To not want MIL (or other relative) folding up our smalls?!

(245 Posts)
BigGingerCat Fri 11-Mar-11 14:15:59

Yes, I realise this is not up there with "AIBU to not want my MIL to put her cigarette out on my baby's arm?" But I'm not sure if I'm peeved for no reason on this one, so turning it over to the Mumsnet jury!

I know she was only trying to help, and was probably trying to find something to do while I was out and she was very kindly watching baby DS. But I came back to find all the dried washing sorted out into piles: mine, DH's and baby's, all folded (even the underwear), and my DH's socks put into pairs and balled together. Lucky boy to have mummy on hand -I never bother to do this for him. grin Maybe I would have been less funny about it if it was just bedlinen or something but, I dunno, it felt a little intrusive. confused

This is not a gripe against MILs per se. Mine is generally lovely. I think I'd be funny about my mum or stepmum doing the same, and I certainly wouldn't start sorting laundry in a relative or good friend's house without asking if they wanted help. Is it then a question of boundaries and not automatically treating another woman's household as an extension of your own?

Didn't say anything of course as I know it is a v. minor point, but is anyone else a bit funny about this sort of thing???

nethunsreject Fri 11-Mar-11 14:18:04


My Mum does this too and it is kind of her, but she tends to 'take over'.

No doubt we will be told we are ungrateful bitches in the next 3 minutes, I put money on it.

Sillyshell Fri 11-Mar-11 14:21:27

Yanbu, my MIL came round a couple of weeks ago to drop a parcel round whilst we were at work. When I got home that evening, she had ironed all of DH's shirts and washed up.

I know I should be grateful but I'm not!

hairylights Fri 11-Mar-11 14:22:08

Yabu I'd love it if someone did my housework for me.

JuicyLips Fri 11-Mar-11 14:24:30

Yanbu, Its very nice they wanted to help you out though. we were stuck in hospital for 8 days with dd, and very kindly mil took some washing home for us, but I did feel a bit uncomfortable when I realised she had Ironed and folded our underwear as well as our other items that you'd normally iron.

agedknees Fri 11-Mar-11 14:27:32

I am not going to say you are ungrateful. Everyone has their own privacy limits.

But don't you think it's lovely that you have a close enough relationship that she feels she can do that for you?

Tee2072 Fri 11-Mar-11 14:27:54

I would have said YABU until a year ago when my mother commented, while folding my laundry, that my bras and pants were very sexy. My husband couldn't have sex with me for a month! grin

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 11-Mar-11 14:33:11

YABU - I wouldn't mind at all!

If she had gone rummaging for it then you would have a point, but if there is washing dry in a basket/on an airer then I would be delighted if my Mum or MIL folded it!

I don't know if you are or not, but I was very grateful when a friend that was babysitting did the dishes and put on a load of washing. I'd fallen really behind with housework after DS being poorly so it meant I could get on with another area of the house. I don't know if I'd have been so grateful if it was MIL dealing with my undies (certainly couldn't them smalls pmsl)

Eglu Fri 11-Mar-11 14:36:09

YABU. My Mum and MIL will both on occasion do ironing for me, and I really appreciate it. It was clean clothes.

Flisspaps Fri 11-Mar-11 14:38:07

MIL did this when she came to visit when DD was born.

I HATED it. Inside I was screaming 'GET OFF MY KNICKERS WOMAN!'

Actually, come to think of it, she bought me some nice knickers for my birthday shortly after, probably didn't think mine were pretty enough to entice dh to make another gc for her hmm

Saltire Fri 11-Mar-11 14:47:22

MIL rakes through our laundry basket for things to wash - inlcuding my kinckers and DH pants. <shudder>
(We have a basket on landing for underwear and towels.
So now when she visits, I hide all teh dirty underwear (by dirty I mean worn, we aren't minging grin)in a bag under the bed. Yes, sad i know but it's the only way to stop her. I have only just, after 17 years persuaded her that if she kindly does the ironing then there's no need for her to put it away - thus taking away the opportunity for her to look through drawers

BigGingerCat Fri 11-Mar-11 15:04:39

Saltire - that's an easy one to fix once and for all. Put a dominatrix outfit and a gimp suit in the laundry basket....grin Worth the expense.

nethunsreject Fri 11-Mar-11 15:05:59


I am totally scunnered at not having been told I am an ungrateful fucker.


YABU - ridiculous - love it when others 'do' for me smile

gateacre1 Fri 11-Mar-11 15:14:25

my FIL has an OBSESSION with laundry
he is always bringing pegs over and those circular peg hangy things ( plastic crap basically)
If MIL or FIL are visiting and im not home they empty the machine and individually peg all laundry up on the line, including my knickers ewwwwwwwwwww
its not their place to hang up my smalls!!!

aftereight Fri 11-Mar-11 15:20:37

YANBU, I would hate that too, even if it was my own mum.
Once, when I had a uterine infection (^loads^ of blood..), my boyfriend gave all my knickers to his mum to wash. I was mortified shock

YADNBU, my MIL is the same. I went out once while she was here helping DP wallpapering, and when I came back DP was doing some DIY and his mum was in the garden, and literally, EVERYTHING downstairs had moved. Not the furniture, but all the ornaments that are downstairs. She had polished everywhere, and when I say they had all moved it wasn't like a few things were facing the wrong way, everything had been rearranged! I spent about half an hour putting everything back in all 4 downstairs rooms! A couple of things had even moved rooms!

She had done all this while he was DIYing, then she'd gone outside to do some gardening.

silverangel Fri 11-Mar-11 15:34:08

My MIL does my washing - she seems to enjoy it and it means I dont have to do it. At first I HATED it, but got used to it!

Bottleofbeer Fri 11-Mar-11 15:35:45

Years ago our washing machine broke, so the other half took a load round to his mum's and put the wash on with the intention of picking it up later and we'd dry it.

I had caesareans so had a collection of HUGE, horrible granny knickers to make sure smalls didn't rub on the scar. I had been making curry and it bubbled over onto the hob. First thing to hand was a pair of said knicks (clean, by now they were used for polishing and stuff) and they somehow found their way into this pile of washing done at his mum's.

Imagine my mortification when she dropped the washing round herself, all dried, ironed and folded. Granny knickers - beautifully stained in a browish/yellow colour bang on top of the pile.


Ormirian Fri 11-Mar-11 15:37:23

Send her round to my house please.

Oh my gosh that must've been so mortifying! If something like that ever happened to me I don't think I'd ever be able to look MIL in the eye again!

Oh wait. It did. I've just remembered unfortunately. I went on a caravan holiday with my DP and his family a couple of years ago, in the middle of the night I had a dodgy stomach, was up and down to the loo for ages, didn't quite make it one time though. I tied up PJ bottoms and pants in a carrier bag to take back home to wash. So imagine my horror next morning when I looked out of the window into the awning to see MIL with a washing up bowl with said PJ bottoms and pants in it soaking. Couldn't look her in the eye for ages blush

bumperella Fri 11-Mar-11 15:41:48

Bottleofbeer.... was it REALLY curry? Honestly? grin

My MIL went through laundry basket to do washing for us when she was up visiting recently. It feels really intrusive and uncomfortable: I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way! She also irons underwear etc, which I would feel uncomfortable about if it wasn't totally overshadowed by the laundry-basket-rummaging. It's really kind and helpful and meant so well....but I just don't like it!

newtotheplanet Fri 11-Mar-11 15:43:40

Message withdrawn

Toffeefudgecake Fri 11-Mar-11 15:44:48

I'm like you, op. My MIL doesn't have any boundaries where knickers and personal details are concerned, whereas I most certainly do. I hate her to see my knickers and bras, but she will fold up all the laundry just like your MIL did. It is actually very helpful and I appreciate it, but I do find it intrusive. She also used to buy knickers for me, until DH persuaded her that I liked to buy my own. There is something very unsexy about wearing knickers that your MIL has bought for you. She also once got us some of these along with some shopping she'd bought for us blush. I was mortified.

And, whilst we are on the subject of knickers and MILs, when she stayed with us recently and slept in my DS2's bedroom, she put her used knickers in the drawer of the bedside cabinet. I was disgusted! My son puts his cuddly toys in there!

Back to your original query: YANBU, but I don't think you should say anything to her about it because she was clearly trying to help out. Just hide your smalls before she comes round next.

Bottleofbeer Fri 11-Mar-11 15:46:19

Hahaha yes! it was definitely curry!

Oh dear Melly!

Toffeefudgecake Fri 11-Mar-11 15:49:54

Melly - what was she doing looking through your washing anyway? shock

<wonders if it a special MIL technique to humiliate us and keep us in our placehmm>

Toffeefudgecake Fri 11-Mar-11 15:52:05

More charitably, it could just be that MILs feel 'motherly' towards their DILs, just as they do their sons.

I swear I will never wash future DILs' smalls though.

