Where do you land on the whole concept of gender reveals? And should someone be forced into having one? Those were the big questions on Reddit’s AITA forum, when a pregnant mom logged on to share her story.
“My husband and I are expecting a baby,” she began. “We are planning to move to my home country because the cost of having a baby is much much less. So obviously I have been basically letting my husband’s mother play doll with us. She is going to miss her son and grandbaby. So no big deal. I have included her in dr appointments, milestone events etc.”
Her mother-in-law asked if she could throw a gender reveal party, which isn’t a tradition in the mom-to-be’s home country, plus she feels uncomfortable about the concept. She told her mother-in-law that she would prefer not to, and assumed that the conversation had been dropped.
“Last Thursday, we went to the doctor (husband was working so only MIL and me),” the Reddit user wrote. “The doctor asks me if I wanna know the gender of the baby and I say yes. My MIL shooshes me. She says no. To put it in an envelope so we can give it to the person responsible for the gender reveal. I say no again and just ask to tell us. MIL starts getting impatient and saying that’s no big deal. To just let her have this one thing.”
The mom-to-be responded that she was open to having a bigger baby shower in lieu of the gender reveal, but was putting her foot down otherwise. “She left crying,” the user recounted. “After the appointment my husband calls me asking what had happened. Apparently MIL called crying saying I had been horrible to her. I told my husband everything. He said he understands me and that he is also not a fan of gender reveals. But we should play along because his mother is sad.”
Now, she’s conflicted. Should she give in? “The thought of standing there and doing the whole ‘ballerina or trucks’ sh*t makes me really uncomfortable and I just… ugh,” she wrote. “But it’s true. We are leaving. So AITA for refusing a gender reveal?”
Reddit came down firmly on her side, telling her to stick with her decision. “The Doctor asked YOU if YOU wanted to know the sex of the baby. As the mother that’s your bloody decision,” one person commented. “MIL can mind her own damn business, and by gosh your husband is gutless wanting to play along with her. He should be standing up for you.”
Another added that if they give her this, boundaries could get thinner and thinner. “This won’t be the end of MIL’s interference. If OP gives her this it’ll become more and more she demands and OP’s husband has set a precedent. She’ll want to be in the room when the baby is born, have her say on how to raise it, post pictures and information regardless of OP’s wishes.”
It also opened up a larger conversation about the idea of gender reveal parties. One person pointed out that the event might not even be something people — outside of the immediate family — would be super interested in taking part in. “I genuinely cannot believe that they are a thing that is considered normal these days,” someone wrote. “The only person other than the parents that care in the slightest about the outcome are the grandmothers, possibly. For every other person on the earth, the response to either outcome is ‘ok, cool.'”
Some pointed out that they didn’t like the idea of these parties altogether and what they represent. “If it was just a silly little pink or blue cake under that butter cream that would be fine. Weird but fine,” a user noted. “But folks feel this need to try to go bigger and ‘better’ and it’s literally caused fires etc. and they are often promoting some back-asswards ancient gender norms with trucks and tiaras and sexist onesies etc.”
What are your thoughts on gender reveal parties? And what should this mom-to-be do?
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