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MIL acting like the manager in charge

decofru's picture

I don't know why she thinks she can do as she pleases in my home. I guess she thinks of the place as her son's house and her being the manager in charge. She clearly doesnt acknowldege me as the woman of the house. She calls her relatives to come over without telling me and i just hear the door bell ring and i wont even be prepared for guests. Am i wrong to expect her not to ask but to at least tell me who she has asked to come, so I can dress up and look presentable and make certain we have snacks to offer the guests and not to be taken by surprise while still in my pyjamas. She has been ordering my maid around, its my maid, i pay her, i should tell her the chores of the day and not her. MIL didnt even check with me first before coming, at least to let me know she was coming, she just came from another town where she stays with her older son and his wife, she came without a word and found no one at home and waited outside until we got home. Imagine my surprise. How do i tell her to respect and acknowledge me as the woman of the house and inform me about these things and to stop ordering my maid around or telling me when i should bath my baby and when he should have his hair trimmed? Aaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!! 


Winterglow's picture
  1. Get your DH to explain to her that she is a guest and as such does not get to invite people over nor give orders. Otherwise, she can pack her bags and leave. 
  2. Make sure your maid knows that she does NOT take orders from her. 
  3. Go out of your way to be in pyjamas all the time just in case and do not have any snacks handy. Not your problem. Who cares what her guests think? 
  4. When given unsollicited advice, say "thank you, I'll bear that in mind" - then ignore it.
  5. Pretend she isn't there and get on with your life regardless

If I were you, I'd also check with the other son to find out why she turned up on your doorstep. There's more to this than meets the eye. 

How long does she think she'll be staying?

decofru's picture

Sadly i have no idea how long she is staying, but its been 10 days already, thanks for the advice, but i know DH won't want to deal with his mom and will ask me to be the one to talk to her and i doubt that will turn out good, but i will have a drink of amarula and spell it out for her.

Winterglow's picture

Before you have that chat, decide on what your boundaries are. If sh says she's staying for 6 weeks then tell her that doesn't work for you - but sh's welcome to stay for (time limit you decided with your DH).

Good luck. The fact that she's in her 70s does not give her the right to be rude and/or rule the roost. Stick up for yourself.

Siemprematahari's picture

I was in a situation similar to this and I spoke to my H about him addressing his mother. I did not appreciate the surprise visits and her ALWAYS coming over unannounced and thinking she can come to our home like it a revolving door. H did not address her so I took it upon myself and called her up. I told her that I understand its her son and she wants to visit but she has to have the courtesy to see if its ok to come over and see if we are available. Regardless if we are home or not she doesn't know what we have planned and it puts us in an uncomfortable situation.

I had to remind her that her son is married now and I'm the "Head B!tch In Charge" of our home. She has no say or rights and to please be considerate of our time and space. Needless to say my H wasn't happy about it but since he left it up to me to handle, he had to deal with the outcome. My MIL stopped the surprise visits and life was sweet after that.

So my suggestion is if your H chooses to not address his mother than you should. You are his wife, this is your home and she doesn't run sh!t there. Since no one has told her about herself she thinks its ok and the longer you continue to allow her to do this, she will continue. So put your big girl panties on and inform MIL that this is not acceptable and you'll live a more stress free life because of it.

twoviewpoints's picture

If you want to be treated as lady of the house, you have to demand the respect. Why would your maid be taking orders from a visiting MIL? Why would you be afraid to tell MIL that this is your home, that sh is a guest and that she act like one? 

And if you don't want her arriving and sitting in your driveway waiting for the family to return, tell your DH to make arrangements to rent his mother a hotel for her visits if it's longer than an afternoon visit. she can invite all the friends/relatives/her own guest to her heart's content. She can come to visit in the home when she is informed now is a good time. 

So what happened to her own home that she now spends her days bopping between her two sons homes? 

Bright side, if she insists on hanging around, she can babysit your SS. 

decofru's picture

I dont have want her baby sitting my son, she would do whatever she pleased with him including feeding him things i don't feel want him to eat and cutting his hair. I have a maid to baby sit.,MIL she is in her 70's so at times i just keep quiet not wanting to seem disrespectful or make her think she is unwelcome and i will be trying to avoid starting arguements but oooh man this woman is way Too comfortable, she really doesnt see herself as a guest in our home but the owner. She owns a house in another city and she is renting it out, guess she just wants to bother her daughter in laws by living with them. What i dont like about her is when she is here she is ever talking bad of other daughter in law so i know when she goes back there its me she will be talking badly about.

decofru's picture

She is baby sitting SS but her baby sitting services arent needed, we have a maid for all that. 

twoviewpoints's picture

What is all the venting about then where you've gone on and on about your SS being dumped on you by your DH. How he announced he was tired of caretaking for his son. Angry you took off to your mother's with baby and left SS blah blah.

If you have a maid that does all the babysitting and/or caretaking, you should be free to come and go all day long with your maid doing all the housework, cooking et et. 

"   I have to spend 2 hours on my feet cooking and washing dishes after having spent the day doing other house chores and let's not forget nursing the baby, rocking him to sleep every hour or 2, feeding him, bathing him, changing diapers and entertaining him. Let's not forget myself, i have to bath and eat and SS has to be cooked for in the afternoon when he gets home after school because he doesnt like snacks like sanguage, crisps etc. I have to do what he likes even if it gives me extra work and its an inconvenience"

Why isn't your maid doing all that housework and cooking? 


Curious Georgetta's picture

Be treated as the lady of the house your actions should " command " respect. You must politely and confident explain how you do things in your house and how you welcome her as a guest and realize what must be her discomfort in never having been told these things. You place the onus for the oversight on you. Hoeever, you remain calm, welcoming, but confident in your position of authority.

