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To think my mil doing washing is passive aggressive?

(260 Posts)
Irishheart Sun 15-May-16 21:16:17

Me, my dh and two kids have been away for the weekend and my mil has been looking after our cat. Came home today and my mil said that she "hopes we don't mind" but that she has done two loads of washing for us. I know that I should be grateful, but the thought of my mil rifling through my wash baskets gives me the rage and I just feel that it was trying to undermine me, because obviously I'm not a good enough wife to clear all the laundry. Also my son is allergic to most washing powders, especially the one she had used so I am going to have to re-wash it all anyway!
My husband thinks I?

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sun 15-May-16 21:18:42

How dare she help out!!

Donatellalymanmoss Sun 15-May-16 21:18:50

maybe she was just trying to be nice.

penguinplease Sun 15-May-16 21:20:25

I think yanbu, everytime my mum looks after my dc I ask her not to wash anything and everytime she does it to be helpful but like you I have to rewash it all. It pisses me off and last time I told her she either stops or doesn't come again.
But then my relationship with my mum is crap so that might have some bearing on it.... As a kid I had to beg for my clothes to be washed regularly and she thought changing the bed once a month was enough. It scarred me forever, I was everything often and her about turn is just her being a nightmare as usual...

penguinplease Sun 15-May-16 21:21:03

Wash everything often I mean.. Damn phone

haveacupoftea Sun 15-May-16 21:22:16

YABU. She was trying to help.

HumphreyCobblers Sun 15-May-16 21:23:39

I would not want someone going through my washing basket. If you have that kind of relationship with someone outside your family, then it obviously would be fine, but the OP clearly doesn't have that with her MIL.

I think it is an invasion of privacy. And given the washing powder situation, it is distinctly unhelpful too.

Chlobee87 Sun 15-May-16 21:24:32

The replies you get here will most probably be reflective of the kinds of MILs that people have themselves.

My MIL is the the stereotypical mum of boys (no daughters) and it's clear that nobody is good enough for her sons (especially the one that I'm married to, her first born). If she had done the washing thing, I would probably feel the same way - that it's a way of pointing out something that I had failed to do. But that is against a backdrop of years of other comments and actions.

If this sounds like your MIL then YANBU. If she is supportive and lovely then I think you're being harsh.

WorraLiberty Sun 15-May-16 21:24:36

Unless you're going to start handing out life jackets and a raft, for the ensuing drip feed, YABVVU!

WorraLiberty Sun 15-May-16 21:26:16

The replies you get here will most probably be reflective of the kinds of MILs that people have themselves.

I think they mostly reflect the information given by the OP.

HumphreyCobblers Sun 15-May-16 21:28:23

I don't though, all we know is that the MIL did the washing and the op thinks it is PA. If my MIL did my washing I know it would be a dig, so I replied in the OP's favour. Presumably your MIL would do it out of kindness Worral?

AnnieOnnieMouse Sun 15-May-16 21:32:58

Oh heck, I am your MIL.
When dd and nowexsil went on honeymoon I was sharing cat feeding duties with friends of theirs, who helped me strip the beds, clean the kitchen, I did all the laundry, they helped me remake the beds and stash it away.
They were grateful, but I was careful to use the right detergents.
It wasn't about wanting to undermine anyone, it was just about trying to help a busy family!

Haggisfish Sun 15-May-16 21:34:18


Irishheart Sun 15-May-16 21:35:55

Thanks for the replies everyone. I think, if I am being rational, I know that she was probably only trying to help but this is against a backdrop of years of passive aggressive behaviour and wanting to be involved in everything- if my dh happens to mention he has a headache she comes round with some paracetamol! My Dh is 35 and more than capable of getting his own painkillers! I just think that I am annoyed because she doesn't seem to respect me as an adult and mother and I am quite capable of doing my own washing!

nokidshere Sun 15-May-16 21:36:33

Good god I would be ecstatic to come home to a clean house and all the laundry done - no matter who has done it.

The only thing in my washing basket is dirty washing.

However, if you don't want her doing things for you then how come she has access to your home?

Irishheart Sun 15-May-16 21:38:04

She had the key to our house because she was feeding our cat while we were away...yes I know, I sound really ungrateful

Peyia Sun 15-May-16 21:39:21

YANBU - Whilst it is a kind gesture I personally think it's an invasion of privacy and infantising.

I wouldn't want my own mother doing it. It's my dirty washing, let me do it. I don't need my arse wiping either. I appreciate help but ask me if I need it first, that's my point anyway.

bitter experience of MIL washing a load that included my crotchless knickers, hung out in all their glory

paxillin Sun 15-May-16 21:39:44

My parents always used to come, mop shouldered and get stuck in ironing and washing... often did things I never had, like washing door frames or light switches. I loved it.

Dailymailpretendreporter Sun 15-May-16 21:41:04


Gide Sun 15-May-16 21:41:22

Does she not know about the allergy to detergent thing? Comes round with paracetamol? Is she feeling excluded, so uses any excuse to be there? I'd be horrified if my mil did the washing, it's intrusive, IMO.

nokidshere Sun 15-May-16 21:41:28

Sorry but if you have a history with her being pa and struggle with her way of helping then you can't give her the key to feed the cat. Makes no sense at all

Irishheart Sun 15-May-16 21:42:57

Yes Peyla I think that if she had asked if I needed any washing I wouldn't have minded so much, it's the fact that she took it upon herself to do it with the implication that I am a dirty Slattern...

ollieplimsoles Sun 15-May-16 21:43:46

Hmm I think she was just trying to be helpful based on your op.

Does she have dorm for undermining you?

I would say thank you for doing the washing it was really kind. Just to let you know- ds is allergic to some detergents and the one we use is this one, if you ever get the time to wash for us when your cat sitting again.

She sounds like she honestly just wanted to help out.

SquedgieBeckenheim Sun 15-May-16 21:44:01

YANBU!!!! I would go mental if my MIL did this. I did once come home to her having hung a load of washing out on the line for me, it was only sheets and towels but the principle of it annoyed me. I don't want MIL seeing my undies!
My MIL is like CloBee87's though, I am the inadequate wife to the golden boy! She makes PA digs at my housekeeping ALL the time.
In this situation, it depends on the relationship you have with the person.

gleam Sun 15-May-16 21:45:43

YANBU. I've had this and it was a dig.

Expensive too, as MIL ruined some clothes.

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