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To suggest xmas arrival and departure days for in laws?

(49 Posts)
MuffinMouse Fri 19-Nov-10 19:55:46

In laws stay for xmas every year. (Not my choice). We dont get on brilliantly, but I try hard. They usually stay for three days, 2 nights. This year they have invited themselves for xmas again, and want to stay for longer this year as they are miffed that they dont see the grandkids enough. (We are visiting them this weekend to pacify and it 2.5 hr drive each way).

I've asked DH to let them know every year when we will 'be at home to welcome visitors'. But he's not great at it. AIBU to set a time frame, as this is how I cope with them? (I have been pushed to four days previously and was seriously frazzled. I can't make an effort for that long).

I am pregnant with two young children. (DH has two siblings; one abroad, and the other keeps his distance). I am not prepared to do the negotiating for DH as I think they see me as 'the problem'. They have an 'open door policy' for all friends who want to stay, and expect us to do the same. AIBU?

Beamur Fri 19-Nov-10 19:57:30

Nope. I enjoy my inlaws visiting, or us seeing them, for a specific (and not too long) period of time.
Your DH does need to do this though, otherwise you will be the ogre...

lucy101 Fri 19-Nov-10 19:58:20

YANBU at all, especially as you are pregnant etc. You know your limits! Stick to your guns and I salute that you make DH do it himself... it's the only way....

AphraBen Fri 19-Nov-10 19:59:00

I think saying that you are expecting other visitors, or that you're going to see friends on the day you'd expect them to leave might be the most tactful way forward.

SlartyBartFast Fri 19-Nov-10 19:59:12

well my bil is quite firm about us staying. and i dont mind.
it is you that will be stressed by it.. i dont see anything wrong with laying down the law.

CrazyPlateLady Fri 19-Nov-10 19:59:57

YANBU. Surely you want some time to yourselves over xmas!

Get your DH to tell them a time they are welcome and that you have other plans too.

classydiva Fri 19-Nov-10 20:01:04

when you are there ask when tey are arriving, and then say how long will you be staying. You need to know, its going to be a lot of hard work for you, or why not go to theirs this year?

Serendippy Fri 19-Nov-10 20:03:36

YANBU. Why do so many men have such problems laying down the law with their mothers? I would say to mine, 'We would love to see you but I am going to be busy so please come from x til x' and she would reply, 'OK'. End of story. DH says to his mum, 'We would love to see you, maybe arrange with Serendippy some dates...' Aaaaaarrgggghhh!

CarGirl Fri 19-Nov-10 20:05:30

Why don't you earn some brownie point by saying 3 days at Christmas and them come again a few weeks later/end of Jan or something???

NetworkGuy Fri 19-Nov-10 20:09:04

If you don't mind me asking, are you close to your family (so visits are easier, more frequent ) ? Just asking as your in-laws might feel justified in thinking they miss out and I wonder if a visit half way through the year would also be possible.

With your growing family and knowledge that 4 days is too much to cope with, DH has to make it plain that more days are certainly not a good idea. He has to get it across that if they push it, then yours might become a "closed house" however much they argue.

Yes, if necessary, be seen as the ogre but you know your limits and DH should too, by now, and with 2 [+] DC at Christmas then stress from his parents is the last thing you need.

Hope he gets the message across - you have enough to cope with if children are playing up, or ill, and hope he can see that if it is a choice between parents and your growing family, his growing family need him more.

imahappycamper Fri 19-Nov-10 20:09:38

My parents are coming to us this Christmas and I have told them when we will collect them and when they will be going home (and the sleeping arrangements).
Your DH should do this rather than letting them choose.
My DS only lives 5 miles from us but when it is a special occasion (eg children's birthdays) he always lets us know when we will be welcome and how long he expects us to say, usually citing bathtime or some other reason for us going home. I think it is a good plan because it means we get to see our grandchildren but don't outstay our welcome.
This year we have told them that they are welcome for tea on Christmas day but not lunch because my aged Pa can't cope with the children for too long. Surely everyone has to arrive at a solution that suit eveyone and there has to be give and take on all sides.

pranma Fri 19-Nov-10 20:12:58

my 'rule' for Christmas visitors is arrive day before Christmas Eve and leave day after Boxing Day [unless coming from abroad of course].

mellicauli Fri 19-Nov-10 20:42:15

My advice is don't let DH do negotiations, do it yourself. DH has little to lose if negotiations fail. You will be doing the work. You will be the exhausted one. Who cares what they think of you? They should be worrying what you think of them!

I spent last xmas 8 months pregnant entertaining 10 people for 3 days. It wasn't great...

MuffinMouse Fri 19-Nov-10 20:44:19

NetworkGuy thanks for your comments. I am not at all close to my inlaws - they dont do 'close' with anyone really. Their relationships with their own kids are very 'traditional'. Hence why I think DH struggles to negotiate. My mum comes for xmas day, but moved to live near us. So the ILs dont see us as much as she does. They were invited in Aug but chose not to come as they were offended that we couldnt do a specific weekend they wanted (turned down 2/3 other possibles).

