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Mom Balks After Husband Calls Her ‘Unfair’ For Refusing To Clean And Cook For Messy In-Laws

A man cleaning up a messy kitchen.
Deagreez/Getty Images

When one lives on their own, there is less of a necessity to clean up after yourself, as your mess isn’t getting in anyone’s way.

When you share a home with a roommate or family, tidying up after yourself is the polite thing to do even if most of the time there is often one member of the household to take the initiative to do so.

When you are a guest in someone’s home, cleaning up after yourself is not only the polite thing to do, but the right thing to do, as it isn’t even your home.

Shockingly, not everyone takes this into account.

Redditor Adept-Entrepreneur44 kept a tidy house.

Unfortunately, the house became noticeably less tidy whenever the original poster (OP)’s in-laws came to visit.

Having become increasingly tired of cleaning up their mess, the OP felt there was only one thing to do.

Even if her solution infuriated her husband.

Wondering if she was out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA), where she asked:

“AITA for staying with my parents and refusing to come home unless it is in the condition I left it whenever my in-laws visit.”

The OP explained why she felt an ultimatum of sorts was necessary any time her in-laws came to visit:

“My husband cannot control his family.”

“Or at least he refuses to.”

“When his parents visit and give us sh!t for ‘forcing’ our kids to do chores he gives in and the house slowly becomes a mess that I have been left to clean up.”

“When his siblings visit we are expected to clean up after them.”

“I never agreed to this so now I leave.”

“I lock my office up and go to my parents’ house.”

“I meet up with his family at restaurants or other public places.”

“His parents have learned now that when they visit, they have to clean up after the kids or get them or my husband to do it.”

“They tried saying that I was abusive for refusing to do housework while they visited.”

“So I posted a picture of my home before they came and one I took during their last visit.”

“I asked them why the house was so messy and dirty and did they have anything to do with it.”

“They said it wasn’t their mess.”

“I replied that the house was clean before they showed up.”

“Once they started getting dogpiled for messing up my house, they threw the kids under the bus.”

“They said my kids were uncontrollable, and it was their mess.”

“I pointed out that there was no mess until they came, so obviously my kids were able to clean up after themselves when there weren’t people telling them not to.”

“My husband’s siblings have canceled plans to visit because they know I won’t be there to clean up after them or cook, so they will have to cook or spend money on takeout and restaurants.”

“Great outcome, in my opinion.”

“My husband says that I’m being unfair, putting all the work of cleaning up on him.”

“I said he has two children to help him as well as ADULT guests who should be able to not make a mess.”

“I also told him he could just pay a cleaning service out of his discretionary funds if he wanted to let his family run rampant and not clean up after them.”

“He said that I was being mean by not contributing and making him spend his money.”

“I asked how much he normally spends on cleaning the house.”

“The answer is nothing since the four of us keep the house clean and tidy when we are on our own.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

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

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for staying with her parents until her in-laws cleaned up after themselves.

Everyone agreed the OP’s solution was perfect and were shocked by the behavior of both the OP’s in-laws, as well as the OP’s husband, for allowing such inconsiderate behavior, agreeing that no adult should need to be told to clean up after themselves.


“Actually your way of handling this is brilliant.”

“The rules should clearly be that all adults pick up after themselves as a matter of course.”

“They are human, not monkeys at a zoo.”

“All children are in training to learn how to pick up after themselves, and of course the training doesn’t stop just because the grandparents or the cousins come to visit.”

“It is to do with a certain grade of civilization.”

“Non-civilized people may not want to pick up after themselves, but other people may choose not to associate with them on any level.” FragrantEconomist386

“Like everyone else, I really love your solution here.”

“But I think you have a larger problem.”

“The amount of pushback you’re still getting from your husband about letting your in-laws dictate how to raise your children gives me some concerns.”

“Even if you found a way to avoid the messiness problem, until he learns how to stand up to them on his own, there’s always going to be another in-law problem around the corner.”


“But in need of some couples counseling.”- SpaceJesusIsHere


“You have a husband problem.”

“Not an in-law problem.”

“Yes, they are messing up your house.”

“But that is because your husband won’t stand up to them or back you up.”

“The easiest solution is to tell all of them that they have to stay in a hotel when they visit you.”

“No more freebies.”

“No more maid service.”

“Until things change, go enjoy a nice visit with your parents when the in-laws roll into town.”-Straysmom


“Your husband needs to pull his head out of his butt and take responsibility for HIS home.”

“How absolutely spineless.”- MinagiV


“If his family is trashing the house and he doesn’t have the balls to say anything, he’s responsible for cleaning it up.”- -SnowQueen-


“But next time give the option to the kids if they want to go with you to visit your parents or stay home with their dad to visit his parents.”

“But going to your parents house by yourself is probably a nice break.”- needabook55


“I think it’s a great tradition.”

“In-laws visit, you go elsewhere.”

“Let them deal with their own messes.”- The_Bad_Agent

“Definitely NTA.”

“Love the way you showed them photos!”

“Good move.”- CaseyDarling1994


“I love your solution.”

“It’s absolutely perfect.”

“You have just removed yourself from the equation.”

“Now, whenever any of those people whine, it’s easy to shrug and say, ‘It’s not my mess’.”

“It’s not my family’.”

“‘I’m not even there’.”

“It’s so beautifully spiteful without even behaving in a spiteful manner.”

“It’s just, ‘See y’all later! Have an amazing time during your visit!'” as you bounce yourself right out of the door!”- StacyB125


“You have come up with an excellent solution to this problem.”- Icy_Department_1423

“Inside I’m dying!”

“You’re mean and abusive and manipulative for not cleaning up after the super duper in-laws?!”

“NTA.”- nothisTrophyWife


“Your current solution is just fine.”

“If his family never shows up on your doorstep again to mess up your house and eat your food – well, that sounds like a win to me.”- C_Majuscula


“Adore this solution.”

“Everyone saying you have a husband problem isn’t wrong, but the beauty of your solution is that it addresses the problem at the source.”

“Glorious!”- Sweet_Cinnabonn


“Your husband is a spineless a*8hole and a sexist.”

“He thinks his wife should act like his mommy when his destructive and entitled actual mommy comes to visit.”- KartlindWitch

“NTA for sure.”

“This is a classic monster in law.”

“Just don’t let them in the house anymore; you shouldn’t be forced to leave.”

“If they damage any property, sue their a**es.”- Worldly_Literature16

“You are my new hero!”

“I would have handled it the exact same way!”

“Enjoy the peace!”- ConfusedAt63

“You’re not being mean, your setting the boundaries he is unable to.”

“If his mommy and daddy still make his decisions in the home he has with his family, and he refuses to have a shiny spine or do the work himself, that’s on him.”

“Moreover, you offered a maid!”

“But it’s not about cleaning. It’s about his family having the power and control to exert over YOU.”

“If not, then why is there opposition.”

“NTA – but this isn’t an in-law problem, it’s a ’husband unable to set boundaries and is willing to inconvenience you to appease his family’s apparently sexist values’ problem.”- gurlwithdragontat2

It’s hard to decide which is more shocking.

That the OP’s in-laws would leave such a mess in the house in which they are guests or would actually use the children as a scapegoat.

One can only hope the OP’s husband will finally grow a spine and stand up to them.

Otherwise, it’s not hard to imagine that the OP’s visits with her parents will only grow longer and longer…

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.