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To not want MIL to invite herself along to our trip

(106 Posts)
EndoplasmicReticulum Tue 05-Feb-13 22:41:34

I probably am.

We're going to London for boy's birthday treat at half term. Booked two nights, so we're there for one whole day plus two half days.

Planning on doing museums, mostly - boy is 8, never been to London before, and is very keen to go to Natural History and Science.

MIL has decided she's going to come and meet us while we are there (she lives a couple of hours away in the other direction from us). I think she means just for a day. I'm hoping so, anyway.

I am not keen, although I like MIL and we generally get on well she is a "faffer". I have a plan for our brief time in London, and that doesn't include hanging around waiting for her at stations or dithering about in cafes.

I'd never presume to invite myself along to someone else's holiday.

I can't say no though, can I.

(just for the record I'd be equally irritated if my own mother decided to do the same thing).

EndoplasmicReticulum Tue 05-Feb-13 23:39:42

2rebecca you have it right there, and that's how I usually handle the faffing. Small cousin is 5, mine are 8 and 6 so not too much difference, he can usually keep up!

EndoplasmicReticulum Tue 05-Feb-13 23:41:40

Still think she's rude to gatecrash though, am adding to my list of "things I must remember not to do when I am a mil"

ENormaSnob Wed 06-Feb-13 07:23:12

Yanbu

I think it's very rude to gatecrash. Surely you know that if you were wanted you'd have been invited.

ledkr Spain Wed 06-Feb-13 07:48:14

I have loved with pil like this for years. We are carefull not to tell her our plans unless they invite themselves along.
We booked a short break one week after a weekend at theirs. We were truthfull because we thought there was no way they'd follow.
We were then followed down the motorway by them so stopped to foil them where they joined us for lunch in the beach. We then pointedly said we were off to start our holiday so they offered to come to the site and help. We said no thanks. They then watched us trying to fit the pram in the car and offered to bring it to the site <creepy>
You will learn from this to keep quiet and lie grin

chilliplant Wed 06-Feb-13 08:00:15

Last year we booked a long haul holiday and my in-laws called up one day and asked me which hotel/ city we were going to as they were coming too. I was livid and cancelled our trip saying it was too expensive. I now only tell my in-laws what we are doing after the fact. E.g. Oh we won't be able to speak to you on Saturday as we are going to Lapland or Oh just to let you know that we are going on holiday for 2 weeks at the end of Feb so we will pop over to see you next weekend just before we go. That way no one can gatecrash. If they had their own way they would come everywhere with us and every time I have been away with them I have had a nightmare holiday and we end up paying for everything.

why do mil do this???? mine does too.

diddl Germany Wed 06-Feb-13 08:14:08

She´s very rude to gatecrash.

However if son would be OK with it...

Just make sure that she does as she´s told!

(Can I come too-I´d love to go again & will just merrily trot on behind & follow to any museum, art gallery...blush)

fluffyraggies England Wed 06-Feb-13 08:18:40

More sympathies from me.

My DH and i organised a canal boat break a couple of summers ago. 2 nights, so same as OP - one whole day in-between two halves. DH, me and two of the DCs. I know it wasn't a romantic type holiday (what with 2 kids being with us) - but it was the only thing approaching 'us time' we'd had for ages.

The idea was: to cover as much distance as poss. during the first day, arrive in the middle of nowhere, (very rural) have an early night, then spend the 'main day' enjoying the boat, the scenery, the weather (it was hot!) eat easy food and please ourselves. After dark, once the kids were in bed, put teas lights on top of the boat, sit up there and enjoy the peace, the wine and each other!

BUT as soon as MIL heard we'd hired a boat she began making elaborate plans to meet up with us on the second day! This meant we then had to rendezvous with them at a spot where they could park their car near the canal and get to us. This meant getting up early and setting out on a mission on the main day to get there. Not what we had in mind. They then stuck around till evening, being very sensible about everything - wanting 'proper sandwiches' and faffing about where we were going to moor so that they could get ice cream/go in a pub etc. Again, not what we had in mind.

After they'd left we did light the candles and have wine, but we were at a busy mooring spot, we were tired and the evening wasn't as planned at all.

We'd try again, maybe on the Broads this time, but ever since then she's often said ooooh if you book a boating holiday again give us more notice and we'll come for the whole trip this time! hmm Nothing about 'if that's ok with you two'.

It's made me twitchy about telling her stuff.
Got that off my chest smile thanks OP. And good luck.

ledkr Spain Wed 06-Feb-13 08:19:42

Yrs diddl I'm at a loose end too and have some time off I think I will get a coach and go too.

fluffyraggies England Wed 06-Feb-13 08:23:42

Lets all meet up with OP and help her organise her day! wink

ledkr Spain Wed 06-Feb-13 08:26:21

I'm so glad it's not just me and also not just me that doesn't want it.
Pil once came SEVERAL TIMES to visit us in our romantic luxury log cabin break with hot tub.
Ok we had our five yr old but were newly weds so it was obvious that we would be having some "time alone" but no they kept driving an hour to join us. Was the middle of nowhere so I'd only bought dinner for us but they stayed over mealtimes and I had to feed them.
On the third day out of four I heard them arranging with dh to come again (he's a soft touch) so I put on my bikini opened some wine (11am) jumped into the hit tub and told him I was on holiday so would no longer be polite to visitors. He told them not to come.
They even came to our "us only wedding" making my mum feel terrible.

ledkr Spain Wed 06-Feb-13 08:28:06

Where's the rendezvous then op. shall I bring a sarnie or are you buying lunch?? <cocks head like an expectant puppy>

WorriedTeenMum Wed 06-Feb-13 08:28:16

I second the 'strict language' suggestion from TeamEdward. It does help with my DM who is an inveterate faffer. She says she will be with us at around 2 - I confirm it back by saying 'we will see you between 2 & 2.30'. Stops her arriving any time between 1 & 3 and saves me chewing the furniture.

