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Working Mom Snaps At ‘Broke’ Husband He Chastises Her For Not Being ‘Traditional’ Housewife

Couple arguing

It may be 2024, but it still appears working moms have to explain themselves.

A mother and wife hosted her in-laws at her and her husband’s home for two weeks and they seemed to cohabitate well after reaching an understanding about maintaining the home.

But when traditions clashed, the wife responded in a way that caused feelings to be hurt.

She took the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit to seek judgment.

Redditor Ok_Schedule1138 asked:

“AITA for telling my husband he’s too broke to be so sexist?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“So my husband comes from a ‘traditional’ family. Mum’s a SAHM (stay at home mom), father was sole provider.”

“I come from the opposite – my mother pretty much forbade from ever being financially dependent on a man and drilled that into me early on.”

“My husband worked hard to unlearn the values he saw replicated at home. He (often more than) pulled his weight at home, was an engaged and present father and a genuine partner.”

“The one thing that grinds my gears is how much weight he puts on the opinions of his family. I get that we all want our parents to be proud of us, but this is too much.”

“My ILs (in-laws) are staying with us for 2 weeks. Our usual MO is, I prep breakfast, we all eat lunch at work/school, and my husband makes dinner.”

“We have a cleaner, but she’s on holiday so in the meantime we’re DIYing the cleaning where it’s down to everyone to keep their space clean and common spaces we all clean. This is how we’ve always done it, and it works.”

“My ILs hate that I’m ‘one of those modern women’. They hate that I work, they hate that I don’t find my purpose in being a wife and mother and they hate that my husband pulls his weight at home.”

“We spoke pretty frankly early on, where I established my boundaries and told them I won’t be chastised about how I live my life in my home.”

“When I am a guest in their home, I accommodate their ways and play the DIL they wish I was. They have for the most part respected this.”

The OP continued:

“I got home yesterday after work tired and starving. I typically get home 1815/30 and we eat at 1900. I said quick hellos and ran up for a pre-dinner shower. When I came down, I went to the kitchen to help set up for dinner and found nothing ready.”

“I asked my husband about it but he wouldn’t look at me and his mother answered that he hadn’t cooked anything. She told me I needed to do my duty as a wife and cook for my family.”

“My coward of a husband still wasn’t looking at me. I just walked away and ordered takeaway. I dished up for me and my kids and we sat at the table to eat. My husband and his parents served themselves and joined us.”

“My MIL (mother-in-law) was still going on about what was wrong with me and why I was a failure. I asked my husband if he had anything to say.”

“He said his mother had a point and it wouldn’t hurt if I acted ‘more like a proper woman’ and ‘took better care of my home and children’. He said tradition was tradition for a reason, and it was kind of insulting that I thought I was too good for how he was raised.”

“This is where I might be the a**hole. I told him tradition won’t allow a man on 35k to support a family of 5, and he was too broke to be so sexist. He looked hurt, and I saw tears welling in his eyes.”

“He excused himself from the table. I regret saying this in front of our children, but him saying that to me after I’m busting my @ss to clean up his mess on top of having to deal with his parents was too much for me. AITA.”

Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Many Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole (NTA) here.

“Sucks the kids were there for it, but he deserved worse. NTA.”

“Should have ordered only enough food for you and the kids.” – WhyCommentQueasy

“I’m more surprised she didn’t order a hotel room for the in-laws and her soon-to-be-ex (and I call him STBX because he never would have pulled this little stunt if he didn’t believe his mom and dad down in his heart of hearts).” – avesthasnosleeves

“Then she comes home to a very messy house.dirty dishes. Etc..unless husband thought twice and cleaned up..he’s in for another earful. Would be a cold day in hell before I let them stay with us again they can get a hotel visit during the day ..night back to hotel. Those ARE THE changing them.” Gumbysfriend

“NTA – sucks that the kids had to hear ALL of that but do not feel guilty over this. When he joined his mother in her BS, he brought it upon himself. He needed that reality check, and it sounds like it stung him hard.”

“Next time the in-laws show up, just take the kids & leave. Let him deal with his parent’s stupidity. Just because they are FAMILEEEEYYY, does not mean that you have to put up with their crap. Sending you hugs & positivity!” – Shutupandplayball

“The kids also got to hear the husband and mil degrade op as a human and a woman. It’s not the worst thing that her kids saw her standing up for herself.” – the_harlinator

“MIL is also wrong – traditionally, women ALWAYS worked. They had different jobs to men of that time period but they worked outside the house. Poorer people had their kids working as well.”

“It was only from the 20th century (or if you were very rich) that women didn’t work en masse. So, whichever way you look at it, she’s wrong.” – Jay-Dee-British

“True facts. My grandmother was the main provider because my grandfather a) worked in a foundry where work was sporadic and b) drank his paychecks. Grandma hid enough money to make a down payment on a house; up until then, they were living upstairs from my great-grandmother.”

“Grandma worked multiple jobs (laundress, cook, housekeeper) and all four kids helped out until they got married or joined the military and left the house. Other grandma also worked (other grandfather also was a foundry man and died young).”

“And that was just about a hundred years ago, so OP’s in-laws and husband can stuff their fantasies about tradwives and Real Proper Families.” – Trulio_Dragon

“Dinner was not ready because your MIL ordered your husband not to cook. This caused the children to have to wait to eat–all because MIL had to have her way. Guests are not supposed to actively interfere with their hosts’ plans.”

“You were too kind to buy the other adults dinner. I would have said to MIL, ‘Oops! Get out. Right now.'” – laffy4444

“I think you need to talk to the kids about what their grandparents are telling them. I bet they are trying to push their beliefs even when you aren’t around.” – No-Mechanic-3048

“I will say (depending on how old they are)- please sit down with your kids and talk about this with them. Let them ask questions. Explain the division of labour.”

“Explain (in basic terms) how xyz amount of money is required to support a household of xyz people. If they hadn’t been there, I’d say leave them out of it.”

“But now they’re in it, they deserve to be treated like members of the household who get information and are allowed opinions (again depending on how old they are).” – dentist3214

“Also sucks the kids had to hear the father’s statements about being a traditional wife.” – bikardi01

“Yeah, he was so out of line. A ‘traditional wife’ was not able to leave her husband because she was often not trained so that she could earn enough money and she often had to have a husband cosign loans and such, and the suicide rate for women went way down when they could finally divorce without having to prove infidelity or abuse.”

“Just because it was tradition doesn’t mean it wasn’t an abusive system. NTA. He needed to be reminded that it’s 2024, not 1950. Most households, both parents have to work because wages have been stagnant for decades, and it’s only fair that both contribute to the maintenance of the house.”

“And if his mom is so concerned about a woman doing her ‘traditional role,’ why didn’t she make the dinner? That would have been the kind thing to do if visiting and you see the people you’re visiting are busy.”

“This isn’t about tradition, it’s about control, and she wants to have it over her son even though he’s a grown man with five children. Gross.” – jediping

Overall, Redditors agreed that the OP was not out of line with her remark aimed at her husband.

While certain traditional values are to be acknowledged, Redditors thought the in-laws should have respected the host’s boundaries and rules when staying as a guest for the two-week duration.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo