Fury as stepmother books her son a 2-week ‘paternity vacation’ after his wife’s birth

A pregnant woman’s anger at her mother-in-law has been confirmed online, after the grandmother-to-be booked a holiday for her son just a week after the birth.

In a post on the popular ‘Am I the asshole’ subreddit, the woman shared her pain, garnering over 18,000 votes. She explained that she was 37 weeks pregnant and her boyfriend had taken three weeks off for the birth of the baby to help out.

“My boyfriend’s mom took it upon herself to schedule a ‘paternity vacation’ for my boyfriend for the last two weeks of his leave. She came over for dinner and surprised him with this. It’s a vacation every expenses paid in Italy for my boyfriend as a paternity gift,” she wrote.

In the United States, paternity leave is not that common, with the Department of Health, Labor and Welfare reporting in 2020 that only 12.65% of eligible fathers took advantage of paid leave. Despite this, a Pew Research Center study found that 71% of young Americans believe it’s important for newborns to have equal bonding time with their mom and dad.

“However, I told her that this leave was to help the baby. She was surprised and said that he would be with me for a week and that was long enough. Her husband never stayed at the hospital with her when her son was born.”

After learning that the mom-to-be didn’t want her partner away during this time, the grandmother was left “in tears”.

“My boyfriend is pretty much okay that he should go away for at least a week because she paid for him, but I really wanted him to stay with me and bond with our daughter “wrote the pregnant girlfriend.

Reddit users unanimously sided with the mom-to-be and shared shock at the “paternity vacation” premise.

“What a presumptuous gift, and the fact that your boyfriend didn’t immediately turn it down is disturbing. Guilt for something he never asked for should never come before his responsibility to you as a partner and to your newborn as a father. Your response was reasonable and not at all ungrateful. Hope your boyfriend can grow a pair and get his foot in the saddle with his mom,” one user wrote.

Image of a group of people on vacation.
Getty Images

Another agreed, writing: “You are going to be a first time mom and he will be a first time dad to a newborn, and your MIL wants to take him on vacation when you and your baby need him the most. him “Totally weird and completely inappropriate. He needs to grow some balls, stand up to his mom, and be a good dad. “

Others also targeted their frustrations at the boyfriend, for his inability to completely dismiss the idea. “If he chooses to go anyway, I’ll tell everyone that we both knew he left me with a newborn baby to go on vacation on his own,” one netizen advised. “Any sane person would hear that and judge him. I couldn’t respect someone who did that. And if he got mad about it, well. He’d look bad because that’s Is bad.”

The woman updated users on her final thoughts on the matter, explaining that her partner hasn’t been back since he mentioned the week-long trip, but she doubts he’ll change his mind.

“He’s quite stubborn about a lot of things. Not very reasonable at all. He can be sometimes but he has several times when he’s quite difficult,” she noted.

If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can seek advice from experts and your story could be published on Newsweek.

Nancy I. Romero