In-law visiting

(46 Posts)
happygonicky Sat 18-May-13 09:09:43

I don't know if I'm being fair or not.

We have a small baby (12 weeks) and, inevitably, we've had a lot of visitors at weekends. Lovely, to be expected, and as long as I know when people are coming, so I can put the date in the diary to avoid clashes, great. I also try to pace myself a bit. Not too many overnight visitors in a row and I try to keep one day a weekend free for us as a family. I do my best to be a good host, but prefer notice (a few days, if possible) and like people visiting, but find I can get a bit overwhelmed with the sheer number of people (and I got burnt-out in the run-up to our wedding last year).

We've had my mum up this week to stay, in-laws earlier in the week, friend coming later today. I find out this morning that in-laws want to stop by again this weekend and I just feel it's not convenient. It is unusual they want to come up twice in one week and it will only be a fairly brief visit, but I feel frazzled and tired (baby is fab, but last few nights have been a bit more disturbed than usual) and simply don't want to entertain anyone else this week. I also have some work to do, which had factored into a quiet weekend. I keep saying to them, visit whenever, but tell me in advance. They would have known they would be in the area (and likely to want to visit) for many months.

They are nice people and I am fond of them, but I'm getting exasperated by getting a call on the morning/day before and for them to say they're coming up the following day. Especially as I keep telling them to let us know in advance. They know we're busy (we're booked up until end of June with family visits/other commitments).

I'm almost starting to feel like it's a weird control thing. We've said we can't do last-minute visits (odd exception would be fine), but it's almost as they're forcing us into it.

fluffyraggies Sat 18-May-13 09:11:34

Not being sarcastic OP - but what happens if you say no? Have you been brave enough yet?

HollyBerryBush Sat 18-May-13 09:13:17

Can't you just say "Sorry, that's inconvenient, we are doing XYZ"

pictish Sat 18-May-13 09:16:03

Not seeing the buggy. They're allowed to suggest they pop in, and you're allowed to say no.

Just tell them you're snowed under this weekend.

pictish Sat 18-May-13 09:16:28

The buggy? I meant biggy obv.

happygonicky Sat 18-May-13 09:18:20

We do if we're specifically doing something else, partner doesn't feel he can if we are technically free/ could 'fit the visit in'. Which it's often hard not to, given that they 'only' drop by for an hour or so.

HollyBerryBush Sat 18-May-13 09:21:06

You'll be glad of hands on GPs in a few years when you want a night out or a weekend away.

Out of curiosity, would you feel the same way if it was your mother dropping in?

happygonicky Sat 18-May-13 09:22:35

I could go out, couldn't I? Leave baby with DH for two hours, take work and find some peace and quiet. DH says they want to see me too, but have seen them pretty recently. I'm done with entertaining this week. Is that rude?

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 18-May-13 09:25:04

No it's not rude, it sounds like you need some time alone. I don't think its a control thing, they just want to see their grandchild, you can say no if you want, or you could go out for part of it, just explain you need some fresh air.

HollyBerryBush Sat 18-May-13 09:25:04

If they are that close - why can't DH take the baby and visit them and you can crack on with whatever you want to do?

happygonicky Sat 18-May-13 09:26:08

They absolutely won't babysit (other grandchildren in family). Re my parents, I'd feel absolutely the same. Great if it's planned. I'd say I just have limited capacity for hosting, apart from the fact that we actually have lots of people to visit/stay

LouiseD29 Sat 18-May-13 09:26:18

YANBU to tell them you don't feel up to it today. But - sounds like you need to be clear with them about what 'advance' means to you - calling the day before/the same morning is calling in advance - they probably think they are doing as you asked - just have a slightly different interpretation of the word!

happygonicky Sat 18-May-13 09:27:00

I think I do need some time alone.

fluffyraggies Sat 18-May-13 09:29:12

I think there are lots of ways around this. You leaving the house for a bit, DH taking baby to theirs ...... etc etc

However if you both feel that you would like this day/week/hour to yourselves then that is what needs to be arranged.

DH needs to simply say ''mum, can we have some time to ourselves this weekend - we'd love to see you on XYZ instead''.

I get you.

Why do they have to visit your house? Cant your dh take baby and meet his parents out in the park, or for lunch? Give you a break rather than expect you to entertain at the drop of a hat?

happygonicky Sat 18-May-13 09:29:44

Louise, you're right. They used to call on way! I appreciate the replies. I'm very tired and don't want a temporary loss of perspective to damage good relationship.

fluffyraggies Sat 18-May-13 09:32:20

While i'm here i would like to say that i hate this idea that you have to please every one else all the time because you'll be begging for babysitters soon confused

happygonicky Sat 18-May-13 09:33:23

Thanks Quintessential. That's a good idea, for future reference. On this occasion, getting out suits me.


i agree with getting your dh to meet them somewhere. you need to do some work / sleep / stare at a wall.

FreshLeticia Sat 18-May-13 09:45:29

Also - get a phone which shows who is calling and don't answer it when their number comes up if you don't feel like it

CheshireDing Sat 18-May-13 09:52:08


I agree with what Fluffy said too.

Your baby is still only small, have a bloody rest and some time on your own as a little Family. Can't you just say "no sorry we are going out".

I think you are very accommodating having people stay over so often, sod that in this house grin

flanbase Sat 18-May-13 09:55:38

This one for your dh to tackle. If his parents want to come round then he is responsible for the whole thing and you shouldn't have to do anything before, during or after. If he can't do this then they can't come to visit & he should tell them this

happygonicky Sat 18-May-13 10:01:59

I might get him to meet them out. They won't like it, but it avoids me having to tidy up. Not that the place is a tip, but his mum would notice if place not immaculate.

