Have you ever refused visitors ?

(83 Posts)
Mosman Sun 13-Jan-13 03:24:34

DH's bloody mother again !
Was meant to stay 20 weeks to help us settle in and help keep our child care costs down whilst we bought furniture shipped stuff across etc. After 10 weeks she'd had enough of the heat, arguing with the children and with a weeks notice to find alternative childcare buggered off home.
So now her rose tinted spec's are on and she wants to come back over for four weeks in the winter to avoid the heat but seems to have forgotten that we still don't live in a 5 bedroomed detached with a separate granny suite for her. Her pension still won't buy her very much food and there isn't a marks and spencers.
I'm not putting this in AIBU becauise I appreciate her only son is living on the other side of the world but I will dread this for months in the lead up and I don't want her here unless she books into some sort of hotel.
Has anybody said no and did it end badly ?

Mosman Fri 25-Jan-13 05:47:47

I think a simple no covers it really, DH's Birthday came and went without contact, yes he could phone her but doesn't, it's not my "job"

anonymosity Fri 25-Jan-13 05:11:02

I did say no to my Dh's brother. There are 4 of us in a very small 2 bed place and the brother has never been close. He has mental issues which make me feel unsafe around him and I don't want him near my kids. It was easy to say no as I was strongly compelled to do so and its not like we have the room.
I would say if your MIL helped you for 10 wks before, regardless of the fact she left early, she did it and you're beholden to her desire to return. You just have to work out the ground rules and issues around food costs together, so no one gets any horrible surprises and you can get along better.

You spend double what other MNs spend then that should feed 4 kids and 4 adults (assuming the average 2 adults 2 kids per family). As you have a nanny I'm assuming your kids aren't teenagers.

Spag bol in 40 deg weather? It gets to that in summer in Italy and they keep eating pasta. I think eating steak in hot weather is more mental.

The phone goes both ways, have you all called her?

Frankly I think it is your (and DHs) job to facilitate a relationship between your kids and their loving family, even if they are difficult. Sounds like DH loves his mother and ought to be able to spend time with her. DHs are often useless about birthday cards etc.

If you can't afford to spend time with family because you are eating steak then perhaps you shouldn't eat steak. There is no reason kids have to eat steak, there are far healthier things anyway and many of them are cheaper.

As for refusing visitors, yes we did refuse my MIL one time because she wanted to come in march which was a nightmare time at work for DH. We also offered to pay the increased plane fare for her to come at another time. My ILs really don't like me and we still manage to make it work for the sake of my kids and DH.

Luxy Wed 23-Jan-13 12:10:14

You are getting a lot of vitriol over your treatment of MIL, but I can empathise, I used to like my MIL, but that was when we saw her for a couple of hours very other weekend and special occasions. However since we moved abroad and her visits have lasted six to eight weeks she drives me up the wall! Having any visitor in your home for longer than a week is horrible. Especially if they sit around and wait to be entertained and fed. If you come up with a plausible excuse let me know, I'm already dreading the next visit, but know that it will cause too much upset and outrage to say no.

swisscottage Tue 22-Jan-13 10:07:30

I think your MIL doesn't actually sound a very family orientated person - she hasn't contacted you since October? That's appalling. I would tell her to come for a "holiday" on the way back from NZ, you don't expect her to do childcare as you have already had it sorted (presumably) but it means she only says 10 days or so. Then just put up with her. If money is tight, say so and say she is welcome to a week "on you" but no more. I think she is trying to escape the weather in the UK.....! She obviously doesn't have a problem with money if she can afford a NZ trip.

Mosman Tue 15-Jan-13 11:24:44

I know and it's things like buying pegs and coat hangers and washing up bowls every week because we have to have them but can't afford to buy it all in one go.
I will get it to about $500 and I think that's about right.

smupcakes Tue 15-Jan-13 11:07:15

Mosman, I can't believe you spend that much on groceries! DP and I spend $150 tops for an entire week, including all our lunches for work. I used to be a nanny and often shopped for the family, including 3 children - and I would spend $300 max. You may need to review your brands etc if you're struggling and need to save money!

