When brand new parents are welcoming their first child into the world, there are a lot of decisions they need to make right before their child’s birthday.
This includes the birth plan but also what they plan to do about visits and communication when their baby is first born, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor HaleyLupin decided that when her baby was first born, she wanted to have some quiet time at the hospital, but that also included social media.
Knowing that her mother would share her baby’s photo everywhere without her consent, the Original Poster (OP) decided not to send her any photos.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not sending out photos of my newborn?”
The OP needed some quiet time at the hospital after her child was born.
“I gave birth to my first baby on October 10.”
“When we got checked in at the hospital, my husband and I obviously told a few people, including my parents.”
“My mom’s immediate reaction was, ‘Let us know if you change your mind and want us to come to the hospital,’ even though for weeks I said I didn’t want anyone at the hospital.”
“Then she said she was packing and said, ‘We are coming, of course, but not to the hospital!’ They assumed they could wait at my house. I said no.”
“After 21 hours of labor and three hours of pushing, my son was born, and we let my parents know.”
“Immediately, they asked for photos.”
“I understand they are excited and already love him, but holy s**t, I felt they were being needy and not respecting that I was tired, talking to hospital staff, trying to learn to breastfeed, etc.”
The OP decided to set a boundary her parents did not expect.
“Once we got moved to a recovery room, my husband and I talked and decided to hold off on sending pictures to anyone, including to his favorite two people (his dad and grandmother) so it’s not like my parents were being singled out.”
“I can’t really even explain why we don’t want to send pics of our son out right now. We both just have some anxiety about sending a photo to someone and then that photo spreading like wildfire to people we did not consent to have a photo of our son sent to so we’ve just decided to hold off.”
“Not forever, but for now. We’ve literally already talked about how excited we are to send our first Christmas cards this year! So this isn’t a forever thing.”
“My parents lost their minds. They blew up both our phones and stressed me out to the point of tears, so my husband called my dad to ask them to stop.”
“My dad had the balls to hang up on my husband and then my dad told me that he and my husband don’t need to speak or see each other again.”
The OP’s parents continued to lash out.
“When I was discharged and sent home, I sent my parents three texts about us being home and asking to FaceTime them so they could see my son via video since we weren’t doing photos.”
“They ignored me.”
“We finally FaceTimed yesterday, and my mom told me she had been sobbing all day and it was ‘torture’ waiting for a photo.”
“I told her she made my labor all about her and that no one asked me and my husband what we wanted. It was all about what they wanted.”
“They said they don’t understand the photo thing. Everyone else in the world sends photos of new babies.”
“I said I don’t care about the world and I totally see how sending a photo seems like no big deal and our decision seems irrational but you don’t have to understand it. You just have to respect it.”
“Well, that didn’t go over well.”
“So tell me the truth, am I being dramatic? Am I the AH?”
“My mom said I probably cried in the recovery room not because they stressed me out but because I was just hormonal and tired.”
“Be honest with me, are my husband and I drawing a hard line over something nonsensical?”
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 thought the OP was creating drama for herself over a photograph.
“YTA. Coming from a mom who’s had to defend herself many times from the older generation being pushy for what they want, yes I think this is dramatic. (I use that word because you used it, and it applies).”
“I can’t imagine how heartbroken my family would have been if I hadn’t sent them a picture of my baby when she was born. It’s not like they were going to share it with random people. Even if they did send it to friends or relatives, why would that have been the worst thing?”
“I think you need to look at the bigger picture. You have family who love you and care about you and this child. They don’t have ill intentions towards you.” – ImJustAnonymousHere
“YTA! Your parents were so excited to meet their new grandchild. I get not wanting them at the hospital or right when you get home but geez, send them a dang photo of the kid.”
“They love that baby almost as much as you do. They were excited and you really hurt them by not sharing the joy of the new baby with them.”
“Yes, they were AH for blowing up your phones and for being rude to your husband, but you could have squashed all that by just sending a pic. They would have been thrilled and probably would have left you alone while they went and showed the photo to everyone.”
“You were being really controlling. Maybe it was the hormones or exhaustion but YTA for not sending a pic.” – JennyP1225
“I would say kind of YTA even though I understand emotions run high when you’ve just given birth. They’re your parents and they want to see the baby’s pics because they love you and ergo, they love him.”
“Worrying about people spreading the pics is a bit too much, in my opinion, and I say this with love (and as a mom of two, soon-to-be three), the only people who really care about your newborn’s face are you and the people who love you; otherwise babies all look the same and kind of when they’ve just been born.”
“I still think things will settle down once you’ve all had time to each take your new places in the family as parents/grandparents.” – BadlikeBarbie
“YTA. So you imposed boundaries. That’s your right. But when your parents impose theirs, that’s them being unfeeling?”
“If you don’t want your parents around and don’t want to share photos of your baby, that is your decision. If your parents express their hurt for that and then don’t jump for you when you dictate they can see the baby, that is theirs.”
“You also didn’t share your reasons with your parents so your actions look like rejection, three times. No seeing the baby at the hospital, no meet the baby when they return home, and no photos. It was also silly to get your husband to intervene as you they might forgive but he is not their child.”
