Unfortunately, not all parents are worthy of being parents. Some are just terrible at their jobs!

An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk for calling my daughter a terrible mother?”. What’s your take on the matter?


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The Original Poster (OP) and her oldest daughter disagreed recently. OP was very disappointed in her and expressed that she (OP’s daughter) is a terrible mother. 

“She believes I am wrong to judge her, so I want some perspective,” says OP. 


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OP’s daughter was married twice. Her first husband died when their children were 9, 5, and 4. She met her second husband 18 months later, remarried after a year of dating, and created a blended family with her husband’s daughter, who was four years old.


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His dad’s death destroyed her (OP’s) oldest grandson. He was in therapy from the point of his dad’s death, something OP and her husband had to pressure their daughter to seek because she was focused more on moving forward. But their grandson was hardly eating or sleeping and had difficulty in school. OP’s daughter thanked OP later for giving her the push.


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When her (OP’s) grandson started therapy, he was asked to keep a diary to help him. It took him several months to use it more than once a month, but he did grow to use it a lot. This diary was something for his eyes only. Not even the therapist read it. They just discussed anything he wished to.


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Her (OP’s) daughter had more children with her second husband, and things were fine. When OP’s grandson decided to attend college locally, he asked if he could live with OP and her husband, and they agreed. He moved in with OP in mid-June.


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About a month later, OP noticed something was happening, but she had no idea what. OP’s other two grandchildren from OP’s daughter’s first marriage told OP that their mom and brother were fighting because their mom had stolen his therapy diary while they were visiting OP’s place and that she (their mom) was angry about its contents. She was also mad at them because they defended their brother.


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She (OP) spoke to her grandson, who was both angry and sad. He told OP his mom was never supposed to read those. OP talked to her daughter next. 

“She ranted at me about how my grandson had written about her husband and other children, including her stepdaughter. She said he never wanted her to move on. He had wanted her to be alone forever. Her son didn’t even love his much younger siblings, just the two from her marriage to his dad. She said she couldn’t look at him.” Says OP 


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She (OP) asked her daughter if she had stolen the diary. OP’s daughter was stunned and asked her to focus more on the contents, primarily when some of it was written before he moved in with OP. She (OP) told her it was kept in a diary and never vocalized to any of them. 

“She said that didn’t matter, and I said it did. She told me I should be on her side and that her son should be shunned for writing so many awful things. This is when I expressed my disappointment in her and called her a terrible mother. Am I a jerk?” asks OP. 


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“Not the jerk. You go, grandma! Your grandson is so lucky to have you. A parent should never read their child’s diary. Especially not a therapy one. She overstepped a huge boundary. 

He was a young man feeling many feelings, and it seems his mother didn’t do much to help him. She has no right to be angry at her child’s valid emotions. I feel so bad for him right now. Hugs to you.”


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“She moved on and never dealt with her grieving son. Of course, he has anger that has built up, needing release, and the diary helps it. Mom is a bad mom. It’s good he’ll be with you while in college. Not the jerk!”


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“What a horrid mother, just plain nasty. Congratulations, though, she has single-handedly caused her child to hate her, and I wouldn’t blame him. I doubt he will be sticking around her after graduation.” 


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“Not the jerk. Diaries are meant to be a private place to put your thoughts and feelings that you don’t want to express to anyone else and don’t want out in the world. Your daughter went over the line when she invaded his privacy, and instead of realizing she did the wrong thing, she is focusing on the parts of the diary that hurt her feelings and didn’t validate the choices she made for her and her children. 

If she was a young woman again and had gone through a terrible loss, would she want someone invading her privacy as she did to him? She sounds selfish and entitled, and while that might not be enough to call her a ‘terrible mother,’ she did wrong, and she needs to own what she did.” 

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