Spouse Denying In-Laws Time With Their Grandkids Backed: 'Our Rules'

Reddit users rallied around a parent who refuses to be undermined by in-laws and took the children out of the house to force their hand until they took some responsibility.

Redditor u/EmbarrassedMilk4107 posted on the AITA [Am I The A******?] forum to ask people if they thought it was reasonable to take the two children to their parent's house whenever the husband's parents come to visit, as they "will not enforce the rules."

The user explains that they live just a short distance away from their own parents, but the in-laws live out of state and come for visits every few months. The trips may be fleeting but they are certainly unforgettable, as the OP [original poster] says that "our rules go out the window" when they come to town.

"It's mean that we don't make the kids their favorite food every day. Why can't the kids watch TV with them before they do their chores and homework. Why do the kids have to be in bed so early," the OP wrote. "It drives me crazy that I'm the bad guy because my husband won't put his foot down, so I have to do it."

Parent Backed For Taking Children Away
This stock image depicts an arguing family. A parent on Reddit has been backed for taking the children out of their house while the in-laws stay, as the grandparents don't respect the house rules. JackF/Getty Images

On their most recent trip, the in-laws wanted to take the grandchildren, aged 9 and 11, to see the new Avatar movie despite being a school night, which OP claimed was the "last straw"—although there was more still to come.

After consecutive nights of the children's schedule being ignored, meaning no chores or homework got done, u/EmbarassedMilk4107 took the matter into their own hands by leaving the house with the two children in tow.

"I told the kids to get their stuff. I took them and a change of clothes and their homework to my parents' house. My mom and dad will watch them and then take them to school in the morning," the Redditor wrote.

"I went back home, and they were waiting for me. I'm being a controlling and abusive person by denying them time with the kids. I'm not the only person allowed to make decisions regarding the kids. They came all this way to see them and I'm being a jerk by keeping them on a schedule."

Gabrielle Morse, a licensed mental health counselor, told Newsweek that keeping a strict routine is important for parents to maintain.

"Having a set routine is so necessary with children, so it must be frustrating that the in-laws don't respect this," Morse said. "If it is a lack of awareness, the person and their partner can inform the in-laws about the rules and routines they have in place. If it is a lack of regard, there is a bigger conversation to have about boundaries. Depending on the family dynamics, they can also have their partner speak to the parents if this person is uncomfortable speaking up."

Morse said that the problem needs addressing somehow, pointing out that avoidance "builds resentment, frustration, and other heavy feelings."

Admitting that the decision was stern, the following day the Reddit OP let their in-laws spend time with the children and went out by themselves, relishing having solo time for once.

However, the break was short-lived. Before long, their husband called them and pleaded that they return home to clean the house and take care of the kids since the in-laws refused to do anything, as they wanted to enjoy their vacation time.

The Redditor explained: "The kids are having a fun time with no rules, and [the husband] has been contacted by the school because no homework was turned in on Thursday or Friday. I didn't answer those texts. I said I would be back after his parents left or he enforced the rules. He said I was taking it too far and that it was affecting his work. Honestly tough s***."

With more than 20,000 votes on the post, plenty of Reddit users have supported their decision to step back and allow the carnage to unfold.

One user wrote: "I seriously applaud you! So many women take this kind of s*** and never have the guts to stand up for themselves. Playing nice sucks!"

Another person commented on the post: "I feel for you. You're going to have to pick up the pieces after all of this. They might not learn their lesson and you STILL have extra work to do. There's 3 adults – can't one of them put together a meal? They're just being lazy and expecting you to do everything for them. You are not the hired help."

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