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New Mom Bans Mother From Babysitting Grandson Alone After She Disregards Her Food Rules

Grandmother snuggling with baby
Alistair Berg/Getty Images

Science-backed research is fascinating and constantly growing and changing. It’s one of those things that, no matter how well-versed in a subject you might be, there are going to be things you’re unaware of.

This particularly applies to parenting and what best practices for child safety should be, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor SatisfactionOk7409 was taken aback by her mother’s apathetic response to how she wanted to raise her child, since it was so different from when her mother was a new mom.

When her mother did the exact opposite of her wishes, right in front of her to prove a point, the Original Poster (OP) immediately banned her from babysitting her children.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for telling my mom I don’t want her to watch her grandson alone anymore?”

The OP and her husband were living with her mom while saving up to buy a house.

“I (23 Female) and my husband (24 Male) welcomed our baby (Male) in September of last year.”

“We moved from his hometown to mine (in January) in hopes of saving up to buy a house. We moved in with my mom (50), something she very enthusiastically agreed to.”

“I pay half the mortgage, and utilities, and buy my own food to cook with. I also don’t rely on her for childcare.”

The OP started noticing her mother’s lack of respect for her parenting choices.

“Throughout our few months, she’s been a little weird.”

“She’s constantly checking to see if he has teeth, pushing for us to stop feeding him milk, trying to give him really complicated food (like candy yams).”

“Her defense is, ‘I did with you and you survived.'”

But then her mother took it too far.

“Most recently, she was holding him and playfully asked him if he wanted water, in which I responded: ‘Do not give him water, Mom.'”

“She proceeded to give it him right in front of me and said, ‘See, he’s fine. He isn’t dead.'”

“I immediately took my child from her and informed her that she would no longer be watching the baby alone since she was constantly overstepping my boundaries and doing everything I asked her to not do.”

“She isn’t talking to me now and told me I made her feel like a bad parent and grandparent.”

“Is there something I should be doing to make her talk to me?”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some were adamantly against the OP’s mother’s mindset.


“‘I did with you and you survived.’ ‘See, he’s fine. He isn’t dead.’ This is an incredibly low standard for her to be proud of maintaining.” – DiminishingPatience

“NTA, OP. My mother-in-law used to say, ‘I did this with all my children and they survived.'”

“What I wanted to reply was, ‘You had four children. The childrearing practices that had a 25 percent fatality rate were weeded out generations ago. Just because what you’re doing has a 0.5% fatality rate doesn’t mean it’s safe.'” – naalbinding

“So many things our parents or grandparents did were believed to be okay at the time, but now are considered unsafe or just not recommended. We don’t give babies whiskey when they teeth anymore, put beer in their bottles to help them sleep, and it’s no longer considered safe to lay babies down on their stomachs to sleep.”

“If you’re a grandparent, please please please listen to your children and their boundaries, because the ones described in the post are just basic safety recommendations for babies. NTA.” – huntsvegas87

“This was my parents with their first grandkids when I said we no longer put babies to bed on their tummies… safety standards change over time and by their own logic would they say there is no need for a car seat since their own parents didn’t use one and they survived?”

“NTA, stand strong.”

“Since the standard is ‘he’s not dead, it’s fine!’… what happens when that standard isn’t met? Or when she causes him to go to the hospital, etc.? If he’s maimed or disabled in her care, but alive, will she still say that?”

“That seems to be what she’s going for feeding him things before it’s recommended. Things like honey can cause massive issues, and she seems like the person who disregards safety since ‘fine’ equals ‘not dead.'”

“Keep your baby out of her hands for now, don’t let her minimize the danger she is putting him in with her actions. It’s not even ignorant when she’s told not to and does it anyway, she is literally being malicious whether she sees it or not.” – Ill-Instruction4273

“It’s called survivor bias when you say stuff like, ‘Well, we did it and we’re fine,’ but all that aside, whether it’s fine or not is not her place the call. You’re the parent. You set the rules. If she can’t abide by your boundaries, then she doesn’t get babysitting privileges.”

“It’s that simple. It doesn’t mean she’s necessarily a bad parent or grandparent but it does mean she needs to understand her place.” – HotMessMartinExpress

Others agreed and said the grandmother was crossing boundaries, not helping.

