About MIL popping over?

(188 Posts)

So today we've been really busy - shopping this morning/early afternoon, we got back, had lunch, then been doing various bits and pieces round the house.

MIL lives a street away from us.

About half an hour ago she turned up - at the time the living room was a state because DH is sorting out his aquarium (he has to move furniture when he does this) and I was trying to entertain the DCs while prepping the dinner. I answered the door, said hi, and asked what's up. She said, "oh, nothing, just thought I'd pop over."

I said that we were a bit busy atm and indicated the carnage around me. She looked very hurt and said, I did text you earlier but you didn't reply. I said well yes, we've been busy all day, I didn't hear my phone go off.

She still stayed for 10 mins, and then made a big show and dance about leaving, because we're so busy, we have so much better things to do, etc etc.

Now I never go to hers without texting or ringing first. If she doesn't answer I assume she's not available.

WIBU to tell her we were busy? Was it rude? She's done this before, always when we're eating/prepping dinner, or when we're putting the kids to bed. I've never said anything before, but I knew it was her when the doorbell went, and it really irritated me.

lisianthus Tue 08-Jan-13 01:05:16

YANBU. If your MIL didn't know whether you are a pop-in family or not, the onus was on her to be polite and find this out before just turning up and getting huffy at your daring to be too busy to entertain her properly. I do think that pop-inners are rude if they turn up unannounced and expect to be entertained if it is a bad time. The other side of being a pop-inner is that you should be prepared to go away again if it is a bad time.

And I certainly don't think pop-inners are "friendlier and more interested in other people". It's arguable that it is entirely the other way around- non- popinners are interested in other people because they take the trouble to be considerate of the visitee and find out what is going on in their life and whether it is a convenient time for a visit. Pop-inners are often just thinking "I've nothing to do at the moment. i know, I'll drop in on X." Whether X wants this to happen doesn't figure in this at all.

EmmaBemma Tue 08-Jan-13 05:53:34

I would never "just pop in" to see someone else, even family, and I hate it when people do it to me. My in-laws just knock once and let themselves in! But I still try to be welcoming and offer a cup of tea and so on. It just seems so selfish and arrogant - "stop what you're doing and talk to me!". And I do feel like I have to entertain people - whatever people here say, I don't think many pop-inners would be happy to be left sitting silently with their cup of tea whilst the person they're visiting gets on with their day.

In this instance I can understand why PurpleCrutches was annoyed, but I agree with her that she handled the situation badly, and if it were me I would also phone to apologise, whilst also trying to encourage my MIL to make sure it's OK before coming round.

Morloth Tue 08-Jan-13 05:58:10

I don't think either way is wrong being a 'popper' or a 'non-popper' is fine as long as you as a 'popper' only 'pop' other 'poppers'.

LOL, it was fun typing that.

Knocking is of course a necessity whether you pop or not. I will ignore the phone/door if I don't feel like people and am not expecting anyone. I would be less than impressed by someone peeking through windows.

As my front door is usually open (we have a security screen), if it is closed it means we are out (or not interested).

allnewtaketwo Tue 08-Jan-13 06:14:29

Ell elephant, I completely disagree with your assertion that poppers in ate just more interested in other people and 'friendlier' than non poppers in.

What a drastic value judgement. It's a different personality type. Some people feel a need to be around other people more, and draw energy from being around others. Other personality types find a lack of personal space draining, and need more time away from others. The former type of person calling unannounced at the latter persons house unannounced will purely be them adhering to their own preferences of interaction. This does not make them 'more interested' in person B than vice versa FGS

Matildaduck Tue 08-Jan-13 07:37:45

Being a popper does not make you more interested in people or more friendly.

You are not considering others feelings. If you have popped a non popper you have made them feel uncomfortable and possibly spoilt their day.

Of course they will not tell you..poeople are too polite.

Yesterday was planned out for me, now you poppers might think matilda has nothing on today, children at school. You would have been wrong.

I love people and i am very friendly but i do not want to inconvenience anyone or them me. People are always welcome but must ring first.

MrsKeithRichards Tue 08-Jan-13 09:13:21

People just knock and walk in here.

Jins Tue 08-Jan-13 09:41:38

MIL is a popper. When told once that it wasn't a good time she told me that she was perfectly entitled to visit her son whenever she wanted to, she didn't need to ring first and I should effectively get a grip. Problem was that DH was at work as he usually is at lunchtime and I'd taken a day off to go shopping. It didn't end well to be honest.

OmgATalkingOnion Tue 08-Jan-13 09:47:50

I think there are two distinct camps. Either you are a lover of popper overers (and probably are one too) or you are not and the twain will never understand the other's feelings on the subject. Never.

I am not a fan of people popping about. My mil is one too. I know she thinks I'm right frosty about it but she has an uncanny knack of popping at the worst possible moment and I don't like it.

Jins Tue 08-Jan-13 10:02:48

My mother is the complete opposite. She decided to break her journey in a cafe about 3 minutes from my house once because her phone battery had run out.

2rebecca Tue 08-Jan-13 13:37:58

My doors are usually locked (front door always locked) if people knocked and came in both would be always locked. You knock and you wait, otherwise what is the point of knocking? Some of you have very entitled sounding relatives. Different if you know someone is ill in bed and they have asked you to come straight in but if they are able bodied why is waiting for 2 minutes so unbearable?

MollyMurphy Tue 08-Jan-13 16:01:31

How amazingly entitled to pop by when you KNOW the person your visiting doesn't like it. If my MIL spouted such nonsense to me Jins I would be none to polite about it either.

fedupofnamechanging Tue 08-Jan-13 17:23:10

I hate 'poppers' too. I have 4 dc, who never sleep and sometimes the only time I get to be with dh, even if we are not doing anything in particular, is when they are at school and he has a rare day off. I value that time and don't want someone else just assuming that we have nothing planned or that their plans outweigh ours.

My ILs used to 'pop round' with out prior warning, let alone checking if it was actually convenient - I felt stifled and as if I had no personal or private space. In the end DH had to have a word and it was awkward and embarrassing and so easily avoided if they'd just given us a bit of thought. She does phone and check now and I have the option to say no. It still feels a bit awkward but i'd rather that, than the alternative.

I think 'poppers' shouldn't have such a high opinion of themselves, as to assume that people always want to see them!

Wanksock Tue 08-Jan-13 22:41:21

My ILs used to do this and I found it extremely rude/entitled and it seriously put me on edge, they would look in living room window before coming to door as well. And I would not like my own parents doing this either btw. I like hosting but only with a bit of notice so that the house is tidy, I am suitably dressed, have milk/cake/wine etc in.

MIL told me to just pop in on them any time, I said I would never do that as they could be doing anything/busy etc. She said oh i don't mind and i explained that I do, and it is just not something that I like. Did it stop after that conversation? No. In the end, we bought a house with living room at the back to avoid the looking in through window and you cannot just walk round the back of this house like in our old house. That and SIl giving them a new grandchild has put a stop to the popping in and it is great smile

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