Grandmothers are frequently very important in family life. This is particularly valid when it comes to raising their grandchildren. But often making the decision to take on the role of carer conflicts with their own wants and goals.
These four real-life Reddit tales highlight difficult decisions that grandmothers had to make in order to support their families and maintain their privacy.
Grandma Refused to Watch Grandchildren Due to Tight Regulations from Daughter-in-Law

An issue confronted a grandma in July 2020. Her son’s wife had to go back to work, so she was asked to watch his two- and four-year-old children for a week.

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“She has been trying to return to the workforce for a while now and she finally got an offer in her field,” the Original Poster (OP) said. A week after the children ask her to start, that is the earliest she can get them into creche.”
This implied that OP would watch the children for nine hours every day. But her daughter-in-law (DIL) attached a list of harsh requirements to the arrangement: no TV, no meat, enrichment worksheets enforced, and a rigid schedule. “I do understand naps but I think the rest of it is too much when I would be doing them a favour,” the original poster stated.

The most taxing was the visitation ban, which kept the grandma away from her regular social circle. OP wrote, acknowledging that she would prefer to watch her other son:

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“I spend nearly every day with my buddies. In addition, She is very rigid about the influences on her children and believes that my friends are horrible people.”
“I told my son that’s way too much to ask of anyone and they need to find a professional,” the offended party said, drawing attention to the unjustified demands made of her.

OP’s son attempted to convince her otherwise, but she was unmoved. As all of this was going on, the DIL contacted her in tears and begged her to take care of the couple’s kids, stressing how important the work opportunity was. The grandma, however, would not back down and defended her personal space and comfort.
Grandmother Turned Down the Offer to Watch Her Newborn As Daughter Returns to Her Job
In the meantime, a 29-year-old lady posted on Reddit in June 2022 that she had asked her 64-year-old mother for assistance with her infant but had received no response. At that moment, OP had to go back to work.

Sadly, her mother said she was too elderly and had already finished raising her children, having left the workforce in 1992. She recommended a “traditional” family structure, but the lack of funds made it impractical.
She did, however, provide her mother an explanation for why it would not work for her family. First of all, she was earning more than her partner, and even though they were making less money, they were also in debt.OP was the family’s primary provider, receiving the biggest income, so she had to continue working to support her family. When OP presented a compromise—a response to the harsh reality of debt and the necessity of two incomes—her mother retaliated by demanding $20 per hour for babysitting.

original poster stated, “In addition to late fees if we are not there to pick up the kid, we also have to provide her a car seat, pram, bottles and almost twice as much stuff as we do at home as payment for bringing the baby to her place. She has personal reasons why she won’t enter my home.”

This proposal put further financial hardship on the OP, making nursery seem like a better option. She underlined the necessity of first working out her financial issues with her hubby. She therefore requested free babysitting from her mother. However, the mother persisted in not accepting her explanations.
Grandmother Gets Her “Petty Retaliation” While Taking Care of Her Grandchild
In the same month, a grandma who was uninvited to take up the role of babysitter gave rise to a hilarious yet poignant narrative. An account of petty revenge carried out by her mother-in-law was shared by another Redditor.

“I had to share my mother-in-law’s latest act of small-scale, yet exquisite, petty retaliation here. A year and a half ago, my sister-in-law gave birth to a surprise baby. OP commented, “The child attends creche during the school year, and both parents work.”
When summer vacation arrived, the kid’s creche would close. Rather of looking for another summer creche, the parents simply dropped their child off at the grandmother’s house without warning or asking.

According to OP’s account, “Grandma had a few errands to run the other day. Just as she was about to go, the child’s sister-in-law comes. My mother-in-law is the world’s loveliest, gentlest woman right now. She thus accepts the child without objecting.”

She fed the child lunch and then let him to nap. The child slept for more than three hours, as opposed to the customary half-hour.
“The outcome? A child who wouldn’t go to sleep until one in the morning caused fatigue in the parents. Delectable,” OP remarked. The grandmother’s “petty revenge,” letting the child sleep in too late and upsetting the parents’ bedtime routine, is a humorous critique of the sometimes disregarded roles that grandparents play in society.

To get some rest, Grandma refused to watch her grandson.
In September 2023, a 56-year-old grandma made the difficult choice to put her personal relaxation ahead of watching her 14-month-old grandson while she was on vacation.

Her husband left her when their baby was just three months old, leaving her 26-year-old daughter a single mother. After learning that OP’s child having trouble making ends meet, she gave permission for her to move in with her.

“I have a hectic routine where I do my things (work, gym, etc.) until 5 PM, and from 6 PM to 8 PM, I stay with my grandson until my daughter arrives,” the OP continued.
While her daughter concentrated on spending money on childcare and baby supplies, she assisted with household bills. This indicates that the daughter of the OP has sufficient disposable income, allowing her to accumulate money for a move out. OP disclosed:

“I made the decision to take a month off the next month to relax—without necessarily going somewhere. My daughter mentioned that since I could stay with my grandson, we might save money on creche and use that money towards moving when she learned about the vacation.”

OP declined right away but said he could assist her in the morning and that the afternoon was off-limits. The grandmother refused to back down in the face of her daughter’s tearful cry for assistance in order to reduce nursery expenses and achieve financial independence.

It’s impossible for me not to feel bad about my daughter’s circumstances. I adore my grandson, but I also need to relax,” the person said.

See four further true tales of fathers who declined to support their children’s weddings.

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