Mothers-in-law sometimes get a bad rap, but they also sometimes do things to fully deserve those bad reputations. We've seen mothers-in-law do everything from cropping mom out of their grandchild's first birthday photos, refusing to call their grandchildren by their given name and even planning a surprise circumcision for their grandchild against the parents' wishes! One mother-in-law seriously stepped over the line when she brought her infant granddaughter to get her ears pierced even though her daughter-in-law was firmly against it.
Reddit poster PatientEase recently posted in the social site's AITA (am I the a**hole?) thread about a recent situation involving her mother-in-law crossing some serious boundaries. The poster wrote that while she understands there are some pretty serious cultural differences at play between herself and her husband's family, they have been able to navigate them pretty well since they became parents. "Most of his culture is amazing, and our children are being raised in it," she writes. "I’m not against it at all. There are just certain aspects of it that both my husband and I don’t agree with since they are dated."
One of those aspects if having her 3-month-old daughter's ears pierced. "It’s a big deal in my husband’s culture that the baby girls get their ears pierced pretty much at birth," she wrote. "I wasn’t comfortable with it. I know they won’t remember it and wasn’t so much the pain aspect, but more so I wanted her to be able to decide." She went on to explain that she has explained her position to her mother-in-law and assumed that she had respected her decision not to get her daughter's ears pierced. "I assumed we were safe and that maybe she was respecting our parenting."
"Then last weekend, we went out to run a few errands kid free. Mother-in-law kept them out a bit later and when she returned….my daughter had pierced ears. She said she had my sister-in-law (husband’s sister) do them. She’s done them for all the babies in the family and it was tradition. I was pissed. I felt so violated, took my kids and told her to leave. My husband was equally as pissed and they argued outside, in their native language, for quite a bit, before mother-in-law left."
Understandably the poster was angry and felt betrayed, and wrote that she will no longer let her MIL watch her children alone. "I’m not banning her from them, period, but she’s not going to be able to babysit anymore. My husband is on the fence, but says he’ll back me up either way. As soon as it's safe to, I’m removing the earrings. My husband’s family is saying I’m being so disrespectful and I’ve said that I just don’t trust her since she’s continuously disrespected my parenting."
Commenters were overwhelmingly on the side of the poster, with many commenting that what the MIL and SIL did was assault, plain and simple. Others simply agreed that the MIL was completely out of line to disobey the wishes of the parents in this situation and it is completely reasonable to no longer trust her alone with her grandchildren.
"Your child your choice and you MIL had absolutely no right. Never leaving the kids with her again is a perfectly reasonable response to her disobeying your wishes."
"The mother in law went behind your back when you explicitly said you don't want your kid's ears pierced which is not ok. If she can't be trusted to follow your simple instructions she shouldn't be allowed to watch your children."
"Your children not hers. If she can't respect the decisions you and your husband make then she isn't fit to babysit."
"Don’t feel guilty about this for a second. If she wants to babysit your kids she needs to respect your incredibly reasonable boundaries."
She might think it's part of her cultural, but this mother-in-law's actions now have seriously impacted her relationship with her son and daughter-in-law. Fortunately, the poster has the full support of her husband, but situations like this can cause serious issues in a family. What would you do if this happened to you?