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Common courtesy still exist?

Posted by on Jan. 31, 2015 at 7:17 PM
  • 20 Replies
okay, I'm going to get right to the point. My mother-in-law is currently living with us due to unforeseen circumstances. I truly want her to feel comfortable in my house, but I also want my house rules applied and courtesy to be practiced. I don't mind sharing my things or guests to come over. However, am I wrong to expect her to ask to use my things and most importantly to return/use them in same condition she used my things prior?

She has used my cooking ware, and they are either filthy or broken when I go to use them. She has obviously uses my oven/ stove and was to be expected, but she never cleans up the spills and splatters she creates afterwards. The desk she's using in the room she's currently staying in is mine, and I have discovered that some of the wood is either stained or warped. The computer chair she's using is mine, and has been found to be broken. And these are just a few things. I understand she's human, but she hasn't even apologized or make an attempt to clean/ replace them.

Even though I do enjoy company coming over from time to time, I don't think it's much to ask to be forewarned when someone is coming over. My mother-in-law has been from time to time bringing guests over, which I did expect to happen. However, I think it's only courteous to inform others you're doing this... especially if they will be staying over and will be consuming the food someone else paid for. She tends to bring my four nieces to my house unannounced, feeds them the food I paid for, and then occasionally leaves them for me to look after while she sleeps all day or goes to work. Not that I mind my nieces visiting, I just think it's common courtesy to let me know she's planning on doing this instead of dropping this on me.

I have brought this up to my husband, and his response to me is that I'm being petty. I really don't think I'm trying to be petty, just expect common courtesy. Yes she pays us for the room she's staying in (which husband reminds me of this), but I don't think it throws out common courtesy. I mean, I don't go into her room and take her things. If I ever do, I always ask. I even always tell both her and my husband if my relatives or friends are coming over. And this is my house and I pay a huge chunk of bills.
by on Jan. 31, 2015 at 7:17 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Perstephane92
by Member on Jan. 31, 2015 at 10:16 PM
3 moms liked this
You aren't being petty - she's being rude.
mrswillie
by Silver Member on Jan. 31, 2015 at 10:21 PM
6 moms liked this
Two women in one home is the recipe for disaster...especially when one woman is the wife and the other is the mother.
SuckIt69
by Member on Jan. 31, 2015 at 10:29 PM
2 moms liked this
I think you need to let some things go. Dishes, chairs, pots, pans, etc, I wouldn't see as "my" things, but household things. She's part of the household. I would maybe just ask her politely to be gentle with those things. But telling her they're your things probably won't go over well.

She's paying rent, so she's entitled to have guests. But leaving guests for you to care for while she bolts, no. You'll need to talk to her about that.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Jan. 31, 2015 at 10:33 PM
3 moms liked this

She's paying for the room, she's not paying for maid service.  And, if you live with room mates, like strangers, you'd be expected to clean up after yourself, annouce guests, etc.... I don't think you're being petty. I don't like people, even family, all up in my stuff--and if you take something without asking me? No.

 I don't think you have a lot of options, especially if your dh isn't agreeing with you.  Somehow, the annoyances don't bother them, because they're really not the ones having to deal, right?  he's not cleaning up her mess...and when he goes looking for something to eat, it's there.  You're stuck either being the bitch that says something to her about it, or keeping your mouth closed and driving your stress levels up.  You aren't wrong though. 

cina0306
by New Member on Feb. 1, 2015 at 4:05 PM

 

Quoting SuckIt69: I think you need to let some things go. Dishes, chairs, pots, pans, etc, I wouldn't see as "my" things, but household things. She's part of the household. I would maybe just ask her politely to be gentle with those things. But telling her they're your things probably won't go over well. She's paying rent, so she's entitled to have guests. But leaving guests for you to care for while she bolts, no. You'll need to talk to her about that.

 Well of course the dishes, chairs, pots, pans and so on are part of the household.  However, they are what my husband and I provided for our home from our hard earned money.  If she was to move somewhere else, these things would not be provided and she would be expected to take care of that on her own.  And if anything was provided at any other rental (house or apartment), she would be required to take care of the things that are provided with care and if not she  would be expected to pay for damages/ cleaning charges.  Even if she  put down a security deposit, she could potentially not be returned the deposit if  the landlord/ management had to take care of damages/ cleaning expenses.  And if she would rent movies from any movie rental company or borrow books from a library, if damages/ or cleaning expenses had to be made... she could expect some sort of penalty (replacing/ paying for damages).  So, just because we are family... she doesn't have to give us the same respect? 

