aibu to say "my house my rules"?

(43 Posts)
jenecho Thu 30-Jan-14 13:57:31

My parents have been supposedly moving closer to me for a couple of years since i was pregnant with dd1, now nearly 2. However, although my DM wants to be close to GCs, they don't really want to move, largely because prices here are double where they live now(3hrs away) so they would have to spend more or get less. They have always said if it "comes to it" they would rent somewhere here, but i don't know what that means, as first dd
1 and now dd2 have arrived and it hasn't happened, which means we have to have house guests every couple of weeks. DH is in the spare room so i can bf dd2 in bed at night, but is now sleeping on a sofa bed to keep the spare bed free for them. DF is a bad house guest as he is inconsiderate and insensitive and messy and has reached an age where he thinks everyone should pander to him. My DM runs around tidying up after him and trying to put right the things that irk me. i do love them both very much and want to see them and really appreciate DMs help while she is here. However, having frequent house guests isn't ideal and i really wish they would move but have come to accept that it is a pipe dream so try to make the most of it while they are here.

last night i snapped at my DF when i saw him doing one of my pet hates, (pulling out the sink drainer and letting all the food go down the drain where it will block it) Yes, i was unreasonable to snap over something so small, no question. However, he proceeded to tell me that he was older and had owned sinks for 70 years and knew best, which really pissed me off. I argued with him for a minute or so light heartedly about whether it was a problem or not, at which point i said my house my rules, i don't care what you do in your house but don't do it here!

i thought nothing more of it until i said to dm today, sorry to overreact about the drain yesterday, its one of my pet hates, and i was flabbergasted when she said i should apologise to df as he had been so offended that hed wanted to storm off home last night. Apparently it was the my house my rules part that was so offensive! Im stunned and wasn't apologising for that part, am now having to bite my tongue not to tell him to sod off home if hes going to be that ridiculous. The stupid thing is he is the most insensitive person i know(think victor meldrew), and he generally thinks people should have thicker skins when he frequently offends things, yet at the same time its ok for him to be hypersensitive when criticised himself?!

AIBU? not for snapping about a silly little bugbear- i know i was- but for expecting house guests to respect my wishes regardless of seniority now that i am a grown up and homeowner?

Mia4 Thu 30-Jan-14 14:04:48

They are v v unreasonable op. Your house your ruled and that particular rule is right.

It sounds like they are too comfortable and have overstayed their regular invitation tbh. Maybe they shouldn't come for a month or stay elsewhere and give you all space. What does your dp say?

newmorning Thu 30-Jan-14 14:11:18

You are not unreasonable to insist that visitors treat your drains according to your wishes but you were unreasonable to snap at him.

His way of getting rid of the food bits was not wrong in itself and he couldn't have known in advance that you'd object.

AngelaDaviesHair Thu 30-Jan-14 14:15:35

Every. Two. Weeks?

They come to stay every two weeks? Is that right? it's mad. It's far too much. Cut down the visits, and then if they really want to see you more they can move.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Thu 30-Jan-14 14:15:48

YANBU. My DF was politeness itself when it came to OUR domestic procedures, even though they were very different to what he was used to. He recognised the host-guest relationship as sacred. Also if he'd tried to get DM to run around after him, she'd have pulled his arse over his head.

jenecho Thu 30-Jan-14 14:20:40

DH is very good about them staying all the time as long as it helps me for them to be here. He actually said my DM should stay for the whole first month after he went back to work, which i didn't actually suggest and coped ok on my own up till now. Unfortunately, at the point where DF annoys me, then he wouldn't want them here as that defeats the object. So i cant tell him when i am annoyed or he wont be so accommodating. Which is probably why i am ranting on here instead!

ViviPru Thu 30-Jan-14 14:23:34

What Angela Said. Every couple of weeks is excessive. Every couple of months would be enough for them to be a regular feature in their GDCs lives without it being challenging for you.

YouTheCat Thu 30-Jan-14 14:24:14

Stop having them to stay so often.

A few times a year have them visit and then you visit them a few times too. I wouldn't want anyone other those people that actually live here in this house for any more than that. It's intrusive.

Your dh must be a saint to be pushed out of the spare room so often.

YANBU. But I think it's not very surprising if things are building up on both sides if they are staying every couple of weeks - that's not just 'visiting' and it's bound to lead to tension.