Mosman Sun 13-Jan-13 22:54:06

I would t describe it as a sudden dislike more of a having her thrust upon me due to suddenly having to think what are we doing with MIL normally we'd not see her from one Christmas to the next so I could dislike her without it impacting on anyone. You're right though she does either need to tow the line or do one it's no skin off my nose if she doesn't want to accommodate is it, I'm not the one with no family.

MulberryGirl Sun 13-Jan-13 19:47:25

It all sounds a little peculiar. We're in the midst of organising our big move and I will be looking forward to any family visits. Sounds like you have really negative feelings toward the woman, lots of negative vibes coming from your posts full stop. Cut your cloth a little and maybe then you can afford to host her. What's ten days in the bigger scheme of things after all.

madwomanintheattic Sun 13-Jan-13 15:58:33

Surely your nanny is cooking the children their evening meal if they are that young? And then essentially you get home and put them to bed? It's what we've always done with three kids (enormous apologies for not having four, btw, I hadn't realized an extra child made that much difference - it doesn't seem to when ours have a friend over) if we were working full time.

Find a nanny that makes your life easier - not sure what yours is doing if she doesn't manage to feed the kids for you?

I get that you are busy. Sure. It is busy with two of you working ft, and loads of kids, and at least one dog. But that's life. And having emigrated, well, having visitors is life too. You just have to suck it up and work out how to fit it in.

Your sudden dislike for your mil since she refused to move out there with you is colouring your view. If this was a dear friend or your own mother wanting to come and stay for a month, would you be more accommodating? None of us can choose our relatives.

But, whatever, I assumed you already had PR given your feelings about your mil's decision not to move, tbh. Hope it works out how you want. The first year is always interesting - we paid our mortgage late three times. <shrugs> We're just about organized, though. Still in a 2 bed condo with 5 of us (and the visitors grin) but unless we win lotto 649 we can't afford to move.

Just tell dh you are cutting off all ties with mil because she won't do exactly as you want. Job done.

Mosman Sun 13-Jan-13 15:34:12

Thank you for the kind words. I know I need to get organised and cut that food bill and it will be a priority as soon as various other things fall into place.
We are trying to get permanent residency and then I can stay home and chill, I will have to budget, the kids will have to behave and eat what they are given and we'll all live happily ever after.

That's an interesting theory and yes would make sense, the thing is what MIL forgets is that her son is bloody hopeless, she wouldn't have got a Birthday card if it wasn't for me so phoning and getting on his case about visiting will do her no good at all.

I just feel by the time the kids are juggled, work is taken there piece of me there's nothing left for the old windbag, if she was a pleasure I might be able to muster something up up but no. If I sadi DH's dad was coming the week after I wanted her to leave, she'd move the dates to give herself a clear 4 weeks, it's all or nothing with her so I shall have to be straight and say no but DH will pop down and see you or if you've got the money to go around NZ for a month then you can set some aside for a hotel.

BranchingOut Sun 13-Jan-13 15:30:30

Sorry, lots of cross posts.

MELanglands Sun 13-Jan-13 15:26:15

You can limit her stay for any time of year by saying that you have guests for a certain period. Have a definite return date for your mother in law and again you can say that visitors are arriving then.

Talk in advance with your partner and decide what jobs you would like her to help with and what things you would prefer her to leave alone when she comes.

When with you, if she makes comments, try to smile without commenting. If you have to comment, say your friend/relative does the same thing and you prefer it that way.

kday Sun 13-Jan-13 15:24:41

I have a theory about the 'no contact' then a visit. It's as though when you move/leave, it becomes your job to keep up the contact. You're the ones who left/abandoned them, so it is your duty to drive the communication and keep the relationship going. . It happened with my family and inlaws when I first went abroad 12 years ago and has stayed pretty much the same... It was the same with some friends, too. Not all, but there were definitely some who felt I'd abandoned or rejected them/my home/their life choices by daring to move away. Not sure if that helps but it's my theory!

BranchingOut Sun 13-Jan-13 15:16:32

I don't understand all the history with the MIL, but could MNers in the food and drink section help you out with some ways of cutting those food bills?

