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Woman tells MIL to keep her opinions to herself, kicks her out of early Mother's Day lunch. AITA?

Woman tells MIL to keep her opinions to herself, kicks her out of early Mother's Day lunch. AITA?


"AITA for telling my MIL to please keep her criticisms to herself, and eventually for kicking her out of lunch?"

I (F32) am a mom to a beautiful little girl (F6), and she has been telling me all about a new cafe that her friend went to which serves "princess cakes." She says it is very fancy and people only go for special occasions when they can dress up. I had a look online, and they specialize in high teas. It looked lovely, and I knew it would make my daughter happy, so I booked a table.

Unfortunately for me, this place is brand new and very popular, so I while I initially wanted to book for Mother's Day in a couple of weeks, I could only arrange a table for today. I thought we could still do it as an early Mother's Day celebration, so I also invited my mom (F60) and my MIL (F64).

My daughter was so excited, she wore her favorite dress and told everyone that she would be just like a princess. It was lovely to share her joy. My MIL on the other hand was not so thrilled. Now it is important to note that while my MIL has a heart of gold, she is very salt of the earth and is quite frugal. I genuinely don't mean this as a criticism, it is just who she is.

Despite it being my treat, my MIL insisted that the whole thing was a waste of money, that the cakes were beyond ridiculous in their size, and it was all a bit pretentious. She is obviously entitled to her opinion, but I could clearly see that her comments were sapping some of my daughter's joy.

Even when my daughter said that this is what princesses eat (after a comment about how ridiculous it all looks), my MIL said that princesses would want a proper meal and not something that is fit only to feed birds.

Eventually I asked my MIL to accompany me to the bathroom, and I asked her to please keep her criticisms and negative comments to herself. We were trying to have a nice day together, but more importantly, my daughter had really been looking forward to this and it was difficult for her to enjoy when someone is constantly acting negatively.

My MIL said that I was giving my daughter far too much credit, she wouldn't understand half of the criticisms, and even if she did, it is important that she understands the value of money. Eventually I asked her to please leave if she couldn't let my daughter enjoy herself, which is what she did.

Now my MIL is telling the family that I cut her out of the Mother's Day celebration because she was too frugal and wouldn't pander to a child. I know she is being ridiculous, but my husband is saying I could have just kept the peace for a couple of hours but I instead chose to act drastically. He said the family being together is more important than whether someone feels a restaurant is overpriced. Did I act drastically? Was I the AH?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

stroppo said:

NTA and your husband is 100 PERCENT WRONG. I hate this notion that "family being together is more important." NO it is not. In this case, if someone is being rude throughout the meal you SHOULD get them to leave! Why excuse their bad behavior?

If MIL was spewing racist comments throughout the meal no one would be saying "Oh, just keep the peace, it's more important for family to be together." No it isn't. Not if you're making everyone else uncomfortable. Please show this to yr husband.

Less_Ordinary_8516 said:

NTA. Your MIL tried to turn a beautiful day into an ugly day. You stopped it. Tell your husband that his daughter's happiness is more important than keeping his mother around to criticize the entire dream and make her upset. Is that what he thinks is important? His mother can have her opinions but needs to learn that others have opinions too, and don't want to hear constant criticism of yours. I'm glad your daughter had her princess day, you did the right thing!

Rawrsome_Mommy said:

NTA. Your MIL tried to squash your daughter’s happiness for what? Saving a few bucks? If someone was raining on the parade, definitely ask them to leave. It’s your version of an umbrella.

HazyLazySummer said:

NTA. “Keep the peace” usually means “let them abuse you so I don’t have to deal with them."

TabbieAbbie said:

NTA. You did this for your daughter, and MIL was firing torpedos at you (and your daughter) the whole time. You asked her to stop, and if she didn't want to, she should leave. She decided that voicing her opinions to you, your mother and your daughter was more important than being a little nicer and allowing your daughter to enjoy herself without all the negative comments.

I really don't think this was acting particularly drastic. If MIL had chosen to tone it down, she would have been welcome to stay, correct? But because she didn't make that choice, she essentially cut herself out of the celebration you had invited her to share. No one wants to be in the company of someone who is constantly draining the joy out of an event.

Being too frugal had nothing to do with it; expressing that opinion continually had everything to do with it. She could have stayed. Being nicer to her granddaughter on a special occasion isn't "pandering to a child."

Your husband's mother thought that continually voicing her negative opinions was more important than maintaining "family harmony." Being invited to share in the occasion, she acted in a rude and inconsiderate way. She was being given a gift, in the form of a nice time at your expense, and it's never polite to express such ingratitude.

kipsterdude said:

NTA. Your daughter is 6. She doesn't need to be around someone who's gonna take a big heaping dump on something that's bringing her joy. There are times to keep the peace and there are times to tell someone to slap on a smile or leave. You didn't kick her out for being frugal. You asked her to leave if she couldn't pull herself together enough to let a child experience some happiness.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this monster-in-law?

Sources: Reddit
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