AIBU re MIL's reorganisation of everything every time she visits?

(58 Posts)
DodgyKnees Fri 05-Jul-13 10:14:03

First up, I realise I'm probably being unreasonable and ungrateful, but this is driving me bananas.

My MIL is lovely and very keen to help out every time she visits. We have a 6 mo, so housework isn't top of the list of priorities. I do appreciate this a lot, but what drives me mad is that she reorganises everything without telling me, then says "Oh, I expect you can't find anything!" in a jokey way - NO, I CAN'T!!

Examples:
- Moving/chucking out food from the fridge, moving things on the kitchen surfaces.
- Being seemingly incapable of putting the cutlery back in the right sections of the cutlery drawer so that I have to re-sort it anyway.
- Making an assumption that we're not using the toilet roll holder for no good reason (it's difficult to reach and so we just tend to use the vertical one on the floor) and moving the toilet roll.
- Mixing up different sizes of baby clothes and interfering with the organisation of them so that AGAIN I have to re-sort them.

How do I tell her to leave things alone without putting her off helping, which she really wants to do and which is really very helpful? Or should I just put up with it and go quietly mad...?

NotAnotherPackedLunch Fri 05-Jul-13 10:17:43

If it was your own mother doing this what would do?
I would tend to do the same with MIL as I do with my mother, but a bit more tactfully and politely as we're not as close.

geeandfeesmum Fri 05-Jul-13 10:19:32

Oh, I feel your pain OP!!

We have:-

- Cutlery placed back in the wrong sections
- Dishwashing the same items over and over again (even though they haven't been used)
- Hiding of scissors, knives and anything deemed "dangerous" inc pen lids!!
- Putting clothes back in the drawers that have been put in a charity bag
- Turning the toilet roll around (because our way is wrong!!)

All under the name of "helping".

I am sure we are both being unreasonable, but it does get so irritating!!

geeandfeesmum Fri 05-Jul-13 10:20:21

Oh, that is my own mother and my MIL.

BabsAndTheRu Fri 05-Jul-13 10:20:53

If she likes helping give her a list of what needs doing, ie oh glad you're here could you Hoover for me, clean bathroom or make beds etc.

selsigfach Fri 05-Jul-13 10:24:04

Suggest tasks that don't involve things getting misplaced - hoovering, mopping, ironing.

MaxPepsi Fri 05-Jul-13 10:27:20

God that would annoy the hell out of me.

My mum offers to help me when I moan about what a shit tip my house is or how massive my ironing pile is but I always have to say, no it's ok thanks.
She cleans and irons brilliantly but it's ever so slightly different to the way I do things and therefore drives me bloody bonkers!
Ungrateful wench that I am!

mistlethrush Fri 05-Jul-13 10:30:14

Do you get the huffs to go with it and the 'well I've tidied up DS's room because it was in a state' and that means you have to resort all the clothes AGAIN and take out the too small ones AGAIN and remove the ones that you'd only put back in the right place the day before so that DS can actually find things without turning his room upside down... ????

Oh and the half an onion carefully put in the fridge with a bit of foil over it.. or the packed of cold meat with a bit of foil ineffectively over it rather than in a box (I'm vegetarian so have particular problems with this one) and the bits of this and that that are not finished up and put in a box or a pot in the fridge and left until they go mouldy and either DH or I find them...

MiL is currently living with us and the loss of control over the kitchen is driving us mad. That and DS's wardrobe, and the bath mat. And the copious use of bleach on the toilet. Neat. On the seat. I don't think I need to go on really....

ThreeEyedRaven Fri 05-Jul-13 10:41:53

This would make my teeth itch. I agree with the above poster who said to chanel her energy into another useful task like hooveribg or cleaning the bathroom. She sounds lovely and helpful, but your house, your way!

Loulybelle Fri 05-Jul-13 10:51:55

That would bug the shit out of me, i dont like, people touching my stuff.

