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Parents Hold Their Ground After Daughter Demands They Raise Another One Of Her Children

Grandparents spending time with grandchild
Thanasis Zovoilis/Getty Images

A growth mindset, personal development, and learning from our mistakes are popular concepts and goals for a reason.

But some people just don’t seem to be able to improve on themselves, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor BadGrandmother had no choice but to care for her granddaughter after her daughter walked away from her parenting responsibilities.

But when her daughter attempted to do the same thing a second time, the Original Poster (OP) decided something needed to change.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for telling my pregnant daughter that my husband and I will have nothing to do with raising her baby in front of the entire family?”

The OP’s daughter, Kelly, put her and her husband in an impossible situation.

“I am a fifty-six-year-old mother to thirty-three-year-old Kelly and grandmother to sixteen-year-old Opal.”

“Kelly became pregnant with Opal at sixteen. My husband, Eddy, and I have always believed in having the right to choose. However, Kelly insisted that she wanted to keep the baby and not give it up for adoption.”

“We helped a lot as Kelly was only seventeen when Opal was born. However, Kelly would rarely help with parenting even when she was available. Even asking her to watch Opal for an hour while we ran errands was an issue.”

“It was rare that Kelly wouldn’t complain about why she ‘had to be there’ to look after Opal.”

Kelly’s behavior only worsened as Opal grew.

“Kelly chose not to attend college after graduation. She had a job with a flexible schedule, yet she rarely made herself available for Opal. Kelly was only home to sleep or get dressed for some party.”

“She also relied on us to purchase supplies and book appointments for Opal.”

“Eddy and I would have serious talks with Kelly that she needed to step up as a parent. Kelly would only make empty promises and never follow through on them.”

“Kelly moved out when Opal was six.”

“Kelly comes around maybe once a fortnight and for holidays, but Eddy and I have been the ones to raise Opal.”

“Opal is doing extremely well. She has good friends, plays Tennis, participates in volunteer projects, and plans to be a marine biologist after graduation.”

Kelly nearly ruined an important event for Opal.

“The school year ended for Opal last week, so we had a nice dinner to celebrate her good grades. Opal will begin her senior year in August and has not graduated high school yet. Opal completed her junior year with straight A’s, so we felt she deserved to have a nice dinner celebrating her accomplishments.”

“Kelly came, along with several other family members. We were all chatting and enjoying dinner together when Kelly stood up to make an announcement.”

“She announced to us that she was pregnant with her boyfriend’s child.”

“We already were upset because this was supposed to be Opal’s special moment and Kelly announcing her pregnancy was completely inappropriate.”

“Eddy and I said nothing, and Kelly started to say how she and her boyfriend were ‘so busy!’ with life right now.”

The OP and Eddy set a new boundary right then and there.

“Eddy and I interrupted Kelly and told her we would have nothing to do with raising this new baby and would not be providing anything for it (supplies, childcare, etc.).”

“Kelly flipped out and an argument ensued.”

“Kelly called us heartless and claimed we were willing to throw our grandchild away.”

“Eddy and I called her selfish for expecting us to raise another child. We are too old to raise a baby.”

“Kelly is thirty-three and needs to grow up, give the baby up for adoption, or be a parent and raise it herself.”

The family felt conflicted about the argument.

“Kelly left in tears.”

“Now the family has broken into ‘sides.’ The ones agreeing with Kelly say that we adopted Opal and are sending a message that we don’t care about our newest grandchild.”

“Others are saying we should have taken her aside privately instead of shooting her down in front of everyone and our reaction was cruel.”

“Eddy and I feel we had to be blunt with Kelly and not sugarcoat reality.”

“Opal likes to show us stories from here sometimes, so I thought it would be a good place to ask for a neutral perspective.”

“AITA?”

The OP edited the post to clarify Kelly’s request for raising her baby.

“Several people have informed me that the part where Kelly expected us to raise the new baby was unclear, so I apologize for that. I thought it was self-explanatory, but realize none of you actually experienced what happened.”

“Kelly talked about how busy she and her boyfriend were with their lives, then began to talk about how ‘grateful’ she was that we ‘would always look after our grandchildren’ and how since we had ‘gained so much joy from raising Opal, we would be even happier raising this second baby!'”

“After Eddy and I called her out, Kelly confirmed that she had expected us to adopt and raise this second baby as well.

“Kelly said how she and her boyfriend did not have time to raise a baby but that putting up the baby for adoption would be ‘throwing it away.’ She assumed we, at almost sixty years old, would have no troubles or opposition to raising a newborn baby.”

The OP also edited the post to share more about her relationship with Opal.

“Opal is always able to express her feelings with me or Eddy. Opal also has a therapist who is available to speak whenever she needs it. Opal visited the therapist weekly during middle school but now hasn’t needed to see him more than once a month.”

“We will be taking Opal on a mall trip to make up for what happened at the celebration dinner.”

“We spoke privately to Opal after this incident, and she knows we in no way view her as a burden. Our granddaughter is a blessing and many of our happiest moments involved supporting Opal and watching her grow up.”

“But Opal is sixteen: She doesn’t need the kind of constant attention and care that a newborn baby does. We are now too old to be able to adequately raise a newborn baby even if we wanted to.”

“The biggest problem is that Kelly is now an adult and needs to start acting like one.”

“Kelly is supposed to outlive us. The reality is that Eddy and I aren’t going to be alive for her or her children’s entire lives. It is why Kelly needs to accept that she cannot expect us to take on her responsibilities and must be independent.”

“AITA?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some reassured the OP that she and her husband were doing the right thing.

