When a baby is added to a family, it’s inevitable that priorities will change.
This is especially true for grandparents who don’t bear responsibility for the mundane tasks of the day to day life of the child. Grandparents are free to fawn over the baby and enjoy just the good bits.
But what if their relationship with their grandchild’s parents hits a rough patch?
Is it reasonable to restrict their access to their grandchild?
A mom is wondering just that so she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
“AITA for not letting my mother-in-law (MIL) and father-in-law (FIL) help me with the baby after their reaction to me being injured?”
The original poster (OP) explained:
“I (21, female) have a 7-month-old son with my boyfriend. My family lives abroad and are coming over to stay and help at Christmas time.”
“For now, my MIL and FIL (60s-Debra and Bob) are helping me with household stuff and the baby. So far, we haven’t had any real issues and they’ve been a massive help.”
“About 3 weeks ago, I fell down the stairs.”
“I wasn’t holding the baby and the baby was safe. However, instead of helping me, Debra and Bob both jumped to comfort the baby who was crying… and left me at the bottom of the stairs.”
“My legs were fine, but I was wobbly because of shock and asked one of them to help me up.”
“After nearly 10 whole minutes of being ignored, I managed to stand up on my own and hobble through to the living room. I sit down and Debra says ‘What’s happened to you? Are you ok?’.”
“I’ll admit, I saw red.”
“I just said ‘I fell down the stairs, didn’t you hear me calling you for help?’ Debra’s eyes widened and she said she was too busy fussing over the baby.”
“After an hour, my arm was swelling up and I was taken to hospital. Luckily, it was nothing serious and recovery time would be quick.”
“After my boyfriend got home and his parents left, I told him I no longer want their help after today’s events. I can manage on my own, even though it’ll be hard.”
“He was taken aback and said they’ve done a lot for us. I said I appreciated it all but they ignored me crying and calling them for 10 minutes after I fell down the stairs.”
“They don’t care about me, only the baby and I was embarassed I didn’t see it sooner.”
“He called his parents to let them know we won’t need their help anymore and his dad said ‘Is it about today? We really didn’t hear her’.”
“My boyfriend just told them they’re invited to Sunday roast this week and that’s all. I could tell he was not happy about my decision but he said he went along with it because I’m the mother.”
“Fast forward to Sunday and my brother-in-law (BIL) and sister-in-law (SIL) are guests as well. SIL has a 3-year-old and is totally on my side but BIL is not.”
“He told me to ‘be grateful’ for his parent’s support as they’re significantly more well-off than my parents are and paid for many newborn/infant expenses and plan to pay for many more as the baby grows.”
“Since then, Debra keeps calling asking if we need any help and says she feels awful not seeing ‘the both of you’ and that she misses the baby.”
“AITA for not wanting them helping me in my day to day life?”
The OP added some answers to common questions.
“‘Was the baby crying loudly enough that there is a possibility they didn’t hear you?’ No way. The baby stopped crying after 10 seconds and the stairs are like 2 meters from the living room.”
“There is absolutely zero way they couldn’t have heard me:”
“1- scream as I fell”
“2- the general noise of someone falling, including books falling and wall plates breaking”
“3- me crying and shouting for help”
“I fell at the top of the stairs and fell all the way down. This wasn’t a missed step and a bum shuffle down that hurt my pelvic bone.”
“I fully fell down the stairs and cracked the banister. No way they didn’t hear.”
“The baby also started crying AFTER the initial smack after I hit the ground.”
The OP summed up why they might be the a**hole.
“I stopped by MIL and FIL from seeing me or the baby.”
“They care about the baby and helped me and have paid for many things and will continue to do so in the future so it seems ungrateful.”
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
The majority of Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).
“NTA. You are the only one who knows the layout of your home, the timeframe of the crying and the noise, and how everyone reacted.”
“I can’t imagine that upon hearing thumps and screams, they would rush to a baby—who is fine—and for the next 10 minutes they didn’t bother to call out for you or to investigate where the noise came from.”
“While they may not have intentionally ignored you, they displayed a lack of care for you, and weirdly for themselves.”
“If I hear a big noise, I’m looking around, and I’m certainly yelling out for anyone else who would be home, both to make sure they are okay but also to make sure we aren’t being robbed or something is wrong.”
“My dad drops a pot on the floor once a day and we still all yell “YOU OKAY” even though we know exactly what the man did.”
And you know what, it doesn’t matter if they want to help, or if they have given you a ton of money and stuff. You aren’t going no contact with them and you aren’t keeping them from the baby, you just don’t want them around every day.”
“Your feelings are hurt and you don’t want to rely on them in the same way. I might agree with your BIL if you were fully not speaking to them, but you are just scaling back their involvement, and that’s fine.” ~ mfruitfly
“NTA. From what you described, there’s no way they didn’t hear you fall. They deliberately chose to ignore you lying there, possibly seriously hurt.”
“And they are lying about it. They didn’t help you at all until YOU managed to get yourself to a place that they could no longer ignore you.”
“In turn, you cannot ignore behavior like that. You just can’t.”