I hadn't had chance to put it in my laundry bag yet, so the carrier bag it was in was just sat on the floor at the end of our airbed.

And I think you could be right about that technique. MILs always seem to manage to find the dirt/stuff that needs doing/washing!

Toffeefudgecake Fri 11-Mar-11 16:01:27

Does it count as 'passive aggressive'? My MIL is an expert at that.

I think it totally depends on the clothes to pants ratio of your washing basket grin

On holiday I think my MIL hung up our washing as we were all chipping in with it (10 people including a baby so lots!) and my undies must have been included as were hubby's. Think she quite enjoyed hanging up baby things! Having recently given birth someone seeing my rather tame underpants were the least of my worries!

It seems like a very kind gesture to sort out laundry, but I would have a problem with any relative sorting out my dirties. To comment about the sexiness of ones underpants is however, totally wrong!

Women and mothers as a general rule just like to interfere!

schroeder Fri 11-Mar-11 16:05:09

What's wrong with the andrex moist? They're very good for getting yer bum really cleangrin

When I was 18 I lived with my boyfriend at his step-Dad's house <what was I thinking> I could never get used to his Step-Dad washing my undies BF thought, I was weirdhmm

Toffeefudgecake Fri 11-Mar-11 16:07:53

Schroeder - it wasn't the Andrex Moist as such, it was the fact that my MIL was even thinking of us wiping and whether we were clean enough! We are in our 40s, FFS, I think we know how to do it by now!

borderslass Fri 11-Mar-11 16:27:43

YANBU Thankfully we no longer speak to MIL the witch but she used to do some lovely helpful things, she watched DD1 and DS when I went in to have DD2 and I came home a day later to all my laundry done including underwear and DS's babygros ironed [she fucked the iron] she also tidied my bedroom and removed all the baby equipment into the kids room and cleaned and reorganised my kitchen 'as you don't have time to do it' she said that in front of friends. It was already done.

usualsuspect Fri 11-Mar-11 16:34:26

I have folded washing for my dd and sil while I've been looking after my dgs .. they are only pants fgs

exoticfruits Fri 11-Mar-11 16:48:00

I think she was just being helpful-it wouldn't bother me-after all it hangs in the garden for all to see!

gooseberrybushes Fri 11-Mar-11 16:55:16

"But don't you think it's lovely that you have a close enough relationship that she feels she can do that for you?"

Tis my experience that MILs feel they have a close enough relationship as soon as the knot is tied to do or say anything at all that pleases them and with a bit of luck also pisses off the daughter in law in a way that renders said daughter in law incapable of complaining without looking churlish and ungrateful.

Washing and folding the family underwear would be an absolutely perfect example.

gooseberrybushes Fri 11-Mar-11 16:57:15

And ps nobody washes my pants except me. I've had loads of domestic help and had to stay weeks with parents and in-laws and nobody washes my pants. Don't care if they are only pants, or even only crusty pants, they're my crusty pants. Hands orf.

I'm not surprised the OP feels uncomfortable.

borderslass Fri 11-Mar-11 17:00:58

after all it hangs in the garden for all to see!
Mine don't.

usualsuspect Fri 11-Mar-11 17:04:03

gooseberrybushes you sound like a lovely dil I hope my son marries someone like you smile

exoticfruits Fri 11-Mar-11 17:05:10

It is much more environmentally friendly to hang your washing out.

exoticfruits Fri 11-Mar-11 17:06:08

Whether it hangs out or not, I don't see that folding it for you is anything other than helpful.

BigGingerCat Fri 11-Mar-11 17:06:19

I would like to think she didn't think that deeply about it gooseberry. At best she was just trying to be helpful. At worst I think (hope) that she simply forgets that we're grown ups running our own household and don't need mummy to pick up after us!

She does tend to "baby" her kids. Good example - her daughter (my SIL) was off to a party where a fella she liked was going to be there. MIL made sure she went round and took some photos of SIL in her party clothes and told her she looked lovely in case she was nervous. SIL is 27^. On the one hand it's very ^caring on the other it's rather oppressive!

So that's the issue, feeling like I'm being fussed and babied. And yes, if it had been dirty washing she'd gone through I would have said something!!

BigGingerCat Fri 11-Mar-11 17:07:10

Oh, sorry, buggered up the italics there! blush

CheerfulYank Fri 11-Mar-11 17:07:14

I would die a thousand deaths if my MIL ever touched my underwear!


Of course she is a stern, reserved Minnesota farm woman...if she had the choice between doing my smalls or waterboarding she'd probably take the torture.

Deliainthemaking Fri 11-Mar-11 17:09:22

I would feel a little uncomfortable with my MIL seeing my knickers


borderslass Fri 11-Mar-11 17:13:02

exoticfruits I do hang my washing out when I can just not my underwear.

usualsuspect Fri 11-Mar-11 17:17:22

I hang my underwear out ...I have no shame grin

NotAPearlClutcher Fri 11-Mar-11 17:24:38

i can only wish that someone would fold my laundry sometimes (as much as i love doing it [seriously, i love doing laundry from start to finish]). and im willing to fold my friends laundry all the time. if they ask or not. its just habit...same with cleaning. maybe "OCD" is better than "habit"...

Bumblequeen Fri 11-Mar-11 17:53:36

I am laughing my head off at some of your comments- I have tears in my eyes!

Tee20720- hubby probably thought of your mum everytime you wore the underwear!

Saltire- I would hate anyone going through my dirty laundry basket. I have put on my own washing since the age of 12/13.

Bottle of bear/melly- would have passed out there and then!

When mil stayed with us she often packed away clothes I Hung out the night before. Felt uncomfortable but brushed it aside. Soon after BIL visited and tried to be helpful by packing away our clothes. I cringed when I realised a few pairs of knickerd were on the line! No thanks!

gooseberrybushes Fri 11-Mar-11 18:00:28

usualsuspect if so he will be extremely lucky

but perhaps you will be a lovely mil ..for his wife's sake I hope so

gooseberrybushes Fri 11-Mar-11 18:02:02

and I am indeed a very, very lovely dil

after all I haven't committed a homicide yet

I am a saint of self control

bibbitybobbityhat Fri 11-Mar-11 18:07:43

Yanbu. I would feel exactly the same. I hate it when people come to my house and offer to do housework for me - if I wanted help, I would ask! And I would ask dh first!!!

exoticfruits Fri 11-Mar-11 18:14:10

How strange-I am quite happy if someone wants to volunteer!

gooseberrybushes Fri 11-Mar-11 18:18:18

Really? So if the PTA chairwoman offered to take care of the entire committee's period pants - you'd be first in line?

GotArt Fri 11-Mar-11 18:27:00

I don't you are being unreasonable. I've encountered this with my MIL a few times. Never with my mother as I was made to do my own laundry since I was 10, but even last time I was there in the summer, MIL actually tugged at my clothes I started to put in the washer, saying she doesn't mind doing it. I said that I do and yanked back. She's never done this with any other chore around the house. She is more than welcome to vacuum, but laundry is just a little personal.

exoticfruits Fri 11-Mar-11 19:06:51

I think that is a bit silly-we are talking about folding underwear!

Ormirian Fri 11-Mar-11 19:12:52

I agree with you exotic. But I think I inhabit a different universe to quite a few of the posters on here. Everything seems to get people so flustered and outraged confused

If there is washing hanging around waiting to be ironed/sorted my mum or MIL will do it. It's not meant to belittle or humiliate, it's meant to he helpful.

exoticfruits Fri 11-Mar-11 19:15:36

If you really have something that you want to keep extremely private I don't think you should have it in the general wash.

exoticfruits Fri 11-Mar-11 19:16:58

My mother and MIL have always done my ironing if it is sitting around. If I didn't want them to do it I would hide it away! Simple, and something to bear in mind for the future.

MosEisley Fri 11-Mar-11 19:26:21

Haven't read the whole thread, but in reply to the OP, it depends on your relationship.

Personally I would love to find all my washing sorted and folded and would feel comfortable enough with MIL doing this. It isn't as if I wear lacy thongs to be a bit blush about her seeing.

BUT I can see why you might feel uncomfortable. My Mum oversteps boundaries all the time and sometimes what seem like nice gestures can actually feel a bit intrusive.

So without a full understanding of your relationship with your MIL, I can't say if YABU or YANBU.

gooseberrybushes Fri 11-Mar-11 19:31:17

"If you really have something that you want to keep extremely private I don't think you should have it in the general wash."

In your own house?

Yes, I agree people who don't mind others ferretting around in their smalls live in a different universe to those who do smile

FleeBee Fri 11-Mar-11 19:32:38

This reminds me of my MIL. A few years ago she stayed with me and DH for a few weeks to visit her mother (MIL lives abroad and DH Gran in a nursing home in UK). During that time DH went to visit friends for a weekend away leaving MIL behind to look after the cat and house. I really thought it was a terrible idea as MIL and I don't get on, but DH insisted it would be fine.

