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Mil & cleaning

(56 Posts)
Pyjamaramadrama Mon 16-Feb-15 09:53:46

Mil is very traditional and likes to take on the role of cooking cleaning etc.

It rubbed of on dp who used to be a lazy so and so but is getting much better.

He's selling his house as we're moving in together, we're emptying the house and sorting through stuff and mil turns up to 'help ME clean for him'.

I wanted to sort through stuff and go to skip/charity shop, was no point cleaning as not moving out for 3 weeks so imo it will need going over again due to moving furniture touching up bits of paint/sanding down etc. she took it upon herself to hoover rooms I'd already done.

I wanted to do the skip runs but ended up feeling obliged to wipe doorframes while dp got on with the man jobs.

My nose was pushed out of joint and now there is talk of her coming to help me clean when my baby comes.

Dp and I have lower standards than her but are not complete slatterns. I want dp to step up and this does not help him to do so. It just gets on my nerves but I'm supposed to be grateful for the help.

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 16-Feb-15 09:54:36

Rubbed off on dp.

Quitelikely Mon 16-Feb-15 09:59:00

Opinions will vary. I've had no help whatsoever from my own family because I don't like near and no help whatsoever from my mil regarding anything really.

So I would snap her arm off if she offered smile

My advice is pick your battles with the in laws. I've seen it turn very black and sour on MN over the dreaded mil.

If she loves cleaning do much get her to do the tasks you hate!

Or risk upsetting the apple cart and tell her to back off.

KnittedJimmyChoos Mon 16-Feb-15 10:01:40

If you dont need her help its best to be honest. I didnt need my mils help but felt too poilite to refuse, I have had this help thrown back in my face many times...she was like a maytr scrubbing stairs, moaning about her back.

it would have been mush easier to say no in teh first place OR be very very very clear with lots of repition, Help if you want too as we dont need it..

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 16-Feb-15 10:03:36

I wouldn't say anything because she's a nice lady and it's not worth upsetting anyone over.

It was the assumption that I was going to be spending the day wiping skirting boards when I had no intentions, although would have given the house the once over, with dp, once it was empty. But I wasn't assertive enough to say actually I'm not cleaning or to say that I'd already done the rooms she was redoing.

DoJo Mon 16-Feb-15 10:04:47

I wanted to do the skip runs but ended up feeling obliged to wipe doorframes while dp got on with the man jobs.

Honestly? You are just as guilty of pandering to his laziness if you collude in her view that the jobs you describe are for women and he should be doing the more interesting/rewarding aspects of the task.

I want dp to step up and this does not help him to do so.

If you mean that you immediately falling into the role his mother designates for you then I agree.

It just gets on my nerves but I'm supposed to be grateful for the help.

Why? It's his house and his mother - in what way are you being helped? Surely you were helping him to clear out his old house, so her joining in is helping him, not you. Unless you mean her coming when the baby comes in which case it's only help if you actually want her to do it. Why not suggest that she makes you some easily freezable meals or some other practical job which isn't quite so intrusive and presumptuous?

SaucyMare Mon 16-Feb-15 10:06:17

could you get her to cook instead of clean, as with my first baby i was so very grateful my mum was there providing me with full meals whilst i was knackered trying to breast feed.

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 16-Feb-15 10:07:30

I definitely don't want any help with cleaning when the baby is here.

I've done it completely on my own with my older child and if the house isn't spotless then so be it. Dp can do some weekends as he needs to realise that things don't just magically get done, and he is starting to because I don't try to take it all on.

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 16-Feb-15 10:15:24

Dojo the 'women's/mens job' was supposed to be tongue in cheek.

Mil turned up and stayed that she was going to help ME clean for DP. I had no intentions of cleaning for dp I wanted to help him empty the house then clean together on another day. I wasn't assertive enough to say this so just daftly went along with her assumptions.

I don't want her to cook or clean, I've had a baby already and did it completely on my own and also moved into a completely empty house on my own with bugger all and little help. This time I have my own home all ready for baby and dp is around.

Feellikescrooge Mon 16-Feb-15 10:16:36

I lost my lovely MIL in December. When I had DC1 I was initially a bit put out by her requests to help with the cleaning until my best friend pointed out I had done exactly that for her when she had her baby because all her family were abroad. It is just a practical way of helping and showing support. Take it and be grateful.

Until the day she died my MIL made me a cake every Saturday and I don't like cake! However she would bring it around and have a slice with a cuppa and I would say how lovely it was. When the DC were younger they would demolish it! She was an amazing cook.

It is always going to be a difficult relationship if you ascribe motives that may not be there. Maybe she enjoys cleaning and knows you and DP don't. It is a win win situation, you will be able to enjoy a new baby and a clean house and she will feel helpful and valued.

Trisagion Mon 16-Feb-15 10:19:26

Interesting thoughts here. I remember crying with tiredness when my children were born and desperately wanting some help. Mother died young and MiL not up to it. Now I'm a grandmother I've offered help and been glad to do it as I remember so well how hard it all was. DDs and DiLs have accepted gratefully and graciously but I've been careful to ask what they wanted doing first and to do just that and leave it there.

SaucyMare Mon 16-Feb-15 10:20:42

ok so you did it wonderfully last time, why not try it a little easier this time, with triple the help.

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 16-Feb-15 10:23:17

Sorry to hear about your mil Scrooge.

I suppose there's a few issues. My parents are the total opposite, they only help if asked, so I'm used to doing things my own way.

I'm not keen on mil's traditional ways, she assumes a lot that I'll be doing certain things such as cooking and cleaning when actually I see them as shared tasks between dp and I.

