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Recent grad hurt by mom missing ceremony for grandbaby; Mom screams 'you're selfish'.

Recent grad hurt by mom missing ceremony for grandbaby; Mom screams 'you're selfish'.


Babies are never born at a convenient time.

When one proud sister was celebrating the extremely recent birth of her nephew, she had an important graduation ceremony to attend. Being that there was plenty of family at the hospital and that, well, babies don't do much, she attended thinking her parents were right behind her.

Alas, it didn't work out that way. After an altercation, said sister came to Reddit to ask:

'AITA (Am I the A-hole) for telling my mom I was upset she missed my graduation because my sister had a baby?'

aggressive-winter-24 writes:

My (27f) sister (301f) just had her first baby on Sunday morning at 2:30am. It was thankfully a smooth delivery and she and my nephew are happy and healthy. My mom, my dad, me, my sister's husband, and my sister's MIL were all at the hospital (per my sister's request) from around midnight on sunday and the remainder of the day.

Well, my graduation from grad school was on Sunday as well at 4pm. At around 2pm, me and my parents went down to grab lunch from the cafeteria and I realized the time.

I asked my parents if they wanted to just meet me at the graduation because I needed to go home and get ready first. My mom looked at me funny and said 'you can't really expect me to leave your sister and my grandbaby right now.'

I didn't know what to say, but my dad just told me to go get ready and they would meet me there.

'They' as in, both parents?

So I went to graduation and afterwards I look for my family and sure enough my mom did not come (my dad did!). I was upset because I won an award from my program director and gave a speech in which I thanked her specifically and she missed the whole thing.

Guess not.

I got back to the hospital and didn't really talk to my mom because I didn't want to make a scene or stress out my sister.

Last night my mom called me and I expressed to her how hurt I was, and she said I'm being selfish and need to realize my sister just gave birth and that's more important even though she is proud of me. I ended up hanging up.

I guess my thought process is that at the point where it was time to leave, the baby had been born for 12 hours and we spent most of that time with the baby/my sister when they were awake (and I'm glad we did- not complaining).

My plan was just to go to graduation and pick up my sister's favorite pizza (she was craving it) on the way back and eat with her. My dad and I did just that and in total my father was away from the hospital for right around 3 hours.

Not too crazy of a schedule at all.

I understand that giving birth is a huge deal and I'm so proud of my sister. I don't mean to act like my graduation was more important. I just feel like there wasn't a need to chose and my mother could have done both because my dad did.

My sister had her husband and MIL that would have been with her. I just had my dad and while I'm grateful he came, I wish my mom would have too.

My dad agrees with me that my mom should have came, and my sister apologized for 'stealing the spotlight' to which I told her she had absolutely nothing to be sorry for, and to focus on herself and the baby and everything with me and mom would work itself out.

I think my mom told my sister which makes me more angry because she doesn't need to worry about this, it's our issue. AITA (Am I the a-hole)?

OP added to provide some context:

I wanted to address a couple things/ answer some questions:

My sister was totally okay with my parents leaving for a few hours, according to my dad. He told me while we were picking up the pizza that my sister told my mom it was fine and to go.

I understand some people think graduations are stupid, or maybe even childish. If I had just been walking across the stage for a few seconds and that was it this wouldn't really bother me.

I was given an award and gave a speech in which I recognized my parents but mainly my mom because I am 'following in her footsteps' and entering the same field she is in. It was special to me for her to hear me acknowledge her and to see me do that. Maybe that's still stupid to some, but it wasn't to me.

This emotionally charged Sunday had not only OP's family arguing, but also the internet.

Here's what Reddit had to say about this post...

lifelineblue says:

YTA (You're the a-hole). I find it baffling a grown adult would even put graduation and child birth in the same sentence like this. Your sister giving birth, your mom becoming a grandmother, is more important than graduation day.

It’s not even close. And you know why? One is symbolic act to commemorate an accomplishment and the other is a literal new family member entering this world. Sucks the way the timing worked out, but you’re making something about you when you shouldn’t.

OP rebutts:

So, I'm curious, no one should have events ever then right? We should all be up my sister and nephew's ass for the rest of time? I don't think my sister will like that but...I guess I can try.

Icy_Plenty_7117 wants to know:

The real question is did the sister feel strongly about mom staying? Because if the new mom did not have some kind of emotional hang up about mom leaving than there is absolutely no reason for Mom not to be there at graduation.