When we got home she told DH she had got bored so had rearranged all my wardrobe and drawers (even underwear drawer!!!) Everything was in a different place and as I was pregnant at the time all my maternity clothes were mixed in with pre-pregnancy clothes so it took me ages to find everything and put it back to how I liked it arranged. But to make matters worse, DH and I lived a distance apart prior to our wedding and I'd kept all the letters he'd written to me in a small box in my drawer (this was before e-mail and text because I'm v. old). I was horrified that she had read the letters, I'm convinced that she would have read them. I'm more horified that she'd rummaged around my underwear drawer !!! There were some bedroom only things in there!!!! blush

exoticfruits Fri 11-Mar-11 19:33:57

I haven't got anything that doesn't hang in full view in the garden and can be folded by anyone who wants to be helpful, so I couldn't say! If you don't want it to hang in the garden then I would suggest that you keep it out of sight if visitors are coming around!

exoticfruits Fri 11-Mar-11 19:35:01

Rearranging drawers is different! Washing isn't private, if it has been on the line.

gooseberrybushes Fri 11-Mar-11 19:37:36

Mils are just "visitors" but they are allowed to ferret around in underwear?

Curiouser and curiouser.

Much more normal to not worry about having the ironing board up or washing basket out for a family member, and also not worry that underwear will be ferreted in by family member.

exoticfruits Fri 11-Mar-11 19:38:35

I would call MIL family.

usualsuspect Fri 11-Mar-11 19:40:26

my pants dry on the radiators in full view of unsuspecting visitors grin

gooseberrybushes Fri 11-Mar-11 19:41:29

Me too. That's why I wouldn't mind if the washing basket was out when she came round. I wouldn't however consider it an invitation to underwear ferreting. I wouldn't expect to have to select items of underwear considered "extremely private" and remove them to a safe and secure distance in case ferreting occurred.

usualsuspect Fri 11-Mar-11 19:43:22

folding pants is hardly ferreting ,and byw I am a MIl to 2 sils who don't mind me folding their boxers grin

usualsuspect Fri 11-Mar-11 19:43:50


gooseberrybushes Fri 11-Mar-11 19:45:07

It is too ferretting smile

But then.. I wouldn't consider leaving the washing basket out to be an invitation to take my underwear out of the basket and do things with it.

cantspel Fri 11-Mar-11 19:48:29

some of you really have issues and god forbid that you ever need any sort of care as strangers and even family members will be doing a lot more personal things than folding your knickers.

gooseberrybushes Fri 11-Mar-11 19:49:55

Oh my god. Must hand period pants to mil at once because one day I might be in a care home. Crumbs I never thought of that.

bibbitybobbityhat Fri 11-Mar-11 19:51:09

Cantspel - don't be ridiculous. If I need care in the future, I'll need care and that will be that.

Meanwhile I am an able bodied fully functioning adult (thank God) and I do not want anyone else going through my laundry. No issues at all, other than being a grown up and in control of my own life. Thanks.

usualsuspect Fri 11-Mar-11 19:51:46

Gooseberrybushes .. its not worth getting your private knickers in a twist about have a wine

Takver Fri 11-Mar-11 19:52:33

Oh dear, now I'm wondering if I shouldn't have carried on from SiL who was putting out washing on the airer when she went off to shower while I looked after baby . . .

I'd never even think about objecting if someone (well, any relative or friend) hung my washing out or folded it up, so it didn't occur to me that anyone else would feel odd about it blush

Come to that, given that we used to live in a housing co-op, plenty of people have got my undies in off the line for me when its come on to rain, though they rarely folded them neatly grin

BuntyPenfold Fri 11-Mar-11 19:52:51

my MIL borrowed a pair of my knickers, and handed them to me a week later saying "I have washed them dear..."
I should ruddy well hope so....I threw them away.

bibbitybobbityhat Fri 11-Mar-11 19:53:29

My clean pants are likewise on display drying around the house or on the line if anyone comes around unexpectedly.

But the thought of anyone else going through my laundry basket actually makes me feel angry. Where is the privacy?

cantspel Fri 11-Mar-11 19:54:14

They are pants and i am sure your mil has seen period pants before. Doing a bit of pant folding for a dil is hardly snooping as in all honesty i doubt she finds a pile of pants that interesting.(unless you wear cruchless porn star pants)

gooseberrybushes Fri 11-Mar-11 19:57:08

It's ok usual knickers not in twist -- just having a bit of fun. But thanks for the wine. I wonder why they don't do a glass of white?

WincyEtNightietilMayBeOut Fri 11-Mar-11 19:59:09

You have a "baby DS" so I think YApossiblyBU as she was surely just trying to help. Let's face it, three are enough threads on here about MILs who just come round and drink tea/admire baby and a host of "get em to make themselves useful do some housework" responses.


a) I would take it as an insult to the size of my pants if someone took it upon themselves to fold them grin

a) i) Actually I've just remembered my Mum gave me a hand pegging out some washing when DS was small and I was still wearing my huge, black maternity pants. "Do you want 2 pegs on these?" said she "!!!!" said I

b) dirty laundry is out of bounds and a totally different story.

c) rearranging drawers etc is just hmm confused angry

usualsuspect Fri 11-Mar-11 20:01:03

I have fetched my grown up dds washing in for her off the line if its dry, and folded her and my sils pants ..I never knew it was so controversial grin

gooseberrybushes Fri 11-Mar-11 20:01:19

Yes I'm sure my mil's seen period pants before. So what? I therefore must show her mine?

No issues here. Hands orf me pants. Not exactly an indicator of mental imbalance, is it?

It's "crotch" by the way.

gooseberrybushes Fri 11-Mar-11 20:02:38

Don't be upset can'tspell. It'll be alright.

bumspoon Fri 11-Mar-11 20:03:28

Sorry just read the OP, but wanted to let you know that we share a mother in law. Mine has no boundaries in my house whatsoever and my knickers have been neatly folded into rows many times.

herbietea Fri 11-Mar-11 20:04:33

Message withdrawn

gooseberrybushes Fri 11-Mar-11 20:08:05

awww sweet

you must have one of the nice ones

bumspoon Fri 11-Mar-11 20:19:58

I don't really have an issue with the folding of clean knickers - although it's slighlty OCDish when they're all displayed neatly in a row. What bothers me is that she goes up to my bedroom, roots through my dirty washing and takes it upon herself to do it.

You don't go into someone else's house, even close family, and go uninvited into their bedroom. It's the crossing of boundaries we care about, not the fact that our MILs have seen our knickers.

herbietea Fri 11-Mar-11 20:21:08

Message withdrawn

cantspel Fri 11-Mar-11 20:22:33

I only have sons so i must remember when the time comes never to help with folding the washing when i go visiting or i will have mnet thinking i am a passive aggressive mil who is snooping. Or maybe i will still upset mnet for being a mil who cant see what busy lives their dil's live i and dont do anything to help.

God i can see this mil business being a right minefield.

bumspoon Fri 11-Mar-11 20:25:31

I only have a son too, so hope I'll be a MIL one day. I don't think it will be a minefield though. Surely all you have to say is "is there anything I can do to help?". Easy.

gooseberrybushes Fri 11-Mar-11 20:29:47

Cant -- yes, good idea. Would certainly recommend do not help with folding underwear unless asked. If you can't think of any other way to help that doesn't involve underwear you could always ask your dil. I think this might solve the "minefield" problem.

No herbie: not only can you not see the problem -- you are "shocked" that other people do see the problem. Simply because they think underwear is private, and going into someone else's underwear is intrusive.

I suppose I think it's really weird that people think their underwear isn't private. I mean - really, really weird.

cantspel Fri 11-Mar-11 20:31:33

But if they are out and i was left in minding a sleeping baby then to me it would be normal to look around and see if there was any little jobs that need doing.
To me that is how families work and you help each other out without the need for someone to ask.

cantspel Fri 11-Mar-11 20:33:54

I think of underwear as just an item of clothing and think it is weird that people seem to think it is something private and not for the mil eyes.

But hey it takes all sorts to make a world.

gooseberrybushes Fri 11-Mar-11 20:34:53

But now you've learned that lots of people think differently, and that a person who thinks this way might marry your son. That's the magic of conversation.

gooseberrybushes Fri 11-Mar-11 20:36:27

"It's weird that people seem to think underwear is something private."

Er not really.