And as far as the guest issue goes, I have no problem with her bringing guests over.  What I am asking of her is to inform me before they do come over, and not just have them come unannounced.  I do the same for her when I bring others, and its my own home.  My husband and I have always done this with one another as well.  If he was to bring his family and friends or I would mine, we always let each other know before the said guests walk through the door.  I find it common courtesty.  My husband does agree that it is common courtesy for her to do this, but he doesn't agree to make a big stink out of it and that I am just being petty to be so irritated with her actions (I assume he's used to her behavior and doesn't bother him). 

I appreciate your response, and I thank you and respect your point of view.  I see where you are coming from, but I just don't 100% agree with your agrument.  Thanks for taking the time to respond.  :)

 

Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Feb. 1, 2015 at 4:20 PM
3 moms liked this

Your MIL is acting like a teenager.  Instead of "I will be 18 in x number of months."  you are getting "she pays rent."  Well to heck with that.  She needs to get her manners in order!

SuckIt69
by Member on Feb. 1, 2015 at 4:23 PM
I understand your point. But you have to accept that she's not just a "tenant" or regular person. She's the mother of your husband. I'm sure she provided a lot of things for him over the years that he broke, ruined, lost, etc. I kind of see it like it's time to repay some of that without making too much of a big deal about it.

Like I said, talk to her politely and gently about it without making her feel like they're "your"things.

My parents have broken things at my house when they visit; an expensive vacuum, chairs, a bed, my van door, a stroller, etc. Guess what I said? Not a word. It happens, they're human and they've paid for things I've broken a thousand times before.

That's jus my personal opinion. Sometimes I think it's more valuable to replace items and keep the peace.

Quoting cina0306:

 


Quoting SuckIt69: I think you need to let some things go. Dishes, chairs, pots, pans, etc, I wouldn't see as "my" things, but household things. She's part of the household. I would maybe just ask her politely to be gentle with those things. But telling her they're your things probably won't go over well. She's paying rent, so she's entitled to have guests. But leaving guests for you to care for while she bolts, no. You'll need to talk to her about that.

 Well of course the dishes, chairs, pots, pans and so on are part of the household.  However, they are what my husband and I provided for our home from our hard earned money.  If she was to move somewhere else, these things would not be provided and she would be expected to take care of that on her own.  And if anything was provided at any other rental (house or apartment), she would be required to take care of the things that are provided with care and if not she  would be expected to pay for damages/ cleaning charges.  Even if she  put down a security deposit, she could potentially not be returned the deposit if  the landlord/ management had to take care of damages/ cleaning expenses.  And if she would rent movies from any movie rental company or borrow books from a library, if damages/ or cleaning expenses had to be made... she could expect some sort of penalty (replacing/ paying for damages).  So, just because we are family... she doesn't have to give us the same respect? 


And as far as the guest issue goes, I have no problem with her bringing guests over.  What I am asking of her is to inform me before they do come over, and not just have them come unannounced.  I do the same for her when I bring others, and its my own home.  My husband and I have always done this with one another as well.  If he was to bring his family and friends or I would mine, we always let each other know before the said guests walk through the door.  I find it common courtesty.  My husband does agree that it is common courtesy for her to do this, but he doesn't agree to make a big stink out of it and that I am just being petty to be so irritated with her actions (I assume he's used to her behavior and doesn't bother him). 


I appreciate your response, and I thank you and respect your point of view.  I see where you are coming from, but I just don't 100% agree with your agrument.  Thanks for taking the time to respond.  :)


 

cina0306
by New Member on Feb. 1, 2015 at 7:19 PM

 

Quoting SuckIt69: I understand your point. But you have to accept that she's not just a "tenant" or regular person. She's the mother of your husband. I'm sure she provided a lot of things for him over the years that he broke, ruined, lost, etc. I kind of see it like it's time to repay some of that without making too much of a big deal about it. Like I said, talk to her politely and gently about it without making her feel like they're "your"things. My parents have broken things at my house when they visit; an expensive vacuum, chairs, a bed, my van door, a stroller, etc. Guess what I said? Not a word. It happens, they're human and they've paid for things I've broken a thousand times before. That's jus my personal opinion. Sometimes I think it's more valuable to replace items and keep the peace.
Quoting cina0306:

 

Quoting SuckIt69: I think you need to let some things go. Dishes, chairs, pots, pans, etc, I wouldn't see as "my" things, but household things. She's part of the household. I would maybe just ask her politely to be gentle with those things. But telling her they're your things probably won't go over well. She's paying rent, so she's entitled to have guests. But leaving guests for you to care for while she bolts, no. You'll need to talk to her about that.

