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Grandma Called Out For Giving ‘Grandchildren Gifts’ To Her Daughter’s Pets But Not Her Son’s Kids

Photo by Madalyn Cox/Unsplash

Parenting is not an easy task.

Some see it as a gift, others as a job or a chore.

It doesn’t matter how you see it as long as you do it right in some way.

But no matter how hard you try, not everyone is going to be happy.

Case in point…

Redditor No_Instruction2527 wanted to discuss her story for some feedback. So naturally she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for giving my daughter’s pets ‘grandchildren’ gifts and offending my son in the process?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I mostly use Reddit for the birdwatching and animal videos, so apologies if this old lady doesn’t quite fit in.”

“Unfortunately when I was younger, birth control was frowned on in many circles, and I ended up having two children due to the pressures of society and family.”

“I am so glad the younger generation has more of a choice.”

“John and Amber were very good kids and I did everything I could for them. “

“Kissed boo boos, told fairytales, held them through scary tantrums, helped with homework, made sure they were fed, educated, and protected.”

“But once they moved out I was just so relieved that it was over.”

“I could finally find out who I was without society frowning at me expecting me to be someone.”

“Amber and I spend a lot of time together still, and John comes around with his family at least monthly.”

“Their father thankfully passed away peacefully, so it’s just me and them.”

“Onto the issue. John has three kids, my grandbabies.”

“I was never all that interested in being a grandma.”

“I’d hoped to be done with the burden of young children. But I do my best.”

“Amber does not have kids, but she has a dog and a cat she loves.”

“I jokingly call them ‘the grandpuppies’ and though I know it’s silly, I get them little gifts at the holidays too.”

“John recently came to me upset because I bought a new cat tree for Amber, who is fostering kittens.”

“He said that I have never done anything like that for his kids, and that they could use a new jungle gym in the back yard or new toys too.”

“He became very cross with me and told me I was a terrible grandma and a horrible mom.”

“And how it was typical of me to treat cats and dogs better than his kids.”

“He stormed out with his youngest and said he won’t come back until I acknowledge how hurtful my behavior is.”

“I talked to his wife, and she relayed that John is upset that I don’t do all the grandma things you expect.”

“Art projects, day trips, sneaking them candy, etc.”

“He thinks I am cold and unfeeling and always have been.”

“To me, getting a cat tree is more for me to show Amber that I respect who she is and will never push her to be a mother if she doesn’t want to be.”

“But to John, I guess it is a sign that I value kitties and puppies more than babies.”

“Am I the *ss?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole.

It’s a tricky situation.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“There is a huge price difference between a cat tree and jungle gym.”

“He is comparing apples to oranges. NTA.”

“Also, I think it’s cute you call them your grandpuppies.”  ~ No-Rub1544

“Given the above and OP’s statement that she never wanted kids, I doubt this is about gifts.”

“It’s more likely that John never really felt loved by OP and see’s the current behavior as proof OP would rather have had pets than children.”

“I don’t think OP is an ass for buying a cat tree and not extravagant gifts for the grandkids.”

“But not being properly loved by your parents is a deeply damaging experience and it’s not all that surprising son lashes out from time to time.”

“Probably be best for everyone if they just went lower contact.”  ~ starchy2ber

“I was literally raised by someone who made it clear they only had me because abortion was against their beliefs, so you don’t have to tell me that lol.”

“But it sounds like she’s putting forth far more effort for the kids than the pets.”

“And honestly… also she doesn’t owe them anything either.”

“They aren’t her kids and she’s already giving her money and personal time which is more than she has to and acted as far more than a Nanny.”

“Considering she’s paid out of pocket for their education and even babysat for what sounds like for free.”

“And honestly the question was more about the pets vs kids argument and so far it’s the son demanding more and more and more considering the price difference on cat trees vs play spaces.”

“…she’s definitely NTA.”  ~ lainmelle

“Yeah my mom didn’t want kids.”

“And even though she didn’t admit that til I was in college and out of the house it wasn’t exactly a surprise when she told me.”

“Likewise, one of my grandmothers was pretty distant and sounds very much like how OP is with her grandkids.”

“My gut says that OP’s son thinks her being a more distant grandparent with his kids will have the same impact on them as having her as a so-so mother had on him.”

“If he was the one writing this post I would let him know that it’s not going to be as impactful on his kids as he seems to think.”

“Since we’re talking to OP, here’s what I have to say instead:”

“I don’t remember my grandmother much.”

“I don’t remember her fondly, but I don’t remember her with any distaste or malice either, although I do think the distance thing was a little weird.”

“The way I feel about my grandmother is essentially neutral.”

“OP it kind of sounds like you’d consider that an ok trade for not having to be super involved?”

“If I’m reading that right, I think your level of involvement with the grandkids is fine.”

“But your relationship with your son could use some work.”

“And now that he’s an adult that should theoretically be easier.”  ~ WarmRefrigerator2426

“I don’t know… as a grandma, myself, I get where this grandma is coming from.”

“I absolutely dote on my grandkids–love doing things with them, being with them, etc.”

“But my mom told me (I was 16 and pregnant) not to count on her to babysit, or really, to be the kind of grandma my own had been.”

“Overnights (she was a widow in her 40s) but no real gifts ($ was not a thing in my family lol), just her time : ) ).”

“My mom, on the other hand, had the kind of life, expectations of her, that OP had.”

“She married out of high school, had 10 kids, and ended up with a pretty crappy life (poor, had to work in a greasy factory for crap–women were paid less than men, of course) and so on.”

“I didn’t get it when I had my kids, but I did not rely on her to babysit–my husband and I did the best we could while I finished high school.”

“We didn’t have to rely on sitters much as we didn’t have money to go anywhere since then-husband worked 2nd shift and I got 1 hour early release from school, so we managed.”

“It wasn’t until I was much older (probably late 20s lmao!) that I started to realize just how much my mom had sacrificed just to put shoes on our feet.”

“My dad was in no way going to get a job–he had his own business–which was not very successful because he didn’t want to work too hard!”

“My point is, OP sounds like she loves her children and grandchildren as much as she is capable of loving them.”

“And she tries to be a good mom/grandma, but sometimes, your full capacity isn’t enough to fill another’s needs.”

Y”ou are NTA, OP, but your son needs to understand another person’s limitations may be quite different from those of whom we have expectations.”  ~ PickleNotaBigDill

“NTA… a cat tree is VERY different from a jungle gym, money wise.” ~ riyusama

“I just priced them both.”

“A fancy cat tree is $100.”

“A regular outdoor jungle gym ranges from $800-$2000.”  ~ SimplySam4210

OP wanted to add a bit…

“The question of if I ever buy presents for the grandchildren has come up a few times and I want to confirm that yes.”

“I do buy them gifts at appropriate times.”

“They are not left out, but no, I have never gone out to spend $1,000 at random for jungle gym.”

“I do not dote on the animals.”

“They get little gifts at the holidays like the grandkids do.”

“I don’t have any pets of my own and I’ve never had them.”

“I’ve always supported John’s lifestyle.”

“I went and stayed with them as their request when the first child was born.”

“I paid for their preschool.”

“And they’ve been sent to my home many times for the adults to get alone time.”

“In my mind, supporting their actual needs was showing them the most love I could.”

Well OP, Reddit is here for you.

It sounds like John maybe projecting.

It happens. But he should probably discuss it with a therapist and not yell at you.

Maybe y’all can read through this together and gather some understanding.

Good luck.