Dad Prioritizing Vacation With Wife Over Attending Grandkid's Birth Cheered

The internet has sided with a couple who chose to continue their holiday in Cancun after their pregnant daughter asked them to come back early to support her through childbirth.

In a post shared on Reddit earlier in February, under the username u/DragonValleys, the 52-year-old father of the woman explained that six days into his Mexico holiday with his wife, their daughter's boyfriend called them, asking them to come back home because she was ready to have the baby—but instead of going they decided to stay on holiday.

The poster explained that they had planned and paid for their very expensive trip before their daughter even got pregnant, and had to save for years to be able to afford it. Moreover, their daughter was supposed to give birth at the end of the month, and it was still just the beginning.

couple choosing holiday over daughter cheered
File photos of a couple enjoying a tropical holiday and a woman giving birth. The internet has backed a couple who chose to stay on holiday while their daughter was having a complicated birth. Getty Images

While grandparents don't really play much of a role during childbirth, according to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, men's active participation and assistance during childbirth accelerates the delivery process and improves delivery outcomes.

"Fathers' involvement also promotes positive feelings about the birth experience, fosters paternal role attainment, and strengthens family bonding," the study states.

After the couple told their daughter's boyfriend they were staying in Mexico, the daughter called them again, saying she was scared and she needed them by her side, being a first-time mom at 26 years old—but again they refused to go back home.

"My wife and I assured her everything would be fine, but we were unable to just pack up and go. She got upset and hung up on me."

Later that night they missed a call from their daughter's boyfriend calling to inform them that there had been complications and they had to perform an emergency c-section on her because they were already asleep.

"The next morning we called immediately and our daughter told us she was scared and things could've [gone] bad and our Cancun trip was more important to us [than] her, then hung up. We tried to call back but she wouldn't answer.

"The baby was born healthy and our daughter is okay. We have only seen pictures of our grandchild through Facebook because our daughter hasn't let us see her and has barely [spoken] to us since we've been back home.

"We had planned to be there for our grandchild's birth, but we couldn't leave 6 days into a trip we spent a large amount of money on. Even if we did we wouldn't make it back on time. Even if we did make it back we couldn't do anything the doctors couldn't in the situation. I feel as though our daughter is being too harsh to us. We have apologized many of times."

First Pregnancy

Soula Hareas, a licensed mental health counselor at McNulty Counseling and Wellness, told Newsweek that any mom will tell you that the first pregnancy was filled with anxiety about giving birth.

She said: "A million things could go wrong not to mention the pain! This new mom expressed her feelings that in her eyes were minimized. In therapy, we say that everyone is entitled to their feelings whether someone agrees with them or not. I also say that there are consequences to the choices we make in life.

Maybe the parents didn't think this through when it came to their daughter. They just assumed she would get over it. I understand that they saved for a long time for this trip but again it is just a trip. Their daughter should have come first. Many will say that she is a grown woman and could have had friends or other family around but I always say a mother is a mother is a mother.

According to Hareas, there may have been nothing more comforting and reassuring than having her mom there, and this should have been an honor for her parents to be there for the birth of her grandchild.

"Others may say that they will be there for the rest of the child's life but I question how the parents would have felt if something did happen to their daughter and/or grandchild- would the trip or the money they spent REALLY have been worth it? Money and trips come and go - people and once-in-a-lifetime moments don't."

Hareas says that this doesn't set a positive tone now that the baby is here and the parents need to make this right with their daughter.

"The daughter needs a safe place to express her fears and frustrations and it could possibly be in a family therapy situation. I say this because this incident may have the daughter fearing that her parents will not be there for her in the future causing her even more anxiety when planning events or when emergencies happen.

"Yes, this was painful but parents make mistakes, even when their kids are grown and out of the house. She is going to need them throughout her child's life and should try to heal from this as a family celebrating this joyous event."

Cycle of Misunderstandings

Moreover, she added that punishing someone by withholding sometimes starts a never-ending cycle of misunderstandings and misinterpretations that becomes so big everyone involved is upset about several things instead of focusing on fixing the broken relationship caused by the initial issue.

The post, originally shared on the r/AmItheA****** subreddit, has now gone viral, receiving over 11,800 upvotes and 4,600 comments so far.

One user, DialPlumeria, commented: "[Not The A******]- you can't just rush home from another country, and if you had, same-day tickets would have been astronomical. I take it your daughter is mad, but it was a no-win situation. You planned the trip way ahead, and you could not just rush home because traveling from another country doesn't work that way. Also, there are still covid procedures in place, so chances are the nurses would have sent you home"

And Rhiannon8404 said: "I don't know, I mean, I expected my mother to be with me, along with my husband; and she would have moved heaven and earth to be there. Thankfully, she made being available a priority so when my delivery ended up in an emergency C-section she was there for me, and for my husband who was also very scared."

Shibaspots added: "I don't know why more people aren't pointing this out. Even had they dropped everything and rushed back, they are still coming back from a week in a foreign country in a crowded plane. During the winter cold/flu/peak covid season. They needed to stay away from mom and baby for at least a week. [Not The A******]. ETA: a week in a tourist town in a foreign country. I wouldn't go near the baby for a few weeks."

Newsweek reached out to u/DragonValleys for comment. We couldn't verify the details of the case.

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