AIBU to think my mum is out of order for copying my house key behind my back?

(122 Posts)
FamilarSting Sun 18-Aug-13 18:44:47

So I?ve locked myself out of my house twice in 5 years, once just last week.

My mum has being going on about how I must give her a copy of our key to keep at her house in case it happens again. Yes, it would be a good idea to have a spare, but I do not trust her not to let herself in and snoop around (she was a terrible and persistent snoop when I was growing up and has such destroyed a lot of trust. I do not have a lot to hide but I am quite sure she?d be snooping through my private possessions if she had a key and knew that we were away for any length of time). I haven?t told her my reasons for not wanting to give her a key but have deflected talk of getting a copy and told her I have a hidden spare in case it happens again.

Last week she looked after my children at my house and I gave her my keys so that she could go out for a walk or whatever.

Just now my mum texted me to tell me that I left my keys at her house. (Yeah I know, I really need to stop forgetting my keys!) One of my first thoughts was that I wouldn?t put it past her to take it to be copied if I didn?t rush over to get them.

Then it occurred to me; she has told me that the other day, when she watched the children, that they went for a walk to a hardware store to "try to find a plantpot, but we couldn?t find one big enough". She made sure to mention this trip, I expect, as my chatty daughter would be sure to fill me in on the outing.
This hardware shop also cuts keys etc.

Oh the horror. Would she?

Yes, I think she would.

I asked my bright 4.5 year old if, when they went to the shop the other day, did Grandma gave the man a key.
"yes" she said, "and then we waited and he gave her another key so then there were TWO keys!"

Am I being unreasonable to think that is freaking out of order?! She went completely behind my back to get a copy of my house key after I failed to give her one by choice. It could be argued that I wasn?t totally clear that I didn?t want her to have one, but I have had plenty opportunities to give her one; we have walked past Timpsons together, for example, and I told her that OH can cut keys himself ? he?s a locksmith ffs! She just took it upon herself to copy it without telling me.

Yes I am untrusting and perhaps slightly paranoid, but she was at least partly to blame for that by depriving me of privacy as a teenager and continuously reading private letters/diaries, raiding my drawers etc.

Even if I wasn?t paranoid, she shouldn?t have done that, right?!
I don?t have a healthy idea of how families are supposed to be. I know it?s normal for families to have copies of each other?s keys; I have one to my parents? house, but I don?t go snooping... and it was given to me, I didn?t sneak around behind backs to copy it.

FamilarSting Sun 18-Aug-13 18:47:53

Apologies for the question marks in stupid places, copy/pasting made it go weird.

ginmakesitallok Sun 18-Aug-13 18:49:05

She is definitely out of order for getting one cut without your permission. But I think its pretty normal to have keys for family houses? MIL has a spare for ours, and for sils. We have keys for her house too. Makes life easier when she needs to pop in to get stuff for the kids (she has them 3 days a week) and when we have to pop in to see to her dog. Difference is I trust her not to be in snooping (why would she?).

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Sun 18-Aug-13 18:50:58

Your mum was totally unreasonable to do that and by doing it (behind your back) had proved you can't trust her

I'd change the lock and not give her the chance to do it again

BMW6 Sun 18-Aug-13 18:51:01

Whilst it is a good idea for someone trustworthy to have a spare key to your house, she was out of order to get it copied without your knowledge and approval.

Is there another relative nearby that you would trust with a spare key? You could then ask your Mum for the copy she made (tell a white lie - say you've locked yours in the house), and tell her it's more convenient for the [other elative to have the spare?

(You can tell her your DD mentioned that a spare key had been cut)

Beamur Sun 18-Aug-13 18:51:04

I suspect your Mum has done this with the best of intentions, but it is a little bit out of order.
I'd wait until you've have time to mull it over before you ask her about this.
My Mum has a key to my house as does DP's parents. But I would trust them not to snoop!

silverten Sun 18-Aug-13 18:51:18

Not so much the key as the underhandedness I think.

If your DH is a locksmith I'd change the locks without telling her and see how long it takes for her to notice...

CockyFox Sun 18-Aug-13 18:51:43

Nobody has a key to my house that doesn't live here. MIL had one to our old house and used to come in and move things she even once swapped my voiles for net curtains because she doesn't like voiles.
We don't trust her to not have one cut so can't even ask her to watch the house when we are away.
YANBU at all

Didactylos Sun 18-Aug-13 18:52:00

DP is a locksmith? - get him to change the locks, explain it away as a security upgrade, youve been a bit concerned that someone has copied your hidden keys (stare searchingly at her for guilty blush)

I cant remember the type of key it is but we used to have one for a shared door that couldnt be copied by a standard highstreet locksmith, you had to send off for it with proof that you owned a flat within the property. You could get something similar and that way she could never copy again

Mintyy Sun 18-Aug-13 18:52:37

Yanbu. I also don't think it is "normal" to give your family spare keys. Possibly if they are your closest neighbours and you trust them not to use them unless in an emergency. Otherwise it is much better to swap spare sets with a trusted local friend who understands boundaries/privacy.

julieann42 Sun 18-Aug-13 18:52:40

It's only normal for family to have your key if you want them too! I can quite understand you not wanting her to have a spare and if she has copied it then she is bang out of order! Change you locks quick!

