My mother-in-law is a seamstress. This year instead of buying ready made matching family pyjamas, my husband and I decided to ask his mother if she could make them.

He spoke to her and she told him how much it would cost for her to do it and how many meters of fabric he would need to buy as well as all the other bits and pieces that she would require.

The following day after spending a small fortune on the materials, my husband called his mother to ask her if he could drop it all off to her.

She let him know that she had changed her mind!!!


It’s understandable, people do have a change of heart, HOWEVER, it would have been nice if she had let him know BEFORE we blew all that money on materials.

I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I am absolutely enraged!!! This woman makes her other grandchildren clothing CONSTANTLY for FREE- she’s made approximately FIVE pieces of clothing for my children over a ten year period- all thanks to the offcuts of her customer’s fabrics.

How could she do this to us… technically we were paying customers too- and she wouldn’t dare do this to other clients, so why do it to us.

I’d LOVE a tactful way of letting her know how I feel? Is it even worth it?

Either way I’m not going to get her to make them now even if she changes her mind again- so I’m unsure if it’s worth the time expressing how devastating what she did is, both financially as well as emotionally.

In reality this was a blessing in disguise because I was able to find someone who can make them for less- but the downside is that I could have still bought ready made pyjamas from Peter Alexander cheaper than this whole exercise.

I just want to know what changed my mother-in-law’s mind in the space of less than a day… I want her to know that it doesn’t feel right (to me)- but at the same time I don’t want to start a war over this.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated xx

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  • Did she know your husband was going to buy the materials the following day? If so it’s definitely something to address with her and tell her it wasn’t on. Otherwise I would just leave it and not ask her for help again.

  • Sounds very frustrating and hurtful. I guess you just learn from this and perhaps at some point when it doesnt feel so raw, your husband could speak with her, given that she’s his mum? Money aside, it’s an opportunity to ask what was behind her change of heart?

  • I’m feeling ya! The in law relationships can be tough to navigate. Hope it all worked out OK for you

  • There must be a reason she changed her mind,it would have been nice if she did it before you bought the materials!

  • I think you have every right to be upset by this, but it sounds like your frustrations are more than just this set of PJs. My advice is to first talk to your husband about your frustrations and why you are upset by this and make sure he understands what boundary has been crossed.

    You and your husband need to assess whether it is better for the two of you to speak to the MIL together, or whether having just him speak to her will yield a better outcome. If this were me, I would expect my partner to have this conversation.

  • I would inadvertently let her see the finished items so she knows you have either done the sewing yourself or had someone else do it for you. Then I’d be super smiley and happy and talking with everyone else in the family. I would make sure there was no time for her to catch up with me alone to talk, but I wouldn’t be unpleasant. That way you let her know that what she did was not appreciated by you without causing a ruckus that might be hard to undo at some future point in time. You are quietly saying, I don’t need you in my life, and you are not going to ruin my life.

  • A pros/cons list is often helpful when weighing up decisions.

  • You have to tell her otherwise you will continue to resent her and she may do something similar again in the future.

  • I think it best if your husband speaks to her about it. He can explain to her the disappointment,
    Maybe if he says he is disappointed rather than you (some take offence if the “in-law” says anything, I know it shouldn’t make any difference). Maybe another family member has influenced her in some way, or she reckons she hasn’t got time to do the extra.

  • I can totally understand your frustration.
    I would be honest and open with the hubby and MIL. If your hubby feels the same, then at least you have the backing of him as well. Use I feel statements, and try not to point blame, also don’t do it when you are super angry. If need, write dot points, so you can stay on track and not get angry.

  • Just be calm and honest. Tell her that you have found someone else to make them but ask her to explain why she changed her minds as you felt very hurt by her decision …..

  • Honestly I would just be straight out with it. She knew you went and bought all the materials. I would say something like “so how come after we went and bought all the materials you decided to change your mind? It’s pretty rude to go back on your word especially when you make stuff for your other grand kids, would you do this to other paying customers? Because this isn’t a good way t run a business.”

  • Tell her that you appreciated her offer and since she wouldn’t be able to make them, that you’ve found someone else to make them for you. Just say it in a calm and steady voice and if she ever offers to make something, tell her you don’t want to put her out again but thank her for the offer. Just don’t ever ask her to do anything again and, if she offers then just kindly refuse.

  • Just tell her, politely and controlled, just like you said it above

  • I’m so sorry for this. My best advise is that you can’t change a way someone behaves whether you like it or not. Be the better person, annoying as she is! Best of luck in the future :-)

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