Kindness goes a long way, especially in the face of a year like 2020.
But sometimes demonstrating kindness can have consequences, to the point of deciding what's the most important.
For one parent on the "Am I the A**hole?" (AITA) subReddit, the question wasn't so much what as it was who.
It was suggested by other members of the family that Redditor aitatradingrooms may have dropped the ball, making it look like they valued a pregnant teen over their own daughter.
The Original Poster (OP), however, didn't agree with this evaluation and asked the sub:
"AITA for making my daughters trade rooms?"
The OP described a home that ideally would have enough room for the entire family.
"I have 3 daughters. Amelia (18), Paige (16), and Grace (14)."
"The way our house is laid out is the second floor has 3 bedrooms and the bottom floor has one. The master, Amelia's room, and Grace's room are all on the second floor. Then Paige's bedroom is on the first floor."
"When we moved into the house the girls were 8, 6, and 4, and my husband and I weren't comfortable with having any of the girls on the first floor where we can't see or hear them, so we made a deal with Paige that if she shares a room with Grace until she's 10, she can have the downstairs room (the biggest) when she's 10."
"If she wanted to have her own room right away she could have Amelia's room (a little more than half the size of the downstairs room), and then Amelia would get the downstairs room when she turns 10. Paige chose to share a room with Grace and get the big room at 10."
"For Paige's 10th birthday we painted her room and bought all new furniture and she decorated her room and moved in a couple of weeks later."
"Amelia was jealous that she had the smallest room in the house when both her sisters had big rooms, but we explained that they'd earned the big rooms by sharing a room for 4 years and she agreed."
But the family recently took in a new addition, putting a strain on the household.
"Now to the present: Amelia's friend (Rose, 17) was just kicked out of her parent's house because she recently found out that she's pregnant."
"We let her stay with us and she stayed in Amelia's room with Amelia. The girls started complaining that their room is too small for 2 people and Amelia asked for either Grace's room or Paige's room."
The OP proceeded to take back the bedroom Paige had earned.
"I decided to give them Paige's room because it has more privacy and a bigger closet."
"When we told Paige that she was moving into Amelia's room because Amelia's room was too small for Amelia and Rose, she threw a temper tantrum. She screamed at us that her stuff won't fit in Amelia's room and it's not fair that she's losing her room because Rose got pregnant when she's not even family. She packed a bag and went to stay with my sister."
The OP's sister was quick to side with Paige, highlighting other options.
"The next day my sister called me and started yelling at me for breaking my deal with Paige and stealing her room."
"She told me if I really need somewhere for Rose to stay I need to 'get my crap out of the garage apartment and give that to the girl instead of stealing my daughter's bedroom'."
"There is a studio apartment above our garage but we've used it for storage since we got here. Plus it doesn't have heat or AC and I wouldn't want Rose to have to live there."
"So, Reddit, AITA for 'stealing' my daughter's room?"
The OP also clarified her feelings about Rose.
"I wanted to add that Rose isn't a stranger. She's been friends with Amelia since first grade. She went on vacations with us, she was at our house more than hers before she got kicked out. She's a 4th daughter to me."
Fellow Redditors wrote in, anonymously rating the OP's room swap on the following scale:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You're the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some believed the OP had broken their daughter, Paige's, trust and were TA.
"You are not only prioritizing Rose over your daughter, but worse, prioritizing storage over your daughter. So get your stuff out of the studio, put heat, and use Amelia's room for storage."
"That's the only way to not disrupt any promises or wellbeing. Your daughter will f**king hate you for a long long while if you take her room away, specially having a verbal 'contract'. YTA" - SnooGoats4933
"It's already too late. You can't fix the trust that has been broken by her own mom. At minimum if you are going to railroad your child, keep it in the family. It's horrible enough to realize you're not your parent's favorite, but even worse to be thrown over for someone else's child."
"I secretly hope Paige can stay with OP's sister." - whisper_19
"YTA. This was her room and now you're moving her against her will because of someone else's bad judgement?" - Xhadiel
"YTA. Forget the quotation marks. You did steal her room. Stop trying to make her look like the bad guy."
"You didn't give up your room; you forced your daughter to give up hers. The other girl isn't even your daughter but you're making it clear that she matters more to you than your daughter does."
"Rose is very spoiled and entitled; she has a lot of nerve complaining when that isn't even her house. And you rewarded her bad behavior. Nice job, a**hole." - ComprehensiveBand586
"So what if she loves the girl? She could have cleaned out the studio apartment, or given up the master bedroom if the girls really needed the extra space and still kept her integrity."
"But no, she chose to break her word to her daughter, degrade the daughter when she rightfully complained, and then had the nerve to come to Reddit to try to convince a bunch of strangers that she did the right thing."
