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“My MIL Was an Unfit Mother – I Told Her There is No Way She is Babysitting My Baby!”

Trigger Warning: Child neglect

What do you do when family members assume that they’ll be babysitting for your new baby, but in the interest of the safety of your child you have no intention in hell of letting that happen? One new mum, of a precious one week old baby girl recent had a run in with her mother-in-law. The problem was that although the older woman had been seriously neglectful of her own sons who had been taken into foster care, she assumed that she’d be allowed to look after her new grandchild. Rather than supporting his wife in being upfront with his mother about not being left alone with their newborn, her husband was annoyed with her for not pussy footing around his mother and letting her think it might be a possibility in the future.

I gave birth to a baby girl a week ago. I’m slightly obsessed, honestly, and my husband isn’t too far behind me. Everything about our daughter is perfect. To say I am very protective already would be an understatement but I will admit that maybe I’m a bit wrong here- though I can’t tell. I feel that I’m mostly valid.

So, basically, my MIL was a shit mom to my husband and his brother. The amount of times I have heard her talk about how she used to leave them home by themselves when they were 3 and 4 years old while she went to work 12-16 hour shifts at the hospital or went to the laundromat and would come home to the police there is insane. And then when the boys were 6 and 7, she left country to go visit her mother and left the boys with their father, whom didn’t know the boys, and refused all contact for over a year. In the end, the boys ended up in foster care for over 2 years (their dad brought them to CPS and dropped them off) and when she did regain custody of them, she once again left them home alone because she started seeing some guy who didn’t want kids and moved in with him. So the boys fended for themselves for 5+ years (she bought them groceries and made sure they went to school but they literally lived alone in a trailer on their families property). She tried being a mom again when they were 16 and 17 and my husband has forgiven her but I don’t trust her regardless. I would never in a million years trust her to watch my daughter because of what she put her own children through. I understand that years have passed since this all happened and yes, she tries making up for it now, but she is still very much so I the mindset of her not doing anything wrong because my husband turned out “alright” (he has severe abandonment issues). Her other son has been in prison since he was 23.

So, she came over here a few days ago and said something like “I need to get a crib for my house so she has somewhere to sleep”. I asked why and she said “well for when I’m babysitting”. Originally I told her that we wouldn’t be needing a sitter for quite some time and she argued that I would need to go back to work and “daycares can’t be trusted”. I don’t even know why it came out of my mouth but I said “neither can you. I wouldn’t let you or a daycare watch my baby”. Now there’s issues because everyone is pissed that I would bring up the fact that she’s untrustworthy (except my husband but he is disappointed).

ETA: my husband is going to be 29 in December so this stuff was happening (starting) 26 years ago. He isn’t disappointed that I won’t let his mom watch the baby because he said he doesn’t trust her either but he expected me to sugarcoat it and let her believe there was a chance she would someday be allowed around our baby unattended to babysit her. So, he basically wanted me to lie to her and make her believe there was a chance when there isn’t.

People were in full support of the new mother’s decision considering grandmas track record of being unfit to care for a child.


Why would you trust her with your child when she neglected her own children? I wouldn’t trust her to care for a goldfish. (TarzanKitty)


I don’t see how else you could have handled this other than being blunt. Nothing but the truth would have worked. (Ciwimmin3674)

She’s lucky you let her MEET your baby. NTA. (verellie)


NTA. She was deemed an unfit mother and had children removed from her care. She should NEVER be allowed unsupervised with your children. (PriorCharact20)


NTA. MIL didn’t care for her own children. It stands to reason that she wouldn’t be caring for yours. She doesn’t get grandparent privileges when she was barely a parent.

Stand your ground and ask every family member why, exactly, they believe she’s capable of caring for a newborn when she wasn’t capable of caring for her own children. If their answer is “She’s changed”, the only appropriate response to that is “She’s a day late and a dollar short on that one. If you think she’s capable, you let her watch your kids. You’re not about to berate me into letting her watch mine. Get back in your lane.”

What she did was neglectful and abusive and, considering your Husband’s abandonment issues, he didn’t turn out ‘alright’. She damaged him. She shouldn’t get another chance to damage a child. (Panaccolade)


Others thought that the woman needed to make sure for the safety of their child, that she and her husband are on the same page about this rule. Instead of allowing his wife to take the fall he should be backing her up.

NTA but you and your husband need to be on the same page about his mom. His judgement seems really questionable that he would even entertain a relationship with her when still to this day she sees nothing wrong with abandoning 2 toddlers. And that he’s disappointed because you didn’t sugarcoat it and spare his moms feelings? He needs a reality check because that’s not what your relationship with his mom is ever going to look like, especially not when it comes to your child. If he wants to bend over to placate her, that’s his prerogative, but you’re not obligated to protect her precious delusional feelings. (tomatofrogfran)


Your husband is the AH. He needs to be clear with his mom about the boundaries with the baby. Allowing her to believe she would someday be trusted with the baby is just allowing you to shoulder that stress instead of him. You shouldn’t have been the one to say but MIL needed to know that you both don’t trust her with childcare. Your husband is being ridiculous for expecting you to go along with the two of the ignoring the elephant in the room of her poor parenting. (barrelofseamonkeys)

What do you think? Should the new mum have let the grandmother down gently, or was being direct the only way to deal with it?

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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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