Mom Gets Real About Her 'Anti-Vax Mother-in-Law From Hell'

Mom giving baby medicine
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If you don't have a fantastic relationship with your mother-in-law before having kids, chances are things are only going to get worse once baby arrives -- unless you set firm boundaries early. Even if you partner's mom has the best of intentions, sometimes these "helpful" pieces of "advice" come off as overbearing, insulting, or simply outdated. But when you and your MIL diagree over major parenting decisions and your spouse takes her side, prepare for things to get ugly fast.

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Before this mom-of-two first got married, she and her husband talked about major parenting decisions in premarital counseling, but they never discussed vaccines. After they tied the knot, she still wasn't aware that she had married into a family of "anti-vaxxers," who not only were against immunizations but also denied conventional medicine when someone got sick. The anonymous mom from Australia shared her story with the Daily Telegraph to save other moms from going through the same "hell" that she has.

"We married believing we were basically on the same page. I got pregnant on the honeymoon and soon after I was forced to confront the reality of the family I had married into," the mom said. 

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

Her MIL, who is an alternative practitioner of medicine, was completely against vaccines and her husband pressured her to follow his mom's wishes. "I wasn't proud of my choices and I was upset I had succumbed to family pressure and failed to advocate for my children. I felt like a fraud," the anonymous woman said.

The problems between them only intensified when her oldest was diagnosed with ADHD. Her husband refused to allow him to continue taking medication that a pediatrician prescribed -- despite the positive impact it was having in school. "I knew when our son was diagnosed with ADHD I could no longer avoid the fundamental ideological differences between my husband and I," she said. "I simply could not bear to watch my son struggle and suffer at school so I continued to give the medication secretly. When my husband found out he made my life a living hell. He put me under constant surveillance. I was crucified and my marriage broke up."

She also admits that secretly giving her son the medicine for over a year wasn't the only thing she did while she had custody. "I went ahead and vaccinated. I have and the children have got rights. I told him after the fact," she said. "I realized I could not walk the slippery tightrope of trying to please everyone any longer. My children deserved a strong mother who would advocate for their best interests."

They battled over their daughter as well because she suffers from reoccurring infections that require antibiotics to treat them. However because her ex-husband refuses to give the children medicine and he has custody every other week, the child never gets the full treatment course. "He believes I should be able to prevent her infections with natural remedies at home rather than treating her with prescription medication," she said. "In his eyes I am a failure because she continues to experience infections."

More from CafeMom: Why This Pregnant Woman Is About to Lose It on Her Judgmental Mother-in-Law Before the Baby Is Even Born

This mom also found out that her MIL was making the children drink colloidal silver, which is a mineral that is safe to use topically but is toxic when ingested and can make the skin to turn blue as well as cause both kidney and liver damage. When she went to authorities, they did not pursue the case because her MIL denied it -- despite tests proving the kids' elevated blood levels. "She believes I am poisoning my children because I chose to treat them with legal, prescription medications. She lives in a topsy-turvy, upside down, opposite world. Sunscreen is toxic, vaccines are deadly, and fluoride is being used to dumb us down," she said. "I am one voice trying to protect my children from a family member who has been duped by pseudoscience. I should not be dealing with this alone ... It shouldn't be my responsibility to discipline my mother-in-law."

Custody disputes about vaccinations are a major issue, and a Michigan mom recently fought the same battle -- only she was on the opposite side. Rebecca Bredow was jailed for sharing similar opinions to this MIL and refused to abide by a court order to vaccinate her 9-year-old boy.

The Detroit parent lost primary custody of her child during the fight and later found out that he was vaccinated without her consent. "I was trying to protect my kids," she told ABC News. "I was trying to stand up for what I believed in, and it was worth it for me to try and take the risk, because I was trying to stop the vaccinations from happening."

Rebecca refused the vaccinations for religious beliefs and her ex-husband, James Horne, brought her to court for it. "This is about choice. This is about having my choices as a mother to be able to make medical choices for my child,” she told the Washington Post.

When parents go to family court, what's in "the best interest of the child" is typically paramount over a mom or dad's preference. That's why, before having kids, it's so important for adults to talk about these major health decisions instead of having to battle relatives or leave it up to the court to decide what will be harmful for their minor.

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