The Original Poster (OP) finds herself in a dilemma when she entrusts her housekeeper to help care for her child at her mother-in-law’s residence. As the days pass, the housekeeper’s responsibilities unexpectedly extend beyond their initial agreement, leading to tension between OP, her husband, and the in-laws. With relationships strained and promises on the line, the OP faces a pivotal decision that threatens to disrupt the family dynamics.
OP and her husband welcomed a baby girl eight months ago. Amidst the joy, they hired a live-in housekeeper to manage household chores, who stayed in a separate suite. This arrangement allowed them to provide her with professional and fair treatment.
A Return to Routine
After an extended maternity leave, OP rejoined work a few weeks ago, a change that added to the couple’s already busy lives. With OP’s husband also juggling work and pursuing his PhD, time was at a premium. The couple sought external assistance for their child’s care.
The Daycare Decision
The couple opted for a daycare near OP’s workplace for their daughter. Another option was to have the baby stay with the in-laws, but it came with a condition from the husband that the housekeeper would assist the mother-in-law (MIL) with daily tasks. OP rejected this idea, fearing MIL’s potential exploitation of their housekeeper.
Only two weeks in, the chosen daycare displayed concerning behavior. OP and her husband felt it best to remove their daughter from such an environment. The quest for a temporary solution was on.
In discussions with her husband and MIL, OP agreed to let her daughter stay at the in-law’s home. However, she set firm conditions: an increased salary for the housekeeper and limits on the tasks she’d undertake at the in-law’s residence.
A Routine Established
OP’s mornings started by dropping her daughter and housekeeper off at the in-law’s house. They would then reconvene for a lunch prepared by the MIL. Afterward, the housekeeper would clean up, and everyone would nap.
OP’s routine received a jolt when her MIL handed over clothes for the housekeeper to iron. These clothes belonged to the father-in-law, and the request was veiled as “homework.” OP recognized this as a clear breach of their initial understanding.
A Strain on Relationships
As OP feared, the housekeeper had already undertaken strenuous tasks, like mopping the in-law’s house twice in three days. The additional chores threatened to overburden the housekeeper, who had agreed to these arrangements primarily for the baby’s sake.
A Heartfelt Confrontation
OP approached her husband, expressing concerns about potentially losing their invaluable housekeeper. She emphasized that they had promises that they needed to keep. OP didn’t want her hard work to be taken advantage of by her in-laws.
A Couple Divided
The issue escalated into a disagreement between OP and her husband. OP urged him to address the matter with his mother, ensuring that the housekeeper wasn’t overworked. The situation strained their marriage.
Torn between her instincts and her family obligations, OP wondered if she was in the wrong. Was she overreacting or standing up for what was right? She sought external perspectives to validate her feelings.
The Unsaid Burden
Despite OP’s clarity about the housekeeper’s role, the underlying dynamics between family members complicated matters. The implicit expectations from the in-laws created an additional load for the housekeeper, threatening her professional relationship with OP.
The Bargaining Table
With the housekeeper’s well-being in mind, OP needed to reassess the agreement. Negotiations about responsibilities and boundaries had to be revisited to ensure the housekeeper wasn’t unduly burdened.
Bridging Communication Gaps
OP faced the challenge of conveying her concerns to both her husband and MIL effectively. The task involved not just maintaining the housekeeper’s well-being but also ensuring her family relationships remained intact.
The turn of events forced OP and her husband to reconsider their childcare decisions. Was the arrangement with the in-laws sustainable, or did they need to seek an alternative solution for their daughter’s care?
The path ahead for OP involved finding harmony between her responsibilities as a mother, wife, and employer. It was about creating an environment where everyone felt valued, respected, and cared for, setting the foundation for a harmonious household.
Was The Woman’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posted her story online for the feedback and opinions of the internet community. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “Your husband needs to be VERY EXPLICIT with HIS parents about what the housekeeper’s job is at their house. Make a list of acceptable chores and what your MIL is NOT allowed to ask her to do.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “I guess I just don’t understand why she needs to go to your in-laws’ house at all. She’s not a nanny. You hired her to clean your house. She can do that whether your child is there or not. Frankly, you should double her salary if she has to clean two houses.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “Hopefully, you wake up and realize that the extreme power imbalance between you and your housekeeper means that you need to take way more care to respect her time off and her limits.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “She is being paid to be your housekeeper, and your MIL is wrong to give her homework. I agree that MIL needs to stop this because you will lose your housekeeper if MIL keeps mistreating her.”