to flatly refuse to do MIL's laundry when she comes to stay.

(423 Posts)
Sunnydelight Thu 30-Aug-12 07:58:36

I really need to know.

Last time MIL came to stay for a month (we're in Oz) it all turned toxic, but one of my issues was her insistence that I should do her laundry. She must be the only grandmother to three who ever got off a plane from the UK with her arms hanging, and spent a total of $20 in a month. Fine, I can live with that BUT when she kept on saying "I'll just give you my laundry" and I kept on saying "no, you need to do your own washing, here is the washing machine and this is how it works" it just drove me nuts. She eventually mixed her laundry with ours so I had no choice but I really think that adult women should not expect other adult women to wash their smalls.

She's coming again at Christmas AHHHHHHHH for a month which was forced on me but I can live with it. DH and I had a conversation last night about us having to be more upfront this time about what kind of behaviour is unacceptable, but as part of it he casually mentioned "we'll tell her we'll do her laundry and she needs to....". First of all what's this "we" shit as clearly that will be me, but I DO NOT WANT TO WASH HER CLOTHES and said so. When I explained how wrong it was for a woman who has had her own family to expect another adult woman (who she does not "employ" and she is not related to) to do her laundry I got the "that's your cultural expectations" line. I'm Irish btw so nothing massively exotic to her French. I'm not doing her fucking laundry so AIBU?

germyrabbit Thu 30-Aug-12 08:00:32

would it really be such a big deal? not as if you're handwashing each item is it?

ErikNorseman Thu 30-Aug-12 08:00:59

Hmmmmmm when I go and stay with parents or ILs I give them my laundry. I wouldn't have enough for a full load so mum or mil will ask whenever they are putting a wash on. I'm not sure why you are so opposed to washing her clothes?

Jelly15 Thu 30-Aug-12 08:01:51

YANBU. If she is in good health then she should stop being a lazy cow and do her own. If she mixes the clothes again unmix them and put them on her bed (use gloves).

squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 08:02:32

You do sound quite stubborn and unreasonable. If I had any guest to stay, I would say to them "I am doing the washing, is there anything you want to go in with it?".. I am assuming they go in a machine, she is not expecting you to hand wash it for her?

(waits for the inevitable drip feed.. )

IKilledIgglePiggle Thu 30-Aug-12 08:03:33

I lived in Canada for five years and everyone who visited went home with suitcases full of clean clothes, including MIL. It's no big deal is it, I have a family of five, laundry is my life, one more load won't hurt.


YABU. When people come to stay with us I assume I'll be doing their washing if needed. Does your MIL have to cook her own meals as well?

noblegiraffe Thu 30-Aug-12 08:04:01

I wouldn't want to go to someone else's house and have to wrangle with an unfamiliar washing machine. She's probably not generating enough washing for a full load either.

Why is it so bad to chuck a few of her things in with yours?

echt Thu 30-Aug-12 08:04:02

DH needs to do his mum's undies. "We" indeed! It's a bit repulsive to insist on someone else washing your shit--stained----kex--soiled lingerie.

cozietoesie Thu 30-Aug-12 08:04:06

Dear goodness - do you have a phobia about laundry?

I'm with squeakytoy on this. Any guest in my house would automatically receive the offer of having their laundry put through the machine for them.

IfYouSeeMeSayHello Thu 30-Aug-12 08:04:39

Could you not give her a laundry bag or two - one for colours and one for whites - and just wash them as you go. I don't see it as an issue.

echt Thu 30-Aug-12 08:04:49

Hmmm need to work on the strikethrough.

Erm, maybe there's other stuff to this, but tbh if I was doing laundry I'd do laundry regardless of who's it was. I'd have no issues doing my MILs if she was staying - she's happy to do mine when I'm over there as is my Mum when I stay with her. So on the basis of what you've written so far... yes, you're being unreasonable and also very unfriendly but I guess there must be other stuff going on?

ssd Thu 30-Aug-12 08:06:12

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 08:06:27

ffs, worn underwear is not radioactive, nobody will catch anything from it... "use gloves"? "shit stained"? I dont see the op mentioning her MIL having a disease or being incontinent...

tryingtoleave Thu 30-Aug-12 08:07:02

My mil hides her washing and sneaks into the laundry at the crack of dawn to get it done before im around and then hangs it up in some hidden location to dry (I have no idea how she gets her undies dry - I have never seen them). So I'm guessing there are some cultural differences around laundry....

KenLeeeeeee Thu 30-Aug-12 08:07:12

I wouldn't be overwhelmingly pleased with the expectation to do a guest's laundry, but I don'tt think it would be enough of a big deal to get me all angry

I think you're overreacting a bit, OP.

SugarBatty Thu 30-Aug-12 08:07:37

Yabu! What on earth is getting off a plane with her arms hanging and spending $20 a month? confused

It sounds you don't have much respect for your childrens grandmother, I too am expecting more to this story.

I would just do the laundry with mine, I do frequently do my best friend and her girls laundry (they stay every weekend) without even asking, if it's left on the floor it goes in the basket.

SquishyCinnamonSwirls Thu 30-Aug-12 08:09:03

I'm surprised she wants to come and stay again. Seriously, it's just a bit of laundry - what's the issue?

If we have guests to stay and I'm putting a wash on, I'll load our things in and put it on the right setting then just ask them if there's anything they need to go in too? If they could just pop the things in and shut the door then it'll be on.

DoingTheBestICan Thu 30-Aug-12 08:09:49

Gosh you poor thing having to lug all your laundry down to the river and having to wash it with stones like in olden days...

Oh sorry I missed the bit where you said you had a washing machine,YABVU, what's wrong with throwing a few extra items into the machine?

Sugar I think the OP means that she doesn't bring presents or buy the kids anything. Selfish after spending all that money on flights, no? hmm

YABU and more than a bit rude.

Why would you ever not do the washing of a guest on your house?

FallenCaryatid Thu 30-Aug-12 08:10:26

She's a guest, of course her laundry should be done, do you make her cook her own meals? If you hate it so much, then explain to your DH why you are being so unpleasant and get him to do it.

ssd Thu 30-Aug-12 08:11:03

the op'll come back with something ridiculous like "once MIL tried to cuddle PFB" or other surly DIL crap we read all the time on MN

honestly who'd have sons and be a MIL??

sometimes on here the venom is out of order

Gumby Thu 30-Aug-12 08:11:49

If you went to stay with her for a month I bet you'd want your family's clothes washed

Anyway if she lives in France why is she staying for a month?!

seeker Thu 30-Aug-12 08:11:57

Wow. She doesn't spend enough money so you won't do her washing?

Words fail me!

gettingeasier Thu 30-Aug-12 08:11:59

YABU shes travelling/paying for a trip from France and you are quibbling over what would surely not amount to not much more than a few loads of washing ?

Very odd and actually a bit nasty imo

LST Thu 30-Aug-12 08:12:15

YABU. and you are related. Albeit by married, but still.

fragola Thu 30-Aug-12 08:13:08

I can understand not wanting to handwash someone elses stuff, but I don't really get what's wrong with shoving a few extra things in the washing machine each day. Am I missing something?

DoingTheBestICan Thu 30-Aug-12 08:15:16

So op if it were your own mother visiting who I am guessing is also an adult would you still refuse to do her laundry?

SugarBatty Thu 30-Aug-12 08:16:09

Well she should have just said that then! grin thanks for clearing that up joyful.

Really though the dirty clothes are in your hands for all of 5 seconds in transit from washing basket to machine, what's the issue?

God forbid your mil gets ill one day and needs her family to care for her.

Al0uise Thu 30-Aug-12 08:17:11

Yuk - I wouldn't want to do another adults laundry either. Put a laundry basket in her room, tell her that you have enough of your own to get through, it's one of your least favourite chores and she must do her own.

I wouldn't want anyone to do my laundry for me.

JumpingThroughMoreHoops Thu 30-Aug-12 08:17:22

I read this forum sometimes and fervently hope my sons are either gay or celibate because DILs are a royal PITA and I don't want one, let alone three of the mardy bitches in my life

ssd Thu 30-Aug-12 08:18:29

hear hear JumpingThroughMoreHoops

chandellina Thu 30-Aug-12 08:18:32

Yabu and it's got to be about more than just laundry if you feel so strongly. Otherwise just get on with it, it's so not a big deal.

Nanny0gg Thu 30-Aug-12 08:18:42

When I explained how wrong it was for a woman who has had her own family to expect another adult woman (who she does not "employ" and she is not related to) to do her laundry I got the "that's your cultural expectations" line. I'm Irish btw so nothing massively exotic to her French. I'm not doing her fucking laundry so AIBU?

Yes you're BU. Very.
And I don't think I've ever read anything as bizarre as the statement above.

larks35 Thu 30-Aug-12 08:18:43

YABU and a bit strange tbh.

DoingTheBestICan Thu 30-Aug-12 08:19:03

I agree jumping I've already told ds he is not allowed to leave home ever.

SomebodySaveMe Thu 30-Aug-12 08:19:04

YABU. It's just laundry. Other peoples knickers won't harm you.

Al0uise Thu 30-Aug-12 08:19:06

I have 2 sons and look forward to having dil's. As friends though, not servants.

FallenCaryatid Thu 30-Aug-12 08:19:28

You'd do that to a guest and a visitor staying in your house?
Just treat her like a particularly annoying and grubby teenager?

DanyTargaryen Thu 30-Aug-12 08:19:31

I think OP is put out with the fact that she has told MIL its her responsibility AND shown her where the machine is and whatnot, and she STILL refused.

Or have I got that wrong.

EdithWeston Thu 30-Aug-12 08:19:50


I would always do guests laundry, especially that of family members.

And I think you're being a little ridiculous too: would you be equally annoyed if she were asking for a loo roll as there was none there; or would you be sending her to the shops or billing her for your shopping time because adults can do that for themselves too?

And it looks to me as if you are determined to pick a fight with her. I've no idea what you mean by "arms hanging" but you seem to be complaining that she doesn't spend much. Are you set on criticising another (blameless IMO) aspect of her visit just because you don't like her, and because you hope to escape the flaming you know you'd deserve if you criticised her for being poor an unwilling to spend?

Sunnydelight Thu 30-Aug-12 08:20:06

Ok so I am being unreasonable (though I'm not sure if it quite justifies ssd's right cow comment!)

I asked because I genuinely wanted to know, our history means that I have issues about her expectations. Of course there is more to it, 23 years of abusive behaviour which I thought I had avoided by emigrating so I'm not terribly sympathetic to the fact that her flights are expensive and trust me, I doubt if she is dreading seeing me half as much as I am dreading seeing her, but if MN decrees I should happily wash her smalls then maybe I should just grin and bear it smile

BIWI Thu 30-Aug-12 08:20:16

She's coming for a month, and you won't do her washing? And she is your guest?

Words fail me as to how inhospitable you are being.

hawaiiWave Thu 30-Aug-12 08:20:33

Yanbu. I'm shocked by the responses you're getting! I'd be mortified to give my dirty undies to someone else to wash, I'm not even keen on giving them to dh to wash.

Unless there was an incapacity reason for an adult not being able to do their washing, I think its totally unreasonable for your mil to expect you to do her washing. The odd t-shirt would be ok, but not underwear etc, I certainly do not want to get involved in dirty smalls...

FallenCaryatid Thu 30-Aug-12 08:21:26

'I'm Irish btw so nothing massively exotic to her French'

The Irish parents I've met have been very good at looking after guests, although they are all Southern Irish Catholics. Perhaps you are a Northerner with a different attitude?

picnicbasketcase Thu 30-Aug-12 08:21:43

I think you may be blowing it out of proportion because you already dislike her for being tightfisted etc. However, at the same time, unless she's very elderly or incapacitated, she should be able to put her own washing on, yes.

squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 08:21:48

being asked to bung a few bits of clothes, even knickers and bras, into the machine for a house guest is hardly being treated like servant for heavens sakes..

I wondered about the hanging arms comment too, very odd.

Come on OP, spill the rest of this...

HSMM Thu 30-Aug-12 08:21:53

Is she did her own washing, I bet her stuffwould always be washing when you need the machine. I'd rather do guest laundry than be trying to use the machinein between other people . I have guests this week and I have just put a wash basket outside their room for them to put stuff in.

DoingTheBestICan Thu 30-Aug-12 08:22:17

Good luck with that alouise cos it seems there are a fair few dils on here who find offence at anything.

Flisspaps Thu 30-Aug-12 08:22:24

I don't do my ILs washing when they visit - but then they don't do mine/DH's/the DCs laundry when they visit us either.

I wouldn't necessarily mind occasionally , but I'd be fucked off if it was an expectation and if DH used the royal 'we' as he seems to be allergic to the washing machine.

FallenCaryatid Thu 30-Aug-12 08:23:05

Well, get your husband to do the laundry for a month if it's such a huge problem for you OP.

Sunnydelight Thu 30-Aug-12 08:23:38

I've said IABU so I'll hide this now. You guys really need to have some caffine or something - the vitriol is quite extraordinary.

WipsGlitter Thu 30-Aug-12 08:23:58

Yes fallen we northern Irish are right inhospitable bitches confused

HSMM Thu 30-Aug-12 08:23:59

I assumed arms hanging meant that other people were carrying all her bags.

