But when the mum-of-two announced she was expecting a little girl, Rita completely changed her tune.
Against her better judgment, Gemma started to wonder if her MIL had turned a corner.
“She was excited that we were having a daughter,” Gemma shared on Reddit.
“She wanted her to be named what she was going to name her daughter if she ever had one.
“She would call my husband crying on a regular basis about how she wouldn’t be able to see our daughter because she doesn’t live near us.
“She started scheming about how to see her.”
Two weeks ago, Gemma gave birth to her daughter, who ended up looking exactly like her.
“My husband sent a group text to his family (including her) with her photo and birth stats,” Gemma shared.
“My MIL wrote back: ‘she looks just like her’ and then radio silence.
“She is not interested in a granddaughter that looks like me.
“This is such a 180 from when I was pregnant.
“It’s as if she doesn’t care about her now that she looks like me.”
Gemma is ready to cut ties with Rita once and for all – but her husband is hesitant.
“He maintains contact hoping she will apologise and re-join our lives,” Gemma said.
“But just like Charlie Brown, Lucy, and the football, she disappoints him every time.
“I feel bad for my husband – I would love for his mum to be part of our lives.
“But I have said what my boundaries are and that she can be a part of our lives if she agrees to accept and work towards that - but she hasn’t done that.
“I will probably lie to our kids at least when they are younger. She lives far away and that’s why you don’t hear from her.”
Reddit was rightly outraged at Rita's behaviour with many commenters agreeing that Gemma and her family need to cut ties.
"Well, the garbage took itself out," one mum said.
"Imagine being that petty and vile that you want nothing to do with your grandchild because of their appearance," another said.
"I just. Can’t. I cannot comprehend this. WTF?" one woman added.
"That is so messed up. I'm raging in my head right now," a man said.
"Congratulations on your new beautiful daughter. May you have many years free of your MIL's toxicity," a woman said.
Other commenters offered their opinions on how Gemma’s husband should be handling things.
“So sorry your husband is going through this as well. It's hard to watch the people you love being discarded by those who should be lifting them,” one mum said.
“I hope your husband gets to address the rejection of his parents in some form,” another added.
“He needs to recognise who his mother truly is,” one woman said.
“To dismiss a baby for any reason is cruel beyond any reason.
“Hit your husband up with marriage counselling. Then let him know in the counselling that it’s way too much to expect you to be nice to her after all the shit she’s pulled against you,” another suggested.
Others simply wanted to let Gemma know how their own MILs compared to Rita.
"And I thought my MIL was messed up," one woman said.
"My grandmother accused my mother (her daughter-in-law) of cheating because I came out with bright red hair despite both my parents having brown hair," another added.
"Dumbass, red hair runs in your family."
"My mum wouldn't care if her grandkids looked like the mailman so long as they were happy and healthy," one woman said.
"What is it with these grandmothers and wanting their grandchildren to look like them?!" another asked
"My MIL recently sent me a photo of her as a child with the caption "SEEE I told you she looks JUST like me!"
*Names have been changed
This article was first published on Kidspot and was republished here with permission.