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'AITA for banning my mom from seeing my son after she tricked him into thinking she's his mom?' UPDATED

'AITA for banning my mom from seeing my son after she tricked him into thinking she's his mom?' UPDATED

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"AITA for prohibiting my mother from seeing my child because shes tricked him into thinking she's his mom?"

Here's her original post:

I have a now 3 year old son, who was living with my mom(his grandma) for a year while I was away getting myself together. For personal reasons I will not explain why I was away for so long, but I felt I needed to better myself for my son. My mother agreed to take care of him while I was away. (I facetimed with him whenever I could)

Fast forward to last month, I come to my mothers house to pick up my son. He's happy to see me and me and my mother are talking while hes playing with his dinosaurs. He suddenly looks up at my mother and says "Mommy, I'm thirsty". I was obviously confused, and asked my mother if she heard him call her mom. She laughed nervously and said that he had been calling her that for awhile.

She basically explained that while I was away she told him that she was his mom and to call her that. I laughed and told her that I wasnt comfortable with that, since she wasnt the one who birthed him. I told her he should know that shes his grandmother, not his mom. She got upset and told me that he needed a mother figure while I was gone, and she was just trying to fill that role for him.

She said something along the lines of "Ive been his mother for a year now, and you cant change it". We went back and forth until it got to the point where we started raising our voices. She spat out some insults about me being a bad mom for being away for so long and how she should be his mom cause he doesnt need a mom like me.

I simply told her that she isn't going to be seeing him anymore because I'm not comfortable with him calling her mom. We gathered his stuff and left after that. She blew up my phone for days, talked some mess to family members, anything she could to make me look/feel bad. But I refused to forgive her, especially after all that stuff she said. AITA?

Edit: For those of you saying I abandoned him, I didnt. I was too sick to take care of him. That's all I'm going to say about that. I couldn't be the best mother to him cause of my medical issues. I wanted to be there for him. I didnt just "dump" him on my mother. I feel the need to explain that cause people are getting the wrong idea.

It was possible for him to visit but my mom said it would be best if he didnt see me like that cause he'd be too young to understand. And I trusted her, so I didnt allow him to visit. No, I wasnt in a mental hospital or rehab. It was physical health reasons.

A lot of you are saying you think I was in rehab because of the way I've worded things in my post. Rather than edit out the original, I'd just like to explain that its probably not the best wording to use for this situation and I understand that now. What I meant to say was I felt I needed to be in better health for my son.

"Getting myself together" in my head pretty much means getting better and healthier. I apologize for that. This will probably be my last edit. My son is getting a therapist like a lot of you have recommended. I'm considering working things out with my mother, only because I dont want her fighting for custody. Still unsure though.

What do you think? AITA? This is what top commenters had to say:

B4pangea said:

I have to wonder what people’s responses would be if, say, you were away for a year serving your country, or working long periods traveling to support your son, and your mom pulled this move. People don’t think mental illness is a real thing. Until it’s theirs.

akamikedavid said:

ESH. Grandma could've easily clarified to your son what her relationship is and being a "mother figure" doesn't have to mean that she has to be called mom. However, you clearly are aware that you have some issues you had to work out and your mom did something big for agreeing to help raise your kid.

You're now cutting him off from an important person in his life for the last year since the two adults can't work out their issues. Two of you need to talk and figure this out and dig into the larger issues, maybe even with some counseling or outside help.

[deleted] said:

I hope you are in therapy and your son has someone to talk to too by a professional who deals with children. You were away part of his life and now you’re taking him away from someone who has been raising him. Whether justified or not, the abandonment issues are there.

5115E said:

NTA Her nervous laugh was because she knew she was wrong. There was no reason for her to co-opt the name "mommy", she could have given herself a different loving nickname. A decent mom would have been clear about the relationship and not closed the door on you re-entering his life. And her comment that you can't change her primary role in your son's life?

You aren't wrong to feel so strongly about this. You do need to be careful about how you reset your son's relationship with his grandmother. That doesn't mean she should have access to him, it does mean that you don't try to erase her memory. Keep a picture or two of her around to point to and say "grammy" (or whatever you want him to call you).

Ask him what his favorite foods are and how they did things at "grammy's" house. If he volunteers things on his own, tell him that's how you did things with grammy too. If your relatives are harassing you, tell him you are taking a break while you and your son get comfortable.

em69420ma said:

All the people in here talking about how OP is an AH for taking time to get better and get medical treatment is just awful. The first step to take care of your child is to take basic care of yourself. If the mom is unhealthy, how is she supposed to take care of a baby? OP did what she needed to to ensure she can be a strong mother for her son as fast as she could and as best as she could.

Temporarily stepping back while ensuring the kid is cared for is NOT the same as abandonment, and while the grandma did a good deed by taking care of the kid, she COMPLETELY stepped over the line by trying to steal him and lie to him about being his mom.

I have no sympathy for the grandma, only for the kid who’s too young to understand why a figure he was coerced into believing is maternal is suddenly not. NTA, OP.

[deleted] said:

ESH. She shouldn’t have him calling her mom. But you can’t just remove her from his life when she has been his primary caretaker. She needs her own special name, Nanna, or whatever. But you are mom. He still needs his grandma.

billeeboooo said:

NTA! As a mom, especially when you’re in a crap situation, the BEST thing you can do is take a step back and get better. Instead of being proud of you, your own mom hijacked your child. Seriously, keep it in that perspective whenever you feel you’ve done something wrong.

Don't talk badly about your mother to your child, but do make sure he knows you’re his mother and you’re not going anywhere. What an A-hole, moms of adults are crazy. I hope I’m not like that when I’m old.

Reactions were mixed, but most agree either NTA, or ESH.

Months after her original post, she shared this update:

I just wanted to start out by saying thank you everyone for the feedback that you gave me and the judgments. Whether they were negative or positive, I took each and every one of them into deep consideration. I accepted the judgment, and indeed realized that I was also being an asshole.

My son has since seen a therapist like a lot of you suggested he should. He's done pretty well, although the therapist suggested he continue therapy for a little longer, considering he's still confused about the situation. He knows I'm his mother, but essentially thinks he has 2 moms. I've done my very best to go slow with him and teach him who is his mom and who is his grandmother.

Regarding his grandmother, I did what a lot of you suggested and let her facetime him everyday for a couple hours, to not upset him. I did this until an incident involving her came up. I'm taking this to court. As much as I hate to further upset my son, I have come to the conclusion that she no longer needs to be in contact with us, at least not for awhile.

I'm sorry for all of you that this disappoints. I just want to do what's best for my son. As for my health, I am slowly getting better in case any of you were wondering. I have to visit my doctor several times a month, but that's an improvement honestly. Thank you all. I wish this situation could've ended differently, but I was able to try to resolve it thanks to all of you!

Sources: Reddit
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