The Kindness of One’s Heart Doesn’t Come With a Price Tag

Rejoice Denhere

Welcoming a newborn into the world is a joyous thing but it can also take its toll on new parents. When family members offer to help it is always appreciated.

Problems can arise, however, if someone volunteers to help without being asked, then makes unexpected demands. It happened to one couple when their son was born. The Reddit community cannot get their heads around the situation. 

Posting in the AITA sub u/Unlikely-Visitor related her unpleasant experience. Her waters broke whilst in her bedroom. With no time to clean up she covered the mess with towels and went to the hospital.

While in the hospital, her mother-in-law took the initiative to clean their entire house, including the mess in their bedroom. While it was a kind gesture, the couple felt a little uncomfortable with her being in their bedroom without permission.

Adding to the surprise, when they returned home, they found an invoice from the mother-in-law, demanding payment for the cleaning services and reimbursement for cleaning materials. The bill came to over $200.

The couple was taken aback and didn't think it was fair to be charged, especially when they hadn't asked for the help in the first place. The mother-in-law only had access to the house because she was looking after the couple’s dogs. 

The husband's family is supporting the mother-in-law, while the new mum is hesitant to pay, believing it unnecessary. Some members of the Reddit community have weighed in, stating that help is only appreciated if it's wanted, and charging for it only exacerbates the situation. They suggest that if the woman had done it out of the kindness of her heart, the most she could ask for is reimbursement for cleaning supplies.

“If she’d done it out of the kindness of her heart, the most she could possibly ask for is the cleaning supplies, because that’s the only thing she is out financially (and I’d be giving even that the side-eye). The kindness of one’s heart doesn’t come with a price tag," wrote u/KaliTheBlaze.

The husband is now considering paying his mum just to shut her up and also so the couple can enjoy their newborn without family bickering.

One reader, u/TheBarcaShow, made a humorous suggestion, saying that if the OP wanted to be petty, she could host a dinner for the in-laws and charge them for the meal, just to show the other side of the situation.

Do you think the mother-in-law is in the right to ask for payment, or should she have just done it as a kind gesture without expecting anything in return?

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