 Well of course the dishes, chairs, pots, pans and so on are part of the household.  However, they are what my husband and I provided for our home from our hard earned money.  If she was to move somewhere else, these things would not be provided and she would be expected to take care of that on her own.  And if anything was provided at any other rental (house or apartment), she would be required to take care of the things that are provided with care and if not she  would be expected to pay for damages/ cleaning charges.  Even if she  put down a security deposit, she could potentially not be returned the deposit if  the landlord/ management had to take care of damages/ cleaning expenses.  And if she would rent movies from any movie rental company or borrow books from a library, if damages/ or cleaning expenses had to be made... she could expect some sort of penalty (replacing/ paying for damages).  So, just because we are family... she doesn't have to give us the same respect? 

And as far as the guest issue goes, I have no problem with her bringing guests over.  What I am asking of her is to inform me before they do come over, and not just have them come unannounced.  I do the same for her when I bring others, and its my own home.  My husband and I have always done this with one another as well.  If he was to bring his family and friends or I would mine, we always let each other know before the said guests walk through the door.  I find it common courtesty.  My husband does agree that it is common courtesy for her to do this, but he doesn't agree to make a big stink out of it and that I am just being petty to be so irritated with her actions (I assume he's used to her behavior and doesn't bother him). 

I appreciate your response, and I thank you and respect your point of view.  I see where you are coming from, but I just don't 100% agree with your agrument.  Thanks for taking the time to respond.  :)

 

Of course this isn't just a regular tenant, it's my husband's mother.  She is also an adult that should be held responsible.  Yes I do suspect that my husband broke things when he was a kid, and I know I broke things of my mother and father's household things.  However, the way I was raised is to take responsibility (especially when I was of age to know better).  Just because I was a member of the family, doesn't mean respecting my family's things didn't apply like it would to any other person entering the home.  For instance, my brothers and I broke my mother's car window while tossing a ball around in the front yard.  Of course we didn't have the money to have the window fixed, but we had a consequence for it.  We were given weekly allowance for doing chores.  Well due to this instance, we weren't given our allowance until the money was accrued to pay for our mother to have her window fixed.  Yes, my parents had the money to pay us our allowance and replace the window.  The point was to show us that we are responsible for our actions even when its an accidental.  To show us common courtesy as well.  To prepare for the real world.  And that you can't just walk all over a person just because they are family.  Furthermore, as an adult, I have been over to visit my mother's home and my child had accidently broke one of her knick knacks.  Yes my child was just a toddler and it was an accident.  However, I was the adult and I was the one responsible for my child, I took upon myself to give my mother money to find a new knick knack to replace the one my child broke.  I suppose it's a different way of raising.   And even now, I raise my boys the same way.  My younger son got upset took a toy of his older brothers and broke it.  He was told he had to use some of his money, birthday money to be exact, and was to replace his brother's toy he broke.  Yes it was on purpose, but being responsible still applied.  I suppose if it was just one incident or two with my mother-in-law, I could let it go.  However, it seems these things happen over and over... like she cares less to respect our things or my family.

And thank you again for your response and your time to do so.   

cina0306
by New Member on Feb. 1, 2015 at 7:32 PM

 

Quoting mrswillie: Two women in one home is the recipe for disaster...especially when one woman is the wife and the other is the mother.

 I  couldn't agree with you more.  However, unforeseen circumstances occured and she is family. 

ZamilyMom
by Bronze Member on Feb. 2, 2015 at 12:41 PM

This. I would tell your DH that if he is fine with her making messes and not cleaning up after herself, then HE needs to clean up after her,as you will no longer do so.  Follow through, then see if he changes his mind after week or two.


As far as her making you responsible for watching children she invited while she is sleeping: knock on her door and tell you're going out so she needs to watch them.  

Quoting Anonymous 1:

She's paying for the room, she's not paying for maid service.  And, if you live with room mates, like strangers, you'd be expected to clean up after yourself, annouce guests, etc.... I don't think you're being petty. I don't like people, even family, all up in my stuff--and if you take something without asking me? No.

 I don't think you have a lot of options, especially if your dh isn't agreeing with you.  Somehow, the annoyances don't bother them, because they're really not the ones having to deal, right?  he's not cleaning up her mess...and when he goes looking for something to eat, it's there.  You're stuck either being the bitch that says something to her about it, or keeping your mouth closed and driving your stress levels up.  You aren't wrong though. 


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