A grandmother found herself in a dilemma between spending her vacation alone and not providing childcare for her grandson. Her daughter perceived her as unjust and failed to comprehend the challenges of single motherhood.
Navigating the demands of single parenthood is challenging, yet having a reliable support network can alleviate some of the burdens.
On September 16, 2023, an anonymous woman, a grandmother and mother, shared her experience on the „AITA” subreddit. She had been striving to support her daughter, who became a single mother after her child’s father abandoned them.
Despite her efforts to juggle her personal life, fulfill her role as a supportive mother, and be an actively present grandmother, the 56-year-old encountered a challenging moment when she had to decline babysitting her grandson.
Her 26-year-old daughter had faced the abandonment of her child’s father when the son was merely three months old. Subsequently, she had to rebuild her life and return to living with her mother.
The elderly woman remained committed to assisting her daughter in regaining independence despite her packed schedule involving work and gym sessions. Despite her busy routine, the grandmother consistently tried to carve out time to support her daughter and bond with her grandson.
Her typical day concluded around 5 p.m., and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., she devoted herself to caring for her grandson until her daughter returned home.
In managing the financial aspects, the grandmother explained that she covered household expenses while her daughter assumed responsibility for essential baby items such as diapers and daycare. The senior woman believed that this arrangement allowed her to set aside sufficient funds for her future independent life.
However, the daughter disagreed.
Despite the grandmother’s sincere efforts to assist her daughter in facing the challenges of single motherhood, she also desired some personal time. This aspiration sparked a significant argument between them, leaving the grandmother questioning the decisions she had made.
The Big Fight between the Mother and Daughter
The situation took an unexpected turn when the grandmother opted to take a month off from work. She intended not to embark on a vacation but to take a break and rest. However, when her daughter learned about her long-awaited vacation, she saw it as a prime opportunity for her mother to take on babysitting duties.
The daughter believed that her mother’s time off work could be a cost-saving measure for daycare. However, when the grandmother learned of the proposal, she promptly declined, stating,
„I immediately said no, as it is my rest and taking care of a child for 6h/5d+2h at night is not in my plans.”
Despite disagreeing with her daughter’s choice to withdraw the child from daycare, the grandmother attempted to find a middle ground. She suggested helping with morning babysitting so that her daughter could rest but insisted that in the afternoon, the grandson should still attend daycare.
Nevertheless, the daughter held a contrary viewpoint. Overwhelmed, she opened up to her mother about the challenges of single parenthood, expressing that the current arrangement was not alleviating her struggles.
Desperate for support, the daughter pleaded with her mother to extend the babysitting period by three additional hours. Despite the emotional plea, the grandmother remained steadfast in her decision, unwilling to compromise.
The grandmother continued emphasizing that she doubted spending time with a 14-month-old would be a restful experience. While she empathized with her daughter’s challenging circumstances and harbored deep affection for her grandson, she remained firm in prioritizing her own rest during this vacation.
The Online Reaction
Readers did not think the older woman was wrong to choose not to babysit her grandson. Many agreed that one month off not paying for daycare would not have impacted her financial abilities to move out.
One Reddit user pointed out that taking the child out of daycare might cost her more because they could give away her son’s spot for the month he would be gone. Others advised the woman to seek help from her ex-partner and the government.
While commenters agreed that being a single mother was not easy, they also believed that the grandmother did not have to sacrifice her holiday for a child that was not hers. Do you feel that the older woman was right to refuse to babysit her grandchild so that her daughter could save some money? What do you do if you were in OP’s place?