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New Mom Furious After Mother-In-Law Gets Tattoo Inspired By Daughter Without Consulting Her First

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We set boundaries for a reason.

We tell others that we are uncomfortable with a behavior to save ourselves the discomfort of that behavior.

What happens when someone expresses their joy in a way that we feel impinges on those boundaries?

This was the problem facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Zealousideal-Fact966 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for outside opinions.

She asked:

“AITA for hating my MIL’s tattoo?”

OP began with the background.

“My husband (32 male) and I (31 female) had our first child in June.”

“Our daughter is also the first grandchild on my husband’s side so, naturally everyone is excited. But my MIL (Mother In Law) has taken it to a whole other level.”

“My MIL is very attention seeking and just over the top, to say the least.”

“This year, my husband and I decided to stay home for Christmas and celebrate with our own little family for obvious reasons.”

“This did not settle well with my MIL.”

“She kept saying how she wanted everyone to be together and she just didn’t understand why we couldn’t.”

“So, in order to appease her, we decided that her and FIL (Father In Law) could come up on Christmas eve to spend the day.”

She then explained the problem at hand.

“Day of: everything was fine until we were almost finished with opening gifts.”

“She told me and my husband that she had one last gift for our daughter and handed us an envelope.”

“My husband proceeded to open the card and read it out loud.”

“To sum it up, it said that she loved our daughter so much that she decided to get something for her and herself. What does that even mean?!”

“We both look up and there she was pulling down her collar to show us a huge tattoo on her chest of a heart-shaped pearl necklace (my daughter’s birth stone), a couple of roses (birth flower) and our daughter’s name.”


“I could feel the tears building up inside me.”

“I turned to my husband and basically excused myself with my daughter to ‘feed her’.”

“I balled my eyes out in my bedroom. I could hear my husband trying to explain to her what she did wrong.”

“I wanted to get a tattoo of my daughter/ other children (we plan on having more) but I can’t right now because I’m breastfeeding.”

“I was so upset because not only did my MIL take her name but she also took her birth stone and flower!”

“I pulled myself together and come out of the room to find my MIL sobbing.”

“She made a huge scene saying, ‘Oh please don’t kick me out! Please let me stay! Please oh please!’ “

“She told me that she was sorry, she didn’t think it was a big deal and that she thought she was doing something nice for my daughter.”

“She even said that she discussed her plans with FIL and their friends and everyone gave her the green light.”

“I told her that my daughter was 6 months old and had no idea what a tattoo is and that she did this for attention just like everything else she does.”

“I was upset with the fact that she didn’t even think to discuss it with us, her parents, about how we would feel about it.”

“Mind you, she doesn’t even have her own children’s names tattooed on her!”

“I told her that she was overstepping us as her parents. Her response: ‘But I just want to be your mom! I just want to be close to you!’ “

“What does that have anything to do with this?! I told her that she was NOT my mom nor would she ever be.”

“Since then, she has texted my husband and I almost every day (I don’t respond) about her birthday plans coming up.”

“The fact that she is just trying to sweep this whole thing under the rug and go about as if nothing happened even makes me more angry. I never want to see my MIL’s tattoo.”

She was left to wonder.

“Am I the a**hole?”

Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for some outside opinions.

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 decided:  YTA

Some responders were confused.


“Unless there’s something I’m missing, why do you care if someone else got a tattoo on their body?”

“You say that she took your daughter’s name and birthstone?”

“How did she take them?”

“I don’t get this at all.”

“Are you from a culture in which only parents get tattoos or something? I’m very confused.”

“It sounds to me like you are being a drama queen and treating your mother-in-law horribly.”

“I really, truly, don’t understand why you care about this.” ~ Red-belliedOrator

Others pointed out that OP seemed irrational. 


” ‘I wanted to get a tattoo of my daughter/ other children (we plan on having more) but I can’t right now because I’m breastfeeding.’ “

” ‘I was so upset because not only did my MIL take her name but she also took her birth stone and flower!’ “

“Did you know that EVERYONE who was born in the same month as your daughter has the same birth stone and flower?”

“Your MIL didn’t take it. Unless you wanted this EXACT tattoo there’s really no reason at all to be mad at your MIL.”

“It seems to me like she’s trying to connect with you in every way that she can and you’re just not letting her in.” ~ Wallflowerheart

Some suggested that more was going on with OP than was apparent.

“Yeah even though the MIL seems a bit pushy if OP is to be believed OP’s reaction seems way too much.”

“I know postpartum can be hard on people and maybe it’s bringing out less than great aspects of OP’s personality.”

“But it also sounds like OP generally doesn’t like her MIL.”

“I think it’s possible that OP and her MIL clash a bit because they are actually very similar and both want attention.” ~ LJnosywritter


“What kicks me is that she called MIL attention-seeking because her daughter doesn’t even know what a tattoo is, yet the only reason she doesn’t have a tattoo is because she’s breastfeeding.”

“Wouldn’t OP be doing it for attention then?”

“OP is acting like she designed a tattoo and the MIL stole it.” ~ KhaleesiMidnight


“Makes you wonder about all the “boundaries that MIL has crossed’ “

“… my guess is that Op is the kind of person who makes mountains out of molehills.” ~ little_missHOTdice

OP did return to add some final thoughts.

“I’m not upset about what the tattoo entails specifically.”

“I am just upset at the fact that MIL did not come to us as my daughter’s parents to discuss before hand.”

“She has overstepped boundaries in the past so, I guess this could be the last straw.”

“Yes, I understand that it’s her body, her choice. Also, thinking about future grandchildren and trying to explain to them why their name isn’t tattooed on grandma.”

“She does have other way smaller tattoos but this is the biggest one yet.”

Boundaries are an important tool in our relationships with others.

Always remember that when you begin trying to control what someone else does with their own body, you are no longer talking about boundaries.

Written by Frank Geier

Frank Geier (pronouns he/him) is a nerd and father of three who recently moved to Alabama. He is an avid roleplayer and storyteller occasionally masquerading as a rational human.