Advanced search

dp's family assuming the domestic is my realm...

(61 Posts)
PinkPoncho Mon 24-Oct-11 23:06:32

since we've had the children, I've been a bit suprised how my dp's sisters and mum seem to think that the domestic stuff is all my job. For example, they remind me of various relatives birthdays (on their side of the family) and i say OK, I'll remind him...hmm or basically in conversations assume I do all the laundry/cleaning..they are thinking of trying to get me a dishwasher! They are nice but is that the norm (eg being in charge of relatives pressies etc)

squeakyfreakytoy Mon 24-Oct-11 23:07:31

I would say it is the norm, but then I am quaintly old fashioned. grin

Cathycomehome Mon 24-Oct-11 23:10:40

Not in this house - but my PIL (sort of, partner's parents) still think I ruined their PFB's life, so meh.

AgentZigzag Mon 24-Oct-11 23:10:58

I used to get the birthday thing as well, just tell them they're telling the wrong person.

smile to them thinking of getting you a dishwasher, who'd turn that generous offer down?

mamas12 Mon 24-Oct-11 23:11:39

just keep on carrying on doing what you're doing and don't let them get to you.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 24-Oct-11 23:11:44

I'd say it was the norm - if slightly depressing. My own DM gets annoyed when my brother forgets some family birthday or other 'now that he has a wife'. <stifles snort> I remind her that he's capable of posting a card all by his little 40-odd year-old self but this is a shocking suggestion, apparently....

Cathycomehome Mon 24-Oct-11 23:11:55

I see your dishwasher, and raise you the handy 10 brush cleaning brush set....

aldiwhore Mon 24-Oct-11 23:13:42

Its probably the norm, but you don't have to conform, they'll get the message eventually, over the next 20years or so!

I do admit I do the whole 'calendar' thing, so I remember birthdays etc., however, I am rubbish at posting anything so DH does that.

Other domestic chores are shared on balance, accept when he's not here, then he can't... but I would hate the assumption that its my realm. No one in my family, extended family or friendship groups would dare buy me a domestic appliance for a birthday or christmas, but meh, if the in laws are offering to get one for no reason, I wouldn't care if they referred to it as mine. smile

I noticed this once I had children too... guess its assumed you'll take on all the traditional 'motherly' roles even though they're not all part of motherhood! My mother bought me an Apron for Christmas just after I'd had my first child, her timing was impacable and I did growl. (Had she not also bought me some very lovely knitwear it would have almost been unforgiveable!)

PartyPooperz Mon 24-Oct-11 23:15:09

Nope. You do your family, he does his. You both sign the cards.

Men have been prolific and wordy correspondents throughout history - we have libraries full of collections of letters and diaries written by men (St Paul, Pepys, Churchill etc etc) so I would think them very capable of corresponding with others on their own behalf, but then I am quaintly old fashioned.

KatieMortician Mon 24-Oct-11 23:15:16

My dh's family have tried this a couple of times. Comments about how they have birthday books etc to help them keep track of birthdays. I just give them a quizzical look and say I never forget my familiy's birthdays. Then I pause, and say that dh is a bit rubbish at remembering isn't he?! My attitude is that they're not my family, not my responsibility - particularly because they don't remember ds's birthday hmm The only exception I make is for the children's birthdays.

Dh is also in charge of actioning domestic duties... I am more strategy.

It is old-fashioned and sexist to presume that because you have a uterus you are all domesticated.

PinkPoncho Mon 24-Oct-11 23:24:26

Ah that is a relief to hear it is not just me then. So, when his 99 yr old nan, his brother in law (husband to the sis) and sister, don't get cards this week due to his forgetfulness, it won't be my fault! To be honest, I hardly remember my own family's birthdays apart from the kids that is.

I have been bought for birthday/christmas presents (since having the kids) things like-
Annabel Karmel after school meal planner (after just having ds2 and making a sandwich seemed an acheivement)
Yoghurt maker
Slow cooker

All things which make me feel argh! tbh.

Still, is maybe to 'help' me take on the domestic realm better. Wait and see, bet I'll get a 'family planner' for Christmas...with all the birthdays in!

I'm really just fuming a bit as my dp's mum babysat for the first time overnight on Fri, came back to find she had tidied all their clothes cupboards!

AgentZigzag Mon 24-Oct-11 23:40:40

The other 'helpful' gifts they've given you do put a different slant on the dishwasher.

Those, mixed with the tidying the cupboards, and it does look as though you need to draw a line of where it becomes intrusive.

