to not try to match mil's housewifey skills?

(32 Posts)
froken Fri 13-Sep-13 18:21:07

Mil and fil are coming over tomorrow. Mil is very very house proud, she irons pillow cases socks and her house is immaculate. I on the otger hand am not a natural house wife, a kid person would say my house feels "lived in" an honest person would say it is scruffy/homely.

I was talking to dp and asked him if their home was ever messy when mil/fil had 4 small children? He answered "no. Never." very solemnly.

Mil asked me when ds was a newborn how I expected to have enough time to breastfeed him with all the extra washing? I told he I just had a policy of not buying things that were hard to washor needed ironing so the washing wasn't a big chore.

Should I dash round cleaning Windows and ironing sofa cushions tonight or just let her be shocked at my baby safe but no where near show home apartment?

Floggingmolly Fri 13-Sep-13 18:22:34

Leave the housework, she might enjoy doing it for you!

Oh fuck that. Life's too short. grin

Chottie Fri 13-Sep-13 18:24:51

Just let it be and point your MiL towards the hoover, she will love doing your housework and you will love her for doing it. Win-win all round smile

Sirzy Fri 13-Sep-13 18:25:38

As long as you and DH are happy and the children are happy then what is wrong with a bit of scruffy?

(And if DH isn't happy then he can do it himself!)

parakeet Fri 13-Sep-13 18:27:53

Everyone does things differently. Housework is one of them. And when you have a young baby is the precise time that you are able to do the least amount of housework.

As long as you know you are getting along OK, why do you care what other people think?

I have the exact same ironing policy as you, btw. (i.e. Don't. Do. It.)

Backtobedlam Fri 13-Sep-13 18:28:27

Leave it. Last time I spent hours cleaning, wiped inside windows and dusted places I'd never dusted before...mil arrives and immediately starts cleaning windows and dusting! I assume she enjoys it or im exceptionally awful qt cleaning, either way I now just do a quick spruce up for their arrival.

Rollermum Fri 13-Sep-13 18:29:21

Was she saying extra washing should come before BF?!

My MIL is like this and I do feel a bit judged sometimes, but I resist it. Ironing socks is now how I want to live, as long as basically clean I'm happy. Also I resent feeling it is my role and not DHs. We share housework but I know MIL would see any flaws as mine.

cozietoesie Fri 13-Sep-13 18:30:23

Someone who irons socks is deeply, deeply troubled. Don't follow her down that road for Goodness sake.

HeadsDownThumbsUp Fri 13-Sep-13 18:35:58

Pfft. As others have said, life is too short.

If someone is into keeping their house immaculate 24/7, then it is, basically, their hobby. Nothing wrong with cleaning and tidying as a hobby, I just don't see why other (normal) people are ever expected to spend their free time this way too. Not that you'd have much at the moment.

froken Fri 13-Sep-13 18:41:30

So glad to hear I can relax mumsnet this evening instead of dashing around trying to clean. Dp is cleaning the windows, it is his mother after all.

rollermum she did think I should prioritise ironing over bf but I think when her dc were small there wasn't so much known about the benifits of bf (i really hope this is the case and she didn't decide that flat socks were more important then the benifits of bf)

sillyoldfool Fri 13-Sep-13 18:57:48

I bet her house wasn't immaculate when she had babies/toddlers. Your DH can remember what it was like when he was a bit older, he prob remembers it like it was when he was at school and she had all day to faff around.

pud1 Fri 13-Sep-13 19:12:26

My mother is just the same as your mil. My oh says that I am just like get but I am not. He is just an untidy git. When my mum visits ( lives away so usually stays a few days). I used to get pissed off when she did my cleaning a went through a stage of mad cleaning before she arrived. She still used to comment and clean up for me no matter how much I had done before she arrived. Now I don't bother and just let her get on with it. She is happy that she is helping and I am happy that I don't have to bother.

Topseyt Fri 13-Sep-13 19:12:41

I am rather like you. Ironing??? I don't do ironing.

My house is clean enough that it won't harm us, but lived in and comfortable. I take the view that people should be coming to visit me, not to inspect my kitchen floor/see whether or not I have vacuumed the stairs etc.

If she wants to do it for you then let her.

My MIL could be rather like you describe yours. She has a cleaner in to help her every week. She used to sprint around cleaning before the cleaner arrived, and would then sprint around cleaning again after the cleaner had left. Once when she was at my house I saw her polishing the cat flap and putting shoe shine on the children's wellies.

crescentmoon Fri 13-Sep-13 19:16:15

if shes the type to be happy to help you then dont bother tidying up. if shes the type to make comments or worse, stay silent but look around disdainfully then afterwards tell her sister/neighbour/hairdresser about how your house is, then whether you clean depends if you care or not!