HoneyDragon Sun 18-Aug-13 18:52:48

It's out of order to do so without your permission. If she feels like she is entitled to this than she may feel entitled to use it whenever.


Maybe, she is genuinely planning to keep it safe and hand it to you looking smug if you ever lose your keys/ get locked out again?

timidviper Sun 18-Aug-13 18:53:09

If you are really concerned, the only option is to change the locks and be a lot more careful with your keys in future.

My mum has a key to our house but we trust her, she will often leave stuff in the porch rather than come in or will ring to say she is dropping something off and is it ok? MIL, on the other hand, will get a key to my house when hell freezes over as we have caught her snooping even when we are in!

Snatchoo Sun 18-Aug-13 18:54:01

YANBU as she has a history of snooping.

But YABU if you are happy under some circumstances for her to have your keys. Surely she has more chance to snoop when looking after your kids in your house, than if she has a copy to let you in when you've locked yourself out of your own house?

BTW, nobody has a copy of our keys, but I'm guessing you're a single parent? Only because DH and I both have keys so obviously one or the other of us has keys if needed.

ginmakesitallok Sun 18-Aug-13 18:54:46

Rather than getting the locks changed why not "lose" your key again and just ask her up front for her spare- commenting how lucky it is the DD told you she'd had one cut?? (Unless of course you think she has a drawer full of them...)

Snatchoo Sun 18-Aug-13 18:54:48

Oh sorry, I missed the part about OH being a locksmith! blush

Andro Sun 18-Aug-13 18:55:01

Bang out of order and I would be changing the locks (and ask straight out if she'd had it copied).

CarpeVinum Sun 18-Aug-13 18:55:21

she even once swapped my voiles for net curtains because she doesn't like voiles



I can only immagine how well that went down.

ChippingInHopHopHop Sun 18-Aug-13 18:55:36

I would be fuming.

3 people who live near me have a key to my house. My Aunty and two friends. 2 for my convenience (to help me out when I go away and so there's a spare nearby, just in case), one for theirs (marital issues and I want her to know she can come here anytime). I know they wouldn't snoop. All of them know they can use their key anytime, for whatever reason - stay, make a cup of tea, use the spare room, borrow something... I genuinely don't mind, at all.

However, when I lived near my Mum she had a key and it drove me mad. I know she means well... but it was still a total invasion of my privacy to let herself in, for no reason, just because we weren't home. She left something she'd brought around (nothing important) which wouldn't have been so bad if she'd just left it inside the door, but she didn't, she went in & put some clothes away off the airer, which meant going into our room - there could have been anything lying around. I hated feeling like I had to hide everything away and make sure the house was spotless just in case she 'popped by'...

Don't mention it and let her keep the key but put locks on all internal doors and make sure they're locked when you go on holiday. That'll knock the wind from her sails grin

SoftKittyWarmKitty Sun 18-Aug-13 18:58:05

Do you have a burglar alarm? If so, change the number to one she lent know and would never guess. Then when if she lets herself in with the key she had cut behind your back, the alarm will go off and shit her up.

Otherwise, get the locks changed ASAP.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Sun 18-Aug-13 18:58:40

won't know, not lent know, ffs.

MadeOfStarDust Sun 18-Aug-13 18:59:14

Get some applications for resident visas for Australia.... leave them lying about and wait.....

Beamur Sun 18-Aug-13 19:01:13

Changing the locks is a bit passive aggressive, no?

TerribleTantrums Sun 18-Aug-13 19:02:43

Add an extra deadlock to your door. When you go out use only the new deadlock (to which she doesn't have a key), when she is looking after your DC use only the lock that she has a key to. Don't ever leave your full set of keys with her. It's sad not to be able to trust your own mother, my Mum has keys to my house but I know that she would never snoop.

CockyFox Sun 18-Aug-13 19:03:38

She drives me mad but it is only because DH is her youngest and her oldest 2 sons still live with her. She found it hard to let go of him.

Andro Sun 18-Aug-13 19:05:03

Beamur - no, just a sensible precaution when someone has effectively stolen a key to your house.

PearlyWhites Sun 18-Aug-13 19:07:02

Yanbu but surely snooping while you were growing up is called being a concerned parent. I check on my 14 dd Facebook etc with her knowledge because I care.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 18-Aug-13 19:08:47

How's it passive aggressive to ensure your home is secure?

Op I would go spare.

I'm torn between
- changing the lock
- asking for the one she had cut back. And if she showed any reluctance telling her the lock would be changed if she didn't hand it over. And maybe still changing it.

Just changing it and not telling her might seem attractive as it avoids direct confrontation, but only you can know if not calling her on her appalling deceitful behaviour would fester with you.

It is not normal for spare keys to be family members. It is normal for spare keys to be kept by people you can access easily WHO YOU TRUST. In my case, two neighbours across the road (two because it doubles the chances of them being in should I need the keys). A long time ago my grandmother had my spares, but she was two minutes away and never went out (literally).

