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Mom Livid When Mother-In-Law Calls Daughters Ableist Slur After They Struggle With Potty-Training

Photo by engin akyurt/Unsplash

Why does family have to be so difficult?

Parenting is already hard enough without ridicule and critique.

So what do you do when you’re a parent who disagrees with another about some very big issues?

Case in point…

Redditor mykidsnotyours wanted to discuss her story for some feedback. So naturally she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for calling my MIL?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My husband and I have two daughters (3 and 4), they both pretty much act the same and share the same interests so far.”

“Everyday, my M[other] I[n] L[aw] calls her son to see how the girls are and they usually talk about them for a little while before talking about something else.”

“For some weird reason my husband always puts phone calls on speaker.”

“I can hear everything.”

“I’ve caught on that my MIL can make assumptions about our daughters and my husband just agrees every time.”

“Even though most of what she says isn’t true.”

“Here recently we’ve been having a bit of trouble with both girls.”

“They’ve been potty trained and they’ve done so good, but lately they’d mess on the floor.”

“The pediatrician says it’s a regression phase and it won’t last long.”

“I get upset when it happens but I never show it in front of them.”

“I just clean it up, show them the bathroom, and remind them that the door is always open if they need to use it.”

“It’s been going on for a couple weeks now and sometimes I’ll overhear him talking to his mom about it.”

“A couple days ago, I had just gotten done cleaning up one of the girl’s messes and my husband comes home mid conversation with his mom.”

“They were talking about the girls again.”

“This time she said something that pissed me off.”

“’You and your brother never did that. Must be a [my maiden name] thing.'”

‘”The girls got the retard gene from them.’”

“And instead of correcting her or defending me, my husband says ‘I don’t know.'”

“I called my MIL later to let her know that what she said was uncalled for.”

“And ‘if you want to talk to someone about the girls, it’s gonna be me because apparently your son doesn’t know how to stand up to you.'”

“This pissed her off, she calls my husband, they get into an argument.”

“Later that night when the kids are in bed, we get into an argument.”

“I told him that I was tired of the comments his mom makes about the girls.”

“He says ‘it’s easier just to go with it than fight, but that didn’t go so well because you had to go and eavesdrop.'”

“I told him ‘then maybe don’t put your phone on speaker.'”

“He told me it doesn’t matter and that I shouldn’t be listening in on any phone call.”

“I went to bed thinking that maybe I did invade his privacy and I was in the wrong.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

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

Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole.

It’s a tricky situation.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“NTA, and your husband is afraid of his mother.”  ~ jfeinb88

“Tell him not to discuss your children’s challenges and setbacks with your mother. Ever.”

“I have relatives that gossip that crap all over and never repeat the good stuff.”

“Only share clearly positive events and happenings.”

“She is quizzing your husband into telling him things about them so she can insert her opinion.”

“He’s an AH for being such a wuss that he’s trying to blame you for eavesdropping when he’s right there with it on speaker.”

“And your MIL either was not thinking and said that off the cuff or she really is an AH.”

“Either way she owes you an apology. As does your husband.” ~ Internetperson3000

“NTA. She calls your husband every day?”

“He talks to her at length every day? On speakerphone?”

“He let’s her call you and his daughter’s the r-word?”

“He knows she says offensive things, while on speaker phone, every day, let’s it go, but you are the AH?”

“What kind of mommy’s boy husband did you land?”

“You need to nip this in the bid right now.” ~ Corpuscular_Ocelot

“NTA. MIL sounds like a judgment bigot and husband is either a doormat or also a bigot.”

“Phone calls aren’t private when you put them on speakerphone so that’s whole eavesdropping argument is BS.”  ~ MadoogsL

“You should definitely keep your eyes & ears open.”

“I am old and STILL remember the trauma my best friend went through when she overheard her paternal grandmother tell her mother that ‘the only reason my son married you was to give your bastard child a name.'”

