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Woman threatens husband with divorce after MIL 'kidnaps' baby; MIL says, 'These are just your hormones talking.' AITA? UPDATED 2X

Woman threatens husband with divorce after MIL 'kidnaps' baby; MIL says, 'These are just your hormones talking.' AITA? UPDATED 2X


When this woman is absolutely furious with her MIL, she asks the internet:

"My mother in law kidnapped my baby and blamed me. AITA?"

I made a throwaway for this because my husband knows my username and I don't feel like being surrounded by anymore drama right now.

So a little back story. My husband is an only child. His mom has always been very involved. We got along somewhat but she always sort of crossed some lines. She has a key to our house for emergency purposes only because she lives 4 blocks away.

I had our daughter 4 weeks ago. She has been over at least three days every week since I've had her. She's always telling me what I am doing wrong and how she'd do things so differently.

Baby is up every two hours at night and she insists she'd sleep through the night if she could stay at grandmas. I told her I'm not comfortable sending a breastfed baby away over night at 4 weeks. This last week she kept pushing the issue no matter how many times I said no.

Last night we put the baby in her crib. We stopped room sharing because the baby was so loud I could get no sleep what so ever so my husband has been getting her when it's time for her to feed.

Husband fell asleep early and I dozed off. I woke up four hours later and started to panic because she hadn't made any noise. I was sure she had died of sids. I went into her room and she was gone.

I froze and started screaming her name around the house like she would somehow pop out like it was all a joke. My husband woke up in a panic and just screamed "what's going on!!" Over and over.

I ran to my phone to call 911 and saw a picture message from my MIL of my sleeping baby in her arms with the caption "sleepover at gamgams".

I was immediately enraged. I screamed so hard I almost vomited. I called her and saw red. I told her I was coming to get the baby and she would never see her again and to never contact our family again.

My husband decided it was best if he went to get her. When he came back he said his mother decides for let herself in and "give us a break" that she was sure we'd hear the text and she thought we would be thanking her for a nights sleep.

I do not give a f. I hate her. I cannot forgive her for this. My husband thinks I need to calm down. That we just need to get our key back. His lack of urgency about the situation makes me want to divorce him.

We have never had any issues before this but this feels like a deal breaker to me. I already had PPA and now it's through the roof. I don't feel safe in my own home with my family.

I hate my MIL. I hate my husband. When I think about what happened I sob uncontrollably. I can't sleep now that I know I can't protect my baby when I sleep. I can't believe I did not wake up. I feel like the biggest piece of shit mother. If any danger really came I would have let my daughter down.

Am I overreacting for wanting a divorce or for never wanting to see my MIL again? My husband and MIL think it's my hormones and I have overreacted. Am I overreacting?? I just needed to talk about it with noninvolved parties. I have no friends or family for hundreds of miles.

Oh and she also fed her formula while she had her but that's the least of my worries. It still infuriates me because breastfeeding has been really hard for us.

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

That is terrifying. F, I don't even know what I'd do. I'd want space from my husband until the shock had worn off and I could talk about it without wanting to vomit. But I'd want to call the police asap as well.

She needs to change her perspective and really understand that what she did is f-g insane. Not just think "oh, OP and her hormones". She needs to hear from people that this is a Big F-g Deal.

So I would start with husband. I would tell him that no, this isn't hormones. You woke up and immediately thought your baby had died because it was so quiet. So you went to check on her and found her missing.

That is just soul wrenching. Try to convey every thought, emotion, everything. Tell him how this was already your worst nightmare due to anxiety and suddenly it's playing out in front of you. Your baby is missing.

She could literally be anywhere. Halfway to a new state, sold on the black market, in a ditch somewhere, with a new family and a new name. I'm so sorry if that makes your PPA worse but you absolutely have to get through to your husband what your thoughts were, what could have been happening.

And all of that - the violation, the possibilities, the mental torture, the fear and blind panic, was all because of MIL. Because she is so fixated on being "right" (baby would sleep better at my house) that she can't see sense.

Because it is actually insane to deliberately sneak into someone's house in the middle of the night, take the sleeping baby, haul arse home and take a photo proudly gloating that you got your way. She had formula.

She has been planning this. She knew you said no and she didn't care. She could have done this a million ways; she could have even said to husband "look, you and OP need a break so I'll clue you in on my plan".

Let it be known that that is also absolutely fucked up but she didn't even do that because she knew the answer would be no. And she arrogantly decided that she knew best. Where does she stop?

What if she decides that your girl's ears should be pierced at 3mo? What if she decides that she believes in female circumcision? What if she decides that letting a toddler have a few sips of beer is a great idea?

