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Keeping MIL out of my kitchen

(92 Posts)
RoseTTT Mon 18-Nov-19 11:49:11

Every time MIL visits (once a month for a long weekend), she commandeers my kitchen. I used to be fine with it, but for the past few years, it has been driving me potty! She is a good cook, but uses every bloody dish/pot/pan and as she’s the cook, she expects 1) all of the praise and 2) to drink all of the wine whilst DH and I end up scrubbing the bloody kitchen for an hour afterwards.

She usually arrives around 5pm on a Friday and lets herself in. I come in from work at 6:15pm and I then have to bath and put our young DC to bed (as DH isn’t home till gone 8pm on a weeknight). MIL does none of the helping with the DC bath/bed (I have asked and she laughed). So really what I’m saying is that her “helping” in the kitchen is actually causing me more hassle and work.

How do I keep her out of my kitchen? Last time she visited, I was upstairs bathing DC and reading stories. It took me an hour. I came downstairs by 7:15pm, which was plenty of time for me to do the roast dinner I’d planned for 8:45pm....but without saying a word or any prompting, she’d already taken the ingredients I’d bought out of the fridge and nearly finished cooking something I didn’t want and using only half the stuff I’d bought. I didn’t want to eat at 7:15pm and DH wasn’t even home by that time!!

It is so infuriating.

Shall I just say “here’s a magazine and a bottle of red wine, go sit and don’t touch the kitchen whilst I’m upstairs”??! There are lots of things she does that piss me off, but the cooking one is really grating. Maybe I’m becoming more territorial as I age!

P.s. I’m quite a good cook and she could always have a snack if she’s hungry before dinner

moreismore Mon 18-Nov-19 11:50:35

Pre-prepare something and leave no other groceries in the fridge.

Stayawayfromitsmouth Mon 18-Nov-19 11:51:23

Take her housekeeper off her and tell her you don't like her. Easy.

TheOliphantintheRoom Mon 18-Nov-19 11:54:10

I always cringe when women refer to the kitchen as my kitchen.

Havaina Mon 18-Nov-19 11:54:38

You need DH to tell her straight:

‘Mum, we love having you over but you leave the kitchen in terrible state when you cook and it’s exhausting cleaning it all up. We also have a good budget, so all our meals are planned in advance. Please just either put your feet up when you visit or spend time with the kids and leave the kitchen alone.’

And hide the wine when she comes!

CoraPirbright Mon 18-Nov-19 11:55:01

Yup agree with more - have something already done like a lasagne or shepherds pie or something. Make sure there are no other ingredients lying around. Is she a nice MIL in other respects? Is this her genuinely trying to be helpful or is this a control thing? Tedious for you to have to plan ahead like that though.....

Havaina Mon 18-Nov-19 11:55:07

*food budget

DeathStare Mon 18-Nov-19 11:55:12

Pre-prepare something and leave no other groceries in the fridge

This. Ask her to put it in the oven for you at X time as you want to have it together when DH comes home. Point her in the direction of a snack she can have if she will be hungry before that.

If you find she has put it in before that time just take it out and tell her you are all going to eat together and you will reheat it when DH gets in.

Havaina Mon 18-Nov-19 11:56:19

Pre-prepare something and leave no other groceries in the fridge.

The trouble is that once a month OP will ah e the stress of ensuring nothing is i the fridge and then go out shopping when MIL goes home. Much better to nip this in the bud now.

LemonTT Mon 18-Nov-19 12:00:29

I’m a bit weirded out by the thought of eating roast diner at 8:45 on a Friday. This would be enough for me to refuse an invite.

Just be straight that she is a guest and as such you both want her to be a guest. That means no cooking.

But be more reasonable on eating late at night. By that time something light not a roast. No wonder she gets stuck in

RoseTTT Mon 18-Nov-19 12:08:10

@ LemonTT - 8:45pm isn’t eating “late at night”. We can’t eat earlier, as DH isn’t home till 8:15/8:30pm usually and needs to change when he gets in. We can then sit down for a nice relaxed meal (in this case it was supposed to be shoulder of lamb) and enjoy a glass of wine and a chat ahead of the weekend.

She can make herself a sandwich at 6pm or eat with the kids at 5pm if she wants. Actually I might suggest she eats with them early.

Thanks all. I like the idea of having something pre-made already in the fridge. Maybe if I do that a few times, she’ll stop interfering

Disfordarkchocolate Mon 18-Nov-19 12:11:26

If she has her own key, why?

You could put something in a slow cooker too.

I'd go mad if I had my (lovely) MIL for a long weekend every month.

Weepingwillows12 Mon 18-Nov-19 12:13:17

I think she is trying to help, albeit by doing the jobs she wants rather than the ones you do. Or maybe she just doesnt want to eat so late at night as a lot of people dont. When would she eat normally?

messolini9 Mon 18-Nov-19 12:13:30

Shall I just say “here’s a magazine and a bottle of red wine, go sit and don’t touch the kitchen whilst I’m upstairs”??!


She is clearly pleasing herself, as she refuses to offer any help with her grandchildren, but is happy to make a huge mess for you to clear up. You have to say something.

Weepingwillows12 Mon 18-Nov-19 12:15:36

But I got sidetracked. Put something in the slow cooker before she arrives. Tell her the plan is to wait until your dh is back for dinner so help herself to a snack .....

fedup21 Mon 18-Nov-19 12:18:04

Take her housekeeper off her and tell her you don't like her

What does this actually mean??

Talkingmouse Mon 18-Nov-19 12:24:28

Get DH to pass the clear msg she is not to cook when she visits beforehand. You repeat msg on arrival. Don’t need to over explain why if she questions, just repeat the msg. It is not a debate. Be direct. Have something prepared in the fridge for Friday. If you hear her start banging around in the kitchen while you are doing bedtime, go down and tell her to stop. Good luck

starfishmummy Mon 18-Nov-19 12:26:34

Tell her that the meal ks timed for 8.45 and that you will cook it. Offer her the chamce to eat with the kids or to have a small snack if she wants to eat before then.

My in laws eat in the middle of the afternoon by our standards, we suck it up if we are going there , but if they come here we warn them that dinner wont be until at least 7.

AudTheDeepMinded Mon 18-Nov-19 12:28:27

Post-it notes on the fridge and all the cupboards ordering not to enter on pain of death as you have a meal planned? Leave a bottle of wine out and some cheese and crackers with note saying 'MIL you ARE allowed these'!! Or get a lock for the kitchen!

Clangus00 Mon 18-Nov-19 12:28:37

Take back your house key or put a lock on your kitchen door.

CoolcoolcoolcoolcoolNoDoubt Mon 18-Nov-19 12:28:41

@fedup21 I presumed house key? As she's letting herself in whilst the OP isn't there?

SchadenfreudePersonified Mon 18-Nov-19 12:29:05


I think it's obvious that the poster meant "housekeep" and autocorrect stuck its oar in.

SchadenfreudePersonified Mon 18-Nov-19 12:29:54

Oh Fuck!

It's done it with me, too - HOUSEKEY

(and keep out of it you nosey technological software bastard)

SchadenfreudePersonified Mon 18-Nov-19 12:30:25

Cross post Clangus

Drabarni Mon 18-Nov-19 12:31:04

your mil has a key and you allow her to come round and cook for you every week when your dh isn't there.

Sympathy none grin My il's are by invitation only and wouldn't dream of giving them a key to our home, i haven't got one to theirs either, why would you?

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