Being a single parent comes with many challenges.
Mainly because single parents have to simultaneously provide and care for their family all on their own.
Those that are lucky, though, will have a support system ready and waiting to help with their kids.
Redditor SammyandMe35 tragically lost his wife mere moments after becoming a father for the first time, but felt fortunate that his late wife’s mother was ready and willing to help him raise his daughter.
However, the original poster (OP) later discovered his mother-in-law behaving in a way which he felt endangered his child, resulting in her no longer being welcome in his home.
After being told he was too hard on her by his in-laws, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The “A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA, I had my MIL trespassed after she entered my home and fired my babysitter.”
The OP first shared the tragic circumstances which resulted in his being a single father.
“I am a widower.”
“I lost my wife (Anne 34) just minutes after she gave birth to our first baby (Sammy).”
“She had a difficult pregnancy so I took an indefinite leave 3 months before she was due.”
The OP began to make plans as to how to take care of Sammy while he worked, but a seemingly promising solution ended up falling into his lap.
“Sammy’s 4 months old now and before I went back to work, I told my mother-in-law (MIL) (Sandra 56) about my plans and if she can recommend a nanny to take care of my daughter when I work.”
“She offered to do it (nanny) for free.”
“I told her she’s free to come by anytime during the day if she feels uncomfortable with a nanny looking after Sammy, but she insisted on doing it herself.”
“So I said yes and gave her a copy of the house keys.”
“She comes 30 mins. before I leave for work, and when I come home, she stays for dinner and leaves after putting Sammy to sleep.”
This arrangement seemed to be ideal, until the OP noticed a behavioral change in Sammy, leading to a fairly unsettling discovery.
“Everything was fine for the first couple of weeks until I noticed that Sammy’s not feeding as much.”
“Her formula’s barely touched.”
“I asked Sandra about it and why Sammy’s not feeding well.”
“She said she’s trying to breastfeed my daughter.”
“At first I thought she was joking then I realized she wasn’t.”
“She said Sammy needs to latch for a few minutes everyday to ‘activate’ her milk production.”
“I almost lost it.”
“I told her she cannot do that, and she needs to stop.”
“She said she will but I caught her again when I walked in my daughter’s room and she was forcing Sammy to latch.”
“I confronted her and told her she’s no longer my baby’s nanny.”
“I didn’t ask for the key back as she is still welcome to come visit anytime.”
But the OP’s mother-in-law did not take kindly to this new arrangement, as he soon discovered for himself.
“I asked for a 1 week leave from work to care for my daughter and find a nanny.”
“I found one but two days after she never returned.”
“I called her and she said my ‘mother’ fired her the day before.”
“I asked her to describe the woman and I was livid when I realized it was Sandra.”
“She came in my house using her key and fired my nanny.”
“I was about to call her when she showed up and said a convoluted story like how I hired an incompetent nanny, etc. etc.”
“I told her to leave but she refused and told me she’s calling CPS because I am endangering my child.”
“We argued back and forth before I called the police and she was charged with trespassing.”
“I know my MIL is grieving the loss of her daughter, I am too.”
“But she crossed the line when she disregarded my wishes.”
“She is very upset with me.”
“My SIL and BIL are calling me ruthless and I am now second guessing myself.”
“Have I taken it too far by calling the police?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community wholeheartedly agreed that the OP was in no way the a**hole for his behavior towards his mother-in-law.
Everyone agreed that the OP’s mother-in-law crossed a line with breastfeeding Sammy and firing the nanny and before she can continue spending time with her she and the OP need to have a serious discussion regarding boundaries.
“Her trying to breastfeed your daughter without your permission is gross and completely wrong.”
“Beyond that she FIRED YOUR NANNY?”
“I’d ask for your key back and set some serious boundaries.”- sprinklypops.
“Please tell your BIL and SIL what she did, specifically trying to breastfeed your child.”
“That is beyond inappropriate.”- Nervous_af35.