DoJo Mon 16-Feb-15 10:24:15

Dojo the 'women's/mens job' was supposed to be tongue in cheek.

I gathered that, but seeing as you went along with it instead of doing what you knew was more practical, you can't really complain that she is responsible for your partner's attitude. You had the opportunity to do what actually needed doing, but instead did the task that she had designated for you. Saying that you don't think the jobs should have been assigned by gender doesn't count for much if you don't actually follow through with your actions.

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 16-Feb-15 10:31:31

True Dojo, I suppose what I should have done is told the truth but I wasn't sure whether she'd be offended or what.

Saucy I'm not trying to play the martyr saying oh I can do it all myself. But I doubt I'll change. I find anyone cleaning in my space very intrusive especially if I haven't asked for that help and that person is doing bits that I've already done.

TheOddity Mon 16-Feb-15 10:42:46

You are obviously pretty independent and don't like to be put into this role which isn't you, I totally empathise with that.

BUT it's ok to play along sometimes if it will help your relationship with mother in law. How you act when she is around can contradict how you are in your home with DP in private. Does she love cleaning and tidying? If am a bit like that and for example I itch to tidy my sister's bedroom even though I know she would hate it! Maybe MIL would get a lot of personal satisfaction out of it? Or does she like to be a martyr? If it is the former, choose something for her to do that you don't mind and act grateful. If it is the latter, I would politely decline the help.

Just remember that her views about who should do what in the house are just her views, you won't change them by being arsey about it and kicking up a fuss and stropping about cleaning skirting boards. Not saying you have to clean skirting boards but it won't change her opinion about it all. Do whatever you can to keep a good relationship, because that's what is important really. A sacrifice here and there on your principled cleaning won't change your partner's mind anyway!

MelonBallersAreStrange Mon 16-Feb-15 10:44:31

If she is lovely but old-fashioned, she might be a bit hmm at you not doing the wifely duties but I doubt your honesty would cause offence.

She'd most likely talk to her friends about how pyjama is such a modern wife and Mr Pyjama doesn't seem to mind one bit. She'll be a bit confused by your relationship. Meh.

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 16-Feb-15 11:02:44

The oddity, I suppose that how I felt. I've been with dp a long time and had no issues with his family. Although once I mentioned that dp had cleaned the oven and she looked very puzzled. They complain about their dds husband doing bugger all and dd being the long suffering wife and I just think well...

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 16-Feb-15 11:10:46

I'm just a bit worried because I've lived on my own for so long, dp came along and I found him to be a lazy bugger around the house, I know you shouldn't try to change someone but he has realised that the cleaning fairy doesn't do it all and we've had various discussions about sharing the load, how I don't enjoy cleaning any more than he does and he now does his bit.

Obviously now we're going to be in our own place and our baby in laws are naturally going to want to be more involved and I don't want to feel pressured into domestic goddess role by mil turning up to clean or with frozen meals. Dp and I need to do this our way, dp needs to step up not his mother.

Purplepoodle Mon 16-Feb-15 11:12:00

She sounds quite sweet and wants to help. Channel her energy. Let her clean and just say to her I'm going to do X, y, z. Just get on with what you want to do

MayLuke83 Mon 16-Feb-15 11:27:26

Like QuiteLikely said, opinions regarding this sort of thing definitely varies on mn. I went through a similar scenario when I had my baby earlier this year. My partner's family are very traditional and his mother really expected to be involved in all areas of 'helping' when the baby came was her own experience. Our expectations didn't match, I was happy to have her help with home cooked meals, picking up a few things from shop for us in early days etc but as I became more comfortable with baby I really wanted some privacy and certainly didn't need regular help with cleaning. I think for me I wasn't used to the presumptioness of it all and that sometimes it was really about meeting the needs of my partner's mother rather than ours. My partner was also on paternity leave and very hands on, his own father had never taken a role with child care/cleaning when partner was a baby so his mother just assumed she would carry on the 'woman's tasks' when the reality was that her son was more than capable! It would have been a much more pleasant experience had she asked a bit more what type of help was better for us. So really I understand and I don't think YABU at all.

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 16-Feb-15 11:39:10

What happened in the end Mayluke?

I guess that what it comes down to is for me cleaning isn't helping it's overstepping the mark. Even if the dust is building up and the bathroom could do with a scrub I can't see me under any circumstances feeling comfortable with someone coming in and looking in my toilet.

For me helping would be offering a few hours babysitting, or perhaps inviting us for dinner, or buying me a coffee and a slice of cake out.

TheBooMonster Mon 16-Feb-15 12:56:54

I have taken to keeping my house in a condition I'm happy with, if my MiL wants to come in and clean and tidy before she's even put her coat down and had a cup of tea, that's up to her. It does drive me mental though that all the cleaning is considered to be my responsibility because I'm the woman in the relationship, we briefly moved in with DH's parents and he's been a complete bloody disaster since, whereas he used to be pretty good about doing his share >.>

Thymeout Mon 16-Feb-15 13:09:38

Just tell her what you'd like. She has her assumptions and you have your issues about man/woman work and having someone clean up after you.

She's not a mind-reader. It doesn't have to be a feminist harangue. You don't have to justify your stance.

Just ask her to do what you'd like her to do. She's not overstepping the mark if she doesn't know it exists. She's only doing what she would have liked someone to do for her.

paxtecum Mon 16-Feb-15 13:16:47

I had CSs and would have been very grateful for anyone to do some cleaning for me.
The carpets didn't get hoovered for 6 weeks because 'D'H refused to do them. He insisted they looked ok.

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