Ok I think we're done.

bibbitybobbityhat Fri 11-Mar-11 20:47:23

(right behind you gooseberry grin)

usualsuspect Fri 11-Mar-11 21:04:33

When my son gets married I will fold my dil pants just so she can have something to bitch about on MN grin

exoticfruits Fri 11-Mar-11 21:28:22

I have never thought of a laundry basket as private! (draws and cupboards-yes: laundry baskets and washing lines -no). If I didn't want anyone touching the laundry basket I would simply put it in a cupboard.

exoticfruits Fri 11-Mar-11 21:29:00

drawers-not draws

CheerfulYank Sat 12-Mar-11 02:55:00

I find myself once again thanking the Almighty for my dry, reserved MIL who wouldn't dream of doing anything w/o being expressly asked

sundayrose10 Sat 12-Mar-11 03:47:54

LOL melly's mil wins hands down.

wendylovesbob Sat 12-Mar-11 04:20:35

My MiL would dream of folding her own knickers, never mind someone elses. She is far too glam for housework. And if she ever did catch sight of my smalls she would be horrified at the cotton sensibleness of it all.

She is French. The first time I met her she offered to take me underwear shopping in Paris. I blinked like a rabbit in the headlights politely made excuses, and our relationship never really got further than that.

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 05:03:57

"I have never thought of a laundry basket as private!"

How completely extraordinary.

If I was sitting with my MIL's poorly husband while she did the weekly shop, can I with your impunity root through her knicker basket?

How very extraordinary.

seeker Sat 12-Mar-11 05:48:29

I don;t go out to work, so I quite often wait in in friends houses for deliveries, repair men and so on. I always look round for things to do - and I wouldn't think twice about putting on a wash, or getting the laundry in if it rains. Wouldn't open a drawer, though.

Amazed to find that all my friends must have been seething with outrage all this time!

Oh, and I got my neighbour's washing in last week when it suddenly rained - should I have taken in everything but the pants???

thumbwitch Sat 12-Mar-11 06:18:24

OP, I don't know whether or not it is unreasonable but I share your discomfort with it. MIL has in the past put on washes for me (without asking) and taken in washing for me (without asking) and I find it too invasive, especially when my underwear is involved.
It's obviously very kind of her but since she doesn't do the pre-soak that is required for DS's clothes (so some of them end up stained), and she brings things off the line before they are actually dry (so they have to be re-hung somewhere) it's not actually all that helpful of her and I wish she wouldn't do it.

She looked after DS one morning. I came home to find she had done a nappy wash, because they were on the line. Since they need an overnight soak (drypailed) and then their normal wash cycle is 2 hours long, they had to be re-done.

And I really don't like other people touching my underwear. Come to that, I don't like touching other people's underwear either, including DH's! (although I have no issue with DS's)

Ormirian Sat 12-Mar-11 06:19:48

Gooseberry- I am not sure that folding up washing counts as rooting through a knicker basket. In fact I am not exactly sure what a knicker basket is.....

seeker Sat 12-Mar-11 06:59:17

I agree. I think this talk of "rootig" anf "ferreting" is very odd.

Take washing from laundry basket. Put in washing machine.

Take out of machine. Peg (now clean - so no potential for embarrassing stains) on line.

Take in. Fold.

I genuinely can;t see a single problem with anyone doing that.

Of course, if your MIL was sniffing them to see if they'd do another day......

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 07:25:32

"Take washing from laundry basket. Put in washing machine."

Somebody else's washing, including their dirty underwear, from somebody else's laundry basket into somebody else's machine? When you're just waiting for a meter man?

Really, really weird.

I cannot conceive of doing this in my friends' houses. If I were waiting in for them I'd make a cup of tea and read a magazine and I hope they would do the same.

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 07:39:43

"I am not sure that folding up washing counts as rooting through a knicker basket. In fact I am not exactly sure what a knicker basket is".

I must have said knicker basket instead of ironing or washing basket. Sorry that was so tough to understand. I think getting someone's underwear out of a washing/ironing/laundry basket to do things with it is really weird.

FancyALittle Sat 12-Mar-11 07:42:19

What is it with MIL and washing? Mine is obsessed. Obsessed with washing and with ironing too (she irons socks ). OP I think you are being a little unreasonable but only in comparison to my MIL.

She actively forages for dirty washing. So much so that she even found my dirty underwear that I'd hidden in a zip compartment of the suitcase because I didn't want her to wash it. When we stayed with her, she would COME IN at any moment and forage for washing, without asking. She only learnt her lesson when she came in to forage and found us, erm, enjoying each other's company under the duvet. Surprised she didn't try and wrench the dirty bedsheets from us come to think of it.

exoticfruits Sat 12-Mar-11 07:55:40

I can see that washing is a whole minefield-I hadn't realised!
I just assumed that if washing was on a line and it started to rain I would be doing a favour by getting it in and that the person would like me to fold it to cut down on ironing-I had no idea that I mustn't touch knickers!
This leaves a quandry-do I bring in other things or just leave it all to get soaked, in that I must be looking at knickers if I decide to bring in sheets etc?
I must be odd-if mother or MIL come around and see a washing basket, they tend to get out the ironing board and iron it-I have just been pleased! (if I didn't want them to do it I would hide it away before they came).

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 07:57:15

I would get washing in off a line if it was raining. But why would you go and look in someone else's laundry basket. I mean, why? Why?

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 08:00:24

Strange arguments.

I would get washing in off a line, therefore I am allowed in someone else's laundry basket.

My mil has seen period pants therefore I should show her mine.

I must hide my laundry bin and washing/ironing basket when people come to the house as the very sight of it is an invitation to go in them and get my underwear out.

Who was it said different universe. Too right grin

exoticfruits Sat 12-Mar-11 08:04:25

I think that you are missing the point!
They were not looking in the laundry basket to be nosy-they were being helpful in saving a job!
Maybe people should be clear on jobs at the start e.g. you can wash up, but you can't wash the kitchen floor OR you can't do any housework-or in my case you can do any housework you want grin

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 08:10:50

grin that's funny

But anyway, I do think people ought to have the sense of boundary that prevents them going in a laundry basket. The reason doesn't matter: wanting to be helpful isn't an excuse for everything. You just don't go into someone's pants. It's doesn't matter if your intention was to be nosy. You just don't! I mean, some people do, obviously, but people who object haven't got "issues", they're just normal.

exoticfruits Sat 12-Mar-11 08:15:49

Set up boundries-if you haven't done it you can't complain. I have made it clear that I don't want people putting my washing in the machine for me, but they can do the ironing if they wish (they are free not to grin). Then you don't have any misunderstanding.
Since my knickers are hanging on the washing line for all to see (should they wish to (but I doubt whether they notice), I can't see why folding them from the washing basket is any different.

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 08:24:27

You mean, people can do anything they want to unless you tell them not to?

Another odd argument exotic.

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 08:27:15

Perhaps we just have different social norms. I know no one who would consider it acceptable to go in someone else's laundry basket, except my MIL.

Just a natural respect for privacy and boundaries without having to be told every little thing. Using your brain and your sensitivity.

exoticfruits Sat 12-Mar-11 08:28:05

It isn't odd-the people who are likely to help me with housework know me pretty well (in one case since birth)so it is fairly easy to get some boundries from the start and then you don't get misunderstandings. Instead of seething, all OP has to do is say, politely, 'it was very kind of you to be helpful, but I don't like people sorting my laundry'.

bronze Sat 12-Mar-11 08:33:06

My knickers are the one thing I hate mil helping with. Like yours op shes generally lovely but I don't want her going through my smalls.
Partly because they're 1.99 a pack cotton things.
Just realised how sad it is I'm embarrassed that my knickers are cheap because they are not a priority

Rabat Sat 12-Mar-11 08:33:12

YANBU - I would feel the same.

I do think that is very sweeet of her though!

MY MIL, generally, doesn't step in and help at all but on occasion she has. I often have a big pile of dry clean washing waiting to be sorted on one of the sofas - I do now make it a priority that when anyone is left in the house without me there (or DH) I will either hide the whole lot or remove all the underwear and my clothes from the pile (I don't want anyone checking to see the size!).

I would proabably do any obvious tasks for my DS/DIL if I was at their house looking after children and they were napping etc. I think an ironing pile is a pretty obvious job. I would NEVER take it upon myself to wash someone elses washing though/go into the master bedroom - that is taking it too far.

I do think it is fair to assume that most people want to help and 2 min removing things that you don't want them to see/help with is probably time well-spent!

I can now see that I am lucky (!) as MIL is very good at not being intrusive and would know that doing certain jobs would make us both feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately, it has taken me years to 'get' that as communication isn't her best skill - or mine, I guess! I am cloaking up a whole list of things to do/not do as a MIL though. My #1 is to try and achieve and honest and open relationship right from the start.

TheBolter Sat 12-Mar-11 08:33:27

YABU - and precious!

It's not like she was playing around with your dirty knickers. She very helpfully folded your CLEAN washing. Jeez.

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 08:33:48

No one should need to ask anyone not to touch their underwear. Most normal people understand you don't do that.

I don't understand Seeker at all, saying that when she's in her friends' houses she goes into their dirty laundry.