BlackeyedSusan Fri 05-Jul-13 10:52:52

that would drive me mental. mum came and helped asahup. she put things away in the wrong place, BUT she was trying to put them in the rright place. if she had just reorganised it for the hell of it I would be so annoyed.

oh goodnness, mistle. you have made me feel ill just reading that. I could not do it.

JRmumma Fri 05-Jul-13 10:57:15

They all sound like relatively minor things (apart from chucking your food away, id have to tell her about that one straight away) that would also irritate me, but in the scheme of things if she is doing a massive pile of washing up for you, is it really a biggie if you reach in the drawer for a fork and get a spoon? Maybe put a fresh toilet roll on the thing you dont use to stop her moving the one you are using, or take the holder off the wall perhaps?

What would be worse is if she was trying to dictate how you are parenting your child, overstepping her boundaries etc. Sounds like you have quite a good relationship with your MIL so maybe think about whether you feel you could bring this up without ruining that.

If on balance she is being a massive help, id say leave it and try not to let it drive you insane!

mistlethrush Fri 05-Jul-13 11:00:31

Its just 'one of those things' - she got taken ill, was planning a house move to be closer (but not this close) and its not gone through yet...

Actually its worse... because, for instance, the food that DH had specially done for her was ready and she decided that, as it was in the saucepan it must not be hot enough so faffed about trying to get the cooker on - when I'd only just served myself with some so I knew it was piping hot. - whatever we do isn't quite good enough.

I'm seriously considering sellotaping the bathmat down. I know its such a little thing but it REALLY irritates me - why can't the mat be left in the way we have it??? At least we've got rid of the frame round the toilet - which we had to have because she was unwell - and which she was using to hang the two bathmats up on either side. I managed to stop that by saying that, although DS was pretty good, if he did miss it is much better mopping the floor than having it all down the bathmats either side envy (not envy)

JRmumma Fri 05-Jul-13 11:26:21

mistle - i feel your pain at the long term houseguests situation! When we had some, my kitchen and bathroom seemed to disappear under water completely. more on the floor than in the sink/shower/bath every time they were used and just left there. Commandeering an entire surface in the kitchen to charge an array of electrical products and just unplugging each one as needed and plugging back in afterwards whether as opposed to charging them up when necessary and putting them away.

DontmindifIdo Fri 05-Jul-13 11:41:36

Mistle - I also have a bleach obsessed mother, I hide it in my house, my DB doesn't - she has used bleavh to clean the filter of DB's DPs fishtank, killing all the fish. They restocked and she did it again. She also put all DBs DPs carefully sorted tax docs that were in separate piles on the dining room table in one big pile, because she didn't like the mess. Any complaints are met with wobbly bottom lip and "I was only trying to help" followed by my dad tell me or DB off for upsetting our mother. She's not allowed alone in my house and is discouraged from 'helping'. I just don't have the energy to fix what shes done.

Crinkle77 Fri 05-Jul-13 11:43:56

If she really wants to help could you give her a very specific task to do with instructions or does she just do it when your back is turned?

rhetorician Fri 05-Jul-13 11:47:47

I think I'd be happy for any help of any kind. Our mothers are of the sitting in a chair waiting to be served variety...seriously though, would she listen if you said how appreciative you were, but that it's tricky when you can't find things

mistlethrush Fri 05-Jul-13 11:50:46

Its when the bleach is trickling down the bowl on the outside and you can see big smears of completely undiluted bleach on the seat that I've been worrying - because I react badly to detergent and soap as it is and I really don't want to sit on bleach neat - neither do I want DS to or to get it on his hands. I'm not sure what she thinks she might catch from the loo seat.

Funnily enough, despite our clear lack of cleanliness based on her actions, she's not gone down with anything whilst in our house.

