A woman has been backed for prioritizing her parrot over her stepdaughter’s wedding after a viral post on Reddit.
User u/macawww345 shared her story on Reddit’s popular r/AmITheA****** forum where it has received over 22,000 upvotes.
“I’m the owner of a wonderful rescued macaw,” said the poster. “She is a wonderful bird but has a lot of issues due to an abusive former home. I’ve had her for 3 years and since then haven’t taken any vacations or trips away as it would be too disruptive for her. I love her deeply and I’m happy to make sacrifices for her.”
With a deep love for her pet, the woman explained how her dedication to the parrot had become a source of tension in the family after her stepdaughter asked her to help with her wedding plans.
“They’re wanting a huge traditional wedding and she is stressed out of her mind,” said the poster. “They live out of state and she invited me recently to come visit her for a week to help make wedding plans and spend time with their 2-year-old. I declined and she insisted to know why, acting very hurt, and I explained the parrot… Well, it all went downhill from there.”
The bride-to-be was hurt that her stepmother would not come to visit and shared her thoughts with the family: “She caused a massive fuss with her dad, saying she never got a mother figure and I never accepted her as my full blood daughter and this is the ultimate snub for a silly animal. That I’m cold and emotionless… I feel really hurt,” said the poster.
But not wanting to take holiday time off work to visit and explaining that she and her stepdaughter were never particularly close and that she had not even visited them for four years.
“Relationships can be tricky, and this is also true when it comes to stepchildren and stepparents. Life is very busy and it’s hard to balance all of our responsibilities at the best of times—and there are added complexities in being part of a blended family,” CBT Therapist and founder of Conscious & Calm Navit Schechter told Newsweek.
“We’re often conflicted and have to make difficult decisions about which of our responsibilities we attend to. It’s hard to say what this stepmom should or shouldn’t have done in that situation, as ultimately, that is her decision only,” added Schechter. “It’s her choice how she wants to spend her time, and who she wants to spend it with, but she can also understand how that will impact on her family relationships.”
Learning the backstory, Reddit users shared their reactions in the comments, overwhelmingly siding with the woman for staying with her pet.
“I’d normally say you were an a****** for putting a bird before family, but you’ve made it clear she’s been pretty distant with you,” said one Redditor, while another agreed: “Shame on everyone for saying ‘choosing an animal over family’ like it’s a bad thing. The macaw seems more like family than her stepdaughter.”
Schechter said that: “Given that the pair reportedly don’t have a close relationship and the step-daughter hadn’t visited in four years, the stepmom’s choice to stay at home could be considered reasonable. It’s also understandable that the stepdaughter felt upset, this is often the case when our expectations aren’t met.”
“You shouldn’t be expected to put your life aside for somebody who hasn’t even visited in four years,” said another commenter.
For people struggling with a stepparent relationship, Schechter also had some advice: “It’s understandable that step-families take time and effort to adjust to. Adjustments need to be made by everyone, and this can harder for some people than others,” she said. “The key to all relationships is good communication. Expressing how you feel, openly, honestly and respectfully, and acknowledging others feelings. This means that you’ll be better able to work together to iron out difficulties and resolve issues like these when they occur.”
Newsweek has reached out to u/macawww345 for comment. We were unable to verify the details of this case.
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