In all of the excitement of bringing a new baby home, parents may not realize right away all of the red flags some of their loved ones might be putting off.
Unfortunately, some loved ones love to cause trouble by arguing with parents about how they should raise their children, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
The Redditor, who has since deleted her account, was at a loss after she found out what her mother-in-law (MIL) was doing with her stores of breastmilk when babysitting her baby.
When she found out, the Original Poster (OP) decided to cut her MIL off from babysitting, despite the consequences.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not letting my MIL (mother-in-law) babysit my daughter?”
The OP provided everything her MIL would need for babysitting.
“My daughter is breastfed exclusively and my MIL knows this.”
“When I bring my daughter to my MIL’s house, I bring enough breast milk that she will have plenty with all the bottles and equipment for her.”
Then the OP found out her MIL wasn’t doing what she wanted.
“I’ve recently found out she is only feeding my daughter formula because she believes breast milk is dirty.”
“She has been throwing out all my breast milk.”
“She said to my face that breast milk is dirty because mothers who have sex pollute their own bodies.”
“She has never liked me and I’ve tried to get along with her, but my husband just keeps his head down and refuses to speak up in my defense.”
The OP put her foot down.
“I’ve hired a babysitter and won’t let my MIL babysit my daughter.”
“My husband and I have been fighting because she is crying to him and he doesn’t see it was a big deal how she is fed.”
“I feel like my family is getting split apart.”
“I’ve gritted my teeth and let my MIL walk all over me because of my husband, but this is outrageous to me because it should be my choice how I feed my baby.”
“But am I wrong for not letting her babysit her anymore because I don’t trust her to follow how I want to feed my baby?”
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 said the OP was absolutely right to protect her daughter.
“She lied to you. And she threw out your precious breast milk!!”
“This is just the beginning of her shenanigans. You don’t need her teaching your daughter all kinds of whacky bulls**t.” – OldLaughingLady
“All that wasted breastmilk. Pumping is WORK.” – Apprehensive-Jelly42
“Didn’t you know? Sperm travels up through the vagina and out through the boob… baby is drinking sperm.”
“MIL is both ridiculous and I’d be very wary of letting her anywhere near your children with the rubbish she spouts.”
“Start teaching them now that…. Grandma has dementia (sorry to those who really do) and says things that aren’t true.”
“But preferably, just don’t ever let her see them unsupervised.”
“As for your spineless SO (significant other), he either needs to step up and protect his family/pull his mother into line… or seriously… Just stop ‘polluting’ your body and see how supportive of his mother’s crap he is then.”
“NTA” – Tammary
Others said the husband needed to do better.
“Her husband is also splitting her family apart, not just the mother-in-law. He is letting his mother get away with this s**t. He’s supposed to be her partner!” – CutesPDX
“If he can’t step up and shut mom down, I don’t see this ending well. This sooo toxic.”
“Please stand firm, OP, think of all the other internalized misogyny that she will spew around and at your kids!”
“Also, whether or not you have sex is none of her business, sooo why does she know what’s happening or not happening in your bedroom?” – Apprehensive-Jelly42
“Husband doesn’t get to say that throwing away breastmilk is ‘not a big deal’ until he learns how to lactate himself.” – macadamiaicecream
“NTA. Your husband’s behavior is indefensible. He needs to have your back!”
“Does he realize how hard you work to pump all that breast milk that she is dumping down the drain? I would be LIVID.”
“I would ask him how he would feel if he’d been the one to do all that work. Tell him in great detail all of the work that goes into breastfeeding and pumping, because he doesn’t seem to be paying attention.”
“It’s truly none of your MIL’s business whether you breastfeed or use formula.” – ConsistentCheesecake
Some also pointed out the MIL was splitting up the family, not the OP.
“NTA. The only person splitting your family apart is a woman calling you dirty. You don’t have to accept that.”
“Your husband needs to get on your side ASAP or the implication is that he agrees with her treating you that way. You don’t have to accept that either.”
“In which case, splitting apart your family would be a healthy choice for you. Splitting apart families isn’t inherently bad if the family you’re leaving behind was hurting you.” – Still_Association
“Stand your ground! With your MIL and with your husband. The only ones who get to make decisions for your child are you and your husband.”
“You need to be one front and you need to make sure MIL gets this message loud and clear NOW, because if you let this slide, who knows what else she will pull without your knowledge or consent?”
“Get your daughter’s ears pierced? Cut or perm her hair? And what kind of nonsense will she teach her?”
“If you can’t trust your MIL (or anyone else), then no (unsupervised) visits. You need to teach this lesson NOW before she does something irreversible.” – Quadrantje
A few also made jokes about how to keep breastfeeding going.
“Tell your husband if his mom babysits you’ll stop having sex to keep your breast milk ‘pure’ for his mother.” – LimitlessMegan
“I would tell my hubby, ‘Either your mom doesn’t babysit or we don’t have sex, so she will feed the baby breastmilk, you choose.'”
