Crazy Mother-In-Law Spills The Beans On The Sex Of Her Unborn Grandchild
Slate‘s Dear Prudence column this week focused on the mother of all terrible mother-in-laws. According to a letter sent in by a mom-to-be who calls herself “Sad Mommy,” the MIL in question managed to finagle the sex of the woman’s unborn child (even though she and her husband had expressly forbade it, since they wanted it to be a surprise) and announced it on social media for all the world to see:
“She continued to bring up gender at every opportunity. My doctor’s staff was aware of our decision not to know the baby’s sex, but after one sonogram I was surprised to see my mother-in-law at the office smiling ear to ear. A few days later I had messages from family members congratulating me on the baby girl I was having! My mother-in-law wheedled the information out of the ultrasound technician, who is a friend of hers, then announced it.”
That isn’t even the worst part, however. This mother-in-law makes Jane Fonda‘s character in the movie Monster In-Law look like a lamb:
“My mother-in-law is smug about her tactics and told me nastily that if I “still had a mother,” I wouldn’t be so selfish. (I was orphaned at age 14.)”
I just can’t with this. This lady is truly the mother-in-law from hell. Obviously the couple immediately found a new OBGYN and even considered legal action. Sad Mommy goes on to say that she and her husband plan to bar the MIL from the delivery room, as per her new obstetrician’s suggestion. Considering the lengths she went to get her way, I think this is a good idea. Apparently Prudy agrees.
As a rule I dislike Prudy and much of the advice that she gives and I have my doubts about how great of a human being she is as well (does anyone else remember the whole rape victim blaming fiasco?). But in this case I think she’s spot on. I guess even a broken clock is right twice a day, amirite?
“Your mother-in-law grew up in an era in which everyone had to wait for the baby to be born in order to find out its sex. So it’s bizarre that she’s obsessed with a piece of information that was to be revealed soon enough. But your mother-in-law has proven herself unable to distinguish between her desires and someone else’s. Given her remark to you about your deceased mother, she is also cruel and insensitive.”
Prudence’s advice on how to handle the situation is reasonable and honestly, a lot nicer than I would have been:
“Your husband should explain to his mother that because of her behavior during your pregnancy you two are on hiatus from her. Say that it would be sad not to have her in your child’s life, but if she wants to enjoy being a grandmother, a basic requirement is that she treat her daughter-in-law with respect. An apology from her and a recognition she needs to do better would be a start. But in the absence of that, after the baby is born and you feel ready, allow her some short visits to see if she seems capable of reform. You’re not being vengeful; she’s the one who has to regain your trust. “
For the most part I totally agree with this advice, and on an intellectual level I know it’s for the best. But personally, I would stay away from this woman at all costs. Her behavior was inexcusable, but the remark about her daughter-in-law’s dead mother seals the “NOPE” deal for me. She obviously has no respect whatsoever for her son or DIL whatsoever. If this couple allows their child around this woman alone I see shit-ton of surprise ear piercings and haircuts in their future, and ain’t nobody got time for that.