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to see my mil's helpfulness as meddling and snooping?

(24 Posts)
canofworms Sat 30-Aug-08 11:07:30

I left my mil a key for our house while we were on holiday last week. tbh I don't usually but our neighbours were burgalled in broad daylight 2 days before we left and I was feeling uneasy

She only had to come in to feed our guinea pigs (they're outside but their food etc I left by the back door)

I left the house more or less clean and tidy so she couldn't interfere and then she rang on holiday to say she'd done my ironing.... there was no ironing. She had re-ironed a load of clothes that were in the basket for a different reason. Dh let her know he wasn't pleased.

I got home to find things moved from where I left them and put away where they don't belong.

I know she thinks she's helping me out but why do I feel like she's going through my things without asking? I'm so annoyed I can't yet speak to her but wondered if I abu?

differentID Sat 30-Aug-08 11:11:17

you are so not being unreasonable.

biscuitytrousers Sat 30-Aug-08 11:14:30

yanbu at all. very irritating behaviour. the bit about finding ironing and thinking she was doing a favour - maybe not that bad of her. my mum might do similar and i'd be really grateful. but rifling through things and moving them around - why???? not unreasonable to be cross about that. it's an invasion of your privacy and feels a bit like she's judging your methods and trying to impose her own.

canofworms Sat 30-Aug-08 11:17:52

with the ironing thing - she often irons for me if she's babysitting but not always. So she obviously thought she could just do it again. It's the not asking bit that annoyed me. She even ironed my nappies!!!

AMumInScotland Sat 30-Aug-08 11:18:02

YANBU - what is supposed to be "helpful" about moving things randomly? Or ironing things she finds in the basket? You might have wanted to soak those because of a mark or something, which ironing would only have made worse! I'd tell her in no uncertain terms that going in just past the back door to get the food does not give her the right to wander round the house treating it as her own!

canofworms Sat 30-Aug-08 11:47:34

I think I might have to get the key back off her pronto and not give her one again.

Makes me wonder where else she's been looking around.......

halogen Sat 30-Aug-08 12:11:51

That sounds infuriating, especially moving things around. I'd probably say 'I noticed you moved x, but I'd really rather you didn't because I couldn't find it when I needed it' to start with. But if she keeps doing it, I agree you ought to ask for the key back.

twoisplenty Sat 30-Aug-08 12:17:34

YANBU. Similar thing happened to me when I went on holiday. On the way home (lift from mil) she mentioned there was a "surprise" at home.

She had cleaned the house from top to bottom.

I went to my bedroom and sat and sobbed. It felt like total invasion of my privacy. And I was so angry that she felt my house was "unclean".

I have never forgotten this, and it was 5 years ago.

branflake81 Sat 30-Aug-08 12:34:46

My MIL did this for us whilst we were away. At first I was a bit sort of shocked and offended but then I realised that she genuinely wanted to help and felt pleased she cared that much. I think you need to look at her intentions and if they were good then YAB a bit U.

ecoworrier Sat 30-Aug-08 15:10:38

It doesn't matter what her intentions were. If she did it without asking, it is unreasonable.

Elasticwoman Sun 31-Aug-08 14:42:18

YANBU to be cross about MIL's snooping and interference, but you did ask for it by giving her a key.

Does your MIL live in the same street as you? If not, why leave a key with her and not a neighbour? I do wonder why people insist on burdening their sometimes aged relatives with this sort of thing when it would be a lot less trouble for some one who is on the scene anyway. I suspect it is because people do not want to ask a favour from neighbours in case they might be asked to put themselves out and reciprocate.

The best defence against burglary is to be on close terms with your neighbours.

Beaches Sun 31-Aug-08 15:00:19

Maybe she really was just trying to help, what can be achieved by staying angry anyway? You could let her know you appreciate the thought but if she has some time and wants to spend it with you and her family you could work out together over a cup of tea what needs doing and the areas you could really use her help in. Then you have set boundries, she will be genuinley helping, if that was her orignal intention, and your other half wont be stuck in the middle...

wheresthehamster Sun 31-Aug-08 15:05:02

Send her round here please!!!

I dream of someone coming in and ironing and clearing up while I'm out grin

I've always assumed that if I give someone a key then it's possible my whole house will be up for inspection.

