In-Laws Call Exhausted Mom Of Newborn ‘Rude’ For Serving Them Mac And Cheese While Visiting Baby
Aug 03, 2022 by apost team
Becoming a new mom is no mean feat as newborns are intensely needy. Between the frequent feedings, nappy changes and short nap times, most new moms would be lucky to find half an hour in the day just for themselves – and this doesn’t include cleaning up after baby, doing laundry, cooking or even showering. So, it would be forgiven if a new mother isn’t always put together or the house clean. Wouldn’t it?
This didn’t appear to be the case for the mom of a newborn, who took to Reddit in April 2022 to recount a clash with her in-laws four weeks after her child was born.
Like most new moms, she described herself as being exhausted and lacking sleep and hadn’t fixed her hair or been able to shower regularly in those first few weeks. This is hardly uncommon, as studies have shown that fatigue at two months postpartum affected 76% of mothers in the United States.
It is no surprise that the woman had not been up for hosting anyone, but that didn’t stop her in-laws, who had been pressuring her to make time for them, from making an unexpected visit.
“I tried to hold them off as much as I could but yesterday, I was surprised to find them standing on the porch. Turns out hubby invited them for dinner. I was embarrassed and felt like I wasn’t ready for visitors (judgemental ones at that 😉) cause the house was a M.E.S.S y’all,” she wrote.
Despite this, she tried as best she could to be hospitable, asking her husband if they should order take-out. He shot down the suggestion, saying his Asian parents would find it “rude and unwelcoming,” and it would be better if she could prepare something “homemade.”
The woman said she agreed and went to go make mac and cheese. She said she decided on the dish as it was easy to make. Unfortunately, it didn’t go down well with her unwanted guests.
“Once I served the family, my husband’s mom looked at me and was appalled. I noticed something was wrong. She asked if I really found it ‘appropriate’ to serve her and the family mac N cheese. I asked why not and she went on a rant about how disrespectful this was and that I clearly have no experience in what is right and wrong when it comes to hosting,” she wrote.
An argument ensued in which the woman tried to plead her side, saying she hadn’t invited them over and yet, here they were expecting her to play perfect hostess. Her husband, however, took his parents’ side, saying they were there to see the baby that his wife had “kept them from seeing for an entire month” after “a whole month of his life they ‘missed’ out on.” The parents decided to leave, but the argument was far from over.
“My husband said that deciding to serve his family mac N cheese was more offensive than serving them nothing at all. I told him I was too exhausted to cook their ‘traditional feasts’ that I was forced to learn from his mom. He took offense and said that I was being mean and disrespectful towards not only his family but his culture.”
She said her husband “stayed on the phone with his family for an hour then kept giving me the cold shoulder and refused to eat what I cook in support of his family.”
The mom’s post has since blown up on Reddit, amassing more than 32,300 upvotes and 5,200 comments.
The post triggered the Reddit community, with many standing up for the mom and saying such rude behavior is not part of their culture.
“There isn’t an Asian culture I’m aware of that doesn’t practice some form of postpartum confinement where it is expected that the new mother do nothing other than rest and bond with the baby. IF they were so ‘traditional’ they should have showed up with food, offered to clean the house, and run a load of laundry while they’re at it,” one user wrote.
“I’m Asian and if anything, it’d be my relatives coming over and bringing me food. No one would expect an exhausted new mother to cook a whole feast. Sure, boundaries don't really exist in Asian families sometimes but if OP’s husband had even the thinnest backbone, he'd stand up to his family for her. And if he wanted to host so bad, why didn’t he cook?” another commented.
Others had harsh words for the husband and parents. “Tell him they were being disrespectful by not coming with a meal,” one user said.
“Are his arms or legs broken? If not, he can do the cooking,” another commented. “If you gave birth – MINIMUM six weeks before you even have to consider taking on chores again. Tell his family that’s the American tradition.”
The mom added in the comments, “His family are Korean originally. We’re in the States though and they live and eat and wear clothes like us. So I’m not sure why I’m suddenly expected to change how I live for them.”
While the pressures of integrating with extended family and raising a newborn are sure to be hard for this mom for a while, at least she knows she has the support of many rallying behind her.For Illustration Purposes Only (With Models) - istockphoto.com/Andrii Iemelyanenko
What do you think of the woman’s husband and his family’s reaction to her cooking? Do you feel they could have been more sympathetic to her situation? Let us know, and pass this on to all the moms you know who need a break right now.