This weekend my husband couldn't find a certain pair of socks, and said he hadn't had socks in 2 weeks, and he went into a tirade. He left the house and came back a little later. A little bit later his mom showed up, wanting to talk to me and give me some suggestions.
Now, I am a member of Domestically Challenged Moms, and I do admit to being a clutter hound. I am a stay at home mom who does school drop offs and pick ups at two different schools, and does Pre-K homeschool to our youngest. I'll admit I'm sometimes overwhelmed, and strive to be that Proverbs 31 woman. But to have my husband go to his mom....and her to come to me....with suggestions on how to take care of my home.. I'm having a hard time with this! Especially when it's her son who needs to pick up after himself, and stop making messes for me! I'm feeling like a loser wife and mom!
I always cringe whenever my husband talks to his Mom or we are around her. Everything with her is just so-so and she even has maids come in and clean their house. I was once organized, had a clean house and cooked meals a lot more often.. but then I had kids and my husband switched careers which left me to do it all. Burn out happens, has happened and is happening. I don't have 2 little helpers who come in every other week to do housework for me so she can just "put a sock in it". :oP
Oh honey I feel your pain! My husband kept losing buttons off his shirts and would keep hounding me to sew them back on for him. In a round about way, he suggested that this was "women's work and wives did this for their husbands". He couldn't understand why I wouldn't do it. The more he pushed, the more I stood firm. I told him they were his shirts and he needed to sew the buttons back on... it's not rocket science! He proceeded to share my opposition with his mother and she encouraged him to bring the shirts to her house and SHE would sew the buttons back on for him (she felt sorry for him for having such a mean wife). After his mom chastised me saying she didn't understand why it was such a big deal. I said, "Well, when I don't work full-time, pay all the bills, earn more money than my husband, and do all the other work around the house, then maybe I'll sew buttons for him. Till then, he can do it himself, he's a big boy. Besides, you both don't realize you gave me exactly what I wanted, because I STILL didn't sew the darn buttons back on! So thanks, I appreciate it!"
I think that my husband realized early on that he has plenty of flaws that need to be overlooked, so if I'm slow with the laundry he can let it go. He also realized that although his mother has her good points, there would be many drawbacks to living with someone just like her; so it's a trade off - my many other wonderful qualities vs. having to buy extra socks.
Men tend to idealize their mothers and I'm not suggesting that you start picking apart your MIL, but perhaps this will keep things in perspective. No one, not even his blessed mother, is perfect.
Take control with the help of your local organizer. The national association of professional organizers is a great place to start. napo.net. Anyone can help you clean and/or eliminate clutter in a day or two, but what do you do when it comes right back two days later? When you're looking for an organizer be sure to hire someone who promises/guarantees you long term results. You can manage your husband's clutter if you have the right tools.
I'm sorry you had to experience that humiliation, but perhaps after a session with a good organizer you can be the one to share a tip or two with her. Best of luck.