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To be furious with my MIL when she tells my husband my laundry skills are lacking??

(164 Posts)
MadWinter Sun 02-Dec-12 22:18:05

Hey, my DH and MIL have had a serious chat about all the things the in-laws find very hard to take. The stuff that really worries them. This includes: the mess in the sideroom, grey underpants that used to be white their grandson is wearing, smelly shirts their grandson is wearing to school and the general disarray of our house. I am absolutely furious. What on earth is she thinking. My DH never does anything in the house, and besides, who cares. My household is up to my standards, and yes, sometimes I see stuff that needs to be done differently but either don't know a better solution (the grey underpants are 2 years old, my DS grabs them from the bottom of the pile as he loves them so much, and I have been meaning to throw them away, and yes the smelly shirts sounds awful, but sometimes the room they are drying in is a tad too cold and it takes too long for them to dry and then they have a slight smell, no idea what to do about that really). Anyway, so I don't know a better solution, or, frankly it hasn't been my priority (the mess in the sideroom has been on my to do list for a year, but there's always a leaky tap or a lawn to be mown first). But what on earth is she doing even thinking about this, then commenting on it and discussing it with my DH. And why on earth do I even bother defending myself in my own mind??? Surely this is none of her business. Or should I be grateful someone cares? Should I be grateful someone bothers to let me know? Should I enlist her for advice on what detergent to use and how to hang my laundry??

FellatioNelson Mon 10-Dec-12 06:06:54

Can't quite believe this thread is still going, but as it is, it has just reminded me of the Smelly Family at a school my DS once attended. They were famous throughout the village for being spectacularly, unutterably minging, from Mum and Dad, through all six kids down to the baby in the pram. The poor girl (about 13) didn't seem to go to school much, the parents didn't seem to have LDs or anything, but they were known to SS I think. The children always stank of piss, shit and that familiar, yet unidentifiable 'smelly kid' smell, that comes from living in an environment where nothing is ever washed, cleaned or aired, ever. My friend was a teacher there and she said it was not unheard of for one of the boys to sleep in his school uniform, wet himself, and then turn up the following day in the same clothes. The boys always had thick, black, crusty muck around their ears and necks.

My teacher friend told me that loads of people had tried to intervene to help them though school etc., that they did have a washing machine, regular hot water etc, neither parent worked so time was not a factor - they just were not prepared to make an effort. Those children were absolute pariahs. sad On eof them was very very naught - not surprising really. He probably had so much pent up frustration and hurt at being rejected all the time. sad

Of course that is a very extreme case, and I am not suggesting that the OP's little boy is anywhere near in danger of being neglected like that, but honestly, if someone is pointing out to you that your casual and slightly slovenly attitudes are making your children a bit smelly then you should really listen. Even if it is the dreaded MIL.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 10-Dec-12 01:51:21

I cannot believe I just read a post implying the op has depression, its a musty shirt and a pair of grey pants

Just incase I'm off to get sectioned as most of my knickers are grey and I found some socks with a hole in today and still wore them.

ZenNudist Sun 09-Dec-12 23:46:18

OP you never answered what your dh's stance in this was. Was he saying to you 'mIL doesn't like x and y, YOU need to sort it out'? Or was he working out how you could both work together to be more on top of your lives? Any time he is not working should share leisure and domestic duties so that you both get equal leisure. If he works long hours he needs to push back as much as possible to ensure he can help out at home. I don't think it's reasonable to expect you todo it all.

You sound far to nice to do this but really you should point out to your MIL that if she is going to criticise the way you AND your DH choose to live, perhaps she would be more comfortable staying in a hotel or visiting you less . Personally I would never ever be rude enough to tell people I love that they live in squalor or I don't approve. I am not so arrogant. I have a few friends & family members whose homes are neither welcoming or suitable for ds, so we visit less and invite them to us. C'est la vie, better that than explain why I'm not comfortable in their homes. Rude rude rude.

