Mother-in-Law Slammed for Criticizing One-Year-Old Granddaughter's Looks in Viral Post

A woman recently took to Reddit for advice on a family dilemma involving her mother-in-law. The anonymous mom, known only as u/Exotic-Teaching2576, explained in her post that she hopes to stop her husband's mother from seeing their daughter—that is, unless she stops criticizing the one-year-old's appearance.

While her husband does agree that his mother's behavior is out of line, he thinks banning her from the child's life goes too far. The situation caught the attention of Redditors, with the post amassing nearly 10,000 upvotes and 1,100 comments at the time of writing.

Chronicled in countless movies, TV shows, and books, the relationship between a mother-in-law and their adult child's partner is notoriously fraught. As Susan Adcox explained to Verywell Family, the role can be "challenging" and "often tension-filled."

She wrote: "The primary rule for a mother-in-law who wants to get along with their adult child's partner is to avoid being critical." This is made even more the case when grandchildren are involved: "It's important to not view your grandparent role as another chance to be a mother," she noted, adding that "family ties are no excuse for rudeness."

This particular Redditor's relationship with her mother-in-law appears to be following some of these familiar patterns of conflict. According to u/Exotic-Teaching2576, the issues started with something seemingly-harmless: her daughter's naturally red hair color.

"My husband is red haired/ginger and his hair has some soft ring curls," she explained. "My [one] year old daughter is also a ginger. I never thought once of a reason why my daughter should feel uncomfortable with her hair color and curls until my MIL made it an issue."

She goes on to explain that her mother-in-law "hates ginger hair."

"She always tried to convince my husband his skin is empty and his hair is ugly. That happened since childhood," wrote the Redditor. "My husband grew up with a lot of self hate which he overcame once his inner circle of friends tried to lift him up and encourage him to feel confident."

According to the woman, a similar pattern of criticism is continuing—but now, her daughter is the target. "My MIL seems to do the same thing she did to my husband when she's around my daughter. She says stuff like how unlucky she [is that she] got that hair, how she's gonna spend hundreds in her life to dye her hair, how the curls are ugly and not easily tamed, her freckles and all that."

"My husband has told her multiple times to stop doing that because our daughter will [internalize] all these thoughts and hate her appearance for no reason," explained the Redditor. "MIL throws tantrums claiming my husband won't let her have 'an opinion.' Every time it happens my husband tries to put a stop to it but it never works."

Finally, the Redditor appeared to reach a breaking point, when her mother-in-law reportedly "brought a plastic wig to see what [her] daughter would look like with brown hair."

"That's where I spoke up and said ... you either cut that s*** out or get out." In response, the mother-in-law reportedly told the Redditor that she "should be grateful she's looking out for [her] daughter so she'll avoid being bullied."

"She threw one of the usual tantrums about being entitled to her opinion and left," said the mom. "Once she left I told my husband that his mom won't be allowed around our kid again unless she shuts the f*** up and [stops] trying to force insecurities on my kid. I want my kid to love herself growing up and if her grandma causes her insecurities instead of self love she has no business being around." She concludes: "My husband said that his mom is indeed being ridiculous but I'm taking it too far suggesting she doesn't see the kid."

Readers flooded the comments section, almost unequivocally offering their support to the Redditor's challenging situation.

"If she can't treat both your husband and your child with respect, she can't visit. It's that simple," offered u/Panaccolade. "What she's saying is NOT opinion. It's just flat-out bullying, and no one should be giving it any credence at all."

Added u/dog_star_ : "Your husband has lived with this his whole life and doesn't realize how bizarre, unhealthy, unacceptable, ignorant and evil it is. Not seeing her granddaughter is a good way to make her realize what's at stake."

Many also wondered why, if the mother-in-law had such a strong dislike of the hair color, she would marry and have children with a red-haired person. "If she hates ginger hair then why in hell did she marry and have children with a ginger?" asked u/Catatomical. "Your MIL is a bully and you have to protect your daughter from that. Hubby needs to get on side or this won't stop."

Newsweek has reached out to u/Exotic-Teaching2576 for additional comment.

Baby and Mom
One Redditor's question went viral after she explained in a post that her mother-in-law has been making rude comments about her daughter's curly, red hair. Users have responded with nearly unanimous support for the poster. Sean Gallup/Getty Images