Flisspaps Thu 30-Aug-12 08:24:09

By 'arms hanging' I thought the OP means her MIL doesn't bother giving the kids a hug

squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 08:24:49

vitriol??? I dont see any... confused

FallenCaryatid Thu 30-Aug-12 08:27:32

'Yes fallen we northern Irish are right inhospitable bitches'

Thank you for answering my question wips, I wasn't sure.

WipsGlitter Thu 30-Aug-12 08:27:55

"arms hanging" means not carrying a present (not literally at the second she got off the plane) but generally it's the reverse of "came bearing gifts"

iggi777 Thu 30-Aug-12 08:28:18

My mother would say 'quit standing there with your two arms the one length' - meant you were doing nothing.

FallenCaryatid is looking for a fight, I think!

vvviola Thu 30-Aug-12 08:29:12

Is "to come with arms hanging" a peculiarly Irish phrase, might explain a few funny looks I've had. It means to not bring anything. And is the opposite of "ring the door with your elbow" grin (I usually use one or the other in relation to whether guests should bring something to a party etc)

I'd be of the shove it all in together (but perhaps dump all the clean underwear in a pile & ask MIL to grab hers out of it?).

Mind you, I'd hate anyone else to do my laundry (especially MIL --tries desperately to forget coming home from honeymoon to discover she'd rearranged the drawer that contained all my fancy underwear--)

WineGoggles Thu 30-Aug-12 08:30:28

Sunny, just tell her when you're putting a load on and ask her to add anything she wants washing. She can put it in the machine herself if you don't want to touch it. I would feel a but funny about handling another adult's dirty clothes, not because of germs, but because I'm so private about my own laundry; if I was staying away from home I wouldn't hand my undies to someone, I would put them in the machine myself. YANBU to not like her but YWBU to send her home with a suitcase of dirty laundry.

Trifle Thu 30-Aug-12 08:31:06

I agree with you sunny d, are you also expected to hang her washing out, launder it, iron it and put it away for her too? I presume you will be doing the vast majority of the cooking ,cleaning and entertaining of said Mil as your husband will be at work. I hate cooking, don't iron but do the laundry so if someone came to stay and expected me to do all those things I would be mightily pissed off.

EyesDoMoreThanSee Thu 30-Aug-12 08:31:29

I could deal with my MIL s but my FILs dear god no

Ok. Question. Would she do your laundry if you stayed with her for a month? It's your home and your rules, I have never ever had my clothes washed at someone else's house!

Children's clothes I have used someone else's machine as child went through every item!

FallenCaryatid Thu 30-Aug-12 08:31:31

Why would I want a fight? The OP mentioned that she was Irish, and all the women I know from that community are excessively hospitable in that you can't turn down food or a cup of tea without a fuss, and certainly when relatives come to stay they are taken care of, including laundry.
It just seems like such a petty thing to do 'Come over, but I'm not your slave'

albertswearengen Thu 30-Aug-12 08:32:41

I am feeling sorry for the OP. She wants her MIL to do her own washing when she stays for a month- so what. It's not the most inhospitable thing I've ever heard. And as for the MIL bashing -women don't become paragons of virtue just because they give birth to male children. Plenty of them range from difficult to total bitches and having a son doesn't stop that. Some MIL's are lovely some aren't. OP's MIL probably falls into the latter camp. Plenty of DIL's are lovely and plenty aren't.
I'm Northern Irish too btw. I would probably do MIL's washing but I'd really not want to.

Based on this so far YABVU and not very hospitable. [Saying as someone whose MIL puts her families laundry in at their house if needed and we only live 90 mins away].

But what do you mean when you say that you and your DH sat down and wanted to set some groundrules. There is more to come.

camdancer Thu 30-Aug-12 08:34:54

I think it is different cultural expectations. When I lived in the US, I found it odd that children were expected to do their own laundry. Anyone over the age of about 10 did their own. In the UK it seems different. Usually one person (Mum?) does the laundry for the whole household - including guests. So I think you would get a very different answer if you asked a US forum rather than UK one.

Dogsmom Thu 30-Aug-12 08:37:40

Does MIL do any other household chores when she's there or help out in any way?

If you don't want to do the laundry maybe compromise by doing the washing then handing her the creased clothes and an iron.

hackmum Thu 30-Aug-12 08:37:47

I would always offer to do guests' laundry. It would be rude not to.

Glad that vviola explained what "arms hanging" means - was puzzled by that!

Lottapianos Thu 30-Aug-12 08:38:23

It's obvious from the OP that this is about way more than laundry. OP, you sound very resentful of your MIL and with your reference to abusive behaviour, you may well be perfectly justified in this. You also suggest that your MIL didn't contribute anything by way of gifts or help around the house during her month long stay and I would feel unhappy about this too. It sounds like the laundry is an issue you are using to try to put down a boundary for her behaviour, it's a small issue that you feel you can control when everything else seems overwhelming. So yes, I agree that YABU for not wanting to do her laundry, but it sounds like there are good reasons why you don't feel like opening up your home to this woman. Could you and DH have a discussion about what you are and are not willing to do for her when she comes to stay, so that you feel you have a bit more control over the whole situation? It sounds like you're dreading the whole thing and I'm sorry for you - I know how that feels smile

Permanentmarker Thu 30-Aug-12 08:42:25

I think you are BU, but then you have realised that. This is just a symptom of your overall dislike of her. I too seriously dislike my MIL too so I empathise with you. When mine came for a week (which she still does) I used to chuck her laundry in with mine. However, I too get irritated with this because just before she leaves she will wash and iron all her clothes the day before. She also does this when she comes for the night or 2 nights. It's as if she thinks she is saving a few quid by using our detergent and electricity. I kid you not!!!!! Also my MIL is notorious for buying the cheapest nastiest clothes for her DH which run like mad in the washer. She often busybodies by going into my bedroom and gets the washing, puts a wash on with FIL's stuff and then ruins all our clothes when the dye runs. Over the years I'd say she has ruined about 500 pounds worth of my clothes. She has also been known to take really expensive clothes off the line and put it in the heater drier. I have a few once gorgeous jumpers that my DD's Barbie is now wearing. Now I make sure all my washing and ironing is done before she comes. I'm sure she does it on purpose [hmmm]

CailinDana Thu 30-Aug-12 08:43:02

I'm irish (if that makes any difference) and i wouldn't do my ILs laundry. I would expect DH to do it.

EdithWeston Thu 30-Aug-12 08:44:16

Drip feeding a back story of abuse into the middle of an AIBU thread?


MammaTJisanOlympicSumoWrestler Thu 30-Aug-12 08:44:18

Someone else coming in to my home and using my washing machine would be far more of an inconvenience to me than doing theirs along with my family laundry. Bunging theirs in with ours would not be much trouble.

Seriously, do you really feel that you MIL is not realted to you?

I don't doubt there is more to this, but unless you tell us, well, for the moment, YABU!

crazycanuck Thu 30-Aug-12 08:45:44

I too would be royally pissed off with her expectation and demands that you do her laundry. Family or no, I would never just expect the people who were hosting me to do my laundry.

However when I have had guests, I have always offered to throw any of their washing in with mine. But I have to say all guests I have had mucked in and usually did their own and chucked in any I had that needed doing. Even my mom. That may actually demonstrate a cultural element though, as I am Canadian and my guests have either been Canadian or Australian.

Is it her royal decree that you do her laundry that has your back up? Would you just chuck it in with yours if she didn't demand it?

GoldWithADragonTattoo Thu 30-Aug-12 08:46:58

YANBU - I wouldn't dream of washing my MILs clothes and would even find it v odd if my DH did (not sure here why it should be the wife's responsibility anyway). You showed her how to use the machine last time which is precisely what most people would do. And, from MIL's point of view, I think most adults would prefer the privacy of putting their own washing on. It's hard enough having guests for a month I think it madness to take even more work than you'll already be doing.

I'm sure a lot of people just love to go against whatever OP says however reasonable for sport.

KlarkyKat Thu 30-Aug-12 08:48:35

YABU, unless she is actually being rude you about it I think you should just chuck it in with your family washing. However if she is expecting hand-washing than maybe not! Does she want you to iron it too? If so set the ironing board up in an accessible place and ask her to do some!

arthurfowlersallotment Thu 30-Aug-12 08:49:01

Get a grip Fallen. No one outside of your backwater cares about your sectarianism.

OP YANBU. Your husband should do it.
However take comfort in the fact that You are in oz, so visits are infrequent..

CailinDana Thu 30-Aug-12 08:50:31

It's interesting what you say about cultural expectations camdancer- I'm from Ireland and from age 10 my sisters andi did all our own laundry. I don't do my DH's laundry, something I've been roundly criticised for on MN. Growing up laundry was not the mum's job in my house.

LadyWidmerpool Thu 30-Aug-12 08:50:42

It would get on my nerves to have a guest taking up the machine with small loads for a month!

ZonkedOut Thu 30-Aug-12 08:50:50

I agree with Lotto, if this was just about laundry, you would be being unreasonable, but there's obviously more to it.

My MIL insists on doing her own laundry if she stays, and insists on doing ours when we stay with her!

I think she has been unreasonable to refuse to do her own when you've shown her how.

But generally, it is nice to offer to do a guest's laundry.

fluffyraggies Thu 30-Aug-12 08:51:18

I don't understand why it is that when one of us has a problem with our DPs mother they have to be accused of 'bashing' someone confused

When someone posts with a problem concerning a family member it's more than likely going to be their OH, a DC, DM, DF or MIL or FIL. That's one in 6 family posts being about a MIL. It's just going to happen.

And - every MIL is also/has been a DIL at some point. So if most DILs are shite then so are most MILs! grin


Pagwatch Thu 30-Aug-12 08:51:42

Sectarianism ?
Bloody hell. Isn't sectarianism a bit of a big issue to throw around ona knicker washing thread?

NameChangeGalore Thu 30-Aug-12 08:51:56

YABU and really rude.

TheDoctrineOfEnnis Thu 30-Aug-12 08:52:16

I think the practical point here is that someone coming on a plane for a month might not bring enough clothes that they had their own full load before they had run out of, say, t shirts.

When I stay at my mum's for more than a night she asks if I have any washing when she's starting the machine, I go and get my stuff and the DC's stuff and pop it straight in the machine. She does then hang it all out but if she picked out her stuff and left mine in the basket and called me to hang mine out, I'd be happy to do that.

Would that work, OP?

outtolunchagain Thu 30-Aug-12 08:55:13

I would find it very odd to show a guest how to use my washing machine unless of course they asked. Much easier and more hospitable to just offer to do it for them .

MrsRobertDuvallHasRosacea Thu 30-Aug-12 08:55:49

Give her a laundry bag.

Show her how to do the washing machine or tell dh to do her washing.

I wouldn't have had my MIL to stay the night, let along a month so you have my sympathies.
But rise above it.

There is obviously a lot of history to this story.....

YABU, and it's a bit scary how you can't see that. hardly a big deal to stick someone else's laundry in with yours, is it? confused

Byecklove Thu 30-Aug-12 08:57:44

Having lived overseas for years, I've played host to countless friends and relatives. I always do their washing - as mentioned unthread, I just let them know I'm putting a dark wash on and to chuck whatever they want in the machine. Including MIL. The same has always happened when we're the visitors. Can't imagine it being any different.

It does sound like there's something deeper going on with your MIL and this is just symptomatic.

TiggerWearsATriteSmile Thu 30-Aug-12 08:57:58

PMSL at this thread.
OP, you are unreasonable for not doing a bit of laundry. FFS be a host and cop on.

The way it's gone off on a northern/southern thing is ridiculous. Manners don't stop at the border.

YABU - as you have accepted - and you took it on the chin really well. But YANBU to expect your MIL to do something to help out whilst she is with you. Is there something you could give her to do that is inoffensive/she could not be offended by being asked (keep the moral upper hand here) and she would clearly be totally unreasonable to refuse - such as "We are trying to show our DC that we all share the chores round here and you always help out if you are a guest at someones house. So whilst you are staying please would you do XXX every day" Even if something like stack the plates after breakfast, put the garden cushions in the shed each evening. Even better treat her like a child and do the alternatives thing. "which would you rather do? Stack the plates or empty the bins?". If she helps out - albeit a miniscule bit it may make some of the freeloader angst softer?

lottiegarbanzo Thu 30-Aug-12 09:00:56

When staying with close family they always say 'chuck it in the laundry basket' and I get a heap of clean clothes back. My undies are no more unpleasant than anyone else's, do you feel the same repulsion for your DH and children's underwear or the same sense of servility? Guests are usually looked after better than family, not less well.

I wouldn't normally have enough for a full load on hols, or would have to wear everything then wash it all. I do often do washing when staying for a couple of weeks at DF and DSM's house as I feel part of the family and know I'm not interefering with their system. I probably did more as a teenager than now, as i stayed longer and that's when I was prudish about having other people handling my undies!

Could you ask for her help with the combined family's washing, hanging out or folding, or get your DH to do this with her? Or get her involved in other household tasks, like chopping veg and clearing the table? It's fine to make her feel part of the family.

Lottapianos Thu 30-Aug-12 09:01:47

'PMSL at this thread.
OP, you are unreasonable for not doing a bit of laundry. FFS be a host and cop on'

Well at least you've had a good laugh eh Tigger hmm It's clearly not about 'a bit of laundry' is it - can't you see that? 'Cop on' is always a constructive comment, no matter what the issue so well done hmm

Lottapianos Thu 30-Aug-12 09:03:27

Fishfingers, that's a good idea - if you give her a choice of chores it would be harder for her to refuse!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 30-Aug-12 09:04:35

I wash guests things when they come here, and have mine washed when we visit my parents, MIL, friends, etc.


