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'AITA for paying my mother in law for her help and buying her a ticket home?'

'AITA for paying my mother in law for her help and buying her a ticket home?'


You gotta do what you gotta do, regardless of what the naysayers lob at you. But sometimes, it's nice to know you're on the right path.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asekd if he was wrong for paying his MIL for her "help" after the birth of her grandchild. He wrote:

"AITA for paying my mother-in-law for her help and buying her a ticket home?"

My wife and I just welcomed our first, and likely only, child at Christmas time. My mother in law came to stay with us and "help.: She was not helpful at all. She constantly disagreed with how we were doing things. She did nothing around the house except help with the baby. So my wife ended up doing a bunch of housework instead of relaxing.

I would get home to an exhausted wife and her mom who fought me for time with my kid. I would make dinner for the three of us and do what I could to get stuff done around the house before passing out and starting over the next day. I tried talking to my wife about it but she won't stand up to her mom. I tried talking to her mom and she said she's not here to be our maid she is only here to help with the baby.

I got sick of it. I booked her a ticket home. Three days before the flight I thanked her for all her help and told her we would take care of it from here. She is pissed. She says that I'm ungrateful for everything she is doing for us and that she took time off work to help. She started crying about it on social media. Some of her friends and family were joining in saying I was unappreciative.

She drives old people around to appointments. She makes about $2,000 a month. It is not a full time job. So I gave her $3,000 and said that we appreciate that she lost wages by helping so that should cover it. I commented on all her posts that she had been paid for her time and thanked everyone who reminded me that she had lost money to help us.

She is back home now and whining that she cannot see her grandbaby every day. My wife thanked me for handling it but some people are now saying I was heartless for making it all about money. I can't win but I don't think I'm the AH like my mother in law is saying.

The internet was fully in OP's corner.

No_Lavishness_3206 wrote:

NTA. If she's there to help then she's there to help not just to hold the baby and make more work for you guys. How far away does she live that she cannot visit?

OP responded:

She lives in South Carolina and we live in Panama. It's a fair ways.

rileyyesno wrote:

NTA. Your MIL sucks.

OP responded:

She is normally pretty cool. The baby made her crazy.

eggosarentrealfood wrote:

My wife thanked me for handling it.

This tells you all you need to know. Her opinion is the only one that matters. NTA. You did good. Now enjoy this time with your wife and new baby! Congratulations.

Robbes_Watch wrote:

NTA. You dealt with it in a reasonable way, IMHO. I'm curious about something, though. If your MIL confirms that she was there to help the baby, to me that means changing the baby, throwing dirty diapers in the wash (if applicable), letting daughter get some rest while MIL watches the baby, etc.

If that's the case, I would think your wife should not have been drop-dead exhausted. Even with breast feeding, there should have been some time here or there for your wife to take a nap, while MIL watched the baby.

And did you not have some convenience items, like frozen food so no one has to be cooking meals from scratch? Yet you were exhausted too. Let's be honest: I'd bet a good deal of the exhaustion you two experienced came strictly from having to deal with your MIL and her negative vibes. Good call to remove that bad energy from your house.

seaturtle541 wrote:

NTA. If you’re staying with someone who just had a baby, the help, should be cooking, cleaning and doing the laundry and maybe watching the baby so the mom can take a nap or take a shower but your primary focus should be taking care of the mother so she can take care of the baby. Your mother-in-law is an a$$. Good job dad.

keke423 wrote:

She needs to stand up to her own parents instead of forcing you to be the bad guy! She should not have put you in this situation.

OP responded:

I have zero problems being the bad guy.

zGranny wrote:

NTA. If she really wanted to help, she would listen to you and your wife about what you want her to do. When I have gone to help after the birth of a baby, I know that I am there to be their maid, cook and dirty diaper changer. I expect that most of my baby time will be during the night or when mom needs a nap.

The idea is to make things easier for them not harder. Your MIL must have forgotten what it was like when your wife was born.

MrSlidingDoor wrote:

Completely overbearing and immature behavior on her part, and running to social media to paint you as the bad guy is really disrespectful. You did great though and covered all your bases, and anyone calling you heartless definitely hasn’t been in that kind of situation before. NTA.

Whorible_wife69 wrote:

Can we stop inviting in-laws that are not close to help post baby. If they can't comfortably drive home stop it. Staying for days/weeks/months at a time, we can barely handle them for a few days during holidays, why do we think it's smart after a medical procedure. You did what was best for your postpartum wife and baby. NTA.

OP is NTA at all, he simply did what any good husband would do.

Sources: Reddit
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