A young grandmother took to Reddit to express her dilemma of wanting to retire from taking care of her daughter’s kids.
The grandma, Redditor EconomyCharge6507, thinks that she’s done enough to help the family, saying she’s already gone above and beyond the call of duty.
However, her daughter has a different view on how families should support one another and believes that you can ask for unconditional help forever.
The grandma’s post reads:
AITA for saying I’m “retiring” from taking care of grandkids full time?
My husband and I had our kids young (I was 18 when my daughter was born, 21 when I had my son). My daughter ended up getting pregnant at 16. Even after she moved out and got married, my husband and I were heavily involved in caring for the child. At first, because she was young and juggling school alongside being a single mom.
Then she finished college, got a great job and her husband has a high-paying job as well. They both worked crazy hours and during the time my husband and I should’ve had “us time”, we were basically raising a third child. We took him to school, babysat him in the afternoons. He’d spend at least one month with us during the summer.
As a result, we are very close. We don’t resent what we did and enjoyed doing it.
However, now our grandson is 18 and going off to college across the country. My husband has retired and we want to move down South for better weather and relaxation. It’s been the plan for years. We’re working on selling the house and plan to be down there by Christmas.
The issue is, our daughter had a baby-our second grandson-two years ago and is now pregnant again. She quit her job to be a stay-at-home mom with the little one so we haven’t had to do as much with him. We love him and spoil him, but it’s going to be a different relationship. My daughter says we shouldn’t move because she may need our help.
I said while her father is retiring from work, I’m retiring from childcare. I want to be the grandmother that sees her grandbabies and spoils them but is not basically raising them. She got offended and said that this is just “what grandmothers do” and I said not all.
My son doesn’t mind that we’re moving, he actually lives in a different state and has no plans of having children. We’ll even be closer to him with the move (not extremely but right now we’re 12 hours away, with our new home, we’d be about 4).
It’s my daughter and her husband who are mad at us, especially as I said I was “retiring”. They say I make it sound like caring for my grandson was a chore.
Given the fact that everyone’s free to do what they want with their lives, there are certain cultural pressures as well. Certain cultures support a very tight-knit family relationship. Like living near your grandparents and other family members or visiting them often is not that uncommon.
But as the world continues to modernize, traditional approaches to family life are changing, too.
In the grandma’s case, the Redditors of the AITA community overwhelmingly supported her right to “retire” and start living for her and her husband. Some users explained that not taking care of their grandkids doesn’t mean that they don’t love their children or grandchildren.
The dynamic’s just going to be different.
Here’s what some Redditors said after reading through the grandma’s story: