A woman who had finally come to terms with being abandoned by her mother inadvertently made a distressing discovery that re-opened old wounds.
Redditor "mrswallabysmith" found that her estranged mother—who left her five children when the Original Poster (OP) was 15—had started a new family.
Furious after discovering the mother had moved on, the OP reached out to the mother's new husband and disclosed some eye-opening information.
The OP asked AITA (Am I the A**hole) for telling her estranged mom's new husband that she already had kids.
"When I was 15, my mom left the family. For a long time, no one knew where she was or even if she was okay."
"Eventually, it was discovered that she was just 'too overwhelmed' and left to handle herself."
"My brothers and I were raised by our uncle and my dad from that point on, but it was hard."
"I became like my brothers' mom and had to grow up quicker than I probably should've. I got into therapy and a few years back and have been doing better."
However, the OP's past caught up with her online.
"Recently, I found my mom on Facebook. It was by pure mistake because I reconnected with some other maternal family members that I guess are friends with her."
"She had the same first name and looks pretty much the same, with just a different last name."
"The more I looked at her page, however, I saw that she had gotten remarried not long after she left my dad and had basically started a new family."
Based on her observation, the mother appeared to no longer be "too overwhelmed."
"She has kids ranging in age from 2-10 years old."
Consumed with anger and disappointment, she reached out to the mother's new husband to deliver some news.
"My husband told me to leave it alone, but I was so angry and I just couldn't handle it, so I ended up finding out her husband's FB and messaged him, saying that his wife had 5 other kids that she had abandoned, did he know that?"
Finally, the OP heard from her long-lost mother, and it was understandably not a pleasant conversation.
"My mom ended up messaging me, pissed, saying I had made her husband mad because he didn't know."
"To me, that's not my problem. You can't just run off and neglect responsibilities. However, my brothers and husband think I was the a**hole. AITA?"
Most Redditors shared in the OP's frustration declaring her "Not The A**hole" (NTA).
"NTA, she left her family to 'handle herself' she can handle her husband being mad about the whole thing."
"Her own fault for not saying anything til now, you did him a favor." – B4C0N8ER
"Indeed. It sounds like OP did it out of spite, but at the same time, her mom's 'new' husband should absolutely be aware that his kids have nearly half-a-dozen half siblings running around."
"A mother abandoning her children and husband, and then disappearing to start another family is a serious issue which is certainly the business of both families. OP is NTA." – Maktesh
The post sparked a conversation about menopause between women who have had successful pregnancies well into their 40s.
"The MASSIVELY overblown focus on women over 35 not being able to have kids 'easily' or safely is completely overblown specifically to scare us, and to rush women to feel the pressure of the ticking clock."
"so they spend money trying- it can scare them into spending extra on getting testing done, on having 'help' conceiving, etc etc so that you buy things like ovulation tests and IUI/IVF, all out of the fear that it wont happen for you otherwise."
"There are MANY many many women having kids safety over 40 with no problems."
"Just because you and I have had the very unfortunate and painful situation of not being able to have a baby when we want one- it doesn't mean that the scare tactics are right." – redandbluenights
"The only reason most women stop after one or two kids is family planning, not inability."
"Having children increases fertility in a lot of women, which is why many of those who are members of religions that emphasize big families have baby after baby."
"Look at the Duggars as a modern -- extreme -- example, and realize that there are still lots of families in affluent areas who have a
minimumof three kids."
19 kids and counting michelle duggar GIF Giphy
"Women who stop after their first or second, then want another child a few years later, can sometimes suffer from secondary infertility. It's best to set a plan (have a baby every two years, etc.) and keep to it until your family's well and truly done."
"There's often a surge right before menopause, when women no longer have periods but are fertile, when it's like the body sends out the last of the truly viable eggs as a kind of swan song."
"That's when some women become pregnant for the very first time, while others have 'change babies' as they're becoming grandmothers."
"You need barrier birth control for at least a year after your period stops beginning when your doctor takes you off of BC pills/shots or from the time you begin to notice changes in your menstrual cycle. Unless you want to play Baby Roulette. :-)" – Poldark_Lite
"My grandmother got pregnant at 48, at the same time my 24 year old mother was pregnant with her first."
"Unfortunately her a**hole doctor told her she was 'too old' to have a safe pregnancy despite being healthy and forced her into an abortion."
"My ggg-grandmother on my dad's side didn't get married until 37 and managed to have 6 kids. And the women on that side have a history of late fertility. My grandma had 9, the last two in her 40s. She herself was a child of her parents' 'old age' - her mom was in her 40s, her dad was 53."
"My cousin's wife had her first two at 40 and 43. It happens. Hell, my mom was nearly 40 when she had me; my oldest sister is 14 years older." – gingergirl181
amy poehler mom GIF Giphy
"I'm 39 and pregnant with a healthy baby. They don't even consider me advanced maternal age anymore."
"They upped it to 42 or something. I get no special treatment. And as someone who was brainwashed how being pregnant over 35 is soooo dangerous I was pretty pissed I'm not being given special treatment lol."
"(Just kidding omg glad I'm doing well and more people need to be told about this.)" – the_wandering
"We don't know how soon she met the new husband and how quickly they had kids. 'Handling herself' was almost certainly a short amount of time before finding the husband." – LaneMcD
The OP's reasoning for doing what she did was considered irrelevant.
"Who cares if op did it out of spite. I mean it's pretty damn well justified spite."
"She got brother's dumped on her to raise that she didn't even ask for, and I'm sure a whole bunch of other emotional trauma. Her mom can deal with some consequences." – obsoletedroid
The new husband may have never known of his wife's past were it not for the OP.
"As husband I would want to know that for a bunch of reasons."
"OP might've done him a favour. How long before she becomes 'overwhelmed' again?" – -TheOutsid3r-
"Lesson here is don't try and bury skeletons you don't want dug up."
"If you made a huge mistake in the past, own it. No one wants to be married someone who hides huge amounts and important parts of the past."
"You've revealed the truth about your mother OP and done her new husband a favor. If she is capable of hiding her abandonment of 5 children, what else is she hiding? NTA." – Hopeful_Fishy
Like telling her new husband the truth.
The book Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents is available here.