“I think you failed at your first parenting task which is integrating your baby with their family and made a drama about nothing.” – Savings_Watch_64
“I know the stress of a newborn, I have a massive extended family and my wife just had a baby two years ago, so I completely respect the need for boundaries (ie hospital visits, etc), but this screams to me as a bizarre power play that is extremely petty.”
“It’s almost like you want there to be a fervor to see the baby and you’re enjoying keeping them begging. Send your parents a picture of the damn baby and stop being so dramatic. This is a crisis of your own making based on this weird need to control who gets to see a photo. YTA.” – SweatsuitCocktail
“YTA. If relationships existed in a vacuum, maybe you could get away with not sending a photo of your newborn to those whom you are closest with. However, your family clearly loves you and your baby and is excited for you.”
“You’ve made this unnecessary drama to assert your authority over the situation and for what? Now you have a bunch of hurt people who were overjoyed to share their excitement with you and who feel so thrown away that they are now giving you the space you demanded and you don’t like it.” – LostBoiFromNeverland
But others felt the OP’s and her husband’s boundaries should be respected.
“All the YTA comments are so unsettling to me. The woman who just endured childbirth gets to decide what happens next and when.”
“To me, it’s not about ‘a picture.’ I see someone trying to regain some agency and control after enduring something really difficult and scary.”
“She gets privacy and space to heal. It’s not about anyone but her, the father, and the baby. Full stop.” – Anon_bunn
“You should have been giving it to them that they were stressing out a new mother and that they should be disgusted with themselves they are doing that to their daughter. Girl, you gotta give it back to them. Go hard. They have no right to treat you like this.”
“I would be doing the same thing if I was in your shoes. You are the mum, and what you say goes. They suck it up and deal with it.”
“NTA, and congrats, mama!” – SkyChicken29
“Grandbaby photos are serious currency in the grandma boasting scene. Your mother really, really wants to dunk on all her friends; she thinks that ‘everyone’ circulates baby photos because all her friends do, and she has likely been promising them pictures.”
“And you are correct: any picture she gets will be circulated far and wide within moments of her receiving it. Her refusal of the Facetime offer proves that she’s not interested in seeing or meeting her grandchild, it is in having her grandbaby’s picture to upload. I’d hold the line. NTA.” – south3y
“You’re mom and dad now; congratulations! You get to make the rules of your household and about sharing pictures of your kid as wild as you please. These are very normal feelings to have. You’re good!”
“She’s minimizing what you went through. She is basically telling you your thoughts and feelings don’t matter.”
“Not today, Satan. You and your husband do you. Stand strong. They’ll come crawling back if they want a place in their grandkid’s life… on YOUR terms.”
“You’re mom and dad now. Your rules are the rules. They can have whatever feelings they want over them. They’re still the rules.” – SeApps63
“I feel for you, OP, and I want to share with you what I do. I’ve gotten very good at calmly presenting two options and making them aware that those are the ONLY two choices they get.”
“I’ll say, ‘I said no and you’re pushing it. I’m not going to change my mind. You can either stop doing (insert f**k-f**kery that they’re doing) right now and carry on, or you can continue (said f**k-f**kery) all you want, but I don’t want anything to do with it.'”
“No compromise. No crying. No, ‘What have ever done to deserve this?!’ No victimizing. No ‘I can’t believe you turned out so horrible and evil after all I’ve given you!’ None of that. Just drop it and move forward.”
“With my mom, it took two years of no contact, try again, then another no contact, try again, then another five-month span of no contact before she finally figured out that freaking out and making herself look like a victim isn’t going to make me bend. She just takes the first choice now.” – TAforScranton
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update about what she planned to do next.
“I first want to say thank you to everyone who commented, whether it was YTA, NTA, or ESH, I asked for non-biased feedback and that’s what I got!”
“While my son was awake literally all night, I read through basically every response.”
“After talking to my husband, we have decided to send a photo I took when we got home from the hospital to a large group chat of our families (without my parents) with a text that says, ‘Thank you for everyone who has checked in on us! If you didn’t know, we are all home and healthy. Here is our little baby (with his name). We please ask that photos of him don’t get shared around, especially not on social media. We look forward to having everyone over to visit as soon as schedules allow.'”
“As for my parents, my biggest downfall as a partner and spouse has been my continual lack of standing up for my husband and allowing my parents to disrespect him (this goes back way further than the birth of my son).”
“Not today, but soon I will be telling them that in order to come over and meet our son, I first need an apology to my husband for how they treated him. Hanging up on him and my mother’s follow-up text (which I didn’t mention but she said she would have ‘let my husband have it’) right after he became a father and he was just trying to stand up for me…”
“That cannot go unchecked. We can move forward from there if they provide a true apology, no empty words.”
“Thank you again for everyone’s comments! They truly did help me stay awake and alert during last night’s marathon cluster feeding session, lol (laughing out loud).”
Everyone could agree that the grandmother was weirdly fixated on her new grandson’s baby photos and likely would share them with the people in her life, whether or not the OP knew all of them personally.
But this left the subReddit divided, as some saw no issue with that, while others felt this was a case of serious boundary-breaking.
Hopefully, the OP’s new plan of setting a new boundary with her parents would improve their family’s relationship.