How do you cope with the visitors?

(32 Posts)
stickybean Mon 12-Nov-12 03:36:35

I'll start by saying I know I am probably being unreasonable... I'm just having a little vent, feel free to ignore me!

We live in New York but are both British. I have 2 young kids and another on the way. People come and stay with us ALL the time. I reckon we have guests 50-60% of the time. Some months we'll have no one and then we can have a month or two where we are 3 or 4 different guests back to back.
Mostly it's not too bad and I just get on with it but I'm reaching my limit. I don't want to make polite conversation, I don't want to cook every night... I want to eat cereal for dinner.
I don't want to find a free night to go out. I want to stay at home, watch TV and go to bed.

When people come for a week it's ok but after that I reach my limit. One of my siblings is here for 3 weeks at the moment... It's killing me. There is a reason we don't live with our siblings as adults. Don't even get me started on my mother.

I know I just need to say NO when people ask to come and stay or set strict time limits. But it's easier said then done. I am crap at confrontation so just quietly seeth.

I don't even know what I'm asking... Share your stories, tell me how to deal with it or to suck it up. Or that it's the price you pay for moving precious grandchildren / nieces nephews across the globe and tough luck.

Just venting really.
Sorry for typos, can't proof read on my phone.

strictlycaballine Fri 16-Nov-12 10:12:22

Sympathies, sympathies Stickybean. I think I started a thread virtually identical to yours a couple of years back - and it hasn't got much better I'm afraid - although we are a little more judicious about what we agree to from the outset.

So would suggest firm boundaries right from the first moment the visit is suggested on the telephone. shock at MrsSchadenfreude's cheeky 'friend' who had 'already booked flights'.

Always, always be ahead of the game in terms of what you want to be doing for long weekends or holidays, else other people will plan it for you. You need to be able to say without hesitation "oh it would have been lovely to see you but we are heading off to x then" or "oh what a shame but dh's god-daughter is staying with us over that weekend" (even if they aren't blush)

We like in Brussels and like Londonmoo absolutely detest the tourist trail aspect of it all. Can just about do my job, look after house, make up rooms, do the extra shopping and provide meals but I know draw the line at shepherding people around the sites that I have seen fifty times before.

As others have said, it ultimately depends on how your guests behave though.

I have one set of regular guests (brother, his dp and their two dc) who always arrive , "exhausted", empty handed, never lift a finger to help, never pay for anything, expect to be chauffered everywhere and, worst of all, the moment they arrive; exonerate themselves from all responsibility of looking after their dc who I am expected to entertain at every waking hour. And they barely bother to say thank you afterwards either.

On the other hand, when my best friend visits from France (also two parents and two adults) they arrive under their own steam (never need collecting from anywhere), come laden with inexpensive but really thoughtful gifts (eg walnut oil they have pressed themselves, local cheeses etc) are up and off and out every day, insist on cooking a couple of evenings while they are here and even offer to take my dd out with them for the day. And I always receive a huge bunch of flowers and a card in the post three days after they have left.

Tis chalk and cheese frankly and I know which lot are always welcome and which lot ellicit groans...

Dh and I dream of winning the lottery and being able to convert our roof in to a self-contained flat which we could have made up for guests at all times, with it's own little kitchen etc which would put an end to the endless tea and coffee-making, can I borrow your iron scenario etc etc. Mind you, that might encourage more guests to come. Yes, thinking about it, might keep it as a wreck after all ....wink

strictlycaballine Fri 16-Nov-12 10:14:42

[sorry - rushing - should have proof-read that properly before posting..]

AdoraJingleBells Sat 17-Nov-12 02:48:16

We don't get many visitorsgrin we're not only too far away but obviously we're in the middle of the jungle with all the associated bugs and nasties because that's all south America has to offerhmm. Anyway, I'm a lazy bolshi hostess who refuses to bend over backwards to accommodate uninvited guests. This means the few visitors we have had, one repeat offender visitor has been here 6 times, don't treat our home like a hotel.

You need to decide weather you are going to suck it up and vent on MN (nothing wrong with having a rant on here) or set some boundaries and stick to them.

stickybean Sat 17-Nov-12 14:34:08

AdoraJingleBelles: suck it up or set some boundaries... I know which one I should do and I know which one I probably will sad
I am too non confrontational for my own good.

Spending all my time hiding in my room at the moment and then feeling like the worlds biggest bitch just for feeling how I do.
My family is so blooming high maintenance. Sometimes I think moving across the Atlantic was the best thing for me... Then someone else comes to stay and I'm not so sure!

RichardSimmonsTankTop Mon 19-Nov-12 03:07:13

Like Adora we're also in South America but have about six sets of guests booked throughout the next six months. They're all lovely people but I'm a bit nervous about reading this.

Does anyone else find that well meaning family members have offered you as free accommodation? My sister emailed me a few weeks ago saying "X, y and z are coming to your city in March, May and June and I've said they can stay with you." NO THANKS.

EdwardtheEagle Sat 01-Dec-12 15:39:17

Being non confrontational means you're putting other people's family before your own. Are they worth that?

Lavenderhoney Sat 01-Dec-12 18:20:39

Not having a spare room helps now smile although I would love people to come, when they do its crap. I dont want to cook dinner party dinners at night, and prefer to eat with the dc at 6. The only person I know who copes with visitors fabulously is mil, and she just does her thing. Sometimes she peeks in our bedroom and rolls her eyes at the mess but she knows I am untidy in there only. I also buy her loads of magazines and treats which she wont do for herself. She doesn't go on trips etc, but will supply picnicssmile then she puts her feet up and gets her friends round for a good moansmile

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