They are not demanding, but do tend to take over everything while they are here (and I'm no doormouse - though I do have to put up with being talked overhmm)

It's the expectation of either an open door policy - or they aren't wanted, that I struggle most with. They lived overseas for most of their adult lives, with home help etc. It's not the world I live in, but DH empathises with them... (MIL is in v poor health too). I don't want to offend anyone - but I know my own limits...

saffy85 Fri 19-Nov-10 21:24:33

YANBU. It's always good to have a time frame, if only so you can keep telling yourself "they're going Friday" over and and over. That's how I cope. grin

NetworkGuy Sat 20-Nov-10 18:27:58

Sorry, Muffin, it was closeness to your own family, which would undeniably mean they felt they lost out, but from what you have said with several weekend possibilities turned down, it sounds like they only like things done "on their terms"

I guess DH is going to have to somehow (but diplomatically) break it to them that their inflexibility doesn't help. How and when is something for another day!

By the time Christmas comes, how many weeks along will you be (so pregnancy might be a valid excuse).
Oh, I forgot, they only like things "on their terms" (admittedly my wording). Shame they cannot change due date then !

SkyBluePearl Sat 20-Nov-10 22:09:19

I think you are within your rights to limit their visit and expect DH to make suitable arrangements. You and the children are his priority and he has to put you first. He could always say that he is worried about how exhausted you are being pregnant and having the kids to look after.

2rebecca Sat 20-Nov-10 23:24:59

I think it's reasonable to say you can stay any time between 23rd and 27th or whatever suits you. We never have this problem as we both work and I get less holiday at this time of year than my husband, so relatives know we are off for at most 4 days at this time of year. If husband won't do it then you should, assuming husband isn't not doing it because he'd like them to stay longer.

Mumwithadragontattoo Sat 20-Nov-10 23:50:04

YANBU - I would suggest you or your DH are clear and straightforward about it. Say something like "You would be welcome to come on Xmas Eve afternoon, as I have to collect the Turkey on the morning, and then stay until late afternoon on Boxing Day / after breakfast on the 27th." What can they really say to object to that?

If they say "Oh we wanted to stay longer than that to see more of DGC" then you say "Sorry we can't really as we wanted some peaceful time just the four of us on the Monday and Tuesday. Plus the kids will be very overexcited and I'll be shattered after 3 days of visitors and need some time to relax." This is more or less word for word what I said to my parents and in laws and I don't think anyone minded. It's not making excuses simply setting out your perfectly reasonable plans.

StayFrosty Sat 20-Nov-10 23:54:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DinahRod Sat 20-Nov-10 23:58:10

Email/Text them: Would you like to come to ours for the 24-26th December this year, and go to the Christingle service/pantomime/blah blah. Let us know, we'd love to see you.

If they suggest longer, unfortunately you have other plans/ are going away/ have friends coming to stay etc.

donkeyderby Sun 21-Nov-10 00:44:43

If your DH won't tell them the limit on their stay, why don't you threaten to go away on your own after 2 days at Christmas and let him look after the kids, cook, clean and entertain his parents. That might encourage a bit more assertiveness on his part.

taintedpaint Sun 21-Nov-10 00:53:25

I agree with DinahRod. A small white lie on this occasion about having other plans would save a strop from the ILs and make the whole Christmas period easier for everyone involved.

pooter Sun 21-Nov-10 00:58:40

Oh Muffinmouse, you are me aren't you?

You MUST get DH to tell them when to come and when to go. I am not very good at this with the PILS - great with my own parents, as i can just talk to them like human beings, but....

I am on NIGHT 9 thats right NINE of an unspecified stay at the moment. THey announced they were coming for remembrance day, turned up two days before, and when i got DH to ask when they were thinking of going, (as my Mum was originally going to come that week) my MIL said that if they weren't wanted they would go tomorrow. Then she went to their room and cried for half an hour, and when DH went to investigate, she sobbed that he was the only thing she had, and that we had made them feel unwelcome, and that we wanted to turf her out of her bed to give it to someone else.

AAaaaggggghhhhhhhhh.
Total thread hijack, but heed this warning - it could be you. THe nine days of torture could be yours if you dont get serious with your DH. I have sat DH down and made a plan for the future so this doesnt happen again. I mean.....NINE DAYS???? In what universe is it ok to turn up uninvited to someones house and not tell them when you are going??? Then use emotional blackmail??? NINE?? NINE!!!

Don't let this be you!!

YeahBut Sun 21-Nov-10 01:33:14

Once had my parents come over to visit for 4 weeks, not a problem as we live so far away, the flights are so expensive, and I knew well in advance exactly how long they were staying. PIL rang up one week before my parents came out to tell us that they had bought non refundable tickets to come out and see us at the same time.shock Parents and PIL all in our small house for four weeks.
OP, tell your DH to man up and set the boundaries.
Pooter, I feel your pain. Gin is the way forward in this situation, I think.

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