You can’t always judge the whole family just from one member, because even if parents want to instill their own values in their kids and all the kids are raised in the same way, they are still influenced by the outside world and become their own human. So it sometimes happens that you meet the love of your life, but you can’t seem to understand or get along with their family.

The situation is familiar to this woman on Reddit who had a baby and brought it to introduce it to her husband’s family. Her mother-in-law was happy to be a grandmother and wanted to spend time with the baby, but the woman quickly realized that the family is too unstable to leave her baby there, which offends the mother-in-law.

More info: Reddit

Mother-in-law doesn’t understand why her house is unsafe for her newborn baby even after her daughter-in-law explains that the family is too chaotic

Image credits: RODNAE Productions (not the actual photo)

The story takes place in 2021 when about a year had passed after the world shut down to figure out what this new virus we were dealing with was. At that time, the COVID restrictions in Original Poster’s (OP) area had been lifted, so she and her husband went to her mother-in-law’s home for a visit and introduction of her baby.

It was still not a normal visit, as it happened outside and everyone was wearing masks, but the grandmother wanted to be involved in her grandchild’s life. Actually, the OP found it weird how much she wanted to babysit her grandson despite him being only a few months old.

The author of the post has a newborn baby and brought him to her MIL to introduce them


Image credits: u/mermaid_tale

Not only that, but the MIL knew that her house wasn’t the safest place. Her stepson was an addict and even though he didn’t live with her, he would come and steal things or leave his needles hidden.

The woman had a daughter who didn’t have a job and wasn’t helping around the house due to her being on the autism spectrum and suffering from panic attacks. And that wasn’t the biggest problem. She seemed to be jealous of OP’s husband because he had his own life, a family and friends. That made her very hostile to the OP as well and insensitive towards her miscarriages.

This kind of environment is unsuitable for a newborn and, as the OP described it, was chaotic, so she didn’t feel comfortable leaving her child alone with her MIL. She never accused her husband’s mom for her children’s behavior though and didn’t consider her a bad person. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D. Psychologist and Creator of Mental Drive told Bored Panda that children’s behavior don’t necessarily reflect how they were parented.

He explained to us, “Parents play a huge role in shaping the behavior and development of their children. They always have an influence. But it is rare that a child who develops difficulties or psychiatric or addiction problems develops them solely because of the parents. It is always an interaction between the parents behaviors, their genetics, the child’s genetics, and the environment. ‘Fault’ is a function of all of these, not one of them.”


The MIL immediately offered to babysit her grandson whenever the parents needed, especially because they lived within walking distance

Image credits: u/mermaid_tale

Image credits: lechenie-narkomanii (not the actual photo)

Some people in the comments suggested allowing the MIL to come to OP’s house to babysit, but the woman feels that her husband’s mom doesn’t have the best judgment as she is enabling her son’s addiction and her daughter’s awful behavior and she doesn’t understand why it would be dangerous for a baby.

Dr. Josh Klapow couldn’t say if there was reason not to trust the MIL’s judgment but what he believes is that “As the mother of the child, the ultimate assessment is up to her. It’s a moot point to say she should or shouldn’t.”

But what the mom can do is to “give her mother-in-law a chance to prove herself by smaller, more controlled situations, where she felt more comfortable. Baby-sitting for an hour or even 30 min. Babysitting the child while the mom was around doing other tasks. This would give the mother-in-law a chance to demonstrate her ability and give the mom a chance to see for herself rather than speculate. It’s always better to have observable evidence to make your decision.”


But the mom didn’t feel comfortable with leaving her son at her MIL’s house or her coming to hers to babysit him

Image credits: u/mermaid_tale

Some people in the comments suggested something similar to Dr. Klapow, but most of them also agreed with his view that the mom knows best and a child’s safety comes first, so the OP shouldn’t worry about making the grandmother upset if she feels danger. The MIL will still be able to be in her grandson’s life, but won’t be the person to babysit him when the parents are gone.

The new mom mentioned a few times in the comments that for now, she is worried about how eager her mother-in-law is to babysit her son not only because of her judgment, but also because the baby is only a few months old, so the OP thinks it’s too early to leave him with other people.

It really depends on how the parents feel, but actually a Kid Sit article, reviewed by Gina Maria Jansheski, MD, FAAP, says that the earliest you can leave your baby with a babysitter is at least after a few weeks, “so you and your newborn can settle into a regular feeding and sleeping routine. It is important to make sure your baby is feeding and growing well. Your visits to the pediatrician will let you know if your baby is on track.”


The MIL’s house doesn’t seem safe because her addict stepson steals from his stepmom and hides needles around the place


Image credits: u/mermaid_tale

According to Kid Sit, probably the biggest factor which decides when you can leave your baby with someone else is whether you breastfeed it or not: “Newborns typically eat every two to three hours, so your babysitter will most certainly need to feed your child while you’re gone. If your baby is formula-fed, this won’t be an issue for you at all.”

However, it could be pretty scary to leave your child to another person, because parents may feel judged for not taking care of their child themselves or they could worry that the person won’t be as careful as them.

They might think that the baby will miss them and a new environment and people will cause them stress. But babysitter provider service Sitter claims that the separation is actually harder for the parents than the children.

She lives with her daughter, who showed hostility towards her SIL and wished for her to miscarry her son


Image credits: u/mermaid_tale

Also, it would be more beneficial to start getting your baby used to other people early on, before the separation anxiety phase begins. The NHS explains that “Separation anxiety and fear of strangers is common in young children between the ages of 6 months and 3 years.” Babies start to feel it when they become aware that their existence is dependent on the caregiver.

Sitter suggests that “leaving them with a babysitter before this point can get them used to the idea of their parents returning, and feel secure in being left.” The NHS adds that even if your child does feel separation anxiety, leaving them with a babysitter isn’t damaging, but it helps them to learn to cope without the parent instead, which is important when developing independence.

Because the MIL enables the addict son and the mean daughter, the new mom doesn’t trust her judgement, which doesn’t make sense to her MIL

Image credits: u/mermaid_tale

Image credits: nicoleta wagner (not the actual photo)

But of course, every child is different and parents decide what is best for them. It seems that the OP can and wants to be with her baby and doesn’t need a babysitter yet. And when she does, she can choose whoever she trusts most, but for now it isn’t her mother-in-law.

Why do you think the mother-in-law doesn’t see the problem in her babysitting her grandson? Would you allow her to build her trust and prove she can be a good babysitter? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Redditors agreed that the MIL’s house isn’t a safe environment, but there are ways that the grandma could still take care of the baby and earn the mom’s trust