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Mom Snaps After Her Mother-In-Law Berates Her For Dressing Her Daughter In ‘Boys’ Clothes’

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Gender is socialized through our expression. That means people are used to seeing baby girls dressed a certain way and not everyone understands that the kid might not even care what they are wearing.

More often than not, kids are dressed a certain way because their parents liked those clothes.

Redditor ThrowAway99861122 encountered this very issue with her mother-in-law. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.

She asked:

“AITA for dressing my daughter in boy’s clothes even though it bothered MIL?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I (F34) have a baby daughter who is 7m old.”

“As a person I love to dress in basics. Black, white gray, navy brown. Jeans/slacks and t-shirts. my dresses are always one color (often black) and just simple slip-ins, body-con, etc… I like to dress my daughter in the same ‘style’ and therefore 90% of the time I find what I’m looking for in the boy’s departments.”

“There’s no hidden agenda behind this. No ulterior motives.”

“No malice and I’m not trying to make any statement. I just think I have the right to decide what I want my daughter to wear until she’s old enough to decide for herself.”

“My husband loves my daughter’s clothes.”

“MIL does not like this. She wants to see my baby in fluffy pink and purple dresses. While I don’t think it wrong it’s just NOT my style.”

“One day a couple of months ago she came by with a big bag of H&M full of girls clothes in all the pink, purple and red shades. Dresses, skirts, coats leggings shiny shoes ages 6-12m. I didn’t know what to say so I thanked her.”

“When husband came home I showed him. He laughed and said I didn’t have to use them, but we decided on dressing our baby in the clothes MIL got us whenever we visited. It went all fine.”

OP thought she could get away with doing just that.

“Before Christmas I accidentally ran into MIL at a department store and I could see that MIL’s whole demeanor changed when she saw my baby in her usual jeans black sweatshirt and adidas.”

“She didn’t say much and left without even a goodbye. She also commented on one of my sister’s insta stories why my daughter was wearing these horrible boy clothes.”

“On Christmas, we went over to MIL’s house (we celebrate with his and my family on alternate years). I had found the cutest black onesie with rudolf motif that I thought was perfect for the occasion.”

“When we got there, MIL went berserk on me.”

“She told me that I’m an elitist who’s abusing my daughter to make a point. That I’m confusing her by not letting her look like the rest of the girls her age and that I should wait for my daughter to be older and decide her identity herself instead of me trying to pushing my own agenda on her at this tender age.”

“I was livid by this speech and told her she had no right to tell me how to dress or raise my daughter. That I thought the clothes we got from her were ugly and that I had donated them.”

“I told her that she was sick and that SHE was the one with an agenda here and to stop pushing it on my daughter, or she will never see her again.”

“By this stage everyone knew Christmas was ruined so we went home.”

“I took out all the clothes MIL bought my daughter and put them in a bag to donate later. My husband said I was the AH.”

“I told him she was the one who started the argument. He said nonetheless, I could’ve ended it. But I don’t know how I could’ve ended it.”

“Was I the AH?”

Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:

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

Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.

“NTA. Your kid is seven months, for dick’s sake. You dress a baby in whatever is clean. And your husband is also an AH for not defending you, and enabling his overbearing mother.” ~ HeckinZebra

“The MIL is been ridiculous. I had 2 boys and I refused to out them in anything “fancy”. Half the time they were in pjs cause it was easier. You’re putting in more of an effort than me. NTA” ~ _i_open_at_the_close

“I dressed my boys the same way. I grew up in the era of itchy, uncomfortable clothing. I never dressed my kids up for any occasion until they were old enough to give me feedback. Lots of PJs and sweats.” ~ AffectionateAd5373

“My cousin dressed her babies exclusively in Halloween costumes. I intend to do that as well.” ~ Flaky_Tip

“‘Are they a boy or a girl?'”

“‘Um, they’re pretty clearly a dinosaur'”

“You and your cousin sound like pretty cool people. Also, OP is NTA” ~ KikiLizBrooks

“NTA. Exactly. The more neutral the article of clothing, the better. And no need for fancy clothes cuz the kiddo will outgrow it faster than it can be used.”

“And how does a 7m old have any idea about gender “norms” or identity?”

“MIL will, very shortly, be enrolling that little girl in ballet lessons and picking out her dress for the debutante ball. She is going to be shocked when that child wants to play sports and be rough and tumble.”

“The kid will be what the kid will be. One can only hope to make them the best person possible.”

“ETA: Maybe MIL didn’t have a daughter and always wanted to dress a little girl up in frilly ‘girly’ clothes, thereby, living vicariously through your daughter.” ~ Ducky818

It’s just clothes, right?

OP added an update.

“Thank you everybody for the overwhelming NTA, for the few who thought YTA ESH, being the ‘bigger person’ doesn’t mean I need to sit in silence and let MIL yell, besides I didn’t raise my voice once.”

“She got offended because I talked back. I will never understand doormats.”

“Anyway I have talked to my husband now and he apologized about reprimanding me. He just hated that the whole dinner was ruined (well for us because we had to leave, the rest of the party stayed but BIL said MIL was still raging for hours after we left until they could eat dinner).”

“We decided however that MIL has lost her privilege of dressing our baby. Husband has talked to her.”

“We didn’t apologize nor did we ask for her to apologize. We decided to agree to disagree but from now on, she’s not allowed to interfere with how we dress or raise our kids.”

“Any future gift must be approved by us. She tried the ‘how dare you’ and ‘from now on I won’t bother at all’ but my husband told her that she could do whatever except interfering in our lives.”

“She’s been silent since and the clothes we got from her will be donated. A few to my sister and the rest to church.”

“Thank you again for listening and we wish you a happy new year.”