How do you handle those around you who give unsolicited parenting advice? One Reddit user has gone to extremes by banning everyone who critiques his parenting skills from meeting his new baby.
Realizing that this was an unpopular move, the dad took to the Reddit community to ask “Am I the A**hole?”
Dad “bans” family from meeting his new baby after they criticized his and his wife’s parenting skills and decisions.
He starts out by explaining that his wife struggled throughout her pregnancy, and after the baby was born, she struggled with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
“Pregnancy was really tough for her, she spent a lot of time reading about what foods and activities and such could harm a fetus, and she was basically paralyzed by fear that she was hurting our son whenever she did anything,” he wrote in the post.
The mom-to-be made the choice that she wouldn’t breastfeed and decided to go back on her medication. Turns out, those around her didn’t hold back in sharing their opinions surrounding her decision.
“After the delivery, I was using the bathroom and my father was in the room with my wife. A lactation consultant came in and asked my wife if she was ready to breastfeed. My wife said she wasn’t going to breastfeed and the lactation consultant started pushing and reminding her of the benefits of breastfeeding. My father also started pressuring her.”
Things looked up after leaving the hospital, as the family adjusted to parenthood, but the criticism didn’t stop.
“The conflict comes in because I told my dad he couldn’t be around my wife and son for the time being because he participated in pressuring her when she said no,” he continued. “I’ve also run into an issue when sending pictures of the baby to family. A number of people wrote back nitpicking how my wife my holding the baby, what she was feeding him, the crib we’re using and so on.”
The writer continues that he then decided to put a strong boundary into place.
“So I told everyone who critiqued our parenting that they can’t come meet the baby. They probably can in a month or so when my wife will be more secure mentally and as a mom, but until then, no one can come. Thus far, the only people who have met my son are my wife’s parents, her sister, and my mom.”
“A lot of my family is saying that this is unfair because they have good intentions and are just trying to help. My mom told me I should give them a chance, but I think the risk is too big. Am I the a**hole for banning them?”
Some community members responded with empathy, while others thought the new papa had simply gone too far.
“In my opinion, they earned the inflammatory language when they were forceful and hurtful with their critiques/judgments,” one commenter said in support of the dad. “Karma is a dish served cold.”
Others urged the dad to be more understanding. “Yes and also some people genuinely think they’re being helpful when they critique,” one said. “Not saying that makes it okay, but when you do allow them just say hey please don’t critique our parenting it’s a sensitive time or something like that and hopefully they’re reasonable enough people to understand that and respect your wishes.”
What do you think: Was this dad wrong? Let us know in the comments!
Katie Nave is a freelance writer, producer, and mama living in Brooklyn, New York. Driven by her passion for storytelling, she is always seeking opportunities to elevate people who are working to better the world around them.
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