Save. Spend. Splurge.

A Woman’s Place is in the Home apparently. /sarcasm

I am only just realizing how sexist my partner’s side of the family is.

My partner’s sister thinks I’m a lazy git — that I don’t do anything and I have to be forced to help out.

#%(#%) YOU is my response now.

(Just because you do not PHYSICALLY see me do things doesn’t mean that garbage empties itself, and dishes wash themselves.)

Her daughter doesn’t do anything….that is for CERTAIN. I have seen her sit at the dinner table while we (THE WOMEN ONLY mind you) clear the table and clean up. She just sits there, on her phone.

Doesn’t clear the table, clean, vacuum, do anything. Zero. NOTHING. Just her own laundry if that, but I have seen her mother do it all and iron it too.

Where she lives now, she leaves her grandmother to pick up after her and do it all, but does she see that or say anything?


She isn’t expected to help bring in things, put them away, carry things….

Her husband, also doesn’t lift a finger .

But this is because he is a man.

Apparently men sit around and do nothing in the house because that’s the way things are.

When the brother & family visit, his wife doesn’t cook, because he does (much like us), but I am judged far more harshly for not cooking because … I don’t know.

She doesn’t cook and I don’t either.

Why am I the lazy one? But yes, folks, just because I don’t cook, I am considered lazy as a woman. But only me, not the other one.

His brother, leaves a mess in the kitchen after cleaning and I clean it up, but his brother is seen as the best, and I’m lazy for not having done the cooking and the dishes as well.

She basically expects herself, me and the brother’s wife to do ALL the housework – setting the table, cleaning, washing, etc.

No one else should be doing anything but sitting around.

What kind of ass-backwards bull#%) is this?

If she wants to use the argument that the men have a right to sit around and do nothing because they bring money into the household (he makes 1000 EUR and she makes 500 EUR a month), then that argument doesn’t apply to me because I bring home half the bacon too.

So.. that gives me a free pass right? I’m just like a guy.

NO. Apparently not.

Housework is the domain of WOMEN, not men.

And frankly, I’m a little pissed off about the whole thing because I don’t like being told I am lazy when I am not and it is just your perception because you think women should do everything and I think it should be more equitable with the guys stepping up too, and furthermore just because you don’t see me doing the dishes, doesn’t mean I don’t do them — how and why do you think the kitchen stays so clean and pristine?


Who takes out the garbage that gets full from everyone?


Who does all the laundry even the house stuff?


Christ.. I’m really annoyed.

What kills me about all of this is that we are spending time and money, giving up income, and coming here to BE WITH FAMILY and they are only focusing on negatives, judging me, criticizing me, being harsh and then saying I don’t measure up to the French wife of his brother.

Are. You. Out. Of. Your. Minds.?

I’ve decided that I am not coming back next year, or any year after that. It will take me a long time to cool down from this, if ever, and frankly if they don’t want to see me as family then I am not.

I’ll stick “to my own kind” and create my own family if that has to be the case.

I used to think they were the better half of the family versus mine, but now I am seeing the opposite. At the very least, my mother and my brother are always going to have my back.

I’m more than sad at this point.


  • Clo

    Oh, my deepest sympathies. I remember a quick comment thread we had this summer about this very same topic. I think that much of it is cultural. Your partner’s country of origin is still a deeply sexist society in many ways (I’ve lived here for years).

    I clean. I cook. Schedule baby’s vaccination appointments. Anticipate changes in clothing size and purchase accordingly. Do laundry and the fiddly, emotionally laborious tasks like remember we’re out of stamps and send birthday cards. I earn 90% of our household’s money and am in charge of the budget.

    My MIL *still* rags on me about not wearing makeup everyday when I’m just hanging out around the house, tells me my windows are dirty, and poked me in the abs when I was 3 weeks postpartum while saying, “You need to do something about that jelly belly!”

    All this used to bother me a great deal. I don’t pay her – or anyone else of this persuasion – any mind anymore because it takes too much of my energy. When she starts in on me I just think, here is someone who has never had to stand on her own two feet, and is incapable of doing so. She basically earned her keep by dressing like a doll to please others and subordinating what good sense she may have had to a sexist paradigm when she had the choice to not do so.

