Every parent handles parenting a little differently. Some of these decisions can even be mildly flexible.
But when a family member decides to step in, working against the foundation the parent is building, that parent may have to step up to decide their parenting choices.
One mom discovered this when she had to ask her own mom to move out after her son's grandmother spoke out against his feminist upbringing.
The Redditor asked:
"[Am I the a**hole"] for kicking my mother out of my house?"
The Redditor shared first a little about her upbringing and current living situation.
"I'm (26f) and was born and raised in Nigeria but eventually moved to the US. I have a 5 years old son who I had outside of marriage."
"And if you know African parents, you know they disowned me. Very recently I rekindled my relationship with my mum and sister and they came to visit me in January."
Since social distancing was implemented, her mother and sister were staying at her house.
"First few days were alright. But my mum tried to interfere in my parenting. It's worth mentioning I'm completely dependent on myself and the father is in no way involved in my son's life. So I try my best to make sure my son is always okay. My mother offered to replace the babysitter and i agreed."
Once she started working from home, she noticed her mother wasn't raising her son the way she intended.
"Corona happened and lockdown, so I started working from home and spending more time with my mother, sister and son. I noticed my mum spoils him too much but I didn't say anything because well she just got involved in his life and it's her first grandson."
One afternoon, their differences in parenting became too much.
"I'm on my laptop doing some work and my little boy comes in asking to take my phone to play. I told him his screentime was over for the day. He throws a tantrum and I say no very bluntly numerous times."
"He starts screaming, crying and telling me my mother is better than me. My mum walks into the room and tried to persuade me infront of my son, at that point I got very frustrated and felt disrespected."
"Again I say 'no means no', I made sure my son know the meaning of this ever since he was younger."
"My mum then stares at me and says 'oh don't tell me you're teaching your son all this feminist talk' I tell jer that's my son and I choose how to raise him."
Her mother did not like her reaction.
"Now at this point, to an african parent, it's like i just commited 3 homicides at the spot. I'm never the type to talk to my mum or any elder like that but she was getting to my nerves."
"She then proceeds to tell me that's what the west had taught me and she regrets ever giving me the chance to leave nigeria to become this person she doesn't recognizes anymore."
Because of her upbringing, she apologized for her reaction.
"I value my morals so much and I'd never willingly put anyone at that situation so I just sucked it up and apologized."
But a few days later, she realized how much her mother was working against her.
"A few days later I found her instigating my son against me and constantly telling him not to take me seriously and if I say 'no' he should just insist more and he'll get what we want."
"It got too much therefore I told her to either stop interfering in my personal choices on raising my son or she's welcome to leave my house."
"She got so angry and screamed at me packed her things and left. I have no idea where she and my sister are right now but I know they have enough money to keep them going through these days so I don't feel that guilty about them not being with me."
Since the argument, she's had second thoughts about how she reacted.
"I thought about it too much and I think I'm really compromising my culture and morals since I've came to America and I'm not sure I did the right thing. My aunties from back home all called and showed disappointment in what I've done."
"I tried to dial my mum and she completely ignored me. And now my son doesn't want to talk to me and refuses to eat and says I'm the bad guy."
Redditors replied anonymously to the OP's (Original Poster's) story, using the following scale:
- NTA: "Not the A**hole"
- YTA: "You're the A**hole"
- ESH: "Everybody Sucks Here"
- NAH: "No A**holes Here"
Some Redditors confirmed that they believe the OP is not in the wrong, but the grandmother sure is.
"OP definitely made the right call. Her son is already viewing her as the bad guy and refusing to eat. The situation would be so much worse if his Grandmother had a few more months to really sink her manipulative claws into him. NTA" - Gutter_Twin
"NTA but grandma is. OP can only be the bad guy here (in the kids eyes) but it is better to be a bad guy and good parent than just let the kid become an entailted brat." - Resmund
"also grandma is teaching son to disrespect his mother .... then getting angry when her daughter "disrespects" her by having different values. The issue is to do with grandma wanting the child to share her values (done by making him love her more than mum, by spoiling him)." - p0tentialdifference
Others went deeper, explaining how dangerous the grandmother's input could be to the son and to larger society.
"The kid looks at the mom and says 'Grandma says I can!' as he runs across the street. The mom frantically runs after him and its too late- the kid gets hit by a car because grandma said not to listen to his mom saying No. Something very similar has happened to me, it's not pleasant when kids wont listen and it compromises their immediate safety." - B_A_M_2019
"...And [the grandmother] doesn't set him up to understand what consent is later in life if 'no' just means 'try harder' to turn 'no' into 'yes'." - siriusly_riddikulus
"Yes! It is so disturbing that she is telling him to just keep insisting when his mother says no. She is teaching him to not respect or value the very first woman he interacts with. She is also teaching him to disrespect authority."
"His mother is his authority figure, and from this post she is in no way abusing that authority. She is setting good boundaries and guidelines, and then her mother comes in and says 'Noooooo. Don't do that! Just argue with her until you get your way.' Then looks at daughter 'You have no power here.'"
"This is just craziness to me.. and we wonder why some people end up spoiled, entitled, and self centered." - Bacon_strips_and_
And one simply wrote in to let the mother know she was doing a good job, even if she was perceived as the "bad guy" right now.
"NTA- you are doing everything right. You have put very reasonable boundaries on your son's wants and behaviour. You have consistently, clearly, calmly and fairly implemented them. You are raising a well rounded and positive member of society."
"That is hard and not always popular with small people. Your son will come around in time. Just keep being kind and fair."
"Your mum has been incredibly disrespectful. She is the one who chose to treat you this way. Keep doing what you're doing. You've got this." - DrMamaBear
This mother clearly has a lot going against her in her family as far as her parenting and living choices.
Since extended family is important to her, however, hopefully she'll be able to discuss this with at least her mother in the future and see if they can make amends.
But even if she can't, clearly Reddit thinks she's done the right thing.
*If you enjoyed this article, you can read more like it by clicking on the AITA link below.