Family members should love and support one another, but there should always be boundaries. Unfortunately, enacting them can be emotionally exhausting and make you feel guilty. Cuz it’s your family, y’know—your family! How can you not do everything to make their life easier?
One very young grandmother had a dilemma that she decided to run by the AITA community to get their opinion on whether or not she was doing the right thing. She raised her own children, then she helped raise her daughter’s son, and now she’s decided to ‘retire’ from taking care of the grandkids full time and move elsewhere. Her daughter, however, didn’t like that idea.
Have a read through the full story below, dear Pandas. It’s an interesting one and I’m very curious to hear how you’d solve this sticky social situation.
A very young grandmother raised not only her own children but also one of her daughter’s kids. Now, she wants to ‘retire’ from grandparenting full time
Image credits: tamadhanaval (not the actual photo)
The core of the dilemma is simple enough: the grandma, redditor EconomyCharge6507, thinks that she’s already done more than her fair share to help the family. She’s already gone above and beyond the call of duty and we salute her.
Meanwhile, her daughter has a slightly different understanding of how families support one another and believes that you can ask for unconditional help, forever.
The redditors of the AITA community overwhelmingly supported the grandma’s right to move away and start living for her and her husband. This doesn’t mean that they don’t love their children or grandchildren. The dynamic’s just going to be different.
Yes, they’ll be spending less time together, but you could argue that this time will actually be higher quality because they’ll have time to miss one another, instead of constantly living within a routine.
While everyone’s free to do what they wish with their lives, there are certain cultural pressures to take into account as well. Certain cultures encourage very tight-knit communities and living near your grandparents and other family members or visiting them very often isn’t all that uncommon.
If you’ve ever traveled to Southern or Eastern Europe or Russia, then you’ll know the importance placed on local communities. Though, to be fair, as the world continues to modernize, traditional approaches to family life are changing, too.
During an earlier interview, counselor Katie Rose, who is a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, told me parents tend to feel the need to be perfect. However, that means trying and failing to meet “unreasonably high expectations” that we set for ourselves. Instead of aiming for the impossible, we need to give our children space to grow.
“In order for our children to learn and grow, they need to understand that we’re not perfect—in fact, that perfection doesn’t even exist. Instead, by failing them in small, manageable ways, we help them learn to tolerate the small frustrations that they will inevitably face in their everyday lives in the future, helping them grow into successful adults,” Katie told Bored Panda.