EdithWeston Thu 30-Aug-12 09:06:50

Lottapianos: but it did start off about laundry, and tigger's response to the original AIBU is right (and accepted by OP). It's a good example of why drip feeding in AIBU is a bad idea.

I think OP has taken views on board (good on her).

The rest of the thread does risk being pure popcorn.

squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 09:07:40

I wouldnt dream of giving an elderly house guest a "list of chores"... ffs... she has come to visit her family.

fedupofnamechanging Thu 30-Aug-12 09:07:59

I think it's U for the OP to have to put up with her MIL for a whole month! It sounds like this has been dumped on her, against her will and likely the dh will piss off to work and leave the OP running around after someone she doesn't like and doesn't want in her house.

I would do the washing if I had guests, however, I wouldn't have guests who had a history of abusive behaviour etc. Sounds to me like the real problem is with your husband in arranging this and not supporting your wishes.

I think she should stay in a hotel.

perfectstorm Thu 30-Aug-12 09:08:25

I think YABU about the laundry.

I think you are a SAINT to host your MIL for a month, though. I couldn't manage mine for a week! No chance of escaping to see your own mum simultaneously and letting her and DH get on with it? grin That'd be one way of ensuring your family's appreciation thereafter.

expatinscotland Thu 30-Aug-12 09:08:54

'In the UK it seems different. Usually one person (Mum?) does the laundry for the whole household - including guests. '

Let's hope this is a trend that dies off.

Fallen Are you for real?? Or are you just always an ignorant bigot?? hmm

And yes Pag It is sectaranism.

OP - There is obviously much more to this than laundry. I don't think you're being entirely unreasonable. But I'd suck it up and do it. It's not that much of an inconvenience.

MissM Thu 30-Aug-12 09:12:08

My mum comes to stay for one night and I ask her if she needs anything washing. If someone comes for a month I'd expect the washing to be part of looking after my guest - what's the big deal when you're doing a wash anyway?

Lilithmoon Thu 30-Aug-12 09:12:10

OP, if you come back YANBU. She is a fully grown adult and should be doing her own laundry and generally mucking in with other chores if she is staying for a month.

KellyElly Thu 30-Aug-12 09:12:22

If I had a guest to stay I would do their laundry and cook for them. I would feel quite rude if I didn't but that's just me. I suppose a month is quite a long time and she shold pitch in a bit to help out - even if she did some babysitting while you and DH went out.

expatinscotland Thu 30-Aug-12 09:12:41

'I wouldnt dream of giving an elderly house guest a "list of chores"... ffs... she has come to visit her family.'

Why not? A) she's family B) she's there for a MONTH. I don't get hosts who wait on guests like they're running a hotel or guests who expect that out of a host.

She's well enough to travel, she's well enough to muck in like a family member.

Can't imagine parking up at someone's house and doing FA.

CoteDAzur Thu 30-Aug-12 09:12:52

YABU and a bit nasty.

What is so strange about MIL visiting Australia for a month? It's not like she would make that journey for a weekend.

Eggrules Thu 30-Aug-12 09:13:05

"I'll just give you my laundry" and I kept on saying "no, you need to do your own washing, here is the washing machine and this is how it works". Regardless of your reasons you are being up front as to your expectations.

A month is a long time and I think it is wrong for someone to be labelled a guest and do feck all.

If you wash and dry the clothes maybe she could help out and iron them. If your DH doesn't think doing everyone's laundry is a problem, he should do it.

alienreflux Thu 30-Aug-12 09:13:11

jesus!!! get half a load together (not that you're reading this anymore op!) shout .... iv'e got half a dark load in, you got anything to go in? what's the fucking drama!!!????
and i woulld never EXPECT someone to bring gifts, especially if they have paid for a pricey ticket to come see us. stop being a cow, she's your MIL.

and fallen that was a twatty thing to say.

CouthyMow Thu 30-Aug-12 09:13:50

Ugh! I wouldn't wash my own Mother's smalls, much less my MIL's! I don't even put most of my own DC's smalls in the machine - only the ones under 10yo. And I'm not Irish, so I don't see it as a cultural thing.

Just <<Boak>> at putting someone else's dirty grundies in the machine. Deal with your own undies FFS!

Pagwatch Thu 30-Aug-12 09:14:15

Well For me, as a catholic Irish woman having lived through the 70s I will ith draw because unless there is some subtext I am missing, saying 'the people I know in the south are über hospitable' isn't in the ball park?

I think I shall withdraw. It is irritating me and it is too nice a day.

FallenCaryatid Thu 30-Aug-12 09:14:16

No, I asked a question because I was interested in the difference between my personal experience and the OP's attitude to being a host. It was nothing more than a query.
Which is why I also wondered if MIL was going to be making her own food, akin to having a lodger rather than a guest.

dranksinatra Thu 30-Aug-12 09:14:48

She asked, got told, and flounced, insulting all the way.
I bet she thinks she was on safe ground, too.

Indith Thu 30-Aug-12 09:15:20

You obviously have other issues in your relationship with her.

In this house a guest trying to do their own laundry would just get in the way of when I needed the machine! One extra person isn't much and their stuff would just slip in with our loads.

Pagwatch Thu 30-Aug-12 09:16:20

Actually I missed two comments.
Ignore me.

Born2bemild Thu 30-Aug-12 09:17:46

I think do her laundry or don't, doesn't matter, but if someone comes for a whole month, they go beyond "guest" and need to muck in a bit. So she should do laundry or cook or tidy a bit and help to keep things running. You don't wait on someone for a month.

PedanticPanda Thu 30-Aug-12 09:23:12

Yanbu, I really don't like other people doing my washing and would be insisting on washing my own - intact you sound like the dream DIL to me but maybe I'm just strange

Ladylazarus2 Thu 30-Aug-12 09:23:42

I do all our guests' washing. Even overnight guests get their washing done if needed. That seems reasonable to me. Just being hospitable.

wigglesrock Thu 30-Aug-12 09:25:16

FallenCaryatid catch yourself on

If my mil was staying with me for a month she'd probably do her own washing, same with my Mum. She'd probably do a bit of cooking/shopping as well. Although if I'm in my Mums or mils and they're not and their washing is done I'd hang it up/out for them. There is a difference between a guest staying a week and one who's there for such a long time.

People staying with you and arriving or leaving with their arms the one length is a bugbear of mine, I've seen my Mum put people up for vast amounts of time when we were kids.

porcamiseria Thu 30-Aug-12 09:25:31


pigletmania Thu 30-Aug-12 09:26:33

What's wrong with you just bunging it in te machine, putting in a bt of liquid and turning it on, after all you will be doing yours won't you! Get dh to doit then!

If OP comes back - if I have a guest for a week I'd offer to do any laundry. If they're coming for a month it's a whole different ballgame and depends entirely upon what works best in your particular house/family. And you made clear to your MIL what works best for you.

If I need any laundry doing while staying with someone I usually ask if I can put a load on or (if it's only a couple of items) put them in with a matched load. If I were staying for a month I'd be mucking in on all fronts; it's unthinkable to me to do otherwise because a month isn't just 'a visit', it's being part of the household for quite a period of time.

So overall, YANBU

steben Thu 30-Aug-12 09:29:43

Hmmm I think there is more to this as well. As someone who has their own substantial MIL (also diff cultures and in situation which necessitates long stays) issues I hesitate to say YABU. My MIL does my laundry when we stay with them which I HATE but I don't get the choice - no sooner have you taken an item off it is washed, dryed and ironed, so I would do her laundry in return. I would much rather do my own but she is highly protective of her washing machines [hmmm]

HecateHarshPants Thu 30-Aug-12 09:30:47

I don't think you are unreasonable. You don't WANT to wash her clothes and that's your right! Just bag them up and present the bag to your husband and say here are your mother's clothes, there's the washing machine. Like you said "We" are washing them. This time YOU are 'we', not me.

I'm not saying this because I also have a problem washing other people's clothes, I don't. I'll happily stick a load on! But I get the feeling this is a symptom of a problem in your relationship with her. Her demanding that you wash her clothes - including her underwear - is symbolic to you. Perhaps feels like her saying she's higher in the pecking order than you? I don't know.

But I do know this is not about sticking some clothes in a washing machine.

I hope that you get it sorted.


Anniegetyourgun Thu 30-Aug-12 09:35:37

I don't get the big problem with washing a guest's clothes, BUT: if your host has made it clear that they do not want to do your laundry, however unreasonable you think that is, wouldn't a guest go along with it? Secreting your dirty stuff in amongst theirs so they have to at least handle it, if not wash it, is kind of peculiar IMO.

Eggrules Thu 30-Aug-12 09:35:40

We have guests that come twice a year. They stay 2 nights and three days and feast like royalty. They always arrive with their arms hanging and I think it is very rude.

Guest - a person who spends some time at another person's home in some social activity, as a visit, dinner, or party. A weekend visitor is a guest; any longer and it turns into lodger/one of the family.

Anniegetyourgun Thu 30-Aug-12 09:36:19

ps And what Hecate said, as usual.

YouForgotToCallMePeppa Thu 30-Aug-12 09:36:55

I have to say, if I was her, I'd far prefer to do my own washing.

When we stay with my parents, I put on all my own loads of washing, hang it up, put it away, my parents aren't involved at all. Just how I like it.

When we stay with ILs, MIL will not trust me to use her precious washing machine correctly, makes me give her my laundry to put on, then goes through it objecting to the size of the load, the fact that I have/haven't turned items inside out, the fact that some of the items have different washing instructions and so you "can't put them in together". I insist you can, but she goes off, removes half the whites from my load (I always wash whites seperately) and returns them to our room, and sticks in a load of FIL's black socks with them instead!
I would love to be able to do my own washing when we stay with them.

WinkyWinkola Thu 30-Aug-12 09:37:02

Just ask her to chuck her laundry in with yours. She's not diseased is she?

I do my guests laundry happily. Part of being a hostess.

You sound a bit student mode tbh. Do you mark the milk bottle too so you know how much is in there?

porcamiseria Thu 30-Aug-12 09:43:13

OP you sound a bit horrible

as others said, god forbib when we are MILS

TiggerWearsATriteSmile Thu 30-Aug-12 09:43:43

Lottapianos, I was PMSL at the turn the thread took about northern /southern Ireland being bad/good hosts.
You left that part out when you selectively quoted my post.

The OP has an issue with her MIL, she should have said that in her opening post.
Ranting about laundry is ridiculous if there is obviously bigger things bothering her.
Cop on and do the laundry. Address bigger issues if they need to be but don't give out about the non issue that is bloody dirty knickers!!!

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere Thu 30-Aug-12 09:45:26

Bloody hell if I was staying with family for a month I would expect to do their washing at some point.
How can you stay and not help around the house?
That is appalling behaviour.

Being a guest of family/friends is the same as staying in a serviced apartment.

Yeas she did have to pay for flights but the op says she spends feck all for the rest of the month

She should be doing a bit of hoovering to.

mistlethrush Thu 30-Aug-12 09:45:48

Sure fire way of getting her to do her own is to make sure that there's something that will leak colour put in a wash with her pales... But that would be really mean wouldn't it blush

Clearly you haven't read the 'French' thread wink

There will be a couple of blouses, some cashmere and one pair of trousers for dry cleaning.

The underwear will be matching, teeny and inoffensive - give her a laundy net for it.

If you really want to piss her off boil her cashmere grin

eurochick Thu 30-Aug-12 09:54:41

I think you are being rather unreasonable. Washing a few bits of her own clothes would be inefficient. Chucking them in with yours is clearly the more practical option. If you don't want to handle her dirty clothes, why don't you put your stuff in the machine and say "I'm just putting a whites/darks/whatever wash on. If you want to pop anything in, just throw it in the machine now"?

whois Thu 30-Aug-12 09:55:34

I can't believe how many people have got ISHOOOS about touching other peoples laundry?

When I stay with family (and friends!) they always ask of I have any washing to go in, I thought that was just normal? At my brothers there are about 3 loads a day on with all the kids so not too much work to chuck a few of my things in as well. But there again, I help out at my brothers and hang up wet washing, put a load on if there is one by the machine waiting for it to finish, spray vanish on the baby's pooey baby grows...

Surely you don't pull each pair of pants out individually and inspect them? Just grab an armful of washing out the basket and shov it in?

DappyHays Thu 30-Aug-12 10:01:22

When you have a bad relationship with your MIL, everything they do pisses you off. If she'd decided to do her own laundry, you'd have found fault in that. I know that when my MIL was alive I certainly always managed to see a bad side to whatever she was doing. I used to joke she could hand me £1m and I'd take offence.

I used to have my MIL visiting for 3 days at a time and that sent me up the wall. After she left one visit I found a bag of her dirty undies laundry and just slung them in the wheelie bin.

Like you I used to work myself up about the small stuff. Now that I look back I wish I'd been a bit more chilled. It would have made my life easier.

squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 10:08:47

I dont get the issues about the washing of underwear either.. its a pair of knickers for fucks sakes. I have flat shared, we all used to take turns in doing the washing, it all went in together.. I have had 3 stepchildren living with me, their underwear all went into the same wash with ours, and I have lived at my MIL's and all our stuff went in with theirs... it would never have occured to me to be precious about my underwear getting cross contamination with FILs y fronts.. it all comes out clean after a hot wash, and then gets hung on the line..

