She accepted her mother-in-law’s help feeding her dogs while she was at the hospital to welcome her newborn. She thought it was genuine but was proven wrong when she got home and found a receipt!
Little Bundle of Joy
A week before sharing her story, OP (Original Poster), a 31-year-old woman, gave birth to her beautiful son. Although it was wonderful, unfortunately, there were some complications, so she was only released a day before posting on Reddit.
Despite that, she is extremely grateful to be home with her newborn.
When OP’s water broke, she and her 33-year-old husband were home, and she happened to be standing on her bedroom carpet. At that time, cleaning wasn’t a priority, so OP just threw some towels down, and then they went to the hospital.
Lending a Hand
During their time in the hospital, OP’s 59-year-old mother-in-law thoughtfully offered to feed their dogs, which they appreciated. However, when they got home, OP saw that her husband’s mom had left a receipt and a note on the fridge.
Charging for So-Called Help
The note stated that her mother-in-law had cleaned her bedroom carpet and wanted compensation.
OP added, “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 per hour plus $200 worth of products.”
Although it was really kind of OP’s mother-in-law to clean her carpet and the rest of her house, neither she nor her husband asked her to do that. So, her spouse wrote his mother an extensive text message regarding the matter.
A Letter to Mom
He started by greeting his mom and saying they really appreciated her help for the past several days while OP was in the hospital and that having someone over to look after their dogs was great.
Then, he mentioned the note and receipt on the fridge, saying they were a little upset for several reasons.
On What Grounds?
First and foremost, his mom snooped through the house, and they knew she did because neither of them told her that OP’s water had broken in the bedroom. Secondly, she went out and bought hundreds of dollars worth of cleaning products.
Aside from the two, OP’s mom also charged them for her time and the products she used. He told her that they would like to ask where the cleaning materials are because if they were going to pay for it, they would certainly like to get their money’s worth.
Fooled by a “Genuine” Gesture
OP’s husband added that when they entrusted her with their dogs, they genuinely thought she was helping them out of the goodness of her heart. Not because they were giving her an opportunity to make a “quick buck.”
He ended with, “We are a family and are hurt you would do something like this while my wife was so unwell.”
Turning It Around
OP’s mother-in-law quickly responded to her husband’s text message, saying she did everything out of the kindness of her heart and that it was unbelievable they would be so “ungrateful.”
She, too, was upset, to say the least.
Cue in the Meddlers
Aside from that, OP also received texts from extended family members saying her mother-in-law didn’t have to help her, but she did it “out of love” despite “her advanced age.” Because of this, OP had to turn off her phone so that she didn’t have to deal with all the hateful texts.
Mother’s Defense Team
On the other hand, her husband still received a lot of hate from his family, who said they were “manipulating the situation.” They said they were making his mother the “bad guy” when all she did was try to get the house ready for the baby.
What Should They Do?
OP is quite upset with the situation, but her husband just gave up and said they should pay his mother to get their extended family off their backs. For him, paying his mom off would allow them to enjoy their time as new parents instead of wallowing in negativity.
However, OP disagreed, saying, “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, meaning taking it off our bill, but she would still like to be paid for her time given that she dealt with a ‘biohazard.’”
Redditors’ Opinions on the Matter
If OP’s mother-in-law did what she did out of the “kindness of her heart,” why would she want them to pay for it? That’s not what Redditors consider help.
The top commenter said, “Not the a**hole. 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.”
The same Redditor wrote, “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.”
Parent of a Parent
A mother-in-law shared what she did when her daughter-in-law gave birth and how she helped without expecting anything in return but just out of pure joy.
A Redditor wrote, “Not the a**hole. When my daughter-in-law went into labor early, I cleaned, cooked, and recruited a friend to sew changing table covers. My daughter-in-law had been on bed rest for eight weeks in the downstairs bedroom, so everything had to be moved upstairs to the master. Bedrest plus early delivery meant there was a lot that still needed to be done.”
The same person added, “It was my joy to have this new family come home to everything clean, ready for the baby, freshly baked muffins, and a refrigerator full of healthy snacks, fruit, and casseroles. It was my pleasure to wait on my son and daughter-in-law, feeding them, doing laundry, and keeping the house clean for the next two weeks to give them time to figure it out together. It never would have crossed my mind to ask for compensation or to be paid for the food I purchased. I’m baffled by parents like OP’s mother-in-law.”
Live for This Moment
Redditors congratulated OP and her husband on the new addition to the family. They suggested they set boundaries for his mother and their extended family.
One commenter said, “Not the a**hole. I hope you and your husband discuss setting up very hard boundaries with his family and protecting your child. Congrats on the new baby! Enjoy the cuddles while you can!”
Do you think OP and her husband should pay his mother? Was she really helping, or did she make things worse?
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This post first appeared as Her Mother-In-Law Demanded a $400 Payment for Cleaning Their House While She Was in Labor. She Said She Handled a “Biohazard,” and She’s “Ungrateful” for Refusing! Was She a Jerk? on Quote Ambition.