Everyone has a different parenting style, which means being friends with other parents can bring up some heated discussions.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a mom asked if she was wrong for bailing on her friend's 40th birthday because of her daughter's breakup. She wrote:
I (F46), have one child Amy (not real name) who is 20 and lives in Boston (I live in Arizona). She has recently gone through a bad breakup, and while I am relieved she is not with him, Amy is not handling the breakup well. For some context, since she was young she lacks some resilience and needs a lot of guidance to get through things. As her mom, I am happy to do this, and believe it’s my job.
My husband (Amy’s dad), is supportive of this and would fly to see her instead of me, but we agreed it would be better if I went. The issue is, it’s my friend's 40th birthday, she has two younger children and was really excited to ‘go out’. There are other people attending.
I told her the reason I was not able to attend, and she responded by saying it was ridiculous and I needed to ‘cut the cord’, in addition to pointing out other times I or my husband had cancelled to see / attend to Amy. While I think it’s justified to cancel plans for my daughter, AITA for cancelling them for this reason?
I was heavily leaning toward N T A until your friend pointed out that this is apparently a recurring theme for you. I’m gonna say NAH instead though you are sort of toeing the line.
I can’t really say you’re an AH for supporting your daughter this time but I’m very curious about if the other times you canceled plans with your friend was also somewhat justified or not. TBH I can see why your friend’s patience is starting to wear thin.
I also feel that continuing to drop everything to go see her is not going to do help your daughter’s lack of resilience at all. If anything you might be crippling or enabling her.
who_knows2023 asked a key question:
INFO: is it true that there have been numerous times you’ve cancelled plans you made with friends? If so YTA. If it’s like, two or three times, NTA.
And OP responded:
With this friend specifically I have cancelled this time, rearranged a day as I had a medical appointment, and my husband cancelled something with her husband as he had work. So three things this year.
This sounds like a common occurrence if your friend felt the need to bring it up. I get wanting to be there for your daughter. However, she will eventually have to learn to cope with things on her own. You won’t always be there to run and help her. YTA and if I was your friend I'd quit trying to make plans with you.
ESH. You two are not doing your daughter any favors if you come running every time she can't handle an issue. You do know you will not be around forever and she needs to learn to handle things herself. You can guide her without being where she is. She went through a breakup at 20.
Part of a breakup is learning how to handle it and what works for her. She is not going to figure that out if you go there. Make suggestions from where you are, check in on her once a day, etc.
Listen, I get it. Can your child learn to be more resilient? Yeah, but she’s still a kid. She still learning and growing.
I’m 24 and I still have a long way to go in terms of growth. Breakups at that age can be devastating, especially if they were serious. A lot of the people saying YTA are assuming that because their breakups weren’t bad, that all breakups are just easy to brush off. When I was 17 I was in a highly abusive relationship but I was so in love with this guy.
When I found he cheated and I broke up with him, I absolutely spiraled. I didn’t eat or sleep for DAYS to the point I was concerning my friends. I don’t have parents who care enough to console me, and I would’ve killed for any family member to be near me when that happened. I can’t imagine having to go through that and be so far away from family.
Be there for your daughter, but let her know you cannot always be there as well. Support her and listen to her, but she will need to learn how to process these events herself as she gets older. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you prioritizing your child - that’s what you should do as a parent.
As for your friend, I’d say a very large apology is in order, and see what you can do to make it up to her, even if it won’t restore your friendship. Let her know you do feel bad about missing such a milestone, but that she’s still important to you. You’re a good mom, OP. NTA.
Clearly, no one can agree on this.