DontmindifIdo Sun 18-Aug-13 19:20:02

If your dh is a locksmith, get the locks changed this week, don't mention it too get at all. She'll be annoyed when if she tries to snoop, but she don't be able to say anything because then she'll have to explain she copied your keys without permission. Don't ask her, you know she copied it, so then you'll have to have an argument about getting the key back- just changing it will put her in her place without you having to have a row.

As you aren't great at remembering your keys, can you ask someone else local to keep a spare? Then whatever you do, don't tell her again if you lock yourself out, that just gives her the justification that she needs a spare key. Keep that between yourself and your key holding friend.

HeffalumpTheFlump Sun 18-Aug-13 19:24:59

I'm laughing at the idea of changing the locks being passive aggressive. Because having a key cut to someones house without their permission because they don't want you to have one... That's not passive aggressive at all!! grin

Op, ya so nbu! Your dm is completely out of order!

FredFredGeorge Sun 18-Aug-13 19:26:23

Get the one she cut back. It's absolutely out of order, and she needs to know it was so she doesn't do it again.

Shyer Sun 18-Aug-13 19:28:03

Ewww, that's freaky. YANBU. Change locks.

FamilarSting Sun 18-Aug-13 19:34:51

Thanks, it's nice to know I'm not getting annoyed about nothing.

Part of me thinks she is genuinely trying to help/ has taken it upon herself to have a spare, just in case, as I'm obviously useless. (Thanks, Mum) But then why not tell me? She could pretend she genuinely didn't know I didn't want her to have one and say something like "btw I copied your key when I just happened to be at the key cutting place as you keep forgetting ha ha ha".
I don't see what she would do if it did happen that I needed it, I'm sure she knows I'd be a bit cross and can't imagine her coming out with "oh I made myself a copy, here you go!" Maybe I should try it.

I do intend to change our alarm code and make it known that we're going to start setting it (yes I'm also hopeless in that we tend not to use our alarm).

I'm not sure how else to deal with it, whether to talk to her, change the locks etc, I'll have to sleep on it, but thanks for all the thoughts and advice!

YANBU! The only people who have keys to our house AFAIK are people we have given them to. They are us, our cleaner, our NDN and my DPs. My NDN has the for when we are on holiday/lock ourselves out and my DPs have them for when they look after DD if she is ill or nursery is closed. My DPs have had spares cut so that have one each. That was with my permission.

Getting your key copied without your permission and then not telling you suggests to me that she is fully aware that you don't want her to have a copy. I would either confront her or get your DH to change the lock. Even though your DH is a locksmith, a new lock isn't free.

PAsSweetOrangeLurve Sun 18-Aug-13 19:40:45

I'd change the locks and say nothing. How can she complain without having to explain that she got a key cut without your permission? Is there somewhere you can leave a key? So if you have a garden shed, could you put a combi lock on it (so no key to forget) and then hide a spare house key in a plant pot in there?

mrspaddy Sun 18-Aug-13 19:44:12

Defo change the locks.. then if she does decide to use the key.. she won't be able to tell you ... hmmmmm..

landrover Sun 18-Aug-13 19:49:41

Never mind your mum, please, please get used to putting your alarm on!!!! Everyone thnks they are not going to get burgled, till it happens to them. It takes a day or so to get used to setting it all the time!

New locks are the easiest way out (or your alarm). If you get on ok now and don't want to rock the boat then go for it.

littlewhitebag Sun 18-Aug-13 19:51:46

So you only have the word of your 4 yo daughter that she had keys for your house made? Have you actually checked this out with your DM? Could she have been getting keys for somewhere else cut? I think i would check this out first before i went mental.

EugenesAxe Sun 18-Aug-13 19:54:10

YANBU at all.

A family can be healthy without everyone giving all the others a green light to know about their whole life. My sister is far more private than I and although they are very close I know my Mum would never presume to be able to do anything like that. It's about the individual and being 'family' doesn't mean you can bypass basic courtesies and respect.

She was out of order in your teenage years too; you should just be candid about the reasons why you want it back (assuming you'll ask her). I'd be really angry actually about the former. It's like looking at an accident; loads of people think because it's happened in public it's fair game for gawking at and they forget that there are actual people with feelings at the back of it all. Giving birth to someone doesn't mean you bloody own them.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 18-Aug-13 20:06:30

My mums done this.

She's let herself into my house at least twice while I've been at work without asking.

The first time she told me as she was really cross as I'd "run out of loo paper". I hadn't, there was plenty in the cupboard. She reckons she was passing (bollocks) and was desperate for a crap so came in, used the facilities and then couldn't wipe her bum. She was furious with me. hmm

Another time dd was off school sick, home alone. And was woken up by the front door opening, she came charging downstairs to find my mum in the hall.

And another time she mentioned to me that she'd "nearly popped in when passing with a friend to show her friend my new sofa".

There's no telling her and no getting the key back. I've tried. I suppose I could change the locks but I begrudge paying.

Didactylos Sun 18-Aug-13 20:10:32

MadeOfStarDust - gods, I remember that thread! what happened in the end?

Jengnr Sun 18-Aug-13 20:43:16

Change the lck. Don't tell her.