That's never an easy thing to do though when its a situation that could easily be taken the wrong way and descend into cold shoulders and snide remarks.

I'd play the long game (just a figure of speech rather than game playing) and be confident in who you and your DP really are.

I've always been drawn to getting a yogurt maker, but I suspect it'd just fester in the Kitchen Appliances That Seemed A Good Idea At The Time cupboard grin

WidowWadman Mon 24-Oct-11 23:40:57

Husband and I are equally bad at remembering to send cards, but I do get the feeling that it's reflecting more badly on me than him. Noone ever says so outright, so I don't know exactly why I get the feeling. Might be telepathy.

PinkPoncho Tue 25-Oct-11 00:13:14

Yes and the sis (who mainly gets me the things) gets Chanel makeup for her birthday! Hmm.

cece Tue 25-Oct-11 00:19:19

My MIL cleans my kitchen floor whenever she babysits. grin

I now make sure I leave it nice and dirty for her better satisfaction grin

But then my DM cleans my oven when she visits smile so maybe I am a bit slovenly!

PinkPoncho Tue 25-Oct-11 00:30:04

Ah cece that makes me feel better. Glad to know it's not just me. It's difficult because they are so nice and probably just trying to help. Possibly.

dramatrauma Tue 25-Oct-11 00:30:11

Take the dishwasher!

My MIL cleans my kitchen when she comes. I now leave out cleaning supplies for her, and I come home to a lovely sanitised kitchen. I consider it free labour. She does this to my SIL, too, and it annoys her no end. I only wish MIL would run the Hoover too.

ravenAK Tue 25-Oct-11 00:30:24

My personal favourite was MIL: 'Have you forgotten that £50 again?'

Me: 'Eh?'

MIL: 'You were supposed to pay me back a week ago!'

Me: 'I was?'

It transpires that a couple of weeks ago dh borrowed £50 from her (some convoluted story involving a debit card in the wrong trousers...) which he assured her I would repay when I collected dd2, whom she was looking after for the afternoon a couple of days later.

Fine -what's his is mine etc - except dh then completely forgot to inform me of any of this...but is it his fault as far as MIL is concerned? Certainly not. I should be relieving dh of his salary, giving him pocket money & monitoring his spending & liabilities, apparently! grin

KatieMortician Tue 25-Oct-11 00:32:31

I wouldn't give it masses of thought. My own family and dh's family buy the most inappropriate presents for both me and dh. I either exchange, regift or charity shop it depending on the relationship and how offended they'd be.

I am often astounded at just how wrong they get it but dh's mum for example, who I barely know does really good presents. I think it's because she's quiet and listens so she soaks up relevant info like a sponge. My lot and FIL do not listen - we are all too busy being interesting and important (me included).

I am lucky I have everything I could possibly ever need and I can buy my own Chanel/Bobbi Brown/Dermalogica etc.

Much better presents are babysitting or going for a nice meal. Stuff that isn't hugely expensive but is worth 1000 x more than any gift.

dramatrauma Tue 25-Oct-11 00:34:18

RavenAK... you certainly should be. Neglectful wifery, that.

KatieMortician Tue 25-Oct-11 00:34:59

I only wish MIL would run the Hoover too Roars

AnnieLobeseder Tue 25-Oct-11 00:37:22

One person's quaintly old fashioned is another person's doormat.

DH is entirely responsible for remembering his own stuff and appointments. I am not his secretary.

We split the domestic work 50/50 - I am not his housekeeper.

Luckily he comes from a culture when women don't take no shit from their men and the men are all military trained so know how to do their own ironing, so he accepts this as normal, as do his family.

AgentZigzag Tue 25-Oct-11 00:44:10

But what's the difference drama, between how you're able to take advantage appreciate your MIL cleaning your kitchen, and your SIL who might have taken it as a criticism and intrusion into her space?

Do you know your MIL does it out of love rather than having a snipe, and if there were constantly other criticisms made about you then you'd presume it was more of the same?

Or is your SIL just a general PITA? like mine

ravenAK Tue 25-Oct-11 00:49:17

I intend to action her wise recommendations immediately, dramatrauma. grin

brdgrl Tue 25-Oct-11 00:56:50

try "but we have a dishwasher, it's DH!"

i married a widower with kids. was not prepared for how many people would immediately assume that i'd taken on all domestic and child-rearing tasks! of course, when he did them on his own as a single dad, it was viewed by some people as a major accomplishment that he could boil water, let alone run a household, gasp, by himself! but a woman naturally ought to be able to do it better. hmm

Join the discussion

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

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: