20 Moms Reveal the Worst Mother-in-Law Transgressions Yet

Nicole Pomarico | Feb 26, 2020 Being a Mom
20 Moms Reveal the Worst Mother-in-Law Transgressions Yet
Image: iStock

mother-in-law arguing with son

When we get married, we take vows for better or for worse, and sometimes, that "for worse" part means dealing with the unpredictable (and sometimes totally inappropriate) behavior of our in-laws. Although many women do have awesome, loving relationships with their mother-in-law, others have nothing but family drama, and some of the stories that come from these situations are pretty horrifying. Somehow, it gets even worse after the babies start arriving -- it's like all common sense goes out the window.

Don't get us wrong -- no family relationship is perfect, and there's always going to be some kind of learning curve when it comes to settling into a functional in-law relationship, too. But there are just some MILs who refuse to agree to the boundaries that their daughter-in-laws (and sometimes even their sons) set around their own children and families, and when they cross them, the results can be totally disastrous. 

Read on for some of the worst transgressions we've heard mother-in-laws committing against their daughter-in-laws ever. Those of us with chill MILs are going to be extra thankful for them after reading these cringe-worthy stories.

  • Sneaking Into the Delivery Room

    newborn baby and mother

    According to one woman who shared her story on Reddit, she was in the middle of giving birth -- we're talking crowning here -- when her husband snuck his mom into the delivery room to see the birth of their child. 

    "I started panicking HARD, like I said, I am a private person and did not want my MIL staring into my lady bits while I was so vulnerable and exposed," the new mom shared. "I kept saying to my husband, 'Take her outside, please, get her out of here, please, please,' but he would not budge."

    Fortunately, nurses were able to mitigate the situation, and later on, the mother-in-law apologized. 

  • A Stocking Full of Baby Gifts 

    baby gifts

    Struggling to conceive is something that many of us are familiar with -- and it definitely isn't any easier when our friends and family continue putting pressure on us to have a baby. This woman received something even worse than questions while she was trying to conceive her children: a stocking full of baby gifts from her mother-in-law on Christmas. 

    "I had to hide in the bathroom and cry because I was so heartbroken. I appreciate the gesture ... it just feels like a lot of pressure on top of what I put on myself," the woman confessed in a post on Reddit.

  • Serious Control Issues 

    signing a contract

    Another woman told Reddit a story about how her mother-in-law tried to issue a contract to her and her husband before they got married, asking them to agree to only have one child. If they signed the contract, the MIL would foot the bill for the wedding -- and it made absolutely no sense why she'd try to insert herself in their personal choices about children in the first place.

    "I'm not even sure I want more than one child but it just seems absolutely INSANE that anyone would have a say in that aside from me and the father," the woman wrote.

    This is a pretty area where the legalities of a contract like this come into play, but honestly, it's probably a bad idea to sign a contract like this in the first place.

  • Getting Poisoned 

    baby shower

    Baby showers are usually all about making the mom-to-be feel special, but not in this case. One woman shared that her MIL ignored her gluten allergy when setting up for her shower, including Italian food and a cake that were not gluten free. 

    Ultimately, the woman decided to cut ties with her mother-in-law to avoid any actual poisoning issues in the future, especially while she's pregnant, which honestly might have been for the best.

  • The Camera's Rolling

    woman in delivery room

    Another delivery room incident -- because apparently, this is a thing. One woman said her mother-in-law secretly filmed her delivery after four days of labor. Nobody wants to be on camera after all of that, and the MIL didn't just take the video; she also showed off the footage. 

    "It wasn't until a week later when we went to visit her (she had an 'emergency') that I found she was showing random strangers this video and many of these strangers were men that she barely knew," the woman wrote.

    The poster ended up taking her MIL to court to get the footage back, and she and her husband ended up cutting off his mother for good.

  • A Fake Engagement Ring

    engagement ring

    Many of us already know that the in-laws can get a little weird after an engagement happens -- we'd love to believe that everyone in our lives would be happy for us, but that's not always the case. As one woman told Reddit, her MIL actually had her own engagement ring made to match the one her son gave his future wife -- and no, we're not kidding. 

