DEAR ABBY: How do I politely tell my mother-in-law to stop doing my laundry? It all started when I was on bed rest due to my pregnancy. I didn't mind her doing an occasional load to help us out. But now she does it anytime she's over to watch the kids.
I'm very picky about how I do my laundry, and this is the main reason I don't want her doing it. Also, I'd prefer she spend time playing with the kids than with the laundry! She also puts things away in the wrong places. She does it with my dishes, too. Once I told her not to worry about my laundry because I wasn't done sorting it. She took it upon herself to do it anyway.
She's very strong-willed. My husband and I have had problems with her not respecting our parenting, too. She often takes things the wrong way. What's the best way for us to tell her that her help is not needed? -- DIRTY FAMILY LAUNDRY
DEAR DIRTY FAMILY LAUNDRY: Short of locking your laundry hamper to dissuade your mother-in-law, you should make out a list of tasks you WOULD like her to perform when she comes over. If you take the time to show her how you would like them done, it could be a positive, beneficial family time for all of you and prevent misunderstandings.