ANSWERS: 27
  • I would be furious too, but this is one of those things its probably best to let go of, she probably thought she was helping. Its hardly worth a row is it, unless of course things like this happen frequently.
  • You probably have every right to feel that way. It looks to me you're the kind of people that is independent and doesn't like assistance you did not ask for in the first place. However, you should ask yourself if your mother-in-law is really the critical type and you don't think she did it with the intention to help, but more as a way of meddling and interfering.
  • I have a sister that loves to come in and 'help clean house'. The problem is, she HATES leaving anything out on counters, even things WE think belong there. So when she is done, we have a few weeks of 'hunt for it then call her and hope she remembers'. I DETEST her coming in to clean, and refuse to let her. You have every right to be furious. You don't re-arrange their cupboards, they don't have the right to do it to yours.
  • You were quite right. The meddling but well-intentioned person hasn't the vision to understand how everyone's filing system is different, but specific to them. She has assumed that hers is better than yours, and wants to lead you to the "right" way. Unfortunately, her "right" way is your "wrong" way and if she respected you, she would be very careful to replace things where she found them, not scatter them all over under the guise of creating order from chaos, as she imagined it.
  • I agree with Em on two counts. Whatever frustration you're experiencing is valid. I agree, also, you need to have a conversation with the husband. I am sure that MIL was well-meaning and trying to help, but he should have stepped in an redirected her efforts to something more appropriate. Don't flip out at him over this - in the big picture, it's really not a big deal. Make sure hubby helps you restore YOUR order to the kitchen. It will help him learn. On the other hand, if he's been making comments like "What's the big deal, coffee cups go over there anyways, Mom just fixed things..." or he's been nagging you about the cupboards over time, get mad at him. Your frustration shouldn't be directed at MIL - unless she's making a comment or two like "Dearie, I was getting coffee, and couldn't HELP but notice the state of your cupboards... so I just straightened up a bit." If that's the case, then let her have it.
  • You have every right to feel the way you did. My mother does this kind of stuff to me all of the time if she comes over and it drives me nuts. But like everyone else said you have to look at her intent. Is she a critical person? Or is she the helpfull type who tries to make things better for everyone? If she's crotical you need to talk to your husband about it so the next time she comes he can give her the boundries. If she was trying to be helpfull just let it go. She might have even done it in error. Like not remembering where stuff went so she put it where she would want it in her own kitchen. Especially if she did you the favore of scrubbing them down too. If that's the case just let it go. And next time put little lables up so she has a map. Either way look at the bright side you got a clean kitchen out of the deal. And a clean house too because we all know how husbands left on thier own will return to the ferral state.
  • Your anger is justified. However, it may be they were just trying to be helpful with some things and they went overboard. Did you ask your husband or them what possessed them to do that? If my mother-in-law rearranged my kitchen I'd ask her what made her think I wanted things changed.
  • Heck, I don't blame you for geting mad! I go crazy at my family when they don't put stuff in the kitchen where it belongs! And after all, it is your home!
  • You were right to be upset. However, I would ignore it. she'll eventually call and ask if you noticed and why you didn't call to thank her. Then you can tell her off. On the other hand, maybe the way you organize leaves a lot to be desired. She noticed and merely put everything where it SHOULD go. You're lucky to have a mother-in-law like that. And, think of this: they helped their sonny-boy fix up his new office. They still think of you two as children. Isn't that nice? Summary: Ignore her "help." Don't say anything. Next time, expect it and accept it. then put everything back the way you want it. Someone said to get hubby to help. Good idea.
  • It is a normal process of growing up. Unfortunately, your mother-in-law probably saw herself as doing you a favor. She might have been the type who arranged her son's chest of drawers and closet when he was a child, and because she has yet to release him entirely as a child (and perhaps seeing you still as an interloper in her relationship with him), she took on the task for herself. (In your eyes, you're still a child who could hardly know as well as she does. She unfortunately has little insight into the disruption she has caused.) Your anger is understandable, but I urge you to consider what you want to accomplish in your relationship with her. If this intrusion into your space was metaphoric (she has ways of intruding at other times), then you probably want to change the entire pattern. As soon as you can, take her to lunch and thank her for her concern, but then tell her that you were entirely confused in the rearranged kitchen and that her good efforts were therefore wasted. Let her know that you'd like to have her help with things (she will probably make a doting grandmother), but you need one more thing from her: Talk to you before she does anything more extensive than putting a dish in the dishwasher. This kind of conversation will help you both, and you'll be able to move forward with the added input from her without the surprise of coming home to find your living room painted chartreuse.
  • Maybe she meant well; she thought she was being kind and helpful. Or probably she was bored and needed something to do. Look at it positive, no one was hurt and you have the choice of putting it back to suit you.
  • REALLY WASN'T HER PLACE ITS YOUR HOME YOUR KITCHEN SHE HAS HER OWN AND SHOULDN'T BE REARRANGING YOURS.
