Becoming a grandmother is a beautiful thing: you get to see your own children become parents themselves, you get to see your legacy passed down to yet another generation, and — apparently — you get to make absolutely ridiculous demands of your daughter-in-law and then sulk when she doesn’t cooperate with your utter madness.
If you like mother-in-law horror stories, this one is a doozy, compliments of Reddit’s Am I The A—hole Forum.
Here’s the scene: a woman and her husband are welcoming their first baby. She has historically gotten along okay with her MIL, but admits that the MIL has a history of being a bit controlling and protective of her son.
When she got pregnant, the situation escalated quickly.
“MIL made a request to be the first person to hold my son after he's born,” the new mom writes. “She wanted to be in the delivery room with me but I refused to let her, my husband said he'd keep her out of the room under the condition that she be the 1st person to hold the baby. I didn't agree but didn't disagree as well. Just stayed silent.”
When the baby was born, the MIL was at a wedding and wasn’t around for several days.
“All my husband was worried about was having his mom be the 1st to meet the baby. but she was out of town attending a friend's daughter's wedding. He said she wouldn't be back til 2 days later. Mom and sister already came to help and they held my son as they were helping me after my husband went back to work. I had no [one] to help and they were my go to.”
When her mother-in-law found out that the baby’s other grandmother and the baby’s aunt cut in line (while she was at a non-family wedding by choice?), the crap hit the fan.
“MIL and my husband knew,” she continued. “They both went off and started throwing a fit saying that I betrayed her, and that I made a promised then broke it. My husband tried to get her to calm down after she came home lashing out, but she scolded us both then walked out. He blew up at me saying I screwed up and violated the agreement we had. I said that mom and sister were HELPING me out, and held the baby so what? he got more pissed and claimed I had no respect for his mom and her wishes and told me that I hurt her feelings and ruined her grandbaby's birth memory.”
Seems like there might be not one but two a—holes in this story.
“I couldn't keep arguing,” she concluded. “He called me unbelievably selfish and demanded I fix my mistake but I wasn't sure what he meant by that. Like redo the baby's birth and have his mom be the first to hold him? He didn't like my sarcasm and said that what I did was sneaky and cold hearted. he said he should've let his mom in the delivery room otherwise none of this would've happened.”
Sometimes these family situations are complex and convoluted. And sometimes they are as clear as day. The mother-in-law and the husband need to back off and act reasonable, the readers concluded. And some of the comments were pretty hilarious.
“Was mom supposed to do? Leave the new born on the bed for two days until MIL came back,” the most up-voted comment succinctly put it.
Another very observant reader noted, “How was the child supposed to be conveyed from one place to another? By tongs and a series of pneumatic tubes? If the first holding was so important to her she shouldn’t have gone to the friend’s daughter’s wedding.”
And maybe the strongest point? The MIL should not be bargaining for baby first at all.
“And the way he made MIL being first to hold baby ‘a condition’ of keeping MIL out of the delivery room,” another user explained. “Who gets to come in the delivery room is not a negotiation by any means. There should not be conditions placed on agreeing to keep someone out. The woman who has her bits on full display gets 100% say in who comes in the room - no conditions allowed.”
Finally: the husband should have her back here. He’s just as much of a jerk for ganging up on her as the MIL is for making this an issue at all.
“Consider this: you just had a baby,” one commenter wrote. “After 9 grueling months of pregnancy. Right now is the time for you to be comfortable and supported so you can be stress free. (Babies absorb stress very easily, especially if you're breastfeeding.) And instead of being comforted and having home life be made comfortable for you, your husband is arguing with you. Stressing you out. Making unreasonable demands. Putting his mother's feelings over yours. Just think about that for a minute.”