By Alma Gill (NNPA Newswire Columnist)
I need your advice. I love my son with all my heart. He’s been a good son and never gave us any problems. He and his girlfriend have lived together for the past five years and they have two children together. They just recently separated and he said it was his choice. He says he should have experienced more in life before settling down with a family. I want to be here to support him in any way that I can. I love my grandchildren and would do anything in the world for them. Here’s my problem: for over three months, on my son’s visitation weekends he brings his girls over and drops them off with me. I don’t want to come off like an ungrateful grandmother, but I don’t think this is right. I think he should spend time with them, especially since they don’t live together anymore. What do you think, Alma, am I blowing things out of proportion?
One Concerned Grandmother
Look Grammy, there’s one thing I know for sure and that’s every woman knows her child. I think you feel like your son is taking advantage of you, and I agree, he is. Clearly, his weekend plans do not include his children. A mother’s intuition is better than any radar detector, GPS or Google map app. We know what we know. So what you gonna do about it?
Bringing this to his attention, Me-ma, may not convey the truth you seek. You and I both know he’ll deny these actions and accuse you of not wanting to spend quality time with your grands. This is not the case I’m sure, but manipulators are all the same, it’s only the names that change. The truth of the matter is, he drops off the kids to you because you let him. So again I ask, what you gonna do about it?
Your question is about him, but my answer is about you. It’s time that you deal with your grown up son like the man and father that he is and stop worrying about hurting his feelings. He survived not getting his way when he was five and he will now. The next time he comes by with the children, tell him you’re a busy “Glam-Ma” and you’re heading out. Nope, the kids can’t join you. Do this two or three times, because you need to build up your confidence and not feel guilty about your actions. Stop allowing your son to take advantage of you and disappoint his kids. Real life isn’t like a monopoly game, there are “No get out of jail” or responsibility free cards to be won.
Your grandchildren are to be loved, cherished and enjoyed at your convenience and availability, just like everyone else in your life. This situation isn’t about you, it’s about your son and his accountability as a father.
Alma Gill’s newsroom experience spans more than 25 years, including various roles at USA Today, Newsday and the Washington Post. Email questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook at “Ask Alma” and Twitter @almaaskalma.