Respecting people’s boundaries shouldn’t be hard. If someone tells you something, listen to them. One mother has taken to Reddit after her mother-in-law got her three-month-year-old’s ears pierced behind her back. Yes, this grandma thought it was okay to secretly have her granddaughter’s ears pierced.
To be clear, there was no ambiguity here on the part of the mother. The mother-in-law specifically disregarded the mother and had this baby girl’s ears pierced. Rightfully, mom is pretty angry and has taken to Reddit to vent her frustrations. She also wants advice.
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A culture clash over ear piercing.
In the Reddit post, the mom explains that she and her husband come from differing cultures. While she remains receptive, there are aspects that do not align with her own wishes for her children. For instance, she says that her MIL (mother-in-law) believes “woman are to serve men.”
In addition, the MIL thinks that girls should have their ears pierced almost immediately after birth. In spite of the mother’s repeated instructions, the MIL went behind the mother’s back and had the girl’s ears pierced.
“I know they won’t remember it and wasn’t so much the pain aspect, but more so I wanted her to be able to decide,” she explained in the post. “Yes, the holes close up, but I’d rather her get to decide when or if she pierces them, when she’s older.”
Mom thought it was case closed until it was not.
According to mom, the MIL bugged her about getting her ears pierced, “pretty much from the time I was post-labor and she came to visit me in the hospital.”
Mom repeatedly told MIL no and thought that she ended that discussion. “Now, mother-in-law has watched our kids a handful of times since she was born and daughter never came back with earrings, so I assumed we were safe and that maybe she was respecting our parenting.”
She wrongly assumed.
Grandma got the baby’s ears pierced while the parents were running errands.
While the parents were out, MIL took the girl to the mom’s sister-in-law to have her pierce the ears. According to MIL, “She’s done them for all the babies in the family and it was tradition.”
Needless to day, Mom was not happy. “I felt so violated, took my kids and told her to leave. My husband was equally as (expletive) and they argued outside, in their native language, for quite a bit, before mother-in-law left,” she explained.
After the incident, MIL was no longer allowed to watch the grandchildren. Mom also plans on removing the earrings once it’s safe.
The drama didn’t end there. “My husband’s family is saying I’m being so disrespectful and I’ve said that I just don’t trust her, since she’s continuously disrespected my parenting,” Mom elaborated in the post.
Is she wrong for telling MIL to give her family space?
Commenters on the post agreed that her MIL was being extremely shady.
“It’s the simple fact that you told MIL no on something and she took a giant (expletive) all over that and stomped it right into the carpet than turns around and tells you that you’re the disrespectful one here,” one commenter posted. “You and husband together need to have a conversation on this with her, tell her feel disrespected and that you’ll be making other babysitting arrangements in the meantime until you guys can see eye to eye with us on this.”
“That is absolutely NOT OKAY,” another person agreed. “It’s not like, oh, she painted your kids nails and that washes off. No, she put HOLES in YOUR BABY’s ears. (Expletive) that, I’d also not let SIL be alone with my kids after that, but thats just me.”
“The mother-in-law went behind your back when you explicitly said you don’t want your kid’s ears pierced which is not ok,” yet another person agreed. “If she can’t be trusted to follow your simple instructions she shouldn’t be allowed to watch your children.”
Still there was someone who was slightly on MIL’s side.
One person commented saying that mom should be sympathetic to traditions. They explained, “She is definitely wrong for doing this behind your back and you should have a discussion about boundaries. Here’s the thing, traditions have a really huge effect on people’s lives especially the older generation, and she does seem to really love the kids. I’m not saying your reasoning is wrong. I am just saying it would be really easier and less drama for you to let them have it their way every once in a while especially with things that don’t really have a huge effect on your kids’ lives. That will make it easier for you to refuse the bigger issues and traditions.”
Mom weighs the comments and shares her conclusions.
Later in the Reddit thread, mom shared her final thoughts on the matter.
“If she comes to me and says ‘Hey, I want to get them done,’ then we’ll go and get them done as soon as we can. If she never wants them, that’s up to her. All I care about is her consenting to it. But I am going to make sure it’s what she wants and not my husband’s family buzzing in her ear telling her that she has to do this in order to be truly Mexican,” she explained.
“I’m African American. I get that there are cultures and traditions. I have also rejected some of these as well. However, as her mother, I also have a right to say that she is going to wait. So does her father.”
We endorse mom’s opinion. We all know family dynamics are complicated, especially when there are children involved. We hope this family can find some common ground and that her MIL understands that it’s ultimately up to the child’ parents.