48 answers

Would You Prepare the Guest Room for Your MIL?

Please no more replies. I appreciative the supportive ones and the ones telling to go ahead and clean the room anyway but there have also been mean ones and I don't think I deserve that. I never attacked anyone yet people like Toni, Jo, and the woman who called me petty were really harsh so no more please. I had no idea this question would be such an issue.

I said please no more replies but Christine ignored that and went ahead and criticized anyway. Let's see - my husband was fired over a month ago so is not working full time now, nor is he spending 12-14 hours a day looking for a new job. His " home office" wasn't where he really worked. It's just where he put his junk etc. I didn't mess up his stuff. I put his bills, magazines, and newsletters in a pile in a filing cabinet. My parents "took" two rooms bc one only has a single bed! We have 3 other bedrooms so not a huge inconvenience to him. Why do people automatically assume the worst!

My MIL is coming for a short visit very soon. She doesn't come often because she lives 2000 miles away. Typically I'm the one to clean up our guest room, make-up the bed etc for any guests. But this time I'm tempted not to. Here's why: when my parents came to visit a couple of months ago, one of them used our other spare bedroom which is also my husband's office. Of course he had papers all over so I put them neatly in a drawer. He keeps saying how "I hid all his stuff!!" Meanwhile I think it was fair/nice that I didn't even ask him to clean up his own mess. He didn't make any effort to prepare for my parents' visit. Last time we went to my MIL's house, she didn't even bother to make up beds for us (she's retired and has a housecleaner and gardener so has help) but just left the sheets on the bed for me or us to do after having traveled with 2 little kids etc. Nothing was particularly cleaned up either but her house is always messy. So given I work full-time and by no means am being supported by my husband and he's not even really going to be working full time when she comes, I think it's up to him to prepare the room for her. Does everyone automatically prepare the room for your MIL because "it's a woman's job"? or should I stick to my guns and let him do it or her when she arrives? She's never been helpful to me so I don't feel I owe her anything. Why is it automatically my job or a reflection on me if the room isn't in good shape? Btw- she's not coming specifically to visit us. She planned a visit with other family members nearby.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Amazing how I can be expected to be the main breadwinner, do the majority of the childcare and still be viewed so negatively if I don't make-up the room for her. I guess we haven't evolved from the 50's at all. Someone said I might lose my husband and MIL if I stick to my guns. Well, given all I've done for him and his family which has not been reciprocated bc my family is not needy like his is, if this little thing makes him leave me, not sure I'll care. I always knock myself out for guests (including her in the past) but have started to wonder why. Not like I'm not on duty in one form or another almost every waking hour so why do I need to fuss so much when that person doesn't fuss over me? I've always taken the stance of "this is how I want my home presented to people, I have good manners even if they don't etc" but it's hard work and maybe I'm getting a bit lazy if it's for someone who doesn't lift much of a finger for me...

For everyone saying "how hard is it?" The room doubles as a playroom so there is cleaning up to do too. If it's so easy for my, why isn't it just as easy for my husband?

Featured Answers

Eh, I probably would just do it. You dont want to look like she did when you showed up to her house do you? She seemed kinda lazy..

10 moms found this helpful

You may not "owe" her anything but I think the room can be clean, bed stripped and the clean, folded sheets left on the bed.

Do you really want her to be able to say that you didn't even do the bare minimum?

7 moms found this helpful

I would shove the toys in big rubbermaid containers (stick in basement), roll some towels, washcloths and stick in a basket and put on fresh sheets. That should be pretty decent :) You could go as far as tulips in a vase. I am one of those that believes it reflects on me. Don't take it personally that she stinks at hospitality. Give her something to be envious of!

6 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I always like to put my best foot forward. I try to have a clean house with clean beds when people come to visit regardless of how they treat me when I go to their house. My house is a reflection of me and I am a caring, kind person so therefore I provide a nice retreat when people stay with me. In your case, I would suggest not reciprocating what she has or hasn't done for you, just put your best foot forward and do the right thing.

15 moms found this helpful

Gee wiz, if you don't want to do it, don't do it then. You won't offend any of US, that's for sure.

But to answer your question, which was, Would you (well ME) make up the guest room for MY MIL, the answer is yes. Yes I would.

NOT because it's a woman's job. But because it's just a nice thing to do, and it's been my experience that Nice works better, that's all.


12 moms found this helpful

I would, just because I'm the one in the family who cares about such things.

11 moms found this helpful

Eh, I probably would just do it. You dont want to look like she did when you showed up to her house do you? She seemed kinda lazy..

10 moms found this helpful

I think that the guest room might have been made up in the time I took to type this, but then again, I'm not in your house or your situation.

I like to make things comfortable for my family. Clean sheets, toys put away (it's our son's room) and some towels out. It just says "I care".

Look at it this way: do you want to do a little better than your Mother in Law, or lower yourself to the lack of care you were offended by?

Just give your husband a head's up, too. "Hey, I'm getting the room ready for tomorrow. Please put your stuff away, or I'll need to do it again." He should get the hint.

Reading your "So What Happened"-- you seem a bit defensive. I'm a big fan of feminism, so I'll just ask you: Why don't you just ask your husband?

I don't think anyone is 'expecting' you to do all this stuff, but you made this pretty pertinent to your MIL, and cited lots of reason you feel she doesn't deserve it. This is an entirely different argument, in my opinion. This isn't a 'worldview opinion' argument, this is 'what should I do in my own house in this situation'.

I agree, too, that you won't get divorced for not setting up a room for your MIL. I think people were feeling that maybe, if it wasn't her, it mightn't have been such a big deal.

10 moms found this helpful

It is a little too easy to lump your two issues together, but you must work hard to keep them separate.

Issue #1: Your husband. You feel you are doing more than he is, and you most likely are. You need to have a conversation with him about reciprocity and fairness.

Issue #2: Mother-in-law. Offering hospitality to anyone is not about reciprocity. It is about opening your home to someone. Whatever she does or does not do for you when you visit should not determine what opening your home means.

Please try very hard to keep the two issues separated as much as possible when speaking to your husband. Otherwise you could wind up with more problems. But no, asking him to do more in preparation for his own mother's visit is not unreasonable at all.

10 moms found this helpful

I read some of your previous posts so I could form a more thoughtful respnse. Just a few months ago you posted that your husband was working 12-14 hours a days,six days/week. I don't know his field of work but he doesn't sound like a slacker to me. Maybe your MBA allows you to earn more but that is your situation. I think the real problem is you feel like you have done way to much for his family and resent everybody. It's not a woman's job but a good hostesses job. I feel good doing nice things for people and don't keep score. Nothing to do with the 50's or "women's work", it is being kind to your husband's mother in 2011. I have an office in my home as well and it would be stressful to have someone stuff my documents in a desk so my parents could have two rooms. Pick your battles and realize it is easier and more rewarding to be kind.

8 moms found this helpful

Wondering why you're even having her stay with you at all, if that's the way you feel about her?

8 moms found this helpful

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