Here's the original post:
I (m71) and wife (Karen, f78) leave for FL in late Oct and live in CT for the summer. Cara (my daughter) and (her husband) Sean live in MA. Cara is pregnant with their first in March.
In Sept, my step son gifted new floors to cara and Sean for their kitchen. I offered to help with install. Their home is over 100 years old. I am not a contractor or a carpenter but I am good at home repairs. I was supposed to only install the floors but during demo, I encouraged them to demo some cabinets so the flooring laid down better.
I said I would help with prep on weekends and come back from FL in Nov to assemble new cabinets and install. They agreed. They are new home owners and not handy but were eager to work. The walls ended up being covered in rotting horsehair plaster which was a surprise.
When the weekend ended, there was no stove hook up, floors were 10% installed and it was a bit of a mess. I left it to them to plaster the walls that week and I’d come next weekend.
By Tuesday Cara and Sean called in a panic, saying the plaster was a disaster and that Cara was afraid of the stress on her pregnancy. I told them to wait. Cara told me she felt mislead and that the project spiraled out of control and asked me to take ownership (not financial) for my hand in their issues.
I told them they made their choice to demo and it’s not my house. They paid me for my help and hired contractor. They said I’m not able to commit to a project of this size (I work FT and help my step son with his flip) and didn’t believe I would come back to help after leaving for FL and Cara is uncomfortable with working during pregnancy, all to which I disagreed. I was hurt they fired me and still am.
It’s been weird since. I have not reached out to ask about the kitchen or the baby, though they provided scattered updates on the baby and Karen asked about the baby a few times.
Recently Cara reached out saying this has been terrible- they had to pull permits from the town, they haven’t had a stove or sink in months. Cara said she feels I don’t care about her health and our grandchild as I have not checked in. That I didnt take ownership. I laughed and told her I would’ve had it all done by now.
She sent a text telling Karen and I not to speak to her and that she is upset. Karen RSVPed no to Cara’s shower in January and cancelled our trip without telling them. Sean reached out asking us to reconsider saying they will only become parents once and that Cara was 6.5 months pregnant and didn’t mean what she said- he offered to pay for our tickets to come.
Karen and I have been firm on our stance however, we told them to let us know well in advance and we can visit in March before or after the baby. Cara is devastated but Karen and I were only trying to accommodate her wishes. I think I may be the a$$#@le for cancelling my trip knowing Cara is stressed and pregnant. So am I the a$$#@le?
YTA on so many levels. First, as you said you are NOT a contractor or carpenter but are good with “home repairs”. You encouraged them to demo their kitchen only installed 10% of the floors before leaving?? Cara has every right to be upset and she‘s not wrong. You made a mess of their house and then backpedaled by basically saying oh well not my problem!
I personally wouldn’t want anything to do with you, but they want you at their baby shower. Go. And apologize.
YTA When you found the old horse hair plaster and that it was in poor condition you should have stopped right away. 100 plus year old houses always have hidden little surprises like this. You gave them some bad advice and dropped an unexpected crap ton of work on them.
Sure, they choose to "demo" the cabinets... at your suggestion. You were playing expert and you led them down a crappy path that was way more than they signed up for
YTA they PAID you for a job you didn't finish and actually made it worse. Of course they fired you! YOU WALKED OFF THE JOB! You didn't finish and cost them more money. You then don't want to participate in your first grandchilds shower or birth?YTA
Ap you destroyed their kitchen and then left? Knowing they don't know what they're doing? Told them to just get it plastered and you would (maybe) show up the following weekend and help finish (spoiler, you wouldn't have) then got pissy when they wanted to try and get someone who could commit to getting it finished?
I would say you are pretty much TA here. I'd want to help my daughter finish their house, even if she wasn't pregnant. But hey, that's just me.
Unsure if anyone remembers this post, but I have an update. As some have predicted, this was actually Cara posting. I apologize, I made the post from my fathers perspective hoping to better understand his perspective.
Thank you to everyone for your feedback- it was cathartic to read. It helped me realize I had the right to feel the way I did and that going low contact may be the best option moving forward.
Since I posted, my father and step mother doubled down on their position and refused to make peace with my husband and I. Sean made several attempts to make peace (I did not because my cortisol levels were high from the stress, I was dealing with additional complications). They refused to attend my shower, but luckily other people showed up and made us feel so loved.
The day of the shower my father reached out to Sean because we didn’t acknowledge the gift they mailed to us. It was sent without tag- I had assumed it was from someone else who purchased off our registry. I think he perceived this as a slight, however we tried not to let the negativity effect our day.
Sean and I have been choosing to focus on the baby- I am almost 38 weeks! Oh, and the kitchen is completely done- we are thrilled at the results, though still feeling the stress of the financial impact.
As a last ditch effort to see if my father cares about being a part of the birth of his grandson, Sean texted a picture of my son from a 3D impromptu ultrasound we had to get today- I think the photo made it all feel so real for Sean and he was really hoping to mend fences. My father ignored the text- he has not checked in on me or the baby since October.
While painful, it is clear to us he intends to hold onto this grudge and doesn’t want to be involved in our lives or our son. I wish I could say I’m at peace with this but I’m really not. I will do the best to move forward, focus on the baby and when I’m feeling down I re-read some of the comments from my earlier post to remind me that going low/no contact is the best choice for us. Thank you again, everyone!
From the first post, I thought the whole “take ownership” thing and then Cara sending a text saying stay away, but then being mad when her parents did was strange. The fact it was Cara posting makes it even stranger.
I’d like to hear her dad’s actual side of the story.
This was a weird one. I'm not sure why Cara felt comfortable relying on a 71-year-old (who isn't a contractor) to do a major renovation like replacing the floors and cabinets. I've done both of those things and while it's not necessarily hard, it is time consuming and usually takes way longer than you think.
Could making AITA posts falsely written from someone elses perspective NOT be a thing?That would be great.
More to this story for sure.
Pretending to be their dad? Relying on a 71 year old to do something when it was never their professional job. OP is unhinged. I feed for the dad and those kids. And she is trying to be the victim? Ugh
UGH is right.