My MIL Wants to Charge Me Over $200 for Cleaning My Home — But I Never Asked Her to Do It
Receiving a helping hand from your family during challenging times is truly heartwarming. Today’s story goes like this: after their baby arrived, this couple got some assistance from the husband’s mother, who willingly pitched in with the household chores. However, when they returned home, they were in for a shock as they discovered a note on their fridge that left them utterly bewildered.
“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.
- “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!” © Distinct_Score_3914 / Reddit
- “You never asked her to do anything. I would stand your ground on this. Ignore her and the family and enjoy your baby.” © Strange_Lake7646 / Reddit
- “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
- “Pay her. It will be worth it to put an end to her shenanigans. As you count the money into her hand, tell her you will never again ask her for a favor, and that includes babysitting. Then, ask her for your key back [...] Establish relationships with a good dog walker/sitter and a few good babysitters. Your lives will be happier.” © Literally_Taken / Reddit
- “I understand both you and your husband’s points of view. I am totally in agreement that your MIL was completely out of line in a number of ways, but I also see why your husband wants to just put it behind you. You don’t need the stress of dealing with this unnecessary drama.” © Major_Zucchini5315 / Reddit
- “Paying her to get her and the family off your back sounds like a solution, but it’s actually just setting up expectations for what she can get away with when it comes to you and now your little one.” © dancingbanana3 / Reddit
- “When my DIL went into labor early, I cleaned, cooked, and recruited a friend to sew changing table covers. DIL had been on bed rest for 8 weeks in the downstairs bedroom, so everything had to be moved upstairs to the master.
It was my joy to have this new family come home to everything clean, ready for baby, fresh baked muffins, and a refrigerator full of healthy snacks, fruit, and casseroles. It was my pleasure to wait on my son and DIL — feeding them, doing laundry, keeping the house clean—for the next 2 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.” © needofanap / Reddit
- “I was so glad to read your husband’s reply and how he stood up to her and then was dismayed at the end of the post where he now wants to cave in. It sounds like you could both disengage from her and her minions, so you could both focus on your new baby. I would block all of them, at least until they apologize.” © -JTO / Reddit
Stuff like this happens a lot in families, and we’ve got plenty of other stories with MILs and their in-laws not getting along.