Christmas isn’t even here yet, and one mother-in-law is already acting up. This Reddit mom posted about her MIL’s extremely sexist reaction to grandson’s Christmas present, which naturally left the mom “shocked” and “flabbergasted.” It’s having us wonder what century this MIL thinks she lives in — and is it one where common sense didn’t prevail?!
In “Parenting” subreddit, the mom shared about her mother-in-law’s horrible reaction to finding out what they are giving their toddler son for Christmas. “I am just flabbergasted and needed a sounding board,” she wrote, before diving into this unbelievable story.
“We were FaceTiming with my MIL tonight who lives across the country and she was asking about some Christmas gifts she had sent and letting us know one of them needed assembly,” the mom wrote. “My husband told her that we planned on putting that and the big gift we got for him together Christmas Eve so they were ready to go Christmas morning.”
Sounds like a perfectly pleasant conversation with your mother-in-law, right? She lives across the country so she sent presents ahead of time, and now she is just having a pleasant chat with her son and daughter-in-law about it. But then it took a turn for the dramatic.
“She asked what we had gotten my son (3) out of curiosity and my husband told her a play kitchen,” the mom continued. “Her tone immediately changed. She goes ‘a WHAT?’ in a really disgusted tone. ‘A play kitchen? And some toy food?’ ‘Why did you get him that? He’s a boy.’ ‘He’s absolutely loved every other toy kitchen he’s ever played with. Why wouldn’t we?’”
As if it couldn’t get any worse, the MIL solidly confirmed her horrible stance. “My mother in law, almost in screeching hysterics at this point, ‘get him a workbench or something! Why would you get him a KITCHEN?’”
And there it is. She seems to live in this 1950s-outdated-mindset that only women belong in the kitchen, so only girls should play with kitchens… Can you imagine a (*gasp!*) man being in the kitchen?! So obviously, you can’t let little boys play in the kitchen either. He needs to be in the garage, tinkering around, damnit! Like, how can she not hear herself? It’s so ridiculous my eyes can’t roll back further into my head. It’s a miracle her son turned out as level-headed as he seems to with an atrocious woman like that for a mother.
“My husband (who was way more calm than me at this point) reminded her they had a play kitchen when he was younger and he played with it all the time,” the mom continued. “She goes ‘no, YOUR SISTER had one, not you.’ After that she was extremely curt with him and ended the conversation quickly.”
So, it was only OK for him to play with a kitchen because it was his sister’s? This woman is beyond ridiculous.
The mom thought so too, and continued: “I am so shocked by her reaction to this and the fact she’s taking it so personally. Not that it matters, but it’s not even a pink ‘girly’ kitchen, it’s a very gender neutral play kitchen. Boys cook too? It’s a life skill that benefits all genders?”
Of course, the husband tries to downplay it, but the wife knows her mother-in-law was being serious. “My husband thinks I am making this way deeper than it is but she was seriously full of vitriol about it and it was very off putting,” the OP continued. “I know we have quite different political views but she has never been THIS offended by something so….harmless? I am just… in shock!”
Redditors came through with words of comfort (and ideas to get back at her!). “Baby dolls and kitchen stuff are the most sought after toys for boys in my daycare,” one person wrote. “ Have been with every group I’ve cared for. Good lord, what is she afraid of?”
The OP responded, saying, “My son LOVES playing babies at school!!” And why shouldn’t he? It’s so much fun to nurture and care for baby dolls!
Someone else wrote, “I would be sooo passive aggressive. I’d buy my son the girliest doll I could find him and send grandma a picture. Barbies, unicorns, rainbows, etc. My son wanted his nails painted when he saw me painting my nails, so I did. He looked adorable and he loved it. He asks for pink hair? Sure buddy!”
“Passive aggression is my specialty 🙂,” the mom responded. “I plan on posting a ton of pics of my son playing in his brand new kitchen first thing Christmas morning 😌😌🤭.” I would love to peek into the comments section of that post!
“Aren’t most chefs men? How did they learn to cook? By avoiding the kitchen?” someone else pointed out. “Your MIL has some deeply ingrained misogyny. You should mention the play kitchen MORE in your next conversation.”
The OP responded, “Yes that is what I am thinking!! She is very misogynistic. I told my husband ‘what if he’s the next Gordon Ramsey or Alton Brown or Anthony Bourdain and decides to never pursue that because his grandma said cooking was for girls?’ I already know what Christmas present I am posting about first thing Christmas morning 😌.”
This is so true! But also, even if that isn’t his calling in life, he still needs to learn how to cook. “Even if he ISNT a famous chef…the kid needs to be comfortable in the kitchen,” someone said. “Cooking and feeding oneself/family/friends is a life skill!”
Pretty much everyone agreed that the “manliest” thing a boy can learn is how to take care of himself and his future family in the home. “There’s not much more ‘manly’ than being able to feed his family by cooking delicious food,” one person said. “There’s also not much more manly than doing the dishes if his female (or other) partner cooks the food. The mother in law is living by old ‘Leave it to Beaver’ standards where the woman does chores. In my opinion a ‘real man’ or real boy learns everything they need to keep a family safe, fed and clothed. So maybe, just maybe, there’s nothing more manly than learning how to use a needle and thread to mend or even make clothes.”
“My conservative brother used to make comments about my son playing with a girls toy,” one dad wrote. “I would crack back with, ‘You’re right. He may one day follow in my footsteps and become a dad who takes care of his kids. He’s rocking the baby to sleep just like I did to him last night.’ My brother eventually got the hint. Boys playing with kitchens or baby dolls might one day lead to them knowing how to cook or care for kids.” This!!! Remind us how that’s a bad thing again?!
This mother-in-law needs to learn that boys and girls can (and should!) play with whatever toys their heart desires, as their parents work hard to raise a generation of kind-hearted humans who don’t pander to harmful social constructs. At least she lives across the country!
Before you go, check out these wild stories about Reddit’s most horrific mother-in-laws.
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