You do not want your husband to speak to her, because that creates the impression that whatever authority that you have comes from him . You do not have authority by association.  Your authority comes from the force of your personality and the presence that you exude.

You have already lost the game if you have to demand  respect.  Again, speak to her and in a very polite but welcoming way and give her the lay of the land. 



decofru's picture

Thank you, i have reralised it is my fault, i have allowed her to undermine me by not standing up to her and putting her in her place. Keeping quiet makes her continue thinking she is boss of the house. I have to lay the rules for her to follow but hey the lady is a difficult person, i am kind of afraid of her, she has this scary stare! I think she just might reply impolitely and tell me to get lost and not to tell her what to do in her son's house, she will do as she pleases. That's the response i will be expecting and then i will end up hurt and crying or we end up in a heated arguemnt, insulting each other and things would just be drama and awkardeness at home. Unless of cause i discuss talking to her with my DH first, get him on my side and if the talks get out of hand, he would be the only one to set his mom straight to close the case. Sometimes keeping quiet does avoid a lot but this old lady is too big for her boots. You are right sending my husband to speak to her would give her the impression that i have no authority and power. Would it be cowardice of me if i just sent her a text message instead of talking to her directly???

Siemprematahari's picture

I wouldn't text her, many things get misconstrued via text. You have to stand up to this and deal with it head on. You have to own it and let her know you are the woman of the house. These type of women don't understand it any other way. My MIL has a strong personality so being clear and direct with her was the only way that she would understand. She is much too comfortable and there are moms that think they can get away with this because their sons don't regulate the situation.

I know you want to avoid this but if you don't than be prepared to live many years like this....with this woman thinking she runs your home. You are the Queen of your castle and you are allowing this woman to run the show.

SonOfABrisketMaker's picture

And kindly explain that their is aroutine in your home to which the maid adheres. If she thinks there is a better way to do something or she thinks the maid is slacking behind your back, she needs to address it with you. The maid is your employee, not hers.

Why is the maid babysitting? Is she more of a mother's helper type role? 

Research rentable social spaces for you MIl or nice hotels with suites where she can stay and entertain. Give her those printouts. Invite her co-hostess one dinner party/ BBQ for a family get together at your home.

I learned early on as a brand new bride that there is no use showing kindness to bossy MIL's who want to be lady of their son's castle. They see it as weakness. No matter how much she squawks and blows, you are not being disrespectful by running your own home and making decisions for it.

disrestep's picture

Your MIL is your husband's mother, and your husband needs to talk to her. If it comes from you, your MIL will make you out to be the bad guy. Your husband's monkey and his circus to be the ring leader of - not yours.

Aside from that, I would tell her that until she starts paying the maid, she should not be telling the maid what to do, as they maid is busy enough. I would show some backbone to this woman.

as far as her inviting people over without you even knowing and not asking you or DH first - The next time she tried to pull that I would either:  Just not answer to door; have the maid be instructed to tell her it is not a good time and come back later but call first, or you or your DH tell her the same; or flat out tell her to please contact you or DH ahead of time before she wants to invite people over.

if none of that works, I would not entertain them and work on a project and ignore them the whole visit. Make, loud noises, go outside for a walk when they arrive. Who cares what she thinks about you. In the scheme of things, how important is what she thinks of you?

it blows my mind that people like your MIL do this stuff. Although my adult stepson did this at DH's house and would have parties there and expect DH to pay for everything and entertain everyone when YSS decided to "party". It was awful. The longer you let it go on, the more it will. 

maybe you should barge into her home or wherever she lives unannounced with guests.

decofru's picture

I honestly dont care what she thinks of me but my hubby does, just as i care what my mom thinks of DH. I'm just trying to live with this woman together in peace and harmony and have a decent relationship with her for DH's sake but she is pressing the wrong buttons!!!

SonOfABrisketMaker's picture

Allow your mother to ride roughshod over DH's man of the house status? 


Your DH is being lazy. "I can't ask my mom to not be a bitch to you because I'm worried about what she thinks of you." Yeah, she thinks you are an annoying housepet because your DH refuses to stick up for you.

Stick up for yourself and let the two of them cry about it. Shame on your DH.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

You're going to have to accept that there's no way to deal with this without causing upheaval. Your husband's mother has stomped all over the boundaries guests normally abide by. She's marked your home as her territory by usurping your position as lady of the house, and nothing short of a direct conversation will change things.

While I usually advocate for each half of a couple handling their own kids, relatives, and so forth, in this scenario you need to be the one to take back your power and position in the home.

You should discuss the issues with your husband first to ensure you are both on the same page. Let him know that you will be having a serious talk with his mother regarding her overstepping, that he should expect her feathers to be ruffled, and that you expect his full support.  Next, decide what your boundaries are, including the length of time MIL can visit. Then you need to sit her down and remind her that she is a guest in your home and draw some hard boundaries with her. Point out that when you come to visit her in her home (I know, ha ha, but plant that seed) that you will respect her as the woman of the house and she needs to do the same in your home.

You're going to have to be firm and not back down, because your MIL has already pegged you as weak and successfully taken part of your territory from you. She will push back and likely run to your DH and other relatives in an attempt to triangulate against you. It might be wise to contact your sister-in-law  to make her an ally.

Livingoutloud's picture

I am confused as just few days ago you complained about havjng to do all the chores around the house and be the only one taking care of SS and BS but now apparently you have a maid who does all that. When did you get that maid? 3 days ago?