MIL Boundaries - She went in the bedroom(249 Posts)
Long one but aren’t they all.
We recently bought and moved into our home (house renovated brand new), it’s round the corner from MIL & she didn’t visit at all at prev address (not too far).
I am pregnant, and very unreasonable 90% of the time hence being here.
We moved in during Xmas break. People have been round unannounced nearly every day since. I am not used to this AT ALL as ‘my people’ have respect for boundaries and prior- warning that they are coming.
This has resulted in MIL finding me asleep on the sofa on two occasions (I’m a sleepy pregnant lady and it was my day off) and has both times made me feel like I shouldn’t be sleeping in the afternoon (disclaimer- I work full time in an office for local government all year including Xmas except bank hols and also run a busy hair and beauty business both home and mobile so most weeks I do 13 hours a day/ 6 days a week) so I think I’ll be forgiven for a nap on my day off.
Yesterday she came round when I wasn’t home, she doesn’t usually have a key but is regularly here when I’m not (DP doesn’t mind her being here all the time). She was here all day.
I had preempted that she would clean my house, so on Sunday I cleaned all the way through downstairs. We’d already agreed months ago that both she and my own mother weren’t to have a key as I’d be uncomfortable with them doing washing or cleaning whilst I was out (Id have a cleaner and I’m more than capable of sorting my own washing) she agreed that she too would be annoyed if someone cleaned her house while she was out
I came that came home to find she has cleaned my (already very clean) downstairs toilet, which stunk of bleach (which made me sick) and furthermore had proceeded to clean my (already clean) kitchen, re-arrange my cupboards, move my decorate items around into different places in the windows (giving the impression she didn’t like how I’d done them, or thought I’d done them wrong). She also bought a new window cleaning tool and TEN LIGHT BULBS and left the bill on the living room side after proceeding to change ALL my lightbulbs in my lounge making it now only slightly resemble blackpoolfuckingillu
worst of all
When I went upstairs in the evening, I noticed she hadn’t cleaned the upstairs bathroom and was relieved, there’s no need for her to be upstairs; we have a downstairs loo as aforementioned. I took a shower and when I entered my bedroom, my bed is made and window is open. I asked DP if he had done this (I was livid as bedroom minus 2 at this point and I’m soaking wet from shower) he had not. So she’s been in my bedroom, decided the bed needed making and the place needed ‘airing out’. Not only that but she’s not done anything else upstairs, so looks as if she’s gone upstairs and gone straight to our bedroom to do this. Very annoying.
I’m beyond insulted but I daren’t approach it with her. We usually have a great relationship but since having this house she is ignoring my wishes to fulfill her need to fill her nest again, but I’m a fully grown woman who has no requirement for her interference on this level. DP has had to ‘have a word’ with her previously as she bought kitchen items which id already bought.
Advice on how to approach please, I don’t want to hurt her feelings; but she will be really hurt that we’ve got these boundaries in place regardless, as I genuinely don’t think she would think that my bedroom is a no- go- zone.
She cried when I told her I’d already bought a kettle, despite assuring me she’d be happy to take the one she’d bought back to the shop.
I don’t want to burn any bridges but I also want to feel like this is my space, and that I can make it my own home (v difficult for me- new town, no family or friends of my own here, recently discovered pregnant following GYN telling me it wouldn’t ever happen)
Please be kind, although I’m furious about my personal space invasion I do want to keep my relationship with her as she’s an actual angel of a human (but has no boundaries).
Why has she got a key?
Why has she got a key?
Why has she got a key?
Take it away.
Return the bill to her and the items. Take the bulbs out...give it all back with the receipt.
She sounds like a sensitive soul, but still, it's not okay to be overstepping boundaries like this.
It's lovely that you get on. If it were me I'd get DH to have a quiet word. Or even tell her yourself.
Making sure to point out that you are so grateful that she wants to help but you do not want or need your things moved around and cleaned. Just be honest, tell her how you are keen to make it your own because of all the things you just mentioned. Just be gentle with how you word it.
It's nice you want to preserve her feelings but that doesn't mean she should be doing this, it's massively overstepping. If you don't say something she will keep on doing it, which will become more intense and frequent once babys born and you really don't need that.
How did she get in?
Apologies, after my extensive description I failed to mention she had the key because we were having a phone line installed and DP gave it to her to wait in for us. Thank you for your replies. @RibenaMonsoon I think we’re on the same page and I’ll have to approach this one myself
Does sound a bit like you want your cake and to eat it.
You ask her to wait in all day in your house then object when she keeps busy by cleaning for you. Evil cow.
Get the keys off her. Or change the lock barrels. Stop asking her to be your grunt work go to.
@BillHadersNewWife I’d love to shove the window cleaning tool where the sun doesn’t shine quite frankly but I think she’d have a breakdown if I took all the bulbs to her house ’I think you left these by accident’ haaaaahaha
My ex MIL was like this, she’s very nice but always overstepped boundaries.
She’s let herself into my home unannounced even if I was home! One time I came out of my bedroom naked as I was about to go into the bathroom to have a shower and I could hear her and ExFIL chatting in my hallway!!!
It came to head one day when I came home from work to find her stood in my kitchen folding up my clothes from the tumbled drier including my knickers. I was mortified and blurted out “What the fuck are you doing?!”
After that exDP and I took our key back and made it clear they had to call or text before attempting to visit and under no circumstances were they to turn up unannounced.
