A Dad Left His Ex Out of Their Daughter's First Period Conversations & Reddit Is Torn
Parenting preteens is hard enough without the added layer of a contentious divorce. Just ask this dad, who was chewed out by his ex-wife after not contacting her when their daughter got her first period.
Reddit user @No-Tap8247 took the infamous /AmITheAsshole Subreddit for some unbiased insight into the whole debacle. For context, he and his ex-wife split after a situation that left him grappling with a lot of “bitterness and recrimination.” When they divorced, he was awarded primary custody of their daughter and son since he works from home and has the most availability in his schedule to parent them.
His daughter, who is 10 years old, recently got her first period while she was staying with him.
“I grew up with sisters and I am not a complete idiot, so I had read up on what to do,” he wrote. “I had also talked to my mom and sisters about it. I had been prepared since she was 8. I gave her the boxes of pads and tampons. I explained to her that it was normal and healthy. I watched a video with her that was a tutorial on what to do. I also asked her if she would like to talk to either my sister or the woman I’m seeing about how to do everything right.”
It all sounds pretty thoughtful and respectful, if you ask me. And as @No-Tap8247 clarified in an addendum to his original post, he does not “in any way, shape, or form” limit contact between his ex and their kids. So, he didn’t tell his daughter that she couldn’t ask her mom for help; he just didn’t suggest it explicitly.
After their initial talk, his daughter was understanding and asked to speak with @No-Tap8247’s sister to answer some lingering questions. “[My sister] said that I had gotten the basics correct, and there were only a couple of things she needed to explain or correct,” he wrote.
Not too bad, right? Not according to his ex-wife, who was livid when she got word of what happened.
“She called me an asshole for excluding her from a milestone in her daughter’s life,” he recalled. “I asked her if it had happened during her week with the kids if she would have told me about it. She said that wasn’t the point. It was a mother-daughter thing, and I took it away from her. I said it was a parent-kid medical issue, and that made it a me thing.”
“I am a man, so maybe I just don’t get it,” @No-Tap8247 concluded. “AITA?”
Most Redditors in the comments assured @No-Tap8247 that he was not an asshole, per se. Petty, perhaps, but not an outright asshole.
“NTA,” one commenter wrote. “You handled the situation very well and managed to teach your daughter everything she needed to know, as well as redirecting her to people who could also advise her. I don’t see the need for you to have immediately gone to tell your ex about her first period, especially considering that it was already happening, although it might have been nice if you told her after you figured it out.“
Was it spiteful of @No-Tap8247 to exclude his ex-wife from this moment in their daughter’s life? Absolutely, and he should consider putting in more effort to be an empathetic co-parent. But at the end of the day, he was prepared for his daughter’s first period and able to get her the help she needed. In a world teeming with toxic masculinity, that simple fact is difficult to overlook.
“While you’re NTA for how you handled it, you could have thrown in ‘do you want to call your mom?’ when you threw out your sisters name as well as the women you’re seeing (not even a partner or girlfriend?),” someone else opined. “Kids know when their parents have such a contentious relationship, and while you say you don’t limit contact I have to wonder, based on the distain you have for your ex-wife, if she felt she could call her without you getting upset or hurt.”
“I’m glad you had educated yourself in preparation for this event,” another commenter weighed in. “Sounds like you did a good job with it. As a co-parent, you have an obligation to inform the other parent about things like this. Don’t leave it on your daughter to have to tell her mom.”
Before you go, check out the plethora of period products on the market today:
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