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Expecting parents confront MIL; she says, 'This is my baby and my baby shower.' UPDATED

Expecting parents confront MIL; she says, 'This is my baby and my baby shower.' UPDATED


"AITA for telling my MIL she won't be seeing my baby after throwing a baby shower for herself?"


My husband and I are expecting our first child. We moved to be closer to his family. I'm no contact with mine. My mother-in-law has been referring to the baby as "her" baby this entire time.

She will say things like, "I can't wait for my baby to be born." "My baby is going to be so loved." This rubs me the wrong way for reasons I cannot explain, but my husband tells me to ignore her.

My MIL wanted to throw me a baby shower and invite her friends. She said they made an agreement a long time ago that they would celebrate each other's kids' weddings and births. My husband and I eloped and declined a reception for her friends since we don't know them.

My MIL told me that I owed it to her to let her throw the baby shower since I hurt her friends' feelings by not having wedding reception. I asked if I could invite my friends, and she said no, that this was for her friends and that if my friends wanted to throw me a shower they could. I reluctantly agreed.

My husband and I spent hours on our registry, and my MIL asked for it so she could share with her friends. She said she forwarded the registry on. She asked me what design I wanted on my cake and cookies. I told her flowers because I am decorating the nursery in a garden theme.

At the shower, they provided me with a "mother-to-be" sash and my MIL a "granny-to-be" sash to wear. I noticed that the theme of the shower was circus animals. The cake had an elephant and balloons on it, and the cookies were animals. At first I thought that maybe the floral theme was just too difficult, so I rolled with it until it was time to open presents.

Every present was some sort of circus animal. Onesies, blankets, toys - nothing on my registry. I was a little confused and even went so far as to check my registry to make sure I hadn't goofed up and changed everything. I thanked everyone for their gifts and tried to sound as gracious as possible. But I was so confused.

My husband, who is a little less tactful than I am, showed up at the end of the shower and noticed the theme right away. He goes "what's up with all the circus animals?" He looks at the presents and says, "This isn't what we asked for." Then he looked at his mom and goes "MOM. What did you do?"

She smiled and said, "I didn't like the theme you chose for my baby. I'm going to decorate my baby's nursery at my house with circus animals, so I created a registry for myself." My husband said, "YOU DID WHAT?" She says, "My baby is going to need a room at my house so I threw a shower for myself."

I lost my composure and told her that she would not see MY baby and to stop calling the baby hers. My husband told his mom that she's delusional if she thinks we're going to allow this. She started crying and said we are just withholding her baby from her.

We've been getting texts from his family since the shower, calling us selfish and ungrateful and saying we ruined her joy of being a grandma. Are we the AH?

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


NTA! That woman is not well. Good on your husband for having your back, and I think it’s time for yo talk to him about going no-contact with your MIL, at least for a while.


This is so creepy I can't. You're obviously NTA but I do think you should have shut this down a long time ago. Like, the first time she referred to your baby as her baby.


NTA. Your MIL has issues. I'd be very careful sharing information about the baby with her family and friends.


Absolutely NTA. It's your baby, not your mother-in-law's circus! The audacity to throw a shower for herself with a theme she likes without any consideration for your preferences is beyond selfish.

Your feelings are valid, and it's important to set boundaries, especially when it comes to your child. The entitlement from your mother-in-law is astonishing, and you and your husband are well within your rights to stand up for your choices as parents.

Don't let the guilt trips from his family make you question your decision. This is about your growing family, and their interference is unwarranted. Stick to your boundaries and enjoy your pregnancy without unnecessary drama.


Cut off every single person siding with her. You need to talk to your husband asap. This is the final straw. She will never be allowed to be alone with the baby. To be honest, I wouldn't have her near the baby ever.

But you need to talk to your husband. Make sure everyone within the medical staff and hospital is aware she is not allowed near the baby or your room. This is beyond sick. Take precautions now. NTA.