Jengnr Sun 18-Aug-13 20:43:27


MadeOfStarDust Sun 18-Aug-13 20:47:04

Didactylos I can't for the life of me remember, I just remembered someone had suggested putting out some emigration papers for a nosy relative to find when they went snooping in their bedroom.. (many moons ago) and it tickled me...

thebody Sun 18-Aug-13 20:49:52

op, you may find that you too will be a bit of a snooper when your 4 year old dd is 14..

just saying..

and if you have an alarm and don't set it your insurance won't pay up if you are burgled.

Mintyy Sun 18-Aug-13 21:29:53

Omg Viva! I remember your thread about your mum and the emergency visit to your loo and having a go at you about the toilet paper!

Ilovegeorgeclooney Sun 18-Aug-13 21:43:27

Get a keysafe then you can change the combo if necessary.

DontmindifIdo Sun 18-Aug-13 21:54:29

Oh I remember the passing mum poo thread too. If you don't want to change the lock Viva, you need to just catch her unprepared. She won't have made a second copy. So at some point next week, call round when you know she's in, all in a flap, gosh you're so mad at DD she's only gone and taken your house keys out of your handbag because she couldn't find hers! Anyway Mum, can I have the spare you have? Great, I'm running so late for XYZ. Bye mum!" so you have the key back. Yep, you're going to give it back at some point. Definately. just as soon as you get round to it. I think the 12th of Never works for you, right?

fallon8 Sun 18-Aug-13 21:57:35

Change the locks,pronto

Change the locks!
My MIL found emigration papers in her son's (my BIL) house when she was snooping. They didn't emigrate because they didn't have the points but she never knew the details, all she knew was that her precious boy was going to leave her and sobbed a lot to my DP. Didn't cure her of snooping though.
No-one has a set of my keys, but I have keys to my parents, 2 aunties, a cousin, my BF and our NDN. How did that happen to me?

Doubtfuldaphne Sun 18-Aug-13 22:09:25

My dad did this recently and I'm livid too. He sees it as perfectly logical. I have never locked myself out and have three sets of keys already.
Because of his personality I see it as a power thing which makes me even more angry.

LovesBeingOnHoliday Sun 18-Aug-13 22:17:05

It's not something she can hide for we if it was done invade your locked out. Just tell her you are then get the key.

BiscuitDunker Sun 18-Aug-13 22:40:38

I'd change the locks. It should be your choice and decision over who has access to your home via a key,its not for anybody,family or otherwise,to make that decision-regardless of how "well meaning" they think they're being!

The only people with a key to my home are me,DH and my mum,but we got the key cut and gave it to her and I know my mum would never snoop and would only use it when/if me or dh asked her to for some reason,like in a case of an emergency or if we went on holiday and wanted her to pop in just to check we haven't been burgled for example,and IMO thats exactly the way it should be if someone is given the responisbility of having a spare key to somebody elses home!

CarolineKnappShappey Sun 18-Aug-13 22:46:08

Set the burglar alarm wink

WeAreEternal Sun 18-Aug-13 22:50:30

I think you need to 'loose you keys' tomorrow. If she volunteers the key great you have it back. If she doesn't change the locks.

WeAreEternal Sun 18-Aug-13 22:51:21

Oh and make it crystal clear to her why after the fact.

Mintyy Sun 18-Aug-13 22:54:31

I completely agree with WeAreEternal.

rockybalboa Sun 18-Aug-13 22:56:16

Ooh, that is v sneaky and v naughty! I would be v cross. I have a key to my parents house and vice versa but none of us would ever dream of snooping. I would be tempted to get your locksmith OH to change the locks and not tell her.

MumnGran Sun 18-Aug-13 22:56:38

Cannot decide if it would be best to just start setting the alarm every single time you go out ...just for the joy of her setting it off, and then having to explain to you.
Or best to change the lock and leave her on the doorstep looking like a banana and wondering how she got it so wrong.

Your DH is a go with an immediate lockchange.
Totally unreasonable on your mothers part and she needs to know she has been rumbled.

lottiegarbanzo Sun 18-Aug-13 23:07:26

Is there someone else you can leave a spare with? It is a good idea anyway and then you can tell her there's no need for her to have one too.

Stop being so chaotic with your keys. They are in your hand or they are in your bag, always in the same pocket. That is it, never put them down, always check you have them before leaving the house.

Changing locks is a faff, even for a locksmith and why should you have to?Using the alarm may be essential for your insurance, so do that. Pretend you've lost you key one last time in order to ask for your mums copy, on replace it, tell her you'll be using the alarm.

PenguinBear Sun 18-Aug-13 23:09:22

I agree, tell her tomorrow that you've 'lost' your only set of house keys and have NO WAY to get in.

