Mom With 'Hypochondria' Wants Her 10-Year-Old to Get Circumcised & the Internet Is Concerned


worried mom

Sometimes it's hard for stepparents to know when it's appropriate to step in between their step-child's biological parents. But when a stepmom saw that her stepson was in danger, she reached out to the Internet for advice. Writing in the Parenting subreddit on Reddit, user xTacoMumx said her husband's ex-wife is a bit of a "hypochondriac," and that the mom's latest fear was that her 10-year-old son's difficulty urinating could only be fixed by a circumcision. The redditor and her husband are 100 percent against the idea of his son getting a (possibly unnecessary) surgery.

  • According to xTacoMumx, there have been signs that her stepson's mom has overreacted in the past.

    xTacoMumx wrote in the r/Parenting forum to get other parents' insight on how to deal with her problem. She explained that she respects her stepson's mom's "position as a primary parent," but feels personally responsible for what happens because the boy's mom "and my husband aren’t the best communicators so everything goes through me."

    "This is how we do it," she explained. "It’s worked for us for eight years with no real issue, I am also a mother of two girls, and have helped raise my step-kids since they were six months and two years."

    xTacoMumx said the only time she really "butts heads" with her stepson's mom is "over the unnecessary doctor and hospital visits. "But even then we often bite our tongues as it’s never been over anything serious."

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  • But now xTacoMumx and her husband feel they need help after her husband's ex let slip that she's planning on having their 10-year-old circumcised.

    xTacoMumx seemed to be acting out of genuine concern for her stepson, which is why she took to social media to try to figure out if circumcision is even a reasonable treatment for her stepson and, more importantly, how to get her husband's ex to stop the procedure.

  • People on Reddit were extremely concerned for the well-being of the woman's stepson.

  • Most people agreed, xTacoMumx and her husband needed to get an attorney ASAP.

  • "This is abuse," someone else added.

  • And someone else pointed out that circumcision is a painful procedure that only gets trickier to recover from the older you get.

    While circumcision is a common practice in the U.S., it is usually performed within the first 10 days of a boy's life. 

    According to the Mayo Clinic, "sometimes there's a medical need for circumcision, such as when the foreskin is too tight to be pulled back (retracted) over the glans," but it sounds like xTacoMumx and her husband would need to talk with their son's doctor to find out if this is the case. The stepmom said the child had never complained of difficulty in urinating. 

    While there are certain hygiene benefits to circumcision, including a decreased risk of urinary tract infections, decreased risk of sexually transmitted infections, and a lower risk for penile cancer, a lot of these risks are "avoidable with proper care of the penis."

    In a study performed at the Erzincan University of Medical Sciences in 2014, researchers found that boys older than 1 year old who had a circumcision were at higher risk for complications due to anesthesia.

    So while there might be cause for xTacoMumx's stepson to get the procedure done, there is absolutely reason for her and her husband to take this surgery seriously and it is reasonable that they would want to be 100 percent sure it's medically necessary before going agreeing to it.

  • "This is crossing the line," someone else wrote. "File an emergency order to stop the circumcision."

    Many people brought up the point that it sounded like her stepson's mom sounded like she had Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a mental health problem the University of Michigan explains is an issue "in which a caregiver makes up or causes an illness or injury in a person under his or her care, such as a child, an elderly adult, or a person who has a disability. Because vulnerable people are the victims, MSBP is a form of child abuse or elder abuse."

    Of course, it's impossible to diagnose someone's mental health from just one third-party post online. 

    Ultimately, xTacoMumx said she will "encourage my husband to seek legal advise!" And added that she and her husband have not looked at their custody agreement in a long time. "No better time for both of us to revisit it to make sure we are aware of where we stand," she said.

    This will undoubtedly be a hard conversation to have for xTacoMumx and her husband, but in the long run her stepson will probably be thankful everyone worked to find the best solution for his medical problem.