That's just .................unusual.

pommedeterre Sat 12-Mar-11 08:47:38

Helping with the washing as with anything else in someone else's house is a great help if you have asked or been asked. If you just do it of your own bat then it's rude and invasive. i would rather go without sleep and do my housework at night if I were that busy then have my MIL come in and do it.
Unfortunately her natural instinct is to pretend like I don't exist and act like 'woman of the house' at ours. Dh seems to have managed to sort it out to some degree and currently we are managing to kind of rub along.
I too hide washing from her and time washes before they visit so that none of our clothes (only dd's) are hanging out to dry. otherwise she goes in our wardrobe and I can't deal with that.

pearlym Sat 12-Mar-11 08:47:40

YANBU - we had a nanny once who would take baby's dry washing off radiator and fold - one day came home and she was holding a thong of mone and said, " I took this off the radiator for you" Cringe! On hols FIL snuk his samlls into our wasing so i stuiffed in machine and then had to peg out and it felt really weird

seeker Sat 12-Mar-11 08:49:17

I'm not "going into their laundry".

I'm putting it into the washing machine!!!!!!!

Hmm. I am a very popular "waiter-inner". I wonder if that's because everyone else just sits and reads a magazine and drinks tea!

I do only do this in friend's houses, by the way. I don't do it for Mrs-Smith-next-door.

I wonder how people who have cleaners feel. Is it OK for your social inferiors to touch your pants but not your equals? grin

VajazzHands Sat 12-Mar-11 08:50:16


And can I just say that besides any of my various leakages that could be found in a pair of my knickers...

You're likely to find some of DH's.

Now to all the MIL's who think its completly ok to go through your DiL's dirty pants.. are you really OK with that?

Also I hope the ones on the thread who admit to rummaging in the laundry bin know how most people feel about it.. will you continue to do it?

seeker Sat 12-Mar-11 08:54:17

I just find the words used odd. Rummaging, ferreting, rooting.

Don;t you just chuck it into the machine? It's not as if the pants are being picked out and examined separately!

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 08:55:20

How can you put someone's laundry into the machine without going into the laundry bin and pulling it all out?

Maybe it's because they all go out to work?

VajazzHands Sat 12-Mar-11 08:59:36

Washing needs to be sorted, some people even (not me) have really nice expensive underwear that needs hand washing. Leave people to do their own washing unless asked. As has been mentioned sometimes you might actually be doing it wrong and messing up their clothes. Dh sweats like a horse all his arm pits have to be treated or they stain.. just throwing it in the wash wouldn't help. Also if its just throwing it in the wash and not that difficult.. why do it at all?

seeker Sat 12-Mar-11 09:02:57

Nobody's answered my question about cleaners.

AmandaCooper Sat 12-Mar-11 09:03:40

Fancyalittle I had exactly the same mad experience when we lived with MIL, she used to come into our room, go through all our stuff to find my dirty knickers and then handwash them! I started washing them the second I took them off, hiding them wet and then putting them in with the laundry once they dried.

Maybe I should have just said something but with all the hide and seek going on it seemed like it must be more than a simple misunderstanding that you could sort out by saying "I'm not comfortable".

She comes round our house and does all my housework now. I've given up caring.

VajazzHands Sat 12-Mar-11 09:04:22

I woudln't give my pants to a cleaner to wash.. don't know anyone who does tbh.

And when I used to work as a house cleaner was never expected to wash parents laundry (maybe they were equally shy) although did sometimes wash (young) kids manky pants.

pommedeterre Sat 12-Mar-11 09:09:23

Why would a cleaner be washing my pants? or in fact going anywhere near them? I amke sure all dirty ones are in the basket and any cleans one in my drawer. She then umm, cleans my house. Odd.
I agree with bumspoon further up - if you ask it's helping, if you don't it's not.

VajazzHands Sat 12-Mar-11 09:11:13

Also seeker unless you are best mates with yor cleaner, a proffesional relationship is different from knowing someone personally dont you think?

I have let my doctor "rummage" round my cervix I sure as hell couldn't do it if I knew her out side of a professional setting!

thumbwitch Sat 12-Mar-11 09:22:38

If I had a cleaner I still wouldn't be letting them near my laundry, unless I had already sorted it and still they wouldn't be getting near my underwear.

Seeker, if you are just picking up all the laundry and dumping it in the wash without sorting it then you are as bad as my MIL.

herbietea Sat 12-Mar-11 09:25:38

Message withdrawn

wendylovesbob Sat 12-Mar-11 09:35:29

I can answer the cleaner question:

1. She is not my "social inferior" shock!!!

2. I am forever begging her not to put washing into the machine. I have no qualms about her 'rummaging' through my dirty pants, but I do object most strongly to her bunging everything in together and turning all my whites greyish or pinkish.

bronze Sat 12-Mar-11 09:40:19

My cleaner cleaned. I never once asked her to do my washing. She was and is not my social inferior

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 09:41:03

I've had live in staff. Do the family pants on Sunday. Also always clean the loos myself. Nobody's job but ours to clean up intimate stuff and poo.

ceres Sat 12-Mar-11 09:43:10

it would never occur to me to be upset by either my mum or mil helping out.

i am just thinking of all the help we get - fil was here last weekend cutting the lawn, mil regularly helps with gardening, both my mum and mil will fold clothes or iron if there is obviously stacks to do, my mum often cooks for us.

both dh and i are capable adults. we also help our parents out when needed. however both sets of parents are retired so they have more free time and so it tends to be them helping us more then the other way round.

i've always been grateful and thought us lucky to have such a lovely family.

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 09:58:43

Yes, I must admit I think it is very weird to go into other people's dirty laundry in other people's houses and wash it.

Either you sort it, in which case POR FAVOR get out of there

or you don't, in which case you could wreck stuff

different, different worlds.

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 10:00:47

Dear me.. we're having to turn this into a class argument now are we.

Honestly. You want to rummage in the pants of others, I think it's......unusual.

thumbwitch Sat 12-Mar-11 10:02:24

herbie - another question - if you see bras and knickers as just another piece of clothing, same as t-shirts and jeans, would you buy them from a charity shop? (assuming you would buy anything from a charity shop of course)

exoticfruits Sat 12-Mar-11 10:16:20

I think people should swap their MIL-the poor woman can't do right! Some people moan because they arrive, expect to be waited on and do nothing and others moan because they get stuck in and help!
I didn't realise so many people were precious about their washing- it just gets pegged on my line. Does this mean that your DCs can't help?

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 10:18:20

Exotic, stop trying to make this into a thing about poor mils, or being precious. Basically, it's not normal to rummage around in other people's pants. Whatever construction you might like to put on it, that it's unkind to mils, or an indicator of snobbery, basically, it's just not normal.

fifi25 Sat 12-Mar-11 10:25:06

yabu-if i was in someones house watching their child and got bored i would probably end up washing the benches and folding the washing thinking i was doing them a favour. I would appreciate it if someone done it for me smile

fifi25 Sat 12-Mar-11 10:30:09

p.s did the op not say her mil folded the clean washing. She didnt come in and find her mil wearing her thong, she come in and found clean washing folded in a pile confused

I agree with you there Thumbwitch, I would never buy bras and knickers from a charity shop! People also buy clothes off ebay, if bras and pants are just normal pieces of clothing like jeans and t-shirts, would you buy someones' old knickers off ebay??

And exoticfruits, would you REALLY and HONESTLY want your MIL to go through your dirty laundry where your skimpy crotchless thong is hiding which DH previously removed with his teeth the night before?? Would you really be ok with that? That was an example by the way, you may not even own a skimpy crotchless thong. But if you did, would you want your MIL washing it?

exoticfruits Sat 12-Mar-11 10:32:14

I think I will leave you all to it!
For the last time -she was not 'rummaging' around people's pants!!! She saw that some laundry needed sorting and she was trying to be helpful.
I would find it abnormal to 'rummage'through someone's knickers, but completely normal to fold their clean washing to save them a job and save some ironing-especially if I was a member of the extended family.
Obviously if I am a MIL I can be like the Queen-sit down -be waited on and not lift a finger! (However DIL can then start on AIBU about lazy MILs!)

exoticfruits Sat 12-Mar-11 10:35:37

At what point was OP talking about dirty laundry?!
If I had an item like that Melly I wouldn't have had it on the line for all the neighbours to see in the first place-or on a radiator. (not with teenage DCs about-it would give them a laugh, if it didn't make them shudder with horror grin)

ledkr Sat 12-Mar-11 10:39:08

my mil put our underwear away when i was in hospital-you can guess what i keep in my knicker drawer blush

VajazzHands Sat 12-Mar-11 10:43:06

Sorry it is nor either MIl does fuck all and waits around for tea and biscuits like lady muck and expects dinners on request.. or gets in to your pants..

There is a happy middle ground where normal people live.

exoticfruits Sat 12-Mar-11 10:59:19

I think the moral of the story is ask. One persons normal is abnormal to another. I expect some people would get cross at peeling potatoes.

bronze Sat 12-Mar-11 11:01:08

Theres an easy option. Mil asks if you want her to d your washing for you.
My mil sometimes asks me when things have been tough so I give her the bedding and towels. Easy

seeker Sat 12-Mar-11 11:01:14

6h, I can't bear people touching my vegetables!

seeker Sat 12-Mar-11 11:05:11

I wasn just beginning to think I was wierd, when I realized that the thread is about a MIL folding clean washing!

