To leave MIL to get on with it?

(29 Posts)
SpaceToad Thu 17-Nov-16 14:40:27

When we visit the PIL, MIL runs around after DH and FIL, cups of tea, cooking everything etc, and is gradually expecting me to join her in running around after the menfolk.
I'm not doing it. I've let her run round as usual and joined DH and FIL in sitting around and not helping. MIL has made it clear she isn't too happy with me. I have ignored it. I really really don't want to perpetuate this sexist nonsense! Especially as DS is getting to understand a bit if what's going on and I have arguements with DH at home about his lack of domestic input. He does little cooking and little washing and has to be told what chores need to be done.
So WIBU to add to MIL's workload? Especially as she babysitted for us!

MangoBiscuit Thu 17-Nov-16 14:45:02

I'd probably say cheerfully, "Oh MIL, sit down and have a rest! It's DH's/FIL's /my turn to make the teas"
At PILs, I always ask if there's anything I can do when MIL is running about. If there's not, I go sit down. If there is, I help. DH gets a free pass for the first wave, then I fully expect everyone to muck in, and will say so.

But if your MIL wants to martyr herself, she's entitled to do so, just not entitled to expect you to do so too.

Autumnsunshinebaby Thu 17-Nov-16 14:45:21

Yes very unreasonable! Sounds like you and your husband are both being rude. If I was a guest in someone's house I would offer to help as would my husband even if we were staying with our parents. The least you can do is thank her, make everyone a cup of tea once in a while and clear the dishes after dinner.

Planty18 Thu 17-Nov-16 14:48:41

If she wants help, any of you can help, it doesn't have to be you but you could just tell your dh to get up and help when it's his turn. Fil is your mil's issue, it's a bit rude for no one to offer help but I see your point too.

QuiteLikely5 Thu 17-Nov-16 14:48:55

Being a guest it's nice to offer help. The sexist stuff is a side issue that should be addressed within your own four walls as how MiL conducts her marriage is nothing to do with you unless you are happy for her to weigh in on your own marriage of course hmm

SapphireStrange Thu 17-Nov-16 14:49:51

I agree with this:

'I'd probably say cheerfully, "Oh MIL, sit down and have a rest! It's DH's/FIL's /my turn to make the teas" '

and add a pointed glare at the aforementioned wastes of space individuals.

Velvetdarkness Thu 17-Nov-16 14:50:08

I'd tell my husband to put the kettle on/help his mum. In fact I do do that. It's his job not yours.

Katy07 Thu 17-Nov-16 14:51:10

Sapphire Strange
^^

clare2307 Thu 17-Nov-16 14:51:17

I'd probably help now & again and also tell my husband that he should also pitch in and do his fair share now & again. Surely when brought to his attention he would be happy to make the odd cup of tea of his parents & wife? A for FIL - I'd leave him to it...

WorkAccount Thu 17-Nov-16 14:52:41

I'd tell my husband to put the kettle on/help his mum. In fact I do do that. It's his job not yours.

I would help only after my husband helped, in fact I do this to my step dad, "step dad isn't it time YOU cleared the table?"

KatharinaRosalie Thu 17-Nov-16 14:53:48

The least you can do is to give your lazy husband a kick in the backside and tell HIM to make everyone a cup of tea once in a while and clear the dishes after dinner.

DillyDilly Thu 17-Nov-16 14:54:44

While I wouldn't be making teas, etc. specifically for your DH/FIL, I certainly wouldn't eat meals prepared by her/drink tea made by her and not offer to her out. You'd be as bad as the males if you did.

Why not, after a meal say - come on everyone, let's help tidy up. MIL You sit down , you've done enough and maybe DH would make the tea.

witsender Thu 17-Nov-16 14:57:03

You're making this her fault and problem. The real problem area is your husband and FiL.

Gottagetmoving Thu 17-Nov-16 14:59:45

You're making this her fault and problem. The real problem area is your husband and FiL

Exactly. Have a word with your DH and tell him to have a word with his Dad.
If MIL has made it clear she is not happy with you then tell her you are not happy with her son and his Dad

Nanny0gg Thu 17-Nov-16 15:02:13

You can't do nothing - that would make you rude. However there is no need to wait on your DH. Make very direct remarks to him about helping.
Her husband's lack of help is her business.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Thu 17-Nov-16 15:06:55

I too would say something along the lines of "You sit down. It's DH's turn." And appear oblivious to PIL's reactions.

I would be having a talk (or series of talks) with DH about how his upbringing has taught him not to pull his weight in terms of domestic tasks. What happens during visits to PIL neatly illustrates the damage. Point out how important it is to your DS's future happiness that he learns to pull his weight: his peers are unlikely to tolerate dinosaur attitudes in prospective partners.

