In thinking MIL is seriously overstepping

(364 Posts)
Fairy1303 Wed 28-Aug-13 05:25:46

I have posted similar before.

DSD(8) lives with us. Before me DH was a young single parent so MIL helped him a lot. As a result I have been more lenient with her blatant disregard for our family life.

We also have a 9 week old DS.

These things seem small, but she often lets herself into my house. She makes a beeline for DSDs room ( often with a brief you don't mind do you?... Over her shoulder), cleans it up, collects her laundry, makes her bed.

DSD went to stay for a few days over hols. Decided she didn't like a belt on some trousers. MIL "oh DSD says she doesn't like belt, so I have kept it." Why? Why not send it home and let me deal with it??

She 'popped' round today, asked me if she could take the children's washing home. Was visibly surprised and annoyed when I said I'd done it. Just to point up here - I'm not the type to have mountains of laundry piling up, she will literally leap on a few pairs of pants.

She also said "by the way, I'd you know the baby has a drs app on tues? I saw the note in your nappy bag. Who does she think made it????!!!

I may be sleep deprived over sensitive but this is lik, every other day. She is overstepping the mark isn't she??

It is constant. I feel that she thinks I am incapable, which I'm not.

Oh and we have lived together for 4 years now so I'm hardly new on the scene!

TylerHopkins Wed 28-Aug-13 05:27:29

What does your DH think about this?

ivykaty44 Wed 28-Aug-13 05:29:46

you have a 9 week old baby and your MIL is offering to help with the washing - sorry but I think it is you with the problem. my MIL would come round and do some ironing and my own mum would help with washing and tiding up etc.

Sorry but I think your mIL sounds lovely wanting to help out.

Fairy1303 Wed 28-Aug-13 05:29:57

He says she is being 'helpful' after all, who wouldn't want the laundry done?

Chottie Wed 28-Aug-13 05:32:21

Yes, it is too much. My DM and I had the key to each other's house for emergencies and would always ring at the door. It's a complete disregard for your privacy. What does your DP think of her behaviour? Why does she want to do your washing??? it seems a really personal thing?

Fairy1303 Wed 28-Aug-13 05:33:36

She has been doing this since day one though. I know it comes from a good place. But honestly, it is all the time. She will come round when we aren't in to 'collect some bits' once when she was angry that I'd had the audacity to do my own laundry, she took it home to 'air' it - ecause you don't have an airing cupboard do you dear' she makes snide remarks about how I should not cuddle DS so much, all together it makes me feel inadequate. It is stifling,

TylerHopkins Wed 28-Aug-13 05:34:43

I agree offering to do the washing is helpful however letting herself into the house would annoy me to be honest. I think it's time to draw some lines in the most tactful way possible. She sounds a little controlling but is probably feeling a bit pushed out re DSD.

Chottie Wed 28-Aug-13 05:34:49

Keep cuddling and ignore her!

Fairy1303 Wed 28-Aug-13 05:36:05

And I have asked her politely to stop. Explained that I know she's trying to be helpful. Tried joking about it. Now she just comes round and tells me she's 'sure I won't mind if she just 'pops upstairs' so that she has technically asked permission. Often I will say 'why dot you relax and have a cu of tea instead' she will just tell me she'll be down when she's finished!

LovesBeingOnHoliday Wed 28-Aug-13 05:38:59

She's just carrying on as she always has, does she live alone? I feel sorry for her she seems to need to be needed. Could she do some volunteer stuff?

Fairy1303 Wed 28-Aug-13 05:42:23

No she doesn't live alone. Yes she does definitely need to be needed. I once suggested she volunteered at DSDs school, thinking it would help her to feel involved and needed. She told me I was ridiculous and insensitive p! I do think there is an element of control (not necessarily malicious or even conscious) but definitely control

Theironfistofarkus Wed 28-Aug-13 05:42:40

Oh dear. I don't think she thinks you are incapable. She had clearly become used to being the mother figure and probably is finding it hard to let go of that. But she has to respect the fact that the house is your space and she can't treat it as her own. I would ask my Dh to tell her this nicely and to say that you are grateful for offers of help but that it is important that she gives you space as a family, does not let herself in, asks before doing things and doesn't take offence if her offers are refused. My mil had to be asked not to wash MY knickers and to stop trying to clean the kitchen constantly and empty out my bathroom bin (containing some discarded ovulation sticks which I thought were safely out of sight and obv private). I feel your pain on this.

PTA Wed 28-Aug-13 05:53:48

Either change the locks or fit another lock/bolt to the door. That way she can't let herself in when you are there but will be able to if you want her to. Eg when you are away and want her to water the plants.

With a new baby you might be being a bit over-sensitive but I don't think so. Reading between the lines there seems to be history/back story so put a stop to it now while your new baby is still young and prevent any escalation of events.