  • Your "territory" was invaded and it was a hostile action designed by your compulsive, and/or passive aggressive mother-in-law to either pass the time, or let you know her opinion of you. If you generally are cordial, let it blow over, but you do have a right to feel violated, just don't expect an apology.
  • You are right! I am so sorry you are experiencing this infringement on your own turf, your own place, during a remodel your husband was having done, and nothing at all to do with the kitchen! Oy vey! No woman at all should do anything in your own kitchen ~ your lovely, personal, private & peaceful domain. I think the only time that is acceptable is if you asked for help. This has happened to me so many times! I feel for you! Have you tried to talk with your husband about it? Can he talk with her? Throughout our 9 years of marriage, the healthiest boundaries with my MIL were right after my husband talked with her. Even if I mention her controlling in my home or with my children to my MIL, she still ignores it. But when her son puts his foot down (my husband is great about defending me), she backs off for a while. It is a repeating cycle, and only temporary, til she slips back into her old habits, but I am grateful for the breaks. My MIL has a narcissistic personality, so she finds it impossible to respect others, since she is always thinking about herself. So I pray a lot and try not to take it personally, since she treats all other this way, including my own children. I hope your husband will come to your defense! And it's odd how that happens when I am out of the house - once at work, while recuperating from a c-section, (and my mother in law, her mother, and my husband's sister literally ruled the roost (our new home we had just moved into happened to be 1/2 mile away, and these three women constantly came over ininvited, took my baby out of my arms, re-decorated the house, all because I was flat on my back with a C-section, and my husband was an hour away working. They never asked my opinion, but like old birds chatted and worked, took charge. The most recent event of my MIL rearranging my kitchen was 3 months ago. They came to the house we had just moved into when I was at the hospital on bedrest. We had moved out to Denver to save our baby boy, adn moved into our new house. A week after she left, my baby was born and died on the same day, and I returned home to a new house that we'd just moved into just before the bedrest. I was shocked to find the entire house, and particularly the kitchen - all redone, with her fingerprints and style to it, crazily cut - up boxes for storage in my kitchen cupboards, in country farm-style that is not my taste at all. Then there's all the cupboards in the house, and all the poisonous medicines were placed just her way in our hallway cupboard - within reach of my toddlers. Oy! What to do? ~ Devori It is difficult to act unoffended, but just by rearranging it back again, I personally felt a huge relief! I think your mother-in-law is controlling and if you could tell her something about her please being your guest while she's in your home? It is so frustrating with women who don't respect your own home, but especially
  • hehehehehehehehehehehehehe i make you human : )
  • Right, next time you visit them do the same to her, if she objects tell her to lay off yours.
  • It would have pissed me off, but I probably would not say anything to her about it. Next time I went to visit, I would return the favor and would put her stuff in the most inconvenient places possible.
  • You are right! She's a meddling, nosey woman! Next time you get the chance, re-arrange a cupboard for her and just say you were returning the favour!
  • your kitchen your cupboards... my grandmother does the same thing at my parent's house.
  • I think she was COMPLETELY in the wrong to rearrange your kitchen! Its not her kitchen to rearrange and its completely rude! I don't blame you for being furious.
  • dont sweat the small stuff
  • It's your kitchen, not hers you have every right to be upset with her. Talk to her & tell her you don't appreciate her messing with the layout of your house & next time she gets the urge to do something tell her to call you first. That might be enough of a deterrent.
  • I would quietly return it to the former way and never say a word. Then when your MIL comes over and looks for her wonderful handiwork you can politely (I would never say condescending) say that wasn't the way I like things arranged.
  • You are correct to be angry. It is your home, it should be the way you want it. For the sake of peace in the family, vent to your friends that do not know your in-laws. Then just put everything back the way you want it. If you are lucky they at least cleaned your cabinets for you while they rearranged. It should be made clear to your husband that there should not be a repeat of this type of thing in the future. He was there the first time.
  • Tell her to stay home. She might have meant well, but went about it the wrong way. My mother-in-law was the devil's bride.
  • It's not one of those big things of life. I"m sure she cleaned them out before she refilled them so that was nice of her. Just let it go and place them how you want them. I do it all the time to my SIL but then again, she loves me to do that and looks forward to it. But sometimes when I get it wrong, she just puts it how she likes and that's that. Sure, you have every right to be upset but it's not a big deal when you look at the big picture of life.
  • I don't know that it is about right or wrong, but her attempts to "fix" your kitchen were disrespectful. They certainly weren't the actions of a guest. She crossed a boundary. I'd put it back. If my husband sat quietly by and knowingly allowed her to do this, he would help. I'd also make a point to discuss respecting and enforcing the boundaries surrounding our house, home, and relationship with my mother in law and my husband. I certainly wouldn't do this back to her, but I would ask her how she'd like it if I rearranged the cupboards in her kitchen.

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