When heterosexual couples have children, there is quite often a bias toward the wife’s parents and her family at large. Of course, this isn’t true for all families, but maternal grandparents typically have more of a say in the child’s upbringing and get to see the children more often. Intentionally or not, it is a slight to paternal family members who understandably want to be just as involved in the child’s life.
One expectant mama joined the Reddit “Am I The A—hole” subreddit to discuss future babysitting arrangements with her daughter who “is due in a few weeks (or maybe days like damn she’s dropping).” This woman — the original poster (OP) — said she and her husband have a trip planned for Memorial Day 2024 and that their less-than-1-year-old daughter will not be joining them. Because maybe it’s for a wedding or maybe it’s an adults-only trip or maybe they just need some time alone to reset (fair enough).
“I️ immediately jumped to [the conclusion that] my parents would watch the baby (I️ did make this assumption without consulting him) and he made the assumption his parents could watch her since we’d be flying out of the airport close to his parents,” OP wrote.
And so the drama begins.
This woman told her husband that having his parents stay with their daughter didn’t make sense because his parents wouldn’t watch their three dogs too. I️n that case, her parents would still have to drive five hours to watch the dogs.
“Which my dad would do in a heartbeat,” OP wrote. “Many times I’ve had to watch him pack the car before going home because he’s tried to sneak my oldest hound out with him. They adore our dogs.”
“If my parents are going to make the drive and care for the dogs, it would be best to leave the baby in her home that she’s familiar with and not tow her three hours away to his parents.”
How Will They Act?
OP said that beyond the dog issue (because of course that’s not the only factor), she told her husband she was “just not comfortable with his parents watching the baby.”
“I️ don’t know them well though,” she said. “They haven’t given me any like child abuse red flag vibes. If anything his mom is too coddling.”
*Eye roll* She might coddle an infant?! The horror!
“I️ told my husband that I️ recognize I️ have a bias toward my parents because they raised me so I️ know how they parent, and react, and I️ know them as people,” she wrote, digging herself a deeper hole. “I️ don’t have that relationship with his parents so like anyone else that I️ would want to watch their interactions with my child for a while before feeling comfortable that I️ know how they would react in certain situations and learn more about how they make decisions.”
We guess this expectant (and surely nervous) mom can get somewhat of a pass if she hasn’t spent a lot of time with her in-laws, but is she forgetting that they are parents? And they’re not any Joe Shmoe parents. They’re the parents of her husband who she presumably loves. Does she not think they took care of and raised a good person?
“Not to mention, it’s questionable already how they will respect boundaries,” OP said, not elaborating further on said boundaries. “But with time and enough interaction, I’ll get to be comfortable with them watching the baby alone.”
Of course, OP’s husband is upset saying he could feel the same way about his wife’s parents. She said that is “totally true and fair” and said she just has one “counterargument.”
“[My parents have] shown much more interest and willingness to compromise when it comes to our dogs than his parents. Both of our parents have dogs so it’s not about one liking dogs and the other not.”
And so we have to step in here and point out a few things: Having your own dog does not mean you have to watch other people’s dogs. Watching dogs and watching babies is not the same thing for so many reasons. And let’s all remember that fur babies are not the same as grandbabies!
OP went back and edited her post after she “realized [she] forgot to specify why the trust isn’t there.” One of the problems is that the in-laws’ two dogs bite and aren’t potty-trained. Which is definitely worrisome. Hopefully they are motivated to rectify that once their granddaughter is born.
They also live in a “pretty rural” area.
“So medical help is a minimum 25-minute drive.”
Ok, we understand both of these concerns, especially from a new mom, but it’s surprising (and thus a little bit unconvincing) that this was an afterthought.
The other kicker is that her father-in-law hasn’t gotten the Covid-19 vaccine. Ok! Now that is a really legitimate reason to not want him around the baby, especially not for extended periods of time. But if that was really this woman’s main concern, it wouldn’t have been the last point on her list. In fact, it would have been the title of her post which currently reads, “AITA [for] telling my husband it’s going to be years before I️ trust his family to watch our baby?”
People are totally on her side because of his vaccination status. “The unvaccinated FIL would be the decider for me.” They are also freaking out (understandably!) about the possible dog urine and feces which the baby should not be exposed to. But again, this woman should have started with all of these other issues. Not the idea that she might not agree with her in-laws’ reactions to things.
The YTA Crowd
Vaccination status, dog training, and geographic concerns aside, a lot of people think OP is in the wrong because of her initial comments, saying “YTA” (or “you’re the a—hole”).
“YTA for your double standard here. I’d be f*cking insulted if I was your husband. You’re willing to have a kid with this man and you still don’t trust his judgment, why?”
“She’s also forgetting the baby is as much his as hers. She thinks she has more right to decide who does/doesn’t watch the kid than he does. Really, I think she’s being petty and entitled. She seems to feel unhappy that his parents haven’t met her expectations of willingness to care for/show enough interest in their dogs. And she’s using that as an excuse for why they aren’t necessarily ‘fit’ to care for the baby.”
“Fathers are not second-class parents and paternal grandparents are not second-class grandparents. You say you don’t personally know how they parent, yeah, so? Your husband doesn’t personally know how YOUR parents parent. He trusts your judgment you should trust his.”
OP edited her post a second time to say she “accepts the a—hole verdict.”
“I️ definitely should have put more details into the current status of the relationship with my in-laws,” she wrote. “I️ will reopen this conversation with my husband and show him this post to discuss the comments.”
We’re so glad she’s going to reopen this conversation. We like to give new moms the benefit of every single doubt, but there is clearly a lot this couple needs to discuss. This isn’t just about babysitting. This is about how they are going to trust each other and communicate and make decisions together as parents. This is about starting a new family. This is about merging two families. This is about so much more than babysitting, and it’s clear there’s a lot of work to do before next May.
Source: Read Full Article