I think you need to sit them down and say 'Look it's lovely to see you, but the practicalities really aren't working for any of us. DH is on the sofabed, you're having to worry about doing things my way, I'm having to bite my tongue when you don't. How can we sort this out so that we can all be more relaxed?"

If they want to see the children that much, they really ought to be the ones to adapt.

And, if someone did that at my house, I'd go ballistic. ^Other people's^ drains may be fine with piles of food down them. Mine certainly aren't. And I'm fed up of DynoRod having to sort things so have changed my own behaviour to suit reality!

It sounds like this arrangement has run its course, if the irritation is outweighing the benefits. Time to renegotiate how you work this.

MsAspreyDiamonds Thu 30-Jan-14 14:28:11

Can you limit the visits to coincide with the school holidays (I know your dc are preschool age) but a gap of every 3/4 months might work better than every few weeks. I did and still do this with my family, they live 300 miles away and we visit every few months.

I prebook hotels or university halls (during the holidays they rent them out to tourists) so that we can maintain a bedtime routine. We see my family during the day & for meals but go back to the hotel for sleep.
Can you visit them or alternate visits whereby the gaps for them to come to you is a bit longer?

Can you put a little worktop bin by the sink clearly labelled food waste? There are other ways to maintain contact such as skype, which we do all the time and my kids love seeing my parents on the 'tv'.

I think your relationship would deteriorate if they moved closer to you. You need to find a way to make the visits enjoyable for the sake of your kids but not expect them to 'help you'. They are at a point in their lives where they have done it all and just need to relax a bit.

AngelaDaviesHair Thu 30-Jan-14 14:29:06

Your DF can't come ana stay with his adult, married daughter who is the mother of two children and expect still to be treated as the Great Patriarch and you to defer like a 12 year old. And if you visit relatives with small children, there has to be a certain amount of mucking in, not to mention deferring to the host's way of doing things.

Plus, if your DF is that annoyed with you, he should say so, instead of letting your mother do it like his Representative On Earth. Don't go through your mother, talk to him directly.

gamerchick Thu 30-Jan-14 14:29:20

Are you sure they're not dragging their heels about moving because they fully intend on moving in with your full time?

Hassled Thu 30-Jan-14 14:29:28

I think the "my house, my rules" thing is absolutely fair enough. The problem is that you're still your DF's little girl, and he'll struggle to accept your authority. But certainly don't apologise.

And yes - have them to stay way less often. It sounds exhausting as well as unnecessary - and they'll seem less irritating if they're not constantly present.

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 30-Jan-14 14:30:08

Every two weeks is far too frequently.

And it IS your house, so of course your wishes should be respected about how the things in it should be treated.

If your Dad wants to be the king of the caste he can stay at home.

Kaekae Thu 30-Jan-14 14:31:48

They visit every two weeks? They may as well move in! I think I would cut down on the visits too, especially if your DH is having to sleep on a sofa bed?! I agree with you, your house your rules.

HomeIsWhereTheGinIs Thu 30-Jan-14 14:32:37

Yanbu. Clearly the regular visits aren't working, I agree with the pp who said you need to take a month or so off from seeing them. Close family are lovely, but not always in close quarters.

Hissy Thu 30-Jan-14 14:33:05

your only mistake was to say to your DM about over-reacting. You absolutely weren't.

You did this because you felt guilty that you have stood up for yourself. I guess he's always ranted and raved to get his own way. why else would your mother be running around clearing up his mess.

don't back down, you stated your reasons and why, he was out and out rude to refuse to listen to a grown woman in her own house.

He didn't like what you said because it was true and he was in the wrong.

Hissy Thu 30-Jan-14 14:35:10

' So i cant tell him when i am annoyed "

of course you can, and should! Your H is on your side and looking out for you!

If you were an adult child still living in their house would df have said my house my rules?


There's your answer. It is your house and you get stuck with the bill when your parents fuck up the drain.

