When we marry into a family, there may be some surprises along the way. We then have to decide what is more important, our acceptance of that surprise or the success of our marriage.
If that isn’t taken into careful consideration, someone’s feelings will get hurt, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor elia243 found herself uncomfortable with the family tradition she found out about while she was pregnant, and she openly voiced her concerns to her husband.
But when she saw how upset he was, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was overthinking it.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for saying my husband’s family tradition made me feel like a glorified surrogate and not wanting to participate?”
The OP found out her husband’s family had a tradition regarding pregancy.
“My husband’s family has a family tradition that makes me feel like a glorified surrogate.”
“Essentially, when someone has a baby in the family the husband and the grandfather both give the mother a substantial amount of money.”
“It used to be for the birth of a son, but now it’s the same for all babies.”
“The way my husband explained it to me made it seem like it happens immediately after giving birth, too.”
The OP was uncomfortable with the idea.
“When he told me, I made a face and he asked me why.”
“I said that the tradition made me feel like a glorified surrogate and it was like he (and his family) were buying my baby from me.”
Her husband was hurt by this.
“My husband got really offended and said it was a nice thing his family did for the new mother.”
“He suggested that in a few months, I should just thank his dad and not say anything negative about this tradition as it was important to them/him.”
“I told him I wasn’t sure I wanted to participate and now he’s upset and thinks I’m reading too much into it.”
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 should have just accepted the gift as a gift.
“YTA. They’re giving you money to help with baby costs and hospital costs. Good god girl, get a grip and get over yourself.” – m033118b
“So they’re doing something nice for you and you’re mad about it? They want you to treat yourself after giving birth…and you’re MAD about it??” – Quothhernevermore
“Listen, you’re choosing a weird hill to die on. YTA, it’s rude to not accept a gift, and you’re creating unnecessary drama.”
“No one is going to feel bad that your in-laws and husband are grateful for you bringing their grandchild/child into the world, many people would kill for that.” – kmcc12345
“Serious question: you’ve never heard of a ‘push present?’ Usually, it’s a Keepsake (like a piece of jewelry or accessory), but it sounds like the present, in this case, is the cash.” – BobbyFan54
“YTA. How is that any different from the new trend of husbands buying their wives ‘push presents??'” – swkoontz
“Why are people saying N T A?”
“I’m sorry but yes, you actually are the A-hole. You’re reading too much into it. It makes no sense to “buy the baby from you”, and I have no idea why you thought of it that way.”
“Have you never heard of a baby shower? Or just in general people with newborn babies getting gifts that would help the family out? Even if they didn’t need the financial help, you could just set that money aside to use it whenever you want to buy your child something or even to use it for their education.”
“This is a nice tradition because it means the father’s family is invested in yours and wants you and the baby to live a comfortable, happy life. I don’t know why you have such a negative feeling about that, they are just trying to do well by you.”
“YTA.” – CrissCrossAM
Others questioned if this was a family tradition that would bother the OP long-term.
“Family traditions can be weird. The question is, can you deal with the weirdness in a way that avoids hurt feelings and damaged relationships?”
“Your thoughts and feelings around the tradition are that you would feel like they are buying the baby from you, right? So something about your own attitudes about money and pregnancy/birth/parental roles is leading you to your discomfort.”
“Apparently, if you mix pregnancy and money, it automatically equals a surrogacy situation, given the title of the post, except it doesn’t, because you aren’t a surrogate!”
“Would you feel similarly if it were a jewelry gift or other ‘push presents’? Could you put the money aside and earmark it for a use that feels good to you?”
“I just don’t see this as a hill to die on, when you can just accept the money and start a college fund with it or something.”
“I’m not going to brand you an AH for feeling your feelings, so NAH, but you do need to do some introspection to figure out the reason behind your hesitation.” – DrKittyLovah
“I’m unfamiliar with this term, but, are women allowed to participate?”
“I’m sure it’s harmless but if it were me I’d wonder why OP’s FIL is the one giving a gift and not MIL also.”
“I think because there have been times, culturally, where women are ‘rewarded’ for getting pregnant (especially if it’s a boy) OP might be concerned the tradition has sexist roots, perhaps.” – sapphicsapphires
“As a liberal feminist, I find this really empowering. So many women become trapped in a bad relationship after having a baby because they don’t have the financial resources to leave.”
“For your FIL and husband to gift you resources at a time in your life when you are probably the most vulnerable is kind of awesome.” – go_Raptors
“The fact that it goes to her and her alone says a lot. I guess you could see it as ‘buying a baby’ but I see it as providing a stable base for someone who will likely not be making the same income as before birth (depending on location and maternity leave).”
“Not to mention giving her something to where she isn’t becoming completely dependent if she decides to be a SAHM while the baby is young.”
“If you aren’t signing any paperwork, you aren’t selling your baby, for f**k’s sake.” – Elaan221
“That was exactly my first thought. Oh, look a family tradition that’s about the men in the family gifting a new mom money that’s hers alone to control right at the time when she’s most likely to need to take a break from work and be more financially dependent on her husband.”
“And the fact that it’s two generations of men means 1) it’s not a secret about of money the husband can make smaller so she’s not set up as well and 2) not dependent on only the money her husband can give so it can stretch further.”
“I think this is a fantastic way to try to rebalance a partnership during a naturally imbalanced time. And I love that it’s reinforced by other relatives as a family tradition.”
“This reminds me of the sort of move you sometimes see in historic wills in rich families where a specific set of land or other property will be willed only to a daughter to try to have her maintain some autonomy in her marriage.”
“I can see the ‘buy my baby’ as a gut reaction but if he isn’t treating her like he owns her in other ways, I think OP should re-examine the idea.” – berrykiss96
A few wondered why the OP didn’t continue the conversation.
“Well, there’s your first mistake. Your husband’s excitement about your inlaws making decisions for both of your baby isn’t something you should just drop without immediate clarification.”
“But it still doesn’t give a reason to think the money is to buy your rights as a mother.” – 2oocents
“This doesn’t make sense to me. It didn’t sound like they offered it with conditions.”
“Also, she will have more financial freedom with the money. As long as it’s to both of them (or just her).”
“She can save her own.” – ForgotMyNameAh
“I’m shocked that anyone could read something bad into this. Have some appreciation for the fact that they’re gifting you some money because they’re so thrilled to have a new family member! Why are some people so d**ned defensive all the time?”
“Put the money in a college fund for the kid, and show some appreciation for those who have shown you their own. Not that hard.”
“YTA for sure. Maybe get some therapy for all that angst.” – FullyRisenPhoenix
While the OP was feeling incredibly uncomfortable with the idea of receiving money from her husband’s family right after giving birth to her first child, the subReddit tried to comfort her by saying she was reading too much into the situation.
Rather, it seemed the family wanted to show their support to the child-bearing women of their family, which is a breath of fresh air in a place like the AITA subReddit.