Helpful Hints from a Mother-In-Law





SUBJECT: Helpful Hints from a Mother-in-Law

I’ve been meaning to talk to you for some time now about a matter I’m concerned about. I don’t mean to offend you, dear, but your housekeeping is just not up to par. I’ve noticed a number of things, and I just wanted to call them to your attention. My son is simply not used to living like that.

When I was younger, my house was absolutely spotless. Why, I scrubbed my kitchen floor on my hands and knees every day and then waxed it. It was so clean that you could practically eat off the floor! I realize that today’s floor coverings don’t need waxing, but that should make it even easier for you. I know you work all week and don’t have much time, but it really doesn’t really take that long just to mop the floor.

I’ve also noticed unwashed dishes in your sink. As I’ve said, I don’t mean to be critical, dear. I used to wash all my dishes by hand and dry them too. I put clean shelf paper in my cabinets every month. With all the modern conveniences women have these days, I can’t see any reason for having dirty dishes. With dishwashers, automatic washers and dryers and microwaves, women are just getting lazy. My mother used to wash her clothes with a tub and washboard. Thank goodness, I never had to do that, but I did hang out my clothes to dry on a clothesline. And I still managed to keep my dishes washed. Perhaps you just need to try a little harder, dear.

I’m afraid to even look into your bedroom to see if the beds are made. It gives me shivers to think that you probably don’t change the sheets every week. My sheets were always clean and spotless, and I had to iron them too – none of this polyester blend stuff like you have nowadays. I had white chenille bedspreads on every bed and no one ever saw them unmade. I just hope you are least making up my son’s bed every day so the sheets are not crumpled as well as dirty.

Finally, I’d like to mention the dust. Obviously, you are dusting around the dishes on the hutch instead of taking them off and dusting behind things. The tops of your curtain rods are filthy. You really need to get rid of the feather duster as it just stirs up the dust on the furniture. I’ve always polished all my furniture with lemon wax at least once a week. I highly recommend this if you want things to be really clean and shiny.

I won’t go into the need to sanitize the bathroom every day. Surely we do not need to discuss something this delicate. I will mention, however, that I could not help but notice how the towels were not folded and kept straight, and that the soap dish was a bit slimy. Dear, you surely can do better than this. I realize I’m not perfect, but I would never waste a bar of soap by letting it dissolve in a slimy soap dish.

As I said, dear, I don’t want to embarrass you, so I won’t even mention all the other things. I just wanted to call a few of the more obvious problems to your attention. I know I don’t keep a spotless house myself, but things were different when I was your age. I just can’t do as much now as I used to.

I’m sure you won’t mind me telling you about these teensy problems since it is for your own good. As I said, I know you are busy and have a lot of running around to do, but I just felt it was my duty to let you know about these problems. If I can help you to figure out any of your other shortcomings, be sure to let me know. I’m always glad to help. After all, what is family for?

I’m going to delete this email now, dear, and you will never see it. It took me a while to figure it out, but the best advice a mother-in-law can possibly give is the advice she has learned to keep to herself.

Copyright 2001 Sheila Moss

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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5 Responses to Helpful Hints from a Mother-In-Law

  1. Sheila Moss says:

    Really? I think many say such things face-to-face, only one dart at a time. I believe they don’t even know they are doing it, much less how to mind their own business.


  2. Waiting to see a mother-in-law who has the courage to send out the email and face the aftermath!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lois says:

    LOL, that was the best thing to do as a mother in law, delete your letter.


  4. Mother was such an OCD clean nut she made me polish my school shoes every day. Who in the Sam Hill does that or even thinks that’s normal ? Also as sneakers are
    bad for your feet” I had to wear those black lace up Oxfords for PE and to play ball and everything else. When I left home for college at 18 and ever since I have not made my bed for 50 years. Rebel ? No, just sensible.

    Liked by 1 person

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