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New Mom Livid After Italian MIL Insists She Stop Breastfeeding To Sit Down For Family Dinner

Mom breastfeeding a baby.

When and where moms breastfeed has been a hot topic for generations.

A lot of cultural progress has been made over the years, but that doesn’t sit well with everybody, especially older generations.

And this difference of opinions can stir up quite the drama.

Case in point…

Redditor ConflictActive222 wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for coming to dinner basically topless?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I’ve dreaded posting for a while because I’m afraid I might be the AH.”

“But I just gotta know.”

“So here goes.”

“My P[arents]-I[n]-L[aw] and B[rother]-I[n]-L[aw] came to visit and stay for a month with my husband (27 M[ale]) and I (28 F[emale]) after I had my baby.”

“For context, if it makes any difference, I’m German, husband and his family are Italian.”

“The baby was 3 months old at the time and I breastfed her.”

“Usually, I’d just nurse on the couch in the living room, but because the company was staying, I’d go to my bedroom.”

“After I nursed her, she’d fall asleep and take a nap, and I’d have some free time.”

“Since the family was visiting, I tried to plan her naps around our mealtime to spend time with family uninterrupted.”

“My M[other]-I[n]-L[aw] has this thing that when food is on the table, you be there pronto.”

“Sometimes I’d be late coming to a meal because babies can be unpredictable and she wouldn’t fall asleep right away or nursed longer than normal.”

“To this, my mother-in-law would barge into my room and announce food was ready, all impatient.”

“This startled the baby and made the process last much longer than it should have.”

“The result is I had to eat much later than everyone else, alone, and the food was cold.”

“It left me fuming.”

“More work to do with the baby, and I’m secluded.”

“This happened several times.”

“I asked my husband to talk to her and explain I can’t always come on time.”

“He talked to her, but she still did all this anyway.”

“So I simply decided to stop being late to the dinners.”

“The next time she barged into my room and announced food was ready, I came without hesitation.”

“I came to the table exactly as I was. No shirt, half a bra, baby hanging on one breast.”

“Nothing was seen as the baby’s head covered up everything anyway but still) Ensue uproar.”

“Goes something like: MIL exclaims what the hell I’m doing at the table like this.”

“I’m indecent. There are men at the table.”

“I should be ashamed.”

“I yelled back. What the hell does she keep calling me to the table for if I’m not yet ready?”

“I have no reason to be in my room alone with my baby while everyone else is out having a great time together.”

“Brother and F[ather]-I[n]-L[aw] are trying not to get in on the argument.”

“My husband ushers me back to my room and scolds me, taking his mother’s side.”

“He says he gets I’m frustrated, but this action didn’t help anything.”

“But… after that, MIL didn’t bother again while I was busy with the baby.”

“So what if I came to some meals a little after everyone had started eating?”

“The roof didn’t cave in!”

“Anyways, everyone lived happily ever after. The end.”

The OP was left to wonder:


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

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

“NTA. A well-placed piece of malicious compliance.” ~ ThinkingT00Loud

“He also should never have eaten without her.”

“He should have kept informed and when OP was close to done with the baby, warmed up food for both of them and ate together.” ~ TheLoveliestKaren

“THIS. If anyone is the AH in this story, it’s the husband for not taking care of his wife when she’s doing everything for ‘their, equal responsibility,’ child.”

“To let his mother bully her and then leave her to eat alone every night is next-level a**holery.” ~ theresbeans

“THIS… at both levels. NTA 100x.”

“Mother also TA who ‘helps out’ by cooking but fails to help out one of the main people who she’s supposed to be helping – even making it worse by disturbing and disrespecting privacy.”

“As a side note, I can imagine several female friends doing similar ‘compliance’ even without a child to feed if a MIL was so rude as to burst into a room and demand they should come down for food when they were not yet dressed.”

“In such instances, I’m personally in favor of topless dinner with full reveal.”

“If no nipple was on view, then her accusations of indecency are terrible – there are whole campaigns against this kind of bullying.”

“70% of people believe in breastfeeding in public nowadays.”

“In some countries, it’s illegal to ask a woman to stop or to move somewhere private.”

“You certainly can’t be prosecuted under indecency laws in most countries.” ~ TutsiRoach

“Exactly. I don’t even know how MIL got to OP without the husband running interference.”

“My marriage wasn’t great, but at least my ex wouldn’t let his mom barge in on me like that while I was breastfeeding.”

