A Mother-In-Law Lost Babysitting Rights After a 'Massive Breach in Trust’ & Redditors Feel No Sympathy

We’re used to seeing mothers-in-law who can’t help but stick their noses way too far into their grandkids’ business. What we’re not used to is seeing mothers-in-law who are comfortable sticking a needle way too far into their grandkids’ bodies. But whenever we think we’ve seen it all, Reddit says, “Hold my beer.”

A woman joined the “Am I The A—hole?” subreddit to talk about a recent incident with her in-laws and her 6-month-old daughter. She explained up top that, in her husband’s culture, it’s not uncommon to pierce a baby’s ears.

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“His mother started pestering me about getting my daughter’s ears pierced from a few days after she was born,” she said. “I made it clear that I would not be doing that, and that I’d be waiting until she’s old enough to ask for it herself.”

Mother[-in-Law] Knows Best

<em>Adobe Stock</em>
Adobe Stock

And yet! Despite what the mom who originally posted (the “OP”) said, her MIL took matters into her own hands. While babysitting her granddaughter, she got the infant’s ears pierced without her son or daughter-in-law’s knowledge — or consent.

“When I saw this, I about threw a fit,” OP said. “[My daughter] was crying in pain, and I actually took her to the doctor to get their advice on whether or not to take them out (our family doctor removed them as they were clearly bothering her).”

Now What?

Closeup image of a woman making crossed arms sign
Adobe Stock

OP decided that none of her in-laws — aside from her sister-in-law, who is on her side — will be allowed to be alone with the baby “ever again (or at least until she’s a teenager).”

“My worry is that [my MIL will] do the same thing again, and to be frank, she’s lost my trust entirely,” OP said. “I also told her that if she had a problem with that, I’d report what she did to the police.”

OP’s husband is on her side, though he doesn’t think it’s quite as big of a deal as OP does. And so she wants to know, “AITA for refusing to let my mother- or father-in-law look after my daughter anymore?”

ANKARA, TURKIYE - JANUARY 22: In this photo illustration, 'Reddit' logo is being displayed on a mobile phone screen in front of a computer screen in Ankara, Turkiye on January 22, 2024. (Photo by Ahmet Serdar Eser/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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Redditors are totally Team OP, agreeing the mother-in-law is the AH here and deserves what she gets.

“Your MIL demonstrated that she wanted to put her wishes ahead of you and your husband and until your daughter is old enough to advocate for herself (which will be before teenage years), it’s reasonable that MIL and FIL don’t get that one on one time,” said the top comment, with 1.6 thousand upvotes. “All of that being said, if you’ve historically had a good relationship with MIL and FIL, then I would work on some plan for resolution and for trust to be rebuilt. But that needs to be communicated by your husband as its his family and he needs to manage them.”

To which someone responded, “Her in-laws are the ones who should put in the work to rebuild trust, not OP.”

“Forget rebuilding trust, I’d be having them charged with assault!”

Redditors do say there are others at fault, though. After all, how could that piercer let this happen?

“I would personally find out where they had them done and not only leave a review saying that they’ll pierce a baby without parental consent but report the shop to whatever governing body they report to. Piercing a baby without parental consent is not OK.”

One Redditor shared that they once went to a mall with their kids and grandkids to have one of the babies’ ears pierced. The piercer refused because they didn’t have the birth certificate to prove legal guardianship.

“That’s what I would expect from a decent piercing place,” someone responded. “Even just for their own internal records, being able to show that you have the consent of everyone you pierce seems so basic. When the person is a minor and can’t consent themselves … you go a level up to the parents/guardians!”

“Seriously!! Even freaking Claire’s wouldn’t pierce my ears when I was 15 because I was with my aunt, not my mother.”

“When we took our frigging SEVEN-year-old to a piercer to ask about an appointment, they asked to talk to her alone to make sure it was her decision. They told us they’d leave the door open and everybody would stay in our line of sight, but it was non-negotiable. They also asked her for permission to touch her ears, under the guise of ‘we need to check if your lobes are big enough,’ but actually to see if she was comfortable with them and the idea of having them pierce her. I fell a bit in love with them.”

Or … was it the grandma who did the piercing? Redditors say they “wouldn’t put it past her” and that scenario would make it “even worse.” Regardless of who did the piercing, though, multiple people called this a “massive breach of trust” and insisted OP should stick with her plan.

“That is a massive breach of trust, I would never leave them in the same room as the child again. There are a lot of stories on here about MILs overstepping boundaries, one deliberately infected a child with measles(?), and another got the child baptized so who’s to say what lies ahead?”

Before you go, check out these wild stories about Reddit’s most horrific mother-in-laws.

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