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.

PandaOnAPushBike Sun 06-Jan-13 18:05:01

I think it varies from person to person/family to family. I don't mind people popping over here but then I'm rubbish hostess and most people who do pop over make themselves at home (ie stick the kettle on themselves, help me with whatever chaos I'm hiding under etc)

NumericalMum Sun 06-Jan-13 18:07:24

Is she lonely? I guess she could have helped entertain the DC while you prepped dinner?
I wouldn't live a street away from my Mil though :-S

mynewpassion Sun 06-Jan-13 18:07:57

If you were that busy in this instance, I would have just let her entertain the kids while finishing prepping for dinner.

deleted203 Sun 06-Jan-13 18:08:29

I think it was a little rude, TBH. But I don't know your MIL. I'm like Panda and would have siezed her by the arm and said, 'Fab - the house is a shit hole! Do me a favour and play with your grandkids whilst I get the tea sorted. I'll stick the kettle on when I get a minute'.

moomoomar Sun 06-Jan-13 18:09:05

I think your we're abit rude. Would you have felt different if it was your mum rather than your MIL?

deleted203 Sun 06-Jan-13 18:09:17

x posted....but we all seem to think we'd have shoved the DCs at her and carried on cooking, OP.

PurplePidjin Sun 06-Jan-13 18:11:17

So you were doing 2 demanding things and dh was doing one pottering thing, yet you answered the door. You then had to entertain his mother.

Next time, you ignore the doorbell until he answers it. If you do answer it, you lead her straight to where dh is and excuse yourself to carry on with your jobs.

Or, you make a big deal and get him to have a word

doublecakeplease Sun 06-Jan-13 18:12:28

What soworn said.

Fair play to moan if it's every day but if it's a one off then you could have indulged used her to babysit non issue really and i think you were a wee bit rude really.

Makes sense really, wouldn't it to ask her to have the kids for ten mins? Grandparents love to feel helpful in relation to the kids, don't they?

If it were me and we had enough I would have invited her to stay for tea! But that's me and I love my MIL.. grin

FredFredGeorge Sun 06-Jan-13 18:13:21

I don't see anything wrong with popping in on someone you are close too if you're in the neighbourhood, it's not rude. But only if you're close enough that you don't need much "entertaining" - you can just take over entertaining the kids, sit there with a coffee you made yourself watching whatever is being done.

And no you weren't rude to say anything, but neither was she rude in anything she did.

Onezerozero Sun 06-Jan-13 18:21:05

The answer is not to live a street away from people you don't fancy popping in.

twofalls Sun 06-Jan-13 18:21:33

What the others said. Why couldn't you have asked her to entertain kids whilst you did dinner. My (late) mil used to pop in all the time and we just to shove the dcs at her.

SantasENormaSnob Sun 06-Jan-13 18:22:15

I can see both sides here tbh.

We always have people calling unannounced and it really doesn't bother me.

I can see how others would find it rude and annoying though.

<sits on fence>

thebody Sun 06-Jan-13 18:25:21

Bit hurtful op. if I were you I would ring her and explain the house was a mess and you were stressed.

I do get why you were miffed but agree with others you could have dragged her in and got her to help.

Don't make barriers over nothing.

usualsuspect Sun 06-Jan-13 18:26:34

Couldn't you have let her entertain the kids fora bit? But it doesn't bother me at all when family come round.

CaptainVonTrapp Sun 06-Jan-13 18:28:22

You weren't rude. But you could ff you know its her don't answer esp if dh is in. Or open the door and shout "dh your Mum's here" and say to her "oh he's just in the aquarium". Or give her the kids.

I think if you drop in somewhere unannounced you have to be prepared to muck in and not expect to sit down and have dinner served. Perhaps thats what she came round for?

usualsuspect Sun 06-Jan-13 18:30:27

I would have invited her to stay for dinner TBH

Narked Sun 06-Jan-13 18:31:06

There's usually a split on here about people just popping in - some think it's fine others think it's rude. Having said that, you are so NBU. You've said you're busy, still had her in for 10 minutes and she makes a big song and dance about leaving. And she lives one street away. When you're that close geographically she needs to learn to back off.

ladymariner Sun 06-Jan-13 18:32:25

I think it was a little rude, TBH. But I don't know your MIL. I'm like Panda and would have siezed her by the arm and said, 'Fab - the house is a shit hole! Do me a favour and play with your grandkids whilst I get the tea sorted. I'll stick the kettle on when I get a minute'.

Well said!

If my ILs popped round and the house was a tip I'd probably feel a bit embarrassed at first but then I'd (hopefully) remember they were there to see us, not the house. I'd probably ask them to look after the children while I got on with things. But I really like my ILs which helps!

Narked Sun 06-Jan-13 18:34:51

The poppers in are out in force. When you ring the bell I hide until you go away.

Amothersruin Sun 06-Jan-13 18:35:45

YANBU-I would hate for my mil to "pop" over when she felt like it. I used to have to entertain them once a week at my house. Would turn up just after lunch and stay for bloody hours!! Didnt lift a finger to help,expected me to wait on them hand and foot and didnt take any hints to bugger off. I have now nipped these weekly visits in the bud.

Handy tip-dont answer the door the next time...

Euphemia Sun 06-Jan-13 18:36:13

I think you were rude - if family can't pop by unannounced without being made to feel awkward and unwelcome, that's a real shame.

And it takes ten seconds to check your phone and reply to a text.


thegreylady Sun 06-Jan-13 18:39:20

I'd have loved it.I do pop in to dd's if I am near I do usually ring/text first just to make sure they are in.If they had other visitors of course they would say and I wouldnt go but usually I feel very welcome.

Spatsky Sun 06-Jan-13 18:39:33

She wasn't rude to knock on your door but your telling her you were busy was her cue to say she would see you another time and leave.

A bit baffled that people think that you are rude for not giving a warm welcome to someone who has just turned up unannounced. If you can't treat yourself to a bit of privacy when you want it in your own home, where can you?

squeakytoy Sun 06-Jan-13 18:40:57

On the basis that it is a very close family member, not a casual mate then yabu and rude.

Whatdoiknowanyway Sun 06-Jan-13 19:08:35

I think it's a bit sad.

I've had similar at my brother's. Popped by to deliver Christmas presents with no intention of staying. SIL was very defensive - 'didn't DB tell you we were going out later?'. Yes, but were on our way to somewhere else and were dropping the gifts off en route. If we hadn't it would have meant another significant journey on a different day. We didn't want to be asked in but a bit of courtesy costs nothing.

At least she was even handed, we were invited over for dinner one day and her mother called round. She was frozen out, not even offered a cup of tea., and basically told to go home as they had guests. I would have set another place and invited her to stay.


I think you were being rude. The question is whether you would have treated your own mother the same way, I guess.

SneakyNuts Sun 06-Jan-13 19:14:36


I would always call to check if it's ok to pop over, I feel really uncomfortable when people turn up unannounced at my house.