TigerSwallowTail Sat 18-May-13 10:04:41

Visitors every weekend, overnight guests and a 12 week old baby, that just sounds utterly exhausting! You're perfectly within your right to say no and spend the day in your jammies with your feet up.

happygonicky Sat 18-May-13 10:05:09

Problem is, Fresh, they always call DH. He's then put on spot and agrees.

fluffyraggies Sat 18-May-13 10:07:49

But but but .... (and sorry to keep picking) .... you hinted that your DH feels unable to say no unless their is a 'valid' reason. ie you're going out.

I really feel it would be healthier for him to feel able to say no - we'd like time to ourselves.

If one of you wants to pootle out shopping or whatever during this time then that's ok too.

I just feel it's not right that your DH feels unable to be honest with his DPs. There's no reason for them to be angry with either of you for organising your own time.

fluffyraggies Sat 18-May-13 10:08:57

x posts.

A chat with DH is needed methinks wink

happygonicky Sat 18-May-13 10:15:05

You've hit the nail on the head, fluffyraggies.

I don't want to have to go out (though I might, just to get a change of scene). I also really want some baby-free time (DH has had quite a few things on over last week, this weekend and next. Absolutely fine; not usually the case but I need some downtime). And I don't want to do any tidying.

I will talk to him.

fluffyraggies Sat 18-May-13 10:25:55

Good luck OP. Maybe you could show him this thread to help you?

You're not asking for the moon. And sorting out good understandings now between you and your DH and your parents and his (and anybody else who may visit) will stand you in good stead for the future smile

happygonicky Sat 18-May-13 10:37:27

Thank you. I'll report back.

Doubtfuldaphne Sat 18-May-13 10:42:24

Don't worry about being rude - just get dh to explain you're busy or needed a break! My dh now takes our dc's to the IL's so I can have some time out smile

diddl Sat 18-May-13 11:31:04

You shouldn't have to go out.

Why couldn't they?

If your husband wants to see his parents-fine.

Shouldn't mean that you have to, or have to leave the house, or have to entertain them.

If they are popping in due to being in the area, cup of tea is more than enough!
(And a short visit by them)

If your husband isn't bothered & can't/wont say no-that's a different problem altogether!

Great that you get on with them though.

ImperialBlether Sat 18-May-13 11:38:41

You poor thing. The thought of someone coming round and "noticing" that things weren't spotless without doing anything useful, would drive me nuts.

Go to the library or Starbucks (if it's quiet enough) to do your work and tell your husband to meet him somewhere in town for a coffee. That way you get out of the house and his family don't get the chance to criticise it either.

diddl Sat 18-May-13 11:52:18

Why do you have to tidy for his parents??!!

craftycottontail Sat 18-May-13 12:17:18

Sometimes it's not about tidying for the visitor, it's about what you're comfortable exposing of yourself.

I don't like having visitors over without a tidy house, not because they are of any elevated status or anything, but because I feel more comfortable entertaining in a tidy organised space that I feel in control of IYSWIM

diddl Sat 18-May-13 12:19:59

Yes of course IYSWYM.

What I meant was-if the place isn't tidy enough-why is it up to the OP?

LadyClariceCannockMonty Sat 18-May-13 12:28:42

'Not that the place is a tip, but his mum would notice if place not immaculate.'

Why should you care if she does? hmm

PoppyWearer Sat 18-May-13 12:37:26

I totally get where you're coming from, OP. I am someone who very much needs my own space and luckily my DH (actually a pretty outgoing person) since we had DCs recognises the need to have some "hermit-time" when we pull up the drawbridge and don't see family.

My MIL is also of the immaculate-house persuasion (I suppose all the cleaning helps them fill their time?) and my PILs now know that "dropping in" is strictly not allowed, as my MIL will judge us on the mess. How do I know? Because she also judges other family members and tells me about their dirty/messy houses (they aren't!). shock

(P.S. get a cleaner if you can afford one. Then you have a scapegoat if something is not up to MIL's standards: "oh, the cleaner must have missed that dust, I'll have to remind her next time.")

diddl Sat 18-May-13 12:40:05

"(P.S. get a cleaner if you can afford one. Then you have a scapegoat if something is not up to MIL's standards: "oh, the cleaner must have missed that dust, I'll have to remind her next time.")"

OMG, I think that really is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read.

PoppyWearer Sat 18-May-13 12:44:43


I wasn't being entirely serious, FWIW. Deep breaths everyone.

happygonicky Sat 18-May-13 18:45:17

Well, DH rather brilliantly ushered a visitor who looked like they were settling in for ever out, and he's told his parents that I need some downtime at home tomorrow and so he's taking them out to lunch. I think he's also going to reiterate the general need for notice. I don't feel guilty. Perhaps I should, but I don't. I don't even feel relieved, just normal and able to look forward to tomorrow.

Re cleaning. I know she notices and I like to feel comfortable with what people see. Can't really explain it, but there you go.

Thank you.

myBOYSareBONKERS Sat 18-May-13 18:52:04

I gather he is taking the baby with him? Not much of a break otherwise

happygonicky Sat 18-May-13 18:58:49

Yup, the baby is going with him!


i know what you mean about cleaning tho. but cut yourself some slack. smile

happygonicky Sun 19-May-13 11:58:57

Brief recap: they're coming up today, DH taking them out to lunch so I can have some baby-free time. All I want now is to know when this is happening so I can get on with work; we've tried calling, no answer. I'm starting to get really quite wound-up now; feel like this stupid 'popping in for an hour' arrangement has taken over the whole weekend. Arghh.

jollygoose Sun 19-May-13 12:54:23

Well they are your dhsparents, wouldnt you be unhappy if they were not interested in new gc. I dont see why you have to do anything special when they arrive just sit back and let them get on with it.

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