DH has shown her how to make semolina in the microwave (only she is eating it). This means one bowl (which she then eats from) is used. Yes, it does mean she needs to get it out of the microwave a few times and stir it. However, she now makes it in a pan on the cooker because 'its more efficient'. DH pointed out that she wasn't taking into account the fact that he then had to wash up the saucepan. 'Oh, I hadn't thought of that'. hmm

I've also had some of DS's new (second hand) uniform which had been washed and needs nametapes sewn on for next term, hung up, wet in his room rather than left to dry with the rest of the washing. (He would just put it on and not realise it wasn't named and then lose it...)

Its strange it's the little things that get to you isn't it!

JRmumma Fri 05-Jul-13 11:57:13

Mistle is she actually trying to help you or just insulting you by religiously cleaning your toilet?

missuswife Fri 05-Jul-13 12:01:54

That would annoy me too but my mother lives 3000 miles away and MIL 5,000 miles away so I would gladly let them rearrange my kitchen.

zipzap Fri 05-Jul-13 12:14:15

Give her the cutlery drawer to sort the next time she is in need of a job - dictating explaining very carefully what goes into which section.

And make sure when you go to her house that you repay the favour by putting everything away in the wrong place and burst into tears saying I was only trying to help when anybody tackles you on it grin

RiffyWammal Fri 05-Jul-13 12:14:31

My DM does this and it drives me insane. It's such a difficult thing to bring up because of course she is 'helping' but as previous posters have said I wish she'd stick to things like cleaning floors, hoovering, maybe a bit of ironing, and stop rearranging things and loading the dishwasher wrong!

My DM does things in an unnecessarily fussy way and faffs around folding everything. The other day it was a blanket that the cat had been sick on, that I'd put on the floor to be taken downstairs and washed. I found it the next day neatly folded over my bannister with the sick still on it envy

My DM goes crazy when we go away and rearranges my cupboards etc. She has a key to feed the cat and can't seem to help herself from 'improving' things. Last time she rearranged my pantry and threw away some of my things that she deemed rubbish, and put her spare duvets and covers on my DS's beds - mine must not be good enough? - and cleaned my 19-year-old DS's bedroom, sorting through things that could well have been private, and filling a bin bag with his stuff. When I remarked that it was not a good idea to poke around in his room without asking him, she replied 'but I didn't find anything private'. hmm

I will have to speak to her before we go away in a few weeks time, because it's causing me to resent her helping at all, and I am actually grateful for her assistance and don't want to be ungrateful. I just want her to respect reasonable boundaries and privacy! This is after all my territory and I don't want her spraying her metaphorical pee all over it!

DontmindifIdo Fri 05-Jul-13 12:22:22

RiffyWammal - get that key back, find someone else to feed the cat, pay a neighbours child to do it...

Actually, my mum's done the full reorganisation of my brother's kitchen as well - she did it on a sunday when they'd left her alone in his house when my dad had gone to B&Q with my DB (it was before his DP moved in). DB didn't notice she'd done this until Monday morning, when he tried to find a cereal bowl, spoon and a mug, all of these things had been moved to different drawers/cupboards. (She has also told him it's a pity he doesn't have space on the other side of the kitchen to move his fridge as it would be better over there, roughly translated she'd have moved it if she could!)

Every time she comes to my house, she comments that she can't find the mugs (I have lived in his house for nearly 4 years, the mugs have always been in the same cupboard) because she thinks they should be in a cupboard in a different part of the kitchen (where they are in her kitchen). She'll open that cupboard and make a comment that the mugs are there, then pretend to not have any idea where they might be, then say "are you sure you don't want them in this cupboard" and look hopeful that this time, I might say "of course, yes, you rearrange it all." Rather than "no, if I wanted them in that cupboard, i'd put them in there."

mistlethrush Fri 05-Jul-13 12:24:23

JR - there's a bit of both - she thinks she's helping, and is going to some effort with it. In terms of the bleach though - no, I really don't know what she's thinking - apart from the fact that it makes me think she thinks that we're all SO dirty that she daren't sit on the loo seat after us. Either that or she thinks that she's that dirty - which I doubt.