With a one year old, the house is a mess more often than not and it's easier to stick on a tracksuit/pyjamas and my hair up than get ready...I don't fancy anyone seeing me like that!

I don't have much problem with people popping over, it's nice if I know ahead of time though. But if they turn up I don't stop what I'm doing and entertain them, I carry on cooking and chat while I do it, everyone ends up in the kitchen anyway it seems.

allnewtaketwo Sun 06-Jan-13 19:20:01

Some people like unannounced visits, some don't. Personally I hate it. I make it known that I hate it. So it doesn't happen any more. Those people saying you were rude are most likely the sort if people who don't mind impromptu visits. In reality just different personality types.

I wouldn't live so close to MIL though. But given you do, you need to set some clear boundaries

Sanjifair Sun 06-Jan-13 19:21:14

I live near my own mum and she would never dream of calling round without a call first, and not would I. YANBU

Wow - didn't expect so many replies, thank you.

I asked because I'm a bit new to people "popping over" - we moved here six months ago from a couple of hundred miles away, so we were never close enough for people to pop to.

I will call MIL and apologise. I still feel like I need to entertain her when she comes round, yet she probably would have been quite happy to play with the kids while I finished doing stuff.

I feel quite bad now. Thanks for the unbiased responses.

shrimponastick Sun 06-Jan-13 19:27:05

I hate anyone just 'popping' over' No visits without prior arrangements. applies to family/friends/anyone.

She shouldn't have come around with out waiting for a reply to her text first.

RuleBritannia Sun 06-Jan-13 19:27:15

I like to have people call without prior notice although I would prefer ti so I could wear something decent(ish).

Do the rest of you remember that scene in One Foot in the Grave where Victor Meldrew saw someone coming towards his house? He got down onto the floor and dragged himself by his arms across to a hiding place and didn't answer the front door. It was soooo funny!

SneakyNuts Sun 06-Jan-13 19:42:05

OP, the reason my first word was "shit" was because my Mum dived behind the sofa to hide from someone at the door...and they saw her grin

Matildaduck Sun 06-Jan-13 19:43:43

God no, when people live so close its more important for them to call first. Otherwise they would be turning up all the bloody time.

We had to tell mil she wasn't welcome to pop round. She was a complete pain, it was like being on edge waiting for her to just knock on the door. ( and even if i answered in my coat and said i'm going out she would say well i'm arriving) wtf?

Also were not close, have nothing in common, it's awkward being around her without DH.
I would never be friends with her if we were not related, so no i don't want her popping round three times a week.

Harsh but all true.

2rebecca Sun 06-Jan-13 19:44:59

I wouldn't phone and apologise. You don't like people popping over who haven't been invited/ discussed it first, she has now got that message.
I would hate to have relatives popping in uninvited be they parents or inlaws.
Only phone and apologise if you want her to go back to popping in, other wise just wait and it will blow over and she'll be less intrusive.

MrsKeithRichards Sun 06-Jan-13 19:45:32

Rude I think, I can't imagine for a second opening the door to someone I know and making them explain why they are there!

2rebecca Sun 06-Jan-13 19:49:21

Isn't it normal to ask what someone wants if they knock at your door? We rarely get relatives visiting without letting us know they are coming so if someone suddenly appeared on our doorstep I'd be worried something awful had happened.
In this day of plentiful phones and computers just appearing at someone's door seems odd to me but then I've never lived round the corner from relatives.

allnewtaketwo Sun 06-Jan-13 19:51:49

Dont phone and apologise, she'll assume you'll be fine with popping in for evermore!

MrsKeithRichards Sun 06-Jan-13 19:52:25

It's quite obvious to me that if someone I know is on my doorstep it's because they want to see me!

Random charity collector, seller etc will get the what you want treatment but a friend or relative? No way!

EugenesAxe Sun 06-Jan-13 19:55:18

Well, if it was mine I would have welcomed her in and stuck a child in her hands. Or if they are older, got her to entertain them some other way. I wouldn't have turfed her out.... unless she has a track record of not helping herself/ you when in your house in such a situation.

So you were possibly a little unreasonable, but maybe not.

Salmotrutta Sun 06-Jan-13 19:55:29

I'm glad your not my DIL.

I only have a SIL so far but thankfully he has better manners than you.

I'll bet your MIL felt quite hurt at you asking what she wanted.

Salmotrutta Sun 06-Jan-13 19:56:08

you're not my DIL even

curiousuze Sun 06-Jan-13 19:58:21

Aww I feel bad for her - I hope you can smooth things over. You were pretty unwelcoming, whether you meant to be or not.

SneakyNuts Sun 06-Jan-13 20:06:45

What about the MIL's manners?!

Chunkymumma Sun 06-Jan-13 20:06:50

YANBU it's SO BLOODY RUDE of your mil to just come round and assume you'll be free!!!! Can't believe so many people think its ok to just drop by unannounced! It's not, it's extremely inconsiderate. I am very sensitive on this subject as I suffered months of this irritation from my fil and sil when my dd was born. They'd turn up at 9 in the morning when I'd been up most of ne night, looked like shit, the baby was screaming etc. and they'd sit they're lazy fucking arses down and demand tea and biscuits! Cunts
I'm sure your mil isn't a cunt though, sorry! It's just irritating to me

Sarraburd Sun 06-Jan-13 20:09:47

Personally I can't bear people popping in and definitely if MIL (or my own parents!) lived that near would want to set some ground rules.

I would have made her tea and let her play with the grandchildren, but made it clear that generally/next time I would want to confirm to her first that it was convenient.

Don't apologise if you don't want her turning up all the time! Just say something like I'm so sorry it wasn't convenient, next time please do check as we love having you round, and want to look after you properly.

Nancy66 Sun 06-Jan-13 20:11:31

i get so annoyed at how downright horrible women on here are about and to their mother in laws. They're mothers to the men you married.

How would you feel if, in the future, your son's wives start trying to freeze you out and treat you like you're nothing but a nuisance when all you're doing is trying to be nice?

For those who think the op was rude, it all depends on your upbringing, doesn't it?

My family, including the cousins, aunts, etc, etc all call ahead if they want to visit, it's how we've always been. I would therefore not be used to, nor welcome "poppers in", because I see it as rude not to let someone know you want to visit. That's my upbringing, you see.

In this case, I would invite the MIL in and promptly hand over to my OH, while getting on with what I was doing. Or let her entertain the DCs. But then, my MIL let herself and FIL into our house in the very early days, and caught me in my dressing gown about to have a shower prior to an interview. She never did it again. grin

MollyMurphy Sun 06-Jan-13 20:15:05

I have no tolerance for those who pop by....even if I generally like them a lot so YANBU

Home for me = privacy. I would just ask for a call first and explain why if its an ongoing thing....better yet I'd get your DH to do it.

Nancy66 Sun 06-Jan-13 20:16:44

Op should have replied to the text then...nobody is too busy to reply to a text. it takes 10 seconds.