What if SHE wants to be the first one to give your daughter a driving lesson so to make sure she gets in early they start at 14? Actually nothing will stop her.

And btw even without the kidnapping I would feel SO violated knowing someone was in my house while I was asleep. Even if it was my MIL.

sequin65 writes:

It's not hormones. I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate it when pregnant women or new moms get their concerns dismissed because of "hormones." A) Everyone has hormones, not just people who are gestating or freshly postpartum and B) what your mother-in-law did was seriously f-d up.

If someone, even a relative with a key, just breezed into your house while you were sleeping and removed, say, your pet or laptop without permission, that would be considered inappropriate, so it should go without saying that removing your CHILD is beyond that.

ahdaft writes:

Just adding to the overwhelming consensus that you're not overreacting, this was her saying f you to you and your boundaries.

She kept pushing, you kept saying no, so she just went ahead and did what she liked anyway and then she sent you that f-g picture to gloat that she had your baby and you didn't stop her.

And your husband needs to get his head on straight, and fast. This is NOT normal. This is NOT okay. This is NOT something that can be swept under the rug of supposedly-good intentions (they weren't. They weren't good at all.)

So while I don't think divorce should be OFF the table, what I would do is give him the classic two options: either you separate or you get counseling. And you need to vet the counselor beforehand because you do NOT need a therapist saying that she's faaaamily and she needs another chance.

Look for one who works with families of drug addicts and alcoholics,if possible. I bet that there is a whole history of her ignoring boundaries in his life and he learned at a very young age not to upset his mom because it was easier and he had no power to escape the situation when she would make things uncomfortable.

But he's an adult now and he doesn't have to tolerate his mom's shittiness anymore. She's demonstrated already that she doesn't care at all about what you say and she has no respect whatsoever for your authority over your child as her parents.

At a minimum, she needs to have a long timeout. Six months would be barely enough, I think a year would be better. She should miss out on all of the first year firsts - holidays, birthday, milestones etc.

And if there is even the slightest chance that you think your husband would choose separation over counseling, then BEFORE you have that conversation with him get in touch with an attorney and talk about an emergency custody order.


aerht3 writes:

You're definitely not overreacting. Your mother in law made it clear that, when it comes to your child, she 100% believes that her wishes supersede yours. I would absolutely call the police and file a report, at the very least.

If you choose not to file charges, that's your decision, but you want to have a paper trail of her crazy. I can't say whether divorce is an overreaction or not. It depends on whether your husband has a pattern of accepting his mother's shitty behavior against your wishes.

This is major, and your baby is only a month old. If she thinks this was ok, where does your husband think she will draw the line? What if she has a major allergy, but grandma doesn't agree?

Will he allow/excuse her exposing his child to an allergen just to keep the peace? What if she doesn't like her haircut? Will she cut it the way she likes? This is a flashing billboard that she gives no fs about boundaries, or your rights as parents, and she's just getting started.

halfufnnyw0 writes:

You've gotten so many replies but I have to add my voice. You are such a good mom. Please don't feel like you failed her by not waking up in your locked house where you felt safe.

The first few weeks are so exhausting, you need sleep, and you were doing everything right by having her sleep in a crib in her own room in your safe house. It might make you feel better for a while to sleep with her in your room in a crib or bassinet.

If you do cosleep please read up on how to safely cosleep, I would not blame you a bit if you need to, just be sure you do it as safely as possible.

As someone with anxiety I cannot imagine. I simply cannot. You are doing the right thing by starting therapy and please give yourself permission to go on medication if needed.

There are safe meds for breastfeeding and your mental health is important. Medication helped me from feeling chronic all consuming paralyzing worry to just occasional moments of anxiety.

My thoughts are all over the place. I just want you to know that you are doing everything right and you are such a good mom. Protect your baby and protect yourself.

Btw I would absolutely prosecute your mil, how f-g dare she. The only way I can see being in contact with her in the far future is if it turns out she has dementia or something and was truly not herself.

And never ever ever would she be allowed with baby alone. I would truly could Sider moving far away and dropping contact. I hope your husband realizes how f-g crazy his mother is, I commend you for not being in jail for homicide right now because holy shit.

Who takes a newborn?! Who?! Aaaaah. I'm making myself crazy, I can't imagine what you're going through but you are strong and you are mama bear and you can do this.

achdftu writes:

I was rocking my five month old baby as I read that, and my heart actually hurt. I still feel sick thinking about it. I hope you show this thread to your husband, and I hope it goes some way to helping him realise how terrible that was.

