in ,

New Mom Fed Up After Mother-In-Law Repeatedly Shows Up At House Without Warning And Wakes Baby

older woman coming through door of home
Richard Bailey/Getty Images

A new addition to the family can be exciting for the entire family. But for the primary caregiver(s), it’s also exhausting.

So the last thing most new parents want is an uninvited guest who makes more work for them.

But should first time grandparents get a free pass on waiting to be invited over? What if they live next door?

A mom with grandmother—mother-in-law—problems turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Wontletgrandmaseehim asked:

“AITA for refusing to let my mother-in-law (MIL) in my house to see my son?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“My husband Jared and I have a 6 month old son we will call Jed. I’m a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) and my MIL, Susan, lives next door to us.”

“She just moved next door to us a couple months ago—it’s not like we could stop her—so this didn’t happen during our son’s early months.”

“Since she moved here she has taken to just showing up at the door to see Jed and continuously knocking since she knows I’m home until I open. It’s a real problem when I am trying to put Jed down for a nap or feed him or nap myself, etc…”

“She has woken him up multiple times.”

“My dog doesn’t bark but starts pacing and whines the entire time from excitement/anxiety until she leaves or I open the door.”

“Susan showed up two weeks ago knocking after I told her the day before that Jed was teething and sleeping terribly. She came right as I had gotten him to sleep and woke him up.”

“I told her at the door it’s not a good time and she said she’ll come back later. I told her to please text me so I can make sure he’s awake first.”

“It took two hours to get Jed back to sleep and she comes over ten minutes after I get him down without texting me and wakes him up AGAIN. I didn’t answer the door.”

“I have a ring camera and she stood there for FIFTEEN minutes knocking every few minutes or so. After fifteen minutes she finally texted me saying she’s here to see Jed.”

“I texted her back saying he’s sleeping and I will let her know when she can come see him and then she finally left.”

“When Jared got home and I told him everything, he went to talk to Susan and told her she needs to text me asking if the time works before just showing up as she keeps waking up Jed.”

“Jared is not a stranger to these types of conversations with his mother unfortunately. From what he described he was very firm that she needed to text me to get the okay before coming over.”

“She said she understood and would only come over when she knows he’s awake. He told her to only come over when I say it’s okay.”

“Susan has now taken to standing outside our front door and listening to see if she can hear Jed—it’s a small old house so if he’s baby talking or crying you can usually hear it. If she can, she’ll knock and stay knocking until I answer.”

“I’ve taken to just ignoring her and taking Jed and my dog into the backyard or as far from the front door as I can get and playing until she gives up and I see her leave on the camera.”

“I told my husband and he agrees with me not letting her in unless she texts me first—regardless of whether Jed is awake or not.”

“My father-in-law Grant—who is divorced from Susan—texted me and Jared yesterday about how she is hurt and how we are being cruel by ignoring her and how she’s always wanted to be a grandma and she deserves an opportunity to bond with her grandson.”

“She divorced him, to be fair. He’s a suck up because he still wants her.”

“Grant will always take her side.”

“She’s still sleeping with him, so he takes her side for a lot of things. It’s irrelevant, but he does pay for her lifestyle.”

“She lives with two people and has three dogs, so we don’t go to her place. She’s not a really bad grandma, but she was an absolutely terrible mother.”

“Due to things she is still currently doing, we won’t allow her to watch Jed. She is not a great houseguest either.”

“She told me it’s rude to breastfeed in front of other people, so I have to shut myself away to feed my son while she’s over. She does not help around the house, basically just wants to be entertained!”

“We don’t have a bad relationship, but she talks super loud—waking Jed up—and tends to overstay her welcome. It’s also hard to get things done when she’s here.”

“Jared also doesn’t trust her, so we do not leave Jed around her by himself. So she isn’t help like watching him while I do chores or cook.”

“She hasn’t seen Jed in over a week—we were out of town over the weekend—and made a Facebook post about how much she misses him. Susan’s siblings were commenting about why she can’t see him, being next door.”

“She said we weren’t allowing her to ‘for no reason’. Between Grant and Aunts/Uncles I am beginning to feel like an a**hole, but I’m not sure that I am one.”

“We already were inviting her over is the thing!”

“We usually had her over for dinner once or twice a week, but haven’t since this whole thing has gone down. She just showed up randomly on top of those visits.”

“Jared did text his dad back explaining, but Grant said that we are being petty.”

The OP added:

“Quite a few people have told me to get a sound machine, so thought I’d say we do have a white noise machine we use when he’s sleeping but he is just a light sleeper. Plus we have single pane windows.”

“A lot of people are also telling me to just let her watch him when she wants and then have time to myself, but she is not a trustworthy caretaker. We will not allow her to watch him unsupervised.”

The OP summed up their situation. 

“I won’t let my MIL in to see my son unless she texts me first, even if my son is awake.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors unanimously decided the OP and her husband were not the a**holes (NTA).

“NTA. How about when Jed is awake at 2:00 in the morning—refusing to let anyone else sleep—you go knock, knock, knock on Susan’s door to let her know he’s awake now!” ~ Ok_Conversation9750

“I’d love to say that you need to be clear with her, have this cconversation again and be very firm, but it sounds like you’ve done that.”

“I used to live across the street from my ex-MIL and she never showed up without a text or call before, because she respected that it wasn’t her home and her space. And I don’t applaud her for that, that’s just basic manners.”

“Show up with a screaming baby in the middle of the night and do not back down. Keep knocking.” ~ Fckingross

“Your MIL has lost her sense of boundaries for whatever reason and you are NTA for asserting your right to privacy and independence.”

“Your husband will need to be more forceful in explaining the expectations you and he have of your mum visiting.”

“This is really important so your relationship can be positive, so she is welcome when she comes over, and so you do not have to default to not allowing her access to your home or family which would be a shame.” ~ Famous_Specialist_44

“This MIL is exhausting! It sounds like the husband has a spine which is great. Maybe he needs to show it to his mother more regularly.”

“Also, the FIL saying they are petty is laughable. You know what would be petty? Every time MIL knocks on the door, they should call FIL and just let it ring and ring then if he answers just tell him ‘she’s here…again’.”

“Then they should go over in the middle of the night when baby is awake and knock on MIL’s door until she answers. ‘He’s awake, you can play with him now’ just over and over until she gets the point.” ~ Commercial-Place6793

“Your husband needs to respond to her Facebook post. Something like: ‘We invited you over for dinner repeatedly and asked you to do one simple thing if you wanted to drop in on us unannounced’.”

“‘We asked you to text us before dropping in any time you want, but so far you refuse to do that. Instead you pound on our door whenever you feel like it and wake the baby or interrupt whatever we’re doing’.”

“‘I don’t know why you’re lying to everyone. Maybe you can explain to them why you refuse to do the one simple thing we asked’.”

“‘It’s just common courtesy, but you insist on not doing it. That’s why you haven’t been in our house lately despite pounding on our door at all hours without a courtesy text first’.” ~ Reddit

“NTA. Have your husband tell her that EVERY TIME she knocks, rings your doorbell, or hovers at your door uninvited, one invitation is canceled and it will be 2 weeks before she sees the baby.”

“And right now, due to her harassment, you will start by taking a 1 month break from her. If she leaves you alone 100% during that month, you will see her after that. If not, it’s another month.” ~ Intrepid_Respond_543

Sounds like grandma is incapable of regulating her own behavior, so maybe it is time for some strict rules with spelled out consequences.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.