My In-Laws Want Me To Be A Stay At Home Mum And Think My Job Is Ridiculous

<span class="copyright">milorad kravic via Getty Images</span>
milorad kravic via Getty Images

Going back to work after having a baby is daunting for any parent. You spend essentially a year glued to this tiny human and then bam — you’re in the office and can’t check up on them every second of the day.

For some parents going back to work is a decision made to not only make it through financially, but also for their mental health and sense of being.

It’s a decision that should be made by the individual parent, or with a partner to make sure what’s best for their little family.

But this one mum was left angry after her mother in law made it clear she wanted her to be a stay at home mum, and labelled her job as ridiculous.

In a Reddit post, the parent explained she had quit her job during the pandemic, but has recently joined full-time work and also has an amazing job offer to consider.

Due to her going back to work, with a husband who also works, her in-laws have implied that their three-year-old son is not getting enough attention.

She wrote: “My in laws seem to think he’s far behind his milestones. The reason? My MIL tried to teach him to add but he got distracted and wanted to colour instead. I told her he can count to about 15 and maybe put 2 or 3 together (like “take 2 sweets”) and that’s normal for a toddler who’s just turned 3. But she’s convinced her son could add without visual aids at that age. And maybe he could, my husband is a really smart dude but my son is his own person.”

She then further explained that her in-laws have now started hinting that she should quit her job to take care of her son so he can “keep up” with other kids.

“When I told them about my new job offer, they congratulated at me first but then politely said we’re going to need it for the childcare costs when my mom can’t do it anymore and how much cheaper it’d be to have a stay at home parent.

“My husband and I ignored it. It’s been getting worse so my husband called to talk to them privately. They basically told him I’m being a terrible mother for not sacrificing my ‘ridiculous career’ in design for my son’s future and they were also ‘starting to doubt how much I could contribute to my son’s education since her “one college degree is practically worthless’. My husband told them there’s no way in hell I’m giving up something I’ve worked so hard for and never to speak of me that way again. Now no one’s speaking to each other. It’s caused a major rift and I feel terrible.”

Other Reddit users offered support and one said the mum is setting a really good example for her son. They added that she’s showing her son that women are capable of having a career and looking after their family.

Another said: “They’re not paying your bills or raising your kid, so they don’t get a say in how things work in your family.”

How to deal with in-law interference

According to licensed marriage and family therapist Dr Stephen J. Betchen, sometimes in-laws have a sense of entitlement and have trouble letting go, so can’t help but interfere.

Smart Couples project that aims to strengthen family relationships says that establishing boundaries is really important. Having your own rules and traditions as a couple are necessary if you have interfering in laws.

You can also try and deflect any conversation, by saying “I’ll think about it” or “that’s an interesting thought,” rather than giving into an argument about the topic.

At the end of the day, always make the decision that’s best for you and your little family!