Now I just cannot begin to understand not wanting a female member of your family touching your clean underwear!!!!!!!!!

Toffeefudgecake Sat 12-Mar-11 11:07:56

gooseberrybushes Fri 11-Mar-11 16:55:16

Tis my experience that MILs feel they have a close enough relationship as soon as the knot is tied to do or say anything at all that pleases them and with a bit of luck also pisses off the daughter in law in a way that renders said daughter in law incapable of complaining without looking churlish and ungrateful.

Washing and folding the family underwear would be an absolutely perfect example.


But now you've learned that lots of people think differently, and that a person who thinks this way might marry your son. That's the magic of conversation.

grin grin grin

I'm with Gooseberry on this. It's about being sensitive to other people's boundaries.

I don't have a cleaner, but if I did I would not expect or want them to clean my loo either.

VajazzHands Sat 12-Mar-11 11:10:01

female member of your family

I married DH, I did not marry his family. Not that I want anyone touching my pants.. but just because you have married someone's son does not mean you have an automatic amount of intimacy with them that comes form years of living with someone (like you would with yor sister or mum)

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 11:14:53

It's seeker doing her friends' dirty laundry. Oh well at least you wouldn't do that, exotic.

My mil would freak out to hell and back if I helpfully sorted out her pants, clean or otherwise. She'd do mine though.

exoticfruits Sat 12-Mar-11 11:16:52

When someone marries my DS they get me too! They become part of the same family. I hate to think we get some woman who thinks he comes alone and wants to completely cut him off from all friends and relations! Luckily I don't think that he would be attracted to someone so possessive!

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 11:17:04

I don't want anybody doing these things unless I've asked them. Why would I? I'm not incapable. I'm just not in the house. It doesn't help. It's annoying. Leave my stuff alone. Go and clean your own house.

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 11:18:16

Yeah -- I think "don't touch my underwear" is not on the same scale as "get out of our lives". Not really.

pommedeterre Sat 12-Mar-11 11:25:14

Exoticfruits - not liking people doing your laundry is being possessive? WTF? How would your DIL not wanting you to do her housework equal cutting you off?? Do. Not. Comprehend.
My house. My laundry. As per Gooseberry - got a cleaning urge? Then go home. Same rules for my mum and dad, my PILS and my friends. Nothing persona.l I just don't like people doing my housework.

VajazzHands Sat 12-Mar-11 11:27:26

When someone marries my DS they get me too! They become part of the same family. I hate to think we get some woman who thinks he comes alone and wants to completely cut him off from all friends and relations! Luckily I don't think that he would be attracted to someone so possessive!

No they don't.. Cutting DH off from his family is not the same as expecting his parents to respect my privacy! If I don't like something why shoudl I put up with it.

The way I see it, I'm big enough and ugly enough to be able to do my own housework without any interference help from MIL.


bronze Sat 12-Mar-11 11:36:57

I love my mil
I've sung her praises on here and in other places. We chat more than her and dh do
I don't want her touching my smalls

I don't see how not wanting her touching my underwear amounts to me not wanting to have anything to do with her

Toffeefudgecake Sat 12-Mar-11 11:56:05

I married DH, not my MIL. I am dutiful to my MIL. I try to be a good DIL. I certainly don't cut my DH off from any of his family. But his family are most definitely not my family and I don't consider them as such.

My knickers - clean or otherwise - are certainly out of bounds to them!

Toffeefudgecake Sat 12-Mar-11 11:58:19

Exotic - When someone marries my DS they get me too!

I can see your future DIL on the AIBU thread in a few years' time....wink

Toffeefudgecake Sat 12-Mar-11 12:46:04

Have I killed the thread?

Sorry blush.

cornsilk678 Sat 12-Mar-11 12:48:02

my mum does this and it drives me crazy

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 12:50:17

"I hate to think we get some woman who thinks he comes alone"

Something about this makes me feel very uncomfortable. I also predict DiL trauma.

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 12:51:00

I mean "we get some woman" ??

Your boundaries need renovation work.

VajazzHands Sat 12-Mar-11 12:53:20

Actually back to the controlling thing how is

When someone marries my DS they get me too!

not controlling?

When someone marries my son I have the right to poke myself uninvited in to their lives and in to their pants. Pants which could have period stains spunk stains the odd skid mark.

Seriously just put the pants down and step away from the washing basket.

My mum did all my ironing once when we were away for the weekend. It was very kindly meant but I was really upset. She has arthritis so I knew it would have been painful for her which made me feel guilty. I was made to feel her pain though - she told me how long it took her and how sore she was afterwards etc. I love my mum but this really annoyed me. I had only asked her to move the post. She took it upon herself to rummage for my ironing.

mummyosaurus Sat 12-Mar-11 12:55:31


I was livid when DH let my FIL hang my (not so) smalls out on the line when I was in hospital with DC2.


gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 12:57:15

"Seriously just put the pants down and step away from the washing basket."

Lovely grin

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 12:58:59

I also feel sorry for the friends who ask if someone can help with a deliver only to find their filthy underwear's been breached.

Seeker, are you winding me up on that? Do you really, really, go unasked into people's dirty washing and underwear?

megapixels Sat 12-Mar-11 13:00:28

YANBU at all. That is really invasive. I don't like my own mother doing it either. I think it's quite reasonable to not want other people handling your underwear, washed or not.

I know someone who fancies herself as a bit of a domestic goddess and does this at friend's houses to "help out". Bleurgh. Who the heck wants to handle their friends' dhs' underwear? [vom]

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 13:01:28

<small voice>

Seeker does?

VajazzHands Sat 12-Mar-11 13:04:52

hee hee

cantspel Sat 12-Mar-11 13:05:13

Toffeefudgecake Sat 12-Mar-11 11:56:05
I married DH, not my MIL. I am dutiful to my MIL. I try to be a good DIL. I certainly don't cut my DH off from any of his family. But his family are most definitely not my family and I don't consider them as such.

I would rather my dil had nothing to do with me rather than doing her duty or put up with me under sufferance. I would hope that dil would feel i was part of her family as think it is pretty awful if someone cant include their inlaws as part of their family. They are the people who bought your husband into the world and shaped him as the man you fell in love with and as such should be part of your ectended family.

fifi25 Sat 12-Mar-11 13:05:14

ffs the op said her mother folded her clean washing. No one has said anything about hand washing peoples stained underwear. Whats so shocking about folding a pair of clean knickers. Unless they are crotchless ann summers ones. I think shes more hacked off with her MIL putting the socks in a ball tbh. Get a grip. Dont leave piles of washing lying about then she wont fold them.

cantspel Sat 12-Mar-11 13:05:28

extended even

megapixels Sat 12-Mar-11 13:07:38

<Goes back to read thread>

Whenever my mother comes to visit I move any baskets of unfolded clean washing from my bedroom back down to the kitchen as I know she won't be able to stop herself folding it.
As far as I am aware DH hasn't got a problem with his MIL folding his boxer shorts, however if he has my answer will be then do it yourself. I wouldn't mind my MIL doing it either. I really don't see the problem.

VajazzHands Sat 12-Mar-11 13:17:04

I would rather my dil had nothing to do with me rather than doing her duty or put up with me under sufferance. I would hope that dil would feel i was part of her family as think it is pretty awful if someone cant include their inlaws as part of their family. They are the people who bought your husband into the world and shaped him as the man you fell in love with and as such should be part of your ectended family.

Not really though.

exoticfruits Sat 12-Mar-11 13:42:07

I don't think that I will have the least problem with a DIL, I get on very well with the various girlfriends. Luckily they seem to be very much like me-quite laid back and very family orientated. Since I am not likely to touch anyone else's laundry-I have enough of my own-I can't see it being a problem.
I was just commenting that I can't stand the statement ' I married my DH -not his family'-unless he is a foundling he comes with a whole host of people-he doesn't come alone!

exoticfruits Sat 12-Mar-11 13:47:05

I think that people who don't get stressed out about getting in the washing and folding it are more likely to have good relationships.
I shall never be able to look at someone's washing line with the same eyes again after this thread!

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 13:48:38

Oh exotic, do be careful. Mil thinks she gets on very well with me. That's because I'm forbearing, and kind, and love my husband very much, and respect what women of her age went through to bring up a decent family.

