Her “Traditional” Mother-in-Law Criticized Her Parenting Style, Woke Her in the Night, and Even Took Her Baby Without Permission, but She Refused to Stand for It 

A woman recently asked if she’d been right to stand up to her interfering mother-in-law and sister-in-law while staying with them. Here’s her story.

They were happily married

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“I married my husband, Josh, two years ago,” the 23-year-old began. “He works at his family company with his dad.”

They were first-time parents

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“One month ago, I gave birth to our beautiful daughter, Sarah.”

He’s from a religious family

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The woman explained that her mother-in-law is very religious and traditional. She wasn’t happy when the woman and Josh moved into their own house when they got married instead of living with her and her husband.

They went to stay

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There was recently a big company meeting, which meant that Josh needed to go and stay with his parents for three nights. He invited the woman, and she agreed to join him.

She put them in separate rooms

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When the couple arrived, they found that Josh’s mom had gotten two bedrooms ready: one for Josh and one for the woman and Sarah.

They refused

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When they asked why they were expected to sleep in separate rooms, Josh’s mom explained that he needed to be up early for the meeting and that the baby would keep him awake.

Josh responded that he would sleep in the same room as his wife and baby daughter.

She stuck her nose in

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Later that evening, the couple were bathing Sarah, and his mom began saying it was “inappropriate” for Josh to be bathing his daughter because she’s a girl. She also made disparaging comments when Josh took Sarah from the woman so she could eat her dinner.

They woke her up

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During the night, Sarah woke up. Josh took her out of the room to take care of her. Within minutes, the woman’s mother-in-law and sister-in-law burst into the room, demanding that the woman wake up and take care of her daughter.

It was woman’s work

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Confused, the woman told them that Josh was taking care of Sarah, to which they replied, “But you’re her mother, and Josh has to be up early.”

But worse was to come.

She took her without asking

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The woman woke up at 7 a.m. to find Sarah gone. Panicked, she and Josh ran downstairs to find that his mother had taken her out into the garden without permission. When the woman demanded an explanation, her mother-in-law replied, “Well, all you do is sleep.”

The argument continued

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This behavior continued over breakfast, with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law both accusing her of letting Josh do “everything.” The woman replied that parenting was done by both parents.

They stormed out

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The woman then told her sister-in-law that if she knew so much about parenting, then she should go have a baby of her own. With that, both she and Josh left the table, packed their bags, and headed home.

She asked the internet

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Josh returned for the meeting while the woman stayed home. He was livid with his family’s behavior, but other members of his family were messaging the woman to take her mother-in-law and sister-in-law’s side. The woman asked the online community for their thoughts.

The internet responded

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The internet supported the woman. “You showing them this entirely separate way of doing things threatens their deep-rooted belief that theirs is the best way,” said one. “Some people do anything to prove to themselves that they are not wrong.”

“You and your husband have a marriage and a style of parenting that works for the two of you,” said another. “The responsibilities are much more balanced than how he was raised. Nothing about it is any of your mother-in-law’s business.”

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