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MIL demands a ‘tour ‘every single time she visits

(249 Posts)
bringincrazyback Thu 06-Dec-18 13:20:54

No, this isn’t a MIL-bashing thread as such, I’d be annoyed if anyone did what I’m about to describe, but I do have to say that my MIL’s ways do test my patience at times.

She’s due to visit at the weekend, and as always, I am somewhat dreading it. She demands a ‘tour’ of the house EVERY time she visits, regardless of whether we have changed anything since her last visit or not. The house is a big old Victorian pile which we love and which people are always quite excited to see, but with four cats, me working from home, suffering from chronic fatigue and caring for my parents part-time, a pathologically messy DH and my parents renting part of the house from us, the fact is that I don’t want people to see every single room, as I’m pretty much the only person in the house who does much in the way of cleaning or tidying (my parents can’t due to various disabilities, and DH barely lifts a finger, because cleaning and tidying are for ‘uptight’ people in his opinion. Oh, and ‘no one notices either way’, apparently. Except that his own mother VERY MUCH notices.)

It’s really MIL's attitude that's the problem, as the 'tours' are actually thinly-disguised inspections during which it always appears she is actively looking for things to criticise. Her own standards of cleanliness and tidiness are extremely high, and she frequently refers to people who don’t subscribe to her own high standards as lazy. We do show people around the house a little, and show them some of the rooms, but not all. I consider bedrooms, for example, to be private (on her last visit MIL demanded to be shown my parents’ bedroom!!!) and I won’t show people rooms which are cluttered or messy, and there are always a couple of those in our house, because with so much on my plate it’s just not possible for me to keep everything pristine, even with a cleaner coming in every couple of weeks.

I think I could see MIL wanting to see the whole house if we'd changed anything in it since her last visit, lol - but she had the full tour the first time (Highlights: 'You'll have to get rid of that awful carpet', 'You need to do x, y, z to the garden ', 'You'll be redecorating the whole house, of course ') and the second after we’d had a LOT of work done ('I see you've still got that awful carpet', 'I'd have thought you'd have ripped those wardrobes out', 'You need to get the exterior repainted') so she’s seen everything now and I really couldn't work out what the deal was with wanting to see Every Single Room again last time and acting like a spoilt child when she couldn't.

Highlights of her last visit: starting to pull branches off one of our trees because 'they need to come off', opening every cupboard and looking into it, sniffily remarking 'Oh, well, the garden's looking a bit better now' in front of my mum and dad who put a LOT of time and effort into making this garden look great when they were more able-bodied, opening cupboards and looking into them, and - the piece de resistance - pulling the classic 'trailing finger along dusty surface, then looking at finger' move. Basically, the more stuff she sees, the more she finds to criticise, so it's easier for my blood pressure if I can limit the amount of criticisms of my home that she's able to find. When did it become socially acceptable to demand a ‘tour’ the second one arrives in someone else’s home? And then whine when said ‘tour’ doesn’t extend to every single room in the house? frowny face

AIBU to be dreading her visit? And, more importantly, AIBU not to let her roam around our home at will, especially given how critical she is?

Spaghettijumper Thu 06-Dec-18 13:24:25

Sorry what? Your husband refuses to clean his own house (in spite of your disability) and then allows his mother to walk around insulting you?

Eh, I hope he is a pretty fantastic person because on that evidence alone he sounds like a massive dickhead.

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Thu 06-Dec-18 13:24:58

At best, ask your DH to reign her in.

At worst, just say 'Well you know where everything is' and let her crack on. And you carry on with whatever it is you're doing. Then she can sniff and tut as much as she's likes and you don't have to see/hear it. Rude cow!

Dinosforall Thu 06-Dec-18 13:25:34

It's not really about the tour, is it? It's about her being a rude batch about your house (using a paper-thin excuse).

Any chance of deflecting with 'humour'? "Oh haha, we're surely not due another house inspection already" etc

Stormwhale Thu 06-Dec-18 13:25:49

I can't for the life of me work out why you have allowed this even once. It is completely bonkers to me! No one is allowed to go snooping around my home, and if they tried they would be quickly asked to leave. Stand up for yourself op, this isn't normal.