They should rent their house out and rent something near you so they can change their mind or see if they really want to move

wobblyweebles Thu 30-Jan-14 14:54:27

I think it's time to put your parents up on the sofabed...

jenecho Thu 30-Jan-14 14:54:39

I think its an age thing- i'm still a child in his eyes despite being 34 and a mother of two, therefore he still thinks he knows best about everything and expects me to pander to him like my mum does. I think the offensive part was that i even expect them to view themselves as house guests-my DM says they never said that to me when i lived with them. My point is that when i lived with them a) that WAS my house too, and b) they most certainly did have rules and expected me to live by them- i wouldn't have answered back or suggested i knew better because i was the child and they were the parents. I don't think that kind of blind and unquestioning deference should continue once you are a grown adult with your own family. But i do think house guests should have respect for the home owners wishes regardless of your relationship to them. Guess its an old fashioned respect for your elders issue that he will always be right and i will always be wrong!

jenecho Thu 30-Jan-14 15:17:12

To be fair it is usually (before i was on mat leave) more like every three or four weeks- lately has been the exception rather than the rule with dd2 being born, and Christmas, but this is the 5th visit since my birthday at the end of november so that does equate to fortnightly over the last few months. But it will probably be more like monthly from now on...

whitsernam Thu 30-Jan-14 15:32:49

May I suggest a nearby hotel? It has saved relationships in my extended family many times..... That way at least everyone can get away from each other for a bit at the end of the day, and meals are planned for a restaurant part of the time, etc.

ViviPru Thu 30-Jan-14 15:34:46

Even monthly is too frequent IMO. For me, anything more than every other month (even then...) moves from the realms of houseguest to frequent co-habitee, which is how he's behaving. If you want and need them there once a month then you'll have to suck it up. He's out of line but I'd be surprised if he changes his ways now.

Holdthepage Thu 30-Jan-14 15:39:27

It's funny how the most insensitive people are also the most touchy.

My brother has a hide like a rhino when it comes to other people, but paper thin skin when anyone gives him a taste of his own medicine.

struggling100 Thu 30-Jan-14 16:25:02

Oh my God... you are so not being unreasonable!

I suspect that they see themselves as doing you a massive favour by visiting, and that you should just put up with whatever behaviour they see fit as a result. I definitely think this is a good opportunity to establish, once and for all, that you are an adult with your own rules in your own space. And maybe have them to visit less often!

CumberCookie Thu 30-Jan-14 17:35:39

You were being totally reasonable. You told him not to do something and he did it anyway.

whatever5 Thu 30-Jan-14 18:55:14

YANBU but from your description of your DF (he sounds a bit like mine), I suspect that he doesn't really want to visit so often and would prefer to be in his own home doing things his way. He is perhaps only visiting frequently because your DM wants to and being told that he has to follow your rules probably makes him feel even more like staying at home. He will probably be more than happy to visit less frequently.

5Foot5 Thu 30-Jan-14 19:42:03

Are you sure you want them to move closer to you? Just imagine if they were close enough to pop in nearly every day and your DF persisted in his insensitive "I know best" manner whenever he came round. You wouldn't feel you could call your house your own.

Cut back on the visits and let the subject of a move quietly die down

bochead Thu 30-Jan-14 19:47:41

Divorce beckons five years down the line if your husband has to stay on the sofabed so often in his own home. They aren't his parents and it's his home too! Do the paternal grandparents ever get to stay and send time with their grand kids. Do either of you ever have an old Uni mate to stay for a weekend? How often do you have playdates in your home when the grandparents are there?

Cut back on their visits to the point they remember they are visitors again and not room mates. It's time to cut the apron strings a little before your kids get older and get confused as to who runs things.

BackforGood Thu 30-Jan-14 20:10:43

YANBU about expecting people to expect your house rules when staying in your own house, but I think you are asking for trouble having people staying that long, that often.

I can't see how you can seriously expect them to sell up and buy near you, when you live in a so much more expensive area either though.
Nor can I understand why your dh is regularly sleeping on a sofabed in the living room in his own house.
I suspect you need to have a chat with your parents about how much you've appreciated their help while the baby is small, but that these long and frequent visits are becoming too much for you now you are a family of 4 yourselves, so perhaps limit it to Christmas, Easter and the Summer from now on?
Or maybe alternate with you going up to stay with them for a few days every now and then, whilst you are on maternity leave and before the dc start school ?

