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Hosting family can be a great way to spend time together and create memories with loved ones. However, when someone in the family has a disability, accommodations are expected. But what happens when someone feels entitled to being pampered over someone’s true needs due to a lifelong disability?
In a recent situation, a man’s brother and sister-in-law (SIL) were mad because he planned to have them sleep in a guest room upstairs. His primary reason for this was to ensure that the man’s disabled 8-year-old son would remain close to them on the main floor, as he always is, in case he needs something during the night.
The original poster (OP) came to an online forum to ask if he was in the wrong for making his SIL sleep upstairs. Let’s review the top verdicts.
The Family’s Home Layout
The man, his wife, and their son with cerebral palsy live in a two-story house that was left to the wife by her father. While a two-story home is not ideal for their family due to their son’s disability, they cannot afford to move and have made the layout work.
The downstairs has been arranged to accommodate their son’s needs, including wheelchair accessibility and bedrooms for the family. Unfortunately, this left no extra bedrooms downstairs for guests. The guest bedrooms are located upstairs, which for most guests coming to visit, is not a problem.
Family Comes to Visit
When the man’s brother and pregnant sister-in-law came to visit, the question of where they would be staying arose. The man had previously discussed that all guest bedrooms were located upstairs, but the sister-in-law was shocked and asked if she was expected to walk up all those stairs. The OP joked and said he hoped she’d be able to manage, as that was where the guest room was located.
This led to an awkward moment and a heated discussion about who should be sleeping upstairs.
The Pregnancy Problem
The sister-in-law and brother were not pleased with this arrangement and suggested that the man swap rooms with them just for a few days.
However, the man’s wife instantly refused, citing safety concerns for their son, who had hearing loss due to his cerebral palsy. The son had to remove his hearing aids at night and could only hear some noises, making it important for him to sleep in a safe environment with his parents close by in case he needed something.
The sister-in-law became upset and accused the man and his wife of being inconsiderate. She argued that they could still hear if anything happened with the son and that they were too worried about their son.
However, the man and his wife refused to compromise their son’s safety and comfort, and the brother and sister-in-law left to stay with their mother.
So, the OP wondered, since he warned his brother of the sleeping situation and they still came to stay, was he in the wrong? Was he just being a total jerk? Was he too worried about his son?
When the man posted about his situation online, the response was overwhelmingly in his favor. They pointed out that it was unreasonable for the brother and sister-in-law to expect the man and his wife to uproot their son’s living arrangements for a short visit.
They also highlighted that accommodations for disabilities should be a priority and that the brother and sister-in-law were being selfish and inconsiderate.
Pregnancy is Not a Disability
Perhaps the part of the story that baffled most of the people that weighed in was the fact that the SIL expected special accommodations because of her pregnancy. Yes, pregnancy requires extra attention to safety- but many were quick to point out that pregnant women climb stairs every day with no problems.
One poster says, “Since when are pregnant women not to go upstairs?”
While another writes, “Please, for the love of all that is good with this world, send both your brother and SIL this [comment thread]. This is legit the dumbest thing I have heard people claim in a while.”
Others agreed, and one woman comically wished she had known of this excuse to avoid stairs during her pregnancy, which would have gotten her out of laundry duty. Many other moms chimed in that they climbed stairs throughout their pregnancy with no problems whatsoever.
Unless the SIL’s doctor has explicitly told her to avoid stairs, there is no reason that she can’t go up and down the stairs. But in this case, most pointed out that she probably shouldn’t be traveling in the first place either if she’s that much of a risk.
SIL Needs a Reality Check
The verdict was very clear in this story. The brother and SIL were being total jerks, as summarized perfectly by a Redditor: “Your SIL is delusional if she thinks that pregnant women aren’t supposed to go up and down stairs. In fact, exercise is recommended in moderation for most pregnant people.”
While the OP and host were worried that he was being too stern, the reality is that his SIL and brother were being inconsiderate. There is no reason that they couldn’t have slept on the second floor comfortably and enjoyed their stay together.
Hopefully, this mishap won’t create a rift in their family dynamics. Ideally, the SIL and brother will apologize for the drama, and everyone can move on.