SneakyNuts Sun 06-Jan-13 20:17:04

Nancy, the OP's MIL didn't think to text her son to check if it was ok, she text the OP, didn't get a response so thought she'd turn up anyway.

That is rude, it's also rude to describe the women who would appreciate a phonecall first as "horrible women"

allnewtaketwo Sun 06-Jan-13 20:17:30

DH's parents used to be poppers in types. On one occasion, I was watching tv, in my dressing gown, hooked up to the breast pump. It used to take me ages to express because I could o my DP 1/2 ounce at a time. He actually brought the fuckers into the room. It didn't happen again

allnewtaketwo Sun 06-Jan-13 20:18:10

"I could only do 1/2 ounce at a time"

Nancy66 Just because someone is the mother of the man you marry, it doesn't automatically mean they are a nice person.

I'm lucky, MIL is lovely (if a bit talkative), but I've seen a friend with an absolutely toxic MIL, who nearly destroyed her marriage before her DH (the MIL's son) realised what was happening.

But, that not really what this is about. It's about the difference in expectations between those used to "poppers in" and those not used to "poppers in" regardless of who it is.

To be honest, I hate the idea of her being upset, but at the same time I really don't like it when she comes round without letting us know. I like to do a quick tidy and make sure I'm presentable first. I could have phrased myself better, but I knew if I didn't say anything she'd have stayed for at least an hour.

I'm not at the stage yet where I feel like I don't have to entertain her, so I stop what I'm doing when she's around.

Oh, and I checked my phone, she'd texted 5 minutes before she arrived - so I would have had no notice anyway.

Need to try and find a non-rude happy medium somewhere I think! Any ideas?

BackforGood Sun 06-Jan-13 20:19:52

It's a regular MN split, this one.
Some of us like informality and people feeling they can pop in when they like, others don't. Doesn't really matter what others think - you need to make clear to people that you don't like it.

I rarely hear my mobile, I'm partly deaf, but I'm not going to glue myself to the phone all day.

2rebecca Sun 06-Jan-13 20:20:23

If I'm in the house I rarely look at my mobile and family know to phone the house first at weekends. My mobile isn't always turned on anyway. If I text someone and they don't answer i presume they are busy or their mobile is turned off or out of range. If it wasn't urgent I wouldn't then turn up on their doorstep, that's rude.

Nancy66 Sun 06-Jan-13 20:21:32

sneaky - you've minterpreted what I typed.

anyhow Op has said she feels bad and will apologise.

LaCiccolina Sun 06-Jan-13 20:22:35

I have nothing more to add except, what this lot said!

My mil makes my teeth itch though so I'd have been fully bridled (and saddled) before I got to the door too.....

allnewtaketwo Sun 06-Jan-13 20:23:55

OP should have replied to the text? Wtf? She was busy? Who actually spends all weekend glued to their mobile other than a teenager?

Nancy please read the part of my OP where I said I hadn't heard my phone go off. It takes 10 seconds to reply to a text if you are aware of it.

Also please indicate the part of the OP that says, "I sat there with a face like thunder ignoring her, until she left sobbing." Because I'm pretty sure that didn't happen.

I'm not horrible to her - we get on really well normally.

SneakyNuts Sun 06-Jan-13 20:24:31

I don't think she should to be honest. Maybe MIL should apologise for turning up with 5 minutes 'notice' and staying even though the OP was busy?

What did your DH think, OP?

2rebecca Sun 06-Jan-13 20:24:50

If you think she's upset I'd phone her and apologise for being abrupt but say that it was a bad time to have a visitor and you'd rather she came round when you had time to chat to her properly so could she please phone in advance first and check you aren't busy and not just come round. it may upset her that you are implying you are busier than her but it sounds as though this is the case and popper inners usually sound as though they have too much time on their hands and could do with a job.

Reaa Sun 06-Jan-13 20:27:28

Panda....you sound just like me grin

CloudsAndTrees Sun 06-Jan-13 20:29:30

You weren't rude at all, and I'm shocked so many people are telling you that you were.

You are it obliged to entertain everyone that turns up on your doorstep uninvited, you have done nothing wrong, and have nothing to apologise for!

DH was quite happy to say hello and carry on with what he was doing. Then he carried on with the stuff I'd been doing!

He agreed it was annoying and doesn't think I should apologise.

SneakyNuts Sun 06-Jan-13 20:33:22

Maybe he should have a gentle word? It's not fair that you're the one entertaining his Mum when you both think it's annoying?

Salmotrutta Sun 06-Jan-13 20:35:24

Jeez, I'd be the first to admit I have a less than perfect relationship with my own MIL but I've never made her feel unwelcome in our house.

My husband is her son after all.

DontmindifIdo Sun 06-Jan-13 20:37:14

Yep, people who are 'poppers' don't get that other people hate it and find it rude - they are usually out in force on threads like this and make out you are odd for wanting to be in control of when you are available to visitors and that your home is not commual extended family space, but private space just for the people who live there and anyone else is a guest regardless of their relationship to you.

They never see the rudeness of feeling they have a right over your space and time because they have no problem with seeing their space and time as commual for the extended family/friends, so assume you are rude for wanting control over these things.

That your MIL texted you is irrelevant, she didn't wait to find out if you wanted her to visit, she assumed that you always want her to visit unless you specify and give her a reason not too, or are not in. She has assumed that because she wants your company and it's a good time for her, that must follow that you want her company and it's a good time for you. Otherwise, she'd have waited for you to reply that it was a good time to come over. A non-popper wouldn't do that, they would assume they aren't welcome to come over until you'd replied to tell them they were.

Unfortunately, there's no way to get through to a pop in-er that you find it rude without being rude to them. You either have to accept that you no longer have rights over your time and family space or you tell them they have to call/check they have permission to come over first, which they will see as rude.

Nancy66 Sun 06-Jan-13 20:39:35

I agree that, generally, people who pop in unannounced are annoying - I just wouldn't include parents or siblings in that.

ArkadyRose Sun 06-Jan-13 20:43:20

Personally I wouldn't apologise, but I would phone and explain that I don't "do" random drive-by visits like that and I really need far more than just 10 minutes' notice by text - and if there's no answer to that text then it's best to assume the answer is "not a good time, try another day".

I personally feel it's incredibly rude to just casually drop by someone's house unannounced and expect to be entertained - and no, family are not exempt from this just because they're related. She was definitely the one being rude here - when you made it clear you were all busy, she should have excused herself and left. She's the one who owes you an apology.

JoyceDivision Sun 06-Jan-13 20:43:48


I don't mean to make you feel really bad with this post, as I've sen your earlier one where you said you'll prob call your MIL up and apol, but, my MIL passed away the day before Christmas eve, we're having her funeral this week sad

As much as I sometimes thought 'Please stop calling round every other day!!' I would now gladly open the door to find her stood there and enjoy the time with her palm entertaining the dcs to her while I try to tidy

I know relationships with MIL often aren't as close as with your own mum, but remember, she has called to her son's house, yes yours too, but also to visit her own child, and in your heart of hearts, would you have been as peeved if you opened the door and it was your mum that had bobbed round if she lived as close?

