She let her mother-in-law help them out while she was pregnant, thinking everything would be okay. But her husband’s mom doesn’t respect boundaries and wants everything her way!
The Typical Elderly
OP (Original Poster) is a 36-year-old woman who lives with her 41-year-old husband. She has a decent relationship with her 72-year-old mother-in-law, and compared to the “horror” stories she’s heard from friends, for her, the woman is quite “sweet and warm.”
However, she seems to be a bit “overcontrolling” or maybe “overprotective.” OP’s not sure of the exact word for it, but her mother-in-law has firm opinions about things and has no sense of boundaries.
I Know Better
For instance, when her husband’s mother stayed at their home, she took over the kitchen entirely and insisted on cooking every meal. Although she cooks amazingly, she wouldn’t let OP help, and she put everything away in the wrong places and then pushed that her way is more “logical.”
OP wrote, “She only really comes for holidays, though, and I do like her a lot. So I don’t mind putting up with these mild annoyances.”
However, OP recently found out she’s pregnant with her baby girl. She’ll be born in the next few months, and she considers her pregnancy a “miracle.”
After all, OP didn’t think it would be possible for her to have a child, especially this late, but she got lucky.
When her mother-in-law heard the great news, she was extremely excited and said she would come over and help them with the baby. She even offered to stay with them for the next six months or so because OP and her husband both work long hours, which makes it difficult to take care of the baby.
OP added, “She is also pretty emotionally invested in this because she truly sees herself as part of our family. She arrived a few days ago and set herself up, then she started with the cleaning.”
OP shared that she liked collecting things from garage sales and such. She has sculptures, books, baskets, and stuff many consider trash.
She wrote, “Our house is definitely overstuffed, but it’s reasonably tidy and doesn’t seem like a hoarder’s house or anything.”
A Spotless Home
On the other hand, OP’s mother-in-law likes everything “surgically” clean. A day before sharing this story, when she came home from work, she found her house looking like a “war zone.”
Apparently, her husband’s mother went through all the cabinets, cleared out everything she thought was “junk,” and made several trips to Goodwill before OP came back home.
Messy and Cluttered
With that, OP was furious and asked her why she would ever do such a thing. Her mother-in-law reasoned their home must be tidy for the baby, and it would be dangerous for the child to be in a “cluttered” house.
Afterward, OP’s mother-in-law grabbed the next huge bag and tried to go outside. OP lost it and told her husband’s mother to leave her house.
The old woman was shocked that OP was serious and said she had nowhere else to go, and it was already 9:30 PM. But OP wouldn’t have it, so she booked a hotel room for her and called a taxi.
How Dare You?
An hour later, OP’s husband came home, and she told him what had happened. He was furious with what she did, saying she “disrespected” his mother and was “ungrateful” for everything his mom was trying to do for them.
No Sense of Worth
Eventually, after both of them cooled down, OP talked to her husband and told him she felt disappointed that he didn’t support her. However, he said it was just things, and he didn’t think she cared that much.
She also asked him if he asked his mother to “declutter” and if he had any problem with her things, but he didn’t, saying he had no opinion about her decorations or collections. OP believed her husband, saying, “This is the guy who doesn’t know the difference between blue and purple.”
That’s why he thought OP overreacted because, in his mind, they’re just things—not precious items that would hurt others’ feelings if they were lost. However, OP said that she values her stuff because she’s put effort into collecting and fixing them, and some even have precious memories as well.
OP wrote, “He said he understands, and he apologized.”
Bringing Mom Back
When morning came, OP and her husband brought his mom home from the hotel, and she apologized for losing her temper. She asked her mother-in-law if they could have a conversation, and although the 72-year-old was still upset, she agreed.
Here’s What You Need to Know
OP told her mother-in-law something she should have said a long time ago: that she doesn’t like it when she takes over and doesn’t treat her home like it was hers. She seemed offended, but she said okay.
OP added, “I told her I would be really grateful if she helps with the baby, and I want her in my child’s life, but she has to work with me and not just do everything herself. She said, ‘But you work,’ and I said I know it’s not what she did when she had a child, but I want to make this work, and I think I can have a job and also be in charge of my home.”
What a Shame
Even though she was annoyed, OP’s mother-in-law agreed to everything and didn’t argue, so OP thinks things will work out okay.
She wrote, “I unfortunately couldn’t get my stuff back though. But I have plenty more rocks hidden away.”
What the Community Thinks
Redditors are glad that things worked out well after the incident. However, they still think she let her mother-in-law off the hook quite quickly.
A commenter wrote, “I’m glad your husband apologized and that you and your mother-in-law came to an agreement. I think you were a little too soft with her in how you asked for things rather than letting her know what she needed to do. This can be delivered kindly but in a way that’s not you asking to be respected in your own home, as if she has the right to refuse. So I hope it goes well, but don’t be surprised if she oversteps again. I guess that is my point.”
Someone else said, “You are a much kinder person than me. I wouldn’t let her back in my house until she got all my stuff back from Goodwill.”
Not the Best Resolution
OP was quick to forgive someone who did not even apologize to her, which people think is unacceptable. Because she was too soft, others believed that her mother-in-law would keep doing what she wanted.
A Redditor commented, “OP, I really hate to burst your bubble, but she did not apologize. That is unacceptable. And your feelings were hurt, but your husband only acknowledged his mother’s feelings being hurt while trying to guilt you with ‘it’s just stuff,’ which is a load of bulls***.”
The same person wrote, “I think that your mother-in-law will continue to do what she wants, which is covertly removing your things slowly. And when you get upset, they will both tell you that you’re wrong because ‘she’s just trying to support you,’ which will be more bulls***.”
Do you think OP was wrong for kicking her mother-in-law out? Was her anger valid?
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This post first appeared as She Kicked Her 72-Year-Old Mother-In-Law Out at Night for Throwing Away Her Collectibles, Thinking They Were “Junk.” but Now Her Husband Says She Was “Disrespectful” and “Ungrateful!” Was She Wrong? on Quote Ambition.