She clearly doesn't approve of the way we do things - and has even suggested that I should stay at home at the weekend and do chores rather than go out for a walk with the dog (and DH and DS). I have since managed to comment how much I preferred working part time (more like she did) and how it meant I had so much more time for things round the house and garden... so I had to prioritise my time at the weekends and put my health and the family time high on the agenda.... (She's not managed to come back with anything on that one yet!!!)

sherbetpips Fri 05-Jul-13 12:25:31

ha ha my MIL does the cutlery drawer thing. She insists on emptying the dishwasher but then has no idea where it all goes so leaves it scatted in piles around the kitchen, the piles never make sense though as they are not the same type of things, there might be a mug, a plastic bowl and a knife on one bit, then a few plates and some mixer parts on another pile....

DodgyKnees Fri 05-Jul-13 12:41:47

Mistle, I think you win. I bow down before your tolerance!

Thanks, all, for your responses. She does rather go onto autopilot and just do things if not given a specific task.

Really, what I'd like her to be doing is spending time with my dd, which is what she and my FiL come down for! She really doesn't need to be doing housework.

However, you've all given me some good ideas! Think will wash all of dh's shirts and then offer ironing as an occupation. Also planning to label the cutlery drawer.

halcyondays Fri 05-Jul-13 12:44:08

That sounds very annoying and not particularly helpful.

mistlethrush Fri 05-Jul-13 12:48:39

Dodgy - sorry, it wasn't meant to be a competition, just a groan in sympathy!

I think presenting her with ironing (DH's shirts are perfect as they are her son's so she can't refuse, can she!!!) is a great idea, particularly if couched in the 'if you want a break from DD, I've got these that need doing and it would be really helpful, but only if you need the break' would be good!

DS and I are going to label the baskets in his wardrobe too...

The dishwasher is an alien concept to her - things get stacked in the sink and miraculously end up in the dishwasher, then somehow get back into the cupboards at the moment, so we've not had the cutlery draw situation. All the mugs have been reordered - but they're in the same cupboard and I can still find them so that's not a problem!!!

DodgyKnees Fri 05-Jul-13 12:53:03

No, Mistle, don't worry! Wasn't complaining! It does sound like you have a lot more to deal with.

Love the phrasing for the washing. Will borrow! My mother's terrible with the dishwasher - or was, until I pointed out the ridiculousness of moving the cutlery holder. I can do that with her, though. Don't want to offend the MiL, who's very earnest.

I did say in Dumbledorian tones this morning, though, "Don't use any clothes in the bottom drawer!". What DD was dressed in yesterday was definitely on the small side. I re-dressed her and have dressed her in advance of them coming round today, so I'm hoping that's a strong enough hint!

Justfornowitwilldo Fri 05-Jul-13 12:55:09

I'd talk to her about throwing away food. I might ask her to leave the clothes to one side as 'I need to sort through them'. The rest wouldn't bother me as much.

mistlethrush Fri 05-Jul-13 12:59:40

DS still talks of the day she got him dressed when he was 4 (he's now 8). She'd dug around and found some vests (never worn), then a Tshirt, then a long-sleeved shirt, then a jumper. He came down to breakfast rbright red, and I promptly stripped off all his closed and replaced the Tshirt on its own - we were inside, even though it was the winter - and he is VERY warm blooded so didn't need all the clothes and she knows he never wears that many.... (I normally end up carrying his coat in the winter and he walks around outside in just his Tshirt).

DontmindifIdo Fri 05-Jul-13 13:00:04

oh, I contain my mum with DS - the best line is "actually, the best help you could do is take DS out for an hour so I can get on." keep repeating "oh no, just keep DCs entertained please. Biggest help you can do!"

