Some people are selfish parents. They have an idea of what “family” is supposed to look like and they don’t care if that is what is actually best for their kids.
Thankfully, there are people in those kids lives that actually support them and care about their emotional health.
Redditor Otherwise-Light-2255 encountered this very issue with her daughter in law. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for not hosting a baby shower for my estranged DIL?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I think a bit of background may be required for this one.”
“I (60F) have 2 sons and a daughter. The people in question here are Dave(35) and his wife Liz(29).”
“Basically, I have a relationship with Dave but none at all with Liz.”
“Dave was married before and has 2 children (11M and 9F) with his ex-wife, Cassie. Cassie unexpectedly died in January 2020 about two weeks before Dave and Liz’s wedding. Liz and I had a falling out over the children attending the wedding.”
“They said they did not want to attend and Liz demanded they be in the wedding despite the fact they had just lost their mother and could have stayed with Cassie’s parents that day.”
“Dave gave into Liz’s demand and the kids attended and as Liz says ‘ruined’ the wedding when they refused to walk down the aisle and then cried at the reception. I defended my grandchildren’s behavior because they were grieving and Liz was very angry that I did not try harder at the wedding to get them to behave (they were in my care for the day).”
Things got worse after the wedding.
“After the wedding, Cassie’s parents and my husband and I started taking our grandchildren more often because they did not want to be at Dave and Liz’s house.”
“My son works long hours so they would mostly have to be with Liz. Liz does not like that we pick up our grandkids when they call us and maybe we are undermining her parenting but she does often fail to cook dinner, take them to therapy, or after-school activities.”
“She is now expecting a baby in November and will be having a baby shower in a few weeks.”
“I was not invited but have not told any of my extended family about the issue with Liz or the fact that I was not attending because I feel like my family is also Dave’s family and can form their own opinions.”
“Recently, word got out that I would not be there (I’m not sure how) and family started to question. The reason got out there and my family is now very angry with both Dave and Liz.”
OP’s family backed them up.
“They are refusing to attend the baby shower and I guess the guest-list went from over 60 to under 20. Liz and family have decided they are fine with this because they do not have to pay for as many guests but now Liz has called my daughter and demanded that we(daughter and I) host a shower for her and she ‘might stop by’ if she is ‘feeling up to it’ but will come to pick up the gifts after the shower to show the family that we are all on good terms (not actually true).”
“I might be TA because we declined and now that people know we are estranged, I am sort of happy that I don’t have to pretend to like her anymore.”
OP added some edits.
“Edit: Thank you all for your posts and judgments.”
“I want to clarify that I do not think my son is right in any of this. He has allowed a lot of poor behavior on the part of his wife but he was not involved in the shower issue since she did not tell him I was not invited and he was also not aware that she approached my daughter to host a separate shower.”
“Additionally, my son is not a great dad and I know that but I was not involved in his family planning. When he had the kids with Cassie, she stayed home and he went to work.”
“He was your typical old school dad who came home to dinner on the table, kissed the kids goodnight and Cassie put them to bed. This worked for a while and when Cassie was not happy anymore, she filed for divorce. When they settled custody, they were both happy, Cassie worked part-time, Dave supported her and the kids and got them every other weekend and once a week for dinner.”
“When Cassie died suddenly, I think Dave was at a loss and turned to Liz to basically take over where Cassie left off.”
“I tried on many occasions to explain that he needed to be the parent and protect his kids and my advice was ignored or Liz got her way. The wedding made me very angry and when she punished them for ‘ruining the wedding.’ I had it out with her and that is why we do not have contact.”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors were conflicted about who was at fault.
“NTA. Your DIL sounds super entitled. Who the heck demands a baby shower from anyone?! Yikes.” ~ trash_subreddits_acc
“The same person who made two grieving children go to a wedding two weeks after their mom died and then got upset that they were crying at the wedding. The real question is why doesn’t the father protect his own children from this women.” ~ Candy2228
“Unfortunately in this case I feel if OP doesn’t talk to Dave, the children won’t be allowed to visit either set of grandparents which makes it worse.” ~ Allfornon89
“Exactly, these children are hostages, so I can kind of understand OP’s predicament.” ~ fatguyfromqueens
“That would imply that Dave actually cares about his kids. By letting them go to his parents and their mom’s parents he does’t have to take responsibility for them.”
“If he cuts contact for the grands, then he and Liz would have to care for them. With a new baby on the way, it doesn’t seem likely.” ~ Ok_Confidence_6788
“But we don’t know if their spite level might rise above the level of laziness they have. These seem like the type to cut off their nose to spite their face.” ~ HonPhryneFisher
OP is trying to do whatever is best for her grandkids.