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to expect a spare key to be used for emergencies only and not to 'pop in' when we're at work!

(87 Posts)
Newmummytobe79 Fri 03-Jun-11 08:27:29

I’ve posted on here before about the problem I have with my inlaws letting themselves into our house with the ‘spare’ key when we are at work (they drop off mail which will fit through our letter box and items we could easily pick up from them on our visits) and I thought it had stopped. But it happened again yesterday and I’m fuming!

I know you all advised me to get the key off them … but I just couldn’t bring myself to upset them by asking for it back.

I didn’t say anything to DH but he knows my feelings about it. I like my house to look clean, tidy and to welcome guests in – not find out they’ve ‘popped by’ when there are bras hanging on the bathroom door, manky pots and private bills/letters on the side. I also have a feeling they bring our neices who have a habit of running straight to our bedroom and riffling through jewellery and under our bed! My parents wouldn’t dream of doing this – so maybe it’s just I was brought up with more privacy?

So … I text this morning to say thank you for the items they dropped off and that they should have called by when we were in. It was polite enough to mean ‘then you could have seen US and had a brew’ but I’m hoping it also planted the seed that I want them to only call by when we’re in! What do you think?

I’m stressing about this as I’m pregnant and petrified they’ll pop round unannounced when I’m bf or catching a snooze when baby is asleep … or even worse – if I’m in my pj’s mid-day! wink

Please don’t get me wrong and think that I don’t like my inlaws – I love them dearly! But our house is OUR house and I’m just sick of this happening.

controlpantsandgladrags Fri 03-Jun-11 08:34:07

YANBU. But it's not going to stop happening unless you tell them. Hints will just be ignored. I think you need to get DH to have a word.

Regarding them potentially popping in whilst you're at home, can you lock yourself in and leave your key in the lock? You really shouldn't have to but it's a short term solution at least.

Or tell them you lost your key, get the lock changed and accidentally forget to get a new key cut for them.

poopnscoop Fri 03-Jun-11 08:34:07

That's awful, I wouldn't put up with it at all. Ask them to stop coming into your home, and if they don't, you will need your keys back. Give them to someone else for emergencies.

KristinaM Fri 03-Jun-11 08:34:54

I would hate this too. TBh they don't sound like the kind of peole to take a hint. I would ask for the spare key back too. Say your dh has lost his and you need the spare back. If they complain, say you'll get another set cut for them when you have time. Then procrastinate

Iif they ask you again, say they don't really need a set now as you have had your mail redirected. And do it! Say you don't want to inconvenience them anymore, that you should have had the mail redirected ages ago.etc etc

And I know it would be more honest just to tell them but I don't think you want to...........

If you don't set boundaries now they will get A LOT worse after the baby is born

Lunabelly Fri 03-Jun-11 08:36:59

UuuuuGGGhhhh....couldn't deal with that. YANBU. Say you need your key back for <insert made-up yet strangely plausible reason here> then forget to return it. And never never hand out your key again! grin

rimmer08 Fri 03-Jun-11 08:37:12

you need to have the key back since they obv dont mind too much about invading your space why should you be bothered if they get a bit upset?i wouldnt play games with a situation like this just ask for the key back or get your DH to do it. If they ask why just tell them, they may be on the wrong page about why you gave them the key in the first place.

myBOYSareBONKERS Fri 03-Jun-11 08:37:21

If they were going to stop doing this then they would of by now. They certainly wont take the hint of your text - just like I wouldn't. I would read it at face value and think that is what you mean.

If you want it to stop then you have to say what you mean - otherwise (and sorry to sound harsh but I get fed up reading about things like this when there is a solution) put up and get on with them invading.

DuelingFanjo Fri 03-Jun-11 08:37:22

yanbu and SERIOUSLY need to get the key back or change the loks before you have the baby. They will not be able to stop themselves.