Others emphasized just how dangerous the mother-in-law’s breastfeeding actually was, and suggested that professional help might be needed.
“Babies need to be fed.”
“What you’re MIL did isn’t a small thing.”
“Babies need to be fed.”
“If you don’t feed a baby, it will die.”
“This comes firmly under ‘danger to yourself or others’.”
“Your MIL is an active danger to your daughter.”
“Maybe call the mental health or crisis services program in your area, and find out what can be done.”
“MIL may be having some type of mental health breakdown.”
“If that is the case, there needs to be intervention, involuntary if necessary, but the police and legal system may be less appropriate than the mental health system.”- Jazzlike_Humor3340.
“NTA obviously, but wow.”
“This woman was trying to nurse your daughter, and then not feeding her when she is not producing milk?”
“That is absolutely bizarre and harmful to the baby.”
“Then she fired your nanny?”
“Then threatened CPS?”
“She is unstable and should not be left alone with your child.”
“I’m so sorry for your loss, and I hope you can convince BIL and SIL to get this woman the help she needs.”
“But protect your daughter from her.”
“Good luck and all best.”-Original_Activity_94.
“MIL’s grief is going in a dangerous direction.”
“You needed to take drastic action, and mil should not have access to your daughter until she has been in therapy for some time.”
“Also, change your locks.”-Diasies_inMyHair.
“Change the locks and tell your BIL & SIL to get her into therapy.”-SoSleepySue.
Others were less sympathetic, and agreed the OP should have taken legal action against his mother-in-law.
“Get a restraining order on this woman.”
“Change the locks.”
“Grief doesn’t mean any of this.”- McflyThrowaway01.
“NTA Grieving for the loss of Anne is understandable, and is going to take time.”
“But your MIL was not hired to be your baby’s wet nurse.”
“I think you were INCREDIBLY understanding and kind by not taking back her key after everything that happened and allowing her to continue to come over whenever she wanted.”
“Her firing your nanny and THEN threatening to call CPS on you because she is forcing her breast into the mouth of a child that is not hers, and not feeding him enough to try to endure her body to produce milk.”
“That sounds like several felonies to me.”
“They made a movie about a crazy woman doing this kind of stuff ‘The Hand That Rocks The Cradle’.”
“You did not go too far.”
“The rest of your in-laws most likely do not know the whole story.”
“She should not be allowed near your house without you there.”
“Protect yourself and your baby.”-AngryLesbianMafia.
“Oh…. My…. God… “
“Keep that crazy person away from your child.”
“Who cares if it’s their grandparent.”
“Not only was that so disgusting but she was also starving your child.”- MaxScar.
“Your MIL has crossed several boundaries and is endangering your child.”
“She is unhinged and dangerous and you need to change the locks and get legal support because this woman has only just begun to try to steal your child.”
“Please see this as the alarming, unhinged, dangerous behavior it is and protect you and your child.”
“Your BIL and SIL are unhinged for thinking you are ruthless while your MIL has endangered your baby and fired your nanny without your knowledge or consent.”
“She needs psychological help to deal with the grief and her insane behavior.”-pink4pink.
The OP subsequently returned to thank all those who took the time to comment, as well as his decisions on how to handle his mother-in-law and raising Sammy going forward.
‘Thank you everyone for your advice and showing concern for Sammy.”
“I called CPS to tell them about the situation.”
“My mom is coming over to help look after my daughter and look at our options (she’s a retired family law attorney).”
“BIL and SIL know the whole story and they also think that forcing to breastfeed Sammy was wrong, but they are angry at me for calling the cops on MIL and having her trespassed.”
“They said it was unnecessary and cruel to do to a grieving mother.”
One does want to sympathize with the OP’s mother-in-law, having lost her daughter just after welcoming her grandchild to the world.
But her behavior was indeed very dangerous, and required consequences.
Here’s hoping she can eventually find herself in a place of understanding, so that she can be an active part of Sammy’s life in a happy and healthy way.