Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • RebekahR
    • By RebekahR 13th Oct 19, 4:29 PM
    • 5,723Posts
    • 13,935Thanks
    RebekahR
    Mother in law taking photos of inside my house
    • #1
    • 13th Oct 19, 4:29 PM
    Mother in law taking photos of inside my house 13th Oct 19 at 4:29 PM
    So this morning I heard and saw my mother-in-law taking photos downstairs. I was upstairs on the landing and could hear her. I asked who was flashing but she never said anything. So incase I was just making it all up I thought I would check her camera when I went down. Sure enough she had taken photos of all the messy places in my house. The side board with paperwork piled up, the messy kids toys, and the sofa with bedding on. Now seriously who goes into someone else's house and photos their paperwork, and indeed their private space??! I suspect as narcissistic as she is she will have great intentions of taking this home to show her friends and shame me. She detests that I don't keep a perfect house like she does. But seriously this is one step too far and I feel really violated! Or maybe I'm just being ott? ...
Page 4
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 14th Oct 19, 11:38 AM
    • 23,845 Posts
    • 64,204 Thanks
    Pollycat
    None of us can know whether OP is normal messy or lives in a pig sty. Whether the children are riotous and undisciplined or just normal lively ones. If MiL has pics of normal messy then showing them to her friends will just make them laugh at her.
    Originally posted by bouicca21
    I don't think we can comment on the state of the OP's house either.
    If she is OK with it and her husband is OK with it, they should present a united front and tell her it's none of her business.
    For the OP's husband not to support his wife is disrespectful.

    If one of my friends showed me photos of her son & DIL's home in a nasty way, I'd tell her she was out of order.

    Yes he is :-) Stands to reason shes his whole life. Especially now dad isn't here. I can understand it to a degree wanting to do everything for him. And not being able to let go. I will find it hard when its my time for sure!
    Originally posted by RebekahR
    Do you mean 'hes her whole life'?
    For a man who's married with children, I'd expect them to be his whole life.
    • Colliewobble12
    • By Colliewobble12 14th Oct 19, 1:15 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Colliewobble12
    Haha, looks like someone broke into my house and tidied up!
  • archived user
    Ok I'll be honest I looked at the photos because I am nosey! I am also not tidy at home, but I do see why someone who is more so would go quietly mad.

    I also understand that a whole load of stuff just does not fit into a small space, I moved from a big bungalow to a smaller house, and though it has good storage, enough for most minimalists, it's just not big enough for a lifetime of 'stuff'. My child is grown so I can imagine what it would have been like when he was the age your children are and trying to let them have space for themselves and plenty of 'things to do' when there isn't that much room.

    Definitely for my own sanity I would have to do something with the paperwork as that would worry me most, it's one of the few areas I really try to be organised, even if it's just some clear plastic wallets for the important bills, that really does help.

    It's your home as has been said and you can have it how you want it, but you did say early on that you don't get much of a break from the housework. So the more you can find places for things the easier it will be to find them, and the less time you will be stressed hunting through for what you need each time? It will make life easier for you even if it doesn't help with MIL!