DuelingFanjo Fri 03-Jun-11 08:37:34


DuelingFanjo Fri 03-Jun-11 08:39:06

oh and put something 'interesting' under the bed for your neices to find. Something that will embarrass the inlaws. Also put something weird in the personal private post, make up a letter or something, just to scare them ;)

Numberfour Fri 03-Jun-11 08:40:04

YANBU at all. I would HATE someone coming in to my house when I was not there. It also seems to me that if you do not want to be direct with them, and I can understand why, you will have to come up with some reasonably plausible excuse as to why you want your key back or why they key no longer fits!

You will definitely want your house to be yours alone once your baby has arrived.

good luck..............

DaisyDaresYOU Fri 03-Jun-11 08:43:35

Yanbu but i'd have the lock changed as they have probaly got others you don't know about

clam Fri 03-Jun-11 08:44:41

I would hate this and would have put a stop to it. You hate this but have allowed it to continue because you didn't want to upset them. I suppose it's a case of how much more of it you're willing to tolerate.
There are ways and means of getting your key back without necessarily upsetting them. Does your own "upset" not count? Might be one to let your DH handle.

CMOTdibbler Fri 03-Jun-11 08:46:51

Why not 'lock yourself out', go round and get the key, then just not take it back if you are worried about bad feeling.

Before the baby is born say something like 'I love having you so close, and it'll be lovely you being in touch with the baby so much, but I'm feeling a bit shy about bfing, so would you mind calling before you pop in so I can make sure I'm decent. I know I'm silly, but I know you wouldn't want me to be uncomfortable'. That way you are all positive about them, but clear on what you want.

Then keep a chain on the front door when you are in, and if they come round without calling just tell them it isn't a good time, what a pity, you'd love to see them at x, just so they don't waste a trip call next time. Don't let them in though !

Newmummytobe79 Fri 03-Jun-11 08:47:10

Thanks ladies and I know you are all right ... but ... if I head straight on in there it will cause WW3! DH doesnt have a problem with it (they 'pop' round to SIL ALL the time) but does understand why I don't like it. His Mum is lovely but gets really over emotional some times and will think it means I hate her! Since we announced our pregnancy she is on full Grandma mode and although it's very sweet her buying things/offering sitting/planning where to take baby ... I just feel overwhelmed! sad I may be overeacting but I just don't want to feel stressed in my own home when baby comes along!

TotallyLovely Fri 03-Jun-11 08:48:37

I agree that you should have to locks changed (say you broke your key in it or something) and never get around to getting them a spare cut. Also when you are in put the bolt across (if you have one) or leave the key in the lock. I think if you can stop them doing it for long enough they might get out of the habit.

You sound as though you really don't want the confrontation and to risk upsetting them so this may be the way to go. If anyone does talk to them about it though it should be your DH.

MizzyFizzy Fri 03-Jun-11 08:49:33

Somehow you have to get those keys back.

Asking for the keys is one lot of upset and job done....sending hints is going to keep this going forever and just cause you far more angst than necessary.

Tell them you've changed house insurers and for the policy to payout at any time all keys have to be in your possession only.

TotallyLovely Fri 03-Jun-11 08:49:57

Just saw your last post and I completely understand. I like privacy in my home and like to be prepared when people are coming round, not just have them walk in! This may be hard for your DH to understand but he needs to try.

scarletfingernail Fri 03-Jun-11 08:50:09

I remember your previous thread about this.

There are only 2 ways to put a stop to this and you need to choose one of them now, otherwise it will become like you're dreading and get worse once the baby arrives (speaking from experience, I had the same problem).

1. DH (while you are present) tells them very firmly that the key is for emergencies only and that neither of you are happy for them to let themselves into your home to drop off mail or any other trivial reason. Yes, this might create a bit of tension as they realise that you're not going to put up with it, but it will be very temporary. If it then happens again after that your only option left is....

2. .....DH tells them you are not happy for them to keep letting themselves into your home while you are not there and you feel that the only way you can make sure this is not happening is to take the key back. This way there's no second chances or debate about what is an emergency. You could just start with this option if you've already tried option 1.