This is his first chance to choose between his wife and child, and his mother. Make no mistake- there are going to be times where you will both have to choose between your new primary family and your birth family, no matter how much you love your birth family. And this is outrageous.

He needs to realise that whatever his mothers stated intentions she KNEW you were not okay with this- and there are more than 100 comments here backing up the fact this was a horrific crime to commit against a new parent for ANYONE.

Even if his mother was that clueless she thought this was harmless, that is all the more reason to lay down the law now as clearly her judgement is so impaired that she cannot look after your child unsupervised again. And you are well within your rights to cut her out completely for a very long time, or forever.

I so hope you have some good family or friend to care for you, and your husband steps up. Good luck momma bear.

And now, OP's first update:

I just wanted to give everyone a quick update. I didn't respond but I've read every comment and the support I got has meant so much to me. I bawled reading them because I finally felt like someone was on my side.

I called my mom late last night and I got a hotel. I refused to tell my husband where I was going but told him the baby and I would be safe. My mom is disgusted about what I've been through.

She's getting on a plane today to come help me. This entire experience has pushed me to the point that I need therapy so today my first order of business is getting a therapist set up asap.

I decided to go alone for a while and when I'm ready, go with my husband to see if there is a chance to move past this. Right now I still don't want to but I also agree I'm not in the place to make life changing decisions.

Either way, I can never move back into that house. I don't know what my plan is past these next few days yet but I'm just going to take it day by day for right now. As for my MIL, I'm going to go to the police today to find out how to get a restraining order.

Her and my husband keep saying "but she was safe! She was never on danger!" I disagree. My MIL is clearly not mentally capable to care for a child. Who knows what else she would do because she feels she knows best.

Thank you all so much. I can't tell you how much the support from some Internet strangers has meant to me.

OP's second update:

I want to thank everyone again that thought about me after my first post. This past two weeks have been crazy for me emotionally but I saw the request for an update and wanted to let everyone know what was going on even though it’s been generally uneventful.

I got so many messages and comments with support that meant so much to me. So soon after I wrote that post my mom had arrived to help me get through my anxiety and support me.

By the time she was here I was in a hotel and still had not slept. It was going way too long without sleeping and I think the deprivation of sleep was making me crazier. She came and sat with me while I slept. It was the most helpful thing anyone could have done for me.

My husband asked to talk so I agreed to meet with him. He apologized and said he realized I was right, his mom had severely crossed a line and that it was hard for him to accept his mom did something so wrong so in his head he was telling himself it...

was not that bad and that if the baby wasn’t hurt then no harm was done but he wasn’t thinking about the hurt done to me and my feeling of security.

He said he changed the locks on the home and would support whatever I wanted to do with his mom. He said he was willing to cut off contact for a while but asked I not press charges. We left it at that for that time.

I told him I’d think about what he said and keep in touch. Shortly after this whole thing happened I got a lot of texts from his family supporting me and letting me know they were so sorry about what happened and that no matter what my baby and I are family and we have their support.

That meant so much to me. People were finally backing me up and it gave me some peace of mind. A few days after seeing my husband we met up again. He had a letter from his mom. I thought about just throwing it out but I decided to read it. It was a very long winded apology.

It basically said that she is sick about what she did. She said if someone did that to her when her husband was young she’d want them to die. She is terrified about losing me as a DIL and her grandchild but she is going to keep her distance. She asked me to reach out if and when I am ready.

I still haven’t reached out to her and I don’t know if I will. I feel like her letter may be genuine but I don’t think I will ever trust her again for obvious reasons.

I feel like she sees it as an “easier to has forgiveness than permission” sort of thing. I’m in a hard place of trying to decide how to assert my authority as a mother without alienating my child from people who love them.

I don’t want my forgiveness to seem like weakness and in the end put my child in more situations like this. I’ve been getting help with all this in therapy, which I have started twice a week.

Right now the general guidance I get from my therapist is don’t make any big moves yet (divorce, moving long distances, cutting people out ect) so I’m taking it day by day. I make sure my husband sees our child every day.

We don’t talk about the state of our marriage yet. I told him when I was ready we will talk. He’s respected that and it’s made a huge difference in the hope I have for our future.

So that is really it. There weren’t really any dramatic blow ups or legal action. There are still a lot of unanswered questions for me but this time has been one filled with self-discovery and support from a lot of unexpected places and for that I’m incredibly grateful.

TLDR: Thank you everyone for your support. Taking life day by day. I love my baby.

What do YOU think of OP's story? Any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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