Please do get in touch with her, it must be a bit crap when you call to visit your child and grandchildren and you're made to feel a nuisance.

DontmindifIdo Sun 06-Jan-13 20:44:08

Nancy, that's the problem, most people who don't like poppers in feel exactly the same about all poppers in, regardless of their relationship to you. I (deliberately) don't live close to my parents, but even if DH and I driving past PILs house, we'd not pop in without calling first to check it's ok. I would assume for other family members.

Once grown DCs leave home, their house is not suddenly your space too. It's someone else's home.

allnewtaketwo Sun 06-Jan-13 20:45:12

But if the visitee finds it annoying, then something has to give. Either the visitee puts up with it and seethes resentfully and it gradually ruins the relationship with MIL, or the visitor is told what the boundaries are. Is probably peed off in the short term but gets over it

Salmotrutta Sun 06-Jan-13 20:45:15

I agree Nancy - I can't imagine ever being unwelcoming to either my family or DHs.

All it takes is a "Hello! Come in, excuse the stir. Cup of tea?"

crookedcrock Sun 06-Jan-13 20:50:22

I also agree with Nancy, I don't mind when people pop in, it happens all the time over here-they often come to the back door! I understand it was a bad time but it might have been better to make her feel more welcome. I'm sure she felt awful.

I wouldn't apologise either tbh, if we aren't expecting people we sometimes don't answer as we assume its just another dodgy salesman or religious caller.

Salmotrutta Sun 06-Jan-13 20:51:25

I've seen the way a DIL in my family favoured her own folks dropping by when they were "just passing" but was pretty off when her ILs did it - and they very rarely did it.
That caused a fair bit of hurt.

JoyceDivision Sun 06-Jan-13 20:51:48

Crikey, reading some of these posts makes my toes curl!!

YANBU it's SO BLOODY RUDE of your mil to just come round and assume you'll be free!!!! Can't believe so many people think its ok to just drop by unannounced

Dont phone and apologise, she'll assume you'll be fine with popping in for evermore!

She shouldn't have come around with out waiting for a reply to her text first.

It's her son's house!! Does the woman have to make an appointment to visit her son and daughter in law when op has not mentioned she is a toxic or bad person?? Please when my son grows up, if he meets some one and sett;es down don't let them have this sort of attitude of treating their MIL like some barely tolerated nuisance..

allnewtaketwo Sun 06-Jan-13 20:52:16

Better for who though? Why are MIL's feeling more important than the OP's?

Nancy66 Sun 06-Jan-13 20:52:35

We're all different but OP the fact that you are worried you offended your MIL and posted here indicates that, at the very least, you think you may have over-reacted.

Either way what's clear is that your MIL did not intend to upset anyone - she prob just wanted to see her family and that's not such a bad thing is it?

NUFC69 Sun 06-Jan-13 20:54:17

I am on the other side of this - we occasionally hear the back door open and in walks my DS and DIL. We have no idea that they are about to turn up, but guess what - we always stop what we are doing and make them welcome, whatever we are doing. Sometimes it is not convenient and I can see a couple of hours of our day disappearing, but I am just grateful that they want to see us. On the other hand, we never just turn up at their home without contacting them first. I think some people have really odd ideas of family on here which are really rather sad.

Salmotrutta Sun 06-Jan-13 20:54:35

Hear hear Joyce.

Like I said, my own MIL is a bit challenging but DH is her son and she only has us effectively.

allnewtaketwo Sun 06-Jan-13 20:59:55

My DS is my son and one of the things I definitely wont do is make a nuisance of myself by calling unannounced. Couple with children are busy and for most, there are only 2 days a week to actually get stuff done in the house. Thinking you have some of right to stomp in on that uninvited because you gave birth to one of them is quite intrusive IMO. I'd be asking them if it was helpful to babysit to let them get stuff done.

Salmotrutta Sun 06-Jan-13 21:03:46

Ah well allnew hopefully you won't get one of those DILs that shoulder you out in favour of their own mum and dad eh?

LemonBreeland Sun 06-Jan-13 21:03:46

Purple I think the problem is that you don't feel comfortable to get on with whatever you are doing while she is there yet. Obviously as you are new to living so close to her.

I think you need to just carry on doing what you are doing and let her entertain herself, or just chat to you while you get on with things.

Er, it's not just her son's house though is it, it's also the OP's

annaban Sun 06-Jan-13 21:08:21

PC, I'm surprised at how many people are calling you rude. It sounded like you were a bit harassed and really didn't want the visit at that time (which is completely different from not wanting a visit at anytime!)

I also think the posters stating that you should move house to avoid the situation, or somehow implying that because you live close by its somehow more acceptable are (even if tongue in cheek) are being ridiculous!!

I have an uneasy relationship with my PIL and hate when they just 'drop by', so much so I'd move if I could. Their attitude towards my house (and their 'rights' to time with my child) are driving a considerable wedge between us.

The fact that you are posting suggests you care (and are nice, rather than rude!)


NUFC69 Sun 06-Jan-13 21:08:37

LemonBreeland, love your name - we obviously like the same TV programmes.

Bubblegum78 Sun 06-Jan-13 21:12:31

I don't think you were rude at all so I've no idea what some are on about!

It's bloody annoying when people just turn up unannounced when you are up to your eyeballs, at times like that you don't want or need people turning up unanounced and uninvited?

She may well be lonely but that's not your problem!

If you've got the nerve, invite her round for a cuppa and lay some ground rules down, just make sure she understands it's not just her, you feel this way about everyone doing it.

Sarraburd Sun 06-Jan-13 21:17:13

I think the MIL thing is a red herring. I would be just as annoyed by my own DM popping in as my MIL.

Also I don't think it's odd ideas about family - I think partly it may be how you've been brought up to treat guests.

I could never let a guest, even my own mother/father, make their own cup of tea, and would hate the house to be a mess, or me to be wearing a dressing gown, and not to feel I had made an effort for them - even if it was my own DM, who I love and get on with very much, I would just hate being popped in on - I could not just get on with my own stuff, I would have to drop everything, sit down, and entertain them, or I would feel rude. I would much rather arrange to see them, and have quality time, and enjoy their company properly.

OP there have been lots of threads about this previously where the person walked in on the couple in flagrante, not once, but several times. Really, if that wouldn't stop one popping in, then what would?!

Thanks to those who don't think I'm the devil's spawn grin

Like I said, we were busy - if we were doing fuck all it wouldn't have mattered.

Just to clarify, if it had been my mother, I would have said to her we were busy and asked her to call later. My mother lives 350 miles away, though, so we always get notice when she comes round!

