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in not wanting to spend a weekend a month with ILs?

(64 Posts)
MaryThornbar Fri 17-Jun-11 13:25:48

ILs and my parents both live over 2.5 hours drive away, which means any visits have to be overnight. My parents are really relaxed but the ILs always push to visit or for us to stay with them 1 weekend a month. They never used to be bothered until DS was born - he is the only reason they want to do this.

It makes me really begrudge the visits as my DH works very long hours during the week, so the only time we get to ourselves is at the weekend. If we see both sets on a monthly basis, that's half of the time having people to stay or staying at other houses, and then having to fit our own friends and social life into that too.

I work too, and find constant guests a hassle with all the cooking, cleaning, bed making etc needed (I get no help from DH as he is working so much) I am also not keen on staying away too much with 1 yr old DS, as we have to take absolutely everything with us (ILs have nothing for him in their house, it's not child friendly at all, and they don't get suitable food in for him) and I would be happier with a visit around every 6 weeks - AIBU?

Scholes34 Fri 17-Jun-11 13:29:14

Then plan the visits to be every 6 weeks.

fedupofnamechanging Fri 17-Jun-11 13:30:07

YANBU. Don't start on this or they will expect it and you will find it hard to get out of. I understand that they want to see your DS, that's natural and nice, but at the same time you have a life of your own and can't be expected to run it to suit other people.

I would rather drive the 2.5 hours and have a day trip once a month, than stay with IL's overnight and effectively lose the whole weekend. Tell your DH that you are simply not up for this and don't let them guilt trip you into it. No one has a right to decide how you spend your time, but you and DH.

ENormaSnob Fri 17-Jun-11 13:34:04


no way would I do this with either mine or dhs parents.

MaryThornbar Fri 17-Jun-11 13:35:22

The thing is, I try to plan weekends every 6 weeks or so, but invariably after a couple of weeks MIL is saying, 'oh it's ages since we last saw you, when can we see you again??' even when we have already arranged a date in the future.

DH just ignores them as he is so busy, and leaves me to deal with it, and makes me feel like the crap DIL!!

QueenKate Fri 17-Jun-11 13:35:39

I don't think there's that much difference between visiting every month or every 6 weeks. I sympathise as I always consider family visits rather a tour of duty.

Can you encourage ILs to babysit for you when you visit or they visit you so that you and your husband get some quality time together?

We used to struggle with parents/ILs not having essential bits of kit when we visited so we bought spares and left them there. Buy suitable food and take it with you if it's an issue. I took a socket cover to my DM's the other day as it was needed, but she wouldn't consider it. Likewise when we've visited ILs we just move things out of DS's reach with an "Oops I'd hate for him to break this hideous precious ornament".

QueenKate Fri 17-Jun-11 13:38:33

"DH just ignores them as he is so busy, and leaves me to deal with it, and makes me feel like the crap DIL!!"

Get caller display and don't answer the phone if it's your ILs.

Reply to any emails by referring the dates, times to your DH "X is so busy at work, he'll have to check his calendar to see if we can arrange something earlier"...

QueenKate Fri 17-Jun-11 13:39:24

Obviously if DH is home then he could answer the phone to your ILs...or they might start to get suspicious!

fedupofnamechanging Fri 17-Jun-11 13:40:59

Don't feel like a bad DIL. It's better to visit less often and be happy to do so, than to see them more than you want and feel resentful about it.

When you talk to them, just say that you have plans for the other weekends as you are so busy in the week and will be down on X date as agreed.

I have done this with my MIl. She used to come over every Sunday and be here all day and it was driving me nuts. I've now arranged it so she comes for a couple of hours on a Friday afternoon and I feel so much happier and in control of my own weekends.

MaryThornbar Fri 17-Jun-11 13:43:45

It's nice to have a bit of back up - thanks! DH's parents make it hard to say no, and lay on the guilt quite a bit, so it's good to know I'm not being evil!

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Fri 17-Jun-11 13:48:11

YANBU - I have the same problem with my Dsis and her kids........nightmare!

NewTeacher Fri 17-Jun-11 13:50:17

Honestly, I do find this highly unfair. You cant give up one weekend a month or every 6 weeks to see the GP's of your DC, the parents of your DH?

I'm assuming they cant travel to you hence you going there all the time. My parents live near me and TBH I probably only see them once a month and they love to see the kids. My IL's live 2 hours away and when we go to see them we usually stay the weekend. The GP's keep the kids occupied and DH and I actually get to go out for a meal or the cinema and have some couple time. We are happy and the GP's are happy and the kids are happy.

How would you feel when you are old and decrepit and your children dont come to see you and you dont get to form a lovely relationship with your GC??

If you dont want to visit them every month why not invite them to stay with you?

redskyatnight Fri 17-Jun-11 13:55:50

OP. we used to have the same issue (now my parents live closer so we can see them in the week so it is easier). If you've got guests/been away for 2 weekends of every month it is just exhausting (and if you wanted to see siblings or other friends at weekends you may feel like you have no time to yourself ever!). We also went to 6 weekly visits. We had lots of complaints from both GPs until we absolutely spelled out how much we had to fit into our weekends and I (think) they sort of got it.

