When this mom is upset with her son's widow, she asks Reddit:
My son divorced his wife of ten years to get together with their nanny. I told him that he was making a mistake but that he was an adult and could make his own decisions.
He became a bad father to his children. I wish I could say differently but there it is. I did the best I could to ensure that my grandchildren knew they were loved and part of a family. My ex daughter-in-law also remained. We had known her for fourteen years and she was always kind and friendly with us.
We used the money we were going to leave to our son and set up educational funds and a trust fund for his children he was neglecting.
My son had two children with his new wife. She always held it against us that we told him that she was a mistake. We didn't get to see them very much. She didn't want them around his older children. She didn't want to be around his first wife. It never ended.
My son passed away last year. He left her a life insurance policy and a lot of debt. She was a stay at home mom and her only job previously was being a nanny. And I'm not sure she would get a good reference from her previous employer.
She used the life insurance to pay off all of their debts including the mortgage on their home. But now she has started to run through the savings she had.
She came over, with the kids, to see if we would give her money from our son's inheritance. We told her that it was spoken for. We said that we could help her out with stuff for the kids but that she would need to get a job to support her family.
She said we were family so I said that she had basically ignored and sidelined us for years. We are only family now that she needs us. I said that we would take care of our grandchildren but she needed to work.
Afterwards I was discussing it with my spouse and they feel I was harsh. That she just lost her husband. I said that she just lost her meal ticket. AITA?
I say NTA. As you said she ignored you almost the entire relationship. Allowing you hardly any visitation with said grandchildren over her own spite at the very woman she helped your son cheat on.
She purposely kept them away from their grandparents and siblings all out of spite. You as a father tried to even prevent this whole situation telling your son was in the wrong for having the affair to begin with.
The ones that matter, the children, are the ones you are still willing to help. To help, love and welcome. They are the ones who can't fend for themselves. That's what's important.
She's old enough, like you said, to get a job. If she has to downgrade her home to make ends meet for herself, that's on her. She put herself in that situation. She needs to step up.
You are a good grandfather, father and family man. You clearly didn't discriminate against the children. You tried to talk to your son when he made his poor choice. NTA.
You are completely right. The only reason she’s talking to you at all is because she wants you to support her. (And she obviously does not deserve it. In my opinion).
Stay strong. I think it’s correct for you to help your grandchildren and maybe build a better relationship with them. You’re a great grandparent for remembering it’s not their fault …
But she doesn’t deserve anything from you. Invest in their (grandchildren’s) future. You could help with immediate needs for school: Clothing, shoes, etc. maybe even groceries. But don’t give her a F-ing dime. NTA
Where’s her family? Why aren’t they helping? She blew up your life, and then her own was blown up and now she feels like she’s owed something? I don’t get it. But let her get financial help from her own family.
And don’t let her con you into thinking she has any claim on any future inheritance that you may or may not have given your son. Contrary to her thinking, it’s still your money to do with whatever you please. And it does not include her.
NTA - Desperate times call for desperate measures. Widow can't afford to pay for the property taxes, homeowners insurance, utilities, lawn care? She should sell the house and downsize.
Why should you give money that is allocated to your grand children, when she has a meal ticket AKA the paid off house? She needs to get a J-O-B. Doesn't matter if it's working retail or supermarket.