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A woman on Reddit has sparked a debate after she revealed she has banned her mother from attending her baby shower and has refused all contact after she criticised her son-in-law for missing the birth of their first child.
Posting in Reddit's 'Am I The A** Hole' forum, the anonymous woman said she will invite her to the baby shower once she apologises to her husband. She also discussed the reasons behind her husband missing the birth of her child, as well as her mother's reaction.
She begins by explaining that her husband "experienced something very traumatic" a couple of months before she was due. She did not reveal what her husband experienced but said that it had a profound effect on him: "Soon after he was experiencing some severe panic attacks that sometimes came out of nowhere but usually triggered by any sort of stress."
The woman and her husband came to an agreement that he would not be present in the delivery room due to his ongoing panic attacks. "My husband agreed, he felt so awful about it but I knew it wasn't his fault."
The anonymous woman's sister supported her in the delivery room while her husband and his family stayed in the waiting room. His family helped him when "his anxiety would spike." The delivery went well and the couple welcomed a daughter however, the poster's mother had a problem with the fact her son-in-law missed the birth despite knowing about his struggles with severe panic attacks.
"My mom was the only one who seemed to have a problem with the fact that he wasn't with me 'doing his job as a husband/father' by supporting me. She knew about the anxiety problem, why it was happening and why he hadn't been able to get help yet.
"But she felt like he should've sucked it up and been there for me. I put my foot down a few times when she went directly to him and made him feel bad for failing his first task as a father.
"She'd apologise, my husband would forgive her and decide to give her another chance."
The couple were "ecstatic" when they found out a few months that they are expecting their second child. With the pandemic still at large, the poster and her husband Zoom called her parents after telling them the good news when her mum asked a rather awkward question.
"My mom asked if he's actually gonna be there this time or is he gonna 'flip out again' and decide to miss the birth of his baby. My husband got silent afterwards and he was very serious.
"I got so mad at my mom, this time she doesn't want to apologise because it was just a simple valid question but it's the way that she said it. "
The woman explained that her husband still feels guilt about missing the birth of his daughter and in the months since, has found ways to manage his anxiety, has help from a therapist and "hasn't suffered an episode like that in a long time even in very stressful situations."
The comments section was filled with Reddit posts in support of the woman and her husband, with one commenter calling him "noble". They wrote: "Can I just say your husband is such a noble man, giving up being in the delivery room for the birth of his child for the good of everyone at the time is such a honourable thing to do. It must have been one of the hardest decisions to make. Hats off to this man."
A second Reddit user said: "Your mother isn't showing any concern for you. If she was, she wouldn't be tearing your husband down despite the fact you've explained to her what the situation was and that actually it was your idea that he stay away from the delivery room.
"It's hard to stand up to your parents when they're being assholes, but you have a spine of steel and are doing the right thing by your husband. Keep on keeping on."
A third poster praised the woman for supporting her husband. "Your husband is fortunate to have a wife like you. You showed grace and understanding when he needed it, even though it works have been easy to blame him for his trauma response.
"Your mother is the opposite. That was not a 'simple question', it was public shaming of your husband. He deserves someone like you to stand up for him. Keep strong, and set a tone of how your family will be treated by your mother."
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