When my husband and I lived with his mother, I was concerned about her care for my husband. She wasn’t happy with me often because I wouldn’t say I liked iron clothes properly, I didn’t cook much, and I had to live by her rules in general. We decided to buy an apartment as soon as possible and left my mother-in-law behind.
But somehow, we ended up buying a house outside the city. I run a freelance business from our home, and my husband works in the city every day. We have the exact schedules and earn the same money, dividing all household tasks equally. Once a week we hire a cleaning company to help with maintenance. As far as cooking is concerned, we rarely do it. Instead, we order food from restaurants. This is why we have never argued about housework.
Despite this, my husband’s mother, Ms. Gardener, decided to visit us at our home. We live pretty close to the city, but buses do not come to our house, so you must walk about a mile if you do not have a car. Ms. Gardener decided she would like to visit us during the weekend, so she asked her son to bring her to our house.
When she first looked around the house, she was happy to see that it was clean, but when she looked into the kitchen and saw only bread, sausages, and sweets, she was shocked.
“Let me make you something,” she said, offering to make you something.
The mother-in-law’s behavior stunned me. I was waiting for a guest, not a chief of the house. I politely declined and explained we ordered food and rarely ate leftovers. Hence, yesterday’s soup is something my husband will not eat. She didn’t listen, put water in a pan, and started looking for meat in the freezer, but it was nowhere to be found.
She calmed down and started embroidering. She took everything she needed with her, and I continued to work since I needed to finish an urgent order. The man returned from the store where he had purchased meat for his mother. We decided to roast it on the wood pellet grill in the backyard. We have only used it twice since we moved here.
I watched as my mother-in-law began marinating the meat and later began to wash all the dishes, even though we had a dishwasher. I was upset, but I did not look up since it had only happened once.
“She will leave tomorrow, and everything will fall into place,” I thought.
Ms. Gardener left, but to my disappointment, the following week, she returned, bringing bags of food with her. She began cooking, canning, and ironing clothes. The cleaners came midday on Friday because they had been scheduled to clean up our house.
The girls from the cleaning company arrived about three o’clock, just when my mother-in-law decided to mop the floor, but did not respond to my displeasure and requested that they do not do so. The girls did what they usually do, but Ms. Gardener was highly dissatisfied with the whole situation.
In a rage, she screamed at me, “Strangers clean up at your house, so why are you here?”.
“Ms. Gardener, we pay money to these people; they do their job.”
“Are you a housewife, homemaker, or do I not know who you are?” Ms. Gardener interrupted me.
A new housekeeper had shown up in our house without our knowledge, and I didn’t argue with her, argue with my husband, or shout at her. After all, she was my mother-in-law!
“Ms. Gardener, I think it is about time that you go home,” I replied calmly. “I will call a taxi for you.”.
My mother-in-law said something to me, but I didn’t want to listen. I waited for my husband and explained that this situation with his mother bothered me, and I was not too fond of it. My husband said she also irritates him, but he doesn’t know what to do.
My mother-in-law did not respond to my words and requests as I described the situation and told her what not to do. So we just packed up and went to sea, even though she was not aware. She called us on Friday, saying I was near the house, but no one was opening the gate. We had been on vacation for three days and did not tell her that.
Although my mother-in-law was angry that she wasn’t left with the keys to my house, I ruled that no housekeeper would be allowed in my home except me.
My mother-in-law didn’t receive any notice when we arrived back at our house; we ignored her calls, and I think she understood what had happened because she stopped talking to us as often as before and didn’t visit.
Currently, she calls us once a week to see how things are going, but she no longer considers herself the housekeeper in our household.