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Man shares the saga of his toxic MIL; 'She called the cops on me after tummy time.' UPDATED 3X

Man shares the saga of his toxic MIL; 'She called the cops on me after tummy time.' UPDATED 3X


When this man is shocked by his MIL's accusation, he tells the internet:

"My MIL called the cops on me and my wife after tummy time."

I really can’t believe it, but my MIL claims my wife (F) and I (M)(mid 30s) are abusing our baby (6 months old) since he “fusses” while on his tummy (our doctor said he needs more tummy time for his flat spot, to strengthen his muscles, as well as to help him roll over).

He doesn’t like tummy time but it’s not like he even gets to the point of crying. He just makes uncomfortable noises. We tried explaining this to MIL but she keeps claiming we are forcing the baby and abusing him.

MIL has been living with us the last few months and things have gone great. She graciously agreed to provide free child care for 3 months. I cooked her dinner/made her lunch and we bought her groceries. But things have turned sour.

I tried my best to make her feel welcome during her stay. MIL lives with FIL on the west coast so we paid for her plane ticket here (east coast). FIL stayed on the west coast because my wife does not like him. This latest event happened a week before she was scheduled to fly back home.

Two days ago she snatched the baby from me during tummy time and said I am committing vi0ence against him. I regretted letting her take him but let her. Then yesterday she tried the same thing and I refused to give her my baby. The thing is, I WASN’T EVEN DOING TUMMY TIME.

My baby fusses when he isn’t doing something, he just constantly wants something. MIL heard him fussing from another room and comes barging in saying I’m abusing him again. I walked away from her and locked the door behind me.

She pounded on the door saying she will call the cops and she did. I called my partner who left work immediately and drove home.

Two policemen talked to her and then us. I invited them in and said they could walk around.

They looked around and saw an immaculately clean place and a very happy baby (MIL had not been cleaning up the past couple days or helping with anything like she did in the past making me think this was premeditated to try and make us look bad, but I had been cleaning behind her).

MIL tried telling the cops that we were dirty because the dirty bottles and snot sucker were in the same place, that we pet the dog then hold the baby, and that we do tummy time where the cat lays on the couch. When she told them that tummy time hurts the baby they just said “I’m not a professional doctor.”

The police couldn’t contain their laughter saying it sounds like MIL thinks she is the “resident expert” and that they run into mothers who disagree with parenting styles a lot. I unfortunately couldn’t laugh along because I was in tears explaining the situation but it was obvious the police were on our side.

The police told us the clean house does not look like an unsafe environment for the baby. They also informed us that at this point they were just there for a venting session with MIL and not to worry. Of course no police report was filed.

My wife had my back the whole time and kicked her mom (MIL) out of our house. She had a couple hours to pack her bags and then I drove her to a motel. She of course was mad but had no remorse and thinks she did nothing wrong.

She doesn’t have much money so my partner and I are paying for it. We got her a flight home tomorrow (she was scheduled to fly out in a week but we were able to change her flight for tomorrow).

I’m not sure what will happen in the future but it might be the last time MIL sees her grandchild… MIL has no idea and thinks it’s her baby too. Luckily MIL and FIL live on the other side of the country. Here’s to hoping they never move here…

Before we give you OP's update, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

cretspo writes:

My oldest kid (now a teenager) haaaaaaaated tummy time. This kid hated anything that wasn’t moving and doing, to the point where kid didn’t learn to sit up until after learning to crawl! (this kid learned to crawl, sit up, and pull to stand in the same weekend! Yikes.)

More importantly, I read this whole thing just gobsmacked. What the heck was MIL’s endgame? How could she possibly think this would end well for her? The only thing I can think is that her family dynamic must involve a TON of rug sweeping. Good on OOP and partner for breaking that cycle!

outtt5 writes:

My great grandma had the opposite experience when she visited the US to provide childcare for my cousins. The younger one was an infant and older in kindergarten. When she refused to give him candy or something he called the police as he had been told to call the police when he was in distress and this made him distressed.

My four feet tall Grandma, who didn't speak more than a couple of words of English, was confronted by this six foot man with a Boston accent. Luckily, my cousin also knew my aunt's phone number and the officer managed to get him to call her and communicate the issue.

Unlike OP's experience though, it was all very innocent and became a great story about the time grandma was almost arrested. Every time she went back we wished her "Safe travels and don't get arrested".

pollleish writes:

MIL was planning on treating her bad choices like she always had: be quiet and act like nothing happened, if brought up "it's the past, can't we all move on", or "There's nothing I can do about it now, so let's move on." Basicappy sticking her head in the sand and acting like thing happened.