DuelingFanjo Thu 30-Aug-12 10:10:55

YANBU, for a whole month! This is not just a 'visit' it's a long stay and she should muck in like everyone else.

flow4 Thu 30-Aug-12 10:12:11

This is a bizarrely fascinating thread - there's a pretty much equal split between people who think YABU and those who think YANBU grin. Obviously laundry is an issue to divide nations and families!

I'm currently staying with a friend and, since we arrived after 10 days' camping, she showed me their machine and I did a load, and me and the kids then hung it up. She might have offered if she was putting a wash on and we'd only had a few things, but I'd never expect someone to my washing, and I'd be irritated by anyone else expecting me to do theirs. Personally, I don't even do my children's laundry!

But OP, this isn't really just about laundry, is it? It seems to me to be about her contributing generally... A month is a long time to have a guest (even one you like!) and I would definitely be expecting anyone who was in my house that long to be sharing some of the household tasks - if not washing, then cooking or shopping. (I've been at my friend's 3 nights so far, and I've cooked for us all once and shopped once).

Can you set expectations for MIL early-ish (day 2 perhaps) by saying something(s) like "Can you cook on Thurs, please?" or "Could you put a load of washing on please, while I'm out picking up the kids"?

Good luck!

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 10:14:07

I would offer to put her bits in with my washing, as she probably won't need a full load but I wouldn't expect to wait on her hand and foot for the month either.

OwlLady Thu 30-Aug-12 10:16:47

I would put her washing in with ours as well, i really don't see the problem with it. My MIL doesn't like to though and takes her dirty washing home and that's fair enough

albertswearengen Thu 30-Aug-12 10:17:12

Do French women not wear big pants at all then?
Maybe we should do a survey of Britain and Ireland and see which area is most willing to wash their MIL's smalls. Bet a cultural historian would be wetting themselves for that info. Hope they have an hospital DIL with a big laundry bag.

albertswearengen Thu 30-Aug-12 10:17:59

Hospitable not hospital obvs. I have spent too much time on annoying ILs threads today.

bragmatic Thu 30-Aug-12 10:20:46

It all gets lumped in together here. Sometimes she chucks a load on, sometimes I do. Likewise with hanging out, doing dishes, ...stuff.

Kayano Thu 30-Aug-12 10:24:53

I would do it, she is a guest and has come a long way to see you all.

BiddyPop Thu 30-Aug-12 10:25:41

We don't tend to have visitors staying long enough to need laundry, but are happy to throw it in if need be. That said, as we are both Irish, the laundry tends to be split between DH and I, with DD doing her share of hanging/folding when she's around, in terms of getting it clean and dried. (I am in the envious position that DH always did his ironing and I did mine - until I got PG and he took over it all, and continues to do so as he thinks it's good for DD to see that everyone has their own jobs and everyone can do every job grin).

When DH's uncle is staying in the rehab hospital close to us (about once a year for 6 weeks, although not this year), we would visit him and take him out for Sundays, and DH will bring home the laundry and do that himself. I'll sort and fold it, but it is more something that DH feels he should do, as the uncle is HIS family (so his burden IYKWIM).

usualsuspect Thu 30-Aug-12 10:28:53

Everyones washing gets chucked in together here. No one does their own washing.

Inertia Thu 30-Aug-12 10:29:48

If she is giving you orders and treating you like her personal slave, then that's certainly an issue that needs addressing.

Laundry is a funny one - I will happily tell guests that I'm doing a load of jeans / reds / whatever, and have they got any to put in. If we are visiting for several days, my stepmum will do the same for us. But I would hate anyone to go rooting through my washing baskets and doing it for me - I have a system, and I know which clothes need a eg a delicate cycle.

In your shoes, I would probably do the washing with ours, and let it join the EU ironing mountain pile so she can iron and put away her own.

Yika Thu 30-Aug-12 10:31:14

YABU and rude - I'd always do a gues's washing. As others have said, I'd tell them when I'm doing a wash and ask if they'd like to put anything in.

BuntyPenfold Thu 30-Aug-12 10:34:05

I think I understand - I once threw away underwear mil had borrowed. I couldn't wear it again myself. Is that the same ?

But also, she may be quite unable to fathom a different washing machine. My sil's machine in Spain, for instance, doesn't really resemble my English one.

NutellaNutter Thu 30-Aug-12 10:35:59

I am also surprised at some of the comments you're getting. I would insist on doing my own washing and never 'expect' anyone else to do it.

MrsApplepants Thu 30-Aug-12 10:36:20

Yanbu. I wouldn't do it. Luckily my MIL wouldn't expect me to though. She'd be horrified at the idea of someone else washing her smalls!

sadnanny Thu 30-Aug-12 10:36:43

I am a live in nanny I wash my female bosses underware and she has on occasion washed mine/hung them out. its a washing machine so have no issues with it.

BuntyPenfold Thu 30-Aug-12 10:39:15

I think the posters issues with her mil have coloured the laundry issue , so to speak.

NoComet Thu 30-Aug-12 10:45:25

I've think it's barking mad to get one person, visitor, teen or DH to do their own washing.

If I went to stay somewhere the whole idea would be to get away with LESS packing. I wouldn't have a full load ever and assuming some light things, some dark things and possibly some delicate things it would be utterly looney to wash 2 items in a load.

NoComet Thu 30-Aug-12 10:49:23

Mind you my lovely late DMIL didn't have a washer and happily hand washed odds and sods for me when she was doing everything else.
I always felt a bitblush, but she had a brilliant system and it would have been utter madness to use mounds of hot water to do 3 things (badly as I don't hand wash).

CaroleService Thu 30-Aug-12 11:08:14

Do her laundry.

Shrink it.

MadgeHarvey Thu 30-Aug-12 11:15:31

Do her laundry. Shrink it

What a horrible thing to suggest. Seriously I do hope all you MIL haters get a taste of this in later life and you'll be left wondering how the fuck it all ended up like this! What will you feel when your son's wives are this horrid to you?

2rebecca Thu 30-Aug-12 11:23:07

Within the extended family we usually ask the host family if we want washing done. Usually the relative I'm staying with prefers to set the washing machine themselves and not risk a guest mucking things up. We usually add their washing to ours to save electricity. Not sure about your "smalls" thing. They are only pants, what's the big deal. My fancier pants get hand washed so wait until we go home or machine washed in a seperate net bag I keep at home.
If a visitor wanted me to do their washing if they handed it to me I'd put it in the machine, with or without ours depending on the quantity.
I'd like them to help peg it out and would expect them to iron their own stuff but have no problem with just putting someone else's washing in the machine and turning it on. If you aren't keen and your husband is happy to put his mum's clothes on let him get on with it. My husband uses the washing machine almost as often as me.

2rebecca Thu 30-Aug-12 11:26:28

Agree I wouldn't want any relatives for a month. 2 weeks max and then they can travel around a bit and stay in hotels and have a proper holiday and see some of the country.

GreenEyesAndHam Thu 30-Aug-12 11:33:50

I love my MIL to bits. I also wouldn't have a problem doing anyone else's laundry.

But if I disliked them, and had already specifically told them they had to do their own, they could go swivel. In a pigs eye would I be handling their smalls.

Good god.
She's spending a month there.she can't brings months supply of clothes. Just bing them in with yours. She won't contaminate your clothes FFs.
You sound really charming. Will you expect her to cook her own meals separate as well.

ENormaSnob Thu 30-Aug-12 11:43:18


If someone was putting me up for a whole month I wouldnt dream of foisting my washing upon them. It's enough work just having an extra person.

gotthemoononastick Thu 30-Aug-12 11:44:49

trying to leave...are you my daughter in law?Nobody will see my dirty washing,just do bits in the shower every day and secrete it...he-he.

NCForNow Thu 30-Aug-12 11:48:25

I also have a MIL who comes for a month at a time...she's in Oz. She also has blurred liines about certain things so I feel your pain so much OP!

DO NOT do her washing. Hand her a basket and say "This is for your laundry...we'll be doing ours separately so you have your privacy."

If she mixes hers in....pick the stuff out. It's gross!

My MIL sits and picks at her bare feet in the evenings and her teeth. BUT she is very generous and kind so I have to bear it.

Blu Thu 30-Aug-12 11:48:56

You have projected everything about your relationship into this washing issue.

It's just washing, bunging a load in the machine hanging it out. tell her when a wash is gfoing on and say 'do you wnat to put anything of yours n?' and then from time to time say 'oh, do you wnat to hang out the washing when it's done while I'm at the shops?'.

People staying for a month can be expected to muck in and be part of the household, though I can see that that is hard if you have a mutual seething loathing. But then during a month of mutual seething loathing, pressing the washing machine button would seem to be the least of your worries.

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Thu 30-Aug-12 11:49:09

Wouldn't she help you load the washing machine from time to time? If not, as a rule, then YANBU.
If she's simply adding her clothes to the mix, and doesn't mind helping out with the family laundry, then YABU.

ExitStencilist Thu 30-Aug-12 11:51:09


I think everyone has missed that the auld wan arrives for a month with no presents for her grandchildren, spends 20$ in a month (presumably by getting OP to pay for everything for her) and again....^stays for a month^

I wouldn't be washing her nifties, thats for sure. Stingy wagon can wash her own.

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Thu 30-Aug-12 12:06:28

Is the larger issue also that your DP is not taking responsibility ie the entire burden of increased housework during her visit is foisted on you?
And is your MIL herself lazy and unwilling to pitch in?

Pagwatch Thu 30-Aug-12 12:46:11

" But then during a month of mutual seething loathing, pressing the washing machine button would seem to be the least of your worries."

Yy Blu. Brilliantly put.

seeker Thu 30-Aug-12 13:23:52

Please can somebody explain why chucking somebody's washing in the machine is "gross"? Sometime I feel as if I live in an alternative universe!

DuelingFanjo Thu 30-Aug-12 13:25:49

I don't think it's gross but I do think it takes a special kind of adult to assume that another adult will do all their washing for them.

My advice, OP, is to get a laundry basket and put it into her room, then if she starts putting her stuff in with yours just take it out and put it back.

squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 13:26:52

Bizarre Seeker, isnt it.. confused.

It must be awful travelling around the world to see your son and grandchildren only to be greeted by a sulking DIL who despises you, and disappointment that you havent brought them any presents.

BuntyPenfold Thu 30-Aug-12 13:28:15

I don't particularly want anyone else to do my laundry, and as for mixing it in so that dil has to sort it or wash's a power game isn't it?

Not really about laundry, about forcing dil to take a subservient role.

I gather they don't get on.

squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 13:30:37

My friend came for 3 weeks from the USA, to stay with us. A friend, not a distant relative, certainly not a close relative... and I showed her the laundry basket in the bathroom, and said "just chuck your stuff in there, I will wash it with ours"... A pair of someone elses knickers did not gross me out.. and unless the underwear was covered in shit or blood, I honestly cannot see why an item of underwear would offend anyone.

seeker Thu 30-Aug-12 13:33:07

But sorting it out and putting bit back in the basket is

A) more time consuming than doing it
B) involves touching it more than doing it
C) is incredibly passive aggressive
D) the behaviour of a dick. I hate calling other women's behaviour dickish, but sometimes there is no other word.

QuenelleOJersey2012 Thu 30-Aug-12 13:33:29

I think a good host would offer to put their laundry in with the household's. But a good guest wouldn't insist they did.

Does she help out in other ways when she's there? If she's able I think it would be only fair to help out if she's staying for as long as a month.

Don't know why I'm saying this if OP's already hidden the thread though...

ExitStencilist Thu 30-Aug-12 13:35:52

Offering to do the washing of a friendly guest is the norm.

someone you don't like who hates you too insisting you do their washing..not so much.

Nanny0gg Thu 30-Aug-12 13:36:46


OP was (mostly) disagreed with, didn't explain the backstory and has flounced off hidden this thread (apparantly).
Everyone is now arguing amongst themselves.


squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 13:38:49

Oh I bet the OP hasnt really hidden the thread...

I just feel sorry for the husband and his mother to be honest.

God help the poor woman if she ever needs any sort of help as she gets older, because I cant see the OP being willing to provide any sort of care.

I would also have thought an adult woman would probably understand that an older adult woman might feel a bit undignified about her adult son washing her underwear, and have a bit of compassion too.

Kewcumber Thu 30-Aug-12 13:39:35

I can barely manage my own washing - no-one would have the patience to wait for me to do their's if they were staying a month.

I do think expecting to be waited on for a whiole month is a leetle bit of a stretch. I suspect your irritation at doing her washing is symptomatic of your wider irritation.

Let your DH do it - problem solved.

Fiveflowers Thu 30-Aug-12 13:40:45

I don't consider doing someone else's laundry 'subservient'. Nor would I pick out her laundry if she put it in with mine.

It's far more convenient (and adult) just to do the washing altogether, surely?

I know the OP has hidden this but just wanted to say SIBU and it's a non-issue imho.

ExitStencilist Thu 30-Aug-12 13:41:56

"I would also have thought an adult woman would probably understand that an older adult woman might feel a bit undignified about her adult son washing her underwear, and have a bit of compassion too."

Then maybe she should wash her own? Compassion? Expecting to be waited on and everything paid for her for a month, and you think she needs even more? Jaysus, must be open season in your house.

seeker Thu 30-Aug-12 13:44:07

And she's not q guest ffs- she's your husband's mother!!!!!!!

squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 13:46:43

Open season? Not really, I just think it a shame that an elderly parent who has travelled for over 24 hours on planes to come to visit her son and his children and probably doesnt see them very often is being treated like an unwelcome visitor.

