Most everyone knows that a mother-in-law can be a pretty tough character to deal with — they’re the person who raised your partner, after all, and the issues can run wide and deep. Pretty much everyone has a wild MIL story or two that they pull out at parties, while you’ll run into few people who say that their MIL relationship is all rainbows and roses and super-perfect no-drama Christmas holidays.
But when are MILs being quirky and when are they really crossing a line? One woman could not contain her anger and sadness when she discovered that her mother-in-law get a large tattoo of her baby daughter’s name. She then turned to Reddit’s “Am I The A**hole?” forum to figure out if she might have overreacted.
The new mom shared that she and her husband are in their early 30s and just had their first baby in June. And when her MIL visited for Christmas, she had a special surprise to share.
“My MIL is very attention seeking and just over the top, to say the least,” she explained. “Everything was fine until we were almost finished with opening gifts. She told me and my husband that she had one last gift for our daughter and handed us an envelope. My husband proceeded to open the card and read it out loud. To sum it up, it said that she loved our daughter so much that she decided to get something for her and herself. What does that even mean?! We both look up and there she was pulling down her collar to show us a huge tattoo on her chest of a heart shaped pearl necklace (my daughter’s birth stone), a couple of roses (birth flower) and our daughter’s name.”
The new mom did not take the news well.
“I WAS STUNNED,” she continued. “I could feel the tears building up inside me. I turned to my husband and basically excused myself with my daughter to ‘feed her.’ I balled my eyes out in my bedroom. I could hear my husband trying to explain to her what she did wrong.”
She also explained that she had her own tattoo plans, and she thought that they were now off-limits.
“I wanted to get a tattoo of my daughter/ other children (we plan on having more) but I can’t right now because I’m breastfeeding. I was so upset because not only did my MIL take her name but she also took her birth stone and flower!”
The MIL was caught off-guard that she had made the wrong move.
“I pulled myself together and come out of the room to find my MIL sobbing,” she said. “She made a huge scene saying, ‘Oh please don’t kick me out! Please let me stay! Please oh please!’ She told me that she was sorry, she didn’t think it was a big deal and that she thought she was doing something nice for my daughter. She even said that she discussed her plans with FIL and their friends and everyone gave her the green light. I told her that my daughter was 6 months old and had no idea what a tattoo is and that she did this for attention just like everything else she does. I was upset with the fact that she didn’t even think to discuss it with us, her parents, about how we would feel about it. Mind you, she doesn’t even have her own children’s names tattooed on her!”
How did it all end? Not well.
“I told her that she was overstepping us as her parents,” she said. “Her response: ‘But I just want to be your mom! I just want to be close to you!’ What does that have anything to do with this?! I told her that she was NOT my mom nor would she ever be.”
The MIL is now trying to move on from the argument, but the new mom does not want to let it go. She wants to die on the tattoo hill.
Down in the comments, everyone gathered round to, for one time in the universe, side with the mother-in-law and her big old tattoo.
“Your the a**hole,” reads the most popular comments. “I fail to see why her getting a tattoo on her body is a problem and means you can’t get one. Like seriously who cares? Every single tattoo is unique so what’s it matter if you get one too?”
“MIL is not demonstrating narcissism here — she’s just excited and loving. I would have given anything to have a MIL who cared like this,” wrote another.
“I know postpartum can be hard on people and maybe it’s bringing out less than great aspects of OP’s personality. But it also sounds like OP generally doesn’t like her MIL,” another person said. “I think it’s possible that OP and her MIL clash a bit because they are actually very similar and both want attention.”
So, there you have it. Sometimes mothers-in-law are doing okay and trying their hardest, even if they’re a bit quirky or weird — and the daughter-in-law needs to maybe chill a little bit (and design her own tattoo if she wants one).