Re: ILs cleaning up the yard...should I feel guilty?

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Registered: 03-08-2000
Re: ILs cleaning up the yard...should I feel guilty?
Mon, 11-12-2012 - 9:57am

I think most of you know by now that my ILs live for 6 mos/year with me. We are originally from India and Dh feels duty bound to have his parents with us as they grow older. So he and his brother take turns in having them over. Now it is our turn.

I know many of you might actually love to have this problem. My MIL hates to stay idle and is always bustling in the kitchen, putting dishes away or trying to wipe off stains on the counter etc. Today she and FIL are cleaning up the leaves in the yard. I feel bad to see them toiling away and I have told them many times that DH and I would do it later.  We try to make yard cleaning a family activity on the weekends, so there is no real need for ILs to clean on weekdays. I have also told MIL that I will do the dishes/wipe stains in due course at my convenience (I am a subsitute teacher). MIL/FIL like to do things "right now." We also have a lawn service so there is no need for them to work in the yard.  But ILs claim this is one physical activity they like and they want to help us out. 

Earlier, I used to feel obligated to clean the yard with them and also rush to the kitchen when I would hear MIL washing dishes. This really cuts into "me" time when I am with the kids or doing my thing. But now they are with us every year, I do not feel the necessity to do so when I have clearly told them 10 times I will clean later. So I am not going to feel guilty. If ILs badmouth me and say that Chimi does not help us, so be it.

Dh says they are bored and if cleaning makes them happy, let them clean and I should not worry.

What do you all think?

Thanks so much,



iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2012
Thu, 11-29-2012 - 7:45pm

That is it Misstrygg! For that generation being idle was just not what was done. Even when sitting there was sewing, darning, letter writing or something that could be done.

It is hard on my mother in law right now as she can no longer drive since she had a couple of mini strokes that self corrected. Even though she is healed, we don't know if will ever happen again. She hates that she can't drive, but is still independent and walks daily.

I am grateful for anything she does around and in my house.