Mother-In-Law Is Asking for Money for Cleaning Our House Even Though We Didn’t Request It

People
3 months ago

Fostering a close bond with a mother-in-law isn’t always a walk in the park. You’d think the more experienced, wiser figure, the mother-in-law, should exhibit wisdom, with the daughter-in-law responding in kind with respect. Yet, sometimes, the mother-in-law’s actions can catch you off guard. Our protagonist found herself in such a situation when she returned from the maternity ward, only to discover a note from her mother-in-law.

“I (F31) gave birth to my beautiful son a week ago. Unfortunately there were some complications, so I was only released yesterday, but I am so grateful to be home with our baby boy. When my waters initially broke, my husband (M33) and I were at home and I happened to be standing on my bedroom carpet. Cleaning was obviously not the priority, so I threw some towels down, and we left for the hospital.

During the time we were in hospital, my MIL (F59) kindly offered to feed our dogs for us, and we were very appreciative of her help. It was only once we get home yesterday that I saw my MIL had left a receipt and note stuck to the fridge, saying that she had cleaned my bedroom carpet and wanted to be reimbursed. She had also taken it upon herself to clean the rest of the house while she was at it, and all in all, would like a day’s pay at $25/hour + $200 worth of products.”

“Now, while it was nice of her to clean my carpet and then the rest of my house, neither of us asked her to do this. My husband wrote her the following text: ’Hello mom, we really appreciate your help over the last few days while (my name) was in the hospital. It was great having someone over to look after the dogs.

We noticed your note and receipt on the fridge and are a little upset that you took it upon yourself to 1. Snoop through the house, as neither of us had told you about (my name’s) water’s breaking in the bedroom; 2. Go out and buy hundreds of dollars worth of cleaning products; and then 3. Charging us for your time and the aforementioned products. We would also like to ask where these cleaning products are, as if we are paying for them, we would certainly like to get our money’s worth.

When we entrusted you with the dogs, we really thought you were helping us out of the good of your heart and not giving you an opportunity to make a quick buck. We are family, and we are hurt you would do something like this while (my name) was so unwell’”.

“My MIL immediately responded to my husband, saying that she did what she did out of the kindness of her heart, and she cannot believe we would be so ungrateful. I have also received some texts from extended family members saying that MIL didn’t have to help me but did do so despite ’her advanced age’ out of love. I have had to turn off my phone so that I don’t have to deal with all the texts, but my husband is still getting a lot of hate from his family because we are ’manipulating the situation’ and making MIL the bad guy when she was only trying to get the house ready for the baby.

I am quite upset by the whole thing, but my husband is now saying that maybe we should pay to get the extended family off our back and just enjoy this time as new parents rather than dealing with all this. I am not okay with paying his mom, for anything! She sent another text to my husband earlier saying she would be happy to gift us the products (i.e., take them off our bill), but she would still like to be paid for her time given that she dealt with ’a biohazard.’”

Internet users took her side.

  • It’s only help if the recipient actually wants it. Otherwise, it’s imposing yourself on them. Charging for it is only doubling down on the problem, because now it’s forcing unwanted commercial services on you. If she’d done it out of the kindness of her heart, the most she could possibly ask for is the cleaning supplies, because that’s the only thing she is out financially (and I’d be giving even that the side-eye). The kindness of one’s heart doesn’t come with a price tag. © KaliTheBlaze / Reddit
  • Your husband should show up to every family members house that is harassing them and mow their lawn then demand money and say, “You owe me money cause I did this out of the kindness of my heart”. I bet they change their tune real quick. © Ell-O-Elling / Reddit
  • Easy solution. Pay her for the cleaning, but make sure she knows that everytime she wants to visit the baby she needs to pay for the parents time dedicated to it. I mean they let her visit out of the Kindness of their heart, dont they? © Timatan / Reddit
  • It was really presumptuous of her to charge you for the cleaning! You should not pay her because this will just open the door to other demands by her paying for babysitting, perhaps. Be sure to give her strict instructions to not take on “extra work” if you have to ask her to do something for you again. © stroppo / Reddit
  • I am completely gobsmacked by the audacity of your MIL. Your husband had the right idea with the text he sent to her, after she left a bill on the fridge. She way overstepped her bounds by doing what she did. I’d temporarily block MIL and her flying monkeys until you have the mental and physical capacity to really deal with her. © toosheeptheorist / Reddit

Conflicts with mothers-in-law are not uncommon. Another young mom faced the situation where her mother-in-law asked her to pay for looking after her own grandchildren.

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Put $5 per/day per/dog for her attention to them. After that, not one red cent. And change the locks on the house!

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