Advanced search

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'...

AmazingBouncingFerret Sun 18-Aug-13 18:57:24

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.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now