It doesn’t sound like there was any legitimate reason Mom NEEDED to be at the hospital, there is a chance a recently postpartum sister would WANT mom not to leave, but also it’s just as likely that she would be happy to spend some time with her baby and partner and nobody else, probably sleep for a while.

But no, you are not the a-hole. If sister desperately wanted mom to stay then the situation could be maybe reevaluated, but it doesn’t sound like that is the case at all.

OP answers:

If my sister had asked her to stay I wouldn't be upset. Hell, if my sister asked ME to stay I would have, even if it would have been hard.

JBisHere4U writes:

I’m going to be what is evidently a total outlier here. You’re NTA AND your mom is NTA. You’re an adult and it’s time for you to realize that you cannot control the choices that others make. Anyone. Even your mom.

Would I have missed the graduation? I honestly don’t know… but it wasn’t your decision to make. Note: For goodness sake, you weren’t aware that she wasn’t there until it was over!

Did she support you (emotionally? financially?) through college? Did she encourage you for four years (or however long a duration) of schooling? You have no way to know what emotions may have been dredged up by the birth of your sister’s child… perhaps she had little support when her children were born and felt compelled to ‘be there’ (whether she was technically needed or not…)

Show her that she has raised an emotionally secure second daughter who understands that humans have wants and needs and reasons that may be inexplicable to you, and accept them for who and what they are, and accept the decisions that they make. It’s a hard lesson to learn that it’s not always about you.

But OP was having absolutely none of it:

1) I wasn't aware she wasn't there because I was told she would be by my father. I was under the impression that she was in the crowd.

2) She did not support me through school financially. Emotionally, somewhat.

3) I never thought I had 'control' over my mother's choices. She is an adult who can act as she sees fit, and I am allowed to be hurt by those actions.

4) You do not have to 'accept people for the decisions they make' when those actions hurt you. You accept that you have no control over their actions but you do not have to sit there quietly while they act in a way that hurts you. That doesn't make you emotionally secure, it makes you the family punching bag. You may enjoy being that, but I do not.

5) Yes, my mother may have had her own reasoning and feelings for her decision. However I wouldn't know that, because instead of taking 5 minutes to explain she scoffed at, and then screamed at, me and called me selfish.

samosas4brkfst comments:

ESH (Everyone sucks here). This was grad school? I’m guessing your mom has been to other ceremonies marking your milestones and that your dad was totally capable of filming this ceremony and your speech.

Being there for her daughter and her newborn is what Really mattered to your mother. I’m glad there were no complications that made her presence Necessary, but, you’re a capable adult & *the ceremony is ultimately a symbolic gesture*.

There was a real newborn your mother wanted to be present for. She wasn’t trying to insult you or say you are in any way “less than”, you’re not, it’s just two very different circumstances. Your hurt is completely valid, but obviously there’s a difference in approaches and priorities here.

OP defends herself:

Not that it matters IMO but no she actually hasn't been to my graduations before. I didn't go to my high school graduation because I chose to go on a college visit instead (yes, that was on me I know), and I didn't have a graduation for my BA because of COVID.

She literally did say the baby was 'more important' so I don't see how you think she wasn't saying it was less than. That's what she said.

I agree the birth of the baby and seeing the baby is more important. I just feel like 12 hours passed and it was okay to step away, briefly- even my sister said so. It sounds like you just think graduations are stupid and that's totally cool.

I guess my question is at what point would it have been okay to expect my mom to come in your view? Several days later? A few months? To me it was like okay we were there for the birth and most of his first day of life. I get that it's new and exciting but he's not going anywhere.

Hekili808 is on OP's side:

NTA (Not the a-hole). Your mother could've safely attended your graduation and also supported your sister without risk to anyone. Nobody forced them to be competing priorities except your mom. If anything, your sister could've probably used some rest and recovery time.

Your mom could've viewed the whole weekend as a huge blessing because of both events, but she couldn't help but rank them and then blame you for having feelings about the situation.


This is exactly why I am upset. I agree that if push comes to shove and she had to pick she should pick my sister and that was something that was discussed all through the night. But she didn't have to pick and yet she did. It makes me feel like it never mattered to her.

What do you think?

Is there a clear a-hole here? Who should be the one to apologize?

Sources: Reddit
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