I know it is not the baby’s fault and I am not frustrated with him. My son obviously made an error in judgment and we are all paying the price. I feel like I probably can handle one day a week and we are trying to set a good example for our son by being responsible. We feel that our son eventually needs to step up and be a father to this child, but I am concerned that if we force him to take care of his son, then he will resent his child.
What do you think? Should we continue to care for our grandchild on the weekends, or is this something our son needs to do? — Grandma too early
This is a one-layer problem: Your son needs to take responsibility for his child (DNA confirmed, yes?).
The rest are qualifiers, subplots and, ultimately, distractions.
One such subplot is the mother of the child. She overruled the father/the father’s camp (hard to distinguish the two here, a subplot of its own), and so she can’t expect to have weekend afternoons off. Call me cold, but just because the father should care for his child--and presumably is legally obligated to pay child support--doesn’t mean the mother can expect him to care for his child, not after she acted unilaterally in her decision to raise the child. The moment she did that, it was on her.
That needed to be said, but it’s ultimately irrelevant. Because:
Another subplot is your and your son’s stages of life. You’re at midlife and grateful for some freedom, parentally speaking, and he’s in his mid-teens, over-enjoying his freedom. Swell.
And, again, irrelevant, as you yourself seem to grasp. There’s an innocent baby three months into many years of dependency on the adults in his life, which means those adults have a duty to act like adults. Technically you can decline to take the child on weekends because you need time to pick up your drycleaning and weed the petunia bed, but morally you need to buy yourself a carrier and a car seat and bring Junior along for the ride.