    Good luck.
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 14th Oct 19, 2:27 PM
    • 10,278 Posts
    • 36,149 Thanks
    DigForVictory
    Can I suggest a locked box for paperwork? Or filing cabinet if you can bring yourself to accommodate one? Mine has 3 drawers - one for paper, the other 2 for hiding stuff at speed... (Mother of 3 sons, and a far too frequently raided chocolate stash.)
    • Ergates
    • By Ergates 14th Oct 19, 5:06 PM
    • 670 Posts
    • 911 Thanks
    Ergates
    She took the baby from me (4 weeks old) and took her to the kitchen. ..... she had found a bottle teat in the cupboard and dipped it in the pot of sugar and gave it to the baby
    Originally posted by RebekahR
    She did what?!?!?!?
    Oh. My. God!
    What kind of a person does that to somebody else's baby, without even asking.
    That she has been allowed back in the house ever again shows that you are very forgiving.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 14th Oct 19, 5:39 PM
    • 23,845 Posts
    • 64,204 Thanks
    Pollycat
    Well this is the thing isn't it. 2 people in the house. Hubby invites her - I never do. I agree as to why on earth she turns up. I keep suggesting a bed and breakfast as she cant stand the place. But she says there is no need for that. Would mean hastle for her gtting from there to our house to see the kids. although we could visit outside the house - too much hastle to arrange for her. WE both tell her off but she still does behind our back even if we have said no to X. She then gets shouted at she might say sorry. And repeat on the next visit ... Hubby owns and pays for the house so technically its his house and not mine!
    Originally posted by RebekahR
    I've just noticed this (in bold).
    WOW!
    Just WOW!
    I'm beginning to think there is some culture difference to what I am used to...
    • rach_k
    • By rach_k 14th Oct 19, 7:18 PM
    • 1,574 Posts
    • 2,750 Thanks
    rach_k
    I've just noticed this (in bold).
    WOW!
    Just WOW!
    I'm beginning to think there is some culture difference to what I am used to...
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    Is she from a different culture to you, OP? The giving a newborn sugar thing reminds me of my in-laws (not that they would, but it sounds like the kind of thing that would've been suggested).
    • eamon
    • By eamon 14th Oct 19, 7:37 PM
    • 1,904 Posts
    • 1,347 Thanks
    eamon
    The living room is a dump yet at the same time fab. I get it that for the last few months you have been time poor and things are not how you would choose.
    I also think that MIL has never approved of you being part of her sons life let alone having children with him. Must be stressful.. I wouldn't waste time & effort trying to appease her you wouldn't be able to. As for solutions I have none that haven't already been said.
    • duchy
    • By duchy 14th Oct 19, 10:12 PM
    • 18,406 Posts
    • 46,881 Thanks
    duchy
    Quite!

    The OP clearly only wants sympathetic responses. Maybe she fully deserves them? Maybe she doesn't? We will never know!
    Originally posted by Undervalued
    I used to work with the OP before she had kids (although we are no longer in touch). Her MIL's behaviour is nothing new unfortunately, the shenanigans she pulled over their wedding were a milder version (but still OTT) of this. Things clearly havent improved with time .
    So some of us can and do know !!
    I Would Rather Climb A Mountain Than Crawl Into A Hole

    MSE Florida wedding .....no problem
    • duchy
    • By duchy 14th Oct 19, 10:56 PM
    • 18,406 Posts
    • 46,881 Thanks
    duchy
    I was hoping for the garden too , )
    In all honesty I've seen worse and now the kids are both at school you can attack it (not for her but for you)
    I Would Rather Climb A Mountain Than Crawl Into A Hole

    MSE Florida wedding .....no problem
    • duchy
    • By duchy 14th Oct 19, 10:59 PM
    • 18,406 Posts
    • 46,881 Thanks
    duchy
    The living room is a dump yet at the same time fab. I get it that for the last few months you have been time poor and things are not how you would choose.
    I also think that MIL has never approved of you being part of her sons life let alone having children with him. Must be stressful.. I wouldn't waste time & effort trying to appease her you wouldn't be able to. As for solutions I have none that haven't already been said.
    Originally posted by eamon
    I've always thought it was a good thing she never had a daughter.....I don't think it would have gone well.
    I Would Rather Climb A Mountain Than Crawl Into A Hole

    MSE Florida wedding .....no problem
    • chesky
    • By chesky 15th Oct 19, 12:02 AM
    • 1,238 Posts
    • 2,149 Thanks
    chesky
    Why don't you try to harness all that energy? If you have a garden I bet you don't have the time or energy to deal with it. So you could produce the lawnmower, spade, hoe and lock her out there. You could even tell her to wee behind the garage.
    • duchy
    • By duchy 15th Oct 19, 12:17 AM
    • 18,406 Posts
    • 46,881 Thanks
    duchy
    Why don't you try to harness all that energy? If you have a garden I bet you don't have the time or energy to deal with it. So you could produce the lawnmower, spade, hoe and lock her out there. You could even tell her to wee behind the garage.
    Originally posted by chesky
    Actually the OP is a garden lover ......so I doubt she'd willingly let her near it
    I Would Rather Climb A Mountain Than Crawl Into A Hole

    MSE Florida wedding .....no problem
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 15th Oct 19, 8:20 AM
    • 33,874 Posts
    • 68,254 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    It is no-one else's business how the OP's house is arranged, nor whether it is 'tidy' or 'untidy'. (If it was a 'hoard' that would be different, but it isn't).

