Childhood is a time that will form a lot of the self-image that will last the rest of a person’s life. It’s difficult to ensure a child grows up the right balance between humble and confident, between self-loathing and arrogance.
Redditor Throwaway425089 is doing her best to ensure her kids can grow into healthy adults, but her mother-in-law (MIL) is challenging her parenting. Now the original poster (OP) is asking if she was wrong.
She took to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) board to find out:
“AITA for being upset after my MIL criticized my parenting and called my daughter disgusting?”
This is what happened:
“So I (34F [female]) and my husband (37M [male]) have two children, 12F and 7M. A few days ago my husband, my kids and I went on a walk with my MIL, my SIL and her kids. Don’t worry, we all followed Corona regulations.”
“My kids were walking with their cousins when MIL threw a disgusted look at 12F and said:”
“‘You should really put her on a diet. Kids shouldn’t be so fat and disgusting – what are you feeding her?’ (just to clarify, my daughter isn’t fat and has always been on the thinner side.)”
“I blew up at her and told her that I wouldn’t allow anyone to talk about my children like that, but she got very upset and said: ‘I wonder why my son married such a snowflake that can’t even handle the truth’.”
“This was the last straw for me and I took my husband and the kids and left. But apparently MIL told the rest of the family something completely different, and they have been blowing up my phone nonstop.”
“Reddit, Am I the A**hole here?”
While this seems pretty self-explanatory, OP has offered why she thinks she might be wrong here, saying:
“I know that my MIL is a bit old-fashioned and maybe she didn’t mean it that way.”
On the AITA subReddit, people are judged for how they reacted by the rest of the board. This is done with one of the following acronyms:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
After careful consideration, the board judged OP was NTA.
“NTA, time for your husband to step up and keep his mom/extended family in check or just go NC (no contact).” – toodlesby
“NTA. You are a fantastic mother defending your children against someone attacking them, especially a family member. I hope your husband has your and your daughter’s back and isn’t backing his mother. He has a choice – he is either on his daughter’s side or his mother’s.”
“I gotta wonder, you said this was the last straw. What else has your MIL been saying or doing?”
“Also, in my experience, people who call other people ‘snowflakes’ and ‘people who can’t handle the truth’ are bullies who just use that as an excuse to be hurtful and miserable human beings who, ironically, can’t take the truth when people call them on it.”
“Again: not only are you NTA, you are a hero for standing up for your daughter! I wish my parents stood up to my grandmothers like you did.” – bam1701
“NTA. Even if your daughter was overweight, that was a disgusting thing for your MIL to say about a kid” – Nay_nay267
“Let me make this clear: even if your daughter was morbidly obese, she has NO RIGHT to call her ‘disgusting’. She’s talking about a real person, with real feelings, and that’s no way to refer to a person let alone a child.”
“No amount of weight makes you deserving of being called ‘disgusting’. Ever.”
“IF she was really worried about her weight, there are ways to bring that up that don’t make her a bully. From your post it seems this is not the first time she’s been awful, so I really don’t think this came from a place of genuine concern.”
“Good for you for standing up for your kids. If she’s not a positive element in your life, she only has herself to blame if you decide to not contact her.” – Apprehensive_Sand_77
The comments were very reassuring in OP’s actions and were worried about what else the MIL has been saying.
Most were expressing concern and trying to make sure the kids were kept safe.
“Piggybackriding here because I grew up with a grandmother who, loving as she was in my teens, kept reminding me I should hit the gym more often, would watch my food like a hawk when we were at parties, would ask me if I really needed to eat a second slice of pie or whatever, and would compare me to my slimmer sister or more athletic cousins.”
“It took a toll. I was by no means fat – I would define myself as the curvier size 6 (I’m from a place where sizes 0-4 are the norm). But always healthy and never had any issues with potential related diseases.”
“It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I stopped hearing her whenever she spoke about my body or weight, and in my teens, for someone who already had a flaky self-esteem, having her around was always like a kick.”
“When my mom heard the comments, she would tell her to shut up and she’d reaffirm that I was perfect the way I was. But I’d already heard the comments.”
“OP definitely needs to get husband on board and they both need to be very clear with MIL”. – JessicaJones2
“NTA. Keep your kids away from MIL. It’s toxic people like that that mess with kids self esteem.”
“I hope your husband supports you.” – ughneedausername
“Holy crap… Definitely NTA. These comments about your daughter, especially at such a young age, are very harmful. You were right in going home” – Madame_Airlock
“NTA. Thank you for sticking up for your daughter. There’s only one ‘disgusting’ person here and it’s your MIL – regardless of your daughter’s weight that’s a terrible thing to say to a kid.” – InannasPocket
When it comes to raising children, people need to figure where the line is between cutting out toxic people questioning their parenting, and taking genuine advice.
A good way to separate the two is wondering if you asked for the advice in the first place.