As the OP has decided not to expand on why she dislikes her MIL so much or give any real reason for such pettyness, it is hard to say she is not being unreasonable as far as I can see.

DuelingFanjo Thu 30-Aug-12 13:47:13

" the behaviour of a dick. I hate calling other women's behaviour dickish, but sometimes there is no other word. "

when I do my washing at home I sort through and take mine out and wash it. I leave DH's for him. Does this make me a dick? Oh well. We're both adults, I figure he knows how to do his even if he doesn't know how to put it into the basket in the first place.

BuntyPenfold Thu 30-Aug-12 13:47:50

But it seems mil insists that dil will do her laundry - it's not about laundry, it's about who's top dog.

GreenEyesAndHam Thu 30-Aug-12 13:50:36

As the OP has decided not to expand on why she dislikes her MIL so much or give any real reason for such pettyness, it is hard to say she is not being unreasonable as far as I can see

That's not fair. Perhaps she just doesn't want to air her dirty laundry in public.

<slaps thighs at own self in mirth>

<gets coat>

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 13:51:31

I love mumsnet. Its gone from old ladies keks to calling folk dicks in the space of a few pages.

squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 13:51:54

"when I do my washing at home I sort through and take mine out and wash it. I leave DH's for him. Does this make me a dick? Oh well. We're both adults, I figure he knows how to do his even if he doesn't know how to put it into the basket in the first place"

How did it get in the basket then? confused

I cannot believe anyone would sort through the dirty washing and only wash their own, leaving their spouses stuff still in there.. that is just weird. And bloody wasteful of electric, water, and detergent too.

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 13:53:06

Unless husband has "form" as a lazy bones. I have previously threatened this but never followed through.

Fanj your a hard woman.

ExitStencilist Thu 30-Aug-12 13:53:38

not remotely wasteful if you make a full load of your own.

seeker Thu 30-Aug-12 13:55:08

"when I do my washing at home I sort through and take mine out and wash it. I leave DH's for him. Does this make me a dick?"

Well- based in that statement alone, yes!

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 13:56:51

I just do the whites, darks and colours.

whoevers they may be.

Peace N Love.

Fanjo how comes you both do your own, I am curious and nosy.

EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 30-Aug-12 13:57:39

I think I've missed something really obvious here.

Why is it OP's responsibility to do MIL's laundry? Assuming MIL is guest, and her laundry should therefore be done out of politeness, why can husband not do it? Do they have a washing machine that cannot be operated by people with a Y chromosome?

BigRedIndiaRubberBall Thu 30-Aug-12 14:02:02

Squeaky - why is it undignified for your adult son to be washing your smalls, but not your adult DIL?

Have been following this thread with interest, as although I would be happy to do my MIL's laundry (and have washed the odd bit of hers), if the OP does have a problem with it, I don't see why she should be expected to. I'm with those who say an extended stay makes you a temporary member of the household, not a guest, and so you pull your weight accordingly.

With that in mind, why not put her clothes in with yours, then leave them wet, in a basket, on her bed for her to sort out the rest? A little PA perhaps, but not as much as putting your stuff in the laundry basket after specifically being asked not to.

seeker Thu 30-Aug-12 14:02:09

Well, the op seems to be the person who does the washing in the family. I do the washing in our family. I don't Hoover, or clean bathrooms. But I do washing and washing up. And I would do any visitor's washing as well. And I would also wash up the plate they ate off. Would people think it is reasonable for the Op to leave her mil's dirty crockery and cutlery out of the family washing up!0?

expatinscotland Thu 30-Aug-12 14:02:13

How do we know she's elderly? She could be in her 50s for all we know.

Some people find touching other peoples' laundry gross, the way others find wearing shoes in the house gross.

Horses for courses.

'God help the poor woman if she ever needs any sort of help as she gets older, because I cant see the OP being willing to provide any sort of care.'

Why should she? Good grief! She married her DH not his mother.

I'm Irish too and I'd do her laundry in with ours - it's not like you're handwashing her knickers, is it? Mind you, if there was something especially embarrassing going on (unmentionable bad stains etc.) would hand it over to your DH and tell him to wash it or handle her himself.

squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 14:06:24

Perhaps because I have been brought up in a family where we help our elders out, and that includes PILs too.

I would do anything for my MIL, and my husband would have done anything for my Mum.

My own mum looked after her MIL when she was ill, and my MIL cared for her own MIL.

Its just the way we are in our families.

ExitStencilist Thu 30-Aug-12 14:08:50

presumably though, squeaky, they would do the same for you? OP's case is a little more one sided. Doing everything for someone while they treat you like crap is not family love, its being a doormat.

expatinscotland Thu 30-Aug-12 14:09:05

Oh, okay, well, don't assume everyone is or that they're wrong because of that. Sometimes it's not possible. Plenty of people have very toxic parents or grandparents or even abusive ones.

Bertrude Thu 30-Aug-12 14:11:46

You see, in the in YANBU camp here, depending on the situation

We're also abroad and have folk staying for long periods of time. My mum does all our washing when she stays here, because me and him are both working full time so she helps out where she can. I don't expect it but it's much appreciated. She certainly wouldn't add to my workload even if she wasn't doing my laundry for me.

His lot, on the other hand, dont like to 'interfere'. To the point of not even putting glasses in the dishwasher. It grates on me no end. So yes, I understand about not wanting to get lumbered with her stuff too. And I definitely wouldn't want to be rifling through other adults undercrackers. It's a bit, well, weird. Would be weird enough for my own parents, never mind his.

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 14:12:04

Its interesting to see other peoples opinions isnt it.

I would do it, not from a servile point of view, but I do 3/4 washes a week and if your on holiday you are unlikely to be creating a full load of darks whites etc and you have limited clothes so probably have to wash more freqently than normal.

Will no one think of the environment?

I would expect a bit of help elsewhere with a month stay, tidying, helping to cook and dishes. But asking someone to do their own laundry, to me, seems a bit petty.

I would under no circumstances IRON it. Thats the hard work.

monkeymamma Thu 30-Aug-12 14:12:17

I can understand your frustrations sunnyD, but have to echo other posters that surely it's not a big deal? (I'm guessing she has done plenty of laundry for your DH in his time lol). It is a very very long and expensive flight so personally I wouldn't expect pressies too. (Also there's the packing issue too... she may have been worried about weight restrictions etc.)
It sounds like you find it quite stressful having her for long stays, but this is one of the things that comes hand in hand with choosing to live such a long way away from family IMO. Sorry - hope this does not sound harsh! Maybe chuck a red sock in with her whites just to let off some steam :-) (only joking).
And I can't help but also point out... she IS related to you, she is your DCs GM (sorreeee!).

squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 14:14:57

And plenty of mothers seem to have very toxic DILs too ExPat. sad

twostraightlines Thu 30-Aug-12 14:15:07

Your MIL is BU for assuming you'll do it, you are BU for refusing to add it to the family's laundry.

Try saying "I'm doing a light 30 degree, is there anything you'd like washed?"

That way you look like a good hostess, and she might stop treating you like a servant.

DuelingFanjo Thu 30-Aug-12 14:15:28

"Perhaps because I have been brought up in a family where we help our elders out, and that includes PILs too."

Maybe if the MIL has brought her son up this way HE could do her laundry?

WaxyBean Thu 30-Aug-12 14:15:51

I do my MILs laundry with ours when she comes to stay - she hangs it out for me. Same as she does ours when we (family of 4) stay with her.

DuelingFanjo Thu 30-Aug-12 14:16:37

"when I do my washing at home I sort through and take mine out and wash it. I leave DH's for him. Does this make me a dick?"

Well- based in that statement alone, yes!

If I didn't do this then I would be the only person doing any washing. We both work so why should I do ALL the washing?

DuelingFanjo Thu 30-Aug-12 14:20:00

"How did it get in the basket then?"

I put it there to get it off the floor.
I used to wash, iron and put away my DH's clothes. Then I had a baby and went back to work full time. That's when I realised that it was really not ok for me to be doing all his laundry when he's a grown adult with arms and legs. So I told him that from now on he can do his own washing.
I do remove it from the floor because it irritates me but I don't feel it's my job to sort take it out of the basket and wash and iron it.
I am trying to drop the wife-work. It doesn't make sense for me to be doing a full time job, a child's washing and that of my DH's too.

bobbledunk Thu 30-Aug-12 14:21:02

I often have guests stay over and nobody has ever expected me to do their laundry for them! They know where the utility room is and they are more than welcome to use it, even if there is only a couple of items, I'd prefer that then them putting their stuff in with mine and I certainly wouldn't do it for them. I've never had a host do my laundry for me either. That's just weird. If people are going to stay with you, they should make themselves at home and at home you do your own washing.

I don't think ybu, tell her you don't mind if the washing machine or dryer is half empty, she washes and dries her own clothes. Or let your husband can do it.

kate2mum Thu 30-Aug-12 14:23:35

My MIL lives with us because she has dementia. Don't know how old OP's MIL is, but she should do her own washing. If she lives long enough, eventually someone else will do it, but as an ADULT without any huge calls on her time, she should do her own.

I would NEVER mix MILs clothes with ours. I'm sorry, but there is a peculiar old-person smell (part talc, part their own skin cells) that give off a whiff.

I don't want, for myself and my children, to smell of eau de carehome. There is nothing you can do about the smell.

Maybe OP doesn't want to smell like her MIL and some people use use quite a lot of perfume and whatnot, and their clothes reek of it.

I now realise I am a little odd (DH calls it orafactory hysteria, but he has no sense of smell whatsoever), because I don't wash other people's stuff with ours (well, only childrens playdate stuff). Because dirty clothes harbour lots of dead skin cells,and stuff.

After I've done a wash for MIL, I always do a 90 degree empty wash to get the smell out of the drum too..

So, OP should stand firm against communal washing pressure.

squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 14:25:11

Does he go to work too DF?

it just sounds very petty to only wash your own and him to do his own...

Do you only cook for yourself too and he does his own? confused

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 14:25:16

I don't want, for myself and my children, to smell of eau de carehome. There is nothing you can do about the smell.

my o my!

PetiteRaleuse Thu 30-Aug-12 14:26:47


Wow. Just wow. Are you being serious?

seeker Thu 30-Aug-12 14:27:31

My mouth has fallen open. Like this O.

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 14:27:40

<prays unborn child is girl>

squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 14:27:53

Kate2mum, that is quite frankly odd. If clothes are still coming out of your machine smelling of talc (or skin cells ???wtf???), then they are not being washed properly.

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 14:27:59

minds like this

squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 14:28:40

thank feck it isnt just me that found Kates post utterly bonkers, and quite derogatory too..

vezzie Thu 30-Aug-12 14:28:56

I love the expression "arms hanging". For that alone, YANBU.

Seriously though, this is a delicate dance. The correct procedure in my opinion is this:

You: "I'm putting a wash on. Would you like to put yours in?"
Your MIL: "Really? yes please I do have a couple of things. Do you mind if I go and get them?"

[she places in machine, you avert your eyes]
[you avert your eyes when hanging it out unless she has got to the machine before you by hovering beside it, or setting an alarm if night time]

Am I weird?

vezzie Thu 30-Aug-12 14:29:59

Wow, x-post with Kate2mum. I feel less weird.

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 14:30:41

Get those little nipper things made of metal. God forbid that anyone should have to touch an old persons disgusting trousers.

bobbledunk Thu 30-Aug-12 14:34:32

Kate2mum, you do put your kids stuff in with yours though? You wouldn't want your children having to walk around smelling like eau de psycho...hmm

expatinscotland Thu 30-Aug-12 14:35:51

Why are we giving a person who is living with someone with dementia are hard time? It's very very hard to live with someone affected by this disease.

If she has issues with the laundry, so what?

Kayano Thu 30-Aug-12 14:42:48

I think it was the way she poke about her rather than the laundry

kate2mum Thu 30-Aug-12 14:44:02

So, I'm guessing no one here washes daily clothes/sheets that have been soiled by someone elderly? Not quite the same as a toddler.

And yes, there is a smell. Can't just buy new clothes as they will be refused as belonging to someone else.

But, ok, I'm weird. And possibly different from washing normal clothes so maybe no so relevant to OP, who still shouldn't be having to wash MIL's clothes.

expatinscotland Thu 30-Aug-12 14:45:27

Apparently not, kate, just a bunch of saints who see any DIL as toxic hmm.

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 14:46:06

There is nothing wrong about having issues with laundry. We all have our little peculiarities after all.

But the eau de care home comment was not very pleasant.

I know that its very admirable to care for an elderly relative but it dosent mean you can say old people stink without causing a .. stink.

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 14:48:06

Kate seriously, there is a difference probably with your MIL and the average older person.

We don't know how old this lady is but she is flying from France so must be reasonably spritly.

I do a lot of my grandads laundry and he has soiling issues. Thats different.

bigbuttons Thu 30-Aug-12 14:48:16

grow up op

expatinscotland Thu 30-Aug-12 14:48:18

She can say whatever she wants! I don't envy her her lot and certainly am not in a position to get judgey about someone doing such a stressful job.

squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 14:48:21

No Kate, you didnt mention soiled laundry. Anyone would wash that separately on a very hot wash anyway.