(And Mistle - you need to lose the bleach, put some of those disposible cleaning wipes in the bathroom and hide all other products)

maras2 Fri 05-Jul-13 13:32:11

No advice,sorry,but how very odd. I am amazed that anyone rather than you or DH mooch about in your house.My DM,DMIL would never do this < why would they? > I too have DIL's and SIL's and would never dream of interfering with their stuff.We are all extremely close and in a very good relationship but to actually mess with their kitchen/bathroom whatever is just not in our mindset.Again,how odd.

zipzap Fri 05-Jul-13 13:39:05

Oh and I feel your pain - my mum and aunt stayed a few days over Christmas and I still haven't rediscovered the remote control for the freeview hard drive recorder thing in the kitchen - which is full thanks to automated recordings that are usually no problem but happened to hit a 'day of' run before we discovered the loss of the remote combined with useless controls on the box that don't let you delete things, you have to use the remote. Arrgghh.

SimplyRedHead Fri 05-Jul-13 13:59:11

My mother in law took the dirty washing out of the laundry bin and folded it before putting it back in!

SueDoku Fri 05-Jul-13 15:36:40

My late MIL was always offering to help us probably because she couldn't stand the mess . One year, when we went on holiday she offered to feed the cats and water the plants -- we came back to find that the house had been cleaned from top to bottom - it shone..! I was torn between delight in seeing it look so clean and horror that she had poked around (and rearranged) every drawer, cupboard etc... shock

I settled for being delighted, as it was easier - and I felt that if she's found anything that horrified her it was her own fault grin grin. The house was never that clean again (and the neighbour fed the cats from then on..!)

Pennyacrossthehall Fri 05-Jul-13 15:58:06

Oh my god! I relate to this thread whole-heartedly.

My MIL has lived near to us since we married 20 years ago, and even closer for the last 5 years. She has a key for our house and is always popping in.

First: I have to say that she was a godsend when the kids were babies/toddlers/little covering sick days, holidays, babysitting etc. She is also prone to pop round and iron our clothes mountain, which is great, and she always means well.

But oh dear lord, the INTERFERING! It drives me MENTAL! The number of times I have stood in my own house barely suppressing the urge to scream "WHERE THE FUCK IS MY STUFF?!?!?!?"

That was therapeutic. And breathe . . ..

lastnightiwenttomanderleyagain Fri 05-Jul-13 18:25:53

Folding the dirty laundry? That is special!

When my MIL comes the first thing she does is fill the sink with water...Errr...why? We have a dishwasher, there's nothibg waiting to be washed and you've only just bloody got here!

Her specialty though is wrapping up Very Small Things in foil and putting them back in the.fridge. I'm regularly finding bits of cheese smaller than.a thimble lurking somewhere. For goodness sake, what am I.going to do with a mouse sized piece of cheese? Just eat/use it the first time!

She also.turns up with a full packed lunch for her and step FIL. She thinks she's helping, I think.she's insulting our hospitality especially as everyone knows I.would spend all day in the kitchen if I could as 'I'M THE HOSTESS!'

londone17 Fri 05-Jul-13 20:44:00

Id go round to theirs and reorganise it.

gail734 Fri 05-Jul-13 21:05:38

I've posted about this before, but it really is a "helpful MIL" classic. After DD's birth I was in a bit of a mess. We received about a million many lovely baby gifts, and I was determined that everyone would eventually get a proper, individual thank you card. As each gift was opened I would go "Oooh, that's lovely!" then carefully slip the item back into its wrapping, with its card. So I would know exactly who had given what. My MIL decided to "help" by editing the pile of gifts, removing and chucking all of the wrapping paper, putting all of the cards in a stack. As she proudly showed me what she'd done, I was like shock.

2rebecca Fri 05-Jul-13 21:14:31

Thankfully I've never had anyone do this but if they did I'd tell them not to. If she moves the toilet roll "can you please leave the toilet roll in x place as it's easier to reach, i'd rather you didn't put it on the holder." Although if you don't use the holder why not just dismantle it?
"Can you please not rearrange stuff I like it where it is"
I think rearranging someone else's stuff is rude and controlling so I'd expect people who do this to be rude and controlling (even if well meaning) so you need to be blunt and a bit rude to stop them taking over.

