When the Original Poster (OP) became an accidental father at 21, he begrudgingly shouldered the demands of parenthood. Years later, as his son Jake navigates fatherhood, the tables turn, with OP desiring freedom from grandfatherly duties.
A Brief Encounter
OP, at 21, finds himself in a short-term relationship, resulting in an unexpected pregnancy. While he never envisioned fatherhood, Jake’s mother chose differently. Tensions arose, forming a frigid relationship between them for years to come.
Despite his apprehensions, OP strives to be present for Jake. He becomes a part-time father, ensuring Jake is cared for every alternate weekend and during summers. In all his actions, OP tries to do right by his son.
A New Home for Jake
Jake’s life takes a turn when his mother marries a man he detests. Seeing his son’s distress, OP welcomes Jake to live with him permanently at age 13. The transition brings new challenges, but OP remains committed.
The Struggles of Fatherhood
Being a full-time parent was never in OP’s nature. While he deeply loves Jake, the demands of parenthood weigh on him. Nevertheless, he shoulders the responsibilities because Jake is his child.
At the same age as OP, Jake becomes a father. However, unlike OP, Jake embraces this new role wholeheartedly. With a supportive wife by his side, Jake seems prepared.
Laying the Foundation
OP’s career choices help Jake secure a stable future. By introducing Jake to the electrician’s union, OP ensures his son has solid job opportunities. Jake, with this foundation, stands on firmer ground than OP did at his age.
A Father’s Wisdom
OP and Jake engage in a heart-to-heart about the rigors of parenthood. OP paints a realistic picture, highlighting the sacrifices and ever-present responsibilities. He warns Jake of the lifelong commitment ahead.
The conversation shifts to OP’s role as a grandfather. Making his stance clear, OP declares his “retirement” from parenting. While he’s available in emergencies, OP won’t be an active participant in Mike’s upbringing.
OP reclaims the life he missed out on in his 20s. He embarks on travels, finds a girlfriend, and dives into hobbies. This newfound freedom allows OP to explore passions he once shelved.
Occasional Family Man
While OP indulges in his personal adventures, he doesn’t sever ties with Jake and Mike. The family remains in touch, but OP’s involvement is minimal, especially with Mike’s activities.
The tension between OP’s new life and his familial duties becomes evident. Jake expresses discontent over OP’s absence from Mike’s games, feeling sidelined by OP’s personal pursuits. OP’s weightlifting club often takes precedence.
The Tournament Standoff
The breaking point arrives during Mike’s baseball tournament. OP, having made scuba plans with his girlfriend, decides to skip the event. His absence becomes a bone of contention between him and Jake.
Memories of Little League
Recollections of Jake’s childhood games flood back to OP. Those long, tedious Saturdays spent watching Jake play felt endless to OP. He had always masked his disinterest, cheering Jake on with enthusiasm.
Jake confronts OP about his perceived negligence. He accuses OP of shirking responsibilities and acting juvenile. The heated exchange brings their underlying issues to the forefront.
Standing His Ground
Defending his choices, OP reminds Jake of his two-decade-long commitment to his well-being. He emphasizes how he prioritized Jake’s needs over his desires for 20 years. Those sacrifices, he believes, earned him the right to live for himself now.
A Father’s Legacy
Jake’s outburst points to a deeper yearning for his father’s attention. OP’s focus on reclaiming his lost youth inadvertently signals to Jake that he’s no longer a priority. Their bond is tested by differing expectations.
Was Telling His Son He Doesn’t Want To Be An Involved Grandparent Appropriate?
The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “Do you want him to go no contact with you? Because that’s the direction this is heading in.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote: “I wouldn’t consider going to an occasional little league game or going to the zoo with your son and grandson “parenting” more like being a loving grandparent.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person states, “I think your attitude is understandable, though cold and distant. Not everyone wants to be a parent or grandparent. Both are a lot of work.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another viewpoint on the story: “You just basically told your son you don’t love him and his son. Good job. You now have no family.”