Meddling, it’s so characteristic of many mothers and mothers-in-law. They find it hard to accept that their children have grown up and some younger women can make decisions on their own.
And even if their adult children’s decisions and choices don’t seem wise and practical to them, do mothers have the right to interfere?
By law and ethics, they can’t unless the decision endangers lives and other people’s properties.
However, in this case, the objects concerned were packages that the 31-year-old daughter of the Original Poster has been ordering online. She thought they were impractical and extravagant — and so she did what “wiser” mothers like her do, as she published on Reddit’s r/AmItheA–hole forum.
Here’s her post, with the username u/Different_Tour_9932: “My daughter (f31) is currently in the process of moving. She’s been living in Brussels for the past four years and is now moving back to London, as she was offered a better position. She can move into her new flat in mid-February, so she asked if she could stay with me, and, of course, I agreed; I missed her. Of course, I refused to accept any rent (she offered).”
Everything seemed perfect between them, but OP started to notice that her daughter was fond of ordering online. To prove this, OP continued to say on her post: “She runs out of toothpaste? She won’t bother going to the shop, she’ll just order it online with her other essentials like shampoo. Needs clothes or stuff for her new house? She’ll order it. She even bought her father’s birthday gift and wrapping paper online. She even has groceries delivered because she insisted she pays for them because she lives rent-free. She barely goes to shops, and, because of people like her, our high streets are dying.”
Yes, from OP’s point of view, her daughter’s habit of shopping online was unhealthy. And because of that, she started returning her order, which obliged her daughter to buy her stuff from local shops for some time.
But then, when she was no longer receiving any packages from online stores, OP’s daughter realized what was happening. The two of them had a confrontation, and her daughter was deeply angry because her mom was treating her like a child. Her daughter reminded OP that she had no right to return her stuff, even if she was her mom.
What happened next? OP continued her post with the following details: “I told her that something had to be done, and I tried explaining my point, but she told me she’s done, packaged her stuff, and went stay at a hotel, wasting money. I asked her to move back and promised not to do it again, but she’s stubborn and won’t listen. She told me she’ll stay at a hotel until she can move into her flat. I only wanted to help her, but she was being so unreasonable. My husband stays neutral, and I don’t know. Was I the a-hole here? Was I wrong for returning those packages?”
Yes, you are! And you’re certainly an a-hole. The AITA community reacted with as much fury as her adult daughter.
NeeliSilverleaf commented, “YTA. FORCE her to shop locally by stealing your adult daughter’s mail? No wonder she spent the past few years in an entirely different country from you.”
MarketingManiac208 likewise wrote, “Sounds like you value ‘the shops’ more than you value your relationship with ‘your daughter.’ YTA OP.”
Heavy_Sand5228 couldn’t help making this remark, “At this rate, there won’t be a relationship to even value much longer.”
And this comment from NYX_T_RYX was certainly something for OP to ponder: “Yeah not just YTA, but interfering with the delivery of post is a crime in the UK, so you know… Well done OP – you’ve just admitted to an indictable offense as well as admitting you’re overly controlling of your adult daughter.”