Ask Amelia: Do Blondes Really Have More Fun?

We just moved and had a kid. Our apartment is understandably a mess (not dirty, but disorderly). Whenever my mother-in-law comes over, she looks around in disgust and makes comments about it (telling my husband to vacuum certain spots, telling us she'll pay for a cleaning lady). How do I nicely tell her to shove it? If she continues being this way, I don't want her coming over, which means she sees the baby a lot less.

 —Frustrated Mama

Dear Frustrated,

It is completely understandable that your house would be messy after either a move OR a new baby. Combine the two? Sheesh. Is she trying to do something nice by having your husband help with vacuuming or offering a cleaning lady, or is she being judgy towards you?

I assume you've tried "well, things are a little crazy around here with the move and the baby!" and she's just not taking a hint, right? I wouldn't say no to a free cleaning lady (saves YOU the trouble!) -- but, if it would come with strings attached, never mind.

Does your husband know it bothers you? I assume he does, so he might need to stand up for his woman and gently suggest to his mom that she cut you a break. I know that that's a lot easier said than done!

That last resort is that you shove stuff in the bedroom or in bins or something so it's more hidden when she comes over. You shouldn't have to do that, but it might be worth it to keep the peace a little and make sure baby and grandma don’t miss time with each other.