Post # 1
My in-laws (my DH’s father and stepmother) have been staying with us this past weekend. Every time they come, DH’s stepmother takes over my house!!! I cannot even cook in my own kitchen without her taking over and telling me that I am doing something wrong. Even though my house is spotless, she takes it upon herself to find something to clean. This morning she was cleaning the inside of our vacuum cleaner. GRRRR. I have been nice so far, but I am almost to my breaking point. DH believes that it is a difference in culture since in her culture the oldest female takes care of everyone. She still needs to learn that it is rude. He has agreed to have a talk with his dad soon. I guess I just have to be glad that they don’t come visit that often (maybe once per year) and that they will be on a plane at 6pm tonight. /rant
Post # 2
gingerspice: I would have a big problem with that. I would probably walk into the room and see here cleaning the vaccume and say something like “Excuse me but I dont think you reall need to be cleaning my vaccume. Thanks for trying to help but this isnt working for me. I need you to just be a guest and let me take care of my own house.”
And I would be HUGELY offended if she tried to kick me out of my kitchen. I would go straight to mean there. I would litterally say something like “I need you to get out of my kitchen. Im cooking and do not need someone to take over for me.”
Im a very no bullshit kind of person so I would have told her no a while ago. Im sure other bees will have more sensitive ways to deal with this but just know that you feeling uncomfortable is (A) Normal and (B) Not ok for her to make you feel that way. I dont care whos culture this is.
Post # 3
gingerspice: My ex MIL used to do that. I finally learned to relax and enjoy it. My house was always spotless after her visits.
Post # 4
Wow! You are (almost) lucky. When my MIL used to visit, she’d plop her butt down on a chair and only get up to come to the dining room table. On the odd-chance that she’d come into the kitchen, to offer to help make supper, she’d pick at the food being prepared so much, she wouldn’t be hungry later.
Post # 5
Thanks for responding! This is the first time they have visited since we got married, so I am tryinh to set a precident. I honestly believe that she is trying to “help” and doesn’t realize how rude it is. I was able to cook breakfast today without interference, but then she insisted on washing the dishes. By hand. We have a dishwasher for a reason.
Post # 6
Please ask your MIL to come over to my house and clean out my vaccuum cleaner. I HATE doing that! Also, if she’s a good cook, I’m more than happy to have her take over my kitchen. 🙂
Post # 7
gingerspice: I don’t think it is rude for her to offer to help. The only rude thing is for her to tell you that you’re doing it wrong. There are many ways to skin a cat. My mom used to complain about the way I used to do some things. My argument was as long as the outcome is the same it doesn’t matter. If I’m doing something, I do it my way; if she does it, she can do it her way.
What is wrong with her washing the dishes? Unless she doesn’t clean well, a dishwasher does not automatically mean better.
Post # 8
gingerspice: Before she comes in future, invest in a cleaner to make it spotless (while you’re busy being fabulous) so there is nothing to do 😉
I don’t mind. Mine adjusts the blind that has a fold in the corner.. or starts emptying the dishwasher (and drying it with a tea towel.. I mean hello? It’s dried already…) They’re just mothering about the place. The best bit is she has a cleaner.. ahhahah.
It doesn’t bother me. I see it as helping out. I do discourage it though, because it embarrasses me that a guest is “working.”
So, keep mentioning that old adage: “No, no, no (usher out with sweeping hand movement), you’re a GUEST ! (call to boyf: Would you seat your mother in the lounge and get her a drink?”
Mumble things like: “my, my you’re like a whirlwind ! We all need to settle down and have a nice time now”
should work, you just have to ‘own’ your territory 😉 Be a larger than life host and they’ll all do exactly as you say.
Post # 9
I can totally relate! My bf’s parents are of Mediterranean background and in their culture the mother really takes an important role in the house, regardless of whether their children are grown up! She literally comes to our house while we’re at work and does our garden. I don’t mind since I truly suck at gardening and she’s amazing at it. When my in laws come to our house for dinner, she BRINGS US A FULL MEAL. I mean, how embarrassing? Like I can’t cook dinner? haha. I learned that she really doesn’t mean it in an insulting way. She knows my bf and I work all day at pretty stressful jobs (I’m a lawyer and he’s a computer programmer) and she’s a homemaker so she’s just happy to do it for us. At first I was a bit offended by it and thought it was kinda odd but now I really appreciate it. Plus, she’s an amazing cook. It’s just in her culture to mother and nurture her sons even if they’re grown men. Maybe that’s the case for your in laws as well? What’s they cultural background? Perhaps you could find a way to compromise and meet in the middle?
Post # 10
( although I would be insulted if she would tell me I’m doing something wrong ) I guess it depends how she says it too. Like, is she trying to “teach” you how to do something or is she completely telling you your way or wrong for no particular reason?
Post # 11
Thanks. I know it could be much worse. While I don’t mind a little help, she takes it to the extreme. For instance, she unloaded dishes that I had just put in the dishwasher because “it doesn’t get them clean enough.” She also won’t sit and eat for more than 5 min because she has to clean up. I guess I get insulted because I am trying to be a good host and want them to relax. I think it’s mainly habit for her. I feel like we always have to do things her way. I guess in some ways I should just accept it since they don’t come very often. Just a small rant 🙂