    "Apparently when she ordered my ring, she ordered herself a copy," the woman wrote. "I saw her wearing it last week and asked her what the difference is between our rings. 'No difference, I just liked it so much I got myself one too.'" 

    To make matters worse? She wore it with her wedding band. Yikes! 
  • Adding to the Guest List 

    wedding checklist

    Anyone who's ever gotten married knows the guest list can be a bit ... touchy. Not only is it all about only inviting enough guests to fit the budget, but it always seems like everyone in the family has their own guests they want to include. In the case of this woman's wedding, her MIL actually invited 80 extra people. This led to the bride canceling the whole wedding and eloping so she could have the wedding she wanted.

    "[MIL] kind of blanched and was visibly horrified when she realized that SHE would have to call everyone she invited and cancel on them, because they weren’t a part of our formal guest list. Honestly, it felt really good to finally see her squirm for once," the woman wrote.

  • Howdy, Neighbor 


    Living close to in-laws isn't necessarily a bad thing, but this MIL took family togetherness to a whole new level. One woman shared how her mother-in-law moved in next door, and it went about as well as one would expect. Not only did she pin responsibilities on her son and daughter-in-law every time she went out of town (including caring for her chickens), but she also used their trash bins to avoid paying for a trash service and came into their house without knocking.

    No, thanks!

  • Pushing for Circumcision 

    grandma and grandson

    Whether or not to circumcise is a decision that should be left up to the new parents, but in this case, a nosy mother-in-law inserted herself into the conversation. As this woman explained, the MIL insisted on her grandson being circumcised and just wouldn't drop it -- no matter how uncomfortable she was making her son and daughter-in-law.

    "I’m grossed out whenever she brings it up," the woman said. "He isn’t your child, so it isn’t your decision and I don’t want your opinion."

  • Making Demands 

    mom and new baby

    Having a baby is hard work -- and the postpartum healing process isn't exactly one that makes a lot of moms up for a lot of social activities in the days and weeks following birth. But when this mother-in-law insisted her daughter bring the new baby to a pool party, the new dad caved, even though the baby was just five days old.

     In the beginning, she thought she'd just suck it up and go, but fortunately, after getting some feedback on her Reddit post, this new mom ended up staying at home with her baby. 

    "I don’t know why I thought I’d let this one slide," she said. "I have an adult diaper on, I am not going to a d--n pool party."

  • Secret Piercings 

    baby with earrings

    Mom and Dad should definitely be the ones to call the shots when it comes to piercing their baby's ears (or really, anything related to their baby) but in this situation, grandma tried to take over. Under the guise of taking the kids for a walk and giving the new mom some time to rest, the mother-in-law tried to get her grandbaby's ears pierced without permission -- and even had the nerve to get angry with the store manager who refused to do it! 

    Fortunately, her husband got involved -- needless to say, he was not happy. "He said that she had absolutely betrayed the trust of our family, that she had driven away almost everyone in her life with her narcissism and he was done making excuses for her," the woman wrote.

  • Don't Kiss the Baby

    grandma kissing baby

    A lot of new moms try to create boundaries around their little ones, like avoiding kisses from relatives while their immune systems are still so delicate. But this MIL didn't want to listen, and kissed her grandbaby anyway -- even though she was coughing at the time. And apparently, the fact that the new mom dared to get angry with her was enough to make the grandmother disown the baby. 

    "[She] then calls me NINE times and when I finally answer she tells me I’m a stuck up [expletive] for trying to tell her how to be a grandparent, and that she 'doesn’t have germs,'" the woman wrote. "She finished by saying she wants nothing to do with us or the baby to which I said, 'good.'"

  • Strippers On Call

    mother in law arguing

    Well, this is ... awkward, to say the least. One woman told Reddit the story of how her mother-in-law provided the stripper for her son's birthday party -- without realizing how weird that is.

