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Working Mom Of Two Claps Back After ‘Old-Fashioned’ FIL’s Snide Stay-At-Home Mom Comments

older man and younger woman disagree
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Since WWII, the western workplace shifted from male dominated to equal parts male and female.

The increased accessibility of divorce and independent assets and lines of credit for women increased the number of single parent households which account for some of the workplace changes.

But the rise in costs without a rise in worker salaries mean very few two parent families can afford even basic necessities on a single income.

In most western households, both parents need to work.

But some people haven’t gotten thag memo yet. A working mom turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback after repeated comments from her in-laws about her job.

PlaneKoala1680 asked:

“AITA for using my husband’s salary to make a point to his family after he told me I should stand up for myself instead of expecting him to do it for me?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“My husband and I are doing okay financially, we make enough to not worry about rent and necessities, we are saving a decent amount and have scope for growth in our careers. I make a little more than 1/3 of our combined income.”

“We are both in our late 30s and we have two 6-year-old boys. I have never liked my husband’s family (most of them anyways) because they have a lot of old fashioned opinions and don’t really approve of me.”

“We don’t have a lot of contact, so it’s okay though.”

“My husband’s cousin’s wedding is this week and they are getting married in our city, so he offered for his parents and aunt and uncle to stay with us. Bride and groom are renting a place. It is a bit of squeeze, but it is working.”

“They have been here for two days now and on the first day I heard them having a whole discussion on how it’s so sad that out children won’t get to have a ‘proper’ childhood with a mom at home, like my husband and his cousin got. While they were in the living room and I was in the kitchen and they knew I could hear.”

“I was stewing, but I don’t really like confrontation so I didn’t say anything. Later I asked my husband if he could please tell them to shut up with the snide comments about me.”

“He said that’s just their opinion and it’s not really hurting me—if I’m bothered I should learn to stick up for myself and that he can’t always do it for me. This sort of struck a nerve because it’s true that I usually ask him to do small things like telling the drive-thru person if our order is wrong, because it just makes me feel weird and guilty.”

“But somehow it feels like more his responsibility because it’s his family involved here.”

“Anyway, so today my FIL made one more pointed comment during dinner and I said your son makes $__. We live in a big city and rent is $__. We literally cannot live on his salary so I don’t know why you think I should be home all day.”

“They were pretty quiet after that. Now my husband is really angry with me because I put him down in front of his family who are all richer than us and will look down on him.”


The OP summed up their situation.

“I told my husband’s salary to his aunt and uncle and said that it can’t support our family.”

“This apparently makes him look bad and wasn’t fair of me to do. Maybe I should have just told them to stop.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).

“Definitely NTA. Your husband and in-laws however… Common sense dictates that if your family has a problem with your spouse, you have their back.”

“Still, I think you handled things perfectly given the fact that your husband is a textbook a**hole and doesn’t defend you when he should. He doesn’t get to be mad for the way you chose to do what he said, you just took his advice.”

“Also, is he a teenager? Why is he so pressed about his family knowing such trivial things as your rent and general income?

“If he didn’t want you to say those things, he should have had your back, I guess.” ~ Enforcer1971

“It’s perfectly fine for his spouse to be shamed by his family in their own home but when he’s up on the chopping block it’s now a problem. Poor OP. NTA.” ~ sissyjones

“He should just stand up for himself, he can’t expect her to take the bullet. It’s not like it’s hurting anyone, right? NTA.” ~ tinysydneh

“He had the opportunity to put his family in their place, but he decided to defer to his wife for her to do it. Then he complains that she did it wrong.”

“If he’d just taken responsibility for his own side of the family in the first place, none of this would have happened. 100% his fault. NTA.” ~ randomdude2029

“Personally, I wouldn’t have mentioned the dollar amount, but that’s not key to the story. NTA “

“Either it’s fine for a man to be unable to support a family on one income or it isn’t.”

“If it’s fine, then she didn’t put him down; she just stated the facts.”