Say that you'll have to change the locks etc and hen hopefully she will produce the key! grin

MousyMouse Sun 18-Aug-13 23:25:05

totaly unacceptable.
might even invalidate your contents insurance, so check that out as well.

mumthetaxidriver Mon 19-Aug-13 00:08:31

How sad all these folks feeling so violated at the idea of a member of their own family coming into their own home. Recently my mum moved to my home town from 250 miles away and I started working nearly full time. How delighted I have been to come home to a pile of ironing or a casserole in the oven..or she has called in to take our dog out for a long walk. My teenage sons don't mind if she calls in to say helloi when I'm at work in the holidays - always happy to have a chat and let her make their lunch! But she also respects our family time at the weekendst and tends not to call in unannounced.
I do wonder about people who worry about those people who worry what their relatives might see in their houses. What's the worst - a few dishes on the draining board and a pile of washing?! Really not worth worrying about.

Mumthetaxidriver - have you read this thread?

The OP's mother has a history of snooping on her and has had a key cut without her permission. Many people on the thread have given their DPs their keys and are lucky enough to have DPs like your DM. However the OP's case is different.

ChippingInHopHopHop Mon 19-Aug-13 00:17:12

Personal items in the bedroom, personal letters/cards... I love my Mum, it doesn't mean she needs to see/read everything I own does it?

StuntGirl Mon 19-Aug-13 00:22:13

How wonderful for you that your family has healthy boundaries taxi. Many people's families do not. That's why they don't like it.

Chattymummyhere Mon 19-Aug-13 00:42:17

Change the lock and if you are very forgetful about your keys get a key safe thing for outside, never tell her the combination but then you always have a spare right there..

They are very good a lot of people who need to have home help have them for in case of emergencies to get in.

cleopatrasasp Mon 19-Aug-13 01:33:04

I would be completely outraged at this and there is no way I would be adopting the losing the keys/changing the locks scenario as I would be furious that she had done it in the first place. Does she have a habit of invading your space and overstepping boundaries? Just tell her you that you know she had a key cut without your consent and you want it back immediately - and if she doesn't give it back she will not be welcome in your house at all.

I also had a prying, snooping mother who read any letters or diaries that me or my siblings kept or wrote. She even resorted to inspecting the contents of our bedroom bins. I would never give her a key - even if I wasn't already no-contact. My MIL, on the other hand, does have a key and would never dream of letting herself in without my knowledge - which is exactly why she is trusted with a key in the first place.

LesserOfTwoWeevils Mon 19-Aug-13 03:00:29

She's completely out of order. Dishonest, controlling and disrespectful.

No one is entitled to come into your house without your permission.

Change the locks, and in the interim use the alarm, don't give her the code and don't warn her in advance that you're going to be using it.

Wuldric Mon 19-Aug-13 03:21:14


THis is why how to cope with death

Start appreciating your parents rather than viewing them with suspicion.

MammaTJ Mon 19-Aug-13 03:31:53

So because she will die one day, she has to be allowed a key, which the OP has good reasons not to let her have? How odd.

ComtesseDeFrouFrou Mon 19-Aug-13 06:59:22

Wuldric is there one for parents called "how to tear your grown up children like adults"?

I'll miss my mum when she's gone but I still don't want her letting herself in to my house uninvited so she can criticise my lack of washing up and rummage around in my personal papers looking for ammunition

LisaMed Mon 19-Aug-13 07:12:21

Wuldric When my mother died my life improved a huge amount. Brutal but true. Not everyone has the same life experience.

OP - I would change the locks and not tell your mother, and start setting the alarm and not tell your mother. Good luck!

mumthetaxidriver Mon 19-Aug-13 08:04:44

I have read this thread and the post which sugests that the OP has a tendancy to paranoia - and doesn' have a good understanding of normal family life. Also the snooping was when she was a teenager (not saying this was acceptable) but maybe she should try to move on - after all she is happy to let the parents look after the children. Talk of changing locks and setting the alarm to catch her out are rediculous and won't benefit the long term relationship.

If the OP doesn't have a "good understanding of normal family life" the it is probably due in part to her mother's actions of prying previously.

To suggest that she is being paranoid is ridiculous as you really have no reason to suspect that the OP's mother isn't as bad as the OP suggests and the evidence that the OP's mother got her key copied without permission and without telling her afterwards as fairly strong. That is not part of "normal family life'. Why should the OP behave as if her mother was like your mother.

Nanny0gg Mon 19-Aug-13 08:28:49

I have keys to my DC's houses and my friend's house.

Wouldn't dream of using them without permission.


mumthetaxidriver Mon 19-Aug-13 08:38:25

Sorry I wasn't meaning to make a judgement about the OP being paranoid - only basing it on what I read "Yes I am untrusting and perhaps slightly paranoid".

SpockSmashesScissors Mon 19-Aug-13 08:50:36

Speak to her

'so Mum, DD told me all about you having a key cut while you were at the hardware shop'

see what she has to say.

The snooping before was when you were a teenager, maybe she was a concerned mum who loved you and was worried, teenage relationships can be tricky.

Deathbyladybirds Mon 19-Aug-13 08:58:30

Bully for you, taxi . OP, change the locks.

trinity0097 Mon 19-Aug-13 08:58:43

My house came with a key safe,my cleaner and parents have the code (they live in Scotland and i'm in Hampshire, so unlikely to pop in and snoop!), you could get one and put in an unobtrusive place to keep a spare key in.

Bogeyface Mon 19-Aug-13 09:06:32

While the evidence points to her getting a key cut to your house, you only know for certain that a key was cut, not where for. She could have got a spare done for her garage for all you know, and will claim that she did either way.

