Everyone loves grandmothers, right? But grandmothers are also often mothers-in-law — which is a relationship that gets more complicated when kids are involved, as one mom-to-be demonstrates on Reddit this week. Just after announcing her pregnancy, her mother-in-law has presumed to call the baby “hers,” even suggesting that she’ll get a say in naming the kid. How is this daughter-in-law supposed to respond?
“My MIL is mostly a person who is easy to get along with, but for some reason, the lady has snapped after we announced that I’m pregnant,” margeart wrote on the AITA subreddit. “She keeps doing this weird thing where she refers to the baby as ‘her’ baby.”
Things came to a head when the mother-in-law asked margeart for her list of baby names, so she could tell them which ones was “on board” with. This was a step too far.
“There’s no reason for anyone else to be ‘on board’ with the names we’ve chosen,” margeart told her, and when the grandma-to-be again called the unborn child her baby, her daughter-in-law really let her have it, saying, “[Y]ou don’t think you get any say in her name, how she’s raised, what schools she goes to, how she dresses, any of it, right? You know you’re not the parent here, right?”
This conversation did not end well, and now the MIL has taken to social media and has recruited other members to her side. They want her to relent and give her child’s grandmother some say in things.
Well, most of Reddit is on margeart’s side. Honestly, this comment is all that needs to be said on the matter:
“STICK TO YOUR GUNS!!” AiMiDa, who said she’s a new grandmother, wrote. “If I acted that way in front of my son, he would 1) boot me out of his house so fast my head would spin, and 2) block me from all his social media. And damn if I’d ever see my granddaughter. Why? Because I raised him with some damn autonomy. He and his gf have every right and responsibility to make every decision for and about their daughter. If they ever ask my opinion, I will give it…. tactfully. If I am babysitting her, I follow every rule they have, even if it’s ‘go outside and spin around 3 times while saying the rosary before you feed her.’ (Which is not a real rule 😂). No, your MIL has no say in your life or that of your child. Period. End of discussion.”
As a side note, however, many commenters are not thrilled with the way margeart described her “bored” reaction to being pregnant. “Congrats, someone who I just so happened to be married to shot a load in me without a condom, and now I’m knocked up. It’s really not that exciting or interesting, and I cannot relate to women who never shut up about it. It’s like the only thing anyone wants to talk to me about.”
This alarmed some readers, who wondered if her attitude would lead to her being a bad mother, so I’ve got to say something in margeart’s defense. Some of us love being pregnant and are over the moon about it. Some of us not so much. And if you are anywhere near the latter category, when other people start talking about what’s in your womb as if it is your only defining characteristic, you might react the way she has, trying to downplay it even more. It’s not the most mature reaction, but it’s a visceral one. It never feels good when others try to take ownership over what’s in your body. Everyone just needs to give mothers some judgment-free space to adjust to this new state of being and how their lives are about to change forever.
Maybe margeart should just hand over this list of unique celebrity baby names and pretend it’s her own.