Grandma Upsets Her Stay-At-Home Daughter By 'Retiring' From Childcare

When a couple finds themselves becoming parents, there's nothing more valuable than a strong support network to help navigate them through some very new challenges.

And for a lot of families, that support network is likely going to consist of other relatives, especially the child's grandparents. When the situation is ideal, a grandparent can be invaluable for giving parents a break from the exhausting work of raising children and is often someone the kids are excited to see anyway.

However, there's a difference between accepting some much-needed help from a family member and taking advantage of them. And that difference seemed to arise when one grandmother was planning a big change in her life.

When Reddit user EconomyCharge6507 posted her dilemma on the site's r/AmITheAsshole community, she established that both she and her daughter had had children young in life.

So when her daughter became pregnant at 16, she sympathized with the fact that she was juggling school and the responsibilities of parenthood, so she and her husband were heavily involved in the child's upbringing.

However, things didn't really slow down once the daughter finished school as she and her husband both worked jobs with long hours. As a result, any "us time" the grandmother had came second to taking him to school, babysitting, and having him over for a month in the summer.

She nonetheless wanted to make it clear that this brought her and her grandson close together, that helping in this way was enjoyable, and that she didn't resent doing it.

But once that child grew up, that responsibility was no longer on her shoulders and she and her husband planned to move down South for the weather after he retired.

This is something they had planned for years at this point and while it would create some distance from her daughter, it would also involve moving closer to her son.

However, the daughter doesn't want her to move because she now has a two-year old and is pregnant with a third child. She has also become a stay-at-home mom following the birth of the two-year-old.

This means the grandmother hasn't had to do as much, but the daughter still wants her on hand.

But just as her husband has retired from work, EconomyCharge6507 made it clear that she has largely retired from caring for her daughter's children.

As she put it, "I want to be the grandmother that sees her grandbabies and spoils them but not basically raising them."

This idea upset her daughter, who responded by telling her that this is just "what grandmothers do." She was also offended by the idea of framing this as retirement, suggesting that it made it sound like caring for her son was a chore.

But as far as Reddit was concerned, the fact that this "chore" was rewarding for the grandma didn't suddenly mean that it wasn't a lot of work.

As one user said, "Childcare is a chore, an incredibly difficult one. It's often amazingly rewarding, sure, but really hard. You have a right to your own life. I understand that your daughter is upset that she doesn't get tens of thousands of dollars worth of free childcare anymore, but the onus for the raising the kids is on her & her husband, not you."

Another Reddit user seemed primed to give the daughter a reality check.

Kathrynlena said, "Your daughter and her husband need to realize that what you did for them & their son was a favor—above and beyond the call of duty, not a responsibility, the same way raising your own kids is. And you in no way OWE them the same unbelievably generous favor with the rest of their kids."

Other people are telling EconomyCharge6507 that there’s nothing to feel guilty about.

Unsplash | Randalyn Hill

dissident-fiend writes, “There a difference between being a grandparent and providing free childcare. Go live your life. Edit: NTA.”

And Afriad_Salamander_14 explains to the OP, “NTA - no grandparent owes “babysitting” for their children/grandkids. It’s nice to have the help of family occasionally but kids are the responsibility of the parents who chose to have them. You’ve been a huge help already. Enjoy your retirement.”

The consensus was that the grandmother who made this Reddit post was NTA.

Ultimately, commenters overwhelmingly agreed that the grandmother shouldn't have to feel guilty for wanting to live her own life and retiring from childcare.

And while we're on the subject, let's give a shoutout to all the grandmothers who have made a difference in our lives!

h/t: Reddit | EconomyCharge6507

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