Mothers-in-law… they’re like marmite. You either love yours, or you don’t.
You might have the world’s loveliest mother-in-law – somebody who makes you feel like part of her family and loves you like her own.
Or you might have a mother-in-law with whom things are, let’s say, a little less idyllic.
Chances are your worst mother-in-law story can’t top this tale.
This week, one mother-in-law left the Internet bewildered after news of her behaviour went viral.
This story is horrifying in so many ways, so prepare yourself for some involuntary gasps and furious head-shaking as you read about the actions of one brand new grandma in the UK.
A new mama took to the Internet to share the shocking story, and to gain some perspective as to whether she was right for feeling so upset.
Writing on a Mumsnet thread (now deleted) the new mama explained how her mother-in-law massively overstepped the mark when her new granddaughter was born.
The post explained the birth hadn’t gone to plan, and the new mama was still in theatre when her baby was taken to a different room in the hospital.
Her partner, who was understandably freaked out by how the birth had panned out, called his mum. And, although she offered her son some much-needed support, she also ended up holding the new baby before the mama had the chance to.
According to the now-deleted post: “[My mother-in-law] is a doctor and works in the same trust as I was delivering in, although she doesn’t work in the women’s hospital. Anyway, she was able to obtain access to the recovery area with her works access card, and just let herself in without permission. I wasn’t asked if it was okay if she could be there, and because I was being stitched up in theatre still, she held my daughter before I even got to”.
The first cuddle is a big deal. Most of us spend the nine long months of pregnancy trying to imagine what that first cuddle will be like. What will it feel like finally to gaze down into our new baby’s eyes?
Immediate skin-to-skin contact is now standard practice at a lot of hospitals, meaning the new mama is one of the first people in the world to hold her baby. Of course, if there are complications with the birth, this doesn’t always happen.
Not all parents get an undisturbed first hour with their baby, but hospitals are now beginning to understand the importance of having bonding time immediately after the birth.
Understandably, the new mama was crushed when she was forced to miss out on that all-important first cuddle with her baby.
But the news was even harder to swallow when she learned her mother-in-law had beaten her to it. And, which was the crucial part, uninvited.
She had used her professional position to gain access to her newborn granddaughter, and had stolen a cuddle without permission – leaving her daughter-in-law feeling understandably upset.
The post attracted plenty of comments. Many sided with the new mama, and expressed shock at her mother-in-law’s actions. A lot of women remembered only too well how vulnerable birth can make you feel, and how much you need to feel supported and safe during that intimate time.
A few commenters, however, took the side of the mother-in-law, saying she was only trying to support her son in his hour of need.
The original poster hadn’t yet discussed the incident with her husband, and had gone online to determine whether or not she was being unreasonable. The Internet decided she wasn’t being unreasonable and had every right to feel furious over what had happened.
The story quickly went viral and the original thread was taken down when the new mama become concerned her mother-in-law might hear about the story.
Oops, too late! Looks like there could be a pretty awkward Christmas dinner this year.
You would hope, though, after seeing the comments criticising her behaviour, the pushy mother-in-law might realise she had clearly overstepped the mark on this occasion, and owes her daughter-in-law an apology.
Where do you stand on this story? Are you Team Mother-in-law or Team New Mama?