The Mother-In-Law Clean.

20 May 2014

I am a maniac when my mother-in-law comes over to our house.  Certifiable.

Sue, you should probably stop reading now.

Regardless if it’s planned or an unexpected visit, three minutes before, you’ll find me running through the house with a vacuum.  Usually, I’m simultaneously hurrying the kids along to pick up whatever mess they’re currently concocting and yelling for Dave to please grab a broom.  This is usually followed by an entertained look from him, possibly followed by an eye roll because he knows his mother, but he grabs the broom anyway. 

Sue didn’t raise a fool.

She really doesn’t care what our house looks like on a Wednesday at four in the afternoon.  Not even a little bit.  My brain knows this.  My brain also knows that my own mother cares WAY more than my mother-in-law does. If Janet walked in to a spotless house, she’d walk right back out and ask where her real daughter is being held captive… then, probably tell Clean Michelle to stay instead.

You hear that, Dave?  It’s YOU who should be caring about a mother-in-law clean.

It’s me, though.  I care.  It’s as if the house being clean is going to make her think, “Well, I’m certainly glad he picked a girl who can keep the house clean!  What a good great choice for a wife to my beloved son and such a pretty mother of my grandchildren!  Have you tasted this pot roast?  It’s delicious.” 

When the house is a disaster, in my head, she knowingly glances at Dave with raised eyebrows while stepping over Legos and spit-fixing Finn’s wild, too-long hair and slowly shakes her head in disbelief.  “There are toys from one end of the house to the other, isn’t she home all day?  That’s what happens when you marry a mouthy Democrat who talks to her imaginary friends on the internet for a living.” 

Stop smiling, those imaginary friends… that would be you.

The reality is, when she calls to say she’s stopping over unexpectedly and hears me start the launch sequence of DEFCON MOTHER-IN-LAW, she tells Dave, “Tell Michelle not to worry about it!  I don’t care!” 

But, I do.  Now, be a dear and run outside and cut some lilacs for the table.

Am I the only one that does the mother-in-law clean?

8 comments:

Samantha Smith said...

I'm obsessive and do it for everyone. I think people expect more of me because I am a stay-at-home Mom. I also do the imaginary "tsk, tsk" scenes in my head, haha.
I thank GOD, that it would take my own parents 18 hours to come over. Them popping over? That would put me in a DefCon Red, Code 10: Man Down, "WHERE'S MY ADDERALL?!?!" fit.

wesley's mom (sue) said...

You are SOO not the only one. My mother-in-law is not coming until July and I've already begun the "pre-mother-in-law deep clean" which will be followed by the lecture about maintaining order, and then a few days before she gets here we will do the final version.

Amanda said...

oh yeah, I turn into a maniac too, for both sets of parents, and really for anyone. This past year I've been trying to let some of it go--a new neighbor stopped by on Saturday--my house was a war zone, no bra on, and I said "come on in and have a seat! " Tom looked at me like I grew two heads.

The Maine Message said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jodi said...

I live thousands of miles from my MIL, but we used to live within just a few hours. She once had planned to visit overnight, and I *tried* to clean like a crazy person. I did as much as I possibly could. Oh, did I fail to mention I was going in for a c-section? Yeah ... crazy. And to wit, my MIL is the best! She doesn't care and isn't concerned about the house. Love her!

Shari Steelsmith Duffin said...

Everyone cleans for their mother in law. It's how our houses look really good every once in a while. :) Once, my sister was directing her husband and kids to help in doing a big clean up and her oldest child stopped after 15 minutes or so and said, "Wait. Who's coming over?"

Jessica @ Wanting Adventure said...

Mine isn't the MIL clean, but the mother clean. I'm much more worried about what she thinks!

Ashley Ann, Author said...

I'm divorced. I still keep in touch with my ex MIL, but she lives pretty far away and wouldn't randomly stop by even when I was still married. To me, the MIL clean is shoving random things in random places so the house is clean on the surface but don't you dare open that hall closet! I get paranoid about any guest, not just mom guests. I think if my house is strewn with toys they'll judge my parenting. I think if my house is super spotless they'll judge my parenting. I think it's a thing we put ourselves through, because even if the guest we're expecting isn't going to judge us, someone will. I don't know why we worry about being judged. I guess it just hurts when we are, when the raw openness of our lives is revealed to people who don't reside in our homes, and then they reject us for it. When I was a kid, my mom and stepdad had us clean in a frenzy when guests were due to arrive, which was followed by the inevitable, "Sorry for the mess; I didn't have time to clean" when said guest arrived.

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