“I was totally prepared to say yes, YTA, BUT after reading this and seeing how Kelly started it with the announcement, she opened it up to the responses.”

“And since she bailed on her first child and during the pregnancy announcement basically laid the groundwork for pushing the next kid off on you, and then doubled down confirming that was what she was going to do, she deserved to be told that you wouldn’t raise the next kid.”

“Privately telling her wouldn’t have made an impact and hit the message home because you’ve been there and done that. She needed this as a direct message WITH witnesses. Definitely NTA.” – PuzzleheadedTap4484

“Reading this, I was legit shocked.”

“OP’s daughter is way too comfortable being a deadbeat parent. This lady had the audacity to hijack a party to celebrate her first child, who she did not raise, to announce that she is pregnant again and just expects to toss the new kid at her parents.”

“Who does that? How can you feel entitled to decide when and how someone else becomes a parent? And to announce that she plans to abandon a second child so publically, at an event that was important to her first… does this woman have no shame?” – Electrical-Date-3951

“So she not only overshadowed Opal on being a godd**n rockstar, to announce that she’s forming Opal’s replacement, but Kelly also had the audacity after being such a piece of hot garbage out loud, to throw a temper tantrum about not being able to keep being the least responsible baby maker a second time. To the point that it thoroughly ruined the event.”

“Kelly is probably jealous of Opal’s ability to empathize with OP and PapaOP, as clearly empathy and compassion didn’t land in this apple.”

“Kelly made sure that her first throw-away baby wasn’t, for a second, more important than Kelly. (Opal is twice the woman Kelly could be.)”

“She also made sure that her parents were in what she assumed would be an impossible position to refuse. Dropping the bomb in public lets her steal the show and claim to be the victim if she doesn’t get what she wants.”

“NTA, OP. As an adult of parents who treated their children like toys they could play with when it was in style, grandparents like you make literally all of the difference.”

“You can’t control the adult your child chooses to be. But you’ve given Opal the choice to become who she decides without drinking Kelly’s poison.” – Regulus-Rainwater

“Listen here, first of all, you two are NTA. Secondly, you can’t help it Kelly turned out bad.”

“Clearly, you’re doing right by Opal and she’s very lucky to have you, but you need to be careful. Kelly is going to try and get Opal to be the new mother to her kid, I’m sure.”

“Be prepared for lots of sneaky manipulation from Kelly in trying to get Opal to come over and babysit. I bet you anything she’ll try and get Opal if she can’t get you two to take care of her kid.”

“She’s a despicable person, that Kelly. Ensure you protect Opal from her as you have been doing. NTA.” – Sin-cera

Others agreed and urged the couple to talk to Opal about her relationship with her mom.

“Would you be willing to ask her if she wants Kelly at next year’s celebration for graduation?”

“I had family members and a mom as self-absorbed as Kelly. She ruined my high school graduation making it about her. She did the same thing at my college graduation, and then again at my little sister’s college graduation.”

“Kelly sounds a lot like my mother, and Opal might quietly wish that her mom wasn’t there to ruin these moments. I wasn’t brave enough to ask if I could just have her not there. Instead, I begged not to go to graduation in the first place.”

“Doing extra nice things afterward like going to the mall can work for non-life milestones, but I’ll never get to graduate again. Neither will Opal.” – cobblesquabble

“Your daughter has already completely disregarded Opal. Making her ‘good news, I’m going to have a real baby now’ announcement at an end-of-school-year party for Opal is some more grade-A trash behavior.”

“You may not have let them know in the most civil way possible, but I’m gonna say NTA because of how thoroughly Kelly has made it clear her daughter doesn’t matter. You may have eventually raised her enough to call it ‘adoption,’ but that was never the original intent, so Kelly can suck it.”

“Also, on my first read, I completely missed that this was them asking you to raise the next one. Holy f**king s**t. Utter garbage, these people. I’m glad you said something right there. Firmly, loudly, rudely. They needed to hear it.”

“Really, I would’ve supported being far more rude than you were. I’m glad Opal is in therapy and I’m glad she knows you don’t see her as a burden. Kelly is the burden. What a waste of oxygen.”

“Kelly has made it clear Opal doesn’t matter to her. Maybe stop inviting her to stuff for Opal if this is the way she’s going to be. Let Opal’s events be for and about Opal. Since Kelly isn’t interested in things for and about Opal, she can be left out.”

“Of course, I’d get Opal’s opinion on these things, as she’s old enough to have them. But if she thinks of her mother the way her mother thinks of her, don’t invite Kelly anymore.” – MadamMarshmallows

“NTA. Her timing was super inappropriate, and I think your reply was warranted, despite the also awkward timing.”

“I really feel bad for Opal. Please make sure she gets the attention she needs, as she may feel worse when the baby actually arrives in the off-chance that Kelly starts to act like a real mom to the new baby.” – 1-800-deadgirl

“My guess is Opal got over this circus show a long time ago, knows full well her birth mother is a jerk, wishes her parents/grandparents would leave it alone but understands their frustration.”

“Not once did anyone mention Opal was in tears during this. She’s seen the show one too many times.”

“Kelly not only asked you to raise the second one, but it was also cruel of her to announce the baby at a dinner focused on Opal at all. Anyone would react in anger to such heartlessness. NTA.” – Internetperson3000

The subReddit was completely heartbroken for Opal and how her birth mother stole focus at her special accomplishments dinner.

They hoped that Opal would continue to work hard for herself and graduate next year with her grandparents by her side and her birth mother likely no longer in the picture.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.