'I refuse to let my mother-in-law hold my baby. My husband is furious with me.'

Parenting is an exhausting job, even without the judgement, opinions and thoughts from outside voices — and when that 'outside voice' is an in-law, it becomes even more difficult.

In a recent AITA (Am I The A**hole) post on Reddit, one mother asked if she was in the wrong for banning her mother-in-law (MIL) from holding her daughter. 

What makes the situation more complicated is the anonymous woman's decision was completely against her husband's wishes. 

Watch: Be a Good Mum. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

The mother asked for advice when it became apparent her relationship with her 64-year-old MIL was strained over her four-month-old daughter. 

"I've had an issue with [my MIL] since day one, (sic)" she wrote, adding that from the moment her MIL met her daughter at five days old, the way she held her baby was "ridiculous". 

"[She held her] face down with her head sideways, her hand on her head [with] no other support. My daughter's legs pointed up toward [my] MIL's elbow. [She would be] swinging her back and forth fast enough to give her the startle reflex repeatedly while screaming," the mother noted. "She laughed about it [and] thought my daughter being scared was hilarious apparently."


"I took my daughter back [and] told her she was never to hold my daughter like that again. My MIL [then] pulled the 'I've had 4 kids, I know what I'm doing' talk and refused to see my point of view so, I didn't let her hold [my baby] again until she was two months old."

But then the MIL did it again, the woman continued. 

"As soon as she could hold my daughter again, she flung my daughter around in the same position," the mother explained. "I immediately took her back and said, 'Obviously you haven't learned your lesson. I told you that you weren't to hold my daughter like that. I don't find it funny that she's screaming while you're flinging her around and not supporting her body at all.

"I told her and my husband she's not holding my daughter again until she stops disrespecting me. My husband was pissed but didn't say anything because he 'gets it' and sees why it sketches me out. But he is still bothered that his mother is 'alienated'. I told him that when she learns to respect me, she will get another opportunity. He agrees."

Once again, the woman gave her MIL the opportunity to right her wrongs, but the same thing happened yet again.


"Well, she's been coming over often and I figured I would give it another shot because she's been good... She takes the baby and immediately flings her in the downward position while aggressively 'getting' her neck with no support for her head or anything. Again, my daughter starts screaming and flailing her arms out in a startled reflex. My MIL AGAIN starts laughing and saying, 'Oh, such a scared baby. It's cause mumma don't play with you'."

The mother said that despite making it clear many times there was a correct way to hold her child, her MIL continued to "aggressively" fling her around. So she put a permanent ban on her daughter being held.

"I took my baby from her arms and told her to leave and said she would not be holding her ever again. She asked, 'Why?' I said it is because she once again is being disrespectful and laughing at my daughter being scared because she refuses to stop being so damn aggressive with her," she said.

"She turns to my husband and says 'Screw this, I won't be coming around anymore,' and leaves. My husband is PISSED at me right now. He thinks I'm cutting his mother out over MY fear and that the baby was 'fine' and that 'she raised four kids and likely did the same s**t to us and we turned out fine'. I refuse to budge on this. I'm not okay with her flinging my baby around. I don't care how many babies she raised."

The nearly 800 comments on the post mostly agreed with the mother and pointed out this her husband and MIL were inconsiderate for ignoring not only her feelings — but her daughter's, too. 


"[You're not the a**hole]. You gave your MIL three chances to respect you and your decisions as a parent and she blew it all three times," one person wrote. "Your husband needs to grow a real shiny spine and tell his mom. This is not her kid. She does not get to say on how the baby is held or fed or anything at all. I would not allow her in your house again."

"[This mother] should schedule an appointment with the child’s pediatrician and make her husband come. Take a doll and DEMONSTRATE to the doctor how the husband’s mother has handled the child... Say, "Doctor, my husband thinks the way his mother terrorises our child is okay. What do you think?" another Redditor suggested.

Certified Relationship coach Katie O' Donoghue previously told Mamamia that in every family, challenges arise when a situation is not handled well by all involved. 

"Open communication is key to solving this kind of dilemma as well as creating appropriate boundaries when it concerns the responsibilities of each person," she explained.

Katie O'Donoghue is a Relationship Coach and the host of the Self Explained podcast. You can find more about her on Instagram or her website.

Feature Image: Getty.

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