Brush your teeth, put on your pajamas, call Grandma – what’s so difficult about that? One mom is more than a little tired of this late-night routine with her little ones, mostly because she limits her own bonding time before bed. But her mother-in-law doesn’t — and oddly enough, neither does Reddit.
On the Parenting subreddit, a mom complained about her husband’s late-night phone calls to his mom, which sounds super overblown. But commentators defend the behavior. Here’s her story.
“Since my son was born in 2020, my in-laws have been calling my husband every day so they can FaceTime him,” she wrote. It sounds like he was a pandemic baby, so it makes sense that they built that digital relationship. But instead of being thankful for this opportunity to connect, they started making time possessive.
“They get upset when a call is missed,” the mother continued. “My son sleeps at 7:30am and they usually call between 6:30am and 7am. The call usually lasts 15 minutes.”
Oops! It would be so hard to interrupt bedtime for a long phone call and then try to do everything quickly to get your child to bed on time. And never be able to miss her call? It sounds exhausting!
“I also now have a newborn daughter (she is 3 weeks old),” the mother continued. “So they also asked to see them on video too.” Of course they do. Because a newborn is super predictable with their schedules (*insert eye roll emoji here.*) “Usually feeds or sleeps based on their age.”
It’s not even like these grandparents never see them in person! “They live 20 minutes from us and my son sees them [probably] every weekend or every other weekend,” she continued.
sorry what? It sounds like a pandemic habit that needs to be nipped in the bud as soon as possible.
“Is that normal?” wrote the mother. “Honestly, it annoys me because they always ask such personal questions and I feel like 15 or 20 minutes each day could be used to spend time with our son without distracting him. He gets home from daycare around 5:30 a.m. so we don’t have much time before bed.”
She added: “Honestly even a call every other day would be fine but every day seems so overkill. My husband thinks I’m overreacting.”
That’s so hard! I love my mother-in-law, but I would lose my mind if I had to make daily phone calls during my children’s nightly routine. It’s just too much! However, Reddit didn’t necessarily agree.
“My wife speaks to her mother every day without exception, with talk times ranging from 10 minutes to 2 hours,” one person wrote. “I can literally go years without speaking to my parents and catch up on that in a 5 minute phone call. I wouldn’t say it’s normal, but I don’t find it that weird. All families raise their children differently. What’s really bothering you about that? Does it feel like they have no limits?”
The OP responded to that comment and wrote, “Yes, I hear you. I probably talk to my mom every other day, but it usually has a purpose and she doesn’t feel the need to see my kids on the phone. She usually tries not to bother us in any way, but you are right, every family is different!”
She added, “I think it bothers me too because I really don’t like my MIL that much lol.”
“At least you know why it bothers you,” someone said. “It’s very cold to say, but they’ll be dead one day. DO NOT be the woman who has come between him and his parents. It’s 15 minutes. 15. Let it go. Be glad that he has a good relationship with his parents. It means he knows how to have a good relationship with your children. It’s a good thing.” Right… but every damn day?
Another wrote: “This made me laugh because I’m Latina and yes that’s totally normal for a lot of us. I call my parents every day and when it gets late in the evening without me calling them, they probably call me. They also live here 30-40% of the time because we bought them a house with in-laws. That being said, my parents are very respectful and never feel entitled to anything.”
The OP also revealed that her own mother has never set boundaries for her in-laws and she doesn’t want to be like that. “Yeah, my mom never stood up to her in-laws or set boundaries and basically still holds a lot of grudges against them to this day,” she commented. “My grandma and grandpa still interfere in my parents’ lives because they feel like they can.”
What makes it worse is that this MIL is super negative. The OP explained in a comment, “She’s the kind of person who walks in the room and changes the whole vibe for the worst lol.” She added, “She’s very pessimistic and can be very judgmental and critical at times. Basically, I think she’s a good person and she raised my husband who, honestly, is a very good man and father.”
Redditors also tried to get the mother to see the positives. “It sounds like a massive annoyance but just think there is someone who loves your kids and is willing to give them their time,” one person wrote. “Even your children are getting older and can make calls themselves, so you don’t have to do everything yourself.”
Another wrote: “I don’t think the call is the issue, it’s your dislike of your MIL that is causing this reaction. If it were your friend, family or sister calling you for 15 minutes every day, I doubt you would react that way. So, now you can either keep getting angry or find a way to handle the situation better. They are your child’s grandparents, they will be around your children. And when you look at it, it’s good that your kids have people who care so much about them that they call to see them every day. That means they love her. Nothing wrong with that.”
“I definitely don’t doubt her love for my children. You can see that they trust me a lot,” defended the mother. “I just don’t understand the need for daily 15 minute calls with a 2 year old. He spends the time walking around and only they keep saying “we miss you” lol. He also spends a whole day there every weekend. And on these days my parents-in-law also call. I go beyond. All I’m asking is maybe a cap on the convo or maybe we do that every other day. It’s just pointless banter back and forth and just seems so silly to me.
One person pointed out that the biggest problem is the daily commitment.
Someone wrote: “I think it’s the commitment that makes it worse. Talk to your husband about fighting back when you miss a call and they’re upset. It’s okay if it’s not a good time.”
Agree! And while he’s at it, maybe the husband can ask her to call just before dinner. Compromise is a beautiful thing, especially when it comes to complicated mothers-in-law!
Before you go, check out these incredible stories about Reddit’s worst dads.