Motherhood is one of the most incredibly personal and difficult journeys a person can undertake.
It's also one of the most heavily, publicly, and openly criticized.
It seems like everyone, particularly non-parents, love to judge everything a woman does when it comes to motherhood—right on down to the way a woman gives birth.
Redditor uEitherPlankton3 turned to the "Am I The A$$hole" (AITA) to get the public's opinion on whether or not she should be the one apologizing after a run in with her partner's sister.
She titled her post:
Her story followed:
"This happened a while ago but I'm still hearing about it in the family group chat."
"Couple months ago my sister in law found out she was pregnant and her views on pregnancy and motherhood (as well as other things) are really strange, at least to me. For instance, the shape of a belly (mild) and how boys and girls should be raised (stereotypes all around). Then as her pregnancy progressed she made her views on birthing very clear: anyone who has a c-section is not fit to be a mother."
"I was very confused because I was born via c-section and so was my oldest. I asked her why does she think so, she said that it was the easy way out and a mother should feel the pain for her baby, be one with the baby, and all that."
So you know how sometimes people say really personally offensive stuff but they don't mean it to be personally offensive?
They just didn't think before speaking? The original poster (OP) was totally willing to give sister-in-law the benefit of the doubt.
It's possible she wasn't saying what it sounded like she was saying...
"My partner (their sibling) reminded her that I went through a c-section and sister-in-law said, 'well, my point still stands, doesn't it? No offense (my name) but you are a bit absent in your oldest's life. Is your career really that worth it?'"
"Me not being a stay at home mom has been a bit of a heated argument with this family for a while. My mother-in-law and a couple of the other sister/brother (it's a big family) in laws haven't been okay with it. My partner has no issue with it and neither do some of the other in laws, and now she's brought it up again!"
I See How It Is Craig Robinson GIFGiphy
Sister-in-law absolutely meant to tell her (and everyone within earshot) that she was a bad mother because she had a c-section and the proof of that is the fact that she works.
That's cool, though.
OP can deal in "proof" too!
"So I told her the truth about her pregnancy: She doesn't know who the father is. She keeps seeing her ex despite being with her current boyfriend of about 2 years."
"There's naught special about either one of them, but she claims that she 'just can't quit him,' the other guy. Honestly wanted to barf."
"She got super angry with me and threw a wooden spoon at me. She then stormed out and I got the brunt of it from the others. It's still happening in the group chat and my father in law is asking if I could just apologize and get it over with since her due date is happening soon."
"I'm not that interested in apologizing but if you guys think I am the a$$hole here I'll do it. It's much better to hear about it from a non family member."
OP wanted to hear about it from non-family, and that's exactly what happened.
Reddit had a lot to say on this one.
"Do not apologise to her, you told her the truth. Considering how she likes to vocalise her truths about everyone else, it's only right she hears a few about herself." - CulturedPhillistines
"She decided what a 'real mother' is, and basically called you unfit, and every one is okay with that. But the second you point out her flaw, the shit hits the fan. If you can't take it, don't dish it." - ATX_Stig
"Not fit to be a mother hey? Yeah, she can f*ck right off with that. The alternative to a c-section for many women is death. And she is clearly far too ignorant to understand that. She doesn't exactly sound like a glowing example herself either. It would have been seriously saintly of you if you'd taken the high road and not told her a few home truths. I say no, you're not the a$$. You're a mother, not a saint."
"Also, your in-laws can bugger off with their views on your working status - it is absolutely nobody's business but yours and your partner's as to how that affects your family unit." - blackskirtwhitecat
"As petty as it all does seem from a outside perspective, when you're living through something like that, I definitely would not call it petty."
"Your In-laws are the arseholes. You were being judged and belittled by your sister-in-law, and not only did they NOT tell her she is out of order, but they are now trying to make YOU apologise for retaliating? Fck no."
"Your in-laws have no say with how you live your life, you are a working mum? Good on you! That doesn't make you any less of a great mother than a Stay at home mum."
"The fact they try and make you feel guilty for working?! I wouldn't worry overly much about what these people think of you. They sound like the type of people that will ALWAYS have something to b*tch or gossip about."
"Your sister-in-law's comments about c-sections are fcking disgusting."
"Definitely don't apologise, to any of them. They don't sound like the type of people that are currently pushing your SIL to apologise." - Helena2693
"Anyone who says c-sections make you less of a mum (alternative: dead mum) can get fcked."
"Anyone who thinks a working mum is 'kinda absent' but who doesn't say the same about working dads can get fcked."
"I would have gone one further and asked when she is getting the DNA test done, so that you can start assessing whether the dad is too 'absent' in the kid's life."
"The family suck too for knowing what she said and not telling her to stfu a long time ago." - SoToConclude
"She THREW A SPOON AT YOU??! And they want YOU to apologize??!? Yeah, no. Don't do it." - HappyLucyD
"What you stated was a fact. What she said was bullsh*t. A woman with a career is a good example for her children, but sexists like your sister in law are too ignorant for that. If a father is allowed a career, why shouldn't a mother be? Also, being able to provide for yourself shows that you are intelligent enough not to rely on anybody, but how should you explain that to someone that stupid?" - MyDogHisKid
"You guys are mean to each other. Her words were inexcusable and ignorant and just plain dumb. You responded with mean and hurtful words too. She was wrong, but that doesn't mean you were right to say what you said."
"I think it's entirely possible to apologize for your words while still recognizing that she was far more wrong. If you're going to be family, you all really need to work on better ways of communicating" - thatonepersoniam
Were both of the women wrong? Or did the sister-in-law start it and OP just finished it?