CindySherman Sun 09-Dec-12 23:29:30

Your MIL had some very valid points.
Now you are sorting them out. I am sure your family would feel
Much more cosy and comfortable in a clean house? It's not a wasted life confused

goralka Tue 04-Dec-12 17:41:48

it only takes a few seconds to wipe your husband's arse after he's done a dump, so why aren't you doing that, you lazy neglectful wife?
grin love it

ithaka Tue 04-Dec-12 07:36:09

ummm....'life is too short' - you only have to squeeze some bleach into the powder drawer of the washing machine?

Well, you could use that argument for anything - it only takes a few seconds to wipe your husband's arse after he's done a dump, so why aren't you doing that, you lazy neglectful wife?

Honestly, this isn't the 1950s and women don't have to take stick from their MILs for not keeping their husband's pants white enough.

pictish Mon 03-Dec-12 21:10:10

Our house is slightly organised chaos, and I'm told very homely and relaxing to be in. We have a lot of stuff and the skirting boards haven't seen a cloth for years ages...but the floors are always hoovered, there's always somewhere to sit, eat, prepare food, wash, sleep and play. We find even the bare minimum really really time consuming though. We have no love and little motivation to do housework, other than to make the home relaxing and practical to live in.
Living in a shit hole is neither of those things.

I don't think the OP is the slattern you all want her to be anyway. She says it's not that bad. Take her at her word, because you've got nothing else to go on that isn't just making it up.

StinkyWicket Mon 03-Dec-12 20:58:40

My whites are grey precisely BECAUSE DH helps with the laundry.

OP, YANBU. I got a tumble dryer because I couldn't deal with damp stuff - towels and the like will never dry in my house unless I leave them on a radiator for a day, then the house doesn't warm up and it still takes ages!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 03-Dec-12 20:58:32

And really - if you do your laundry correctly then your whites don't go grey!

giveitago Mon 03-Dec-12 20:55:34

"I don't believe a clean house is a wasted life.
I think that's something messy people tell themselves so they feel better about the tip they bounce around in."

I don't agree - at least in my case DH around and it's 24/7 crap and cleaning after him. We've just had a a really shit time and now he's working more - good - the place is cleaner naturally and I can spend more time doing important things. I'm not above cleaning at all plus I work. Some men are lazy and many are lazy as they are backed buy their mums, like my h.

Flosshilde Mon 03-Dec-12 20:52:57

OP ignore, ignore, ignore. You can now sort the damp washing smell but the rest of it, whatever. And this comes from someone classed as a clean freak by many of her friends. Some of my DH's pants are grey and disintegrating but he won't throw them out.

MIL once said smugly to me after slagging off the state of our oven that she cleaned hers every Monday morning when her children were small. I sweetly pointed out that both DH and I work every Monday morning (and the rest of the week as well). She clearly thought that it was my job, as a woman, to clean the oven and that this should take preference over going to work. Not a chance.

hiviolet Mon 03-Dec-12 20:49:25

I have to say, I agree with pictish. I'm a slattern but think it's possible to protest a bit TOO much with the "I'm just to busy and important and above cleaning" schtick. At least I admit I'm lazy and have a 14 month old clinging to my legs all day long grin

MadWinter Mon 03-Dec-12 20:47:26

Hey everyone, it's lovely to be defended by so many of you. I am actually not that bad (I think anyway), just really in the eyes of my MIL. And the smelly shirts has only been occasionally. And glad you have told me (almost unanimously) that it's not on.

Just to re-assure all the worried posters, my son isn't bullied at school at all. I actually checked with him today, just to be sure here. I heard all kinds of useful stuff, including that his sports short is too long, covering most of his shorts, and they make fun of him for that. Not that he minded, he thought they were perfect and told them so too.

He then launched into a story about the ridiculous, ill-fitting and weird underwear of his classmates, which I am afraid would be too embarrassing for the parents to add here grin and ill-fitting sports trousers and so on. It might be worth checking this with your DC's, as the stories you get might be just as hilarious.

Anyway, clearly most of the parents in our school aren't perfect either. Quite a relief.

pictish Mon 03-Dec-12 20:45:35

I don't believe a clean house is a wasted life.
I think that's something messy people tell themselves so they feel better about the tip they bounce around in.