Looks like I can either say nothing, and be a horrible DIL, or apologise and keep checking to see if she's coming round confused

Not sure which is the lesser evil.

whatever you do, make sure the door is locked. It never fails to amaze me that SIL and MIL just stride up to our door and open it without ringing the doorbell first (and yes, they are expected, but I could be walking around in my undies for all they know).

Matildaduck Sun 06-Jan-13 21:30:07

Yes my sil would walk in...come round the back stare through the window.....some peope have no boundries.

bonkersLFDT20 Sun 06-Jan-13 21:36:17

I never mind people popping over unannounced when we're all home. What I HATE is it happening when I have precious time to myself. FIL used to just pop in if he was passing and I'd want to cry if it was the only hour to myself in the whole week. I politely told him that while we always love to see him he must always call in advance to check that we're in and that it's a good time.
He lives on his own and loves to have company (even just to fall asleep and snore on our sofa) and I do try to empathise.

MrsNPattz Sun 06-Jan-13 21:39:35

I would have felt the same as you but wouldn't have had the balls to say so, so good for you! I wish I did!

Agent64 Sun 06-Jan-13 21:50:57

Purple I don't think you're the devil's spawn. You didn't handle it very well exactly what i would have done if I'd been harrassed but them there's the risks the poppers take.

FWIW I am not a popper - I would never call in on anyone unannounced.

Agent64 Sun 06-Jan-13 21:53:07

Sorry, a bit harshly worded - you could maybe have handled it better is what I should have said.

MrsKeithRichards Sun 06-Jan-13 21:59:36

Fucking hell I'm glad I've got welcoming friends and family and I love people popping g in. These people are my friends, I don't need 15 minutes notice to fix my hair and polish the crystal. I don't entertain guests, we catch up, have a cuppa and we take each other as we see them because we like each other!

allnewtaketwo Sun 06-Jan-13 22:03:08

As the saying goes , you choose your friends.......

usualsuspect Sun 06-Jan-13 22:14:07

I rather like my family.

NamingOfParts Sun 06-Jan-13 22:23:56

All the people saying they cant see the problem with popping in and expecting to be welcomed are proving exactly why it is a problem. Not everyone feels the same way.

OTTMummA Sun 06-Jan-13 22:29:11

Ugh, nothing worse than a sodding popper inner. It's her own dam fault if she feels unwelcome! Wtaf was the point of texting and then just turning up without a response? :S what was she expecting? Is she so arrogant to think that an impromptu visit from her demands that you stop everything? If you have things to do, then you have things to do fgs!

OTTMummA Sun 06-Jan-13 22:34:00

I like my family as well usual, my inlaws more so than most of my family, however I also like to know when they are coming round, or when they want to, or better yet, I like to invite people over, make their favourite cake/lunch and make sure I have some quality time to spend with them instead of finding them on my doorstep whilst I'm on my way out or am trying to do that one job/chore I have been putting off for x amount of time and have finally got the motivation to get on with it. Why can't people wait for an invite anymore?

usualsuspect Sun 06-Jan-13 22:35:32

She could have carried on doing what she was doing FGS. The MIL didn't demand op stopped what she was doing.

I wish people wouldn't make stuff up on here.

usualsuspect Sun 06-Jan-13 22:37:09

My family can pop in whenever they like, we don't make formal appointments and if I'm busy they muck in and help or make the tea.

Theres no standing on ceremony in this house.

Salmotrutta Sun 06-Jan-13 22:37:37

Because judging by some women's attitudes to their MILs (as evidenced on here) the MIL would be waiting until hell froze over before getting an invite ...

usualsuspect Sun 06-Jan-13 22:38:53

I'm so glad my grown up children don't send me an invitation to visit them.

Salmotrutta Sun 06-Jan-13 22:39:17

Yes, at no point was it suggested that the MIL demanded everything stop for her.

Salmotrutta Sun 06-Jan-13 22:41:08

Do you leave a visiting card on your DCs "at home" days usual.

I always do. One must keep up standards I feel.

OTTMummA Sun 06-Jan-13 22:41:51

Why did she make a song and dance about it then? She clearly was expecting all things to stop and for her, otherwise she would of just said, no worries I will call you another time when it's more convenient, or, how about I make dinner with the children whilst you two finish.

usualsuspect Sun 06-Jan-13 22:44:05

Because the OP said she felt uncomfortable asking her MIL for help.

annaban Sun 06-Jan-13 22:45:00

Separately to my earlier post, I don't understand why the MIL bothered texting if she was planning in turning up without a response (or irrespective of what any response may have been?!)


TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 06-Jan-13 22:45:07

Dp's mother does this. She drives 20 miles and fetches up at half twelve on a Sunday: yeah, that's a time we're unlikely to be doing anything! But we generally offer a cup of tea ('oh only if you'd be having one anyway, well that would be very nice') and then we are sitting wondering if we should invite her to stay for lunch, but if we do, does 'would you like some lunch' sound like a 'are you going or what'? She just hangs around and nobody can carry on doing what they were doing for fear of looking rude: last time I was cleaning so I could get it all done before getting on with work, dd was doing homework at the dining table which became the Cup Of Neverending Tea table.... Sorry, but I can't bear it. Why on earth not ring first?

usualsuspect Sun 06-Jan-13 22:45:42

OP said she stopped what she was doing. She didn't have to.

usualsuspect Sun 06-Jan-13 22:48:22

I would get roped in with the cleaning at my DDs house grin

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 06-Jan-13 22:48:40

I'm not, and I expect lots of people are not, confident enough in ourselves or our MIL's resilience, to just keep on as we were, though. I think it takes an already quite comfortable relationship to let you be happy to do that and not think the MIL, or whoever, might be offended.

OTTMummA Sun 06-Jan-13 22:51:19

I can't fully enjoy someone's company if they pop by unannounced as I have either decided to do something be it in the house, or going out or just relaxing on my own. I have anxiety and OCD, I like things to be organised and to be prepared. I enjoy visits much more, and can have a good time when I know or expect someone over, I like making a cake and getting fresh coffee/tea or making lunch for family. A days notice is all I ask from people, I don't think that's a lot to ask. Last time someone popped by I was expressing and feeding DD, it was my DH grandfather with flowers and fruits for me, I had no bra on, was leaking everywhere after 5mins, I only opened the food because I was expecting a package. It was a lovely gesture and I wasn't rude, but I was angry that he stayed, and told mil about it. He phones now before popping by. It is rude to do this, you simply have no idea what others are doing with their time!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 06-Jan-13 22:53:32

I like to think I'm a good host, but I do like to know when I'm going to be hosting first.

usualsuspect Sun 06-Jan-13 22:54:08

You might think its rude, but I think it's perfectly fine for my family to come round whenever they like.

Everyones different.

usualsuspect Sun 06-Jan-13 22:54:46

I don't host when my family come round TBH.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 06-Jan-13 22:57:56

See, I do: for example, nobody in this house likes milk, nobody takes it in coffee, nobody drinks it. If I know anyone's coming round, I make sure we have some in, because otherwise we wouldn't. Just little stuff like that. And making sure we're not in the middle of a meal/an argument/a shower/a lie in. I do think if you don't actually live somewhere, the nice thing to do is to check it is a good time to pop by before you do.

