A step-mum is being heavily criticised online after claiming she hasn’t got time to learn sign language to communicate with her new step-daughter who is deaf
Image: Getty Images)
A woman has come under fire online after confessing she has absolutely no interest in learning sign language, despite her step-daughter being completely deaf.
The woman, in her thirties, married her husband Buford around a year ago, and together they became a family, alongside her two children from a previous marriage – eight-year-old Jay and Juniper, five.
Both the woman and her husband had been of the belief that Buford had no children, and they had no intentions of having anymore – until they recently discovered the man does in fact have a 15-year-old daughter called Markita, who he was never told of.
“Her mom did not tell Buford about her pregnancy and ultimately moved states, so he had no idea until she reached out on Facebook. We were a little dubious, but she turned out to be right,” the woman explained on Reddit’s Am I The A**hole forum.
“Markita and mom moved back to our state in the meantime and live about 40 minutes from us. She wants visitation with Buford which he has agreed to. There’s no formal custody arrangement between Buford and mom so it’s basically just sporadic weekends and school holidays. Usually this is just between the two of them, but sometimes she will come to the house and has even slept over a few times.”
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However, the issue lies around the fact that Markita almost exclusively communicates via sign language, which no one in the family knows, although Buford is making serious effort to learn in order to communicate with his long lost child.
“The last time Markita was here he pitched to me the idea of us learning sign language as a family. The truth is that I really don’t know if that is worth the effort. Markita is present at our house maybe once a month. I would consider it if she were going to be over more often, but I work 48 hours a week and I just don’t have time for something like this,” she continued.
“I also know three different languages, one of which was in adulthood and it was very difficult for me even fifteen years ago. I just can’t fit something like that into my life, but I told Buford that Jay and Juniper can still learn if they’re interested. The kids don’t want to since I’m not and now Buford thinks I’m being ridiculous since I have no other way of communicating with Markita.”
She added: I told him we can work something out but he didn’t want to hear it honestly. Markita also thinks I should learn some basic signs but between work and kids even that would be a struggle.”
The woman then turned to Reddit to question whether she was in the wrong for not wanting to learn sign language, and the vast majority of people seemed to think she was.
“Try to imagine that one of your biological kids were hearing impaired and they exclusively used sign language. Now imagine that their stepmother or even another family member refused to learn even the basics in order to effectively communicate. Now imagine that family member’s own children refused to learn the basics because their parent refuses. How would you feel?” one Reddit user vented.
“Even better, imagine how you’d feel if your husband decided to dismiss your children in favour of his daughter? You’re degrading his child and dismissing her needs because of things that are out of her control! That is so heartless! You expect your husband to treat your children like family but you refuse to treat his child like family.”
Another added: “Wow! ‘I don’t know if it’s worth it,’ seriously? My new step-daughter, that I didn’t want has a disability but I unwilling to make any effort to accommodate and as such I have taught my kids that they don’t have to make any effort either. Not only are you an a**hole but you’re the definition of a wicked step-mother and terrible role model to your own children.”
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