    If the M-i-L can't stand it, she doesn't need to come, they could go to her house instead.

    Otherwise her son needs toi tell her (and mean it) to stop interfering wiht their stuff.

    And I quite disagree with that it is because he is an only child. I only have one child, his house is similar to the OP's (and they don't even have the excuse of any children!), but I don't tidy it up every time I go. I just quietly clear a space on the sofa . It's his and his partner's space, not mine, and they can live in it as they see fit.

    (I have on a couple of occasions asked him to clean the toilet so that I can use it, but I have also said that the fact that I can't use it without cleaning is my problem and not his).
    Member #10 of 2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
    • EmmyLou30
    • By EmmyLou30 15th Oct 19, 11:54 AM
    • 510 Posts
    • 639 Thanks
    EmmyLou30
    My Mum might try and hide the odd disapproving look at a pile of dirty dishes or dust when visiting but she'd never say anything or take photos! That said we're more of a 'behind the back' family where we'd !!!!! about someone else's messy house alright, but never to their face....we're polite like that ;-) Ha.


    It's so hard not to judge others by your own standards though. The difference is you can disapprove of someone not meeting your standards all you want, but you have no idea what they have going on in their life, why should they change for you, and it's none of your business, so you keep it to yourself. She sounds like the MIL from hell alright.
    • andygb
    • By andygb 15th Oct 19, 3:34 PM
    • 13,302 Posts
    • 30,297 Thanks
    andygb
    Talk about an interfering old bat. I totally am onside with the OP, because the MiL was obviously not going to own up to it. I would have looked at the camera and probably deleted every pic or maybe cleared the memory card altogether.
    The MiL sounds a bit like my sister. We let her and my dad stay for a few days years ago, and I found her going through our private paperwork - bills and statements which were in folders in cupboards.
    • supermezzo
    • By supermezzo 15th Oct 19, 4:27 PM
    • 1,021 Posts
    • 1,267 Thanks
    supermezzo
    Take the bull by the horns before she goes, sit down with her and your hubby, and quietly but firmly ask her to tell you what the purpose was of her taking photographs of your home?

    Then I'd explain to her that you find it very odd behaviour. Explain to her that when you visit hr home, you abide by her rules and respect her privacy (as all normal people would expect to do) and that you expect the same courtesy and respect in your home, in return. Acknowledge to her that you both have very different ways of running a house but that it is not her right to come into yours and criticise. Calmly say that next time she visits, there are going to be some changes, starting with her staying at the b&b. Give neither her nor your hubby any wriggle room, make your position clear in a quiet dignified tone and stick to it.

    And if hubby doesn't like it, then I'd be telling him to put everything away before she next visits, then book yourself into the b&b whilst she's there.

    I feel for you - I de-personalise the house before my MIL arrives as I can't bear her pawing over everything and nosing around.
    It aint over til I've done singing....
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 15th Oct 19, 6:33 PM
    • 12,301 Posts
    • 10,882 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    Why don't you try to harness all that energy? If you have a garden I bet you don't have the time or energy to deal with it. So you could produce the lawnmower, spade, hoe and lock her out there. You could even tell her to wee behind the garage.
    Originally posted by chesky
    Did you mean this or weed?
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 15th Oct 19, 6:50 PM
    • 23,845 Posts
    • 64,204 Thanks
    Pollycat
    It's so hard not to judge others by your own standards though. The difference is you can disapprove of someone not meeting your standards all you want, but you have no idea what they have going on in their life, why should they change for you, and it's none of your business, so you keep it to yourself. She sounds like the MIL from hell alright.
    Originally posted by EmmyLou30
    TBH, I can't see why anyone would judge anybody else.
    I wouldn't look down my nose at anyone who had a more-cluttered house than mine.

    As for having 'no idea what they have going on in their life', I'd expect this MIL to know that a person close is extremely ill.
    I'd certainly expect my OH to stand up for me.

    I do agree she sounds like the MIL from hell.
    • borkid
    • By borkid 15th Oct 19, 7:06 PM
    • 2,209 Posts
    • 4,716 Thanks
    borkid
    Just looked at the photos, what's the problem there is space on the floor to walk. It's your home your rules.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,176Posts Today

8,264Users online

Martin's Twitter