There's a litany of research that talks about the importance of kids growing up in a strong family unit and how that sets them up for success as an adult, and if a kid feels like a parent favors another child, or in the case of a divorce/separation, their "new family," that can really mess with their psyche.
So when Redditor @NearbyMessage246 posted about her conundrum in attending one of her kids' graduation ceremonies and not the other on the site's AITA sub, folks had a litany of different opinions about it.
The mom wanted to know if she was in the wrong for effectively choosing one kid over the other, and multiple people on the platform let her know just how bad of an idea they thought that was.
OP tells her story: she's got two kids named May, who is 21 years old, and Luke, who's 17. May was a child from her first marriage and she split with her dad not too long after she was born.
About a year later she met the man who would eventually become Luke's father and said that May primarily stayed with her biological father while visiting OP on weekends.
OP went on to gush about May and her accomplishments, calling her a very "bright" girl and that she's really "proud" of the fact that she's going to soon graduate with a BA and was accepted into a Master's program which she will be attending this fall.
But OP is conflicted: her son Luke is also graduating high school, with his own ceremony taking place just a few days apart from May's. One would assume that this wouldn't be a problem for someone to swing, right?
Well here's where things get complicated: OP says that she doesn't live close to May anymore and that it isn't practical for her to fly back and forth for the graduations.
She told May that since she was getting her Master's degree that she would attend that ceremony but she wouldn't be present at the one for her BA: "Since May is getting another degree, I’ve told her that I’ll attend her next graduation, but this time I’m just going to attend her brother’s since graduating high school is such a big step."
OP went on to say that while May was initially upset, she ultimately told her mom that it was OK and understood that she wasn't going to fly out and see her graduate.
However, she received a call from May's father (her ex) stating that she wasn't really considering her daughter's feelings. What's more, is that OP didn't get to attend May's high school graduation ceremony because she finished school in 2020 when government-imposed social distancing and stay-at-home mandates in response to the global panic created over COVID-19 meant she had to have a virtual high school graduation ceremony.
During her phone call with May's father, she reiterated that she's going to her next graduation, even though he said it's "more than possible" for her to hop on a plane to see her graduate and then fly back home to catch Luke's graduation.
And OP said that sure, while it's possible for her to do so "it isn't practical." She asked Reddit's "AITA" community if she was in the wrong for not flying out to see her daughter and there were throngs of people who thought that yes, indeed, she was in the wrong for not considering her daughter's feelings.
To top it all off, in an update to the post, OP said that her daughter found the post on Reddit and OP ultimately decided to not only fly out to see her daughter graduate, but that she would arrive a few days earlier in order to spend more time with her.
What do you think? Would you be bummed out if your mom decided to go to your brother's graduation but ditch yours just because it was more convenient for them?