Does loyalty require cutting a grandchild out of your life just because his father wants nothing to do with him?Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr
As one distressed mom and grandmother confessed, this is the dilemma that she is now confronting. As she wrote on Mumsnet, her son announced that the woman he had been seeing was expecting a baby.
However, he told the expectant mother that he didn’t want to be involved with his new child and made it clear that he expected his family to follow his wishes. She wrote:
He has two children with his previous partner but definitely did not want this one. He has known the lady for many years. They are both 27. I feel like I should contact her but I don’t know whether that would be a good idea.
He said he didn’t want any more children but this was an accident. He’s depressed and struggling although he works. The baby must be at least a couple of months old by now.
Despite appearances, the mom insists that her son is a good father to his other children and cares for them three nights a week. At first, she thought his reluctance to be involved with the new baby was because of concerns that his former partner would retaliate by limiting access to his two other children.
However, the secret is now out, and there have been no attempts to cut off contact with his two older children. Which leaves the disappointed grandmother unsure about what to do next. She wrote that she had attempted to “add” the new mom on social media, but her request was ignored:
I know from a conversation/argument that happened back around March at my house that she had said she didn’t want his money. Aside from that he has said he didn’t want to pay for another child and has no interest in being a dad again. I cannot understand it myself as he was besotted with her until this accident happened. I really like her and she will be a good role model to her child. During the conversation at my house I didn’t make any attempt to talk to her or show support for her so I suspect she feels let down by me after knowing each other a long time.
I also know the lady offered him a home for him and his current children and to make a go of things properly but this seemed to have made things worse as he didn’t want the commitment of a mortgage with her. He is on tablets prescribed by the doctor for his depression and he seems to understand full well the decision he’s made.
Most of those who responded didn’t see any reason for the grandmother to ignore her newest grandchild — regardless of her son’s feelings about it. One commenter wrote:
No way could I deny the existence of my own grandchild. Get in touch with them […] who cares if it annoys your son. He orchestrated this situation.
Your job raising and mothering your son is done. He is now an adult and being a dick. You either agree with his behavior or you don’t. If you want to see your grandchild make contact. His wanting you to agree with him is deep down he knows he is being unreasonable and if you refuse grandchild he justifies his behavior and gets not to feel bad about it.
In fact, the son was loudly condemned for his actions.
Your son is disgusting. Sorry, but he is. I don’t know how you can support his decision to have nothing to do with his child. I would be so ashamed, and would be close to disowning one of mine if they rejected their own baby.
Another commenter wrote:
I’m sorry, and I really do have sympathy for the difficult position you are in, but your son is not a great father to his children. You don’t get to pick the children that you want to raise and the children you do not.
And a few people even spread some of the blame to her parenting:
Have you always mollycoddled your son? Excused him from taking responsibility for his own actions? That chicken is coming home to roost right now. I would be ashamed of him. The fact that you are not says it all really.
One commenter put it very bluntly:
Your son is a sh*t, and I question how you’ve dragged him up too.
However, the grandmother did get some sympathy from commenters who empathized with the complex family dynamics in play:
I think your first loyalty is to your son and you should abide by his wishes, but if he’s depressed and struggling, then he’s probably not thinking straight. It’s worth trying to get him to at least go along with you making contact, even though he doesn’t want any.
Another poster wrote:
[Y]ou are all missing the dilemma here. [The grandmother] may lose the relationship with her son over this. And regardless of anything he has done or how he has behaved he is her son. […] It’s not an easy road to navigate and there are many divided loyalties. Do what you think is right for you considering all relationships. It’s a tough situation
And people who had been in a similar situation wrote about why she should try to contact the new mom and grandchild:
I was that lady, once. My then boyfriend, “didn’t know if he wanted to be involved,” but did at least tell his parents. His wonderful mother wrote to me to say that she very much hoped she could meet the baby and be in his/her life. I wrote back and told her that was fine with me, but her [son] wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. She wrote again to say that, “she’d sort that out,” (I think she told the ex that she was going to get to know her grandchild regardless), and has been the most wonderful, loving and generally marvelous Grandma I could have hoped for, and included [my son] in all family events.
The encouragement appeared to have influenced the grandmother. In one of her last posts, she said she tried to get her son to take responsibility for his baby, but he wasn’t interested. However, she wrote that she was planning to try harder to contact the mother of her new grandchild:
“I will make every attempt possible to be a part of the child’s life and I hope that their mother allows this after much apologizing. The child is 100% his as a DNA test has been done by an independent agency. My son was obviously clinging onto the hope that it wouldn’t be his.”