“If it isn’t fine, then his quarrel is with himself for failing as a man, and he should thank her for making up for his inadequacies.” ~ lesliecarbone

“OP, tell husband that’s just their opinion and it’s not really hurting him, If he’s bothered he should learn to stick up for himself-you can’t always do it for him.”

“And yeah, it’s HIS family, HE should be the one setting boundaries. NTA.” ~ Sensitive_Coconut339

“Yes! He could have shut all this down long ago with a simple ‘I will not tolerate you dissing my wife in my home’.”

“She handled it. Perfectly. NTA.” ~ LingonberryPrior6896

“Yes, at first, I wasn’t on board for her rebuttal…I think cuz I wanted the husband or OP to demand respect for its own sake.”

“But the more I think about it, I love the double whammy of OP teaching the in-laws AND the husband a lesson on FAFO. NTA.” ~ sharkbiscut

“Guarantee he lied to his family about how much he makes.”

“That is the ONLY reason I can see them going quiet and him acting like this, and assuming she could be a stay at home mom but she ‘CHOOSES’ to work, only way they come up with this is if her husband has been inflating his salary. NTA.” ~ Remarkable-Ask-3868

“My ex was like that. His family thought I was ‘lazy’ and lucky to have him. They found out I make more than twice what he does in the divorce hearing.” ~ themcjizzler

“That’s just it. He didn’t want the situation handled.”

“He wanted his wife to just take it and keep her mouth shut. I’m thinking that is why he told her he couldn’t fight her battles for her.”

“He expected her to let it go and put up with it. His reverse UNO backfired when she threw down a Draw 4. NTA.” ~ PaganCHICK720

“Husband can’t have both ways. To be clear, it is 100% his job to deal with his relatives on ‘difficult’ conversations.”

“But, given that he apparently is a wuss on such matters, what happened was: ‘Stand up for yourself’ then ‘Not that way!’.”

“Hey, he wants to take a particular tack with his family, great—so long as it’s he who does the work. If he leaves it up to someone else, he can’t really complain if they’re not quite as sensitive of his delicate fee-fees as he would be.” ~ Boeing367-80

“NTA. Your husband told you to stand up for yourself and that’s exactly what you did. If he didn’t like how you did it, then he should have spoken up at the start.” ~ TopAd7154

“If you want to control the message … don’t ask someone else to convey it! Plus, what a d*ck.”

“I’d be all over anyone in my family who said a single negative thing about my spouse (fortunately, they all love her). NTA.” ~ 2moms3grls

“NTA. He told you to defend yourself and your house, so you did. If they press again, ask which of them will be paying your bills.”

“My SIL kept asking about baby number 2 (we can’t afford a 2nd child) and finally I snapped and sweetly said ‘when you start paying child support for us to have one’.” ~ Present-Plant-2650

“NTA. ‘If you don’t like the way I stick up for myself, then you should have done it’.”

“Hey, OP’s husband, YES, IT’S YOUR JOB TO SHEILD YOUR WIFE FROM YOUR FAMILY AT ALL TIMES; otherwise, husband is a job you don’t deserve.”

“OP is this the kind of man you want your boys to grow up into? One who lets people talk sh*t about their wife? They’ll be on the fast track for divorce 100% guaranteed if you don’t shut this sh*t down.”

“So no, it’s not okay because you only see his family sometimes if he categorically fails to defend you every time you do.” ~ BriefHorror

“NTA—your husband should have handled the in-laws. Since he couldn’t be bothered to do it, you handled it yourself.” ~ Amazing_Teaching2733

“He told you to stick up for yourself, and you did. Tell him if they have a problem with him not making more money, it’s just their opinion, and it’s not really hurting him. NTA.” ~ Quick-Possession-245

“NTA. Your husband told you to deal with it. You dealt with it.”

“If he’s not happy with the way you dealt with it, then he can go out and earn more money or deal with their nonsense himself.”

“He doesn’t get to do nothing and then blame you when you shut your in-laws down.” ~ No_Addition_5543

It sounds like a good case of being careful what you ask for with OP’s husband.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.