Pilgit Fri 05-Jul-13 21:27:45

My dm does this. We regularly play hunt the tin opener\peeler! The latest is dd's hair things -she put them away somewhere, god knows where! Now denies it all. I think the pixies now have them.....

Mintyy Fri 05-Jul-13 21:32:47

Another one for whom all this is beyond my comprehension. How can you STAND to have someone else interfering to such an extent in your life? Why don't these people have boundaries? It honestly fraeks me out to think of letting relatives have keys and come in and fill my sink with water and fold my dirty laundry and tidy up after me. I would go ballistic if anyone ever did this in my house.

2rebecca Fri 05-Jul-13 22:10:12

I really wouldn't like the thought of someone creeping round my house rearranging stuff (apart from husband and kids).
I think I'd have zero tolerance for anyone who did this. i'd rather put pets in kennels/ cattaries (not that I have any they're too much hassle and we like travelling and doing stuff at weekends) than have a relative feed them for free and then pry and rummage through my stuff.
I would ask for keys back from nosy parkers, or tell them that I don't want them touching my stuff.
I'm not sure if some of you are tolerant or just weirdly passive.

nenevomito Fri 05-Jul-13 22:12:36

My MIL does this and it drives me bonkers.

She even swapped the spoons and knives around in the sodding cutlery drawer. Have you ever tried to butter toast with a spoon, have you? Have you???

The worst thing she ever did was tidy mine and DH's bedroom "to help us out" didn't touch the rest of the house. grrr.

lisianthus Sat 06-Jul-13 01:13:21

This would send me crazy and I would be getting the keys back. If there's some reason you can't do this, How about getting a label maker and start labelling drawers/shelves Anthea Turner style so it's obvious where things go? And I would remove the defunct toilet paper holder from the wall to make it impossible for her to put toilet paper on it. Of course this would only work if she's doing this because she doesn't know where things go rather than trying to impose her own ideas over yours (which should earn her an automatic ban from "helping").

kickassangel Sat 06-Jul-13 03:07:36

My dad has been known to discover a problem that needs fixing (like a slight drip in the down pipe that we told him about), pull everything out to show us (including pulling apart the pipes) then stand up, smugly proudly declaring it would be easy to fix, and walk away leaving everything out on the floor.

It was my house, but I nearly walked out.

TimeofChange Sat 06-Jul-13 07:21:11

Please remember that if you have sons you will be the annoying MIL in twenty years time, whether you sit idley by or if you try to help.

Dorris83 Sat 06-Jul-13 07:28:14

Aw my MIL is a bit like this too.

She and FIL came to help up move and she insisted on repacking all the boxes in the kitchen ( not sure why) She then created little bundles of things and sellotaped the crap out of them- so we had a mlion little packages of spoons, forks, plates etched bound together by a mountain of tape. We're still picking residual bits of tape off things now, 3 months later!

(Can't complain though, help moving house is invaluable!)

Slightly different topic but, the last time she was here she changes DS' nappy. Next time I changed him I realise that she must have caked his entire nappy area in nappy cream. I only cream his bum as that's where he had a rash once, but my MIL must have creamed EVERYTHING as there was residual white cream on his legs, up to his tummy, penis, everywhere!!

DPIL are fabulous though so I can forgive them their helpful foibles!

lastnightiwenttomanderleyagain Sat 06-Jul-13 07:38:11

I should clarify that my PIL don't have keys and these things only happen on their occasional visits as they live 2hrs away and don't even pop in on their way to.see golden child BIL who lives 20mins further on but that's a whole different issue

I have no idea why those who do have keys seem to think this gives them carte blanche to just appear and take over in someone else's house!

