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Mom shares heartbreaking story of parents saying stepkids can't call them 'grandma/pa'

Mom shares heartbreaking story of parents saying stepkids can't call them 'grandma/pa'


I (32f) have been with my wife Ava (34f) for 8 years now, but we’ve been married for 5. She was a single mom of three kids when we started dating, she had two daughters (now 10 & 12) and a son (now 16).

I’ve watched these kids grow up, I’ve read the bedtime stories, done bath time, the first days of school, pta meetings, all of it. I very much consider them to be my kids, and they’ve been calling me mom for almost 6 years now.

My brother Ivan (28m) just had a baby girl with his fiancé Sara (27f). I love my niece, and my kids adore their cousin. My kids have been the only grandchildren on my side of the family since Ava and I got together, and there’s never been a moment where the kids and my wife were treated like they didn’t belong.

My brother is their uncle, my mom and dad are their nana and pop— the kids see my family as their family and I always thought that my family felt the same way about them.

The kids and I were over at my brother's house just hanging out, and my parents ended up dropping by with gifts for my niece. Ivan laughed when he saw the toys and told our mom and dad that they were going to end up spoiling her rotten. My mom said since my niece is their first grandchild of course they have to spoil her.

My kids were sitting in the living room with all of us and my youngest daughter looked hurt when she realized what my mother said. My son and my 12yo didn’t fully react to it, but I could tell it bothered the both of them too.

Sara spoke up and said “oh you mean first grandbaby, not first grandchild.”

My dad shook his head and replied that my niece was their first grandchild. I didn’t want my kids to keep sitting there and listening to that so I handed my son my keys and told him to wait in the car with his sisters.

When they were gone, I asked my parents why the hell they’d say that my kids weren’t their grandchildren, and my mom said they couldn’t be their grandchildren because they weren’t really my children.

My wife and I were going to be hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year, but I told my parents that if they didn’t view my kids as their family, then they could just host a meal at their own house with their “real” family while I spent the holiday with mine.

I left before they could say anything else to me, and my wife and I have reiterated to the children that they will always be my kids and I will always be their other mom, regardless of our DNA.

My brother is pissed at me now because he thinks I reacted too harshly, and that I should try to see where my parents are coming from. My mom texted saying that she and my dad love the kids, but they still aren’t their grandchildren, and she hopes that we can come to understand that because she doesn’t want this to ruin my niece’s first thanksgiving.

I haven’t replied back. I meant what I said, but I’m worried that maybe I’m reacting too harshly.


I adopted all three of the kids about 4 years ago, so they aren't just my parents 'step grandchildren'. Even if I hadn't legally adopted them, they'd still be my kids in my eyes.


SuperWomanUSA asks:

Did you ASK them if it was ever ok? Or did you introduce them to the kids as grandpa and grandma? I assume they’re still fine with them calling them that?

throwawayz_12345 OP says:

They said they wanted the kids to call them Nana and Pop, but I haven't spoken to them since this whole thing happened so I don't know if they still want the kids to call them that. The kids aren't exactly jumping at the bit to see them now though so I doubt they'd call them those names any time soon.

AmbulanceChaser12 asks:

INFO: I'm not as concerned about them being your adopted kids vs. being your own, but the ages kind of throw me. You first met your wife when her oldest was 11, right? Does he really consider himself your son and your grandparents' child even though he was 11 when he met you? I mean, there's a lot of history there that he has to overlook.

throwawayz_12345 OP says:

He was 8 when Ava and I started dating, but he's known me since he was 6 because my wife and I had mutual friends. He was 11 when we got married, but even before then when his friends would come over to play or we would come to his school for a performance, he always introduced us both as his moms.

unknown_928121 says:

I was the child who was told I wasn't really family once someone biological came along. It's been nearly 20 years since that moment and I still remember it as if it was a second ago. NTA

throwawayz_12345 says:

I am so sorry that anyone ever said something so cruel to you, especially as a child. Family is so much more than blood.

Lithogiraffe asks:

OP, would you have the same course of action, if they hadn't said it infront of all the kids?

throwawayz_12345 OP says:

No, I think I would've just sat down with them and talked about it had it not been said in front of the kids. It would definitely hurt my feelings to know that they felt that way, but I'd want them to explain to me why they were okay with being Nana and Pop for 8 years if those have never been their grandkids in their eyes.

Hyacathusarullistad says:

NTA. Your parents seemed to be fine letting your kids consider them grandparents for years. Nothing should change just because someone has squirted out a baby they share DNA with. That means this whole time they've really only considered your kids some kind of twisted consolation prize.

And as if that wasn't heartbreaking enough, they decide it's fine to say this with your children in the room?! That's absolutely vile, and even if they apologise and backpedal I'd think twice about the level of contact and intimacy they're allowed with your children.

You did exactly the right thing, and don't let anyone lead you to believe otherwise.

throwawayz_12345 OP says:

I hate it so much honestly. My wife's parents have wanted nothing to do with her since she came out, so my parents were the only grandparents our kids really had. I had no idea that they felt like this about my children the whole time.

AZJHawk says:

NTA. That was a really shitty thing of your parents to think, let alone say, let alone say in front of your kids. You are completely justified in your reaction. If it were me, I don’t know if it is something that could be fixed with a simple apology.

throwawayz_12345 OP says:

The worst part of it for me is that they said it in front of them. I'd still be upset knowing they thought it, but the look on my youngest daughter's face when she heard my mother say that just broke my heart.

dart1126 says:

NTA. Sister-in-law Sara is a rockstar…She totally tried to save that fumble. Your parents should have picked up on that and caught that pass and saved the situation . Instead they doubled down and argued the point. That’s extremely unfortunate and I’m sorry.

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