But she's been horribly interfering, poisonously so, and if I didn't have to see her, I never would.

ashamedandconfused Sat 12-Mar-11 13:49:09

I am in the hands off my knickers camp and I agree its about boundaries and not crossing them unless invited

When i dry the washing indoors,smalls except the kids' ones are hidden discretely at the rear of the airer next to the radiator, out of the sight of visitors

I have to go away next week, MIL will be helping Dh out while I am gone, i am considering checking the laundry basket and taking any dirty smalls away with me to stop her seeing them after reading this thread

and i dont care if people dont like that,i do not want anyone at all judging my knicks - would apply to my mum, sis and best friends too

and as for going in peoples drawers, well that is NOT ON

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 13:52:59

I think that people who don't get stressed out at looking at a laundry basket and rummaging therein will improve their relationships with the laundry baskets owners considerably.

ashamedandconfused Sat 12-Mar-11 13:53:26

Oh and as for MALE relatives hanging out, bringing in my undies i would DIE of embarrassment

how can it be right for FILs to be seeing/handling their DILs sexy bits n pieces??

gooseberrybushes Sat 12-Mar-11 13:53:36

or should I say, looking at a laundry basket and not being able to rummage therein

cantspel Sat 12-Mar-11 13:57:32

I wouldn't go looking for dirty washing but if stuff was dry on the line or airer then i would just fold it without even thinking about it.
I often will hang out washing/fold washing is i am at friends and they will lend a hand here. No one seems to want to hide their pants away.

ashamedandconfused Sat 12-Mar-11 13:59:34

perhaps we need to get padlocks on our laundry baskets - mind you some would need them on the bedroom door and their drawers too (thats drawers in the furniture sense on the word)- I cannot believe that some MILs seem to think they have carte blanche to do as they wish in their DILs home

I nearly died when i came home from hospital with DD2 and FIL was hoovering the bedroom - ours was an absolute TIP, and I know he only wanted to help, but i felt bad, not pleased, not grateful, just judged and embarrassed and that our privacy as a married couple had been invaded

so all you well meaning MILs, just think how things might be seen from DIL POV

and melly wins the "competition" how did you ever look her in the eye again and was anything ever sadi about the incident of the pooey PJs??

I think it's also embarrassing. You don't want your MIL to be handling your DPs favourite set of sexy undies that you wear especially for sexy time really do you? It was bad enough that my MIL hand washed my messy PJ bottoms and pants blush I nearly died with mortification! What makes it even worse is that DPs 2 teenage brothers and dad were there and knew all about it! And his dad kept asking me if I "felt better yet" I don't think I will ever forget that till the day I die <shudders>

No, nothing was ever said again. Although when we got home I took a picture of her dog and had mr grandmas friend paint a portrait of him to say thank you for washing said PJs and pants taking me on holiday. Took a while to be able to look any of his close family in the eye! We ended up living with them for 10 months though so she did end up washing my smalls (and not-so-smalls) which I hated. She always got to my washing before I did.

nectarina Sat 12-Mar-11 14:35:26

My mil used to go through our luggage getting out our dirty washing until i told her not to. Now when we visit she asks us as soon as we arrive if we have any that needs doing, and the every four hours thereafter. I have a multitude of reasons for not wanting her to do them - i always lose tights and knickers - if they are plainish, she keeps them thinking they're hers, same goes for dp's smalls she just assumes they're fil's. once she threw away dp's jumper cos she didn't like it and offered to buy him another that was more to her taste. She also chases me around the flat with random smalls saying she doesn't know who they belong to, are they mine etc mortifying if they are, disgusting if they're not. I just don't want to discuss laundry with her all the time. I feel for you OP - it feels invasive no matter how well meaning the gesture.

Oh god nectarina that sounds awful! I can't imagine being chased aorund by MIL with random pairs of pants though, that did make me laugh though sorry

2rebecca Sat 12-Mar-11 14:49:22

No-one staying with us has ever raked through my laundary basket and I'd ask them not to do it again if they ever did.
If I'm staying with relatives for more than a few days (esp when kids small and going through washing at huge rate) I'd ask to use machine and if a small load would ask if they had anything to go in as well but would never rake through anyone else's washing pile, even my dads.
That's really rude.
Why not just ask them to stop? Anyone is welcome to do my ironing, but I prefer to fold my own smalls (and wish bloke would sort his out as well)

omletta Sat 12-Mar-11 15:01:45

Ha I can beat you all; my MIL once colour coded my undies drawer!

Like Nectarina's she is obsessed with washing ( people and clothes ), when staying with us she puts her dirty clothes in my washing basket and gets quite distressed if they aren't returned (clean and ironed) within 12 hours! And yep this includes undies, sometimes with skidders!

She is a proper PITA, but she is DHs mum and DCs grandma, so I just get on with it

nectarina Sat 12-Mar-11 15:15:37

I had another anecdote that i hesitated before sharing because i'm ashamed of the garment, but I used to wear (back in the late 90's!) a black cardigan that had fun fur cuffs and collar - this was the sort of fun fur that kind of went in clumps. Well, went in to breakfast to find FIL brushing it out with a hairbrush! found this extremely strange, the cardigan was never the same again.
Melly19, I'm glad you found it funny, I always think that something that happens can never be so bad if you get a good anecdote out of it.

Well sometimes if you don't laugh about it you'll only cry lol! Depends on what it is of course, I don't think I will ever be able to laugh at PJ bottoms incident.

exoticfruits Sat 12-Mar-11 16:03:46

I think that this is one of the funniest threads I have ever read.grin

cornsilk678 Sat 12-Mar-11 16:10:15

when I came back from work yesterday my mum had some of dh's boxers out in the kitchen. She said that she wanted to throw them out 'cos they had holes in. He'd have no undies left if she did that. <my dh doesn't do clothes shopping which means I can do double grin> Not that she went through his undies drawer mind - that would be totally bonkers.

ledkr Sat 12-Mar-11 16:36:35

those who know my mil probs know that mine are extreme but i really liked them at first it them who caused the issues by ignoring what we asked them NOT to do.I am also a mil and adore my dil we do lots together and i would class her as a friend cos i respect her wishes.
Anyway on a lighter note twas she who once gathered up my washing from my bedroom floor,i knew for a fact that my knickers werent clean as i was pg and on very strong iron tabs hence black skidders blush i was mortified.
I actually think bedrooms are out of bounds to other people full stop.

2rebecca Sat 12-Mar-11 18:04:08

Unless you are a teenager who has only just moved out of the parental home or is back and forth from parents like at university then I think putting your dirty washing in someone else's washing basket is rude. If my MIL did this I'd ask her not too and provide her with a bag to keep it in and ask her to tell me when she wanted her stuff washing. I don't wash more than every 3-4 days normally anyway.
We always take a bag for putting dirty washing in.

exoticfruits Sat 12-Mar-11 18:34:29

I'm not too keen on even the teen at university bringing back washing-although difficult to avoid!

I think that some people will have problems-I agree with ledkr about bedrooms, but judging by a recent thread on teenagers bedrooms a lot of people feel the need to control and force them to keep it to their own standards.
I don't see any problem-you simply close the door-if you are used to doing this you are hardly going to start going into bedrooms when they are married! However a lot of posters were 'my house, my rules' missing the point that it is 'our house' -if you start keeping out of things early it is just a habit. (not that I had realised that clean washing that had dried on a line was out of bounds!)

littlebillie Sat 12-Mar-11 19:44:13

I have a lovely MIL, howvever she is guilty of the above and more.

She runs up stairs when she pops in to a few "jobs"
regulary tidies our bedroom
does the washing even smalls....
tells us occasionally how to run our lives.

I have to say, I have learnt to live with it. But there are times when it drives me crazy, especially when she goes into our bedroom.

I have only once really vented to DH once and he couldn't understand. My feeling now if this gives her pleasure then let her get on with it. She does mean well. Also there is one major plus, if we ever lose anything, I blame her. DH can't argue with me as he can't say she didn't as she will be poking her head in most cupboards.

I think this is her way of showing she cares......

2rebecca Sat 12-Mar-11 20:00:28

It still sounds controlling to me. I wouldn't want any relative poking around my bedroom. The bedroom toys are private.
I don't want relatives doing jobs in my house unless asked to do so. They can go home if they are desperate to do extra housework. I can't imagine ever finding this endearing or acceptable behaviour.

Chooshoes Sat 12-Mar-11 20:28:38

LOL at this thread! I was once on holiday at my PIL (they live abroad) and 15 wk pregnant with DD (so quite emotional!!!) it was into the second week and I had been putting our "used" smalls into a laundry bag in our empty case, with other worn items to make sorting laundry easier when we got home. Imagine my despair when DH and I were walking home from a dinner out and the first thing that greeted us was a huge line of washing (my smalls mainly) blowing in the wind shock. I was mortified, flounced to the line, unpegged all of them and flounced into the house ready for confrontation - only to be met by dozens of DH's relatives who had been invited to celebrate our baby news unbeknown to us - knickers!!! I can just about laugh about it now twelve years on!!!!!!! grin

exoticfruits Sat 12-Mar-11 20:34:30

I bet your MIL ,littlebillie, was one of those who couldn't just close the door on a messy teenage bedroom-that is where it starts-once a control freak, always a control freak!

