"It's a Boundary Issue" — Mother-in-Law "Surprises" Expecting Couple by Decorating Their Nursery While They Were Gone

A mother-in-law tried to surprise her son and daughter-in-law by decorating their future child's nursery, but her good deed wasn't received well.

Kelly Corbett - Author

Nov. 21 2023, Published 11:39 a.m. ET

When it comes to difficult relationships, the one between a mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law ranks pretty high. Oftentimes a mother-in-law may come on too strong and cause friction between her and her daughter-in-law, especially when grandchildren come into the picture.

In fact, this woman claims that her MIL ruined her birth experience when she started snapping photos of her vagina as she began pushing.

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Similarly, this woman said she had to kick her MIL out of the hospital room after giving birth as she incessantly badgered her son to change the name of their newborn son.

After incidents like this, it can be difficult for a MIL to repair her relationship with her DIL. Many MILs may not even feel like an apology is necessary on their part, further creating a divide within the family. That said, not all MILs want to leave things on a sour note with their DIL.

One MIL recently tried to do something nice for her DIL and son, who are expecting a child. Unfortunately, her well-intentioned surprise didn’t get the reaction she was hoping for and now her son and DIL won’t talk to her.

Hoping to mend things, she reached out to TikTok creator and boundaries expert Jessica Miller for advice on how she can remedy their relationship.

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Stuffed animals, clothing, and towels on shelves in a nursery closet
Source: Getty Images

A mother-in-law surprises her son and DIL by decorating their nursery while they are away.

Jessica Miller, host of the podcast Mind Your Boundaries, is an expert at navigating relationships with parents and in-laws. She recently took to TikTok to answer a question that a listener sent in.

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Jessica started her video by giving a rundown of what had transpired between this mother-in-law and her son and daughter-in-law. The MIL decided to surprise the expecting couple by decorating their future child's nursery while they were away on a long weekend.

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Unfortunately, they weren't thrilled with her work and have stopped talking to her. The MIL noted to Jessica that she thought her "heart was in the right spot" and that she "was doing a good thing." She claimed her son had been stressed about money and his job security, so she thought this would cheer him up. She also said she referenced her DIL's Pinterest boards while putting the room together.

Jessica explained that the MIL should apologize and even gave an example of what she could say. “I would go to them and I would say, ‘You guys, I am profoundly sorry. I truly thought I was doing a good thing for you and now I see that I missed one crucial part. That I took away the experience of putting together your baby’s nursery and I’m sorry.'"

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After watching the video, TikTok users understand why the expecting couple is upset, but also have sympathy for the MIL.

In the comment section of Jessica's video, not everyone thought that the MIL overstepped her boundaries. "She used her Pinterest boards — that shows she was only trying to help! good intentions! not an evil mom/MIL! they need to chill," wrote one user.

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Another user said: "The fact that she used the Pinterest board is the sweetest thing in the whole wide world. This simple apology would be totally enough."

Commenters can see both sides of the nursey decorating debacle
Source: TikTok/@mind_yourboundaries
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However, others understood why her son and DIL were so upset. "Decorating/planning the nursery was my favorite part and I’d be devastated to have it taken from me," read one comment.

Another user wrote: "We went through 6 years of infertility, I’d be so upset if someone stole that moment from me."

The correct answer seems to be that everyone's feelings are valid. Hopefully, the MIL took Jessica's advice and apologized. That said, we also hope the expecting couple took time to reflect on the MIL's action and realized she wasn't trying to upset them, even if it felt like that at first.

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