    That said, it is annoying, rude, and deeply hurtful. Just keep doing what you’re doing, because you inspire me (and others!) through your work. And if you’re in my area (Burgundy) and would like to duck out and get some tea, don’t hesitate.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      It is definitely deeply hurtful. You hit on the right words.


      I am not surprised actually. My sister in law gave birth and a week later was in a bikini, like NOTHING had happened. A BIKINI.

      It took me a year and a half to lose the weight, and I felt bloated and fat the entire time….

  • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life

    Barf on them and their attitudes! Humph. I’d avoid them too. They aren’t worth the stress of being angry at them when they’re so unthinking and shallow.

  • M

    Hi Sherry,

    Love your blog and been a follower for years. Purchased your Spreadsheet in 2014 and still use it (it’s really helped me, cleared about 30k and my car).

    Relatives…are…relatives. If only we could choose them. I think what took me a long time to realize is that when people such as your sister-in-law, speak like that – it really doesn’t have anything to do with you. I know it feels that way because it’s directed at you, but those are HER issues. It’s about HER. If she sends a nasty email, read it out loud. You’ll hear it. It’s like that saying, “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low-self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, surrounded by assholes” – Freud

  • Emma

    I’m sorry to hear that – in-laws are so hard. Mine are also very conservative, and we have butted heads so much. I’m the breadwinner and my husband had to take a step back due to health concerns (they don’t know the whole of it because he honestly does not trust them enough to share) and they are HORRIBLE about it – both to him (lazy, not a man) and to me (castrating, not a good wife, too ambitious). We now see them the absolute bare minimum.
    I will say though, my father and grandfather (both French) took an active part in housework (cooking, cleaning, raising kids), my mother worked full-time and I wasn’t raised with that mentality at all, in fact I was always encouraged to work and expected an equal relationship. So it’s not all French people, although that approach is definitely a thing in certain circles.

  • Becka

    This is the way people were brought up thinking in the ” old country “. Men were traditionally the bread winners and women were expected to do everything else. You’re not going to change this mind set. My family hails from the Ukraine. I remember back when my kids were little, my aunt was always hounding my little daughter to wait in her big brother- make him a sandwich, get him a glass of milk etc. Of course she was having nothing of that! And it made me furious! But that’s the way aunt was conditioned to act based on believes of countless generations before her. She’s gone now and we laugh about that stuff now. Don’t take this on personally and let it destroy the relationships you have with your partner’s family. My aunt lived with me in her later years and I had to try to reason with her on a daily basis which was exhausting. You seem to have to deal with these relatives when you visit them. Please consider rising above all this and just go about living your life the way YOU see fit. Like I said before, you are not going to change any of them.

  • Sense

    Ooh, how dare she pass judgment? As long as her bro is happy with the arrangement you two have, it is none of her business. And even if he weren’t, it’s his choice, so she has no right to front up to you about this.

    Can your partner talk to his sister and get her to hold her tongue? It would be a huge shame for your kid and partner if you cut things off completely. Completely understandable if you feel you need to take a stand about this, though.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      No. I’m not getting in the middle of this. Just going to visit less and give my partner the SIDEEYE if he tries to make a federal case out of this.

      And he said MY family was bad.

      The good news is that we talked and I aired my grievances about it — he is super progressive so he cooks and does a lot for a guy from that generational mindset.

      I’d rather just avoid them. Not cause trouble. Live my life.

  • Anne

    Relatives are the worst… My husband and I avoid as much as possible those who cannot keep their judgemental comments to themselves. Even a close family member, to a degree. She’s gotten better though. For years we’ve been answering her comments by saying that her way of doing things may not be the best for everyone or that she does not necessarily know all the facts about other people’s life so she should not be judging – maybe it has finally given result. Or she’s realized there’s a connection between her judgemental way of speaking and us not keeping in contact that often.
    I want to believe that there’s a good thought behind the family member’s behaviour, that she believes her comments are helping us in some way. But in other cases, I think there’s envy involved and criticising others is a way of lifting themselves: “they may have fancy careers but at least we know how household work should be taken care of”. It is sad, otherwise it would be nice to meet those relatives more often.

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