Dealing with your in-laws can be one of the most challenging parts about getting married, but one mom on Reddit had the best solution. When her husband’s parents came into town and disrupted their kids’ weeknight routine, she decided to give herself the week off — and let her husband deal with the aftermath (for a change). The results were amazing … for her.
In the “Am I The A-hole?” subreddit, a mom of two explained how her parents live three blocks away, and her 9- and 11-year-old kids get to see them often. But her husband’s parents live several states away and only get to visit a few times throughout the year. While they plan their visits to the in-laws when the kids are on school breaks, her in-laws come “at random intervals throughout the year,” which means chaos ensues.
“They are excellent grandparents,” she wrote. “With one small exception. They think our rules go out the window when they visit.”
For example: “It’s mean that we don’t make the kids their favorite food every day. Why can’t the kids watch tv with them before they do their chores and homework. Why do the kids have to be in bed so early,” she said, adding, “It drives me crazy that I’m the bad guy because my husband won’t put his foot down so I have to do it.” Yes, that would drive me crazy, too!
All of a sudden, your fun grandparents breeze into town and start questioning all your mom’s rules — it sounds like a kid’s dream! However, those rules exist for a reason…
The grandparents came last week and took the kids to see a movie after dinner on Monday night. The mom was furious and confronted her husband who “knew that throwing the kids off [their] schedule screwed me over.” So she told him to enforce the rules or she would, and he agreed. But here comes Tuesday night, and wait — there’s a hockey game! “He wanted to watch it with our son who loves hockey,” the mom wrote. “I reminded my husband that our son had chores to do and homework. He said it was just a hockey game.”
Not wanting to waste another second to fruitless arguing, she had the kids immediately go get their stuff, and she took them to her parents’ house. She dropped them off and returned home to confront her husband and his parents.
“I went back home and they were waiting for me. I’m being a controlling and abusive person by denying them time with the kids,” she wrote. “I’m not the only person allowed to make decisions regarding the kids. They came all this way to see them and I’m being a jerk by keeping them on a schedule.”
I’m picturing this whole ridiculous confrontation in my head, and it makes me so mad for her. These kids have school and routines and bedtimes, and it’s hard enough to get kids to do anything when both parents are trying their hardest to get them to do homework and go to bed! Add in-laws who are tempting them with all this fun stuff, and it becomes downright impossible to parent in your own home. I feel for her, I really do.
But rather than continue to take their abuse — Good. For. Her! — she changed tactics. She decided they can take responsibility of their actions and make their own rules, and she’s going to relax.
“Wednesday after I picked up the kids from school and dropped them off at home with my in-laws,” she wrote. “Then I went out for the first time in ages. I told my husband I would be out late and didn’t want to wake anyone so I would be at my parents house.”
Sounds amazing, right? Might as well enjoy some kid-free time with your girls. “Did the same thing Thursday through tonight,” she continued. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for her husband to realize exactly how much he needs her.
She wrote that her husband “has been calling and texting and coming over to tell me I need to come home.” The main reason why? “Because the house is a disaster because his parents won’t do anything.” I’m dying laughing right now. Did you think the house just magically cleaned itself, sir? He’s finally realizing what a-holes his own parents are.
“They are on vacation and they are there to see the kids, not clean up,” she continued. “The kids are having a fun time with no rules and he has been contacted by the school because no homework was turned in on Thursday or Friday. I didn’t answer those texts.”
It must have taken superhero strength not to respond to those texts and to hold her ground, but I’m so glad she did! This husband won’t forget his wife’s value any time soon. She reminded him that she would be back “after his parents left or he enforced the rules.” To which he responded by telling her, “I was taking it too far and that it was affecting his work. Honestly tough shit,” she added.
She also added an edit to give a small update: “My son just texted me about his gym clothes for today. I guess he never put them on the hamper and they didn’t get washed. Now I’m wondering what else my husband didn’t get done?” Not her problem! He made his bed, now he can freaking lie in it. That’ll show him to choose his immature parents over his wife again.”
Redditors came forward to praise this mom.
“NTA and I seriously applaud you!” one person wrote. “So many women take this kind of sh*t and never have the guts to stand up for themselves. Playing nice sucks!!!” They added, “Husband and parents will most likely call you difficult. They are upset the house is a mess? They can clean it themselves! You are not the maid and you were not put on this earth to ensure everyone has a lovely time but you. YOU are the one that has to take of the aftermath. If your husband and his parents can’t understand that children need routine and boundaries, you are in for a hell of a rough ride. Hopefully you’ve made it well known that you won’t stand for that type of sh*t.”
The mom responded to this comment, writing, “The kids have chores. But they aren’t doing them. And they are spending a lot of money on delivery since I’m not there to cook and getting the kids to prep. I’m wondering how much food I’m going to have to toss when I get home.”
She added, “The kids and my husband will be responsible for cleaning up before I lift a finger.”
Another said, “That’s fantastic that they’re on vacation. But you and your family aren’t. From now on, no more visits during school days. You’re amazing for doing this, but you need to sit them all down and remind everyone that rules and responsibilities don’t go out the window just because Gramma and grandpa are there. I really hope your husband understands this. Stay strong! Don’t clean up after them!” Amen!
“YOU ARE MY HERO!!!!” someone else said. “You are totally NTA and you are enforcing your boundaries in the most important way. You stated the issues to all relevant stakeholders (adults), tried to meet them halfway in finding a route that allows the kids balance (taking them to your parents for homework and bed after time w in-laws)- which was rebuffed w/no compromise from husband and in laws, so YOU GAVE THEM WHAT THEY WANTED and removed yourself from the situation (while still being available as needed) and gave your husband the requirements for you to come home … sounds like you did everything you could and your husband STILL isn’t putting boundaries on his parents … they’ll be the hell alright!!! Also, now you have some time and space away from being the only person responsible for your children. Enjoy their vacation 🤣🤣🤣”
“Every woman who has gone through this is giving you a standing ovation. You are our hero!” another wrote.
Someone else summed up the situation perfectly. “Relaxing on rules a little bit is reasonable,” they wrote, and I agree. You can let the kids have a little fun when the grandparents are in town! However, this is pure chaos. “I thought OP was overreacting until I saw how the household immediately descended into chaos when she left,” they continued. “The kids aren’t doing their homework at all, the grandparents are refusing to help clean, and they’re actually asking OP to come fix it, as if there aren’t three adults in the house already??? After they made her the ‘bad guy’ for enforcing some rules, they have the GALL to make it her problem when they can’t hack it their way? Ridiculous. All three of them need to grow up.”
Agree! They need to learn how to act like adults, and in the meantime, the mom gets a much-needed break and relaxation time. I’m saving this move in my back pocket in case I ever feel under-appreciated in my own home like this!
Before you go, check out these wild stories about Reddit’s most horrific mother-in-laws.
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