Woman Says Her Mother-In-Law Often Insults Her 2-Year-Old & Got 'Offended' When She Said She Looks Like Her

Generational trauma runs deep.

Mother-in-law with granddaughter and daughter-in-law Pexels / Antoni Shkraba

Family dynamics can be complex, especially when it comes to in-law relationships. 

Our families of origin act as our first relational structure, teaching us how to exist in the world, which can make it hard to see when there are problems.

Reddit user thirdtimesthemom found herself in a conflict between her husband and her mother-in-law and asked the thread for advice on the complicated family dynamic.


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She wrote to the Parenting subreddit to ask for advice on mean comments her mother-in-law made about her young daughter.

She explained that her mother-in-law has a history of making rude comments to her during their infrequent visits.

When she mentioned how hurt she felt to her husband, he convinced her that his mother “wasn't trying to be hurtful and that was just the way she talks.” 

“Feeling hurt never left me, but I was able to ignore it better before having our daughter,” the original poster explained. 


The mom listed off the many hurtful comments her mother-in-law has made about her 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter.

She explained that her daughter was “fussy and nervous around strangers” when her mother-in-law first met her.

When her mother-in-law held her granddaughter for the first time, the baby screamed, as babies are known to do.

Instead of showing an understanding of infant developmental behavior, her mother-in-law “laughed, smiled, and said, ‘well are you a little b–h?” 

The mom was so taken aback that she was rendered speechless.

Yet the mother-in-law’s offensive comments didn’t stop there.

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Her mother-in-law also made an “offhand remark” about her daughter’s blue eye color “that seemed more like a rude comment” about the mom rather than her daughter.

She wrote, “I don't remember exactly what words she used, but it was something to the effect of, ‘I don't know where she got the blue eyes from, (my husband) doesn't have blue eyes.’ The way she said it made it seem like she was passively aggressively accusing me of something.”

The mother was “baffled” because she has blue eyes, as does her father, and many of the mother-in-law’s siblings also have blue eyes.

When she mentioned that she, too, had blue eyes like her daughter, the mother-in-law didn’t respond.


Yet it was the mother-in-law’s most recent hurtful comment that made the mother wonder whether she’s “overreacting, or if this sets a dangerous precedent for how people talk about our daughter.”

In an attempt to pay her mother-in-law a compliment, she mentioned that her daughter looks just like her.

Instead of accepting the compliment with grace, the mother-in-law “actually got offended” and replied, “I look nothing like her, I don't have a big forehead."

“I’m at a loss,” wrote the mom. “My husband doesn’t see how any of these are insults."

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She’s tried to explain the hurtful nature of his mother’s comments, but when she brings it up “[her husband] starts to cry and defends his mom and ‘how much she loves all of us.’”

“I'm hoping I am wrong, I hope it's just my brain playing tricks on me,” she stated. “I want to keep standing up for our daughter, but it's hard to do that when my husband won't back me up.” 

“Am I overthinking?” she asked the subreddit.

The users who offered their support affirmed the original poster, making sure she knew that both her mother-in-law and husband were acting in ways that are harming her and her daughter.

One commenter made it clear that the mom’s main priority is to protect her child. 


The commenter explained, “I'm going to extend some grace to your husband and assume that his inability to set boundaries stems from trauma she inflicted on him as a child, rather than simply not caring whether she hurts his wife and daughter.” 

The same commenter wrote that the mother-in-law has “proven her capacity for cruelty time and time again,” and suggested couples’ therapy as a way to heal.

Another commenter believed that the comments made by the mother-in-law constitute verbal abuse and that her husband “doesn’t understand because this is how he was raised.”

“He’s using emotional manipulation to get out of having an honest discussion and he's making it about his feelings instead of yours,” the commenter stated. 


Another commenter was more sympathetic to the husband, saying that it “sounds like he has a lot to unpack in his relationship with [his mother], and he needs to do this before he passes on this dysfunction to your daughter.”

“Love isn’t just a feeling, it’s a verb,” wrote someone else. 

The original poster responded, explaining that her husband “has put up with the snark and sarcasm in his family for so long… he thinks it’s normal, he brushes it off. He is terrified of being abandoned.”

She agreed that she would seek out couples therapy, to try and unpack and reframe the dynamics she and her family are going through.

Whether or not she cuts off communication with her mother-in-law, she now has affirmation that she isn't overreacting and that no one— especially family— should speak to her daughter that way.


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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.