OTTMummA Sun 06-Jan-13 22:58:57

Why didn't the mil offer to help?? If she wasn't bothered about mucking in, which would of got things done thrice as quickly, then she would of been able to sit down and enjoy her visit quicker. Instead she got her knickers in a twist because they were busy and didn't drop everything for her, I'm not making stuff up, it's all their for everyone to read.

2rebecca Sun 06-Jan-13 23:00:08

I don't think those who like popping in and those who hate it are ever going to agree on this. The MIL thing is a red herring as most people who don't like uninvited guests prefer everyone to be invited in advance regardless of whose blood relative they are.
The popperinners can huffily call it "making an appointment", but to non-popperinners it's just "arranging a mutually convenient time" rather than a time that suits the popperinner but is inconvenient for the family being visited.

Narked Sun 06-Jan-13 23:01:24

The poppers in and the MIL defenders are out in force!

For those who (like me) see it as rude and thoughtless to doorstep someone, it doesn't matter whose mother it is on the doorstep or how much DNA you may or may not share with them. It's rude and annoying. Full stop.

OTTMummA Sun 06-Jan-13 23:01:43

My nan is like that usual, I love her to bits, but I don't like by her anymore. Her front door is always open and you all shout coo eeee as you walk in, or ( it's

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 06-Jan-13 23:02:07

I love my daughters dearly and will be very sad when I'm not part of their everyday life any more, but when I'm not, I will try hard to remind myself that they have their own lives (or family units) and that they won't always be delighted to see me unannounced.

MaryPoppinsBag Sun 06-Jan-13 23:02:39

YABU she is part of your family not someone you have to impress!

Mine did actually ring before she came today but it doesn't bother me if she doesn't. She took the kids for the day and then we went up for Sunday dinner at 5pm. grin

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 06-Jan-13 23:04:25

If it doesn't bother you and you like it, that's fine and nice, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it's not a wise precaution to check your company is welcome at a particular time before you impose it, IMO.

usualsuspect Sun 06-Jan-13 23:05:35

My door is always open too, I somehow acquired 2 of my grandchildren for the day today too grin

Narked Sun 06-Jan-13 23:06:23

The point is that it's polite to pick up the social signals you're being sent and respond appropriately.

OTTMummA Sun 06-Jan-13 23:23:38

sorry posted too soon, basically the jist was, i would love to enjoy random people popping by, my nan is like that, so is my mum ( i have no idea why i hate it so, so much ) but i just do not like it.
I don't know why if you know someone doesn't like people popping that you would continue to do so and then get upset about an unfriendly reaction from them either.
If you pop in on someone like me, ( i hardly answer the door anyway ) you are imposing yourself, and i will not enjoy your company,, why would you want a to visit knowing that i am willing you to leave and seething about how impolite you are that you haven't noticed my fake smile and gritted teeth. I will not really be paying any attention to what you say and my mind will be else where worrying about how my plans have been screwed up and now i will be behind in XYZ.
If you don't want to be offended and feeling unwelcome, the simple solution is to just phone/txt and wait for a response, it really isn't that hard,, is it?
I would rather visit someone who actually wants me there instead them putting up with me.

ChaoticintheNewYear Sun 06-Jan-13 23:26:35

I rather like my family.

I like mine too...they let me know when they're coming grin

MollyMurphy Sun 06-Jan-13 23:40:10

agreed Narked. Who cares if you like popping in and see no problem with it if the person your visiting doesn't and is quietly irritated? it's just as "controlling" isn't it to ignore the perspective of who your popping by to see?

YABU she is part of your family not someone you have to impress!

On this point, and others like it, can I just say that I'm still not at that point with MIL. I like to know in advance when she's coming because I want the place to be tidy, and I want to sit and chat with her. I've been with DH for 7 years, but we've only lived here 6 months, so when she visited before it was all planned in advance. I used to take time off work. I'm not used to her seeing us 'everyday' though I'm a lot better than I was when we first came here.

I don't want her to feel like she can't come round, and in hindsight I should have welcomed her, let her in and thrust the kids in her direction. However, when I answered the door, instead of thinking, "yay, MIL can help!", I thought, "oh god, now I have to entertain MIL and I have other things to do." Which was the wrong approach.

I have spoken to DH again who thinks I'm making a big deal when I shouldn't, and that MIL should tell us before she comes round. I think I will still apologise though, because I could have handled it a lot better than I did.

MrsMushroom Sun 06-Jan-13 23:46:27

Yabu. my Mum pops over to my sisters and my sister is often rude to her in the same way. Asking your own family "What's up?" on the doorstep is unkind and rude.

MrsMushroom Sun 06-Jan-13 23:47:40

\think about how you will feel when your household is not so bustling anymore and your DC are busy and have their own family. You may not like it if you're kept on their doorsteps.

OTTMummA Mon 07-Jan-13 00:04:43

I won't be kept on their doorstep MrsMushroom because i will either wait for an invite or arrange to visit when it is convenient for them.

OTTMummA Mon 07-Jan-13 00:08:55

does your mum not get the hint MrsMushroom?
Your mum just turning up is making your sister uncomfortable, i have always been told not to accept behaviour that makes you uncomfortable.
Why does your mother insist on making your sister feel like this?
Why can't she phone or text to see if it is ok to visit, why is that such an awful thing to do, does it put her out?

catwomanlikesmeatballs Mon 07-Jan-13 00:22:55

I hate when people show up without notice, they're always interrupting something; bathing dd (or myself), mealtimes, during sex, when I'm getting a peaceful half hour to myself or when we're slobbing out watching a movie in pyjamas. Beyond annoying when it's happening everyday. I don't answer the door to anyone who hasn't called in advance anymore.

Those who enjoy being popped in upon and do it to others need to realise that it can be very stressful for others to have someone show up in the middle of something. A fifteen minute notice can be the difference between being happily welcomed with a cup of tea and having your knock ignored.

exexpat Mon 07-Jan-13 00:26:29

I'm on the 'hate people popping in' side. I don't do it and neither does anyone in my family.

It is certainly not an anti-MiL stance in my case (and I would guess in the OP's): I'd be equally annoyed if it was my mother, my mother-in-law, a friend or anyone else. If you haven't grown up with that as a normal habit, it feels like an imposition.

MrsMushroom Mon 07-Jan-13 01:07:22

OTT Oh yes she gets the hint alright. It doesn't make it any easier....when people start to age and their lives get a bit smaller and quieter....how hard is it REALLY to allow your Mother or MIL into your life? Extended family is an important part of life. Parents who have aged are not something to be ignored or treated like an inconvenience.

They should be included.