Do you work during the week? If not, would you consider going to stay with your parents midweek or having guests then?

pommedechocolat Fri 17-Jun-11 14:05:45


My PILS used to try and insist on seeing us every month and when they visit it's a big 3 nighter type of a deal. At the end of every visit my MIL would come at me with her diary.
I have subtly stopped being their 'contact' and left dh to manage his parents whilst I manage mine. No rudeness just slight withdrawal. He is much better at avoiding visits, not conciously either, he's just rubbish at dates and planning so things have become more relaxed. He also gets really annoyed at their whining about not seeing him (says they've been doing it to him since he went to uni).
They saw us at the end of May and when arranging a long weekend where we visit them the middle of July FIL did get a bit 'aren't we going to see you before then?' but we have stuck to our guns.
It's so hard when you have little time as a family anyway to want to spend it being 'dutiful' isn't it? If I'm totally honest I hate it.
Second the person who said use and abuse them for babysitting duties though - that really does help!!

aftereight Fri 17-Jun-11 14:05:51

We live several hours' drive from ILs and see them about every 8 weeks. We take it in turns to travel to them, and them to come to us. Every 6 weeks would probably be fairer on them, but I'm not going to suggest it!
We make sure that we write all other weekend commitments on the calendar, and this makes it easy to see at a glance why interim visits aren't possible.
In your case, moving to 6 weeks, or alternating weekends/day visits each month may be the best bet?
Or arrange Saturday swimming lessons for your DS grin

purplepidjin Fri 17-Jun-11 14:06:01

It's too much effort to allow loving grandparents to visit??? Unless there's a whole lot of history behind this, I think YABU. If it's that much hard work then drop the kids with the GPs and take the opportunity to have some adult time with your DH!

Get DH to set some decent ground rules with his parents as they're the ones that sound stroppy - they will keep a highchair, travel cot, change mat etc at their house and ensure that they have bananas and weetabix on hand (examples) and you will visit the 3rd weekend of every month which makes the visits every 5 or so weeks

Oh, and there's no harm in turning up about 4pm on Saturday and leaving straight after lunch on Sunday, which does give you a few hours to yourself at home wink

MaryThornbar Fri 17-Jun-11 14:08:15

NewTeacher I said we either go there or they come here, and I said I would prefer every 6 weeks rather than every month. I don't want to be away or have family 2 weekends out of every month - on top of our own plans and friends.

They are most certainly not decrepit - far from it! I personally think that in future I hope that my son's own wife and children will come first, and I would be perfectly reasonable and flexible when it comes to visits!

I work during the week, as do the ILs so it's weekends or nothing.

MaryThornbar Fri 17-Jun-11 14:14:33

Yes it is a big effort, as I work during the week myself, have to get the house spick and span, cook meals, change beds, as well as look after DS, and get my usual chores done like several loads of washing. They aren't any help at all when they are here, and I run around like a blue arsed fly, waiting on everyone hand and foot.

When we visit them, I am the one in charge of DS - making sure he isn't climbing stairs, getting at the Domestos in the kitchen cupboards, and preparing all his stuff in advance to go there - it's a hassle.

I am more than happy with once every 6 weeks or so, but once a month is just too much.

Dozer Fri 17-Jun-11 14:15:57

Yanbu, but you need to be more assertive with your dh. Agree with him how often you want to see all the GPs, then you handle your family and he his.

upahill Fri 17-Jun-11 14:17:57

I am agreeing with purple.
I feel sad when I read a lot of posts on MN about famlies wanting to spend the mininum time with their parents and IL's.
There doesn't seem any interest in wanting to be part of an extended family community.
Blimey once a month isn't much and I appreciate that you have parents as well but please appreciate your family.

Ok so you are not happy with the house not being 'child friendly' well tell them and sort something out.? Why do you have to take so much stuff? All lot of all this baby stuff wasn't available years ago and people got by.
Why not talk about food that is suitable.

Why not see it as a break from you cleaning up all weekend and go down to their local pub for a couple of hours and spend time with your DH while they babysit?

Trust me on this one - you never know what is round the corner and what you may live to regret.

DarftApeth Fri 17-Jun-11 14:18:25

Is there a child friendly restaurant that you could meet at for lunch halfway between you?

We used to do this to meet up with dh's parents and Nan in preference to going to stay.

It kept everyone happy and meant we could leave when I we wanted. We didn't do it every month though!

You could also have some fictional things going on over some weekends to prevent yo from being able to see them too often.

MaryThornbar Fri 17-Jun-11 14:19:02

I am assertive with him, but he has a tendency to nod and ignore. He tries to please everyone at the expense of our family time - and will agree stuff behind my back, even if I have already said no to GPs!

FakePlasticTrees Fri 17-Jun-11 14:19:38

2.5 hours is just doable if you go for a whole day - set off first thing on a Saturday morning, be there for mid morning, they have lunch, afternoon play, tea, do bath, last bottle etc at their house, put DS back in the car and drive back at DS's bed time. This means while you wipe out the whole of one day of the weekend, you still get the other day as family time. Ideally, make DH do the driving, it's his parents.

Also, make lots of other plans, invite people over for dinner etc so your weekends aren't free, you can then reasonably spread out the PIL visits to every 6-8 weeks.

cestlavielife Fri 17-Jun-11 14:20:40

stop waiting on everyone. let DH do it. or take the view that they know where kettle is and can get tea themselves.

order takeaways and ask them to contribute .

get a cleaner - you both working .

EldritchCleavage Fri 17-Jun-11 14:21:17

It sounds to me as though you have to do too much when you see them, which does increase the pressure. Does your DH do much? Don't wait on them hand and foot when they do come. Make sure DH pulls his weight at their house and yours. That way whatever frequency of visit you end up with will be less intrusive and tiring.

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