Thats why I think that changing the locks is the best way to go. But do set your alarm daily, if it is listed in your house insurance as part of your security measures then they may not pay out if you get burgled and the alarm wasnt set, and yes they can tell!

Bogeyface Mon 19-Aug-13 09:08:07

Also, the "emergency crap" one.......I have a key to my parents, and it hangs on a hook in the kitchen with the rest of the keys. I dont take it out with me because I dont need it and there is the risk it could be lost or stolen. No one would know where it was for, but it would be bloody inconvenient.

Who carries other peoples spares with them all the time?!

charlotte789 Mon 19-Aug-13 09:10:55

YANBU - that is a really sneaky underhanded thing to do.

Nagoo Mon 19-Aug-13 09:11:58

Ask her for the key back?! Why go to the trouble of changing the locks. Tell her the DC told you that she'd had a key cut, and you appreciate that she was trying to help, but you need to have it.

If she refuses, THEN change the locks. No pass agg bollocks, no expense, and you get your message across without having to call her a snoopy bitch. Tell her you've lost your keys if you have to. But you'll get the key back. Then tell her you'd find it more convenient to leave the spare with a neighbour.

Bogeyface Mon 19-Aug-13 09:16:16

But Nagoo the OP doesnt know for sure that the DM did have a copy cut. She probably did, but without evidence the OP could cause a massive row over nothing. If I was the OP I would change the locks for my own peace of mind anyway and not say anything. Her husband is a locksmith so explaining it away as the latest upgrade to their home security is far more believable and if the DM mentions the locks being changed then the OP has her answer right there.

DontmindifIdo Mon 19-Aug-13 09:24:15

Wuldric - i find your view odd, because you'll be sad when someone dies, that means you should allow them to have unlimited access to your home while they are alive?

I'd be terribly sad if my mum was to die suddenly, that doesn't mean I'd tolerate her having a key to my house especially as she's proven to be a nosy nightmare with the key she has to DB's house

DontmindifIdo Mon 19-Aug-13 09:31:58

oh and bogeyface is right, by changing the locks without saying anything to her Mum, the OP 'wins' the 'no key battle' without having to have the row about the rudeness of just getting a key cut to someone else's house without their permission, the differing view of her entitlement to have a key, that by not lettig her have a key, the OP is pointing out she doesn't trust her mum (offensive to her mum even if it's completely justified) - just changing the locks could be done for a variety of reasons, the OP's DH being a locksmith could be just he thought these locks where better quality.

It's a minimum upset way to get your own way, and as your DH could do the work (and probably get the locks for cost price), minimum cost. (One of hte reasons my mum doesn't have a key is she would misuse it, then I'd have to get it back from her, which would upset her, dad would get angry I'd upset mum, they'd be drama that would end up being entirely my fault and it'd end with me apologising, probably having to buy her flowers and chocolates to make her feel better that I'd upset her, that could easily cost the price of new locks)

Nagoo Mon 19-Aug-13 09:33:08

I'd say that the DC told me she'd got a key cut. Then she could confirm or deny. No need to row about it.

Libertine73 Mon 19-Aug-13 09:39:52

Yes, she got a key cut and tried to deflect it when going on about a too small plant pot. why would she do that if the key was for her house?

I would also get DP to fit new locks, then say nothing, but keep a spare somewhere else!!

AaDB Mon 19-Aug-13 09:42:53

I think adding a deadlock and changing the alarm code are both good ideas.

I would be really annoyed with the sneaky behavior. A normal boundary would be to ask if you can get a key cut and listening to the answer. I would call her and ask if you can go around to talk about it. If she had a key made and comes over, 'I didn't think you'd mind', just state that you do. Say that you don't like the idea of snooping and people being in your house without your prior knowledge and ask her not to. State that you have added a lock and changed the alarm. You are allowed to set this boundary.

I find with my own DM there is no point in getting into an argument at the time. I do make a point of having a conversation later. I just state the facts and all for xyz. I can't pretend she doesn't still try to get her own way. I can talk to her as if she is a reasonable adult.

It is very upsetting to be grieving for a parent. Not all of us have good relationships. I hope when my ds is an adult that we can talk. I definitely don't want him to feel guilted into giving into unreasonable behavior because I'm going to die one day.

Bogeyface Mon 19-Aug-13 09:57:16

I'd say that the DC told me she'd got a key cut. Then she could confirm or deny. No need to row about it.

Oh I agree, but you and I are normal people who wouldnt use underhanded tactics to gain access to another persons home and then abuse that access. The DM clearly sees that she has a right to access, but knows that the OP doesnt agree with her otherwise she wouldnt have got the key cut and then lied by omission about it. I get the feeling that there would be a fair amount of "I cant believe you dont trust me/How could you accuse me of doing such a thing/How dare you call me a liar..." if the OP said anything.

Far easier to just change the locks, especially as I said, because her DH is a locksmith so is far more believable that they are simply upgrading to better quality security.