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 17-Nov-16 15:09:54

Its sheer madness in this day and age that one person runs around while a group of other people sit on their arses.

I do Christmas every year for my DH and 4 kids, plus Fil and Bil. Plan, prepare, cook and clear away. Lunch, dinner and snacks. Fil has not once in 22 years lifted a hand to help in any way whatsoever, and the others only help when asked.

Fil has recently suggested that we go out for Christmas lunch, "so Tinkly doesn't have to do so much work", ( actually my idea of hell). When I suggested that if everyone mucked in a bit more I wouldn't have so much work, he was visibly shocked.

Things are going to change this year.

HumphreyCobblers Thu 17-Nov-16 15:14:27

The MIL is also making it the OP's problem, by being annoyed at her and not her own child.

Trojanhorsebox Thu 17-Nov-16 15:31:59

Difficult - I think everyone should help and it shouldn't just be expected of you as a female. So I would be with the posters encouraging your husband to help too, not sure you can do much about FIL.

I get where you're coming from though - the expectation that you, as a woman, will help and the displeasure when you don't..........I had that from my grandmother from a very young age. She was widowed young but had very strong stereotypical views of male and female roles. I was expected to help with chores and constantly told off and criticized, whereas my brother was waited on hand and foot and worshiped. It has left me with a very chippy attitude and woe betide my husband and teenage boys if they try and leave me to do all the clearing up. I probably do go over the top somewhat blush

I really really do not want to raise sons who will perpetuate these stereotypes. my brother is great actually - cooks a lot, is King of the dishwasher and a very hands on Dad.

blitheringbuzzards1234 Thu 17-Nov-16 15:32:01

Is your MIL very traditional about household tasks? It's possible that if you help she'll complain that you're not doing jobs her way and still won't be happy. Some people enjoy playing the martyr - it makes them feel needed but that's her problem.
My MIL believes that cooking/cleaning etc is a wife's job -"It's what women are for!" Shock, horror. As for men - their jobs are finance/mending things/gardening - "That's what men are for!" Almost a comedy in itself these days. Obviously your MIL's out-dated attitudes have rubbed off on DH and I think there's a tactful way to approach this, as other posters have suggested. Humour and tact are the way forward - don't become a domestic slave.

Arfarfanarf Thu 17-Nov-16 15:32:09

Well, now you know why your husband expects maid service from you.

I think you're fighting a losing battle tbh, she probably feels very strongly that it's how it should be done. her husband has had a lifetime of being pandered to and they raised your husband to be the same.

I would be straight with her. I appreciate that's not the approach a lot of people would take but I prefer to be direct and that's what I'd advise you do.

Mil, I love you but I will not run around after adults, it's not acceptable. I don't want my son to grow up to think that's what to expect from women.

RuskBaby Thu 17-Nov-16 15:37:04

Crazily unreasonable! MIL does everything for FIL at home, it's their way and always has been. However when we go to visit I help her and so does DH, she loves to care for us but I'm not comfortable letting her all of the time. When DC1 is tiny, I will let her do more for me but DH will be there to help to.

MagicChanges Thu 17-Nov-16 15:42:06

My MIL was the same. I'm afraid it was just the way she was brought up "a child of her time" when it was the done thing for women to wait on the men. I do think though that some of it sprung from the fact in the 40s and 50s very few women worked outside of the home and the men did, so the women saw it as their job. My DIL had a sister and 3 brothers and she and her sister had to wait on the brothers as well as their dad! My mom waited on us all - dad and 4 girls!!

I honestly don't think it's possible to change these deeply ingrained attitudes, as they are inter generational. Thankfully things have changed now but it takes decades to change stuff like this...........................

ChipmunkSundays Thu 17-Nov-16 15:47:37

Being a guest it's nice to offer help. The sexist stuff is a side issue that should be addressed within your own four walls as how MiL conducts her marriage is nothing to do with you unless you are happy for her to weigh in on your own marriage of course hmm

I actually agree with this. When you´re a guest in someone else´s house all you really have control over is your own and your children´s behaviour. So I would be a polite guest and offer to help if that´s what MiL wants, even if gritting my teeth a bit. Nothing to stop you having a quiet word with DH beforehand to explain that you don't like being the only one to help, of course, and asking him to pitch in a bit more to stop it all falling on you.

Your DS will primarily respond to what he sees at home, not what happens at GP´s house where you presumably go only once a week/month/year/whatever. I think better to focus on establishing a mutually respectful atmosphere at his own home rather than getting annoyed about what happens at someone else´s house.

diddl Thu 17-Nov-16 15:56:32

First port of call-tell your husband to get off his arse & help his mum!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now