2rebecca Sat 12-Mar-11 21:11:35

Some of you have such nosy relatives. Rummaging in someone else's suitcase! Bizarre. Do these people have no boundaries or respect for other people's privacy.

sillybillymummy Sat 12-Mar-11 21:35:44

YANBU at all
I think he hearts in the right place though, so it's hard to say anything and seem ungrateful.

thumbwitch Sat 12-Mar-11 21:53:19

I actually managed to stop my MIL from doing it accidentally. That nappy incident - I walked down the back path and saw them hanging on the line and went "oh no, she hasn't, not the nappies!" not realising that the back door was open (the fly door was shut but the actual door was open inside it) and she heard me. She hasn't done any washing since - although I have found my washing off the line and folded (still damp).
Airing cupboards are a rarity here as well, so it's not like you can put it in the airing cupboard and all will be well, oh no. You have to make sure things are dry before putting them away.

littlebillie Sun 13-Mar-11 11:03:59

Exoticfruits, MIL mother to two boys. Girls would have set her straight very early on. Boys can be a push over, anything for a quiet life. I have DD so she is already asserting herself.

exoticfruits Sun 13-Mar-11 11:49:01

I think that boys are a push over-which is why DIL/MIL relationship is often difficult.Boys should assert themselves more and insist that if they want a messy room it is nothing to do with mother-who can close the door on it! (probably she was buying his underpants until quite late on and so folding them is no big deal to her!)

(having said that I think that clean, dry washing that has been on the line isn't really private-and if it is remove it before visitors want to be helpful)

2rebecca Sun 13-Mar-11 17:07:32

Agree re removing washing from line. I see that as just being helpful, but if the house owner was around I'd ask them first and only bring stuff in if about to rain/ about to dry to a crisp and they weren't around.

luvviemum Sun 13-Mar-11 17:24:05

I used to find it a bit intrusive when my sister in law did things like this. However, I've now totally changed my mind and take the view that if she wants to help out and make my life easier, I'm delighted to let her.
It does involve a degree of relaxing your privacy boundaries but now I couldn't care less and am happy to accept any free help on offer. Anyone who makes my life run more smoothly is ok in my book!

dexifehatz Sun 13-Mar-11 17:37:24

Yabvu grin I wouldn't mind if someone sorted and folded up all our clothes!

MrsBonkers Mon 14-Mar-11 04:11:48

I don't want anyone (MIL, parents, friends,) doing ANY housework for me. This includes laundry and washing up.
When you come to my home you are a guest and do not have to 'earn' your keep by doing jobs.
I think my view on this springs from A)wanting to be a good host and B) feeling insecure that people helping think my home isn't good enough or I can't cope.

thumbwitch Mon 14-Mar-11 06:17:51

MrsBonkers - I think I agree with your last point - someone else doing my housework/laundry for me always feels like a veiled or implied criticism, regardless of the actual motivation behind it.

How dirty are all your pants? shock

I would have no objection to family or friends doing my washing, providing they sorted it properly.

We go on on lots of holidays with extended family and I tend to do a lot of the washing for everyone, quite happy to wash and peg out anyone's pants.

But then I also dry washable sanitary towels on my radiators, did it once when mil was here, she just collected them up for me with the rest of the washing and asked me what they were and where to put them away grin

I don't understand all the shame confused.

exoticfruits Mon 14-Mar-11 08:08:34

Neither do I WhereTheWildThingsWere-my washing is clean after it has beeen done. I find it odd that people don't want to let anyone help and that it should be criticism. What about your DCs-or do you have to censor the washing basket first-or do they not lift a finger in the home?

Ormirian Mon 14-Mar-11 08:15:23

Hmm...I am also a bit confused how an OP about MIL sorting out clean washing has turned into a thread about cackling evil MILs delving into washing baskets full of blood and sperm soaked undies hmm

I never take help as criticism. I take it as help and am usually grateful - the only possible exception to that being when mum and dad put the washing up away in all the wrong place so cooking a meal takes twice as long because I can't find anything....

exoticfruits Mon 14-Mar-11 08:21:07

I just assumed that if it was raining for example anyone would get the washing in off the line-I didn't realise that you had to leave it in to get soaked because you mustn't touch someone's underwear!

KittaKatta Mon 14-Mar-11 08:46:15

Sorry to go off subject a bit here but can someone just clarify for me?
Some of you had parents who tidied your bedrooms for you??

cornsilk678 Mon 14-Mar-11 08:49:17

mu mum never tidied my bedroom for me when I was living at home. She can't wait to get stuck into my house now though strangely enough.

ledkr Mon 14-Mar-11 09:10:25

i had 3 teenage sons all at once,i used to pull their doors shut on their stinky rooms,they did their own washing and i only nagged when there was something furry in the room.They did make me laugh tho when they discovered girls they spent hrs in the shower,sprayed on lynx and then still smelt of their own room!

exoticfruits Mon 14-Mar-11 09:38:17

There was a whole thread on teenage rooms and a lot of people had to have control-'my house-my rules'. If they don't at that stage close the door and say 'our house' they are not going to respect boundries later IMO.

sprinkles77 Mon 14-Mar-11 09:51:02

my MIL does this. without asking. then does it badly (folds damp laundry and puts it on work top onto of spillage, usually her coffee). Jesus I could go on and on and on about her stupidity. She constantly talks in detail about hers and any one else's bodily functions, present and past. can't use a toilet brush. turned up the morning after i got home from my c section, unannounced, when I was home alone cos DH had gone to get stuff for baby. woke me and baby and was irritated that i'd taken so long to get the front door. more? lies. throws her fag buts over the fence onto the neighbour's car. always leaves her stuff when she comes to stay. comes to stay with no notice. comes to stay when none of her own children are around (my husband works very long hours and some weekends, his siblings are selfish). etc etc etc

sprinkles77 Mon 14-Mar-11 09:54:14

oh.. and her so called help with the laundry comes with other veiled snipes (tells everyone " I looked after baby so she could do some shopping": bull shit I do everything with my DS in tow, no problem and we both love it). the irony is that her house is a pigsty, her kids are all psychologically damaged and not sure about his siblings', but my DH's arse is scarred from the nappy rash caused by her neglect nearly 40 years ago!

thumbwitch Mon 14-Mar-11 11:16:44

kittakatta - I came home from a week away with school friends to find my parents had rearranged my bedroom, to their preference. Not mine. And not well, either. I soon moved it back again. Perhaps that's where the intense dislike of interference comes from...
But they didn't tidy it on a regular basis, that was left to me to do.

MoaningMcMyrtlepants Fri 16-Sep-11 20:24:41

If it is clean and needs bringing in from the line then I would have no objection to someone doing so and folding it. I wouldn't like someone to put it away however or put another wash on.

As an aside I used to be a housekeeper back in the early 90's and I used to have to do her washing. Her thongs etc. had to be hand washed and I wasn't allowed to wear gloves as that could damage them and she wasn't the cleanest. I also had to do the washing of any guests that stayed as well, following any special instructions. If anyone had been Ill I had to clean that up as well. Plus I knew who had been intimate and if they were on and all sorts of personal stuff. There was some lovely people who left me a tip sometimes but there was some utter, utter disgusting twats depite the fact they had money and titles etc. Though have to say there were some interesting parties sometimes.

gluttom Fri 16-Sep-11 20:30:37

Wouldn't worry about clean washed pants but taking pants from the dirty washing basket would really bother me.

Backtobedlam Fri 16-Sep-11 20:48:49

YANBU to want a bit of privacy in your own home. My own mum would never touch anything personal without asking me first. Mil on the other hand came round, me and dp went out, came back to find she'd been in and tidyed our room, taken dirty washing etc. Only problem was I'd left my vibrator out (pre-kids and in my 20's).....needless to say she never entered our room without checking first again! I'd suggest this technique to anyone, maybe errect a pole and leave some bondage stuff around for maximum impact....once you get over the initial embarrassment future years of meddling will be stopped

lurkerspeaks Fri 16-Sep-11 21:12:32

Oh god. If everyone thinks like you I've crossed the line a whole load of times. I often help friends with laundry esp. when they have small children - it can be a real drag and if there happen to be family undies in there I would just hang them out or fold them up along with the rest of stuff.

I am however fairly chilled about such things - my cleaner normally hangs out my own laundry.

exoticfruits Fri 16-Sep-11 21:29:42

This is 6 months old-why don't people start their own thread? confused

Sorry hadn't realised the date on it. Someone linked to it in another thread and I assumed it was are recent one. That'll teach me to check dates.

exoticfruits Fri 16-Sep-11 22:36:25

I thought that you were one of those people who deliberately trawls back!

No, that annoys me to. Honestly didn't realise the date on it when I followed the link from another thread, I really assumed it was a recent thread and should have checked the dares but I didn't. Still it's a brilliant thread with some strong opinions.

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