MIL Cut Grandson's Shoulder-Length Hair Behind Mom's Back Because 'He Looks Like a Girl'


Toddler blowing bubbles

There are so many society expectations placed on people, dictating how they should look. It's often completely subjective, but some seem to feel strongly about following those "rules" -- even simple ones such as how long someone's hair should be. Somewhere along the way, boys were expected to have shorter hair than girls, and even though that idea is slowly starting to change, some people hold strongly to this concept. That's a situation that one mom found herself in because her mother-in-law believes boys should have shorter hair -- and it caused an argument.

  • An anonymous mom (OP) took to Reddit to share an argument she had with her mother-in-law (MIL).

    OP posted a story on Reddit's AITA community over a situation she found herself in with her young son and her MIL.

    "So my little boy is 18 months and has the most beautiful curls I have ever seen," OP explained in the Reddit thread. "His hair is to his shoulders so we tie it in a little pony tail. It's really the cutest thing."

    Their son having longer hair is something both mom and dad have talked about and agree is the best for a few reasons. "Both my husband and I have agreed to just cut his bangs and let the rest grow out," she explained. "Not extremely long. But long enough to notice it's long."

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  • The parents love the curls -- and having longer hair is a comfort thing too.

    OP explained that it's "because we love seeing those curls," that they've agreed to keep it longer. It's not something that bothers their son.

    "We keep it combed out and tied back on hot days so it's really not a huge problem and isn't bothering him," she explained.

    So, their son doesn't mind the long hair. He's not too hot with the tresses, and the parents keep it tied up when necessary.

    "Plus he grabs his own hair now to put himself to sleep, rather than mine," the mom added.

  • And that brought OP to the reason she was posting in AITA: Her MIL stepped in. 

    "But yesterday I came home from work and saw that my mother-in-law has decided to go behind my husband and my back and cut it," she said.

    Her MIL cut her son's hair -- curls and all, gone.

    "And not just a full trim but almost all gone," OP explained. It was clear that she was upset -- as was her husband.

    "So of course my husband and I got mad as she knew our wishes," OP wrote.

  • The anger of OP and her husband over the incident didn't seem to make sense to MIL.

    "She didn't care, saying 'well he looks like a girl with long hair. So I did you a favor,'" OP wrote in the Reddit thread.

    "I blew up at her," she admitted. "I do regret that as it's just hair."

    She clarified that she's still upset about what happened.

    "But the fact that she had completely disregarded my husband and my wishes is what I am so mad about."

  • OP turned it over to the Reddit community, to see if she was in the wrong for getting so upset with her MIL.

    "NTA," one person said. "This time it was hair. Maybe you should thank her though. She told you exactly who she is, and it only took a haircut... and hair will grow back. Trust? Not so much."

    "NTA," another person replied, adding that MIL "IS NOT THE PARENT" and "your child is too young to express a change for his hair."

    "This is a huge breach of boundaries," a third person pointed out. "She obviously knew you wouldn't approve which is why she did it without your knowledge or permission. And how ridiculous that she was worried he would 'look like a girl'. He's 18 months old!"

    Reading through the hundreds of comments, it's pretty universal that OP is not the one in the wrong. Several commenters addressed MIL's issue with boundaries, and although hair does grow back, the point of contention is that MIL went behind their backs.