“What if you’d punctured a lung or passed out from a serious concussion? What if you’d died because they couldn’t be bothered to investigate? You are better off without that kind of ‘help’.”
“I’m aghast that your boyfriend didn’t rip them each a new one.” ~ Diasies_inMyHair
“I’m wondering if SIL had similar interactions with her in-laws which is why she agrees with OP.
“If the in-laws are treating both OP and SIL as outsiders I could easily see why there’s disagreement amongst the sons.” ~ DahliaRenegade
“My mother-in-law would have pushed through her arthritis knees and would have rannnn to help me, hug me and generally be motherly.”
“OP, a total stranger would have come to see you instantly. It’s an emergency.”
“I hope your boyfriend is furious about this.” ~ Extension-Pen-642
Some found the situation—as described from the OP’s perspective—very suspicious.
Like featured on a true crime series suspicious.
“Babies cries are high-pitched. A tumble down the stairs is a lot of ruckus. An adult human cries at a much lower register than a baby.”
“I’m pointing this out because if they are trying to say that ‘my hearing isn’t what it used to be…’, then that is not a good argument. The first thing to go is hearing at the higher registers, meaning if anything, it would have been the baby’s cries that they couldn’t hear.”
“But if we ignore that, then let’s see what the situation is:”
“They heard the baby crying. Presumably YOU heard the baby cry.”
“If I’m at someone’s house, and their baby cries, I wonder, ‘Why isn’t mom/dad taking care of this baby?’ After I’ve checked to make sure the baby is okay, I go to check out why the parent didn’t come.”
“Where are you? Are you ignoring your baby? Do you need help? Were you in the bathroom? Did you fall down the stairs?”
“No matter what way you look at it, there’s something fishy about this situation. NTA.” ~ NotSoAverage_sister
“Part of me is wondering if they ignored her and were hoping she wouldn’t survive the fall so that their son and the baby would have to come live with them.”
“I don’t really see another reason to ignore someone that’s been hurt and then play dumb about it. NTA.” ~ LookAwayPlease510
“Her boyfriend already KNOWS his parents hate OP & don’t care whether she lives or dies, but he’s been taught that giving money means the parents can be a**holes to whoever they want.” ~ Granuaile11
“Yeah, I’d be asking him why he doesn’t seem to mind his parents leaving her potentially seriously injured and completely not caring about her safety at all.”
“The baby wouldn’t exist without OP, so they should be treating the mother of their grandchild with at least basic common decency and concern for her physical well-being.”
“I mean damn, I treat strangers better than that.” ~ modernjaneausten
“I’m sure they heard you, almost wonder if they did something to cause the fall.”
“And BIL is way out of line.”
“I’m telling you now days, I value those who are there for you with little to give more than those who have everything to give but ignore you.” ~ Popular-Jaguar-3803
However a vocal minority felt the OP was the a**hole.
“YTA-really? you go from ‘they’ve been a massive help’ to cutting them off over a misunderstanding?”
“This type of behavior doesn’t help people understand each other, live together happily, and be intimate. Talk to each other for God’s sake.”
“They have their viewpoint on what happened too. I understand you’re upset, but this is so immature.” ~ JustWhippet
“I’ve seen similar stories posted on social media from one party while knowing the ‘true’ story and this reads like a deliberately obfuscated version.”
“There is no way you can go from genuinely believing that they left you to die to having them over for Sunday roast.”
“I feel bad for everyone involved here, even the OP, because her feelings and perceptions are valid but something is missing from the narrative.” ~ Durtonious
“She states they also help with the house. I think she paints them as malicious when it’s likely a misunderstanding.”
“Why would she allow them to help with her baby for 7 months if they’re such horrible people‽‽”
“I’m not buying it. She’s also fine accepting financial support for them.” ~ Difficult_Fix1973
“Yeah I bet she’s not cutting them off from any financial assistance.” ~ Salty_Pancakes
“YTA. You laid there for 10 minutes, despite no actual injuries. Drama queen much?” ~ ShillinTheVillain
“I fell down some stairs a couple months ago and yeah it hurt and I laid there a minute hoping I didn’t break anything before slowly getting up.”
“But you know what I didn’t do?”
“I didn’t stay there for 10 minutes shouting and ‘sobbing’ for help (help with what, exactly?). So ridiculous.” ~ athaliah
“YTA. Sound like a drama queen. 10 minutes just sitting there and, in the end, nothing was wrong with you.”
“You sound like you just need attention and they probably just know how you are.” ~ Redditor
“You say they have been extremely helpful and are paying many of the baby expenses. I hope you get what you want and they leave you alone and take their money with them.
“They are obviously evil and who knows what devil worship they practice to get that money to begin with.”
“I bet they were hoping you ended up in a coma so they could harvest your kidneys so they could start saving up for the next grandchild. YTA.” ~ No-Yesterday-5822
“YTA. It’s evident how young you are and throwing a temper tantrum.”
Next time you fall, get up and get on with your life. Stop pouting.” ~ yourpaleblueeyes
With Redditors very divided in their reactions, it seems evident there is much more to this story.
Feelings are definitely hurt.
It sounds like a discussion with the in-laws might be a good idea.