15 Moms Get Real About Being Shamed by Their Mothers-in-Law

Wendy Robinson | Dec 19, 2017 Being a Mom

As soon as a woman becomes a mom, she basically transforms into a moving target for mountains of unwanted advice and shaming about each of her parenting choices. It's not something we choose to deal with, but unfortunately it comes with the job, and it's not something we can just give up. But although being shamed by strangers is annoying in its own right, there's something even worse about it when it's close family members doing the shaming. Specifically, when it comes from someone such as a mother-in-law, it feels particularly venomous -- and it gets particularly enraging, fast. There's something about hearing it from your partner's "other" woman in life that can make the criticism feel like daggers in the back.

For many women, the person at the top of their mom-shaming list is their mother-in-law. Mothers-in-law can be so frustrating, right? On the one hand, they're family and they love their daughters-in-law and grandkids, even when it doesn't necessarily seem like it. On the other hand, the passive-aggressive comments and the subtle and not-so-subtle shaming is crazy-making.

More from CafeMom: Mother-in-Law Weasled Her Way into Holding a Newborn Before Mom & the Internet Put Her on Blast 

On a totally related note, I live five states away from my own opinionated mother-in-law, and I highly recommend this approach to anyone, because the struggle is real. Because I'm pretty lucky to not get mother-in-law shamed regularly, I decided to give some less-fortunate friends a chance to vent about their own mothers-in-law. As long as I agreed not to share their names, they were happy to share the most annoying MIL moments. Misery loves company, so read on for 15 stories of mom shaming.

  • TRAINING SHAMER

    1

    "According to my wicked witch of a MIL, my son is never going to get fully potty trained because I'm not strict enough with him. Lady, he's only 2.5, give me a break." -- GR 

  • SHE MEANS WELL

    2

    "I think my mother-in-law means well, but she is so passive-aggressive. Her latest thing is making all these little digs about why I haven't taught my son to ride his bike yet (she rides her bike everywhere). Um, maybe because he's only in preschool and doesn't want to learn?" -- DJ 

  • PLASTIC NIPPLE ALERT

    3

    "I'm breastfeeding but I work, so I also pump so my son takes a bottle too. My MIL does this thing where she wrinkles her nose and asks if I 'really feel okay about a plastic nipple in his mouth?' 

    Such a gross way to phrase that, right?" -- PK. 

  • VINDICATED

    4

    "My MIL always claims that my kids are only picky eaters for me because I'm too soft-hearted with them. Then she had them for a weekend and they refused to eat everything she cooked so she had to break down and order pizza. Vindicated!" -- AE 

    More from CafeMom: 20 Questions You Should NEVER Ask Your Mother-in-Law

  • COLD FEET

    5

    "You know how there are always those old ladies who insist that every baby looks cold and needs socks, no matter what the temperature is? Yep. That's my MIL. She's convinced my babies are gonna freeze to death. I LIVE IN ARIZONA. They're fine." -- ST

  • RAISING WIMPS

    6

    "My MIL totally tries to shame me for all the things I do around safety that she thinks are 'helicopter parenting.' A good example is that she thinks insisting on helmets for bike and scootering is me 'raising wimps' so she rolls her eyes when I make the kids wear them." -- CR 

  • PLAY TIME

    7

    "She is so old-school and I don't really think she actually enjoys kids. She thinks I'm strange for wanting to play with my kids. She thinks they should be seen and not heard, I guess." -- JH 

  • THE WORST CUT

    8

    "SHE CUT HIS HAIR! My MIL thought we were being ridiculous for letting my son keep his hair long, so she took it upon herself to get him a haircut without asking us first. That moved from shaming to straight-up interfering. I'm still so mad." -- IB 

  • CHUBBY BUDDY

    9

    "The food shaming kills me. My MIL feels like her job is to constantly offer 'advice' about how to feed the kids, and I'm over it. I've got this and I don't think they're suffering because I actually make them eat vegetables." -- SR 

  • Spoiler Alert

    10

    "According to my husband's stepmom, I'm spoiling the baby by picking her up when she cries. She's 3 months old. I'm not spoiling her, I'm taking care of her! It's impossible to spoil a baby." -- T.D. 

  • TABLET TIME

    11

    "My kids each have a tablet and get to use them on the weekend. My MIL thinks this is ruining their brains so when she comes over she tries to hide the tablets or turns them off and tells the kids they broke. It makes me so mad." -- FR 

  • SLEEP SHAME

    12

    "She shamed me during pregnancy, she shamed me about breastfeeding, and now she shames me about trying to have the baby on sleep schedule. She's ridiculous." -- HC 

    More from CafeMom: 17 Hilarious Times Mothers-in-Law Were Almost Too Crazy to Handle

  • NO EXPECTATIONS

    13

    "What drives me crazy is that she has no expectations for my husband when it comes to childcare. She acts like he is doing ME a favor by taking care of the kids. She says a lot of things like 'Isn't it lucky he changes diapers?' No, he's also a parent!" -- EC 

  • STAY-AT-HOME SHAMER

    14

    "My MIL is really career driven -- which is great! I'm glad she loves her job. But I'm happy to be a SAHM right now and I don't appreciate that she acts like I'm lazy for not working. I cringe when she starts any sentence with 'It must be nice...' and then talks about how much 'free time' I have." -- BT

  • GOING TO HELL

    15

    "We're not a churchgoing family. My MIL is super religious. She constantly shames me for not having the kids getting baptized. I think she's convinced we're all going to hell." -- HK 

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