Dear Coleen: I help disabled daughter as her lazy hubbie lies in bed

Dear Coleen

I have lived with my daughter and her husband for the past three years, along with my two-year-old grandson, who I absolutely adore.

Moving into their place was a mutual decision and I know they were happy for me to live with them, as my daughter is disabled and I help a lot with my grandson, as well as doing the laundry, most of the cleaning and so on, but I don’t mind.

However, my son-in-law is extremely lazy and does nothing to help my daughter. He just sits on his computer all day long playing games, which really winds me up. If he’s not doing that he stays in bed until lunchtime.

As well as doing most of the housework and helping with my grandson, I also have a full-time job.

My daughter keeps saying that I need to get a place of my own, but I can’t afford to do that.

I do comment on her husband’s laziness and the fact he does nothing around the house, and very little with his son.

My daughter keeps telling me to stop picking on him, but everything I’m saying is true.

Should I just shut up and put up?

Coleen says

Well, if you’re living in their home and you can’t afford a place of your own right now, then I’d say you have to be very careful about what you say about your son-in-law, otherwise you might have no choice but to move out.

The bottom line is, it’s their home and their marriage so, as irritating as it is, if he wants to lie in bed until lunchtime, there’s not much you can say about it – at least, nothing you can say without causing an argument! You’re not his mum.

I realise you do an awful lot for them, as well as caring for your grandson, and maybe they are taking you for granted.

They’re so used to having you around, they haven’t stopped to think about what it would be like without you.

But instead of nagging your son-in-law or commenting on his laziness, why not try talking to your daughter and asking her how she feels about it?

Ask her how things would work if you did move out and he had to take the lion’s share of housework and childcare?

Get her to think about the reality of the situation without you being there to keep it all running.

I think she needs to be the one to tackle her husband.

I have a feeling that if you say something directly to him, it’ll only make him dig his heels in harder!

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