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to expect visiting friends to help out when staying over?

(68 Posts)
Maternelle Fri 12-Aug-11 14:22:22

We have 3 DCs under 5, including DD2 who is 8 weeks.
Some friends who we haven't seen in over 5 years are visiting and they are not helping in the slightest. They don't even take their plate back to the kitchen!

DH is cooking 3 meals a day and we are tidying after them. I have tried throwing hints and even be a bit more directive, but nothing works.
I am totally fed up and will be saying something soon.
They live Down Under, so it would be a bit crap to fall out but I have enough on my plate as it is.

Beamur Fri 12-Aug-11 14:26:56

When do they leave?
It's pretty unreasonable.
Last time some friends of mine came to stay they actually tidied up more than we did! Turns out my chums husband is a bit of a tidy freak and I think our house probably bothered him a bit...

Maternelle Fri 12-Aug-11 14:28:57

They've gone for a couple of nights and are coming back on Sunday. They just sit there like lemons while we rush around after the kids and cooking/tidying. Most stressful!

northerngirl41 Fri 12-Aug-11 14:31:00

Some people don't take hints. You need to say "Friend, I'm knackered, I'm going to snooze for a bit - please could you put dishwasher on/tidy up lunch?"

Guests are like fish - they start to smell after 3 days. Never agree to longer!

Maternelle Fri 12-Aug-11 14:33:27

I would be mortified if it was the other way round. Weird.

joric Fri 12-Aug-11 14:36:29

Why are you cooking 3 meals for them? smile Ask them to help - 'could you just put those (plates) in the kitchen whilst I do...' or 'could you help chop...' or ' would you dry these and I'll wash'
They may not know how to help without getting in the way- do they have DC? I need instructing in other people's homes otherwise I feel like I'm taking over/ being overfamiliar.
They don't seem to have offered which is a rude - just stop being so polite and boss them about a bit !! grin

Whatmeworry Fri 12-Aug-11 14:37:56

Agree re Fish. Start ignoring mealtimes to play with kids smile

encyclogirl Fri 12-Aug-11 14:41:49

Have had this happen to me. Really close old friends too. She was running after their dd aged 4 and he just sat on his arse all the time.

I couldn't find a way of saying it without causing a major upset but they won't be back for a looooooooong time.

It was really odd, cos in every other way they are really great. They just totally took the piss.

They were really ill mannered too.

Me or dh: Would you like a cup of tea
Them: Can do.

Can do? WTF does Can do mean?

They sat reading the Sunday papers while dh and I rushed around making lunch. Had to be asked to move the papers so we could lay the table. After lunch moved some condiments from the table to the island (about 3 feet away, then go up and moved next door with the papers.

I was livid.

Why don't you go out and buy a stash of paper plates and plastic cutlery? I fully plan to do this next time they come and explain why if they ask me.


nickelbabe Fri 12-Aug-11 14:42:16

you need to tell them to help, then.

I can't believe anyone would visit with stayovers and not do anything at all - they don't even take their plates back! shock

Maternelle Fri 12-Aug-11 14:49:22

This morning, I got up, gave the kids their breakfast, set the table for our friends' breakfast.
They came downstairs and I told them to help themselves. Went upstairs to dress kids. Friends shouted "we're going for a walk!". When I came down the whole breakfast table was left to tidy. Even their own mugs and plates. Milk etc... WTF?!
On another note, they haven't brought a single present. Not even sweets for the kids or something for the newborn. Not expecting anything expensive, but just something.
No they don't have kids. But it's pretty obvious we could do with some help, when I look like a demented woman and DH spends his entire day in the kitchen.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Fri 12-Aug-11 14:51:52

They're good enough friends to stay with you, but you can't be honest with them about how you feel?

Come on. Just tell them you feel like they are treating you like a hotel and it has to stop.

If they fall out with you because you ask them to treat you and your home with respect - are they even worth bothering about?

Maternelle Fri 12-Aug-11 14:57:40

Haven't seen them in 5 years. The bloke used to be a very close friend of DH. Not so close to the woman.
I probably should ask directly as it's been said but I am not one for conflicts. Will not have them back.