MissM Thu 30-Aug-12 14:49:37

I think the mere fact that Kate2mum is caring for her MIL with dementia is enough to excuse her any laundry for the rest of her entire life. Entirely different scenario. Good for you Kate, you must be a very special person.

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 14:50:12

Not everyone is saying that expat I just think it would be easier if OP wants her to help out to ask for help with cooking and dishes and chores and not necessarily separating out her own clothes for a wash So Im not saying she is toxic at all.

kate2mum Thu 30-Aug-12 14:51:03

Well, I was trying to be witty - but I can see I have managed offensive.

Apologies to OP for random hijack of thread without thinking it is completely different..

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 14:53:30

kate this thread is totally off the wall anyway!

NurseRatched Thu 30-Aug-12 14:53:42

OP is the laundry problem down to the way your MiL speaks to you? Does she generally treat you like an inferior being, and the laundry issue is the one area where you can put your foot down? As far as the task itself is concerned, my attitude would be 'when in Rome' - so I would be guided by my hosts' wishes re: washing my own smalls smile

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 14:54:13

I do think the metal pincers are a good idea btw.

MIL had them to pick things off the floor after an op.

Fayrazzled Thu 30-Aug-12 15:01:29

There is no way on God's earth I would wash my MIL's grundies for her. No way. I'd offer her the use of the washing machine- I'd be happy for her to do small loads- but no way would I do laundry for an able bodied woman. And likewise, I would never expect my MIL (or mother or in fact any one but me) to wash my smalls. You are not being U, OP.

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 15:03:41

Grundies! Haven't heard that for a while.

AllYoursBabooshka Thu 30-Aug-12 15:08:55

I think it's very easy to excuse certain situations when it comes to ILs if you happen to have lovely ones. It sounds like the OP has problems with her MIL.

I personally can't imagine staying in someones home for a whole month and not offer to do a load of washing every now and again, let alone refusing point blank to do so when asked.

There is pettiness from both side here IMO.

Bonsoir Thu 30-Aug-12 15:11:24

I think you are hugely underestimating the cultural gulf between your French MIL and your Irish self.

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 15:15:20

There would appear to be.

Logistically, if you offer to run some things through the wash I would expect her to put the grundies actually in the machine and not have to pick them out of a laundry basket, I would not want my MIL fishing about in my dirty laundry, Id bring it out.

perfectstorm Thu 30-Aug-12 15:16:12

OP didn't flounce, though. She didn't have a hissy fit or tell people they were wrong/evil/cruel. She listened, accepted the consensus was against her, but didn't want to read page after page of being told off after that point, so bowed out. Surely it's a sane response? It isn't obligatory to listen to everything people say, and even pretty stupid if they are being accusatory after she's already conceded the point, and it's getting to her. Why would/should anyone do that?

And blimey, a month? With a MIL you don't like and does sweet FA to help around the house? No wonder the laundry's the thin end of the wedge.

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 15:19:39

I think this thread shows the OP that there is a vast chasm of opinion on the matter. Washing seems to be a more emotive subject than I ever thought.

And I would be expecting some help from the lady over the month, or I would in fact be asking my husband to wash her knick knacks.

So she isnt being totally U at all I dont think.

Maybe just say feel free to help yourself to anything in the house, and please, don't wait to be asked just put a wash on whenever you want. I wouldn't find that rude if I were her.

perfectstorm Thu 30-Aug-12 15:22:55

Yeah, I must say if her husband is so certain this is just cultural and it's totally normal in their French eyes... then problem solved. He can wash his mother's clothes, and leave his DW out of it. The visitor is, after all, his mother, and washing machines don't test for operator gender before working.

AllYoursBabooshka Thu 30-Aug-12 15:27:45

I would be expecting some too.

I have a lovely MIL and know if she ever came to stay with us she would help out, in fact she would probably faff over all of us the whole time. I would do her washing no problem and anything else she needed.

If, however I had a MIL who I had a sour history with and knew would come and do nothing the whole time I think I would resent having to wash her smalls it too.

DuelingFanjo Thu 30-Aug-12 15:56:39

'Does he go to work too DF?'

yes, well.. he's just lost his job but up until yesterday he was working full time. Maybe in his spare time he can start doing the family washing?
Cooking a meal...? we both muck in, sometmes he cooks, sometimes I cook, sometimes we get a take-away.

Doing the laundry is much more time consuming and I can count on one hand the times my DH has done my washing. After many many months of doing all his I decided 'enough! I don't want to do all this anymore' and as he clearly wasn't going to take it in turns to do everyone's washing I decided to just tell him that I wouldn't be doing his anymore. Just like I don't do his ironing.

DuelingFanjo Thu 30-Aug-12 15:58:44

and... when and if I am a mother in law there is absolutely no way that I would ever rock up at a visit to my son't house and expect him to do my washing for me.

butterfingerz Thu 30-Aug-12 16:01:44

The woman is not the OP's guest, it is her husbands. Maybe the MIL has bullied the OP something chronic.

A DIL is not a slave, give the MIL's washing to the husband to do, problem solved.

Perhaps the OP has children to look after, a job to go to, and resents this woman, who she doesn't particularly like, adding to her workload.

It seems quite old fashioned for the poor OP to be expected to wait on the MIL for a whole month while seemingly the husband gets off scot free according to most of MN.

seeker Thu 30-Aug-12 16:04:44

"the woman"

Dear God- this is her children's grandmother! the woman who gave birth to the person she loves more than anyone else in the world!

butterfingerz Thu 30-Aug-12 16:09:24

Yeah, fair enough, lots of people love their MIL's, but the OP said there is a history of 23yrs worth of abuse.

I also have a son, so when I eventually end up with a DIL, I'd never dream of doing anything to make her feel like the OP does. And I would never expect any member of my family, blood or IL waiting on me like a slave, guest or not.

Theres obviously a backstory that we don't know about.

MagdalenaAlec Thu 30-Aug-12 16:12:37

I can confirm it is not normal in our "French eyes" to ask someone to do your laundry (why would it be??).

When my British Mil visits us, we let her know what is going to be washed, she puts her things with ours. Last one to put an item in the machine turns it on. First to hear the "end sound", hangs the clothes (and that is usually Mil as I pretend I do not blush grin). Simple.

< realizes I have not hanged clothes for 3 weeks, i.e. since she has arrived.. >

Schnarkle Thu 30-Aug-12 16:15:06

It seems quite old fashioned for the poor OP to be expected to wait on the MIL for a whole month while seemingly the husband gets off scot free according to most of MN.

It's as if when the son gets married the wife becomes some sort of default carer for the PIL and the son watches on. WTF

Do her knickers OP and get a special clothes horse to leave out in the middle of the garden for them to dry naturally and for her to collect at her leisure.

butterfingerz Thu 30-Aug-12 16:16:06

And I'm guessing maybe the OP is not loving her DH more than anything in the world right now!

CaliforniaLeaving Thu 30-Aug-12 16:19:01

I did my Mums laundry when she came to visit for 3 months the other year, and in return she did all my ironing (happy dance)
What was really funny, after she had gone home, Dh pulled out the washing machine to paint the walls, and there was a pair of her knickers that had got away grin Dh was killing himself laughing, I washed them and stuck them in the drawer with the other clothes she left behind by accident and she picked them all up on the next visit.

seeker Thu 30-Aug-12 16:20:23

I'm not saying the Dil should be obliged to do her mil's washing. I'm saying that whoever normally does the washing should be able to add an extra person's to the load without it being a ridiculous drama. If it's the op, then she does it. if ti's her dp thenbhe should.

I am too much of a greennhippy to think that is is even remotely sensible, or even morally defensible to do separate loads for different people.

perfectstorm Thu 30-Aug-12 16:21:27

I think camels, straws and backs are really the issue here, seeker, rather than the laundry.

usualsuspect Thu 30-Aug-12 16:21:42

When do MILs become 'this woman' instead of your partners Mother then?

NellyJob Thu 30-Aug-12 16:24:53

YABU what's a few more dirty clothes when the machine is in action anyway?

butterfingerz Thu 30-Aug-12 16:28:37

OP said in her post, Seeker, that it is unlikely that her DH will do the washing, maybe it is part of his french 'cultural expectations' that men don't do laundry... not even their own mothers.

Note to self - teach son it is not a woman-only job to press a few buttons on a washing machine.

ExitStencilist Thu 30-Aug-12 16:31:46

when you hate them, usual.

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 16:35:13

If she was a nice helpful lady who chips in and helps about the house then yes YABU

If she is a not very nice lady who comes and sits on her bum expecting waitress service and the like (and I have some relatives like that) and she is insisting on you doing her washing then I can see why its annoying.

I stay with MIL and offer to help cook, do drying and putting dishes away always tidy up before going bed and the like.

If I needed a wash on I wouldnt say oy love heres my grundies. I would probably say let me know when your next putting a wash on, Id like to pop some things in if thats ok.

I think its like seeker says about it just being a bit pointless to separate the washes out, its really not the most time consuming job.

Youd be better off really asking for help with the dishes, or ironing. Washing is the easy bit.

Say I`ll do the washing then, you can iron. Culturally I hear you are better at in than us Irish folks.

DuelingFanjo Thu 30-Aug-12 16:36:01

'this woman' was used by other people not the op. To them she is 'this woman'.

usualsuspect Thu 30-Aug-12 16:38:32

Sad really, that MILs are such hate figures on MN.

usualsuspect Thu 30-Aug-12 16:41:44

Mind you,I sometimes read the toxic DIL threads on gransnet for a bit of balance grin

butterfingerz Thu 30-Aug-12 16:50:27

I don't think its just a MN thing, everyone makes jokes about MIL's.

Its just the MIL-DIL relationship gets more attention and scrutiny than the MIL-SonIL relationship. A woman-woman thing perhaps.

exoticfruits Thu 30-Aug-12 16:52:53

Of course she is her guest- when she got her DH she got his mother, great aunt, cousins etc etc - they are the extended family. If someone was staying with me I would offer to do some washing for them. I should take care with attitudes, if you think that your DCs grandmother is nothing to do with you, your DCs are likely to get the message and cut you out in the future when they have their own family.

usualsuspect Thu 30-Aug-12 17:00:36

True that exotics.

NameChangeGalore Thu 30-Aug-12 17:05:31

I said it earlier on today, but I'll say it again just to reiterate:



NCForNow Thu 30-Aug-12 17:10:11

Seeker...but I'm grossed out by the dirty pants of anyone other than my DC. I don't do anyone elses...why should I or the OP??

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 17:15:48

What about the dirty pants? Should the lady not at least pop them in the machine? That is a consideration.

I would be loathe to have someone fiddle with my under crackers.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 30-Aug-12 17:20:54

I would and do always offer to do other peoples laundry while they stayed, but I'd be taken aback if they took it for granted that I would do it. Most people would go through the motions of 'are you sure, that's very kind, I don't mind doing my own....' I would think.

What a horrible OP.
You really thought you were being reasonable to be that petty and nasty?

Your poor DH.

exoticfruits Thu 30-Aug-12 17:46:34

I am a great believer in what goes around, comes around. DCs do as you do so if you are not kind, friendly and welcoming to very close family members (grandmothers) they take it in as the norm and will do the same when they are the parent and you are the 'nuisance'. To begrudge a bit of washing when they have come halfway across the world to see you seems very petty and mean.

exoticfruits Thu 30-Aug-12 17:48:06

I'm sure that some women like to imagine that DH is a foundling and they can have him alone, without his family!

WinkyWinkola Thu 30-Aug-12 18:22:36

But also to do sweet FA to help in the house if you're staying for a month is also bang out of order too, isn't it?

expatinscotland Thu 30-Aug-12 18:31:56

Reading many of the responses here, I can see why so many women have a horrible relationship with their MILs.

expatinscotland Thu 30-Aug-12 18:32:34

And if what goes around comes around, my MIL is sitting before a loaded cannon.

2rebecca Thu 30-Aug-12 18:37:12

I'm amazed so many people won't just grab a pile of washing containing pants and put them in the wash. Many people's socks can be smellier than their pants and most people's pants don't get particularly dirty.
It seems almost a phobia for some people. Can't you just wash your hands afterwards?
Agree you could just ask her to put her stuff in the machine and then you press the buttons if that's the bit that makes her anxious if she's there for a month she can save her stuff up for a full load if you really don't want your clothes mixing with hers, although asking your husband to do it is as easy, I presume he can work the machine.
I wonder if the women who won't touch pants are the same ones who are continually washing towels? You could always put rubber gloves on when handling the washing and pretend it's in case some of the detergent splashes your hands when loading the machine. It does seem a major fuss over nothing to me.

perfectstorm Thu 30-Aug-12 18:40:59

"I should take care with attitudes, if you think that your DCs grandmother is nothing to do with you, your DCs are likely to get the message and cut you out in the future when they have their own family."

Or alternatively they'll think it normal to have Granny to visit for a month solid? Because far from cutting anyone out, that's what the OP does for her MIL. 1 day and night in 12 annually, the OP's grandchildren have their Granny living in their house with them. Seems a perfectly reasonable time allocation to me. I do hope the women here who are fuming with the OP have their own very difficult MIL to visit for four week solid blocks of time, despite a long history of antipathy on both sides. If not, they're being a tad hypocritical.

The OP hates washing other adults' clothes. Not something I mind myself, and I always do guest's clothes personally, but she does, and this is a family member on an extended visit. If I stayed somewhere a month, and a family member hosting me said this was a pet hate and would I mind using the machine myself when washing, I wouldn't insist they did it for me. How is that not rude?

