When a child is born, traditionally the extended family will gather to welcome the baby and sometimes help the new mother.
While that’s definitely less common now, some families still do it.
But what if the new parents don’t want houseguests right after their child’s birth? Is it acceptable to say no?
A mom-to-be is struggling with that question, so they turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
“AITA for not wanting my mother-in-law (MIL) to fly over to visit when my baby is born?”
The original poster (OP) explained:
“My MIL has no job, no savings, no husband and lives in a different country. She divorced my father-in-law when my husband was a kid and have only remained in touch via Facebook.”
“When she heard my husband and I were getting married she started messaging my husband more and more often and was telling him everyday how he is her favorite son (my husband has several half siblings—same mother different fathers).”
“My husband paid for her trip to our wedding because she allegedly told him that her money was ‘tied up’ at the time.”
“Fast forward to now, we are expecting a baby in the new year.”
“When she heard the news she immediately told my husband that she’s going to visit us to take care of the baby. When I heard my anxiety just went through the roof.”
“I don’t want ‘help’ from her.”
“If anything I would rather have my mom here. I have no plans on entertaining this woman while I am recovering from child birth and learning to be a first time mom, especially when my husband has decided not to take any paternity leave.”
“She will somehow need us to pay for her trip here AND the food while she’s here.”
“My husband and I are already worried about living on a single income while I am on leave.”
“I have a gut feeling that once she is here, she will never leave and we will be stuck.”
“I told my husband it is not a good idea and I don’t want her to come visit but he turned it around on me and asked ‘how would you feel if your child told you not to come?’.”
The OP summed up their predicament.
“I told my husband I don’t want my MIL to visit even though she is his family.”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors almost unanimously declared the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).
“NTA. I think the only response to your husband is, ‘I don’t know, how would you feel if your partner cared more about their estranged mom than the person who spent 9 months growing your baby before dealing with the great pleasures of a ripped, bleeding vagina, leaking breasts, and almost no sleep?’.”
“Show him pictures if necessary.” ~ MoMoJangles
“Why don’t you have your mother come first then? She can help you like you want, and it would postpone your MIL from visiting.”
“A woman’s mother always comes first before her MIL.”
“If it does not work out that way and your MIL comes, be sure to set a return date BEFORE you let her come (and get your husband on board). NTA.” ~ HoneyYodelB
“I would just tell MIL ‘we don’t have the funds to finance you.. we have a new baby to care for. Perhaps you can come over when you have saved enough money’.” ~ HappySparklyUnicorn
“NTA-you’re the mother giving birth. You get to decide who and when to have someone around.”
“Your husbadi’s responsibility in this is to tell his mother ‘no’ and make sure she understands it. That is his only job at the moment.” ~ OkSeat4312
“NTA. I suspect your fears are spot on. You’ll never get rid of her.”
“Tell your husband that if your child told you not to come you’d respect their choice, understand childbirth is a tough time and that bonding with the child is not something to be done with a stranger in the house.”
“And ask him why his mother’s feelings are more important than yours?”
“BTW, when my SIL had a baby, my mom went to help. Not with the baby, but with the house.”
“She understood the mom didn’t need help with the baby, but help with household would be welcome since my brother was working overtime. Since YOUR MIL doesn’t see that, it’s even more reason for her not to come.” ~ FuzzyMom2005
“Yes. NTA. MIL would not be helping, she would be holping. Looks like helping if you squint, but it isnt helping.”
“Mom doesn’t need help with rocking or feeding the baby. She needs the laundry done.” ~ anglerfishtacos
“Shoot, my MIL came the day after I got home and all she wanted to do was hold the baby.”
“Not clean, cook meals, etc… and she even yelled at her own son when he asked her to cook dinner.”
“After a week, I told hubby that she should just go home. It was pure hell.” ~ Itbemedjg
“NTA. Skirt it and say, ‘Thanks! Once we are home and settled in a bit, we’ll let you know when we’re ready for visitors!’.”
“Set the tone that she has to wait to be invited, and that childcare isn’t going to be a need you have of her.” ~ EndsIn-ing
“NTA. She left her kids and moved to another country and only communicated via Facebook. What kind of mom traits does she think she will pass onto you?”
“What you could suggest is that the first 6 months it’s a bad idea as you need time to bond with the baby and you wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that with a woman you barely know in your house.”
“Then suggest after the 6 months she can come and visit for a week but make sure she has a return flight home.” ~ myexisatwatwaffle
“NTA. Put your foot down and let him know that he didn’t just carry a baby and then give birth, so he doesn’t get the final say on whether or not his mother comes to visit, you do.”
“Give your husband some birthing and postpartum videos and info.”
“Remind him that you’re giving birth to a watermelon, and are pushing that baby out of an opening the same size as a ben and jerry ice cream lid.”
“Tell your husband that you will not be entertaining her and do not consent to family money being spent on her food and travel. She can either pay for it herself and stay in a hotel or she doesnt come.”
“Put your foot down and let him know that if he goes against you, then mil either needs to stay in a hotel or not come.
“Otherwise you’ll stay with your family after the baby is born.”
“Remind him that giving birth is hugely important and that you need to be resting, not taking care of a leeching woman who doesn’t care about anyone except when she can benefit from them.” ~ New-Link5725
But one person felt everyone sucked (ESH).
“ESH you and your husband should be able to have difficult discussions like this, respect each other’s feelings, and talk it all out including the bullet points you gave.”
“Why isn’t your husband taking any paternity leave?”
“If his mother comes, he should be home while she’s there. That is another issue you should revisit because he should be there to help at least for the first couple weeks.” ~ metal4timmy
But they were alone with their opinion, while most thought:
“Tell your husband ‘if I had treated my kid the way your mom did I would expect [to be told not to come]’.” ~ Competitive-Week-935
“NTA. Tell your husband he is not a child anymore. He is a husband and father and needs to protect you, not offer you (and your happiness) up to his mother.”
“You will not have his mother in your house when you are recovering from a very dramatic medical event, are at your most vulnerable and trying to find your way as a new mother.”
“His mother can wait until she is invited, which will only be when you feel strong and confident, and he is home to do the work of entertaining her.” ~ WantToBelieveInMagic
“NTA. No way. Sounds like she’s planning to move in and have you both subsidize her life. This lady is a stranger to you and it’s not appropriate for her to be there during such a vulnerable time.”
“If it were me, I would tell my husband in no uncertain terms that if she shows up there, ‘I’m leaving with the baby and consulting a divorce lawyer’. Die on this hill, OP.”
“If he doesn’t know how to say no to her, he needs to be in therapy.” ~ friendlily
“I am 150% of the opinion that the woman who is about to squeeze a whole human out of her hoohah gets final say on who gets to be around during recovery, NTA.” ~ Legal-Ad1727
Having a first child is stressful enough.
An unwanted houseguest is more than this soon-to-be mom wants or needs.