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To tell DH I’m not changing the house for his mother?

(145 Posts)
herdownstairs Tue 02-Mar-21 20:17:34

Sorry I had to change user name for this question. To sum up - MIL has been staying with us since Dec and now says she wants us to convert the basement to become more of a flat for her. DH has asked me to organise this.

I have to admit I have posted about his mother before some years ago because we already did a basement conversion for her in a previous house. As it was being finished (all to her spec) she changed her mind about moving in, so DH then had to get her a flat nearby. This was a total headache for him as she suffers from anxiety and was frequently calling him out in the middle if the night because she was paranoid about intruders. I would describe her as very eccentric in various ways (too many to list).

We ended up moving a few miles away. Not entirely because of her behaviour, but mainly to be nearer the kids’ schools. But now she wants to move in again to this house because the bridge is closed and she says she will feel cut off and lonely.

I can cope with her staying with us kind of indefinitely - that’s one thing - but the thought of putting a mini kitchen in the basement (as they were discussing earlier) is filling me with blind rage, if I can be absolutely honest here. There is nothing wrong with the basement as it is - it has two rooms (one she has been using as a bedroom, one as a living room) and a new bathroom. We’ve only been here a year or so. DH will not say no to his mother as he’s responsible for her. I understand this, but also I feel as if I will explode.

But I’m aware she is an elderly person and his mother, obviously. AIBU to flat refuse this or am I being petulant? I don’t mind people being honest if I am. AIBU?

OP’s posts: |
LadyVymes Tue 02-Mar-21 20:21:02

I wouldn’t put a kitchen in the basement. It has what is necessary for her to live with you already and she can use the family kitchen. She sounds lonely and difficult but that doesn’t mean you should change your house costing thousands if she is known to change her mind. It sounds like she wants to control your husband and home through guilt.

Applesandpears23 Tue 02-Mar-21 20:22:10

Could you compromise with a mini fridge, kettle, microwave on a free standing kitchen ‘island’? Ie no structural changes. What is she wanting to cook down there?

Howdoin Tue 02-Mar-21 20:22:10

Get one of these
A microwave and a kettle and tell her to make do. If DH wants anything more tell him to organise it.

GoryGilmore Tue 02-Mar-21 20:23:10

Not a chance I would be doing this.

Hankunamatata Tue 02-Mar-21 20:25:27

Dont need to fit a mini kitchen. Just get one of those movable islands and stick microwave, hot plate, kettle and toaster. Cheap ass fridge next to it

LittleGungHo Tue 02-Mar-21 20:26:13

We stayed in a B&Q that had one of these that worked really well. Of course she could not make a Christmas dinner but at least she could make a cuppa.

HoldontoOneMoreDay Tue 02-Mar-21 20:28:13

Well I wouldn't cut off your nose to spite your face - if she has to move in, surely it's better that she has some way of making her own meals? I'd rather that than cooking and eating three meals a day for someone else. Let her have some independence. (Although I get why you're cross about it given the history).

That said, it doesn't have to be a huge renovation: make it like an office kitchen ie one worktop worth with a sink and fridge.

mogtheexcellent Tue 02-Mar-21 20:28:23

I've read your previous threads and its a no from me. She's a nightmare.

Nacreous Tue 02-Mar-21 20:28:54

I have a two ring induction hob. It's really easy to use and cost about a hundred quid. That, plus a fridge, kettle and toaster etc would presumably do the job and avoid the cost?

It sounds very frustrating and I don't blame you for being fed up.

Wiredforsound Tue 02-Mar-21 20:29:56

Is she going to be living there anyway? If so, and you have a decent budget, get a designer/project manager in to do the lot. If you go to a whole solutions kitchen showroom (e.g. Wren or similar) they can do the whole thing - from the flooring to any building works and fitting) for you if you just pick the stuff.

Devlesko Tue 02-Mar-21 20:30:03

She needs to go in to sheltered accomodation, and tell dh to sort it.
He's a nerve tbh, asking you to sort stuff out, tell him to do one.
No way would I agree to have mil living with us, and your dh will be run ragged caring for her.
Please tell me he doesn't expect you to care for her?

HelloThereMeHearties Tue 02-Mar-21 20:30:58

If you're resigned to her staying with you indefinitely, surely it would be in your interests for her to have her own kitchenette downstairs? Keep her out of your hair/kitchen!

AIMD Tue 02-Mar-21 20:32:27

Will her having a kitchen mean that she spend more time in the basement flay rather than in your living areas? Might be worth it if so. However if she’s just going have the kitchen but use yours for dinner and everything else then what’s the point.

I certainly wouldn’t be organising it for anyone. If they want it they can’t organise it.

Comtesse Tue 02-Mar-21 20:32:42

I don’t get these responses of practical things you can buy. Just say no no no no. You live there too, you are not a bystander. Your husband is taking the piss. Don’t put up with it, don’t find a solution. This is outrageous, you are under-reacting.

132orbust Tue 02-Mar-21 20:32:55


We stayed in a B&Q that had one of these that worked really well. Of course she could not make a Christmas dinner but at least she could make a cuppa.

A B&Q? was this in lockdown? Were you desperate for a holiday? grin

More seriously OP, no way would I be doing anything permanent for a person who previously changed her mind.

Easterbunnygettingready Tue 02-Mar-21 20:33:31

Would such facilities be safe? And does an added kitchen add to your council tax? Sure I recall reading something ages ago...

MrsComte Tue 02-Mar-21 20:33:40

Say no now. You will end up being the default carer for her.

Unless you love her dearly it will be awful.

SandyY2K Tue 02-Mar-21 20:34:29

So you don't get a say in who lives in your house then?

I vaguely remember some of what you described about the previous house.

Was she also annoying with your kids as well and what they ate?

I may be mistaken that thread there was a cultural factor where he felt obligated.

MuddleMoo Tue 02-Mar-21 20:34:49

And if you do decide to do it HE can organise it!

GeorgiaGirl52 Tue 02-Mar-21 20:35:17


Dont need to fit a mini kitchen. Just get one of those movable islands and stick microwave, hot plate, kettle and toaster. Cheap ass fridge next to it

Do this, then if she gets to the point where it is not safe for her to cook you can simply remove the island and equipment.
You do realize that as she gets less able to care for herself you will be expected to care for her?

AIMD Tue 02-Mar-21 20:35:36


Say no now. You will end up being the default carer for her.

Unless you love her dearly it will be awful.

This is a good point. Maybe you need a discussion about this even if it is r an issue yet. Don’t let yourself fall into being the main carer for someone you don’t want to care for

BrieAndChilli Tue 02-Mar-21 20:36:49

I would be worried about a kitchen in a basement from a fire perspective. It there external access to the basement? What would fire escape route be? Especially for an elderly lady.

Dontbeme Tue 02-Mar-21 20:37:56

DH has asked me to organise this

Are you his employee now or is he completely incapable? Tell him no, no to organising this, no to her living with you, just no.

herdownstairs Tue 02-Mar-21 20:38:18

Thankyou - yes maybe a moveable island? If I can try and describe her, she is quite eccentric and also quite specific about having certain ingredients and items in kitchen cupboards at all times. She goes on and on. This is partly because of her Persian food preferences, but also kind of borders on hoarding, in my view. Because we did a kitchen for her before, DH has said not to worry, we can just do the same again. She also wants a built in safe and wardrobe and to bring her own bed and other various furniture items. I just know how this will go with her and we have teenagers and GCSEs and A-levels this summer as it is.

OP’s posts: |

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