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My Mother-in-Law Crossed Boundaries: She entered our baby into an online contest without our permission, risking our privacy.

To give some context, before the birth of our baby, my husband and I established ground rules with our family members. We clearly communicated that only my husband would be present at the hospital, and even if we were to have one additional person, it would be my own mother, though we ultimately decided to cherish the experience as just the two of us. We also emphasized that no one should visit unannounced and that anyone who wanted to hold the baby must wash their hands and avoid kissing, which, in my opinion, were fairly lax rules compared to what others might expect.

When the time came for labor, we informed our family, but to my surprise, my mother-in-law showed up at the hospital without prior notice. She arrived before my husband even knew about it. Despite explicitly stating that we didn’t want anyone there, she lingered from 10 AM until midnight. Throughout the day, she attempted to divert my husband’s attention away from me and toward herself. Somehow, she managed to find her way into the hospital, even though we reiterated that no visitors were allowed. Moreover, she persistently pressured my husband to send our baby straight to the nursery so that they could see him, claiming that they could observe other babies in the nursery but were not permitted in our room. The following day, when we finally allowed visitors, she arrived over an hour early, desperate to be the first to meet our child. A nurse even let her into the room before other family members had arrived, despite me not being ready for visitors.

The first day at home was challenging, and she didn’t get to see the baby. The next morning, she decided to take matters into her own hands and just show up at our house. My husband called her in the morning to chat, as she was feeling neglected, and she informed him that she was already halfway to our place (despite living 45 minutes away). I was on the verge of losing my composure and urged my husband to tell her no. I was in pain, struggling with breastfeeding, and desperately needed some space from visitors. She was upset about being turned away and my husband had to constantly reassure her (though he also didn’t want her there that day).

She invited us over for Easter lunch, stating that it would be at noon. We coordinated timings with my family and father-in-law to accommodate everyone. However, she asked us to come early so that she could spend time with the baby. We arrived around 11:45 AM, and she insisted that I feed the baby before the rest of the family arrived, so they could have their own time with him (which isn’t how it works). As it turned out, lunch wasn’t until 1 PM, and she lied to us to get more time with our child.

It was only when we were about to leave that I noticed she had a cold sore. Despite the dangers, she held my six-week-old newborn. I immediately informed my husband about how risky it was, and he addressed it with her afterward. To our surprise, she dismissed it as a minor concern. Soon after, my husband developed a cold sore, making our family time more challenging as he had to be extra cautious around the baby. Unfortunately, the baby fell ill shortly after Easter, which was incredibly tough on all of us, although the illness wasn’t related to the cold sore incident.

Now, our little one is three months old, and my mother-in-law sees him at least once a week. However, we still have to remind her to wash her hands before holding him. She has even said that we will need to keep reminding her. On top of that, she has made unkind comments about my appearance, criticizing me for wearing a swimsuit just three months postpartum, even though I have returned to my pre-pregnancy size.

These incidents are just a few examples of her needy and selfish behavior throughout this period. Last week, she sent us a link to an online baby photo contest. While we acknowledged that it was cute and joked about our baby winning, we never agreed to participate. This contest required submitting a photo, providing personal information, and writing a family summary. A few days ago, she texted my husband to inform him that she had entered our baby into the contest—without our permission. The contest even had a cash prize, so she would receive the winnings if our baby were chosen. We have no idea what she wrote about our family in the summary. We asked her to delete the contest entry, but she couldn’t. Although it took her two days to apologize to my husband, I have not received any apology from her. It seems she genuinely fails to recognize the gravity of her actions.

My mother retired to take care of our baby when my husband and I are both working, but my concerns about my mother-in-law’s ability to respect our boundaries, keep her hands clean, and tell the truth make me hesitant to trust her. I’ve caught her kissing the baby and had to tell her to stop. I worry about what she might do when alone with our child, as she seems to struggle distinguishing between right and wrong unless we’re present to correct her.

Moving forward, I am unsure of the best course of action. I don’t even want to see her, and I certainly don’t want her around our baby. However, she is his grandmother and desires to be a part of his life. My husband has had numerous conversations with her after each incident, but after three months, her behavior has only worsened, and I don’t see it improving. I am seeking advice on how to navigate this situation and move forward.

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