@madroid I didn’t ask her to wait in, DP arranged. I did ask her not to clean and rearrange my house though and she ignored me, but I see where you’re coming from, I know she doesn’t mean harm and I’m over sensitive about it. Thank you
@WhoFramedRoger that would tip me over the edge too. MIL does let herself in the house if I’m home, his whole family do. Which has resulted in his older brother walking into my lounge while I’ve been on the sofa in my pants and a tshirt, and also how his mother found me asleep on the sofa twice
locks doors and takes DP’s key too because pyschopath pregnant lady has kicked in
I'm serious! Give them back...don't let her walk over you. Have you got the key back now?
An exs mum did similar once, she came round later that evening for dinner when I wasn’t there. Ex swiftly removed her key and told her why (which I thought was enough), but he also made her return everything she had rearranged to its original position.
Sigh, I could have written this. Also a hormonal pregnant lady with a gem of a mil who also has limited boundaries.
I'm struggling on how to address it without hurting her feelings.
I’d be putting some boundaries in place now, especially as you have a child on the way.
My MIL unpacked and washed my blood stained hospital clothes after I came home from having DC2. I know she was trying to help but it felt like an intrusion too far and I put my foot down.
“I consider these items very personal and intimate and am mortified that you have touched them. Please ask before doing this again.”
Same for not allowing her in our bedroom “our bedroom is private and unless it’s an emergency, please don’t enter” after finding her running her finger along the top of a picture frame when I hadn’t managed to clean because my DD was in NICU.
@BillHadersNewWife yes. She seemed reluctant but did post the key after leaving for the day.
In our first house PIL, would turn up, and walk straight in.
So I permanently kept the chain on the door
They almost snapped that massive chain, several times, so then I kept the door locked.
They wanted us to buy a sofa bed for our lounge so that they could stay and babysit.
I envisaged trying to get to the kitchen with them there. We didn’t buy a sofa bed.
Why on earth did you actively choose to move so close to her? Even if you didn't know she was like this, the best family relationship are ones where you aren't living in the same town. What possessed you to move basically on top of each other? You realise that when you have the baby, it will be much much worse and she'll want to be over every day. I just don't understand. The only advice I can give is move now. Move out of the town. I don't mean hundreds of miles away, but you are far far too close to each other it just won't work. It never does. I see it time and time again on here, many women have posted about how suffocating their husband's family is and they live close together in the same town, show up every day, etc. It never....works. You need to move. Get away now.
DP just woke up and told me that while I was out at the gym last night he’s had MIL round and bollocked her for coming round all the time and totally broken her heart about it. I now have to fix his mess because my issue isn’t her coming round my issue is her crossing a line.
What she is doing is coming from a good place.
Just remember that .
Your Dh does not share your boundaries, so I'd start there. He thinks it is ok for his Mum to wait all day in your house. What are his thoughts on grandma providing childcare in the future? Where does he see that happening? Will Grandma be doing the school pick up and bringing dc back to your house and making their tea? Are you down with all of that?
You need to decide what your boundaries really are, too. Cleaning and changing lighbulbs and moving your stuff and entering your bedroom are clearly too much. But will she be welcome to use her key to watch the dc? If so, I would be wary of taking it off her now.
@SaphfireRose that's a very broad judgement you have of everyone and their MiL. Some families are just close and everyone gets along without over stepping boundaries and if there ever was a problem, been adults we are able to sort it out without us moving miles away. Me, my DP and DS live within 5 minutes of both my Dbro, DSil and nieces and also my Mum and dad.
I also lived with my DP 4 doors down from my DFil and DMil for 2.5 years.
OP I hope you can sort the boundaries problem out!
Your sense of violation of your boundaries has nothing to do with you being pregnant and 'hormonal'. Don't let anyone talk you into thinking that. This is such a massive overstep that I don't really know where to begin. Your dp needs to have a nice but very firm word with her* and get the key back.
*Along the lines of 'Mum, I'm assuming [NOT: I know] you meant well by cleaning the house, but we really don't want you to do that and feel it's overstepping boundaries. This is our house, we are responsible for cleaning it and arranging things the way we want them. Please let us, as the householders, decide when we want to clean, how bright we want it, where we want our things. We want to have a good relationship with you but we can't if you try to make decisions that aren't yours.' He uses 'we' throughout and does not say that 'you' specifically are upset.
Maybe offer to meet her for a coffee.
It might be time to bite the bullet and explain what the issue is. Otherwise she will think she's not welcome anymore. When that's not the case, you just don't want your stuff rearranged or cleaned.
Ah, x post.
'Totally broken her heart' - no, this isn't your 'mess' to fix. This is part of her strategy (be it conscious or otherwise) for getting round the reasonable setting of boundaries (cf. crying when you bought a kettle!). Sjhe knows showing upset makes you feel bad and soften the boundaries that you had tried to put in place. If your dp was unpleasant to her, that's not OK and he needs to apologise - but for the delivery only, not the content of the message.
I find it interesting that she didn't visit at all previously, but now you are very close she is coming all the time - it's a bit as if she sees your place as an extension of hers? You do need to be robust about this, or things are going to get worse and worse once the baby is born. (Having her do childcare - if that's your plan, which it presumably is - will, of course, muddy the waters, so a very clear chat on mutual expectations will be well advised, plus acceptance that she may decide not to be available if she doesn't like your limits).
@ltk my MIL has made it clear she has no intentions of providing childcare unless in the event of an emergency. So no, I won’t have changed standards once the baby arrives.
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