Internet slams mom for trying to make daughter’s school trip her vacation

Members of a popular Internet forum quickly called a mother who wanted to turn her daughter’s study trip into a vacation.

In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITeA**hole, Redditor u/Acrobatic-Flan-6059 (aka Original Poster or OP) explained that her 26-year-old daughter is in the process of getting a PhD, and expressed her frustration at not being involved in any of the academic travels she makes around the country and the rest of the world.

Captioned: “[Am I the a**hole] for telling my daughter to get over herself?” the viral post has garnered more than 8,100 votes and 2,800 comments in the last day.

The original poster wrote that her daughter is the first member of her family to attend college and said the two recently FaceTimed about the 26-year-old’s upcoming trip to Germany.

“She mentioned that she was meeting with an advisor to discuss submitting an application for a grant to go to Germany for two weeks in the summer,” the OP wrote. “I said it sounded great, mostly because I’m half German … and that I’ve always wanted to see Germany, so maybe I could come out with her and make it a girls’ trip.”

Upon her request, the original poster said her daughter immediately dropped the idea.

“She said that ‘it’s not a vacation, if I go I’ll be teaching, researching and networking all the time,'” the OP wrote. “I said she can do it during the week and we can go out to eat in the evenings and go sightseeing at the weekends.”

“She said it was already a very tight time and she wanted to spend her free time networking with other ‘academics’ there,” OP continued.

Mother-daughter dispute over work trip
Commenters called a mother on a popular Reddit forum who complained that she wouldn’t be attending her daughter’s study trips.
fizkes/iStock/Getty Images Plus

“At that point, I felt totally thrown aside … like she was embarrassed to have me around,” OP added. “So I said, ‘You’ve got to get over yourself, and fast, because all these ‘academics’ aren’t going to be the only people you meet, and not everyone loves them unconditionally to indulge in such tiresome and elitist babble.’ “

Diminished participation in adult children’s lives can be difficult for many parents.

Although college-age offspring often live away from their parents’ homes and lead lives independent of their parents, mothers and fathers who watch their children grow into adults often struggle with separating themselves from control over their children’s lives.

Bonobology, a website dedicated to relationship and parenting advice, attributes this struggle to “empty nest syndrome.”

“For these parents, letting go of adult children is a real challenge,” said Bonobology author Ranjana Kamo. “It could be that they have empty nest syndrome or maybe they don’t realize that their child is now an adult, but they are not willing to put up with letting go of a grown child.”

“They don’t want adults to be overly attached to their parents because that will prevent them from living their best life to their maximum potential,” Kamo continued. “This over-attachment could get in the way of your child’s well-being. Parents who can’t let go can become seriously annoying and force kids to cut ties with them for good.”

In thousands of replies to the viral Reddit post, commenters echoed that sentiment, assuring the original poster that her daughter’s rejection of a girl’s trip to Germany had nothing to do with embarrassment, it had everything to do with being an overbearing parent.

“[You’re the a**hole,]” wrote Redditor u/NoUnicornPoo4You in the top comment of the post, which received more than 27,000 votes.

“Your daughter is not going on vacation. Think about that,” they added. “Take your own advice and get over it. You are not authorized to make these trips.”

Redditor u/A_Birdii_, whose comment has garnered nearly 10,000 votes, told the original poster that she is actively involved in her daughter’s work and that accompanying her on an academic trip abroad shouldn’t even be considered.

“It’s her job. Graduate school is work,” they wrote. “It would be incredibly inappropriate for you to take your daughter on a business trip.”

“I’m literally stunned at how you can think it’s okay to take your 26-year-old adult child on a business trip,” added Redditor u/Apart_Zucchini5778. “Who does that? It’s not about embarrassing yourself for not being educated. It’s about embarrassing you because NOBODY brings mommy to work events.”

In a pointed reply, Redditor u/Left-Car6520 shared a similar message, describing the difficulties of getting a PhD — even without your mom watching over your shoulder.

“She is right. These are not pleasure trips,” they commented, defending the original poster’s daughter.

“They are intense, especially for a doctoral student. And if she wants to achieve something in her field, she has to invest in networking. It’s a lot of work she’ll be doing on these trips,” they continued.

“And of course it would be weird to bring your mom to work events,” they added. “Like any other job, bringing yours with you would look extremely childish and unprofessional [mom] Join in like you’re a kid being dropped off at a sleepover.”

news week contacted u/Acromatic-Flan-6059 for comment. Internet slams mom for trying to make daughter’s school trip her vacation

Rick Schindler

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