Everyone has the right to their own opinion regarding whether or not they want children.
But when a loved one passes away and leaves behind children, it can be hard to say no to taking them in.
Redditor godmom1100throwaway discovered this and turned to the "Am I the A**hole?" (AITA) subReddit to ask if she did the right thing.
The Original Poster (OP) asked the thread:
"AITA for wanting to take care of my best friend's children after she passed away?"
The OP and her husband didn't originally want children of their own.
"My best friend passed away unexpectedly nine months ago. It was not something that I ever thought would happen.
"She left behind 3 children, 8[Male], 4[Female] and 1[Female]. My husband and I were written to be her children's godparents."
"We have never wanted children of our own and do not have any, but we accepted the role of being godparents because we figured that it's just a formality. Plus my best friend did not have many other people she could rely on."
But after losing her best friend, the OP wasn't sure how to say no.
"When she passed, her children were left without a mom or dad. The courts appointed her brother to be their guardian but he struggled a lot because he already had three children of his own to care for."
"After some time, he called me and said that he was going to transfer legal guardianship of the children to me per my best friend's wishes."
"I told him I wasn't sure if I should or could be a parent to them. He said I should give it a try for a little while and see if it's fine."
"He said my husband and I could probably provide a better home for them than he could at the moment. I was already very close to the children at that point so I agreed."
"My husband was not as close to them and was reluctant at first, he said he wasn't sure if he could deal with the household size doubling overnight. Eventually he agreed to try it out."
Now that the OP has tried to take care of the children, she wanted to keep them.
"The issue is that in the months since we've taken care of the kids, I have developed a strong bond with them but my husband has not."
"I never thought in my entire life that I would want children, and I still am not completely sure if I'd ever want biological children of my own, but I know that I want to keep being a parent to these kids specifically and that I'd be heartbroken if they left."
The OP's husband unfortunately did not feel the same way.
"My husband has more or less tried his best to deal with them but it's just not working for him. He sees children as a chore and hasn't developed a strong emotional connection with them like I have."
"When my best friend's brother asked if he should start the paperwork to make me the official guardian, I had to give him a rain check."
The OP wasn't sure what to do.
"I want the children. My husband does not. He said he's willing to take care of them on weekends or something but not be their permanent guardian."
"He said keeping the children would violate a pretty big part of our marriage, considering he has never wanted children and has even got a vasectomy to prevent them."
"I am torn. I love these children but I cannot think about sacrificing my husband either."
Fellow Redditors weighed in using the following scale:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You're the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said no one was been an AH in this complex situation.
"NAH. Your husband doesn't want kids. He's not an AH for still not wanting kids, especially three all at once."
"You're not an AH for wanting to take care of the kids. It's honestly just an incredible difficult situation. It's no one's fault and no one is the AH." - pineapple1347
"These kids have lost both their parents, then been placed with their uncle, before being moved on to you. I can only imagine the abandonment issues they might have with being moved around like that."
"It's important for them that they have a stable home, and it seems important to you that that's with you now."
"I don't think your husband is TA for objecting - he didn't sign up for this. Even if that's the historic idea of what a god-parent is, nobody expects to need to do it."
"I think you've got some important thinking to do, is it more important to keep your husband or these kids? Morally I think most people would say the kids are and should be the priority, but this isn't some imagined scenario for you and your life as you know it is on the line here." - cyfermax
"Seems like OP is between the rock and the hard place .NAH here - and this seems a scenario where no one could win - and no matter what choices are made - there will be losers."
"Sit down with the husband - no kids around - and just lay all the cards on the table - be honest about feeling changing (from 'nah, no kids' to 'mama bear mode engaged') and asking him what options there are."
"Honestly - i have no tips beyond that - for this is an unfair and painful scenario - no matter how this works out - unless husband finds somehow that 'gee, them kids are kinda fun' - but that may take time .." - Professional_Duck564
Others disagreed and said the OP and husband should have taken the "godparent" title more seriously before accepting it.
"I do actually fault them for what essentially started this all - originally not taking being godparents seriously, especially as they were formally written in:"
"'My husband and I were written to be her children's godparents... we accepted the role of being godparents because we figured that it's just a formality'"
"and especially as a big part of their marriage is against the potential result of accepting it."
"I don't think they're AHs to each other, but I think they're AHs to OP's best friend and maybe even the kids for making it an issue now based on their past nonchalance and ignorance." - semiquantifiable
"It is something you can and should specifically talk about. My own godparents were written as my and my brother's guardians in case anything happened to my parents, my mother's godchildren were written as hers in case, and my best friend asked me to be godmother to her future children and we specifically spoke of adopting her kids so my husband and I (both happily childless) sat down and discussed the actual reality of having kids before agreeing."
"It's not a given, but it seems something common enough that it's usually addressed. And it sounds like it was at least semi-addressed since OP noted that they hadn't had kids or wanted and therefore thought of it as a formality. It just also seems OP & DH (Dear Husband) thought it would never come to that and unfortunately it did."
"I'm sorry for your loss OP" - wriorwrongTTV
Some also said the OP and husband shouldn't have accepted children on a "trial basis."
"I was also thinking like ... if he was so staunchly against it and they both have always known that, why even 'try' with the kids as if they can do a trial run with them (when these kids have traumatically lost their parent and are now being shuffled around)." - _dmhg
"I completely agree with this but OP needs to understand that, if she does take them, the kids will see they are not wanted by OP's husband and that would only compound their devastation." - ksharonisok
"They are a**holes for taking the children on a 'trial-basis' and now what? They're gonna give them back to someone who has rejected them as well? YTA, OP, you can't give kids back." - motherofdog2018
Though the OP made an agreement with her husband, it's fair to say that sometimes plans change. But whether the OP will decide to make that change, or continue with the life she and her husband already planned, is anybody's guess.