"She is jealous I married her son. Once she said 'if you weren't my son…' implying she should be with him."
A new mother accidentally overheard a conversation that immediately led to family drama.
Taking to the internet seeking advice on an anonymous forum, the woman detailed an incident with her mother-in-law, her baby, and her husband.
The narrative, which was elaborated upon extensively in the comments, involved a baby monitor, apparent lies, and some armchair psychologists on Reddit who seemed to help illuminate key details for the OP.
"AITA? My MiL was helping my husband with our baby. I got a notification on the baby camera in his crib & checked on it. When I opened it, my MiL was talking about me to my husband (he was standing up for me of course). She was lying, to my husband, about a conversation her and I had. I confronted her about what she said and she is mad I was 'snooping'. AITA?"
"EDIT: FYI I opened the camera because she told me 'the baby cries all the time' so I was checking to see if he was crying. I can tell what is wrong with him based on his cry. She was in the middle of a lie about me when I pressed volume on. I did not linger. I heard the lie and immediately contacted my husband."
First off Redditors wanted to know the exact circumstances that led to her "listening in" to her husband and MIL's conversation.
"INFO: Were they in your house?" asked one commenter. "Because if you were watching your camera, in your house of a live feed of your baby then you aren't even snooping. There's no expectation of privacy for your MIL. She's just dumb and horrible enough to be lying about you in front of a camera. You don't even have to justify why you would look at the camera even if you suspected they were talking. In that case then NTA. Sorry you've got MIL like that."
OP responded: "Yes it was in my house. She was aware of the camera. Makes me wonder what else she has been saying."
"I checked it because I got a notification," she further elaborated to another commenter. "I would have checked it either way, probably, but her comment about him crying further incentivized me."
"Even if she didn't make the comment I may check in my baby because I miss him and want to hear him babble idk there's lots of reasons to check the camera. But her comment incentivized me to that night," OP added.
All the twisted dynamics had some on the subreddit concerned.
"Did your husband [consider going] low contact with his mother? Because toxic people can poison a marriage to a non-return point if you let it happen, 'being protective' and 'stood up for me' how long do you think that will last if his mother keeps pushing poison (and around your child)? Is that the life you want for yourself and your child?", one comment read.
"Yeah.. I feel sorry for my husband. He grew up with her toxicity and it has definitely affected him. She always is so pitiful and wants everyone to feel sorry for her, and so he does. He is a victim of her abuse. It's becoming more clear now that we have a baby.. I didn't see it before. Definitely workshopping stronger boundaries now and yeah limited contact will be one of them," OP said in response.
While another commenter asked if her husband was in therapy and noted, "Please remember that years of toxic parents can make you repeat the toxic behavior with your own children, and your kid deserves better."
"Luckily he mostly inherited his sweet loving father's traits," OP replied. "But yeah he should definitely be in therapy. Sometimes I see him exhibiting her toxic behaviors, even though it's rare it's still there. Thanks for the advice. I will speak with him about it! This situation has brought a lot to light."
"It's a little complicated. The lie wasn't a huge deal. It was the fact she was lying," OP explained.
"She said to me 'Why does he cry all the time' talking about the baby. I said he doesn't cry all the time with me. She said, 'because you give him the nipple when he cries' and I said 'I only give him the nipple every 4 hours when he eats. I don't let him pacify on me.' She said 'oh well we have to give him the bottle, that's why he cries so much with us.' I said 'well he takes the bottle just fine. He is crying because he's tired or hungry.' (We are sleep training right now so we try to distract him until his bedtime 7 pm. But he gets crabby around 6-630. It's difficult now but will be worth it long term)."
"On the camera, what I heard her say to my husband was, 'she said he never cries with her. I was like ok (she makes a bitchy expression) Then she brought up something about a bottle…' I exited at this point and contacted my husband. Later I opened the app again and she was yelling at him 'IDK WHY YOU DONT COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR WIFE' idk what the context of the comment was but my husband and I arguably communicate too much lol. I exited after she said that and asked that he change the diaper of the baby before bed and left it at that. I confronted her the next day, yesterday. She spent nearly an hour trying to gaslight me about what happened," OP concluded.
When asked if MIL took any accountability, OP recounted the fallout from overhearing the conversation.
"I didn't confront her until the next day when I saw her in person. It was less confrontational and more so me telling her a [boundary] was crossed, 'you don't have to admit to anything but I expect a change in behavior' is what I said. Idk if it got through to her. She is extremely narcissistic."
She noted that her MIL "said she will accept my apology for snooping and I responded, 'You were talking about me, in my house, to my husband, in my baby's room, on my camera. I have a right to check my own camera. I was checking on jasper, and you were saying things about me. That is on you, not me.' Over text. Exact quote. No response."
Later, however, OP said she did get a response.
She said her MIL "apologized over text" by writing "I will apologize if you felt I said anything that offended you or 'crossed your boundary.'"
Many Redditors then began chiming in that the text from her MIL was in fact NOT an apology.