I'm no Martha Stewart by any stretch of the imagination. I deal with whites by not buying any. If it's white or is made of fabric that must be ironed, I don't buy it. Ds1 will start secondary after the next summer holidays, so I'll need to think about it soon, but up until now I have simply rejected white clothing as I cba with it. Even if you do wash it like the bosom hoiking doorstep scrubbers, it goes grey eventually anyway. Easier to just not bother.

However, my house is much much nicer to be in when it's tidy--ish--. I find being in a rabble very unsettling. It's difficult to relax with crud strewn everywhere, and not being able to find anything. Plus, things get broken when a house is untidy. Things drop, get crunched underfoot, then ripped and smashed. I can't imagine anyone finds living in a midden of shite a good experience.

PoppyAmex Mon 03-Dec-12 20:33:12

Ah the old "a clean house is a wasted life" chestnut.

OP, that's not judgemental at all! The irony.

Kalisi Mon 03-Dec-12 20:23:40

I'm sorry if this is wrong/already been mentioned as I haven't read the whole thread lazy but is it possible that your MIL actually had a moan at her own son about these things to try and make him help out more and and he then decided to tell you as if it is all your fault as he is the one who is actually pissed off about it?

rainrainandmorerain Mon 03-Dec-12 20:07:48

I'm interested to see that some people put having very white clothes on a par with actually smelling.

For me, I really don't care and don't think I would notice if a shirt was less than sparkling white (unless it was like the old persil ad!). I have virtually no white clothes now as after a sicky baby and sticky toddler, it's too high maintenance.

But I sure as hell would care if I stank, or my DP did, or my kids. I remember kids at school being bullied because of it - and horribly, I remember it was the few kids from a care home who had that swampy wet dog unaired laundry smell. I associate it now with kids who are neglected, and it makes me angry now that whoever was looking after them let them go out smelling in such a noticeable way.

Bunbaker Mon 03-Dec-12 20:04:20

Why is either a career and living in a pigsty or a dead end job and an immaculate house?

There is a happy medium you know. I work and live in a reasonably clean and tidy house.

I grew up in a pigsty and vowed that my children would never be ashamed of bringing friends home. Children do talk you know and if your house is a pigsty then you can bet your bottom dollar that most of the kids in your son's class will know.

echt Mon 03-Dec-12 19:09:38

This thread reminds of Persil boxes when I was child. They had two boys on the front, one turning away in shame, wearing a greyish shirt, while the beaming child wore Persil-white. Social shaming as a promotional gambit. grin

goralka Mon 03-Dec-12 19:05:53

mind you pictish does have a point - my ex MIL spends her life on the laundry and the rest of the time sitting smoking and slagging off other women for being 'dirty' and feeling sorry for herself...

goralka Mon 03-Dec-12 19:04:20

ummm....'life is too short' - you only have to squeeze some bleach into the powder drawer of the washing machine?

ithaka Mon 03-Dec-12 18:35:26

Yay, go Pictish. Life is too damn short to waste bleaching your husband's smalls.

FellatioNelson Mon 03-Dec-12 17:35:43

Well my pants are white but glad to let you know that none of the other things apply. I don't give a stuff about looking like a 'good housewife' but I do give a stuff about looking/smelling shite.

pictish Mon 03-Dec-12 17:18:51

Some people got lemon faced over the greying pants! "There's no excuse!" one poster snotted about it.
Reminds me of my granny - she scrubbed her place from top to bottom and took her laundry doing very seriously. She was still a tiny minded, opinionated, mealy mouthed bigot, with nothing nice to say, no knowledge to impart, and kept scrapbooks of the Royal family because they were so lovely.

She was a moron. Her pants might have been white, but her mind was very small. Unlike her mouth.

IvanaHumpalot Mon 03-Dec-12 17:09:31

www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?hl=en&sugexp=les%3B&gs_rn=0&gs_ri=tablet-gws&cp=10&gs_id=13&xhr=t&q=spin+dryer&biw=1024&bih=672&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&bpcl=39314241&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=6983698148028783642&sa=X&ei=ftu8UNaLJ8Wg0QXxlIGoDA&sqi=2&ved=0CD4Q8gIwAQ

OP if you've got this far - hurrah. Spin dryer <I am turning into my mother> less time/less money on the heated clothes horse. Less humidity in house which can cause mould.

<am off to iron my pleated skirt>

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