I do think it's a bit U not to do laundry for guests. But I think it even more U for a guest who is there for a month to refuse to do their own, if asked.

lovebunny Thu 30-Aug-12 18:48:40

no, you are not being unreasonable, you are being decent and respectable.

laundry is a serious matter for some people. clearly not for many here, and that's fine. but for others, it is important.

girls do their own laundry from the earliest indications of the approach of puberty. after that, no other woman washes for them. they do their own, and discreetly.

that is how i was brought up. i wouldn't was any other woman's clothes and i wouldn't expect her to wash mine.

my daughter's upbringing was a little less formal but she is a very discreet person anyway.

seeker Thu 30-Aug-12 18:56:54

Lovebunny- please tell me you are joking? Or do you make sure your daughter doesn't touch the milk cartons or let her shadow fall on anyone while she's menstruating. Oh, and do boys have to do their own washing discreetly too or is it ok for adult women to wash their pants?

exoticfruits Thu 30-Aug-12 19:05:02

If you live on the other side of the world they have to stay a month to make it worthwhile. I dare say OP wouldn't like it any better if they lived nearby, never had them to stay but saw them every week.
I just don't understand why people are so precious about a bit of washing-how difficult is it just to bung it in with yours? confused

exoticfruits Thu 30-Aug-12 19:08:18

girls do their own laundry from the earliest indications of the approach of puberty. after that, no other woman washes for them. they do their own, and discreetly

How weird-it must be a different culture-mine went in the family wash at home and now it goes in with our family wash-other women can certainly wash for me-if they offer! My knickers went in the same wash as my brother's underpants as we were growing up.

perfectstorm Thu 30-Aug-12 19:18:08

"If you live on the other side of the world they have to stay a month to make it worthwhile."

My father and sibs live in Australia, and I have never stayed longer than 2 weeks. I wouldn't have expected that of my stepmothers. It's their home, and they were being good enough to have me to visit.

Horses for courses on what is bad and good manners.

CoteDAzur Thu 30-Aug-12 19:23:17

"girls do their own laundry from the earliest indications of the approach of puberty"

Where on earth is this the norm?

MollyMurphy Thu 30-Aug-12 19:25:04

Well I'm obviously in the minority but I think all adults should do their own laundry guests or not. I make my husband do his own generally too. Asking her to wash her own laundry and having her outright refuse would be irritating and I don't blame you for venting OP. Still, I see everyone's point - not really the end of the world. I wouldn't pick that as a hill to die on IYKWIM?

I would expect a guest staying for a whole month to try to pitch in a little without needing to be asked...just minor things like offering the odd dish wash etc. Your a host not a maid.

exoticfruits Thu 30-Aug-12 19:25:55

I would certainly expect really close family members to stay more than 2 weeks-I know several local families where they go and visit for far longer than a month!

exoticfruits Thu 30-Aug-12 19:27:40

In our house the person who thinks about it just gets a load and bungs it in. We don't separate it and do our own. DH is far better at keeping on top of it than me-I would think that I had married the wrong person if he just put his personal washing in!

3monkeys3 Thu 30-Aug-12 19:28:59

I have read page 1 and page 12. I don't think I would like to do someone from outside my own immediate family's laundry (immediate family meaning dh and dc), but wouldn't refuse or make a big deal about it if they expected it. My sil once did a load of washing when she was babysitting for us and I was livid when I realised she'd been through our washing basket and had obviously seen/handled my knickers (didn't say anything to her though) - I guess some people are a bit funny about this and others can't see the issue, a bit like pooing in public loos.

I do think you should be kinder to your mil though - I agree with those who say what goes around comes around. My mil is nice enough but a bit irritating and we don't have much on common but I do my best to be kind to her as I am very aware that 2 out of 3 of my dc are boys and one day I will be a mother in law. I want to see my sons and my grandchildren and have a close relationship with them as adults, so I make an effort with my mil and would definitely relent on an issue like this, that really doesn't matter in the scheme of things.

CoteDAzur Thu 30-Aug-12 19:29:15

"I make my husband do his own generally too"

Assuming you have sex with your husband and therefore touch his ass & genitals, how much worse can it be to handle his clothes? I'm genuinely puzzled by this.

Does he have a separate basket for his own dirty clothes?

exoticfruits Thu 30-Aug-12 19:29:15

If I was going to stay with my father and siblings I would be rather upset if I was classed as a guest and they didn't want me for more than a fortnight.

exoticfruits Thu 30-Aug-12 19:32:58

MN is a revelation to me! I think this is why it is so addictive. I could never get my head around the person who started a thread because their MIL had brought the washing in when it started to rain (horror-they saw their knickers!) and now we have the fact that people can only do their own washing and some don't even want to do it if it is the immediate family-never mind poor MIL who can't carry enough clothes to do without having a bit of washing done!

perfectstorm Thu 30-Aug-12 19:34:22

My stepmothers didn't know me as a child, and barely as an adult. Their feelings and wishes matter too, and their hospitality was something I was grateful for and had no intention of abusing. And both my (much younger) sibs live in shared houses, so their friends also don't need people visiting endless lengths of time.

Surely ignoring that aspect to any visit would be rude?

MollyMurphy Thu 30-Aug-12 19:34:38

I don't have a problem with my husbands laundry and will sometimes throw his in too. BUT since I generally end up doing the kids clothes, my own, the bedding, the towels et all....I hardly think it a big deal for him to haul his own load down and do it himself? Its not like I'm home all day - we both work full time. Doing your husbands laundry is not a big deal, but not doing isn't really either IMO.

MollyMurphy Thu 30-Aug-12 19:35:34

Yes - he has a seperate basket for his own dirty clothes.

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 19:35:44

If you wash knickers with pants you might get pregnant.

Snog Thu 30-Aug-12 19:37:07

Why would people in the same house do separate laundry though?
Whites in one pile, colours in another. When you get a load full it gets washed.
Any individual in the house could switch it on
Any individual could hang it out
Handwashing would be different

Doing individual laundry is uneconomical and means that the laundry turnaround takes longer

giraffes Thu 30-Aug-12 19:37:34

OP - why not give your MIL a linen basket including a pillowcase when she arrives to put her underwear in, and wash the pillowcase without opening it that so you don't have to witness by sight or touch someone else's smalls? And - just do her washing - why is it any big deal?

tinkertitonk Thu 30-Aug-12 19:39:38

Forget the laundry OP, your attitude needs adjustment.

perfectstorm Thu 30-Aug-12 19:41:42

I think I'm back to: why is the OP's husband telling her she has to wash his mother's clothes? Why can't he operate the machine?

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 19:44:08

I don't know where I am now.

Who'd have thunk all this over some dirty keks??

lovebunny Thu 30-Aug-12 19:46:16

seeker - no, i am not joking. i am reporting accurately so that the o p knows that someone knows a little about where she's coming from on this.

turtleturtleturtle Thu 30-Aug-12 20:03:22

I'm Irish (of the Southern variety) and there is absolutely no way on God's green earth that I would do a visitor's laundry. No way. Not my mother's. Not my MIL's. Nobody's.
Maybe it is a cultural thing.
And coming with one hand as long as the other, well that's unforgivable. I would expect her to pay for dinner at least once. And bring a token for the kids.

squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 20:15:19

"My sil once did a load of washing when she was babysitting for us and I was livid when I realised she'd been through our washing basket and had obviously seen/handled my knickers (didn't say anything to her though) - I guess some people are a bit funny about this and others can't see the issue, a bit like pooing in public loos"

Livid??? because another woman saw your knickers?? and OMG!! she touched them.... WOW!

Its a pair of fucking knickers... she didnt borrow your mooncup for gods sakes... she washed your drawers.... get a sodding grip!

MadgeHarvey Thu 30-Aug-12 20:20:36

Bloody well said squeaky - there's more than one grip needs handing out on this thread!

nokidshere Thu 30-Aug-12 20:20:49

I'm ROFLMAO at this thread! and it would be very funny if it weren't so bloody sad!

DH does the laundry here - collects it, washes it, sorts it - and thats everyones - no matter who is staying at the house.

I would respect anyones wishes to do their own but I (nor him) would ever expect a guest to do their own laundry and other chores beyond the polite helping out stuff.

MadgeHarvey Thu 30-Aug-12 20:23:31

I don't know what some of you think is actually IN your knickers - or anyone else's? What do you think is there? Jizz? Hypersexual ectoplasm? Baton wielding pubic hairs? What?

Beamae Thu 30-Aug-12 20:28:00

Staying with someone for a month is not a holiday or a visit. You can't expect to be treated like a guest for that length of time and should expect to pitch in with cooking and cleaning and also with the cost of groceries. We do this when we visit my parents in South Africa as well as paying for dinners and lunches out. And my parents do the same when they come here. I don't even go round to someone's house for dinner without taking flowers or wine, so why would I go to stay with someone for a whole month without taking a gift? I think this MIL sounds incredibly rude.

AllYoursBabooshka Thu 30-Aug-12 20:31:27

Hypersexual ectoplasm!


squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 20:31:41

The woman has probably just forked out the best part of at least £2k to pay for a ticket to go and see them! She may be loaded, she may be scrimping and saving just to get a rare chance to visit her son and her grandchildren.

But we will never know..

perfectstorm Thu 30-Aug-12 20:38:14

Squeaky it doesn't cost anything to load the dishwasher, or cook a meal. Or even offer to do those things. Let alone strip your own bed before you leave (does nobody else ever do that? Our visitors don't. It's a guaranteed useful gesture).

squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 20:40:15

I was referring to Beamae saying that she would not go to someones house without taking a gift.

I certainly wouldnt expect my MIL to bring a gift if she came to visit.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Thu 30-Aug-12 20:42:13

what beame said.

giveitago Thu 30-Aug-12 20:42:26

I'd do it - it doesn't make me a doormat but just means the laundry in that household is being kept on top of.

If it's horrible mil - I'd do my best to deal with her behaviour. Not washing her smalls and making her life hard in the personal hygiene department surely doesn't help matters?

Lovebunny I've heard this before. My duncle's wife was from a european country and from poor religious catholic background. She went a while to his family home (way back when) and they had staff but she still insisted she wash her own pants. She said she found it very hard. Is that what you mean?

But I don't think the Op's mil is like this and I don't think the op is not wanting to do it because of some religious idea.

Pagwatch Thu 30-Aug-12 20:42:55

I want hyper sexual ectoplasm.

perfectstorm Thu 30-Aug-12 20:44:29

And it does not cost £2k to fly to Australia if you are sensible enough about booking - even at Christmas, which is the single most expensive time to visit.

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Thu 30-Aug-12 20:45:41

gringringrin at Madgeharvey. Just laughed out loud and DH looked askance

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Thu 30-Aug-12 20:47:51

I can see where lovebunny is coming from but I don't really think that's relevant in this case. Furthermore we're not in those times anymore or in that type of traditional culture. Thank f*

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Thu 30-Aug-12 20:49:06

3monkeys3 but she was doing you a favour!! Livid is a strong reaction even if you felt it was an encroachment.

MadgeHarvey Thu 30-Aug-12 20:49:07

I'm sourcing it to list on Ebay as we speak.............

Roll up! Roll up! Send me all your rellies knickers now!

<<this time next year............. grin>>

ThatWasOneFatAssCatThere Thu 30-Aug-12 20:50:48

If I go to someone's house for a month I don't expect them to pay for everything and do y laundry..especially if they said they didnt want to. And I certainly wouldn't expect my dil to do it if I needed it done by someone else for some reason. Her son can do her fucking laundry.

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 30-Aug-12 20:53:15

Forgive me, but there be fanny batter in pants. It has to be said.

catsrus Thu 30-Aug-12 20:57:18

"Why would people in the same house do separate laundry though?"

oh snog a two word answer "teenage girls" grin They are all similar sizes and have similar tastes and pass on clothes to each other anyway - I totally lost track of what belonged to who and they argued over the best items and I found my favourite, most expensive, T shirt being used as a night shirt after I let one of them do the sorting When they were little and I bought their clothes it was much easier and I did the laundry, but now in the days of them buying their own I have no idea whose is whose stuff.

So they each do their own - they do shift stuff from the machine to the dryer though not being helpful to each other, just to make room for their stuff

Having said that I used to do my mother's washing for her, and have just had a stream of elderly visitors and I had no problems handing their smalls in and out of the washer and dryer - though I did do them separately as I noted at least one of them uses the same brand of comfy Bridget Jones style undies as me confusedblush

seeker Thu 30-Aug-12 21:02:05

"seeker - no, i am not joking. i am reporting accurately so that the o p knows that someone knows a little about where she's coming from on this."

Love bunny- who does the boy's washing?

ceres Thu 30-Aug-12 21:09:14

"I'm Irish (of the Southern variety) and there is absolutely no way on God's green earth that I would do a visitor's laundry. No way. Not my mother's. Not my MIL's. Nobody's.
Maybe it is a cultural thing."

also irish. i don't think it is cultural - if people are staying i have no problem doing their laundry. it's no big deal, the washing machine is on anyway. if they prefer to do it themselves that's fine too.

really can't see the issue. do you expect guests to wash the sheets and towels they have used during their stay? they have dead skin cells and bodily fluids on too!

lovebunny Thu 30-Aug-12 21:09:51

i'd imagine they do their own, seeker. why would anyone want to do boy's laundry?

vvviola Thu 30-Aug-12 21:18:17

squeakytoy I certainly wouldn't expect MIL to bring a gift to me if she was visiting, but I would be a little surprised if she didn't put something small in her case for her grandchildren that she only sees once a year (and if it were my kids, a roll of sweets and a couple of stickers would be plenty, not exactly going to break the bank)

Snog Thu 30-Aug-12 21:18:58

Bit OCD surely to be paranoid/revolted by placing another persons smalls in your machine?

maddening Thu 30-Aug-12 21:24:05

if there is bad blood with the op then it is a power play on part of mil - her son the op's dh should do it

seeker Thu 30-Aug-12 21:28:48

I'm really struggling to understand this, love bunny. Are you saying that everybody, including prepubescent children, should don their own laundry, discreetly? And this is decent qnd respectable behaviour?