NTA. The best thing to have in life is peace, and your MIL has already proven that one thing you won't have around her is peace. She is completely unbalanced and very manipulative, people like her are capable of absurd things just to satisfy their desires, the best decision is to stay away from her.


NTA make sure if she has keys to your home locks are changed. Make sure you invest in security cameras. Let the hospital know your mil is to be no where near your baby. Let them no you and your husband are the only two that fill out any paper works.

Honestly no contact from the start that away she has no grandparents visitation case. Document every creepy thing she does. Call your dr and tell your pediatrician at the time to pass word protect your medical information. Your mil is unhinged and this has hands that rock the cradle vibes.

The next day, the OP responded in the comments:


Thank you all for your feedback. Just a little more info now that I'm awake and can communicate better:

I have text messages where MIL and I conversed about the shower. What I wanted, me sending her my registry, etc. She was all "this is going to be so wonderful, you're going to love it. My friends are so excited for you! I can't wait to see what everyone gets you!"

Call me naive, but I did not think that she had ill intent with this. For those asking why I reluctantly agreed to attend a party with her friends - I could tell how much it meant to her to carry on this tradition with her friends, but I was hesitant because I had never met them.

My husband and I had declined the wedding reception she wanted to throw for the same reason (I didn't know them, and he hadn't seen them in over 20 years). We had eloped, so we had no intention of throwing a reception of any kind.

We didn't even have a bridal shower, other than one that my coworkers threw as a surprise. But I could see how much it meant to her to host this shower, and there's a part of me that wishes I had this kind of tradition in my life. I also felt guilty when she said her friends' feelings were hurt that they couldn't celebrate our marriage.

I spoke with my husband last night before we went to bed and told him that I feel like we need to say something to the extended family sooner rather than later. I said I understand he wants to respond logically and not emotionally, but that I also feel like us not saying anything looks like we have something to hide.

He agreed and said that he will send a well-worded response later today. He just wants to think of how to word it before sending anything. I can respect that - he wants to make the situation better, not worse.

As I said in my original post, he's a little tactless, and he knows it. He wants to make sure he keeps what he says neutral and to the point. He's also not sure what to say to his mom at this point. He said once he sees how the family reacts to the whole story then he'll be able to make a better judgment of how to approach her.

There had been zero discussion with her about setting up a room at her house for the baby. I asked my husband last night had she mentioned anything to him about it, and he said no, other than she suggested we add a pack and play to our registry so we can have a portable crib.

He said he was as shocked as I was to find out that she had intended on setting up a full fledged nursery at her house and that he had no idea she was throwing a shower for herself.

I asked him why he didn't take me seriously when I said that her calling the baby "her" baby made me uncomfortable, and he said that he thought it was just a generational thing. I asked why he didn't ask her to stop, and he said he wishes he had and feels bad for not taking me more seriously.

He said he knows I have trauma from the years of abuse at my mother's hand and thought maybe I was reacting due to that, but now he sees that it goes beyond that. He also knows that, due to my past experiences, I tend to blame myself for things and don't stand up for myself even though I should.

I grew up believing everything that went wrong was my fault. Years of therapy have helped, but I still find myself with that mindset in some situations. I'm a bit of a people-pleaser, trying to keep the peace. So he wishes he had stood up sooner rather than disregarding what made me uncomfortable.

He repeated that his mom is notorious for making things about herself, but that he had no clue she would go to this extent. We agreed that if she had just been honest with her intent, then we would have been okay with it - maybe a little weirded out if we're being honest here, but we would have allowed it.

What bothers both of us the most is the extent she went to deceive us rather than just having a conversation with us. We had no clue grandparent showers were a thing, either.

We're not certain we want to go 100% NC with MIL at this time, but we want to keep our distance from her for now. We did agree that she will not be allowed to be alone with the baby for the foreseeable future.

The hospital that I'm giving birth in allows infants to stay in the room with the mother, so my husband and I have agreed that she (the baby) will stay with us as much as possible.