You also need to make sure anyone who sends you mail sends it to your own address, so make sure everyone who needs it has it.

Your previous thread was quite long thread where people suggested as I have above. I realise you want to avoid confrontation but sometimes that just isn't possible and the only way you can get the privacy you deserve in your own home is to tell them straight. You said you've got a good relationship with them so this one reasonable request is not going to sour your relationship on a long-term basis. It is your DH's job to sort this out and he needs to do it now.

tallulah Fri 03-Jun-11 08:51:53

My ILs had the key to our house because they fed our cats when we were away. After several incidents of FIL popping round and letting himself in with the key while we were in I got DH to get the key back.

It meant he had to trail down there with the key every time we went away but stopped the intrusive calling in.

ZombiePlan Fri 03-Jun-11 09:03:18

Tell them you've got a friend staying with you for a couple of weeks who'll need the key to come and go. It's an easy "no-blame" way to ask for it back,. Once you've got it back, you don't have to return it.

TBH I don't understand why people give out keys on a permanent basis "for emergencies" - what do people think will happen that will require someone other than them to enter the house? Surely in an actual emergency the emergency services would break in, and they wouldn't be ringing around to find the keys. And if its not that kind of emergency (i.e. dripping tap causing small leak) how would the keyholders know about that unless they'd been snooping?

ratspeaker Fri 03-Jun-11 09:04:27

I think you need to "loose" your house keys and ask for the spare set back.

Normally I'd have said instead of seething with resentment you should just TELL, them but given you are pregnant and dont want the stress then subtle it is.
I have keys to my DD flat but wouldn't go in without asking her first so thats what I think is normal

Or another sideways take would be to fit some extra security in the form of locking chains but not give them the key.
You can put the chain on when you are out as well as in ( you slip the key in and unlock the chain once door is open ) is the sort of thing I'm talking about

clam Fri 03-Jun-11 09:05:08

I don't think changing the locks is the answer. For one, it's very expensive, but it also doesn't solve the problem of potential upset on ther part when they ask for the "new" emergency key. You would then either have to have the conversation you've been wanting to avoid, or be a wuss and hand over a new key, which totally wastes the expense of new locks.

Forgive me if this has been tried or suggested already but what about locking yourself out, getting the emergency key off them, and neglecting to give it back? Or just say that it's more convenient for the next door neighbour to have it.

ScarletOHaHa Fri 03-Jun-11 09:07:24

I reckon if you make an excuse for asking for the key back/change the locks they will simply pester you for a replacement. Sounds like they pop around for an excuse for something to do.

I agree with CMOTDibbler and even the most sensitive would find it difficult to be offended with the suggested comments.

In the longer term, the only way to resolve the wider issue is to tackle it straight on. Whilst your OH doesn't see a problem; you clearly do. You need to present a united front and ask them not to use the key. IT is your DH's job to speak to his parents. You could say that you feel embarrassed that you both can't meet their her high housekeeping standards and would rather not feel under pressure every time you left for work. You could say that you have told your own parents the same thing (even though they wouldn't let themselves in).

Tomatefarcie Fri 03-Jun-11 09:10:25

I was in the same situation years ago. No amount of hinting worked.

DD1 came along, and my life was a nightmare. Mil popping in 4 , 5 times a day (yes, you read that right!), Fil popping in when I was in the shower, both coming in our bedroom while I was having a nap, you name it.

After almost a year after DD1's birth, I lost it. I gave Dp an ultimatum and demanded that he changed the locks or I was out. He did, pretending that our previous lock was crap. Ils demanded the key for months, but we just said "oh yes, will have it done next time I go to town" but never did. They finally got the message.

It honestly changed my life. It was so nice to see mil knock and wait. We have been working on ringing before coming, but to no avail. She is the one complaining and accusing us of avoiding her! If she d ring, we would be able to tell her "not today as we are going out".

Anyway, do something a bit more drastic as your life will be he'll once the baby comes.

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