Incidentally, your original post talked about girls only-which is why I asked about boys. I would put money on the thought that in communities that think this way about girls, boys washing is done for them- probably by the those very girls.

DuelingFanjo Thu 30-Aug-12 21:33:30

Doing separate washing is not uneconomical. I wait until I have enough stuff for a load and then I wash it. DH waits until he has nothing else to wear and then he washes everything he can find. The machine is nicely full each time.

BigRedIndiaRubberBall Thu 30-Aug-12 21:38:05

Do we know that the OP doesn't want to do the laundry because she's grossed out by the fanny butter? I thought it was more to do with being treated like a skivvy?

(I am loving this thread though, it's a gift that just keeps giving grin)

Snog Thu 30-Aug-12 21:43:34

DuellIng presumably if you each wait to fill a load with your own stuff your laundry turnaround time is slower than if you washed together?

ZillionChocolate Thu 30-Aug-12 22:07:48

I've just slogged through 14 pages, but I have learned the charming phrase "fanny batter". Thanks Pickles! hmm

For what it's worth, if I'm a guest I'd like to do my own laundry (if I have enough) or add it to the machine myself. We don't have many visitors to stay, but I have done laundry for a few and have felt slightly odd about seeing DH's mates pants. They didn't ask though, I offered. When my dad was staying with us regularly, he'd put his work shirt in the wash, and I would have it ironed ready for the next visit but he'd take his underwear home. I suppose clean pants and socks are easy to chuck in a bag.

I don't think OP was being unreasonable, this sounds symptomatic of bigger problems. I would always offer to help out if I was staying. I would expect offers of help from guests staying more than a week. I'm not up for waiting on people hand and foot, I'd rather they stayed in a hotel which might come up to standard.

ZillionChocolate Thu 30-Aug-12 22:09:16

BTW I know a couple who do their own laundry separately. I've always though it was a bit odd, but if it works for them, fair enough. He only ever wears black so I doubt it's inefficient.

HomeEcoGnomist Thu 30-Aug-12 22:10:44

I would personally prefer to do the washing rather than let someone use my machine.
My mum used to ' help me out' if she stayed for a few days, by doing the washing when I was at work. The amount of detergent she used used to drive me spare! At least 3 x actual dose; used to cost me a fortune.

I genuinely don't understand married couples each doing their own washing. Is it really that horrific a job...I am assuming you're not having to take it down to the river. Washing v doing the bins - no contest...

RightFedUp Thu 30-Aug-12 22:11:16

PMSL at this thread.

When I was young and dinosaurs roamed the earth, my gran used to slop clothes from the 'wash' part of the twin tub to the 'spin' part using 18inch wooden laundry tongs.

If one could acquire a pair of those, a nice pair of laundry wellies, fisherman's mac and sou'wester, welding mask and gauntlets, it might be possible to approach even quite rancid undercrackers with some dregree of equanimity. No?

Best get one of those grips then. And some manners.

Beamae Thu 30-Aug-12 22:17:40

The gift doesn't need to be expensive, squeakytoy. It's a thoughtful gesture. My parents in law bring gifts (usually wine) when they come to stay and they are a couple of hours away so just for a weekend visit. Even my grandma in law brings me something little when she stays. We are from very different cultures so it seems to me to be good manners universally. And grandparents should always, always spoil their grandchildren. Especially when they live abroad and only see them every now and again!

OnceICaughtAFishAlive Thu 30-Aug-12 22:18:02

ask her to put her smalls into a laundry wash bag, therefore her stuff is contained until clean

iggi777 Thu 30-Aug-12 22:22:57

It is a mean granny indeed who would visit grandchildren without so much as a kinder surprise in her pocket.
The kind of mean granny who forces her DIL to do her washing even though said DIL has a hang up about it.

RightFedUp Thu 30-Aug-12 22:23:19

Once that's segregation that is! wink

lovebunny Thu 30-Aug-12 22:36:21

seeker, you do harp on. i told you what, i told you why, i told you what boys do. now, any further discussion, you need to have with someone else because laundry really doesn't interest me.

Longdistance Thu 30-Aug-12 22:36:30

We've had various visitors since we moved to Oz. I've never actually done any of their washing. I've just showed them the way in which it works.

They've never asked me to do it. I've simply stated that 'don't bring loads of clothes as YOU can use the washing machine'.

irishchic Thu 30-Aug-12 22:38:43

My BIL, SIL and their 12 week old baby stayed with us over the summer for 2 weeks. I washed all their stuff, boxers, pants, babygros etc and ironed some of their stuff too, and piled their laundry in with ours when necessary.

Why? Because they are guests, i wanted them to relax and not have to worry about housework. They really appreciated it which was nice.

Other peoples laundry is not radioactive. The OP is being a tit about this.

2rebecca Thu 30-Aug-12 22:52:53

"There be fanny batter in pants"
You don't have to eat them!
Just pick them up presumably in a large bundle with other stuff, or by the waistband if only washing pants, put them in washing machine then wash your hands.
Alternately say "if you put any coloured 30 degree wash stuff you have in the machine I'll put it on in half an hour and can show you how to do it so you know how to work the machine and where the instruction book lives"

NellyJob Thu 30-Aug-12 23:01:37

girls do their own laundry from the earliest indications of the approach of puberty. after that, no other woman washes for them. they do their own, and discreetly
un fucking believable....
and boys with their spermy jim jams?
what about them?

DuelingFanjo Thu 30-Aug-12 23:03:25

"DuellIng presumably if you each wait to fill a load with your own stuff your laundry turnaround time is slower than if you washed together?"

It's fast enough for me, who cares about a fast laundry turnaround? I have oter clothes I can wear while the laundry is being done and anyway, not really as I put towels and my 20 month old son's stuff in with mine. If anything my workload is lighter now I am not doing laundry for a grown man. He's lucky I pick it up and put it in one place for him (we have a laundry basket ting with two bags, his go in the left and mine go in the right - there's very little 'sorting'.

I will teach my son to do his own laundry when he is old enough, and take responsibility for his ironing and folding.

what I don't get is why people think the OP should do it when

a. her dh is perfectly capable of taking on the extra workload
b. Her MIL is capable too.

Why is this atomatically supposed to fall to the OP?

seeker Thu 30-Aug-12 23:08:47

."seeker, you do harp on. i told you what, i told you why, i told you what boys do. now, any further discussion, you need to have with someone else because laundry really doesn't interest me."

But you haven't. And you haven't said why a girl would have to do her washing "discreetly"

MadgeHarvey Thu 30-Aug-12 23:12:58

This bit -

girls do their own laundry from the earliest indications of the approach of puberty. after that, no other woman washes for them. they do their own, and discreetly

sounds like it was lifted from the holy texts of some fucking weird religion! What - seriously - what the actual fuck mindset is behind that kind of fucked up thinking?

perfectstorm Thu 30-Aug-12 23:15:06

what I don't get is why people think the OP should do it when

a. her dh is perfectly capable of taking on the extra workload
b. Her MIL is capable too.

Why is this atomatically supposed to fall to the OP?

Completely agree.

And lovebunny, sorry but your phrasing was all about girls and women. It didn't sound at all as though laundry affected boys in any way. Seeker isn't "going on" in pointing that out, she's just questioning your posts - which is how a debate works, surely? No need to get personal.

lotsofcheese Thu 30-Aug-12 23:16:56

I think the OP has painted a picture of a "difficult" mil.

I would NEVER expect someone to do my laundry, cook meals etc if I was staying with them. Especially for a month. I would be horrified if I was expected to put up with that in my own home too.

When I stay with friends, I take a gift, pitch in with cooking etc, strip the bed & put on laundry before leaving. I was not bought up to be a "guest"

WorraLiberty Thu 30-Aug-12 23:20:01

I don't know what some of you think is actually IN your knickers - or anyone else's? What do you think is there? Jizz? Hypersexual ectoplasm? Baton wielding pubic hairs? What?

Madge I think I've just soiled myself laughing at a love and get the Daz would you? blush

MadgeHarvey Thu 30-Aug-12 23:22:09

Bless you worra ! I do not doubt the Godly cleanliness and fragrance of your smalls for a second and would bd happy to wash them for you!!

99luftballoon Thu 30-Aug-12 23:24:22

I would do a guest's laundry but if MIL has caused you that much grief, I wouldn't let her stay in the first place

chipmonkey Thu 30-Aug-12 23:46:23

Wow, this is an "only on Mumsnet" thread!grin

You have sectarianism and hypersexual ectoplasm all in one place!grin

Here, we do whites, lights, brights and darks. For everyone. Apart from when my Mum comes and just bungs everything in together at 60 degrees. But that's OK as she loves her grandchildren and will mind them for nothing.

Nanny0gg Fri 31-Aug-12 00:25:28

Thanks Worra. I need a new keyboard now!

I am absolutely bemused at the thought of all these separate washloads. I am anal about laundry and am the only person allowed to do it in my house as I sort the clothes properly. However, my children did their own ironing and put it away, and either my DH or I do the ironing now, depending on who wants to watch something on the TV at the time.

All those who find it demeaning to do a 'grown man's laundry' (really??), do you find it demeaning to cook for him? Dust and hoover around his side of the bed?

What on earth is demeaning about washing clothes?

Nanny0gg Fri 31-Aug-12 00:27:35

Oh, and where two DCs had similar items of clothing, I just marked the labels of one of them so that I knew whose was whose. Otherwise the washing machine would have been on for one t-shirt.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 31-Aug-12 01:31:54

The laundry weirdness on this thread is unbelievable! Where do some of you get your bonkers ideas from?

<shakes head>

iMoniker Fri 31-Aug-12 02:24:54

I wouldn't mind general laundry, but I"d draw the line at smalls.

The thought of somebody elses knickers just grosses me out. What if they dont use a panty liner, or if they aren't scrupulous with their wiping after a poo. Or even worse if they had the runs....


Blu Fri 31-Aug-12 06:01:01

Lovebunny - are you referring to 'the basin'? I read a play by a Caribbean writer about the currency of the basin, given to girls at puberty, in which to wash their underwear. Her interpretation was very much that it was to keep discreet / secret / apart the garments of a menstruating girl, and was a strong symbol of shame around menstruation. I have no idea whether this is an outdated or current practice, or how widespread - certainly all the actresses involved responded with a strong sense of recognition.

There is a sense in parts of this thread of 'a woman's pants? eeugh' and 'an old woman's pants? even eeeeugh-er'.

I can see why the OP focusses on washing as the sticking point in a very difficult relationship, the whole thing is steeped in issues of status, gender, territory, body issues.

But it's the 21stC. We have washing machines, freedom from traditional gender boundaries, biollogical washing powder...

No-one likes being presumed upon or being treated like a servant - it's the relationship and the communication that is at issue, not the pants!

(my DSis and BIL lived with me for 2 years - I will admit to feeling unrelaxed about my BIL gathering washing from my laundry basket whenever he put a wash on...)

HecateHarshPants Fri 31-Aug-12 06:25:15

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

arthurfowlersallotment Fri 31-Aug-12 06:26:53


arthurfowlersallotment Fri 31-Aug-12 06:27:36

No! I mean shock]

HecateHarshPants Fri 31-Aug-12 06:30:26

And she started a thread about me. I am actually in tears here.

Spuddybean Fri 31-Aug-12 06:38:00

oh dear Hecate. I just read the other thread she started and it seemed like someone was trolling you. But if that's what you said (and i have no reason to doubt it) then i don't see how you were being bitchy. You said she wasn't being unreasonable.

Try not to be upset. These things upset me too. Maybe the poster just totally misunderstood and after feeling fragile from this thread felt a bit pursued. I never PM people for this reason sad

Hope you feel better. smile

Wigglewoo Fri 31-Aug-12 06:44:02

Fuck it, I'll do the bloody woman's laundry and shitty kegs. Post them to me. smile

Its such a shame a thread about laundry has gone this way. Only on mumsnet!!

squeakytoy Fri 31-Aug-12 06:56:51

Well after the way OP has reacted to a supportive message from Hec, I am now 100% convinced that OP is more than a little unstable, and unreasonable, and even more sorry for the MIL if her DIL flys off the handle so easily and is so unwelcoming.

hairytale Fri 31-Aug-12 06:58:09

"I genuinely don't understand married couples each doing their own washing. Is it really that horrific a job...I am assuming you're not having to take it down to the river. Washing v doing the bins - no contest..."

Which is fine if you haven't got one lazy bastard who "forgets" or doesn't care and one more efficient person. I often bung some of DPs stuff in the machine if there's space and it's to hand and not dumped at his side of the bed.

Sod doing other grown up people's laundry for a game of soldiers though.

exoticfruits Fri 31-Aug-12 06:58:21