Dealing with mothers-in-law can be a challenge. While some of these women are amazing and adopt their child’s significant other into their lives without hesitation, others feel that their child’s spouse is never good enough for them. And far too often mothers-in-law are quick to criticize their son- or daughter-in-law. And it can be a struggle for their child who feels caught in the middle.
In the age of social media, everyone seems to be a critic. People turn to the internet and post harsh and mean reviews or comments of everyone and everything. But when the criticism comes from within our own family, it can be even harder to bear.
Clint Edwards had heard a lot of complaints from his mom about his wife. And as the man behind No Idea What I’m Doing: A Daddy Blog, Edwards, who is a devoted husband and father of three, wanted to write about an incident he had with his own mother. And he hopes his story can encourage other people to think twice before they criticism someone online or in person.
Out of nowhere, Edwards’s mother asked him how could he not be bothered that his wife, Mel, was messy. She was being innocent and asked her son if he was upset that Mel didn’t “keep a cleaner house.”
He was taken aback and had not expected the comment – from his own mother no less.
Instead of reacting to his mother’s judgmental question, he gave it some thought. And while he could have reacted emotionally, he considered things and proved why he should win the “husband of the year” award.
Edwards’s mom was not trying to be cruel when asking her question. She was just curious. That’s why he decided to educate his mom about how it is hard to keep a tidy house and that it is not only his wife’s responsibility but his as a man too.
Mel is the mother of three young children. And like many moms in her situation, she has a lot to do and many responsibilities to balance. And keeping her home ready for unexpected guests is a low priority.
Because the question revealed itself as an opportunity to discuss gender roles in his home, he took to his blog and Facebook to defend his wife against his mother. And when you read what he wrote, you’ll understand why his words went viral.
“I see our marriage as a partnership, so cleaning is as much my responsibility as it is hers,” Edwards wrote. “I will admit, though, there is often kid clutter, dishes in the sink, and half-finished art projects on the counters. I will also admit, it isn’t as clean as my mother’s home, but that doesn’t bother me. In fact, I don’t really think about that at all.”
Edwards understood that his mom was from a different generation. And for her, keeping up appearance was important.
“I didn’t know my father all that well, but I do remember him giving me this advice about picking a wife: ‘Stop by her house unexpected. See how it looks in there. You can tell a lot about a woman by how she keeps her house.'”
But Edwards doesn’t care much about the clean house. So he told his mother:
“I didn’t get into this marriage for a clean house. I got into it because she seemed like someone I could spend my life with.”
“Eventually mom said, ‘Well … that probably is more important than a clean house.’ ‘Yeah,’ I said, ‘I think so too.'”