"I say this over and over, the siren song of the abuser is, 'It's not my fault for mistreating you, it's your fault for noticing and objecting,' and frankly we haven't seen a better example this month." - Elesia
A few stated this could also teach Paige that the OP values Rose over her.
"YTA, I know your heart's in the right place you think you are helping someone. But you are doing so at the expense of your own daughter which is not fair."
"She shouldn't have to face the consequences of someone else's actions. (It's a small sacrifice from your POV but please think from her POV)" - Sambuism
"YTA you're reneging on a deal you made with Paige because Rose got pregnant." - mdsnbelle
"YTA you're punishing your kid bc your other kids friend got knocked up. So by that logic I guess Paige should go get pregnant too so she can keep her room." - Acceptable_Letter331
"Wow... yes and no."
"YTA for prioritizing Rose over your daughter. The [way] you write it doesn't even sound like a temporary solution. You should have included your daughter in the decision making, she is understandably upset."
"However, I will state you are very kind to help out rose. And your oldest daughter is very patient for agreeing to share rooms with rose." - CnaQ
Others agreed and stated the studio would be a much better option for the young mother-to-be.
"YTA If you had other space for someone to live in, that should have been an option before moving Paige out of her room." - TypicalManagement680
"OP clarified there is a whole studio apartment above the garage. If they take all the s**t they probably aren't using and toss it and rent a cheap storage locker for the rest, it would fix everything."
"Paige would get her room, Amelia and Rose wouldn't have to share a room, and bonus, there is a space for Rose and her baby away from the family when sleep comes, but close enough the parents can help Rose rase the baby."
"There are heating issues, but AC and heating can get fixed. Just have Amelia and Rose suck it up for three weeks or so till the apartments are cleaned out." - LeadingJudgment2
"I completely disagree that OP is in the wrong for letting Rose move in."
"OP is definitely TA for kicking Paige out of her bedroom when there's a perfectly good, UNOCCUPIED space available - and one that could easily be made homey with a few small and relatively inexpensive additions. But not for taking in a teenager who was kicked out of her family home for getting pregnant. That's just much too far."
"OP does need to make this up to Paige, though, and give her room back. It's unfair that Paige should have to sacrifice what she worked for when there's already another space Rose can have." - lisathethrowaway
Or, some mused, if it was so easy to give up a bedroom, the OP could go ahead and give up the master.
"They can can give up their marital room to have the girls move in and they can take Amelia's old room. I don't see why they didn't also think of this option if they're so happy to get Paige to give up hers." - Yellowsunflowerlover
"Right! It's easy to make sacrifices when you don't actually have to make those sacrifices yourself!"
"All OP has to do is move the storage from the studio to Amelie's room. Or, even better, have to whole family purge the storage so Rose can have the studio to herself and Amelia can keep her room." - no_rxn
"I mean she doesn't love this other child enough to switch rooms with the girl. Apparently that love is limited to forcing her actual daughter to make a sacrifice beyond, ya know, having another person living there (soon to be 2)."
"And quite frankly at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what op thinks this ungrateful child is, they aren't actually op's kid. Op was not this person's parent."
"Rose is without a doubt ungrateful, otherwise she'd never go along with this. She'd be happy that she was taken in and has everything that came with that."
"If I took someone in and they tried to pull this, they'd be gone. The complaining alone was too much. Even assuming she had nothing to do with Amelia bringing it up (unlikely) she should've been vocally against it" - nerdgirl2703
Whatever they decided to do, however, some Redditors stressed the importance of a plan.
"YTA for allowing Rose to move in."
"Yes and I expect a flurry of downvotes for saying that Rose isn't your problem! I understand that you're doing the 'right thing' but how does this end?"
"How long does Rose stay with you? Does she not have family of her own, why does she have to stay with you?"
"When the girls complained that room was too small, you should have explained to them that everybody had to make sacrifices. Paige, to me, feels like she is getting punished for something that she has had no part of." - Discombobulated_Pie8
"OP can love her, but she still needs to come up with a longterm plan that will keep the peace with her own family, instead of making bad unilateral decisions that cause her teenage daughter to run away."
"If she thinks the room sharing is tough, what is OP going to do when Rose needs childcare for her baby? Or- if they're in the US- they get that $10,000 hospital bill for her birth?"
"These are questions OP needs to deal with very soon, and she's already flunked the relatively minor room-sharing situation." - MappingOutTheSky
It seems the OP's heart may have been in the right place, hoping to help someone they've come to love in a difficult situation. But their execution was terrible and may have impacted their relationship with one of their own biological children.
If the OP is sensitive to the needs of their daughter and willing to work out a plan that truly accommodates the pregnant teen, there may still be time to avoid irreparable damage.