ZillionChocolate Fri 12-Aug-11 15:01:00

Look forward to the day when you can go and stay with them? wink

skinnymuffin Fri 12-Aug-11 15:03:14

Agree with magnificent - just be direct and ask them, if they get the hump then they aren't great friends anyway.

Or don't say anything and never, ever invite them again.

They are either incredibly rude or incredibly ignorant, or both!

superjobee Fri 12-Aug-11 15:05:58

oh god, when ppl come to mine they always tidy up after me themselves and i do the same in theirs even when i was younger, friends mums would go ''why cant you be more like super, she washes her dishes/puts tins in the bin/helps make tea etc'' its just so rude not too!

i'd be telling them straight but cant word it without swearing..

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Fri 12-Aug-11 15:06:34

Oh, I bet if she went to stay with them and behaved like this - they'd tell her!

The type of people who take the piss like this are also, oddly, the type of people who object most strongly if people do the same to them hmm

So OP might not want to open her gob and stand up for herself, but I bet my last rolo these 'mates' wouldn't have any such problem!

(massive assumption on my part that I know the type! grin )

BerylStreep Fri 12-Aug-11 16:00:17

Maybe they feel you have it under control and don't want to get in the way?

Salmotrutta Fri 12-Aug-11 16:19:22

They are taking the mick. Start "giving" them jobs:

Throw a tea-towel at them and say "Make yourself useful" - with a smile.
Hand baby over and say "Would you mind watching her while I do X,Y,Z as I've only got one pair of hands" - with a smile
When the washing machine finishes make sure you are up to your ears in something else and say "Would you mind pegging this out whilst I do this" - with a smile
At evening meal time start talking about what you are planning on cooking but don't begin - do other things (busy-work) until they get so hungry they offer to help (but make sure you and DH have fed the kids and secretly snacked to hold your own hunger at bay)

How rude that they haven't even brought a bag of sweets or something for your kids! shock

Maternelle Fri 12-Aug-11 17:06:36

DH did just that last night and handed the baby over for a few minutes. But she didn't appear to enjoy it. She likes our cats more it seems...
I like your style Salmotrutta. I shall rehearse some of these lines grin

I do indeed think that if I was in their home I would be very clearly told what to do. The thing is, I wouldn't need to be told.
I just need to grow a backbone.

Scuttlebutter Fri 12-Aug-11 17:13:02

They sound awful. However, in their defence, (just a tiny bit) I am very wary of stepping on toes in other people's houses, so would do things like take plates out, and offer to help, but wouldn't go wading in. Hosts should be able to say what needs doing - e.g. washing up, prep veg, run round with Hoover. I would also expect a houseguest to be taking you out for several meals while they are staying with you, or treating you to a takeaway. Why not stop cooking for them every night? Get them to organise a takeaway. Alternatively, present them with a shopping list and ask them to pick up a few items on their way back.

If they won't do that, then I'd be directing them to the nearest hotel.

Maternelle Fri 12-Aug-11 17:27:03

I am not expecting much. Just offering to set the table and maybe tidying after a meal.
Or offering to sort out at least one meal during their whole stay...
No take-aways where we are unfortunately.

G1nger Fri 12-Aug-11 17:48:20

Even with my sister, who I'm close to, I'm very careful not to do anything that could be seen to step on her toes. That said, OP, I'm presuming your guests aren't even asking if there's anything they can do to help.

wicketkeeper Fri 12-Aug-11 19:27:27

I ask for volunteers - can I have a volunteer to set the table, can I have a volunteer to empty the dishwasher, etc etc. If no-one jumps up, fix one with a beady eye and say 'You'll do'. Then turn to the other and say 'Don't worry, it's your turn next.'

EssentialFattyAcid Fri 12-Aug-11 19:34:12

How long are they staying with you for?
Do they have children?

skybluepearl Fri 12-Aug-11 19:42:22

direct them. tell them what you want them to do

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