Regarding family expectations?

(21 Posts)
AnyoneForLunch Sun 15-Nov-15 20:38:59

DH and I live in a different part of the country from both my DParents and DPIL. We're not vastly far away, but sufficient that midweek visits are out & visits are as a minimum a day trip.

DH and I both work full time in fairly full on jobs and I have a 2hr+ daily commute. We do also take part in hobbies / sports through the week (this is relevant).

This means that weekends are fairly busy as we have a few ongoing projects with our house that need finishing & a couple of other major pressures right now. It's the only time I can do things like shopping and also we tend to do a lot of the major chores.

The net result is we don't get back home often and I do think we need to address this. However DParents and PIL are not helping one bit with this IMO, in that they effectively always want to come here and see us in the middle of a weekend day. This is due to various reasons (wanting to watch the football, driving in the dark, church choir, their own sporting commitments). This inevitably means 4hrs out of the day with travel. I've suggested less frequent, but longer visits, but they want to be in their 'own beds' hmm

Between the two, they want 5 weekend days a month. They also want weekend visits (where we go to them) on top of this.

They then complain that out house doesn't look the part, or that we don't seem to socialise much outside of work / don't see friends individually. One lot have suggested that we (I) give up sport as we 'clearly don't have time for it' hmm.

AIBU to think that this is pretty normal when people don't live close to each other? We speak on the phone regularly to both sets of parents, me probably more often than DH.

TBH this is an AIBU (as I'm a bit grumpy!), but I'd be really interested in how other people who have moved away manage visiting family.

Only1scoop Sun 15-Nov-15 20:42:43

'Between them they want 5 weekend days a month'

There's your problem.... a routine of sheer pain in the arse potential.... being created for years and years.

Don't do it.

GruntledOne Sun 15-Nov-15 20:46:22

If you don't live nearby, I would have thought something like one weekend a month each (them coming to you or vice versa) plus special occasions would be ample for visits.

AnyoneForLunch Sun 15-Nov-15 20:48:24

Only1 Absolutely, that's my worry and we haven't committed, but they are being increasingly vocal about our visiting commitment and starting to keep score!

I grew up in a house with a routine of church, family roast dinners, out on a Saturday with gran etc. and it was lovely in many ways as a child, but I now realise as an adult, really stifling for full time working adults, who might fancy something different once in awhile. And that was with family who lived no more than 2 miles away.

AnyoneForLunch Sun 15-Nov-15 20:50:08

Gruntled I'd agree and would be comfortable with that, although while they are fit (and they are early retirees), would prefer to share it between visits to them and us. Obviously as they get older we might have different considerations.

FanSpamTastic Sun 15-Nov-15 20:53:05

I think that is a bit excessive! If I was you I'd allow one weekend a month for visitors/visits home and tell them they will have to take it in turns. If you do go home one weekend then do your parents one day and PIL on the other. Take it in turns on visits home as to who you stay with.

Oysterbabe Sun 15-Nov-15 20:58:44

I live in Bristol, family live in Norfolk. I go back and visit about 3 times a year. They never come here. We talk on the phone every couple of weeks.

Wotshudwehave4T Sun 15-Nov-15 21:03:21

Both sets just over 2 hrs away. We do day trips to them about once every 2 months. Each pair come to stay for few days 2-3 times a year

AnyoneForLunch Sun 15-Nov-15 21:05:52

Oyster That sounds much more reasonable.

I really miss my parents although there are really good (work related) reasons why I live where I do. Unfortunately they are in an area of low wages and desperately high unemployment, so no chance of DH and I moving much closer. If they were local, I'd probably pop round of a week night and enjoy a good natter, but as it is, we're stuck with the phone & text.

I suspect that's the other issue with living at a distance - we do all the visiting together. If family was local, we'd probably do a bit of joint visiting and a bit of individual visiting to our own immediate family.

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Sun 15-Nov-15 21:17:11

As a child I saw my grandparents a few times a year as it was day trip travel distance.

As an adult I see my father once a year and my mother two or three times.

I think people find it a bit odd, including my stepmum who can't go a week without seeing her kids and grandkids. But it works for us. Sometimes I'm a bit envious of people who have family round the corner and look after each other. But I'm grateful for the independence it's given me. It also makes me appreciate my family when I do see them.

