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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.

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.

WhereYouLeftIt Sun 18-Aug-13 19:11:26

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!

breatheslowly Sun 18-Aug-13 19:40:07

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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!

breatheslowly Sun 18-Aug-13 19:51:13

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.

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