MrsOakenshield Fri 13-Sep-13 19:19:25

I'd leave it and with any luck she'll do it for you!

HavantGuard Fri 13-Sep-13 19:22:55

Hmm. Spending time snuggling your baby or ironing. That's a toughie grin

greenbananas Fri 13-Sep-13 19:26:50

No matter how much time you spend racing around cleaning now, sounds like you will never get it to her standard. So you might as well not bother and she can take you as you are grin

HavantGuard Fri 13-Sep-13 19:27:00

My mum tells me of people she knew when I was small who had the house perfect, the children fed, bathed and in bed, dinner in the oven and the table laid for when their husbands came home. She thought they were odd then (around 1980).

pixwix Fri 13-Sep-13 19:38:13

The only time you need to iron socks, is when they at school - you wake up realising the washing machine is still chundering away, and the only pair of socks that fits is drying over the airer.

THEN iron em to get the moisture out blush but the hair dryer is better...

I would say that you need to set a precedent of her taking you as she finds you - especially when it comes to having a baby friendly happy family place! Otherwise you will be scurrying round forever.

Mine are now 16 &10 and guess what - no-one ever handing out a medal to me saying 'Well Done! Tidy House' - even when it was tidy!

We all have different standards - mine can be untidy at times - but clean...

elfycat Fri 13-Sep-13 19:50:15

My MIL is the same and I am happy living in a hovel less than tidy home that always needs a wipe down somewhere. She's coming over on Sunday...

DH says that his childhood home was tidy BUT... he can't remember being read to, or sat down and talked to. Or going out for trips (I point out we all did less trips out back then) or his parents showing any interest in their hobbies or homework. He'd rather we get up, decide on a whim to go to the seaside (or insert other choice), pack a hurried picnic and leave the house looking like a whirlwind has been through.

DH also points out that he was never allowed into the kitchen to cook (MIL is OCD in kitchens) as no mess was tolerated. To be fair to her MIL did comment approvingly on how my 2 DDs are allowed to bake and help with meal preparation and how she wouldn't have been able to put up with it. DH loves that ours are cooking as preschoolers. I think DD1 (4) could probably make scrambled eggs on toast with just me supervising. She does make a lot of mess though <proud of my mess-maker>. DH is, after a lot of encouragement, just beginning to cook something other than spagbol. He's baking bread and made his first roast in the last 6 months and he's 43.

So I will tidy up my knitting so there's room to sit on the sofa. And sweep the floors. I always wipe down the bathroom anyway (toilet training). If I feel the urge I might wipe the tiles in the hallway as there are muddy footprints from earlier. I'm not going to polish everything, or put away things-in-the-wrong-place. Then DH, DDs and I shall go and make one heck of a roast and when MIL arrives I'll shove a glass of wine in her hand and get her so tipsy she doesn't notice the mess.

Toxicshmoxic Fri 13-Sep-13 21:02:54

Mine is the same! Irons bloody everything, told me proudly her whites were two shades whiter than mine.

Elfcat my DH was also banned from the kitchen, he couldn't cook or take care of himself at all. He cooked me breakfast once and was heavily mirco managed and told off for oil spits.

Its so sad, I understand that people drink too much, clean to much, shout to much, i suppose its all the same sort of illness really, shame they cant try and do something about it though.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Fri 13-Sep-13 21:15:16

Mine is exactly the same. I have 4 children, she had 3. My house is a shit tip "lived in" whereas hers always was and still is immaculate. Her husband was never expected to lift a finger with housework even when they both worked full time, whereas DH does at least half the household chores here. Every time she comes round, without fail, she makes some manner of snarky comment. It might be chastising me for "making" DH put laundry away or most recently cheerfully remarking that I'll have lots more time for housework now DD has started school. hmm

It drives me potty and I do drive myself even more round the bend trying to scrub the house clean if I know she's coming round. I need to get a grip and tell her to sod off instead!

Toxicshmoxic Fri 13-Sep-13 21:20:33

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

AdoraBell Fri 13-Sep-13 21:25:40

If you take a sofá and get MIL To sit on it while you also sit on it would you both be on the same part and taking up only enough space for 1 person? If not then I'd say you and MIL are two seperate and independant people. That means that you are líkely To do things differentlywink.

I'm sure you are not forcing anyone To visit a home they would feel uncomfortable in, so she doesn't have To visit unless she chooses Togrin

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