What does he think the sink catcher thing is for exactly??
I'm guilty of letting a bit of food go down but in general, it's there to be emptied into the bin!

angelinajelly Thu 30-Jan-14 20:28:48

I really don't think it's fair for your poor husband to have to spend so much time sleeping on the sofa. Even if there were no other niggles, that would be justification for cutting down on the visits.

rabbitlady Thu 30-Jan-14 20:30:47

you are right. don't let them stay.
but as an older parent, its really hard to get things right. i know. i try but i do get things wrong.

jenecho Thu 30-Jan-14 20:53:45

DM does occasionally come on her own, but then he moans about being abandoned, and she has to make him a weeks worth of dinner before she leaves(as i said, pandering!)and of course there is usually some house that he wants to look at and not buy(!)

whatever5 is exactly right- he doesn't really want to come any more than he wants to move- it is all my DM. So he comes, sits on the sofa all day watching tv, spreading newspapers around and moaning about house prices! And makes himself at home- he keeps an electric blanket, dressing gown and alarm clock here. As well as a tea tray, teapot etc, because we didn't have one (or want/need one) and i was getting irritated by the mess in front of the kettle!
dh and i did joke about making them sleep on a sofa bed so that they would be less comfortable and buy a house, but the one we got isn't big enough for two! and i wouldn't ask them to stay in a hotel- the in laws used to do that before they moved here, and my parents were always shocked to hear that. That's a thought- maybe i should suggest they stay with MIL!
guess its just they have different boundaries to us and like having house guests( probably because they live hundreds of miles away from everyone they know, are retired, and have the luxury of multiple en suite guestrooms, so its no trouble for them). We, on the other hand, would prefer never to have anyone stay unless its so we can have a late night with friends.

jenecho Thu 30-Jan-14 21:31:23

Backforgood - just to clarify a couple of things, I don't expect them to move- it was never my suggestion, but they have got my hopes up about it over the years and still claim it will happen, although I have come to realise it wont be until they need me more than I need them. Also, they can afford to buy a house that is twice as expensive as they have now, my DF is just too tight to do it (he has no plans for the money, which they pocketed when they last moved from a more expensive area to where they are now). Or they could comfortably afford to downsize to a house half (or a quarter) of the size of their sprawling 5 bed, 6 bath, triple garage house with annex, ffs, there are only the two of them, they are just spoilt and being snobby and tightfisted in turning their nose up at everything they look at here, without realising how offensive that is given the houses are all much nicer/bigger than ours. I do want them to live here though, if only so i can stop hearing about houses!

Also, DH is on a sofabed but not in the living room-hes in dd2s future bedroom while she is in with me, so hes not got it too bad. He works ridiculously long hours and has to stay away for work at least two nights a week (hence my DM coming to help out), and we discovered with dd1 it works best for me not to have to worry about disturbing him at night when he has to get up early. And he barely sees my parents while they are here as he is barely here himself!

However, with DD1 I had PND/anxiety, and was a mess, whereas this time i am coping much better, despite having a toddler to deal with and an absent husband. So it does skew the equation in terms of the costs vs benefits of having them stay.

whatever5 Thu 30-Jan-14 22:01:56

DM does occasionally come on her own, but then he moans about being abandoned, and she has to make him a weeks worth of dinner before she leaves(as i said, pandering!)and of course there is usually some house that he wants to look at and not buy(!)

Yep, he is exactly like my DF!

jenecho Fri 31-Jan-14 07:49:17

Good to know I'm not the only one. My granddad was the same, but he also lived in a different age and my DF never aspired to be like him until he got older

jenecho Fri 31-Jan-14 13:45:09

They left this morning and ive just found the drainer left pulled out of the sink- cant decide if it was done deliberately to wind me up or if despite his arguing he genuinely doesn't understand how the bloomin thing works! Grrrrr...

Hissy Fri 31-Jan-14 14:52:48

And makes himself at home- he keeps an electric blanket, dressing gown and alarm clock here. As well as a tea tray, teapot etc, because we didn't have one (or want/need one)

Put this stuff in a box and either shove it in the loft or give it back to him when he goes back, you just don't have the room. He is like a tom cat pissing on your territory, and it's not on.

I'd say the drainer thing WAS deliberate, he needs to show you that HE will lift it as he wishes and you can't do anything about it. I'd bet your DM went to tidy it and he told her not to too.

Tricycletops Fri 31-Jan-14 16:11:55

Bloody hell, I didn't realise I had a sister! shock

I don't really have much advice to offer, just wanted you to know you're not alone. I'm due DC1 soon and my mum really, really wants to come for a long visit - I'd actually love to have her here but can't stand the idea of DF in my house for 3 weeks...

jenecho Fri 31-Jan-14 16:58:33

Actually i don't know if my DB and DSIL have it worse or better than me-they live overseas and therefore only get one or two visits a year, but for a month at a time staying exclusively with them! Unsurprisingly there has been the odd clash between DF and DSIL during these visits...

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