She never enforced consequences for FILs behavior (all in the name of love, I'm sure), so why would she ever imagine she would face consequences.

I'm a single parent who moved in with my mom after my dad died. We've had one chaotic thing after the other since his death from my son breaking a bone in an accident at school, to storm damage on the house, to medical issues.

Just a bad year. A family member decided it was too much for my mom and made false accusations of child abuse about my kids thinking if CPS removed them, they could coax my mom into assisted living.

A couple problems 1) my kids are teenagers and perfectly capable of vocalizing they aren't abused/neglected, 2) my mom does not want to leave her house.

CPS came, walked through, met with my kids, and then spent 20 minutes saying she was sorry to be a "weapon someone is using to try and hurt you. As if the CPS has nothing better to do than chase false claims."

Your officers were amused, my CPS lady was ticked, she bothered us, and she wasted time on kids who were fine instead of using her time for kids who desperately needed her.

Update 1:

I think it is related to PTSD from FIL domestic violence when she was raising her own kids (my wife was the youngest and didn’t get abused as bad as her siblings and MIL). MIL claimed that I get angry and take it out on the baby by hurting him through tummy time….

This sounds like projection to me. I have a counselor just to talk generally about life things and don’t bottle up any anger like MIL says... Every time MIL hears the baby fussing from another room she automatically assumes we are doing tummy time even though the baby was just fussing.

My guess is something is triggering her own abuse? She never got counseling, is very against it. I definitely don't think it’s dementia, while she seemed to be seeing red trying to get the baby from me, and I’ve never seen her like that, it seemed like something else.

OOP note: BIL lives with MIL and FIL and BIL says 100% it can't be dementia. So we can rule that out...

I was trying to keep the post brief for the sake of talking about the major situation. So MIL has made comments but my wife has shut her down. Like she didn’t like that his pediatrician is young, she doesn’t trust doctors in general, especially not young ones.

She blames him having to do tummy time on the fact that we chose a young pediatrician who doesn't know anything. She doesn’t trust the skin treatment method the pediatrician chose for a rash.

She doesn’t like that we don’t give him water (lol, water can kill newborn babies). But my partner just shuts her down immediately. Maybe things were just building up since she never got her way and then it all came out… But I wouldn’t say there were any arguments it was more just little comments she made.

Edit: She also hated the white noise machine and even told the police about it!! The officer stayed professional but you could tell was holding back laughing. She also hated that we laid him down on the couch where the cat had laid down and said that was dirty.

The officer just kept saying "well I'm not an expert. The officer told my wife and I that he would have a "venting session" with MIL because there was clearly no child abuse occurring."

About partner in all of this/why they didn't drive/why not get her an Uber "My wife said that things would have gotten heated between them so I drove. TBH I didn’t even think about an Uber, not sure why.

It was an awkward ride. I recorded the entire ride because I didn’t want her to lie about anything. We wanted her out immediately and as soon as she got in the car I was driving her away.

To be honest I didn't think she would leave without a fight but she did. Just didn't think about the Uber or maybe we didn't want to wait for an Uber. Hard to say in that moment."

"He has never cried (during the tummy time sessions). He makes grunting noises but when he starts that I move his hips and help him roll over to his back where he is happy. The physical therapist taught us how to “rotisserize” to help him learn how to roll over since he still cant do that on his own"

Update 2:

An hour or so after I dropped MIL off at the motel, both my partner and I got texts from FIL and I quote:

“You cant leave my wife in a hotel, I demand you guys take her back to your house now and work out any problems or misunderstandings. If something happens to her, you are going to be responsible.” And then later he argued that we didn’t explain tummy time well enough to her and said “you guys are not geniuses and need to be empathetic.”

My wife immediately blocked him but I didn't know until we discussed it later. I tried reasoning with FIL but realized it wasn't happening so I blocked him too.

The next day, the motel said I can’t pay by phone, so I had to drive to the motel to pay for one more night (this was Sat and MIL’s flight was Sunday).

I also decided to bring MIL some snacks (she requested water but I decided some snacks too). Listen yall I don’t know why, it was a bad area of town and I thought her walking to the gas station could be dangerous.

But if it makes you feel better, while she was living with us she bought some frozen taquitos that she told me I could eat because she didn’t like them (they really weren’t good, had some unidentifiable ground chicken).