At 8 DSD should be cleaning her own room! You seem to have cut MIL a lot of slack and it will be difficult to reign her in but you need to now and the new baby is the perfect excuse. If you don't draw up some boundaries then it's going to get worse. Just look at some of the MIL threads on here!

Alternatively, move to the other end of the country/abroad. ;-)

Theironfistofarkus Wed 28-Aug-13 05:54:19

Ps I don't think it is wrong for mils to offer to help. But it is not helping if you don't want it to happen. Once someone has been told that what they are doing is unhelpful trying to carry on is no longer about helping any more than it would be if you let yourself in her house without asking and started to do her washing or a bit of hoovering.

Mixxy Wed 28-Aug-13 05:57:08

That would bug the utter shit out of me. If she wants to help perhaps you could assign tasks that aren't quite so personal as laundry. Like, "oh, would you mind running the hoover over the living room, I haven't had time".

I would feel really under pressure to keep my home hotel-perfect just to maintain a sense of privacy.

I understand her deep attachment to her GD. Perhaps you could engineer time they could spend together outside of your home, where you don't feel so invaded and judged. If it helps, she only does it because she probably has no input or influence with youe DSDs mum.

Breath deep. I have no contact with my MIL anymore (following massive blow out). Yes, you are filled with hormones, but that doesn't mean you've lost your mind.

PoppyAmex Wed 28-Aug-13 06:06:26

She helped raise her grandchild so I think it might be a tough adjustment for her.

I understand where your position but it sounds like she's coming from a good place so I'd try to be kind.

waltzingmathilda Wed 28-Aug-13 06:23:35

She is all but name the childs mother - your OP reads as though the natural mother wasnt on the scene, very unusual for a young single man to be given residency. It's hard for her to hand the child over to you I'm afraid. There is the blood link that you don't have. She is ensuring her grandchilds interests are best served.

cantreachmytoes Wed 28-Aug-13 06:27:01

That would drive me CRAZY! Airing your washing?!

She's not offering to help, in that case there would be a question involved and an answer listened to. Helping someone does not involve letting yourself into their house uninvited, family member or not.

OP have you asked/told her directly that you appreciate her "kindness", but you want to do things for your family yourself?

Do you know the Australian residency visa thread? If she won't stop, then perhaps you need to do something like that! ;-)

Perhaps too having a clear word with your DP about it too and having him speak to her would help. He doesn't need her like he did when he was single and she's encroaching on your family space.

cantreachmytoes Wed 28-Aug-13 06:27:22

So, YANBU.

exoticfruits Wed 28-Aug-13 06:40:53

I think that you just need to sit down with her and DH and discuss it in a kindly manner. It seems that the situation evolved and no one liked to make any changes once you were on the scene and yet no one was prepared to discuss it - now is the time to start.

lottiegarbanzo Wed 28-Aug-13 06:46:43

I could not live like this and would have been much blunter, long ago.

You've been around for four years. She's had plenty of time - half dsds life in fact - to adjust to you being the stepmother.

The problem is your DP in the end though. If he won't see your point of view and communicate your wishes, she will continue to feel she has permission and it's him and her against the world.

You can ask him to think about whether anyone has asked you if you want help at home. If they did, what would your answer be? Of course a big part of the problem here is that he wants to be looked after, rather than doing housework himself and is accustomed to this. The very fact that doing laundry is seen as helping you, tells us he sees laundry as your job. He is concerned that if his mother stops mothering him, he might be asked to pull his weight domestically.

Pagwatch Wed 28-Aug-13 06:50:46

She had the parent role for a while. It messed with logic. My mother had exactly the same situation. She had been like a mother to her first grandson. When my brother met his partner it was very difficult for her to revert to Grandma - and she was aware of that and trying very hard to adjust.

It's difficult but maybe you should talk about it instead of getting annoyed and taking it personally. Is it not possible to say 'we know how much you love DSD and we know you have helped raise her but we are tryingto give her a regular family here and we want you to be involved for more of the fun grandma stuff -outings and games and going out for cake - and let the washing and tidying be done by all of us who actually live here'

Jinty64 Wed 28-Aug-13 07:01:30

Whilst I think she is just trying to help she should not be allowed to walk in unannounced and should not be going upstairs without your say so.

Motheatenwardrobeofdross Wed 28-Aug-13 07:11:10

She shouldn't have a key to your house, that is stepping way over boundaries.
She shouldn't be doing your washing unless you ask her to, nor cleaning up, going upstairs etc.
I would try and have her do more GP duties such as having the children round her house, making a mess baking cookies in her kitchen etc.

lunar1 Wed 28-Aug-13 07:12:23

I feel quite sorry for her. I appreciate it must be difficult for you but she stepped up when her DGD needed a mother. Then she got replaced, my eldest is 4 and I'm trying to imagine how I would feel if I was suddenly forced to take a step back in his life.

She is basically a mother with no rights, I would be very gentle and never forget this however you approach it. At least it will give you time with your new baby,.

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