It all happened during one conversation that Clint was having with his mom over the phone. She made a comment. A comment about Clint’s wife, to be specific. That is, her daughter-in-law.
Clint couldn’t believe what he had just heard. He took some time to reflect. And then, he gave a response that left his mom speechless.
Sometimes, the relationship between the members of a couple and their correspondent parents-in-law can be complicated. It’s essential that there is a good level of trust.
No parents want to see their kid mistreated or neglected by the person they have chosen to share a life with. But some parents certainly overdo it.
This was the case with Clint’s mom. She said something about Mel, Clint’s wife, that left her son completely baffled. But he came up with a good response.
And now, all the Internet is raving about what Clint said to his mom and how he stood up for his wife. He’s even been invited to some TV shows to share his story. This is how it happened.
When the conversation took place, Clint had been married to Mel for 13 years. They had three kids: Tristen, Norah, and Aspen.
Through all the hardships of fatherhood and marriage, they had managed to build a happy and joyful household. But it wasn’t always easy. There had been rough times too.
Mel and Clint got married really young. As a matter of fact, they hadn’t even completed their university studies. And after that, there was the matter of looking for a job.
They had to move across the country, jumping from job to job while learning how to raise and take care of their children. It was hard at times, and it even got close to taking a toll on them.
But eventually, they stuck it out and managed to come out on top. Clint started working for Oregon State University as a student services coordinator.
And in the meanwhile, Mel could stay at home and focus on taking care of the house and the kids. They were happy. However, not everything was perfect.
Their house could have been a little bit tidier. “There is often kid clutter, dishes in the sink, and half-finished art projects on the counters,” Clint says in his blog on parenthood named “No Idea What I’m Doing: A Daddy Blog.”
Little did they know that later on, this would end up becoming a bigger problem than they would have ever expected.
Clint’s mom had her own values, which aligned with those of her generation. And sometimes, they conflicted with those of Clint and his wife.
She wasn’t a bad or bigoted person. But she hadn’t had an easy life and had certain ideas and beliefs that she had a hard time letting go of. And this would create a conflict with Clint and his wife.
It all happened unexpectedly. Clint was washing the dishes and having a phone conversation with his mom. They were talking about what they had been up to. Family matters, how was the job, housekeeping, and such.
And all of a sudden, Clint’s mom dropped the bomb. She made a rather inappropriate comment that left Clint absolutely baffled.
“Doesn’t it bother you that Mel won’t keep a cleaner house?” is what Clint’s mom asked. Clint was left speechless for a minute. He didn’t know how to respond.
But after thinking for a bit, he came up with this epic response that made his mom instantly regret what she had just said.
“I didn’t really know how to respond to my mother, so I floundered. I never really know what to say in moments like this,” he told the press when asked about the story. But then he said this:
“I didn’t get into this marriage for a clean house. I got into it because she seemed like someone I could spend my life with,” he responded. And after a short silence, this is what his mom said:
“Well… that probably is more important than a clean house,” she admitted. She realized what her mistake was. She was placing all the housekeeping responsibilities on Clint’s wife.
And she was expecting Clint and his family to conform to her generation’s standards of what a home and a family should be like. But it was understandable. She was raised in a different era, and she didn’t have an easy life.
Clint’s dad had abandoned them shortly after Clint was born. So she had no other option than to keep up with what was expected from a mom at that time; she had to take care of the house, juggle several jobs and raise his kid. All while being a single mom.
It wasn’t easy on her, and maybe she didn’t fully understand that her son’s generation had different standards. This is how Mel and Clint explained their perspective:
“I’d rather not be that mom who ignores our kids and myself because I’m so busy worrying about what the neighbors might think of our messy house,” Mel said later when recounting the story.
“I will also admit, [our house] isn’t as clean as my mother’s home, but that doesn’t bother me. In fact, I don’t really think about that at all,” said Clint.
Many readers have been praising how Clint stoop up for his wife, disregarding archaic gender roles and recognizing that house duties are also his responsibility.
What do you think about this story? Do you think that Clint’s mom was justified in making that comment? And how do you feel about Clint’s response?