DontmindifIdo Sat 06-Jul-13 07:57:36

Minty - from my mum, even asking as nicely as possible for her to desist from reorganising /murdering tropical fish via bleach gets you the wobbly bottom lip "I was only trying to help" response, swiftly followed by the bollocking from dad. Db stood his ground last year, the fall out was dramatic (although these fish are now one, so there's hope at least that message has gone in). I think it doesn't help that Db is gay and my mum doesn't have another woman to defer to at their house (and bil isn't out with his family so they think he's DBS lodger).

I will never give my mum unsupervised access to my house. She just can't be trusted.

My mil on the other hand is sane. Thank god.

KittyTwatknicker Sat 06-Jul-13 08:07:14

My MIL does loads to help us out, but it can be frustrating. My sofa is ALWAYS rearranged, which drives me nuts. When DH asked her why she did this, she said "because Kitty does it wrong!" ?!?!?!?!?!

When we were first living together, she rearranged all my pots in the a
garden and I lost my rag. She did it every time she came over. So I stopped doing any gardening: I flatly refuse to do it, so she does it all (who's the silly one eh?). She also assists DH with all our DIY as I couldn't possibly do it properly!

Suits me! But still annoying...

Shodan Sat 06-Jul-13 08:41:16

The last-but-one time we went on holiday the PILs were looking after the cats so popping in daily.

When we came back MIL had 'organised' all the cutlery so they were all lined up neatly. For some reason this really irked me, but wasn't as bad as finding all our washing done and ironed on our bed. Lovely, you may be thinking- but she'd done all my knickers too, which made me squirm with embarrassment. No amount of DH's assurance that MIL was a woman too, plus had had a daughter so was used to these things, would reconcile me to the fact that someone else had handled my undercrackers. grin

DodgyKnees Sat 06-Jul-13 20:41:10

Shodam, I've had this experience with laundry too - massively helpful not to have to do any ironing, but knickers should be forbidden territory!

The cutlery drawer's much better today, although I did have to move some utensils from an entirely separate drawer into the utensil section and the measuring jug out of the nest of saucepans.

The ironing ploy was brilliant - MiL usefully occupied all of yesterday evening.

A lot of people have asked about the toilet roll holder - we're not inclined to move it, because there's nowhere else it can actually go and we're moving house soon (we hope!).

Three days to go...

wigglybeezer Sat 06-Jul-13 20:53:47

My MIL ironed (and slightly melted) my washable breastpads once. She would have ironed the nappies too if she could have worked out a way, she settled for elaborate airing rituals.

lisianthus Wed 10-Jul-13 01:38:07

Why does someone always mutter darkly on a thread about insensitive MILs that "if you have sons, this will be you one day"?

If you have sons, it will only be you if you act in an insensitive manner and disregard your DILs preferences in her own home! if your DIL or DS says "MIL/Mum, I'd prefer you not do X", just don't do it! Don't argue, get other family members to say you are being treated unfairly, play the "wobbly lip" or get aggressive. Just don't do it. Simple.

zeno Wed 10-Jul-13 17:54:19

Oh the tiny food parcels in the fridge- yes yes yes! Just throw it or eat it ffs. And they are always in the wrong containers - I found a tiny amount of elderly fruit purée in a ceramic pot that lives on the windowsill as a plant holder. Blurgh.

My special hate, which covers the entire IL clan, is leaving the remote control for the tv beside the bloody tv. Why would you do that!? MIL used to come in while I was bf dd1, turn the telly on to check the score, turn the volume right up and then leave the room, with the remote safely back beside the tv. Rage!

DontmindifIdo Thu 11-Jul-13 07:19:09

Agree the idea that those of us who have sons should worry as we'll be the hated mil is nonsense, partly because my mil is lovely, it's my bloody mother who's a nightmare (of course this means db's dp has a nightmare mil!)

When dealing with a future dil, my mantra will be "don't be a twat", I'm sure if I avoid batshit crazy behaviour we'll get along fine...

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