ILoveDolly Thu 06-Dec-18 13:25:51

She sounds difficult. But really, you don't have to do it. Why not just say airily "I'm sure you have seen it all before" then go about some other job, put on the kettle etc. Imperious bossy relatives only get away with it because everyone is afraid to say No, but you know she is being rude to you. Why not be a little bit rude in return and just tell her you don't want to take her around?

AlmaCogansFrockFan Thu 06-Dec-18 13:26:10

Why not get your DH to conduct her tour - a} she might not be so pernickety to her son's face and b}if she is, then hopefully he'd laugh in her face and call her uptight.

user1499173618 Thu 06-Dec-18 13:26:18

This is a nightmare! How rude!

Ohyesiam Thu 06-Dec-18 13:27:20

Say no. Or better still get your”d”h to say it.

PermanentlyFrizzyHairBall Thu 06-Dec-18 13:27:29

YADNBU. You need to tell her no way, I can understand if you had just bought the house but I wouldn't want guests traipsing through my bedroom and all the other rooms in the house. Your DH sounds like a lazy sod too.

katekat383 Thu 06-Dec-18 13:28:09

What a long post. Some covert - or not so covert - boasting chucked in there too.

Dinosforall Thu 06-Dec-18 13:28:35

*bitch, obviously

Dinosforall Thu 06-Dec-18 13:29:51

katekat what was the point of that post?

DoYouLikeBasghetti Thu 06-Dec-18 13:30:07

Your husband sounds like a knob, and it's pretty obvious where he got it from! I would tell them both to get lost (but you sound a lot nicer than me).

MyKingdomForBrie Thu 06-Dec-18 13:30:25

Make your DH take her on the 'tour' then he and she can discuss their differing opinions on housework..

RoomWithALoon Thu 06-Dec-18 13:30:47

A) "You know where everything is, crack on."
B) In response to any comment on anything, "Yeah, I said that to your son, but he reckoned only uptight people would worry about it, so..."

NonaGrey Thu 06-Dec-18 13:30:57

A tour is only appropriate when you visit a new house for the first time or when major works have been completed and then only if offered.

Just start saying “no” with a cheerful smile.

bringincrazyback Thu 06-Dec-18 13:31:03

What a long post. Some covert - or not so covert - boasting chucked in there too.

@katekat383 Where? I can't see it.

CantWaitToRetire Thu 06-Dec-18 13:32:06

That would drive me crazy. You need to learn to say no and mean it OP. If she asks for a tour, say "nothing has changes since your last visit MIL, so no need" and keep repeating. If she whines, just change the subject or ignore her. Just in case she may decide to roam freely then prepare in advance by printing out some A4 signs saying 'Private. No Unauthorised Entry' and stick them on every door to see if she gets the message.

Do you ever visit her house? Maybe you could behave in the same way, opening doors and cupboards and making comments, and testing for dust, see how she likes it.

Snowwontbelong Thu 06-Dec-18 13:32:34

Tell her you have applied for a tour license and the tickets will be a tenner.
Until then can she just sit the fluff down and drink tea?!
She is the least of your worries though with a lazy fucker dh.....

StormTreader Thu 06-Dec-18 13:33:14

Might be time to start "being concerned about your memory going dear, do you not remember we've already done the tour? Might be your age, maybe we should make a doctors appointment..."

CheetahMama Thu 06-Dec-18 13:33:20

YANBU, that sounds awful. You are stuck between someone who has high cleaning standards and someone who is pathologically messy... can DH give her the tour? Will DH tell her that cleaning is for uptight people? Will she tell DH to pull his finger out? Extract yourself and hide from this nonsense!

Seeline Thu 06-Dec-18 13:33:42

I'd be investing in locks for all the bedrooms for a start.
No way would she be going into my parents' private spaces.
In fact, no way would I indulge her bitchyness in the first place. Your husband can deal with the fallout of you telling her to mind her own business.

DameFanny Thu 06-Dec-18 13:34:04

"yes, DH is very messy isn't he, I blame the parents" with a cold stare should do it

Valasca Thu 06-Dec-18 13:35:35

I’d dig right back at her poor parenting skills and suggest if she had done a better job raising her son, you’d not have to clean after the untidy bastard and he would do a bit of diy, like all your other friends’ husbands.

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