Brush teeth, put your jammies on, call grandma — what’s so hard about that? One mom is getting more than a smidge tired of this nighttime routine with her littles, especially because it’s cutting into her own pre-bedtime bonding time. But her mother-in-law isn’t having it — and weirdly, neither is Reddit.
In the Parenting subreddit, a mom complained about her husband’s nightly phone calls with his mom, which sounds super excessive. Yet, commenters are defending the behavior. Here’s her story.
“Ever since my son was born in 2020, my in-laws call my husband every single day so they they can see him on FaceTime,” she wrote. It sounds like he was a pandemic baby, so it makes sense that they developed this digital relationship. But instead of feeling grateful for this opportunity to connect, they started getting possessive of the time.
“They get upset if a call is missed,” the mom continued. “My son sleeps at 7:30 and they will usually call between 6:30 and 7. Call usually lasts 15 minutes.”
Yikes! That would be so hard to stop the bedtime routine for a long phone call, then try to finish everything quickly to get your kid to bed on time. And never being able to miss their call? It sounds exhausting!
“I now have a newborn daughter as well (she’s 3 weeks old),” the mom continued. “So they have also been asking to see her on video too.” Of course they do. Because a newborn is super predictable with their schedules (*insert eye-roll emoji here.*) “Usually she’s feeding or sleeping due to her age.”
It’s not even like these grandparents never get to see them in person! “They live 20 mins from us and my son sees them [probably] every weekend or every other weekend,” she continued.
Sorry, what? It sounds like a pandemic habit that needs nipped in the bud ASAP.
“Is this normal?” the mom wrote. “Honestly it annoys me because they always ask such personal questions and I feel like that 15 or 20 minutes every day could be used to spend time with our son without him being distracted. He gets home from daycare around 5:30 so we don’t get a ton of time before bed.”
She added, “Honestly even a call every other day would be OK but every day seems so excessive. my husband thinks i’m overreacting.”
That is so tough! I love my mother-in-law, but I would lose my mind if I had to do a daily phone call during my kids’ nighttime routine. It’s just too much! Reddit didn’t necessarily agree, though.
“My wife talks to her mother every day without fail, with talk times ranging from 10 min to 2 hours,” one person wrote. “I can literally go years without talking to my parents and catch up in a 5 minute phone call. I wouldn’t say it’s normal, but I don’t find it all that weird. All families raise their kids differently. What about it truly bothers you? Does it feel like they don’t have boundaries?”
The OP responded to this comment, writing, “Yeah I hear you. I talk to my mom probably every other day but it usually has a purpose and she doesn’t feel the need to have to see my kids on the call. She’s usually trying not to inconvenience us in any way but you are right every family is different!”
She added, “I think it also bothers me cuz I really don’t like my MIL that much lol.”
“At least you know why it bothers you,” someone said. “This is very cold to say, but they’ll be dead one day. Do NOT be the wife that got between him and his parents. It’s 15 minutes. 15. Let it go. Be happy he has a good relationship with his parents. It means he knows how yo have a good relationship with your kids. It’s a good thing.” Right … but every damn day?
Another wrote, “This made me laugh because I’m Latina and yes, that’s totally normal for many of us. I FaceTime my parents every day and if it gets to the evening without me calling them they’ll probably call me. They also live here 30-40% of the time because we bought a home with an in-law suite for them. That being said, my parents are very respectful and never feel entitled to anything.”
The OP also revealed that her own mother never set boundaries with her in-laws, and she doesn’t want to be the same way. “Yeah my mom never stood up to her in-laws or set boundaries and basically till this day holds a lot of resentment towards them,” she commented. “My grandma and grandad still meddle in my parents’ lives because they feel like they can.”
What makes it even worse is this MIL is super-negative. The OP explained in a comment, “She is the type of person that enters the room and the entire mood changes for the worst lol.” She added, “She is very pessimistic and sometimes can be very judgmental and critical. At heart I do believe she is a good person and she raised my husband who is honestly a very good man and father.”
Redditors also tried to get the mom to see the positives. “It does sound like a massive nuisance but just think that there’s someone who loves your kids and is willing to devote their time to them,” one person wrote. “Also your kids are going to get older and they can also make the calls themselves so you won’t need to facilitate everything yourself.”
Another wrote, “I think the call is not the issue, it’s your dislike for your MIL that is causing this reaction. If it was your friend or family or sister calling you everyday for 15 mins, I doubt you would have such a reaction. So, now, you can either continue to get irritated or find a way to handle the situation better. They are your kid’s grandparents, they are going to be around your kids. And if you look at it, it is good that your kids have people who care so much that they call every day to see them. That means that they love them. There is nothing wrong with that.”
“I def don’t doubt their love for my kiddos. They see them a lot trust me,” the mom defended. “I just don’t get the need for daily 15 minute calls with a 2-year-old. He spends the time running around and it’s just them constantly saying ‘we miss you’ lol. He also spends a full day there every weekend. And on those days my in-laws still call as well. I go above and beyond. All I’m asking for is maybe a cap to the convo or maybe we do every other day. it’s just pointless banter back and forth and just seems so dumb to me.”
One person pointed out that the biggest problem was the every day obligation.
Someone wrote, “I think it’s the obligation that makes it worse. Talk to your husband about pushing back if you guys miss a call and they’re upset. It’s okay for it not to be a good time.”
Agree! And while he’s at it, maybe the husband can ask them to call before dinner for a shorter amount of time. Compromise is a beautiful thing, especially when it comes to complicated mothers-in-law!
Before you go, check out these unbelievable stories about Reddit’s worst dads.