Mum sparks debate by refusing to stay with sick daughter in hospital over Christmas
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: MBI / Hero Images Inc. / Alamy
A mum has sparked a heated debate by refusing to stay with her sick daughter in hospital over Christmas.
Although this might sound like the ultimate bad parenting move, it's all about the context.
Reddit user u/Hospitalthrowaway532 started an AITA (Am I the A**hole?) thread to discuss a rather unfortunate predicament.
The mum, 39, explained that her 16-year-old daughter has an incredibly sensitive stomach ever since she was young which causes her to violently vomit every time she eats anything highly processed.
Trigger foods include 'soda and other carbonated drinks, chips, Cheetos, and other similar processed snacks, anything oily or fried and most sweets'.
"As horrible as she feels after she has them, she still refuses to cut them out of her diet, which in turn led to her spending a lot of time in the hospital during the past few years," the Redditor explained.
Now that her daughter's a teenager, the issue has only worsened as she doesn't have as much control over what she eats.
The teen often eats greasy pizza or stops to get KFC with her friends, which the mum said 'always ends with her in the ER' – and this was exactly what happened over Christmas when their whole family came to stay.
She wrote: "Among the many dishes at our Christmas table were some of her main trigger foods, like chips, soda, chocolate and sweets.
"Now mind you, these were far from the only foods available to her. We also had a variety of home-cooked, traditional dishes on the table, with ingredients that don't upset her stomach, like vegetables, meat, dairy etc.
"All of them delicious and well-seasoned - my daughter herself says she really likes most of these dishes."
But the teen still tucked into the trigger foods, and once again it landed her in hospital, despite the warning from her mum.
But rather than spend the holidays by her daughter's side, the Redditor stood her ground and decided to spend time relaxing with the family.
It's safe to say it didn't go down too well: "She cried every time we talked on the phone, begged me to come over, told me how horrible I was for 'abandoning' her there all alone and so on.
"Most of our family didn't take my side in this either, and during the past few days I got called everything from 'a little extreme' to downright cruel and heartless."
Although the parent received some negative comments from her family, the people of Reddit mostly sided with her.
One commenter who said she's 'not the a**hole' wrote: "She's 16 and for sure smart enough and mature enough to know better...
"This isn't a case of a 7 year old that doesn't really know any better. This is a person that will legally be an adult in less than 2 years. She knows full well what she can and cannot eat and she made a personal choice to eat things she shouldn't.
"While it may seem cruel and heartless... Maybe you leaving her there 'by herself' (obviously, she's not since there was plenty of staff there with her) will be the wakeup call she needs to stop eating the s**t that makes her get admitted into the hospital."
Hundreds of people agreed with this sentiment, with another writing: "OP is dishing out a little tough love in the most appropriate way."
While a third chimed in: "At that age, she is responsible for her own actions and choices especially when offered other choices of food.
"She needs to learn that just because she wants to 'live a little' and make herself ill doesn't mean everyone needs to drop everything to console her when her misery is very much self-inflicted."
Others suggested the girl may need therapy for disordered eating or self harming, including this person who said: "The girl needs to be in therapy. She’s making herself sick, I’d be worried she’s doing it for attention or control her weight or a million other things."
Whatever the case, most people are in agreement that the mum didn't do the wrong thing, although a few have suggested that perhaps they both seek therapy to deal with the ongoing issue. Here's hoping they get the help they need.