“She was CONVINCED that her dad wasn’t really her dad for years. It was awful.”  ~ Francie1966

“NTA. He put the phone on speaker; he should have known you would be able to hear it.”

“He apparently doesn’t have enough of a spine to stand up to his mother for you, and then blames you when he makes it so you can hear the conversations.”

“You have a little boy in a man’s body for a husband.”  ~ ChapSteve711

“NTA. Hubby is an idiot.”

“He shouldn’t let his mom talk that way about your daughters.”

“And if he doesn’t want you to hear what his mom is saying he should take the phone off speaker.”

“Your MIL is a jerk.”   ~ Cloverlover6163

“NTA. There is no way to not hear a conversation on speaker phone.”

“Also that’s a horrible comment about your family and your daughters, if he’s not going to stand up for you he needs to stop talking to her about you and the girls.”  ~ svifted

“NTA – people seem to not understand eavesdropping or twist it to make someone feel guilty.”

“Eavesdropping is when the person has reasonable expectation of privacy, like a closed room or, ya know, a regular phone call held to the ear, and someone goes out of their way to listen in.”

“Its not eavesdropping when it’s said directly in front of you.”

“Ears don’t magically tune out conversations that aren’t directed to said person.”

“Tell your husband that being on speaker is the same as the being right in front of you.”

“Would it be eavesdropping if she and him were talking s**t in front of you in same room?”

“Because that’s what happened.”

“And he’s an ah for not standing up for kids regardless of wether you hear or not.”

“They’re his children.”

“But 2 can play that game.”

“See how fast he changes the game and the gaslighting comes out.”

“Call your family (on speaker) and talk about what a bad dad he is to not defend his kids.”

“If he say one thing about how that’s not fair or good, tell him to quit eavesdropping.”

“See him try to say it’s not the same or he never said that.” ~ Tasty-Biscotti355

“NTA. Your husband didn’t disagree with his mother not only using such an offensive word but using it in regards to his wife and daughters.”

“What a completely spineless man.”

“Any decent father and husband would have put their foot down with that behavior.”  ~ BlueLavender0104

“NTA. WHOA. You have a big problem and it is your spouse.”

“I know it’s easier to see MIL as the problem but she wouldn’t be if your spouse didn’t let her be a toxic mess.”

“There’s a lot more I want to write but it’s too much.”

“There’s a a great subreddit out there for your just No MIL.”  ~ Ilovegifsofjif

“Lmao NTA.”

“He can’t be mad when he puts his convos on speakerphone.”

“He’s spineless, and you have every right to be upset that he didn’t stand up for you immediately.”

“Your MIL is a rude, thoughtless pig.”

“Shame on her.”  ~ pennywhistlesmoonpie

“NTA. You’re right about the phone calls on speaker and you’re right about your MIL.”

“She is horrible.”

“You really should consider having your children and yourself going no contact with her.”

“Her use of the r-word and using it when referring to your children, you and your family is inexcusable.”

“Do you really want your children exposed to that?”  ~ Hegemonic_Smegma

“NTA… tell your husband not share negative situations your daughters are going through with her.”

“If he insists on keeping contact with such a terribly toxic individual.”

“If he won’t at least do this I would suggest seeing a counselor with him.”  ~ greeneyeswarmthighs

“If he doesn’t want you to be part of the conversation, it shouldn’t take place on speaker phone with you within listening distance.”

“And if you can hear, so can your daughters.”

“How do the MIL’s words make them feel?”

“And to not hear their dad or their mom (you didn’t respond then) immediately come to their defense must be crushing.”

“You are so NTA.”

“I have a domineering MIL too.”

“We have to be vigilant, and it took years of constant, repeated smacks back, and now she’s sorta kinda decent.”  ~ HeddyL2627

OP, you clearly need to have a deeper chat with hubby.

Reddit seems ready to have it for you.

This is all a very big problem.

Good luck.