My Mother-in-law Said I Am No Better Than a Maid

home cleaningI have no problem helping someone if they need help and I have means to do it.

My in-laws have few rental properties/apartments and when tenants move out I clean the apartment unit so it would be presentable for the next person moving in. Also when the office needs to be cleaned I am always willing do that. And when my mother-in-law asks me to help her clean her house I am always there to assist her.

My husband Tom, however, is not so happy about that. He believe that my generosity is been taken advantage of because my mother-in-law, Lucy, never asks from other family members to help, just me. He told me I should learn how to say 'no' to people.

So this weekend my mother-in-law Lucy asked me if I could help her other daughter-in-law, Megan, to clean the house Megan and Lucy's son are about to move into. I said of course I will help, and if they need help moving some of their belongings I will help them to do that too.

So, when I told my husband that I will be helping Megan this weekend to clean and move, he got really upset, and he said this has to stop: Megan is a capable women and can clean her own house. Moreover, Tom had also found out that the house is actually in very decent condition and needs just minimal cleaning.

At that point my husband was beyond anger. I told him to just let it go: no harm is done me helping them a little. But he still called his mother and asked how she has an audacity to treat me like I am a servant. I did not hear the conversation, but as I heard later on the dialogue got very heated, and my mother-in-law told her son (my husband) that since I used to babysit when I was younger, I am no better than I maid, and I should not be expected to be treated otherwise.

Naturally I was upset. I am not insinuating that being a maid or a servant is a bad thing: it's is a job like any other that brings food to the table and pays bills. I am upset because my mother-in-law believes that she is above me and has a right to belittle and humiliate me and use me for her own likings.

I told my husband that I am sorry for believing that HE was overreacting, and thanked him for standing up for me (after all, he went against his own mother to protect my interest). He said it was a right thing to do, but he does feel a bit bad of yelling at his mother.