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Grandparent takes grandkids to Disney for the first time without their mother, 'My DIL was furious.' AITA?

Grandparent takes grandkids to Disney for the first time without their mother, 'My DIL was furious.' AITA?


"AITA for taking my grandchildren to Disney for the first time without their mother and refusing to apologize when confronted?"

I recently babysat my grandchildren (5 and 4) for a period of four nights and five days so my son and his wife could attend a wedding in Mexico, and spend a few days on vacation.

They approached me since her mother would not be available, and I initially said I wasn't comfortable with that. It seemed like a long time to watch the kids, and she has point blank told me that the woman's family is more important than the man's, so I was irritated I was being asked and not her mother. I will admit that I did give in when my son became very emotional, but I felt/feel like they were being manipulative.

While I had the kids I was invited to a birthday at Epcot and wanted to go. It didn't even occur to me to run it by my son or daughter in law, as I had the kids for an extended period of time and obviously they knew they would be going where I went.

My daughter in law had previously mentioned wanting to save up for Disney, but she's said that about a lot of things, and never made me aware it was something super special to her. Also it was Epcot. It's not like I took them to Magic Kingdom and they had some magical moment of seeing their favorite character.

When they returned and found out my daughter in law was furious and burst into tears. She said I stole one of her kids first and called me entitled. To be honest I didn't react well to being called entitled, when she was the one who had previously demanded babysitting. My son asked me to apologize as she was distraught over missing their first Disney trip, but I declined and asked them to leave.

My son reached out again and said I should have asked for something that big, and his wife feels robbed. I know she is a huge Disney person, but it was Epcot, not quintessential Disney and I don't feel I should have had to miss out on a birthday party I wanted to attend. I told my son I am not apologizing for anything and maybe they should think about how they made me feel when they didn't respect my initial no. My son feels like Reddit is going to show me the error of my ways.

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

BulbasaurRanch said:

I hope your son feels humbled here today. NTA. They imposed on you to watch their children. You did exactly as they requested. You’ve done nothing wrong. You are not responsible for your rude daughter-in-law crying. Tears don’t make a person right.

The only entitled behavior is your son and daughter-in-law. They guilted you into accepting something that you expressed you were not comfortable with, and then got upset in how you took care of their children for them. You shouldn’t have to forgo your plans because they did not secure childcare before going on vacation. Again, you’ve done nothing wrong.

She deserves no apology. She can pout and whine all she wants- she was the one who put you into an uncomfortable situation. She never said not to go there and you’re not a f--king mind reader. Next time they ask something like this, tell them you can’t deal with the negative reaction of daughter-in-law and aren’t willing to subject yourself to her behavior.

mobiuscycle said:

Very much NTA. DIL is being selfish, IMO. When my kids’ grandparents, either side, have provided my kids opportunities to experience cool things, I’ve been really grateful that 1) my kids get to do those things and 2) my kids get to make wonderful memories with their grandparents that they will cherish their entire lives.

My kids have amazing memories of their grandparents leading them on fun adventures to theme parks and historical places (some of them I would have liked to have gone to, but that’s a separate issue from my kids getting to go.)

The most important part? One of those grandparents has now passed and those memories are absolutely precious to my kids. Those memories of my kids being loved by and important to many people in their lives are far more important than any selfish desire I have to experience all the things with my kids personally.

DIL needs to get over herself and realize that her kids are separate people from her. Their experiences don’t always need to be about her experiences. In fact, it’s good for their emotional and psychological development to build relationships and have experiences with multiple family and friends.

StrawberryKittyKat4 said:

Yeah, NTA. I'm guessing you paid for the kids to go to Epcot & fed and paid for any other excursions during those days?? And all in the name of trying to spend some fun quality time with your grandkids. I know it was probably a lot of work, but you enjoyed it!

So instead of a SUPER GINORMOUS thank you for the money you spent & time with the kids, allowing the parents to go away on a vacation without the kids, you're called an entitled & demanded an apology?? Hell to the NO!! Daughter in law is the CLEAR ahole, and son too, for agreeing with his wife.

Also, extra AH to your son, given he thought he and his entitled wife would be "vindicated" by posting here. He probably wanted to shame you publicly, but the laughs on the 2 of them!! I hope they are reading these comments!

kathryn_sedai said:

NTA. You were doing them a favour by babysitting for multiple days. You were invited somewhere for a birthday party. You attended. Because you had the kids, you took them along. It’s not like you schemed to undermine the plan to take them to Disney.

Wife needs to back the hell off and son needs to stop being a pushover. I do feel like you reacted strongly to her and probably didn’t need to, but really, bursting into tears? That’s ridiculous behaviour and they’ve been thoroughly ungrateful.

HOWEVER. How you choose to proceed here will dictate all your relationships moving forward. It’s clear wife is the reactive one and son won’t contradict. So. You have the choice of being Reddit-approved Not the Problem Here and watching them ignore that and you. That means probably less interaction with them and your grandkids and potentially awkwardness at family functions.

Or you could reach out again and just say, look, Reddit says I’m fine here. However I now understand that you placed great value on going to Disney with them first, and you aren’t able to do so because I took your kids along to a birthday party I had been invited to attend. I am sorry my action upset you. It was not my intention. I enjoyed spending time with your kids (insert anecdote here).

Basically, you could apologize that you taking them to (not quite) Disney caused her upset, without apologizing for taking them there. It was be a magnanimous gesture to indicate you understand she was hurt. Reaching out first might give them the ability to then reach back with their own response.

Inlaws are a big pain sometimes, especially when you know they’re not mature enough to have an honest conversation. Being the bigger person is sometimes the only productive way forward.

And in case wife and son are reading this-what the heck, you guys? You got DAYS of free babysitting out of this and you can always take the kids to actual Disney if it’s soooo important. Try not to nuke your relationships for no reason.

goldmossmoon said:

ESH. This whole situation gives me the feeling that the existing family dynamic is very immature. And I'm sure your DIL would have a very different perspective on your behavior. It feels like no one respects each other here.

Sit down and have a respectful conversation without throwing unproductive words at eachother & having a Reddit competition. Everyone is hurt here but no one wants to apologize. You CAN all be sorry for hurting someone unintentionally. Act like adults and get some family therapy. These poor kids.

The opinions were fairly divided for this one, but what's your advice for this family?

Sources: Reddit
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