“Help is supposed to be taking a load off your plate, not add to it by purposely and aggressively go against what you just said. I’m also a new full-time mom and went no contact with my mum just because she absolutely would deride my choices and do whatever the f**k she wants.”

“Also, it’s incredibly trust-breaking and irritating for them to be pushing their ways just because they are your mother. When things go wrong, the burden is yours to bear, not theirs. People don’t seem to understand this.”

“NTA.” – Hour_Illustrator_232

“This is one of those situations best described as, ‘It’s not the thing you did that upsets me, it’s the fact that I said no and you keep pushing past me and doing it anyways.'”

“This isn’t about water, or milk, or food, or any of that, and if she tries to make it about any of those, remind her that that’s not the real issue. It’s about the fact that she won’t respect your ‘no.'” – Lin_Manual-Miranda

“It doesn’t matter if the things she is doing are safe or not. It matters that the child’s mother said no and she did it anyway. That is never okay.”

“If Grandma thinks she knows best, she needs to have a conversation with OP. It’s for her to figure out why OP feels the way she does and to offer the insight she has without overstepping.”

“I actually think it was grandma who was mean— flexing on a new mom by giving their baby something they said no to and saying, ‘see they’re fine’ is mean. Trying to prove Mom’s harmless boundaries ‘wrong’ is mean.”

“OP, it’s not mean to say someone who doesn’t respect your authority as Mom will not be left alone with your child. That’s super reasonable. You’re trying to talk about it and work it out. It would be mean if she apologizes and agrees to respect your boundaries and discuss ideas/concerns with you before acting on them, and you refused to let her around the baby.”

“Being a new mom is tough. I’m sure she is well-meaning. And if you feel like she was a good mom to you, she probably has good insight. Hopefully, you can talk it out and this will help you redefine your relationship now that you’re a mom too.”

“Good luck!” – bb2567

“NTA. Your child, your rules/decisions. Full stop. Unless your mother believes you are doing something that is actively harming your baby she should step ALL the way back and respect how you want to raise your son. Offering you a place to stay should have zero bearing on whether or not she follows the guidelines you set up for caring for your child.”

“The giving-him-water incident is crazy boundary overstepping and a direct power play. You did the right thing. You’re a mother now and you are responsible for your son, not for your mother.”

“You clearly need to move out as soon as possible. It may take longer to save to buy a house but this is not a sustainable solution. She will go behind your back and do whatever she wants with your baby if you stay.”

“If she comes to you truly penitent at some point you might consider letting her see your baby but I would hesitate myself to leave him alone with her.” – Austen-afficinado

“I may have different opinions to yours on when a baby can be given water, weaned, etc., but, not my baby, not my rules!”

“Your mum over stepped the line you drew for your child. She’s the ah, not you. Do what you need to, to bring your child up the way you see fit. The only time others should interfere is if what you are doing amounts to abuse or is dangerous to baby/someone else.”

“Stick to your guns, mama. Enjoy the time with your baby while he’s still tiny, they grow so quickly.” – Pristine-Room8588

After receiving feedback, the OP shared a promising update.

“My mom and I had a conversation last night. She started off being defensive, telling me I was showing her that her tricks and advice weren’t right.”

“I showed her some articles and voiced my concerns. I let her know that I’m not telling her she did a bad job raising us, but times and rules changed. Someone pointed out that car seats weren’t big back then and now it’s the law to have your child in one.”

“After a 30-minute conversation, we got to the root of the problem: she feels like she did a bad job raising her kids.”

“I assured her she didn’t and that I respect and appreciate everything she was able to do for us growing up. But it’s my turn to raise the child and her turn to relax and enjoy the perks of having grown children and grandkids now.”

“I love my mom and I would never just jump to banning her from enjoying her first grandson. She’s my world (after my husband and son) and, once again, I love her dearly.”

“So all is well. She knows I wasn’t mad about the water, just that it felt like she did it to prove a point.”

While there was some disagreement in the comments about the safety of introducing a baby to drinking water, and at what age, and how much water, everyone could understand how this was more about pushing and breaking boundaries, rather than the actual water.

If the family wanted to create a safe environment for the OP’s baby, they needed to all agree on how to raise the baby for them to receive consistent, safe care. That all begins by listening to the wishes of the baby’s parents, and maybe the latest in child developmental research studies.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.