A Reddit user posted their story on a Reddit subthread about how they yelled at their wife for commenting on their 3-week-old daughter’s looks.
A New Baby
The Original Poster’s (OP) second child, a daughter (J), is currently three weeks old.
Anxiety and Depression
Prior to the pregnancy, OP’s spouse (N) was diagnosed with both generalized anxiety disorder and depression.
Since giving birth to J, N is also showing signs of post-partum depression.
Super Cute Son
OP’s first child, a son (D), bears a striking resemblance to his mother.
In fact, when comparing baby photos of the two, the resemblance is almost uncanny. As N is considered attractive, D is also considered very cute.
She Looks Like Her Daddy
The new baby inherited more physical traits from OP’s side of the family.
She has a widow’s peak hairline, a feature that OP has had since infancy.
Her lips are also relatively thin, a trait that OP shares. Additionally, J’s nose is slightly larger than D’s, as OP has a Middle Eastern classic hook nose.
Since the birth of J, who is now 21 days old, N has been making negative comments about J’s physical features that resemble OP’s side of the family.
These comments are made almost every day, with some examples being: expressing sadness that J inherited OP’s nose and wishing J had more of her own family’s physical traits, claiming that her family is beautiful and timeless while OP’s family is not, and lamenting that D has more desirable lips while J has “pencil lips.”
A Gentle Approach
OP had been taking a more gentle approach in response to N’s negative comments about J’s physical features, using phrases such as “be nice” and “chillax.”
He’d Had Enough
However, this changed when OP reached a breaking point and began yelling and cursing at N for about five minutes.
The general theme of OP’s statements was that they did not want N to continue projecting negative thoughts and comments onto J, even if J could not yet understand them.
All Babies Are Beautiful
OP pointed out that D could understand the comments, and that even they, as adults, were affected by the negativity.
OP also highlighted that J was still perfect and had not done anything wrong and that projecting onto her was not fair.
Finally, OP drew attention to the fact that N had spoken in the past about how her own mother’s comments about her appearance had negatively affected her and questioned why N was repeating the same pattern with J.
Following the argument with N, OP acknowledges that N was hurt by their comments and that they have not discussed the issue or processed the event together.
OP recognizes that N’s negative comments may be related to her anxiety, depression, and post-partum depression, as well as her mother’s influence on her self-esteem.
His Behavior Was Not Appropriate
OP also acknowledges that yelling and berating others is not an appropriate response.
In light of these factors, OP wonders if they were in the wrong and asks if they are wrong in this situation.
The Voice of Reason
Reddit users have pointed out that N’s negative comments about J’s appearance may stem from post-partum depression, triggering old wounds from her own mother’s influence on her self-esteem.
Some users also expressed concern that N’s behavior may lead to a negative self-image in both J and D.
OP’s reaction to N’s behavior was deemed understandable, but some users suggested that counseling or therapy could be helpful for both N’s PPD and her past issues.
Additionally, some users found N’s comments about plastic surgery and physical appearance to be problematic and potentially damaging to J’s self-image. Overall, the consensus was that OP was not wrong in this situation.
What would you have done in this situation? Are all babies cute? Does it matter? Share your comments!
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Cast Of Thousands. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.
This post is based on Reddit but the names have been changed.