I can see that 6 steaks plus ready made salad is expensive and would quickly rack up bills.

Mosman Sun 13-Jan-13 15:08:51

Thank you.

Does nobody else find it strange no contact no updates, news, no phone calls, letters, cards nothing but by the way I'm coming over for a month. I find it odd. I do.

kday Sun 13-Jan-13 14:54:41

Mosman, for what it's worth I found it all too hard when we first relocated - too hot to cook, no idea where to buy things at a reasonable price so ended up buying prepared things or things I knew from home but at grossly inflated prices, none of the useful kitchen items or enough freezer space in the serviced apartment for batch cooking. It does get easier, though. Good luck.

Mosman Sun 13-Jan-13 14:41:04

Of course organisation is the key, not the easiest thing to manage when half your stuff is in transit, the other half you don't know whether it's worth unpacking as you'll be moving again in 7 months, you can't afford to replace all the stuff you had to leave behind because whilst it was too old and wasn't worth packing you do need it really.
I'm not thick just finding it all a bit hard and don't need the added pressure of the miserable old goat's impending visit hanging over me like a cloud of doom.
Anyway thank you for the wise words, it's not happen have told DH if he wants guests he can show them where the local hotel is. I shall be unavailable.

Greige Sun 13-Jan-13 14:31:19

And organise! It can be hard if you feel like you are in the middle of a whirlwind, you need to stop and centre yourself.

The new nanny will take some pressure off but you need to take stock and get some systems in place.

I am a sahm mam with two kids, but a friend of mine who is a single mother with four kids once told me that the only way she manages is to be totally organised.

Greige Sun 13-Jan-13 14:26:50

'the good stuff' doesn't have to be steak though OP! Feed them the stuff they enjoy eating.

Things like curry, pasta etc were invented in hot countries.

Wrt MIL, compromise - it's not really that far from New Zealand to Oz - suggest she comes for a shorter period or that she stays with you for a shorter time and maybe travels on to Sydney or wherever for the rest of her stay.

Mosman Sun 13-Jan-13 14:19:00

I am not looking for anyone to agree with me, if they do they do if they don't I can live with it. All people back home want to hear is how marvelous it is here so I use you lot for a good moan blush.
Sorry.
I am simply amazed anyone would eat spag bol in 40 degree's in fact I think you'd have to be a bit mental and we feed the kids the good stuff no matter what, they come first.
We are disorganized right i have a wok and a saucepan, i'm sure it'll get better, bloody better.

MadonnaKebab Australia Sun 13-Jan-13 14:16:12

But it really is never too hot for a cheap n cheerful veggie stir fry or curry
And tuna or egg salad is always inexpensive
You confuse me Mosman

LarkinSky Sun 13-Jan-13 14:14:39

No, never. I always feel grateful for visitors, although I do have input into length of and dates of stay. All my visitors ask when would be convenient for us before booking; isn't that what all people normally do?

Ps your posts make me grin and shock!

IDontKnowWhereMyMedalsAre Sun 13-Jan-13 14:14:39

FFS We live in the middle east and all the families I know here eat things like spag bol, pasta with sauce, sausages. Yes we have barbies and salads but really OP get a grip. Never mind the MIL do you think you are the only person who works full time with 4 kids? Get more organised at at the weekend. Batch cooking for chilli bol etc, make meatballs, curry. Please tell me that GBP300 a week is really the top end of your spending and not every week. And if they dont like preprepared salad dont buy. Just get more fruit.
There are loads of lovely munsnetters who can help with menu planning, loads of lovely munsnetters who live in perth and could advise on best places to shop.
Finally dont have MIL if you dont want. Lifes too short but remember DH does have a say in this as well. But promise if she doesnt come you will get your act togther and I have no doubt it will leave you a lot less stressed.

Apologies I didnt mean to sound harsh but it does seem like you are making excuses because youve got yourself all in a bit of a tizz.

trixymalixy Sun 13-Jan-13 14:11:47

Factual? <snort>

It's impossible to determine what the true story is Mosman as the "facts" as you see them change depending on what it is that you want MNers to agree with.

It always baffles me that you don't name change as each version of the "facts" are there for everyone to read.

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