to navigate, but many comments point out her privilege in having support — that things are hard, but they could be "so much worse."

“If you have time for your boyfriend, you have time to bathe your own kid. Your priorities are way off,” one comment reads.

Another commenter writes a tad more empathetically, “It’s hard to say because you are clearly struggling, but…you’re the a–-hole. They are basically raising your kid while you work…and you’re mad when they ask you to do the bare minimum for your son’s hygiene?”

Another writes, “You are lucky your son is not in daycare right now — his lack of hygiene would have been noted and CPS probably would’ve been called on you.”

Despite the hardships and struggles of being a young and single mom, comments seem to be under the consensus that this Redditor needs a reality check.

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a news and entertainment writer who focuses on pop culture analysis and human interest stories. Catch up with them on Instagram or TikTok.