My Mother-in-Law Demands over $200 from Me for Cleaning My Home — But I Never Asked Her to Do It

While a couple was in the hospital awaiting their baby’s arrival, they received a helping hand from the woman’s mother-in-law.

She volunteered to feed their dogs—a gesture the pair deeply appreciated.

But upon their return, they found a note stuck to their fridge, whose contents left them dumbfounded.

Man sitting with his pregnant wife on a yoga mat | Source: Shutterstock

On October 9, 2023, an anonymous woman took to the “AITA” subreddit to share her bewildering experience. The woman, aged 31, welcomed her beautiful son into the world a week ago despite complications that kept her in the hospital until October 8.

A couple kissing their baby | Source: Shutterstock

Grateful to be back home with their newborn, she reflected on the unexpected turn of events. When her waters broke, she and her husband, aged 33, were at home, not thinking about cleaning. In a rush to the hospital, she simply threw some towels down on the bedroom carpet and left.

A Sweet Gesture or Something Else?

During their time in the hospital, the woman’s mother-in-law, aged 59, graciously offered to feed their dogs, a gesture the couple truly appreciated. However, upon their return home, the woman discovered a note and receipt on the fridge. To her surprise, her mother-in-law had taken it upon herself to clean not just the bedroom carpet but the entire house.

Overwhelmed by the influx of messages, OP decided to turn off her phone, seeking respite from the situation.

An elderly woman in yellow gloves cleaning a table | Source: Shutterstock

The note detailed the cleaning expenses, including a day’s labor at $25 per hour and $200 worth of cleaning products, leaving the woman utterly shocked by this unexpected demand for reimbursement. “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,” she added.

What Did OP’s Husband Do?

In response to the unexpected demand, the original poster’s husband took the initiative to address the situation. He wrote a text to his mother, expressing their gratitude for her assistance during the hospital stay. However, he couldn’t help but voice his concerns about her actions:

“Hello mom, we really appreciate your help over the last few days while [my wife] was in the hospital. It was great having someone over to look after the dogs.”

A young man arguing with his mom | Source: Getty Images

The man wrote that he and his wife had stumbled upon the note and receipt stuck to the fridge. What surprised them was that the MIL had taken it upon herself to snoop through their house, as neither of them had informed her about OP’s water breaking in the bedroom.

Secondly, the pair was also baffled to learn that the mother-in-law had purchased hundreds of dollars worth of cleaning products and was demanding money for both them and her time cleaning the house. They also wanted to know where these cleaning items were, expecting to get their money’s worth since they were expected to pay for them.

Dog lying in a bed | Source: Shutterstock

“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 are hurt you would do something like this while [my wife] was so unwell,” concluded the husband.

Upon receiving her husband’s message, the mother-in-law immediately responded, insisting that her actions had stemmed from kindness and she couldn’t fathom their ingratitude. The woman also received texts from extended family members praising the MIL’s efforts despite her advanced age, highlighting her assistance as a gesture of love.

An upset senior woman | Source: Shutterstock

Overwhelmed by the influx of messages, OP decided to turn off her phone, seeking respite from the situation. Meanwhile, her husband continued to face criticism from their family, accused of manipulating the situation and unfairly portraying the MIL as the villain, despite her intention to prepare the house for the baby.

Feeling deeply upset by the entire situation, the woman found herself at odds with her husband’s suggestion. He proposed paying his mother to quell the extended family’s criticism and allow them to focus on their new roles as parents. However, the woman staunchly opposed the idea of compensating his mother for her actions.

A distraught woman sitting on the sofa | Source: Shutterstock

Amidst the turmoil, the mother-in-law sent another text to the couple, expressing a willingness to gift them the cleaning products, effectively removing that expense from their bill. Despite this gesture, she still insisted on being paid for her time, citing the cleaning process as dealing with “a biohazard.”

The woman found herself caught between her husband’s desire for peace and her reluctance to concede, torn between family harmony and her principles. “AITA for refusing to pay my MIL?” she wondered.

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