Next time is it possible to leave the food outside?

cornsilk Sun 31-Aug-08 15:06:43

I don't think that's so bad. It is her son's and her grand children's house as well after all. She probably thought she was doing you a favour.

chapstickchick Sun 31-Aug-08 15:11:36

i dont think its so bad either- my widowed fil often moves in our home whilst we are away and we always come back to find hes reorganised things to suit himself.

i have 3 sons and can picture my daughters in law in years to come posting similr things about me - remeber your dh was her baby once nd ive said it before ill say it again mils are best kept close they make better friends than enemies.grin

Beaches Sun 31-Aug-08 15:14:02

I agree hamster, my neighbour has a key and I would not leave anything anything on display I did not want her to see! Human nature is to have a wee snoop in our kids rooms, that is prob how mil sees it although he is now a grown man lol
Reminds me of my aunty who would always clean before the cleaner arrived so she would not tell people she had a dirty house grin

cornsilk Sun 31-Aug-08 15:17:12

My mum irons everything in sight when she babysits for us - even underpants! She can't help herself and she'd be really upset if I told her not to. I just grin and bear it. Dh thinks it's great as I am a slattern!

Beaches Sun 31-Aug-08 15:22:38

My mum is fantastic with my little one but the house is always trashed by the time she goes home smile guess you cant have it all! Just glad she has a good relationship with my daughter, no one ever died because the house was too clean... or to dirty wink All mums are heroes in thier own way...

highschoolmusical Sun 31-Aug-08 16:11:50

NBU, My MIL did a similar thing when I wa in hosptial after having DD - she rifled through all my bloody stuff. I find it a real invasion of privacy when MIL do stuff like this, just come, play with the kids or whatever you have been asked to do and go home.smile

AbbeyA Sun 31-Aug-08 16:19:56

YANBU because you didn't ask her to.
My PIL used to come and house sit when we went on holiday and it was lovely because we would come back and find everything clean and sparkling and the garden neat and weed free. Unfortunately they are now too elderly and it is the other way around. I miss it!

ipanemagirl Sun 31-Aug-08 16:22:17

yanbu but to me it's all about motive really, she may just feel at home at your place, maybe it's peaceful for her and she likes the quiet?! But clearer communication might just sort it out in future. So a loving note saying - "Please, there's no need to do any chores for us really, you are helping loads by feeding our gps - but there are biscuits and some longlife milk if you'd like a cup of tea"

Also maybe don't leave anything in the ironing basket and reduce her potential for footling about.

All things being considered anyone who's looking after pets for people on holiday is doing them a big favour. I babysat some tropical fish and didn't mind at all but it IS a commitment and and effort and a responsibility (what with alarms and locks and all) people with pets often don't realise that it's an effort for those of us without them!

But everyone's different, I hate it when a female friend of mine goes upstairs in my house, she has that slightly weird curiosity of an adolescent...... I'd rather she wasn't footling in my drawers....

mother2two Sun 31-Aug-08 17:03:19

I think you are being unreasonable but let me explain my point of view; (I know this is going to cause a reaction with some, but I emphasise, these are my opinion and I was asked wink

When our family go on holiday, we leave the house keys with my neighbour. I fully expect them to bring their family and to snoop around the house, and this year was no exception. For some people, the temptation is simply too much.

On returning to our house we found:

-leftover turd in the toilet. What the neighbour had not realised is that we turn off the mains when we are on holiday. So the inevitable happened and the toilet did not flush. Of course the outside tap did not work either, so they ended up having to use the water from the waterbutt, which was murky and hence the result in the toilet.

-We are a non smoking household and have an extremely sensitive mains powered fire alarm. So when they invited their smoking friends along and set of the fire alarm, they were somewhat horrified to discover that it did not "shut up" when the batteries were removed. This led to an amusing chain of events, that for space consideration, I can't write here.

-They were suppose to look after our tropical fish, but some died. I know this because the pet shop owner told me. My neighbour had gone in to get some replacements fish and had told the pet shop owner, presumably without realising it would get back to me!

There are some other examples, but again, for space consideration I can't write here. I paid my neighbours £20 for 2 weeks but even so, I believe that once you leave your house keys with someone else, you should not be too surprised if they treat your home like their own.

Nevertheless, my neighbour's family presence in my home for those 2 weeks protected our home, as word got round that the place was lived in and occupied. For that reason, whatever their mischief, it was worth it!

Ronaldinhio Sun 31-Aug-08 17:12:00

You are being neither unreasonable nor reasonable!!
She's either an interfering old witch or is trying to be helpful and closer to you and this is the only way she knows how

My mum is like this but it is simply the only way she can show love
sad

smallwhitecat Sun 31-Aug-08 17:12:31

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