I’m a single father. I have raised my son alone because when he was just a few days old, his mother suddenly decided she doesn’t want a child anymore. She claimed she’s not ready to have a child and refused to even feed him or hold him. I wanted to give her some time, I thought that maybe it’s just postpartum depression or something, I was ready to be there for her but she was serious. She packed her stuff and left the hospital, her last words were that she wants to see neither me or our son ever again.
I have never seen her since. And I kind of feel like MIL had something to do with it because during her pregnancy she was talking all the time about how young her daughter is and how inappropriate of a moment this is for her to have a child. I don’t have any proof and I can’t tell anything for sure but I feel like MIL somehow secretly persuaded her to take this step for whatever reason.
So I was left alone with an infant in my hands. It definitely wasn’t easy. I was just 21 years old, I had to leave college and work very hard to give my son everything he needed. Fortunately, I wasn’t completely alone. There were people who helped me to get through the hardest period, people who babysat him while I was working, who gave me advice on how to take care of a baby and I’ll be forever thankful to them.
When he grew up a little, it became easier. I could send him to a kindergarten and work without asking people to take care of him while I’m not there. During all this time I hoped to hear from his mother, I hoped that she’ll eventually come around and realize you can’t just leave your child like a worthless piece of trash.
But, even though I had left her my contacts and she could call me or write me a letter or something, she didn’t. I never heard from her. She never once used her rights to visit him. When he was little, he often asked me why did his mother leave him, why didn’t she want him. And I didn’t know what to answer because I always tried not to speak badly of his mother in front of him.
Now my son is 25 years old, he’s a hardworking, educated young man and I’m so proud of him and I’m proud of myself that I was able to raise him to be a good person. We stopped talking about his mother a long time ago, it was his initiative, he was like – well, if she doesn’t want to be with us, then it’s her loss and there’s nothing we can do about it.
So recently MIL appeared on our doorstep. Without a call, without any kind of notification, she was just there and she had come to visit her grandson. I couldn’t believe my ears and at first, I almost didn’t recognize her, because so many years are passed after all. And she was behaving as if she was a caring grandmother who had come to see her grandchild like she does all the time. Not like she was gone for 25 years.
When my son saw her, he didn’t recognize her either. I have shown him pictures of his mother and his grandmother just in case they show up one day but I never really thought that they would. She ran up to him and hugged him just like a loving grandmother would, asking how he’s doing and how big and beautiful he has become, and he pushed her away and looked kind of confused. I told him that it’s his grandmother who has randomly shown up to visit him and he was like ”oh” and walked away from her.
MIL didn’t take this reaction very well. She looked at me and was like ”What have you taught him if he doesn’t even say hello to his grandmother? He’s looking at me as if I’m a stranger! Haven’t you told him about his mother and me or shown him our pictures?”
Well, technically you are a stranger, MIL. He had never seen you in person, so why are you so surprised? You show up out of thin air after 25 years when he’s all grown up and expect him to treat you with love. Isn’t it kind of delusional?
My son said, ”Dad did show me your picture, but I needed no picture, I needed you to be there for me.” He was quite hateful with her, throwing question after question at her and MIL’s responses were so incredibly narrow minded, it looked like she wasn’t expecting him to ask any questions. He asked her where his mother was and MIL was like ”Oh, she’s doing very well, she’s living together with a great man and she has two nice kids. She has gotten over that misunderstanding about your birth.”
She was acting as if her daughter was the victim here. As if we were the ones who left her. He asked her why did his mother abandon him, MIL said ”Well, she was such a young girl, it would be craziness for her to have a child at that age! She had her whole life ahead of her and a baby would only be an obstacle. You must understand it, she didn’t want to lose her freedom!”
Honestly, her daughter was older than me when our son was born, she was 24. I don’t think it’s too early to have a child, it’s not like she was 14 or something. Actually, age has nothing to do with it. I could have given up my son too, I was very young as well. But I didn’t because I loved him and I wanted to be his father. At this point I wanted to show MIL the door, obviously, she wasn’t welcome in our house, but my son stopped me, he had one more question. He asked why MIL didn’t want to be his grandmother. His mother left him – fine, but why did MIL leave him too?
MIL said ”Well, I had no time to take care of you. I was a young woman too, I had my life too. And grandkids are only obligated to take care of grandparents when they’re old and that’s why I’m here.”
Then my son told her to leave and never come back, he said he doesn’t want to see her ever again and he won’t help her with anything. And as she was leaving, she attacked me like ”That’s what I thought, a man alone cannot raise a proper human being! Such a rude and impolite boy, he would have turned out better in an orphanage than with you!”
So according to MIL, the conclusion is – don’t have children while you’re young or if you do, feel free to leave them and then come back a few decades later and they’ll love you even though they have never received any kind of care from you.
But seriously, what the hell was she expecting?