OP you have to do what suits you and your family. Your parents are retired and seem to have forgotten what it's like juggling a busy life with work, kids and social life/hobbies. You definitely shouldn't give up any of these things, you'll end up resenting every visit if you're thinking about what you've given up to do it

Junosmum Sun 15-Nov-15 21:17:33

PIL 2- 3 hours away, my parents 1.5 hours away. We see PIL once every 6ish weeks (it's not set in stone) with a mix of the coming to us and vice versa, sometimes we stay over, sometimes a day trip. My parents/ family (all live within 5 miles of each so we do a bit of round when we go up) we see about once every 3 months us visiting them, my mum will visit us after work about every 6 weeks in between and we speak on the phone/ text in between and my dad will pop in when he's down this way with work. I'd like to see them more but we and they have lives. I suspect when baby comes along next year we'll see both sets more regularly, but probably not more than once a month each.

NoSquirrels Sun 15-Nov-15 21:22:08

Lived 4 hours away from DPs and DPILs for majority of my adult life/married life.

Visits: long weekends/longer visits every "occasion" (Easter, Christmas, summer bank holidays). Maybe the odd other weekend trip thrown in if for some compelling reason - birthday, special anniversary, family involvement in a special event.

Then they'd come to us every once in a while too, but less frequently. Latterly to do childcare in school holidays, say grin

No "day trips" to speak of - too far. I think you need to point out that you'll have more quality time with each other if it's not shoe-horned into a couple of hours on a weekend day, and they need to either get over the staying over thing, or accept that they need to wait for you to visit them.

No need for your DH to always be around when your DPs visit, to vice versa, I'd say. Why can't you split up to visit occasionally?

Ilikedmyoldusernamebetter Sun 15-Nov-15 21:23:22

PIL are about an hour's drive (each way) away, I think that's close and that we see them a lot - we see them probably once every 6 weeks grin We almost always go to them.

My parents live about 800 miles away in a different country - we see them 3 times a year (they come to us twice for a few days, we go to them once a year for about a week).

Your parents and PIL are seeing you tons IMO wink

DoreenLethal Sun 15-Nov-15 21:27:44

I live away from family, 3 hours driving. I go back for events and birthdays and just after christmas...plus nieces come to me once a year for a holiday. So we see them around 6 times a year. Suits us. We see mine more than OH's family who live around 8 miles away.

timelytess Sun 15-Nov-15 21:33:16

Do set up a routine so that everyone knows when they can expect to see you.

But make it practicable. It has to work for you.

So one weekend a month for visiting - one month DParents, next month PILs.

Keep visits to you for high days and holidays when they can all come to you together and you get to stay at home.

Use other forms of communication to stay in touch.

Spilose Sun 15-Nov-15 21:33:55

I lived 25 mins from my PIL and didn't even see them that much . We have a great relationship with them. We now live 2-3 mins away and see them almost daily. We still have a great relationship with them. I'd perhaps remind your parents you love to see them but you are so incredibibly busy right now but you're happy with life and it won't be this busy forever.

caitlinohara Sun 15-Nov-15 21:35:51

DO NOT get sucked into routines. It will only end up feeling like a chore, and it's not good to feel like that about family. Be nice but firm. I have a friend whose parents in law, sisters in law, etc etc are very overbearing and she has perfected the art of of saying no nicely, along the lines of "it's very kind of you to invite us but we are busy during the week and want to spend more time together as a family at the weekends, why don't we do xxxx on such and such a date instead?"

AnyoneForLunch Sun 15-Nov-15 21:45:37

caitlin I must admit I'm somewhat stuck between your view and timelytess. On the one hand, yes, I really don't want a schedule. On the other hand, at the moment I have 12-24hr notice of impending visit with complaint if we don't have a reasonable excuse for not being available.

Jftbo74 Sun 15-Nov-15 21:45:51

Start booking things well in advance with your friends. Them when asked you can say you are busy that day but can meet on x day

NoSquirrels Sun 15-Nov-15 21:55:38

Well, they can complain, but you don't have to back down and be available if they do. 12-24 hours notice is not sufficient. Then you politely do the "what a shame we can't then, I'm afraid - when would be good for us to come to you? How about the weekend after next" etc.

12-24 hours notice would piss me off if they are just expecting you to be available in the middle of the day.

AnyoneForLunch Sun 15-Nov-15 22:05:34

NoSquirrels You're right the notice is a part of it. One set in particular are opposed to organising in advance (which frequently means disappointment, because a planned meal isn't an option so we still meet up, but then then the failed plan becomes and 'additional' planned meet).

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