OTTMummA Mon 07-Jan-13 01:47:28

Just because you are old doesn't mean the world revolves around you hmm It doesn't make you more 'speshal', it means you have lived long enough to learn that sometimes alotofthetime people are busy, especially with young families and work.
Being older should also mean that you have had a long time to perfect those manners, such as picking up the phone to arrange a convienient time to visit which everyone can then enjoy.
Your mum is just setting herself up for disappointment, and she has only herself to blame.

I'm not a popper inner, I was raised that its rude to not check first before calling round so that is what I do, and what my friends do, usually just a quick text. I see my elderly parents nearly every week at roughly the same time, but I still call ahead just to check its ok, that they are not feeling poorly or planning a trip out or anything. They appreciate the courtesy. As someone up thread said, it IS controlling and unpleasant to assume you should always be welcomed, people have their own lives in their own homes!

OP so to me yadefNBU. I wouldn't apologise as such, but I would make it clear in a kind way if you can that you appreciate her checking first before coming round. I can understand if you and your family have lived away for a while that she may be excited by the idea of having you all so "handy" now and hopes for a close popping in type scenario - but it's your and DH home, so you decide!

MollyMurphy Mon 07-Jan-13 03:07:57

Nobody is suggesting blocking out extended family...not one person that I can see. Just bloody call first and respect other people's space, why is that so horrid and ungrateful confused. Seems ridiculous that your mom doesn't care and just pops in anyway Mrs Mushroom - how can she expect a fabulous response considering the circumstances?

GingerBlondecat Mon 07-Jan-13 05:54:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GingerBlondecat Mon 07-Jan-13 05:58:59

DontmindifIdoSun 06-Jan-13 20:37:14

^ Yep, people who are 'poppers' don't get that other people hate it and find it rude - they are usually out in force on threads like this and make out you are odd for wanting to be in control of when you are available to visitors and that your home is not commual extended family space, but private space just for the people who live there and anyone else is a guest regardless of their relationship to you.

They never see the rudeness of feeling they have a right over your space and time because they have no problem with seeing their space and time as commual for the extended family/friends, so assume you are rude for wanting control over these things.

That your MIL texted you is irrelevant, she didn't wait to find out if you wanted her to visit, she assumed that you always want her to visit unless you specify and give her a reason not too, or are not in. She has assumed that because she wants your company and it's a good time for her, that must follow that you want her company and it's a good time for you. Otherwise, she'd have waited for you to reply that it was a good time to come over. A non-popper wouldn't do that, they would assume they aren't welcome to come over until you'd replied to tell them they were.

Unfortunately, there's no way to get through to a pop in-er that you find it rude without being rude to them. You either have to accept that you no longer have rights over your time and family space or you tell them they have to call/check they have permission to come over first, which they will see as rude.^

Many Many Thanks for putting my thoughts into words. <3

Morloth Mon 07-Jan-13 06:22:44

I don't know, depends on your relationship with her.

Mum/MIL+FIL/Sisters/SIL popping over for us means they play with the kids and put the kettle on themselves and usually come bearing cakes. They are close family and therefore we kind of consider them as part of the immediate family unit, so it isn't a problem. If housework is being done when they turn up, mostly they will do some as well. I have many a time hung out washing when arriving at sister's house and the machine was just finishing, while she puts the kettle on etc.

It is a very small group who is welcome do to this in our home though, and those are the only people I would 'pop' over to as well. Anyone else I expect for them to call first and would do them the same courtesy.

So it really does depend on what sort of relationship you have/want to have with your MIL.

Mine turning up to an aquarium project, with kids needing entertained and dinner being cooked would probably help out with the kids, Mum on the other hand would take over dinner - that sort of thing...

jessjessjess Mon 07-Jan-13 07:22:21

I hate poppers. I especially hate poppers who can't fathom that they won't automatically be welcomed just because they decided they should come round. If you're going to pop round unannounced, surely you accept it might be bad timing?

NamingOfParts Mon 07-Jan-13 07:27:45

I agree that it does depend on the type of relationship but also relative time pressures.

We both work including DH working for part of the weekend. Our weekend is therefore strictly limited. Both my DM & DPiL are long since retired and have forgotten that the rest of us have only limited time.

My problem isnt so much that DM/DPiL pop in but that they cant stick to the arrangements they have made (turning up late) and then once here wont go! They get sat on the sofa and then need a crow-bar to get them out again.

A visit fro DM/DPiL means that half a day goes up in hot air!

Tee2072 Mon 07-Jan-13 07:39:13

I am greatly disturbed by this assumption that people's worlds get smaller as they get older. My mother is 72 and my step dad will be 80 in about a month and their lives are even fuller than they were when they were both working full time and had kids at home. Your life is what you make of it.

I hate poppers in. I think it's incredibly rude. And I don't care if you're my mother, my brother or my sister's uncles cousin's step mother's mother in law. It's rude to assume that people are willing and able to have you in their private house just because you want to be there.

I am also tired of this assumption that because some people don't get along with their mothers in law that it's something that automatically happens when your become a mother in law. Being a good mother in law is simple: don't be an ass. So the same a being a good person. Unfortunately, there are plenty of assholish mothers in laws and see some of their attitudes on this thread. 'He's my son, why can't I see him? How dare she block me from him.' Maybe because he is now also someone's husband and father and, sorry, you are no longer number 1 in his life. As is right and proper.

shandybass Mon 07-Jan-13 08:38:17

Hi Op. I wrote a similar post a few years ago when my mil walked in on me three days after I'd given birth when I was trying to apply cream to my episiotomy stitches. We lived in a two room bedsit at the time so there was not much private space anyway. I was mortified and asked her for some privacy and she acted all affronted saying she was only family!
Although this was extreme its carried on 6 years on she continues to walk in to our house unannounced without even a courtesy knock and has been known to come round the back of the house and peer in the windows if the front door is locked!
She is a nice person and we have an ok relationship, where we both try but we have very different approaches and values. I would suggest trying to lay some ground rules now about how you want things to be. It's not rude, but you are entitled to a bit of mutual respect. I think it sounds like you're mil is of the strong personality types as you say she did not respond sensitively to what must have been fairly obvious as a not very convenient time. Others may well have more sensitive mils, I do not, and certainly in similar circumstances my mum and siblings would have picked up the obvious signs and responded appropriately. Good luck op. but hold your nerve, you sound like a much more sensitive empathetic person than your mil.

It seems to me that the popper-inners can't have it both ways.

Most popper-inners on this thread are insisting that the "etiquette" hmm is that you should just carry on what you're doing while they help themselves to some tea and you get on with what you're doing while they muck in, as they're just family, so you don't need to stand on ceremony, or host.

This is exactly what OP did with her MIL. Except that the MIL then didn't muck in, or make her own tea, and got all offended and passive aggressive and flounced off. So really, she did want OP to drop everything and entertain her, despite it obviously being an inconvenient time. Which is exactly what all of us being who hate popper-inners hate about popper-inners! It's not the fact that's she's a MIL, that's the problem. It's the non-mucking in and the flouncing.

Sounds like you need some ground rules, rather than an apology, OP.

