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Is there a social obligation to accept gifts?

What if they're from family?

What if they're not to your taste or standards?

A woman consulted the "Am I The A**hole" (AITA) subReddit when she grappled with those questions.

A Redditor who later deleted their account asked:

"[WIBTA]: Refusing baby items from another pregnant family member."

The Original Poster explained:

"My husband and I, both 30, are expecting our first child at the end of this year. A month after we announced our pregnancy, my husbands 17 year old cousin announced hers."

"This is not a jealousy issue."

"If anything, her pregnancy has taken us out of the spotlight of important family happenings to our relief. We are quiet people, and while we are excited and hopeful, this is our first baby to make it this far after several miscarriages so we are trying to stay calm through this."

"Just in case."

"Us being the way we are, we do not do baby showers (thanks to [the pandemic] I have a solid excuse to avoid them), we do not ask for gifts, we enjoy being able to quietly take care of ourselves."

In a comment the OP stated they did have a public gift registry set up that their families and friends could access.

"The cousin has been going about her pregnancy as many people do. Having family gatherings, baby showers with 30+ people, etc. and has received a lot of gifts."

"This is where the issue takes place."

"My mother-in-law calls every couple of days to tell me that the cousin has an extra tub or extra boxes of diapers, etc. and that she wants to give them to me. I want what I picked out for my baby, not someone else's leftovers."

"I have the means to buy my son what I want him to have and if I needed someone else's charity to raise a child I would not have gotten pregnant in the first place."

"I have been politely turning these gifts down. Knowing the way my MIL is, I will eventually have to be firm and tell her how I feel (you do not want to hear about the guilt trip she put me through after I denied her to throw us a baby shower)."

"If I say to her what I said above about the leftover gifts, will I be the Asshole?"

Redditors were asked to weigh in by declaring:

  • NTA - Not The A**hole
  • YTA - You're The A**hole
  • NAH - No A**holes Here
  • ESH - Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided the OP would be the a**hole.

"I'm sensing a touch of superiority. Like you said if you couldn't support a child you wouldn't have gotten pregnant, sounds very much like you're saying she shouldn't be having a kid if she 'has to have' a baby shower to receive supplies."

"Babies are expensive and sometimes a surprise and if someone was willing to gift you diapers even tho they are having a baby of their own I'd be gracious and accept them because it's a nice gesture between mothers." ~ gryffinRAWR

"You weren't the asshole until you said that people who accept hand me downs and leftovers are charity cases and inferred they shouldn't be having children in the first place."

"YTA. Say thank you and quietly donate it to a women's shelter if you really can't handle the nice gesture." ~ cathherine

"Just accept them and give them away to people who need it." ~ porkchopsz

"YTA, not because of turning down the items but the reasoning behind it. You are coming across as an arrogant snob."

"Your cousin has been very generous of spirit, and you're acting like it's an insult to be offered these items."

"I recommend taking an honest look at your own heart and figuring out why you are feeling so unkindly toward the 17 year-old." ~ MalsPrettyBonnet

"Fellow pregnant lady here, and I totally understand the feeling of 'I picked out a specific type of {insert baby item} I don't want a different one you got for someone else'."

"That being said, you chose not to have a baby shower so why would anyone buy you things on your registry? Why do you have a public registry if you didn't have a shower?" ~ edamommy_

"YTA and you are entitled as hell."

"She's trying to do something nice for you, not commit an act of charity. This is what moms do." ~ Malconeous

"Seriously baby stuff is expensive, especially for something baby is only going to use for a few months. My sister and cousins pass our stuff back and forth because why waste the money?"

"We have the money to buy all new stuff, but why would we waste it. YTA, your cousin is doing what moms do." ~ Scheme-Disastrous

"YTA. You sound judgmental towards the cousin for being pregnant at 17 and that her offer is charity."

"Have you considered she is trying to build a relationship with someone else having a baby near her so she can have support too?"

"You most definitely do not deserve anyone's niceness." ~ Winstonwill8

After receiving judgment, the OP returned with an update.

"Woah, guys. THANK YOU. You really made me see how entitled and bitchy I sound."

"Pregnancy hormones are a bitch and I truly believed that what I said above was perfectly normal. I will accept the gifts."

"I will be more open toward my in-laws. And I will try to get closer to his cousin and help her in any way she needs."

"My son needs his family and he's not going to have one if I let my antisocial behavior get in the way."

"I rarely post to Reddit. And I thought for a long time before I posted to this sub. I expected no one to respond."

"When I opened up my inbox to see 30 strangers calling me a f'king a**hole it really helped me get that ego in check. Thank you."

After some more time to reflect, the OP added a second update.

"Good Morning! I eventually had to go to bed and by go to bed I mean stare at the ceiling and think about my life decisions and who the fuck I think I am."

"I wish I could reply to everyone that has commented, but I've stared at my phone more in the past 12 hours than I have in the last month and all of my eyeballs hurt."

"I want to thank all of you for commenting: the more harsh critics who had to lay down the hard truths to those few who boldly stuck up for me among a sea of YTA's. To the YTA's still pouring in by the minute, 10-4 ya'll."

"I know lol.Thanks to your all's feedback and advice I have learned how to deal with this situation and situations in the future."

"I will be more considerate of others' feelings and be more open to including all family and friends when they show interest in my life."

"And lord, think about what Reddit would say before I open my mouth."