Also the Wednesday of that week MIL and I had bought good chicken taquitos from Costco. Anyways, to be petty I put the ones she didn't like in the snack package for her…

When I dropped off the care package, MIL pleaded that she wasn’t really going to call child protective services (I forgot to add in the original she did threaten this). She didn’t offer an apology but wanted me to tell my partner that she wasn’t really going to call CPS.

I said alright and left. MIL then called my partner and I thought was going to apologize but didn’t. Instead MIL started guilt tripping saying she thought she wasn't treated well at our wedding a couple years ago (?? Somehow didn’t mention it until now), and other random things. My partner hung up on her.

Note: I think I had forgotten to mention that earlier that week MIL told my partner that us forcing tummy time was equal to how FIL abused her and her children.

That really pissed off my partner who had to witness the physical violence of FIL growing up and says that MIL did nothing then (I’m not saying the abuse is MIL’s fault but my partner says it’s hypocritical and “fd up” of MIL to make the comparison of us and our baby).

So Sunday came, I picked MIL up and took her to the airport… on the way, I asked her if she was planning on apologizing. She said “to who?” I said both of us. She then started saying how we didn’t explain tummy time well enough and that it’s our fault.

So then I decided to say what I had planned. I said that this whole situation was her fault, that she put us in danger by calling the police, and that threatening to call CPS ensured she would never see her grandchild again.

I told her she is not welcome in our house in the future and if I see her again anywhere near our house then I would call the police for trespassing.

I also told her she was a bad person which I kinda regret. MIL had tears in her eyes. I was shaking and hastily dropped her bags off for her. As I started driving away I heard a tap on the glass.

I nearly drove away with one of her bags in the back seat. So as she picked up her last bag I called out again that she would never see her grandchild again and drove away angrily. So she is presumably back with FIL on the other side of the country.

I really can’t say I feel better, the rest of the day I felt just sad in general and I’m not sure why. I haven’t felt like cooking even though I cook most days, so we ordered Chinese.

It’s been a couple days now and I’m feeling slightly better, just replaying the car conversation and wishing I said even more by shaming her for guilt tripping my partner so much. I’ve gotten my neighbors to help with the baby and my partner and I found a new restaurant to try.

Anyways, I did speak with my partner and we agreed both MIL and FIL are blocked. So they are both officially blocked (on Facebook too, which is the only social media they use). We haven’t heard from them but it has only been a couple days.

They probably think we are overreacting and that we will come around but I don’t think we will. My partner’s brother is getting married in September so we might have see MIL and FIL there…

Thanks for all the support, I liked responding to you all’s comments and it feels good to be validated in my decisions.

Many people said they would not have bought the hotel and plane ride for her but I think MIL is on food stamps and quite poor. Also she did give us child care a few days a week for three months so I am thankful for that. She saved us quite a lot of money.

Lastly, she was technically a tenant so she didn’t have to leave even though it is our house. I don’t know the exact tenant laws but they vary by state here in the U.S. I think we did the right thing to pay for the hotel and airplane, and I still think it’s funny I gave her the taquitos.

Comment warning about grandparent rights, OP's response:

"I can’t understand her end goal here… I think when I closed the door and locked it behind her she saw red and called the cops. I don't think she was trying to gain custody of my kid. Luckily it is hard to get grandparent visitation rights in my state. MIL absolutely cannot afford a lawyer, lives on the opposite coast.

She would have to take us to court and if my wife/siblings testify about domestic violence in the home (and get a police record of cops being called to their home (DV due to FIL)), it would be nearly impossible for them to even get visitation rights."

Update 3:

Hello all, 6 months ago my MIL called the police because my wife and I gave my baby tummy time. In the update I mentioned that BIL (wife's brother) was getting married in September which meant that my wife and I would be forced to see MIL again. The wedding happened, and here is what happened.

The wedding was on the other other side of the world in the Middle East since BIL's now wife is from there (my wife, son, and I live in the U.S., east coast).

My wife went to the wedding being that it is her brother, but we decided that it would be difficult to take a baby on three flights and who knows how long of travel time to get there, so I stayed home with the baby. While I did want to go just to see the country and enjoy the wedding, part of me was happy not to have to see MIL.

Due to finances, MIL and FIL claimed they could not afford the plane tickets or a hotel. They do live in... an "unsafe" (I don't know how to say this in a PC way) part of LA in a very small apartment, so I am inclined to believe them.

