A newborn child is one of the most precious things in this world. They’re almost designed to make everyone instinctually protect them at all costs.
Redditor mermaid_tale had a harrowing journey to her child, and may be part of the reason she’s so apprehensive to let her mother-in-law (MIL) watch the baby. But there’s also a lot more to the story.
The original poster (OP) wants to find out if she’s overreacting, and takes her story to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgement.
She asks about her “chaotic” family:
“AITA For not wanting my MIL to watch my son?”
This is why she’s so hesitant:
“My (27 [female]) son is three months old. My husband (34 [male]) and I tried for three years to have a baby and suffered two miscarriages in 2019 that were devastating.”
“We live in an area where pandemic restrictions have lifted, so we are slowly introducing our baby to family. We have introduced him to my MIL (mother-in-law), and since then she’s been very pushy about babysitting him for us.”
“The issue is, my husband’s family is very chaotic.”
“His stepbrother is a heroin addict who has robbed their family home on several occasions and has the tendency to hide his needles around the house. He doesn’t live there, but my MIL has not stopped him from coming around.”
“My husband’s sister lives at the family home. She does not work or pay rent, and she has a big jealousy issue with my husband.”
“He goes over to the house on a regular basis to help with yard work, etc… And she always makes a scene about not wanting him there.”
“Last October when I was eight months pregnant, I was dropping my husband off at his mom’s to clean the gutters for her. His sister came home while I was in the driveway and started screaming at my husband about how they don’t need his help.”
“She was triggered by me blocking her spot. My husband pointed out that he wouldn’t need to come by if she stepped up and helped my MIL.”
“She then said that she hopes I have another miscarriage, which was disgusting and hurtful. As always, MIL stuck up for her and said she didn’t mean it.”
“At this point, there’s too much chaos in the house and I don’t feel like it’s a safe place for my baby, especially without my husband and I.”
“My MIL doesn’t understand this at all.”
“I know she isn’t responsible for her stepson’s addiction and her daughter’s awfulness, but I don’t trust her judgment.”
On the AITA board, people explain their situation and their reaction and ask the titular question.
The comments then judge OP 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
The commenters almost all agreed OP was NTA.
She’s doing what she can to protect her child, and the MIL doesn’t seem willing to stand up to her other children.
The comments reassured OP she was doing the right thing.
“Your MIL is a doormat. She is one of those ‘keep the peace at all costs’ people, and the safety of your child would absolutely come second to keeping BIL & SIL happy.”
“You are under no obligation to comply with her desire to play grandma of the year. I would even be hesitant to allow her to babysit in your own home.”
“She would probably let BIL come over to give him a chance to rob your house instead of hers.” – Les1lesley
“Exactly, thank you. It’s not that she’s a bad person, so I feel terrible for her, but I also don’t think she makes great decisions.” – mermaid_tale (OP)
“You have zero obligation to allow anyone to watch your child unsupervised. You don’t owe any kind of explanation.”
“Your child’s well being is your priority, not someone else’s feelings. I imagine that you aren’t trying to keep her from having a relationship with your child so long as you or your husband are around, so NTA at all.” – CaffeinatedCannoli
“This is the only answer. Your kid, your rules. You will hear things like ‘but we are family, or I did a good enough job raising my son that you maried him’.”
“Ignore it and do everything to keep your kid in a safe/stable environment.” – willis72
However, some commenters were more worried about the situation than others. They wondered why the husband didn’t stand up to his family more.
But OP explained the situation.
“NTA. I hope your husband steps up and explains the situation to his mother. You have received enough unmerited abuse from his family.” – Jonny-Pasadena
“He backs me up fully but also doesn’t want to be harsh because it’s his mom. He thinks that his mom should stop letting his stepbrother come there and kick his sister out, but she won’t.”
“I also don’t think things would be magically solved if she did that because she still has questionable judgment in the first place.” – mermaid_tale (OP)
“NTA. This is a conversation that your husband needs to have with his mother.”
“He needs to clearly explain baby will not be going to her house as 1/ stepbrother is an ongoing danger 2/ sister is vicious. You will not expose baby to either of them.”
“MIL is welcome to visit at your house but no babysitting as her judgement is capable of putting baby at risk. No negotiating, no hurt feelings excuses.”
“This is your baby’s safety at risk and husband must step up.” – squirrelsareevil2479
“He’s had several conversations with her about his siblings, just not in the context of her babysitting, more so in general.”
“She tells him she won’t allow his stepbrother over and then does behind his back, and she’s straight up told him that she will never ask his sister to move out.”
“He’s constantly frustrated with his mom and also feels bad that she can’t seem to stick up for herself.” – mermaid_tale (OP)
For now, OP seems set on not letting the MIL watch her child at all, even if there were a chance she could do it at OP’s house. To her, it’s not just about the danger her husband’s siblings pose, it’s she also doesn’t trust her MIL’s judgement.
Maybe if the MIL learns to stand up to her children, that might show OP she can protect OP’s baby too. But if nothing changes, OP’s mind won’t change either.