SilverApples Mon 19-Aug-13 10:05:34

We've all got keys to each others' houses in my family. But we were given them by the owners because we trust each other.
If we go and visit, we still ring doorbells and wait, and snooping is off-limits.
So YANBU, she is.

prettybird Mon 19-Aug-13 10:51:34

My parents were given spare keys yonks ago but MIL will never have a spare set - dh says she wouldn't respect our boundaries, whereas my parents were/are (just my dad now sad) of anything, overly respectful of boundaries (after my mum suffered from interference from her own parents).

So, OP, YADNBU. Respect is a two way thing and it doesn't appear that your mum respects you - otherwise she would wait until you give her or not a key. hmm

At the moment I'd suggest the low cost alternative of setting the alarm when you go out - but make sure it's not connected to a police station/call out centre. That way, she has to admit to having let herself in without permission and proves without doubt that she still hasn't learnt to respect you since your teenage years.

FamilarSting Mon 19-Aug-13 11:56:12

OH said I should just tell her that DD said she got a key cut and see how she responds, that does seem to be the sensible thing to do, but she's always very quick at coming up with excuses and stories and I'm sure she'd tell me it was for something else.
I don't feel like I can let it go, and yet I do not want to have an argument. I don't see how I can talk to her about it without it leaving an awful taste in the air.

In response to a point someone made about me being OK with letting her look after the children and leaving her with my keys then: I have only just begun to do this. She's only just been given my keys as she's been watching them over the summer while I've been taking driving lessons, before this she's only ever really had my 4 year old for an hour or so at a time and it's always been at her house. I am super untrusting about what she's going to be getting up to and not telling me about, but I think that has a lot to me being irrational untrusting. But anyway, yes, I was trying to make peace with my paranoid side and feel OK with relaxing a little and letting them enjoy being together; she is mostly a really good grandmother to my DDs and they love being with her. But now I'm back to password protecting all the computers, and putting hairs over drawers to see if she's been snooping... blush

We live just around the corner from them, so the times I've forgotten my keys are due to habit of just popping over without my bag as OH usually stays at home so I don't need them.
And the option of leaving a key with someone else - we've no other family around and we're not terribly friendly with any of the neighbours. But we do live in a rented house and so both times that I locked myself out I was able to get a key from the letting agent.

I'm completely torn between what I really want to do - bring it up and let her know how freaking annoyed I am, or just changing the locks so we can avoid conflict.
But then I also feel like telling her we're going away for the weekend and then hiding around the corner to wait to have my suspicions confirmed or squashed...

And yes, we'll definitely be using the alarm from now on!

girlywhirly Mon 19-Aug-13 14:42:59

Rather than have a big argument, just go ahead with changing the locks and setting the alarm. For the times when your mum will be in your house with your knowledge i.e. baby sitting, password protect your computers ( good practice to do this anyway) and make sure there are no documents/ correspondence lying around for her to nose through. I suggest a metal filing cabinet that is lockable, protective in the event of a fire and keeps everything together so you can find stuff more easily.

MadeOfStarDust Mon 19-Aug-13 15:16:51

just a quick question - do you have a copy of her key?

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Mon 19-Aug-13 16:44:13

put a lock on your bedroom door and keep anything you don't want her to see in there. It will drive her mad to get in the house and find she can't get in a room. I do wonder why adults especially parents want to snoop in their Dc houses though, what do they expect to find? is it just wanting to know everything that goes on or do they want to find something that might shock them? I can understand the urge to snoop with teens at home but once they are off and married or in their own home confused

Cerisier Mon 19-Aug-13 17:04:27

OP you need to always take your keys when you go out, whether DH is in or not (he might have to go out) and use the alarm.

As DH is a locksmith I would say just change the lock as you can't trust your DM to be truthful if you speak to her. Leave a copy with the agent then between you, DH and the agent you should be ok.

If DM comes to babysit then she stays in or DD goes to her house.

Like you I would be extremely cross if my keys were copied without permission so YANBU.

Bogeyface Mon 19-Aug-13 17:47:34

Even when I'm not smoking my mantra has always been "purse, fags, phone, keys" grin

Bogeyface Mon 19-Aug-13 17:48:41

Just noticed you are renting. An authorised copy of your house key could cause all sorts of problems if your landlord gets to hear about it. Would they be ok with you changing the locks as long as you cover the cost?

Bogeyface Mon 19-Aug-13 17:48:56

sorry that should be an UNauthorised copy

FlossyFloozie Mon 19-Aug-13 18:07:46

Yep, tell her your DD told you about the copy, you know she means well (white lie) and you have to ask for it back because the Letting Agent SPECIFICALLY told you last time you went for a spare that it was prohibited under the lease to give extra keys out to persons other than the occupants. Job done.

cleopatrasasp Mon 19-Aug-13 23:48:09

OP I asked you this earlier but you may have missed it - does your mother have a habit of overstepping boundaries in other areas or is it just with regard to keys and snooping?

gettngbetter Tue 20-Aug-13 07:58:36

My mother is the same - so nosy! She'd love to get her hands on my bank statements & payslips etc!

My solution was to get a big box with a padlock - I store anything private in there. Then she's free to snoop to her heart's content - all she'll find in my bedroom are socks and pyjamas etc - a few times snooping and finding nothing at all interesting and then she won't bother snooping anymore.