Now all I have to do is get DH to use it with his DPs.

fluffyraggies England Wed 06-Feb-13 08:33:45

And there's the 'rub' worried.

I so wanted DH to say no to his mum. Although to be fair i would have struggled if it were my mum doing it.

These things just get out of hand. One minute it's oh, p'raps we can join you one day, and you say hmmmm, hoping to sound unenthusiastic and non commital. Next minute your DPs off the phone saying 'mum's coming' and looking sheepish! angry

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 06-Feb-13 08:37:11

Yes, why don't you all come! The only reason she's not bringing FIL is because he's at work.

Ledkr your PILs are famous - at least MIL will buy her own lunch and quite possibly ours as well, stinginess is not one of her faults. Hide like a rhino, on the other hand....

We usually holiday by going to visit in-laws anyway, as they live by the seaside. Or we go to stay in my mum's caravan, and they couldn't invite themselves there as there's no space. We've not had an abroad holiday since children were born, if we do we'll keep it quiet! They did invite us to come and share their villa in France this year, but we declined on the basis that they are twice as expensive during school holidays and we can't afford it.

LifeSavedbyLego Wed 06-Feb-13 08:46:57

YANBU but you should let her come with good grace I think. As long as you don't let her change the plan.

My MIL invited her self on our day trip to london(London eye and natural history museum). All fine but she then decided she really wanted to pop to a shop that was only in London, and wouldn't be much of a diversion. We foolishly said fine but she must buy what she wanted and not faff. (much history of faffing).

It added 1.25 hours to an already busy day and involved DH and I carrying the DCs(5 and3 - but hefty lads) on our shoulders for a mile. By the time we got to the natural history museum everyone had had enough and the queue to get in was enormous, so we only saw the dinosaurs.

She is a lovely lady, and it seemed such a reasonable request, but in retrospect it was a large error to agree.

mrsjay Wed 06-Feb-13 08:50:06

I think you can either say no in a nice way or say yes but say we will be here AT SUCH AND SUCH A TIME you can meet us , then no dithering stop for lunch but no shop browsing no every 5 minute coffee stops, I think she just wants to share in her grandsons birthday although it is a wee bit annoying when they invite themselves my mil when she was with us used to do it all the time even on holidays hmm

mrsjay Wed 06-Feb-13 08:53:10

when dd was about 4 we went away for a long weekend we told MIL we were visiting my relatives or she would want to come and 'help' us with dd1 this was her reason for wanting to come EVERYWHERE with us, she was a lovely lady just really forward,

fluffyraggies England Wed 06-Feb-13 08:55:21

The more the merrier OP wink

You've described the pattern perfectly lifesaved.

I think it's a rare person who could manage to join an outing or holiday without making any changes to it at all.

Which is why you don't invite yourself on other peoples trips.

I'm now seriously worrying i'll somehow loose my social awareness when my kids have kids .....

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 06-Feb-13 09:00:08

That's so rude, and it's not fair of her to use emotional blackmail by bringing the cousin.

I'd say sorry but this is our trip, the four of us only – we'll organise another visit to London or somewhere soon and you and cousin can come then.

mrsjay Wed 06-Feb-13 09:13:58

I dont think it is rude as such she wants to see her grandson on his birthday but normally when an extra person tags along on these days out it is such a faff as they always want to do something else or the 5 minute coffee stops it changes the whole day out ime,

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Wed 06-Feb-13 09:14:57

It really isn't rude to say "we want to do something as a family"

OP, you have the cousin complication so go along with it this time but afterwards please get DH to say to MIL that you had planned it for just the four of you and not to mention things like this to the cousin in future without asking first (and I mean asking - not checking,not telling, asking!)

TobyLerone Wed 06-Feb-13 09:21:17

Some of you are really nasty pieces of work.

DontmindifIdo Wed 06-Feb-13 09:29:45

ooooh, the cousin she's bringing, are they much younger than your DS's?

Perfect excuse time! Call and say that you are planning to do things that DS wants as it's his birthday treat and it might be a bit much for younger cousin, but you really don't think it's fair to tell DS he can't do what you've planned on his birthday treat because his cousin will be there so would she mind missing out on this one and you'll arrange to see them another time when you can do something more suitable for all the children?

Stress it's just that you don't think it would be fair to stop DS's treats. She might think you're over worrying and try to say that cousin will cope but keep saying things like "oh but he'll be bored, do you really want to spend £X on train fairs and museum costs just to drag a grumpy bored child around? That sounds like a really bad day for you. I just think it's going to be an expensive disaster."

DontmindifIdo Wed 06-Feb-13 09:36:23

oh, just seen the cousin is 5 and your youngest is 6 - you can still push the "this is our plan and I dont think cousin will like it" angle. Or get DH to call back and say that you've thought about it, and you'd rather keep it to just the 4 of you as DS has specific things he wants to see/do as it's his birthday treat and while your other DS understands it's his brother's day so he has to fit round him, it's hard to tell cousin that too.

offer a day out for them all near your MIL in a few weeks time. BTW - you know you'll end up just looking after said cousin all day as well, don't you?

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