Nearly everyone who enters the hospital to deliver their child into the world has a birth plan.
They think ahead of time about the type of room they want to be in, what they want to wear, what medications they're comfortable receiving and of course, who they want to have in the room with them.
But do any of us ever really plan for when these plans fall through, particularly if we have to cut a family member out of the special day?
As a brand new father to a beautiful and healthy daughter, Reddit user "PeevedNewDad" only wanted the best for his growing family. However, he also always had a difficult relationship with his mother, who made everything about herself and exhibited frequent victim complex characteristics.
When it came time for all of the grandparents to come up to visit the tired parents and meet their newly born grandchild, the new father realized the problems with his mother were only going to continue, if not worsen, with the arrival of his child. He personally escorted his mother out of the hospital room with a firm explanation as to why.
He has since received a lot of negative criticism for his choice from his extended family. In his mind, he was doing what he needed to do to protect his family.
To get a little perspective, the brand new father posted his dilemma on the "Am I the A$$hole" (AITA) subReddit.
You can read the full post here:
The new dad received a resoundingly solid "Not the A$$hole" (NTA) rating from other Redditers, particularly those who grew up in manipulative and dysfunctional households that they had to emotionally and psychologically unpack as adults.
"NTA - As someone who frequent r/JustnoMIL (and you should head on over there to crosspost asap) I just want to say BRAVO TO YOU!!! I read stories like this so often about mother-in-laws ruining baby births and I am really impressed at you for not only recognizing the issues some time ago and having a serious talk with her, but also for stepping in and having her leave when she started throwing her tantrum."
"While it won't change the fact that the memory of the birth of your child has probably been tainted due to your mother's outburst, at least your wife knows that you will stand up for her and your child against your family if need be. I can only imagine that she will treat your daughter like this also as she grows up, which is tragic."
"Honestly, I don't know what else can be done at the moment besides putting your mother on a significant time out while you and your new family take that much-needed bonding time, and then take it from there. Good luck to you all and congratulations!!" - soundlikebutactually
"I think when you're growing up you don't fully realise how out of order this kind of behaviour is, as it's normal to your family. But when you get married you see that other families, like your wife's, aren't like this and it puts it in perspective. You're NTA at all for drawing a line under it now and I'm sure your wife appreciated it." - Yikes44
"Yes. Having kids changed a lot for me, too. I always assumed parenting (and adult life in general) must be so so difficult, and that's why my dad was a mess."
"Turns out that yeah, parenting is hard but like...being nice to your kid? Easy. Having empathy for their struggles? So easy. Wanting them to be smarter and stronger and better than you, not feeling constantly competitive with them? Extremely easy!"
"Like yeah, the actual tasks of parenting are a lot of work, but there are some really foundational things that come naturally to (mentally ok) people. And that's sort of when I realized that it wasn't that adult life was so hard, it was that my dad just wasn't able to cope with very normal life things at all." - Jannnnnna
"I grew up with a lunatic for a mother, and it took me until I was in my thirties to be like, 'No, this behavior isn't okay and I won't subject my kid to it.' There's that old fable about how if you put a frog in a pot of boiling water it will jump out, but if you put it in lukewarm water and gradually turn up the heat it won't notice the temperature rising and will get boiled to death."
"You and I grew up in households where the heat was slowly turned up. We didn't notice that the water was boiling until people we love came into our lives with a different perspective. You're 100% doing the right thing here by not subjecting your child to that environment." - TealHousewife
"I work in maternity care. I've seen this kind of thing happen so many times. Everything is lovely, then the family arrive."
"However. It is rare that I see the partner being the one putting their foot down. So Bravo to you, sir."
"Your wife was tired, emotional, and absolutely needed your support. You are already setting excellent boundaries to benefit your little one. I see so many people who just let 'toxic' family members walk all over them. Good for you." - Feegeegee
It's clear that many people have dealt with having to unpack both emotional and physical abuse, and learn for themselves what it means to run a successful household to offer their own children healthy and genuinely happy childhoods.
Having come to this realization around the time his daughter was born, this new father will have a lot of work to do, to decide how he feels about his own childhood and his daughter's future one. But in the very least, he can go forward knowing he did the right thing for his family when she was born.