Before she calls over to babysit I always quickly run around the house and pick up anything personal like letters that I'd prefer her not to see and lock them away!

LydiasLunch Tue 20-Aug-13 08:24:24

If you want to keep a spare key for yourself handy and you have a front garden, i really recommend key stones. They look like a large stone but are hollow and you slide them open and hide keys in them. I keep mine under a hedge and it's been very useful when one of us gets locked out. I got mine off eBay. It does look exactly like a large stone!

MorningHasBroken Tue 20-Aug-13 09:39:12

PIL stayed at ours for one night to look after the kids for us (we were away for a wedding). At some point before we got home they went and got 3 keys cut from ours, kept one and happily distributed the others to dh's sisters. We only found out when one of them came to stay and mentioned it in passing!

MIL reckons she thought it would be useful to us if they had spares, but as they all live over an hour away we couldn't really work out how! Our NDN has a spare, as does my sister (lives 2 streets away and not a snooper), so in an emergency we have people already that would drop in for us! Made us so angry that she thought she had the right to do this.

Think we've managed to get them all back now but who knows how many extras she made up that we dont know about?!

bootsycollins Tue 20-Aug-13 09:55:22

You can buy wall mountable, digit coded metal box key stores, genius. My friends holiday home has one and I've seen one by a front door in the UK.

FamilarSting Tue 20-Aug-13 11:53:39

cleopatrasasp No, I wouldn't say she does generally overstep other boundaries, in fact she's probably the opposite, to my face at least, she can be quite sneaky, obviously.

Nanny0gg Tue 20-Aug-13 12:23:09

Um, changing the locks isn't that simple if your house is rented.

I think she needs to know you know. Because if you catch her snooping, how will you confront that?

FamilarSting Tue 20-Aug-13 12:38:06

Oh and with regards to changing the locks, OH did it not too long ago, and the letting agents didn't mind so long as we gave them a copy. That's interesting about telling my mum that no one can have an unauthorized copy, but knowing my mother she'd say "they don't know so it doesn't matter".

I still haven't brought it up with her, and the longer I wait the harder it will get.
She's supposed to be watching the children next week, how do I talk to her about this, get my point across that it is not ok, without there being a horrible atmosphere?

Loa Tue 20-Aug-13 12:58:02

It is not normal for family to have set of keys when you rent - I rented for over ten years with various landlords and there is usually a clause in the contract about not having the keys copied.

If you do change the locks - with landlords permission - will she just do it again at a later date when she realises?

I would have though setting the alarm would be a deterrent to snooping - have a written list by door you leave house - key, alarms then do a check every time you leave the house.

Otherwise have lots of lockable storage to put everything you don't want her to see in and use them.

fieldfare Tue 20-Aug-13 13:19:24

Just say so - "mum, dd said that you had another key cut the other week when you had them, please give it to me".

Can't you be straight with her and tell her that it's upset you and the snooping must stop?

2rebecca Tue 20-Aug-13 13:31:55

Agree with fieldfare. Getting a key to someone else's house cut without their position is rude and controlling. Being family is irrelevent. The reason so many families fall out is because people don't respect family members' needs for privacy.
I'd ask for it back and tell her that if you want her to have a key you'll give her one. I'd also tell her you're setting the alarm.
My mum is dead but she would never have cut a key without asking or come into my house uninvited. I miss her because she wasn't a nosy prying mum but a thoughtful one.

DuchessFanny Tue 20-Aug-13 13:43:50

You're not happy with it, so you need to say something to her. The fact you've left it a while might go in your favour, kind of a "oh, while i'm here Mum, DC mentioned you'd got a key copied ? is that right ? " then stay silent and see what she says.

PigeonPie Tue 20-Aug-13 13:46:41

I think I'd say 'Mum, DD mentioned that you'd had a key cut when you went to the hardware shop the other day - was it for our house? Unfortunately I've found out that the agent specifies that no keys should be duplicated, so if it was for here, please could I have it back? By the way, it's also been recommended that we should use the alarm, so it'll be set regularly now.'

Will that help?

prettybird Tue 20-Aug-13 15:14:32

May I gently suggest that you need to address the fact that you are scared to raise it with her because by getting your point across there might be a "horrible atmospehre" hmm

You are I presume wink a grown woman. Your mother needs to start to respect your boundaries - and unless you tell her this, she never will. Otherwise you will be forever tiptoing around her worrying what she is going to do next sad

There might an initial sulk (on her part) - but in the long term you will have a healthier relationship.

FamilarSting Tue 20-Aug-13 18:56:50

Yeah, you're right, prettybird. blush

Thanks, everyone.

Beamur Tue 20-Aug-13 21:16:56

Prettybird makes a brilliant point - the top and bottom of the problem is a lack of communication and more importantly - why that is so hard for you.

cleopatrasasp Tue 20-Aug-13 21:38:14

Thanks for answering FamiliarSting. If she's generally ok then it maybe isn't quite as big a deal but I do agree with prettybird that you should be able to raise it with her without dreading the outcome. Good luck whatever you decide to do.

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