    "She openly bragged about it," the poster wrote. "I was horrified and told her how creepy that was. She didn’t see how it was creepy or inappropriate. It took several minutes of back and forth to finally let it sink in."

    No matter how she tried to explain it, the MIL never did fully get why it was creepy. Uh, what?!

  • Private Time 

    grandma and granddaughter

    In a letter to the Care and Feeding advice column, one woman asked for help with a weird situation she had going on with her mother-in-law. Apparently, the MIL only wanted to spend time with her grandkids in private -- including giving the woman's daughter her birthday gifts in private and not at the party she threw -- which puts up all kinds of red flags. The advice columnist agreed that this was, indeed, weird, and advised her to set boundaries with her MIL. Yep, that sounds right! 

  • Changing Names

    grandma with grandbaby

    Sharing the name chosen for a new baby can elicit all kinds of unsolicited opinions, but this time, Grandma took things a bit too far. As one woman told Reddit, her MIL used numerology to justify changing her baby's name, and that included saying that when and if they baptized the baby, she'd ensure that's the name the baby would be baptized under. Uh, that's not quite how naming a child works.

  • Always the Mother-in-Law, Never the Bride 


    There's a longstanding rule that the only person wearing white to a wedding should be the bride, but this MIL took it to another level. Last year, a tweet went viral about a bride whose mother-in-law wore a wedding dress to her wedding -- but fortunately, it wasn't out of cruelty but out of a commitment to being frugal. According to the bride, the MIL felt really bad when she realized what she'd done, even if it's hard to imagine not being aware of wearing an actual white dress to a wedding being the wrong choice.

    "Yeah, the wedding dress was a shock," the bride said. "But it gave me a pretty funny memory. No one who attended has ever forgotten it. And, you have to admit, weddings can be forgettable."

  • Another Mommy 

    grandma with granddaughter

    One woman on Reddit shared that her mother-in-law wanted her grandkids to call her Mommy -- despite how strange that is (and, of course, the fact that there are several names for grandmothers that exist). Apparently, her husband thought this was normal, because he called his grandmother Mommy growing up. 

    "I told my Dear Husband that I am not ok with that at all and if I can't be my own kids' mommy then I'm just not having kids," the woman said. But her husband was unfazed. "He thinks it's not a big deal and I'm just being dramatic."

  • The Worst Kind of Lie 

    little girl covering her face

    This one is wild, y'all. As one woman on Reddit shared, she and her husband had to leave for an emergency trip, leaving her mother-in-law in charge -- and her MIL promptly explained to the kids that their parents weren't coming back because they were dead. 

    "I told [Dear Husband], and let him know that we would be cutting his mother out, or we would be getting a divorce. He’s in full agreement on cutting her out," she wrote, adding, "My heart is breaking underneath this seething rage I have. I want to hurt her, like she hurt my children. I want her to suffer." 

    Later, the MIL admitted she was trying to "get back" at her daughter-in-law for drama that went down in the past -- but still, that's not OK in any way, shape, or form! 

  • A Very Weird Gift 

    holiday gift

    In an essay one mother wrote for KidSpot, she shared that her MIL had given her granddaughters anti-abortion dolls meant to be the same size as fetuses at different gestations. As if that's not a strange enough gift to give a kid, it also came with a healthy dose of pro-life propaganda, which the woman wasn't fine with.

    "When we feed images to children about embryos in the form of a doll that they nurture and care for, we create a cloud of guilt around a potential future decision they may be faced with," she wrote.

  • Giving It a Try 

    wedding dresses

    This bride shared on Reddit that she caught her MIL trying on her wedding dress -- and not only did she get stuck in it, but she also ripped it in the process of trying to get out of it! Oh, and there's also the part where the MIL mentioned that the dress was too expensive and refused to pay to fix it.

    "It's taking everything in me to tell her to not pound sand. I'll wear my f---ing Galia Lahav dress to my goddamn grave and she'd better not say anything about it," the bride wrote.

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