New mom jealousy is real — I had it after my first baby was born. I would feel anxious if other people were holding my newborn too long or if he smiled at other people. I was later diagnosed with postpartum anxiety, and it all made so much sense. Those feelings I had may have been common, but they weren’t healthy. One mom on Reddit seems to be in a similar place, but she is handling her feelings in an extremely toxic way — by flat out refusing to allow any woman (other than her) to see her new baby boy.
In the “Am I The A—hole?” subreddit, a dad was firmly deemed the a-hole … after letting this go on for seven months! Let’s dive in.
“My(26m) wife(26f) and I have a 7-month-old baby son,” he wrote. “My wife does not want to let any woman see our son for the first year of his life so that he understands that my wife is his mother.”
Full stop: what? Red flag right off the bat. Imagine saying this to your husband, and he just … agrees? Like, sure honey, that sounds reasonable and right. Sorry, but no. Your baby understands you’re his mom! This isn’t like nipple confusion — if he sees other women, he won’t suddenly get them confused with the one woman who spends all day loving him, feeding him, playing with him, and who gets up in the night rocking him.
And what does this say about her trust and self-esteem issues? Is your husband allowed to go to work because *gasp!* a woman might be there? Or does this very strange rule only apply to baby boy because you’re afraid if he smiles at a woman at Target, he’ll automatically stop loving you?
This rule isn’t just harmful for the baby and who he is missing out on meeting, but it’s also hurting the feelings of the extended family who hasn’t yet gotten to meet their newest member — namely, the dad’s mom and sister.
“My mom(52f) and sister(27f) want to see my son, and I would love for them to be with him, but my wife forbids it,” he continued.
Forbids. It. I’m blown away.
He added: “My dad(55m) is allowed to see him, but he got pissed when I said that my sister and mom couldn’t, and he got angry and called my wife irrational.”
Like … duh? Now the dad is wondering if he’s the a-hole because he went along with not letting his mom and sister see the baby, and Reddit fully confirms that he is.
“YTA for facilitating this rather than trying to get her into therapy,” one person wrote.
The same commenter added, “This woman is possibly dealing with postpartum depression or psychosis, or something else equally serious. This isn’t a moral judgment on her — she probably desperately needs help.”
Another wondered what it would be like when the baby gets older. “I can only imagine the level of smothering helicopter parenting this kid will be subjected to as he grows up,” the wrote. “And God forbids he gets a girlfriend one day, and the mom loses it because she wants to compete with that.”
“I can’t stop laughing as I picture you walking into a grocery store, looking at the cashier, and saying ‘ Are you my mommy?’” one person wrote.
“Poor poor kid, this is truly disturbing behavior,” another commented. “News flash my mom and sister were heavily involved in my sons life as was my MIL and my son knows who his mom is! So seriously bizarre I’m hoping this is just a joke.”
According to Nemours KidsHealth, there is no set time on when you can let people visit your newborn baby, although they mention some doctors recommend waiting until your baby is a few months old before taking them to crowded places like malls or airplanes (but that’s just because of potential germs that are hard on a newborn’s immune system, not because they’ll mistake strangers for their mother!). This means that by 7 months old, the baby should be fine — especially if he’ll just be around close family.
Many people were concerned about the dad for giving into his wife’s ridiculous rule instead of helping her get treatment for what could very well be postpartum depression or anxiety.
“YTA for letting your child be completely isolated from half of the population (at least) for the first year of its life,” one person wrote. “When it hits that year mark if she allows other women around him, he’s going to be really confused about it and could wind up having separation anxiety/stress factors. You are NOT doing your son any favors. You are feeding into a weird psychosis of your wife’s. Does she seriously stay in the home and not let anyone with a vagina near your house? Ever? Because either there are other women existing around him when you don’t know, or she’s using this as an excuse against your family.”
They continued, “This is not normal. This is not okay. This is really smothering and clingy of her and you need to do something to address it. It’s your son too. Or does she not care that the baby ‘might think other men are its father’? None of this makes sense.”
Another wrote, “I realize that this is a difficult situation and she is dealing with some major hormones, but never in the history of mothers has a child not known their own mother because they’ve been around other women. That is so completely illogical and YTA for not seeking help for your wife’s disconnection from reality.”
Exactly. She could be dealing with mental health issues and need a medical intervention. OP should be spending his time trying to get his wife help (and maybe some alone time?), so she can realize her baby will love her and know her always, no matter how many other women or people he meets.
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