“NTA OP, but your husband sucks.” – Aggitated-Tree3720
“Tell your husband, ‘Honey, your mom says that we are going to pollute baby so I’m cutting you off until the baby stops breastfeeding. Tell your mom thanks for the advice.’ See if he says anything to his mom then. NTA” – shopgirl2
“NTA – This can lead to her doing dangerous things. She thinks the kid is ready for solids, but the kid isn’t.”
“Kid developed a deadly food allergy, MIL doesn’t believe it and feeds the kid the allergen, almost killing them.”
“You don’t want the kid around someone known to have a dangerous past with kids, MIL thinks they are great and exposes your kid to them. Yes, it can get that bad.”
“It is time to tell your husband that MIL has no access to your child and he either grows a spine and chooses the family he has built with you and tell his mother no and deal with her, or you and the baby are out of there. I mean it.”
“Her behavior is so toxic and can be so dangerous.”
“What if your child was allergic to certain kinds of formula? And she feeds them that?”
“Nah. Your kid, your rules, if she can’t follow them, she loses access to your child.”
“Protect your kid. Husband can wake up, get therapy, and choose to protect his family, or he can be alone and a momma’s boy. His choice. You chose your kid.” – jokerkat
“Breast milk is prefectly fine and is better than formula cause it gives the baby antibodies and strengthens their immune system. Your MIL is insane and if she can’t respect you’re parenting she has no right to babysit.”
“Her getting to babysit her grandchild is a privilege and there are boundries that must not be crossed.”
“I bet she breastfed your husband and I get the feeling she doesn’t like you so she’s using this ridiculous excuse to not feed your baby breastmilk because it came from you.”
“As for your husband, he needs to grow a spine. If he agrees with his mom then perhaps sex should be off the table, since it will ‘pollute’ your breastmilk.” – Ill-Money-1521
“OMG … What if your child had been allergic to the formula and you had no idea what she had ingested?”
“That’s just neglectful of her, not mention dishonest and underhanded. But let’s play along with her crazy thought processes…”
“1. I would ask your MIL what exactly makes her think that you’re having sex to contaminate your breast milk!”
“2. Maybe your husband would be agreeable to abstaining in order to accommodate his mother’s delusions.”
“3. Wondering what other strange demands MIL would have come up with if you hadn’t drawn the line in the sand.”
“Stay strong Mama, YOU are NTA.”
“Your hubby probably needs some education, both on infant/child nutrition and on having his wife’s back.” – Narrow_Cause8498
“Oh, HELL NO. Throwing away perfectly good breastmilk is enough reason on its own to cut her off.”
“That’s SO disrespectful of the time, energy, and dedication it takes to pump, and further, it’s deeply disrespectful to say that you’re ‘dirty'(!!!?!).”
“And… just to clarify, she thinks you’re dirty because you have sex with your husband, who just happens to be HER OWN SON? LOL, wut?”
“Nobody tell her how babies get here in the first place—she might spontaneously combust 🙄” – pycnogonidaII
“This is messed up on so many levels!”
“That she’s thrown out your breastmilk. Which a lot of women have a hard time stocking up on!”
“Plus she introduced something new to your child’s diet which is a huge no-no. She’s obviously bat $hit crazy about breastmilk, as if this isn’t the way it’s been done for, you know, ever?!”
“Plus your husband is a spineless turd. I’m so sorry you’re going through this.”
“You need to put your foot down with your husband honestly. He needs to get some counseling and grow a spine. NTA.” – Alarmed-Part4718
“Your big problem is your husband. I went through this over 40 yrs ago with one of my children.”
“Was visiting MIL with 2 week old baby and when I went to nurse her MIL jumps up screaming that she was not going to stay silent while I starved the baby. My daughter weighed 6# 9oz at birth and like many infants lost 2 oz at her 2 week check up.”
“I was shocked by the outburst and my 6 yr old was terrified.”
“Husband called MIL that evening and she said she would be satisfied if I took the baby to another doctor. I had heard MIL mention a particular doctor a number of times, so called that office.”
“He was out so I made an appointment with the available pediatrician. After the visit I brought all the charts and report from the doctor showing the baby was fine.”
“She threw the papers all over the lawn and threw and screaming fit.”
“The doctor had warned me that the issue would only get worse unless my husband stepped up.”
“She was SO right!”
“MIL began calling and yelling at husband on a near daily basis about my starving the baby. We stopped going to her house.”
“She showed up at our door one night demanding to be let in to see her grandchild. She apologized about the breast feeding fits and then started in on wanting to pierce the baby’s ears.”
“When I said no, she cussed me out and caused such a scene I broke out in hives.”
“Then it moved to baby food. I fed my child the same food we ate, ground up fresh. I didn’t object to MIL giving her jarred food, but that still wasn’t enough.”
“My husband also said ‘can’t you just give her a bottle around my mother?'”
“The situation NEVER improved.”
“A man who will not stand up and do what is right, will continue to be a problem in many other areas too. If you stay with him, learn now to stand up for yourself and don’t ever count on him for anything because he is weak.” – gmmf56
The OP may have been doubting herself after arguing with her husband, but the subReddit totally sided with her.
Not only was it up to her as the mother to decide how to raise her baby, which includes choosing breastmilk or formula, but also her husband should have been putting up a united front with his wife.
That’s part of being married, after all.