Would you let a person watch your baby, knowing they have a history of being a bad parent?

A netizen recently asked, “Am I a jerk for telling Mother-In-Law (MIL) that I would never let her watch my baby?”. We need you to find out!


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The Original Poster (OP) gave birth to a baby girl a week ago. OP is slightly obsessed, honestly, and OP’s husband isn’t too far behind her. 

“Everything about our daughter is perfect. To say I am very protective already would be an understatement, but I will admit that maybe I’m a bit wrong here, though I can’t tell. I feel that I’m mostly valid”, says OP. 


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OP’s MIL was a lousy mom to OP’s husband and his brother. The amount of times OP has heard her talk about how she used to leave them home by themselves when they were 3 and 4 years old while she went to work 12-16 hour shifts at the hospital or went to the laundromat and would come home to the police there, is insane. 

“When the boys were 6 and 7, she left the country to visit her mother and left the boys with their father, who didn’t know them and refused all contact for over a year”, says OP. 


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Ultimately, the boys, OP’s husband and husband’s brother, ended up in foster care for over two years. Their dad brought them to Child Protective Services (CPS) and dropped them off, and when she did regain custody of them, she once again left them home alone because she started seeing some guy who didn’t want kids and moved in with him. 

“So the boys fend for themselves for 5+ years. She bought them groceries and ensured they went to school, but they lived alone in a trailer on their family property”, says OP.  


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Her (OP’s) MIL tried being a mom again when her kids were 16 and 17, and OP’s husband forgave her, but OP doesn’t trust her. 

“I would never in a million years trust her to watch my daughter because of what she put her children through. I understand that years have passed since this all happened, and yes, she is trying to make up for it now, but she is still very much in the mindset of not doing anything wrong. 

She believes my husband turned out ‘alright’ (he has severe abandonment issues). Her other son has been in prison since he was 23”, says OP. 


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So, OP’s MIL came over here a few days ago and said, “I need to get a crib for my house so she has somewhere to sleep.” OP asked why, and she said, “Well, for when I’m babysitting.” 


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Initially, OP told her MIL that they wouldn’t need a sitter for quite some time, and she argued that OP would need to go back to work and that “daycares can’t be trusted.” OP doesn’t even know why it came out of her mouth, but she said, “Neither can you. I wouldn’t let you or a daycare watch my baby”. 

Now, there are issues because everyone is annoyed that OP would bring up the fact that she’s untrustworthy (except OP’s husband, but he is disappointed).


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She later added the following information:

“My husband is going to be 29 in December, so this stuff was happening (starting) 26 years ago. He isn’t disappointed that I won’t let his mom watch the baby because he doesn’t trust her either. 

Still, he expected me to sugar-coat it and let her believe there was a chance she would someday be allowed around our baby unattended to babysit her. So, he wanted me to lie to her and make her believe there was a chance when there wasn’t.”

Is OP a jerk?


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“Not the jerk. MIL is a horrible parent and has bad judgment. I would watch very closely when she’s around your child, and your husband needs to step up if he feels disappointed because you said you need to have a long talk with him.”


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“If you had sugar-coated it and put her off, she would have continued to harass you about babysitting. You did the right thing! She was a bad mother and didn’t get a do-over with your baby!”


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“Not the jerk. You get to decide who watches your kid. Keep a close eye on your husband, though; he seems like he would allow her unfettered access to the kid.” 


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“You are very protective of your daughter, and rightfully so. Of course, you cannot leave her in the care of someone who does not seem well-balanced or always capable of good judgment. This is your child and your responsibility. 

While she is young and relies on good adult care, you cannot leave her with your MIL in good conscience. Your husband needs to support you 100% on this going forward. He knows, better than anyone, what his mother’s judgment can be, and he cannot abandon his little girl to someone like that, ever.” 


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“Your husband is the jerk. He needs to be clear with his mom about the boundaries with the baby. Allowing her to believe she would someday be trusted with the baby will let you shoulder that stress instead of him. 

You shouldn’t have been the one to say, but MIL needed to know that you neither trust her with childcare. Your husband is being ridiculous for expecting you to go along with the two of them, ignoring the elephant in the room of her poor parenting.”

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