So my wife, BIL, and SIL all chipped in for the plane ticket, and my wife and MIL shared a hotel room... and I know what you are thinking, was there really no other option? It was just easier and more affordable not to get two rooms I guess.

A couple days in my wife texted me, "my mom apologized to and she wants to apologize to you," which I interpreted as my wife accepting the apology, which confused me.

My wife Facetimed me and we talked briefly, and she said her mom wants to apologize to me. Her mom then walked over to say hello and presumably to apologize, but I said "I got to go" and ended the call.

I just felt like I needed a game plan before talking to MIL... I also didn't know what "apologize" meant to MIL, because there is apologizing and then there is accountability...

So I texted my wife the following: "Tell [MIL] to write down a list of all the reasons she thinks she was wrong, then sign and date it, and mail it to me. I will review it and decide if it looks like she took responsibility. If she is not willing to then I will not feel safe with her seeing our baby again."

To my surprise, her mom agreed to do this. My plan was to have written proof of her admitting to being wrong, which I thought would be great, but to be honest I still don't want her to see us again and I am not ready to forgive her even with a letter. I didn't hear much else about the trip, the wedding went well, my wife enjoyed sight seeing, and my wife flew home.

My wife wanted to talk about what happened with MIL's apology at the wedding. It was not what I thought (I thought her mom apologized and my wife accepted the apology).

What actually happened was that my wife went off on her mom, calling her out on many things, telling her she permanently ruined their relationship, how it was horrible that she made accusations of abuse when that's what FIL put them through, etc.

Her mom continued making excuses for her behavior or saying "well that is in the past and I can't change that now" whenever she didn't have a good response to my wife's assertion. Her mom basically just apologized once but never said specifics or owned up to any of the specific grievances my wife brought up.

What was really interesting is that MIL claimed that when she (MIL) was a child, her cousin came running into her house and her uncle came banging on the front door looking for said cousin, and cousin was hiding. She says that traumatized her and that might be why she thought we were abusing our baby?

My wife says that is complete bullshit and that FIL's domestic violence is the cause of her trauma but she just doesn't want to admit that because they are still together. MIL also claims that my wife shouldn't be upset because FIL only physically abused her brother and sister...

my wife countered by saying that she literally just gave a situation where she only witnessed something, and that effects her to this day... but again MIL just brushed it off.

So after a week or two go by, her mom sends me an email. This is a direct quote: "I am sorry for what happened. On those days, as you said, I felt very tired. I hope that with time everything will be in the past!"

To be clear, my wife assured me that she laid out the terms very clearly, that she must write a list of everything she did wrong. She also gave MIL specifics of what I wanted her to take responsibility for, basically writing the list for her.

My wife and I of course were not happy with the email. I don't even remember saying that MIL was tired? No idea where that came from. Also, sorry for what happened?? She makes it seem like we had a disagreement and are both at fault...

My wife made sure to ask me about how I felt about it which was nice, and I let her know it wasn't what I was looking for and it doesn't take responsibility. My wife says she is upset for me and that she was not happy about it.

After another long conversation we decided to keep her parents blocked on everything. This time I also blocked MIL's email address in addition to everything else.

Last thing: BIL is now mad at MIL and FIL. My wife says her parents sent a WhatsApp message to my wife and her siblings, and it says they are in Europe going around visiting places.

So BIL (whose relationship with FIL was already shaky) and my wife are upset that they said they couldn't afford to come to his wedding, especially since they all chipped in for MIL's plane ticket.

Now suddenly they flew to Europe and are traveling around just a couple weeks after the wedding? The WhatsApp message also wanted to know BIL's wife's aunt's information so they could ask to stay with her in Europe, which my BIL says he is not happy about.

BIL also says the English they used is too good to be his mom, so he suspects it is FIL that actually wrote the message. (IMO this is getting into a bit of a stretch of a theory) BIL and my wife think FIL made the trip in part to somehow get back at BIL/get under his skin.

Anyways, that's it... I don't really see MIL and FIL changing or taking responsibility, so I'm done waiting. They had their chance... My wife and I's son will grow up with just one set of grandparents on my side.

My dad goes around joking that "he ate dessert, that's child abuse," or "there are two toys left on the ground, that's child abuse," or whatever else it may be. Classic dad. I am still upset that my son will only have one set of grandparents, but I myself only had one as well so I guess you just live with what you got.

Sources: Reddit
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