We're still up in the air as to whether we're going to allow visitors at the hospital - some of that will be determined how I feel after the birth, if I end up needing a c section, etc. MIL definitely will not be allowed in the room while I'm delivering (no one but the husband and our medical staff!).

The big thing we agreed on is that we want our baby to be loved and safe and secure. He knows that I don't have a family to fall back on, other than my brother (who has said that he will buy a plane ticket and be out here ASAP if I need him) and my friends (who have been very supportive and are excited to become "aunties").

We want our baby to have a sense of family that I did not have growing up. Husband's dad and stepmom have been absolutely amazing from the second we announced our pregnancy to them, and I have no doubt the two of them will be loving, doting grandparents. Honestly I suspect MIL will be a good grandma - but she's going to have to earn my and my husband's trust again.

Four days later, the OP again returned.


My update post was denied/deleted, so I’m sharing an update here. Most of you were correct. My husband talked to his brother yesterday. MIL is plotting to take my child, but it’s because she thinks I’m going to be like my own mother.

My own mother was physically and emotionally abusive to me and my brother. MIL told basically everyone that I’m mentally unstable so she’s preparing a room for when, not if, my husband leaves with the baby.

The baby shower was a ruse to try to get a rise out of me and show her friends how unstable I am, but my husband ruined it by showing up and being the one to really say something. I mouthed off a bit, but my MIL was hoping to really push me over the edge. I assume the “my baby” comments were testing the waters as well.

I’ve been in therapy for years, and I’ve been working on my own fears of being like my mom with my therapist. We have a weekly standing appointment on Zoom. I’ve also talked with my OB and psychiatrist about staying on my medication and watching closely for signs of postpartum depression.

My husband has been a part of all these conversations and has sat in therapy with me multiple times. I’m not violent or known to have violent outbursts. I tend to withdraw and be nonconfrontational when I’m upset.

I can’t say I fault MIL for having concerns, but I wish she’d gone about showing it in a completely different manner, such as talking with me and my husband. He has half a mind to go to her house and just rip her a new one, but I told him no. We’re not going to fight fire with fire.

If she’d talked with me about her concerns, I feel we wouldn’t have reached this point. I’ve been able to share what I went through with her. We’ve always been able to talk about things. She’s seen my arms and legs, which are scarred from physical abuse. She’s odd, but never uncivil towards me.

I would have told her I shared those concerns and then told her what steps I’m taking to prevent them. I haven’t told her about having those worries because, ironically enough, I didn’t want her to worry. I don’t want to keep my daughter from a grandparent who loves her. I just wish things had been handled a little differently.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after this latest update:


Huh this is batcrap. My thoughts were OOP needs police complaints and restraining orders. But I'm not sure if folks would even believe this. Or if they did, whether this insanity has enough evidence to get what she needs.

They definitely need to go full NC. That insane MIL is going to be squawking about grandparents rights soon enough. Probably be making false complaints to CPS along the way.


At this point MIL needs to never be alone in a room with OP, let alone the baby. Lord knows what she might do to get what she wants.


OP's patience literally saved her daughter. And she had no idea. But seriously, what is it with mother-in-laws being so obsessed with their grandkids? She baited OP for MONTHS trying to get her to lose her shit. I don't know what this is, but it's not love. Also, I've never heard of "grandma showers" and I'm flabbergasted that that's a thing.


Wife’s normal meter is so broken that she thinks she can reestablish a ‘normal’ relationship with MIL. MIL is a manipulative psycho. She has actively tried to incite OP to act out, she deceived her own friends about the shower, and she’s actively planning to get custody of OP’s child. NC and a restraining order is necessary here.

OP doesn’t realize that MIL will make it her life’s mission to alienate the child from her mother. OP needs to listen to her husband. He doesn’t want to banish a grandmother; he wants to banish a venomous, toxic presence from his daughter’s life.

So, do you think the OP and her husband were right to call out his mom for hijacking her baby shower and claiming ownership over their unborn child? Is the MIL just trying to feel involved or is there something wrong here?

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