NUFC69 Mon 07-Jan-13 10:45:00

I think if the MIL only stayed for ten minutes, it's not a huge deal; and that's what the OP said (except she said "she stayed for TEN minutes" - I would hardly call that a long time, and certainly not long enough to start doing things around the house.)

As I said earlier my DS and DIL rarely let me know if they are coming, and whilst I don't like people just popping in to see me without letting me know they are coming, I always make them welcome and stop whatever I am doing - it's only common courtesy.

Just apologise and say she caught you unawares and that ypu were worried about making her feel comfortable when you were run off your feet. Manke a joke like "next time you pop round, if we are busy, just help yourself to a brew while im doing the dinner - stay for dinner if you fancy"

NUF " I always make them welcome and stop whatever I am doing - it's only common courtesy"

Exactly, that's what I feel, and that's why I don't like popper-inners, whoever they are, even if it were my own DM - I would rather arrange a time and properly be able to make them welcome and spend quality time with them, perhaps have bought something nice/made a cake.

The popper-inners on this thread seem to be saying one doesn't need to do that, but, actually, that is what the MIL wanted, and why it was a problem. I agree ten minutes isn't very long, but the passive aggressive flouncing would have got my back up.

My grandparents were notorious popper-inners and wound my DM up no end with it. I once had a dream (while choosing uni places) that they "just popped in' on me in the middle of a rather wild party. I immediately changed which uni was my preferred option (only an hour away from them) and instead went 400 miles away grin

Also, she didn't intend to stay ten minutes. If that had been her intention, it would of course, have been fine. But it wasn't. She wanted to stay and be made welcome.

Pandemoniaa Mon 07-Jan-13 11:34:38

I don't have an objection to poppers in. I rather like an open house. But, the popper in has to understand that it might be impossible for me to stop what I'm doing and entertain them for a lengthy visit. I'm not the only one of my friends who works some of the time from home and actually, I'm not lonely, I'm busy. As are my friends. So we'd usually text quickly first.

With family, we've got an unwritten rule that you don't assume everyone is sitting around waiting to be visited at the weekend too. So while anyone turning up with cake is enthusiastically received, if we aren't home when they call, we aren't going to feel guilty about it.

I think a lot depends on the behaviour of the respective poppers in though. My dm would happily put kettles on, entertain children, hang washing out or whatever. My former PIL would sit on the sofa like immoveable objects and take umbrage if they didn't get undivided attention. Yet ironically, you'd not have been very popular if you'd fetched up unannounced at their house.

Everyone is different I suppose.

If one of my friends pops by and I'm in the middle of something, they get stuck in and help or go and put the kettle on.

My mum often comes by unannounced between her appointments at work, I love her, why wouldn't I want to see her?!

I guess it's all a question of how you define your space and time. I'm at home most of the day, but either with a toddler or with a to-do list, and currently also with pregnancy tiredness and a retrenched husband. We schedule our day around all the stuff we need to do and splitting the childcare. After more than two years, and having had it written down for him, my father still thinks I'll / we'll be available for an hour or two's tea-drinking and chatting whenever he pops in. Which he does without fail ten minutes after the toddler's finally gone down for her nap. If you don't answer the door he lets himself in, makes tea and waits for you.

And that is why we now tell him that it's not a good time when it isn't and close the door in his face. And make him schedule his visits. Because he is very welcome but not on those terms!

NamingOfParts Mon 07-Jan-13 13:00:09

I think that the automatic assumption that the popper-in can be expected to help out, muck in can be way off as well. Elderly & infirm or inveterate faffers are not to be trusted with helping out & mucking in!

chickensarmpit Mon 07-Jan-13 13:04:34

My MIL pops in whenever she likes it too. Tea time, kids bed time and once she came around and invited her clan with her while we were decorating! Grrrr i was up a ladder and she was telling me to put the kettle on. I was not amused.

gotthemoononastick Mon 07-Jan-13 13:18:50

Oh she got the hint allright. You know this too,or wouldn't be giving it a thought.Probably will withdraw more now and soon we will all read about how she doesn't give a fig at Christmas and birthdays.Damned if I would go near your home again after that welcome.(Cuts off nose)

everlong Mon 07-Jan-13 13:24:51

I don't like people just popping in.
Especially if we are busy.

Fil has done it a few times, usually when we are just about to sit down to eat but I wouldn't send him away or make him feel uncomfortable. I make him a cup of tea or offer him some food.

But I think Mil was a bit off with you and didn't need to react the way she did.

EldritchCleavage Mon 07-Jan-13 14:14:17

The only unreasonable thing is being annoyed with her coming unannounced if you've never had the conversation about not coming round unannounced. She won't know you don't like it if you don't tell her.

I would smooth things over and get your DH to speak to her about ringing you in good time whenever she wants to visit.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Mon 07-Jan-13 14:41:40

As per your OP, yanbu.

However, yabvu to live one street away from MIL, get the For Sale sign up, pronto!

2rebecca Mon 07-Jan-13 15:24:15

I do agree that living round the corner from relatives is asking for this sort of problem. It's good to have at least a 10 minute drive between you.

DontmindifIdo Mon 07-Jan-13 16:45:07

I do think the problem lies with poppers in who don't accept that they are taking the risk it's not a good time - and then being told that actually the random time they have picked for a visit isn't good, getting offended by the fact. OP's MIL hadn't driven for hours, she just popped round, she shouldn't have insisted on staying for 10-15 mintues once she was told at the door it was a bad time. She was then being rude by insisting on being in someone's home who had told her they didn't want a visit.

There are some people on here who can't comprehend that for others there's ever a time they don't want visitors because they always do, and that's fine for them, but for most people, there are times when they want just to get on with stuff without others there.

But then I find it really hard to comprehend why anyone would think it wasn't rude not to entertain a guest in your home, of course you don't just tell someone to make themselves a drink, of course if it's a meal time you feed them, of course you stop, take time to give them attention when they are in your home.

If I was visiting your house (after making sure you told me it was a suitable time for you) and you just got on with your housework, I'd think you were rude. If it was over a meal time, I'd expect you to have planned either to feed me too or us all to go out but then I'd not just turn up without giving you chance to plan. If you have this view of 'hosting' guests, then poppers in are hard work.

jessjessjess Mon 07-Jan-13 22:49:29

These MILs who just pop in and peer through the windows... do they know how grandchildren are made?!

elleephant Tue 08-Jan-13 00:16:57

Well I don't do popping and I'm not mad about being popped in on either!

But I still think you were rude.

Pop inners are not being rude they are just friendlier and more interested in other people than the non pop inners.

Ime those who pop in don't expect a big palavar, esp family. I'd just treat her as one of the family, ask her to distract kids or set table or something and give her some tea. Just try and relax into it and just work around her and have a bit of a chat. It'll make for happier family relations. And if she doesn't like being asked to help, she probably start to think more carefully about her pop in times...

But as a non popper, I do feel your pain!

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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