“The door is closed, ma’am.”

“You are not invited in.” ~ SophisticatedScreams

“My FIL once opened the wrong door and saw full frontal nudity at Easter.”

“I came out after I had pumped and fed the baby and told him, ‘Didn’t know you were coming for dinner and a show today, huh?'”

“You could tell he wanted to crawl under the carpet.”

“But he still laughed!” ~ Bswmom

“I’d go say far as to say two well-placed pieces of malicious compliance, NTA.”

“MIL can f**k off; baby and Mum always come first; they should be grateful you let them stay; I’d have kicked my own family to a hotel down the road and not skipped a beat.”

“Those first few months when you’re settling into a routine and sleep deprivation can be some of the hardest. You don’t need the added stress of a demanding MIL of an Italian momma’s boy hubby either.” ~ Wtfdidistumbleinon

“NTA. I mean, you were an AH, but only in the best possible way.”

“When people are being not only ridiculous but also rude like that.”

“I honestly can’t think of a better way. Bravo.” ~ Suyeta_Rose

“My family-in-law is from Iran and still living there.”

“There it’s so popular for the younger generation to use formula, that I got scolded by other new moms that I breastfed and ‘it’s just water, your baby will never be fat, blah blah.'”

“The older generation was so happy with me that I breastfed and my MIL and grandmother-in-law would always be praising it.”

“Depends on the culture!”

“But NTA, I was five weeks in Iran, and I breastfed in public in every corner of the country, especially in front of men.”

“The family is super patriarchal, but nobody had an issue with it.”

“I would definitely breastfeed while eating, always.”

“On the streets, the shop owners would offer me their chairs in the back of the shops, etc.”

“People were super kind about it.”

“The most important thing was that baby got fed!” ~ Helene1370

“To be fair, in some cultures, the motherly empathy around breastfeeding was kind of pummelled out of you by the system of the time.”

“My mother was born at the height of the German Democratic Republic (Eastern Germany), and the nurses at the hospital wouldn’t ALLOW her mother (my grandma) to feed her outside of the ‘normal’ (practical for them) 4-hour schedule, even when baby mom was sick to her stomach and almost died of malnutrition.”

“The whole ‘babies feed when they are hungry’-thing is, unfortunately, very new, generationwise, over here.”

“Suffice it to say that my grandma has only recently, with great-grandchildren 4 and 5, started to not be highly anxious about all things pregnancy and baby related.”

“It still doesn’t EXCUSE MIL ignoring the actual mother in this context, nor does it excuse that coward of a husband, but it explains some of the generational weirdness about certain things.” ~ TurnipWorldly9437

“I bow to you!”

“NTA at all!”

“You were forced to eat alone and cold food.”

“A mother of (at least) 2 forgot how hard it is to put a baby to sleep?!”

“I don’t have kids and I know to be quiet around babies! She is TA.”

“After asking to stop her behavior she kept doing?!”

“Again: She is TA.”

“You go girl! Have dinner and lunch as you want, your house your rules.”

“The guests can move to a hotel if they want!” ~ REDDIT

“NTA! I actually laughed at what you did… that was good!”

“I can’t stand my MIL, she’s an awful person and I did NC for over a year now.”

“She was disrespectful, ignored MY house rules, tried to tell me how to raise my children, AND kissed my baby on the lips.”

“She also invited herself over for a week while I was recovering from a c-section and was ZERO help.”

“I kicked her out.” ~ Curiobizz

“NTA… when you’re a guest in someone’s house who just had a baby, you are either helpful or you aren’t there at all.”

“I don’t care what your heritage is, you do not get to barge in and take over the house.” ~ Fair-Delivery2802

“NTA OMG!!!! You have a husband problem.”

“I was a VERY proud husband of a wife who breastfed our son, and I would have crossed swords with any family member who had an opinion about it.”

“Breastfeeding should be normalized in public but certainly in YOUR home.”

“Sounds like it’s time for Mother-in-law to leave, and she can take her overgrown toddler of a husband with her if he doesn’t get his responsibilities and loyalties straight.” ~ MonarchistExtreme

Well, OP, Reddit is with you.

You’re choosing your baby and her food as your first priority.

Sounds like your husband and you need to have a deeper chat about his mom.

Like a pot of pasta, behavior like this could boil over into a lot of future situations.

Good luck.