A woman recently wrote in to the popular Am I The A**hole (AITA) Reddit subforum with a problem: She has been the moderator for a forum for women who cannot have children for seven years. She has become very close with the women in the community, all of whom are unable to have children for one reason or another.
Recently, though, one of their members revealed that she is going to become a mother via surrogate. The problem now is that, based on community feedback, the Original Poster (OP) has had to make the tough decision to kick the woman out of their tight-knit group.
Is this woman “the a****le” for kicking a new mom out of a forum for women who can’t have children?
AITA for asking a “pregnant” woman to get out of our forum for women who can’t have children from r/AmItheAsshole
The OP begins with a little background information on the group:
“On this forum there’s a sub-group of around 20 women (all mid 30s to mid 50s) who have been on there for over 10+ years and we are very close. I consider all of them close personal friends, we’ve gone through very horrible times together, from first realizing we won’t be able to have children, to accepting this, to dealing with friends/family etc. Three years ago one of our members died from MS and we’ve been even closer ever since.”–Serenitytippsy / Reddit
She then says that one of the group’s longstanding members, whom she calls Mary (47), recently revealed that she and her husband found a surrogate and will become parents. “Now mind you Mary has been one of the longest members of the forum and has told us in detail why a surrogate wouldn’t work etc. so we were all beyond baffled. But of course, we were primarily very happy for her,” OP adds.
The issue now, according to the OP, is that Mary — understandably! — can’t stop sharing updates and excitement about her baby-to-be, and it is upsetting the other group members.
“The problem now consists of the fact that I’ve been approached by several members telling me they are uncomfortable with Mary still being in the group because even though she tries not to, she constantly brings up the fact that she is about to be a mother while all of us are suffering from the fact that we never will be. Of course, this is the biggest event in Mary’s life and I understand why she can’t stop talking about it, it’s completely understandable. We are all friends and the group has evolved over the years but its main reason for existing is still the fact that none of us can have children and that is its main purpose, that is the main thing we talk about.”–Serenitytippsy / Reddit
OP says that she asked Mary to stop sharing these updates, and though Mary was hurt, she said she would try. However, the updates haven’t stopped. Mary continues to share updates about the surrogate, the pregnancy, their family’s plans, and so on. So OP says she had to put her foot down and told Mary that if she didn’t stop, she would be banned from the group.
This didn’t sit well with Mary, who “got very angry and made a huge post in our group, accusing us all of not being happy for her, not being able to jump over own shadows, etc.”
OP’s post concludes:
“I think she wants to keep us as friends but not have to deal with the reason why we became friends in the first place. I personally think she doesn’t really have a place in our group anymore. The group is very divided over this and I’ve gotten more angry calls in the last 24 hours than I ever have in my entire life before that. However, there is also a whole group of women agreeing with me. I’m trying to keep the peace but at this point, it doesn’t seem possible.”–Serenitytippsy / Reddit
So, is OP the “a****le,” she wants to know? The Reddit community was mostly in agreement that she is not.
“NTA [Not The A****le]. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one. She is destroying a safe space for all of you and she needs to leave. I get you consider her a friend and feel bad about it, but you have to do your job as mod here,” reads the top comment.
“They can be friends outside of the group. But the group is for a specific purpose and specific type of discussion. She simply doesn’t belong in the group anymore. OP’s NTA,” another says.
Some commenters, though, took Mary’s side. “You’ve been friends for 10+ years yet you guys are upset when she finally finds the light at the end of her tunnel and wants to share it with the people who are closest to her and have walked through this long gut-wrenching journey with her? I guess misery needs company. You’re the a***ole,” one person said in support of Mary.
What do you think? Should OP have kicked this woman out of their forum or not?
Matt is a writer, editor, and content strategist currently based in Washington state. He has worked as a managing editor for the iconic I Can Has Cheezburger, Celebuzz (a SpinMedia site), and now Mamas Uncut. He also acted as the Social Media Director for CafeMom.