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About MIL popping over?

(188 Posts)
PurpleCrutches Sun 06-Jan-13 17:46:20

So today we've been really busy - shopping this morning/early afternoon, we got back, had lunch, then been doing various bits and pieces round the house.

MIL lives a street away from us.

About half an hour ago she turned up - at the time the living room was a state because DH is sorting out his aquarium (he has to move furniture when he does this) and I was trying to entertain the DCs while prepping the dinner. I answered the door, said hi, and asked what's up. She said, "oh, nothing, just thought I'd pop over."

I said that we were a bit busy atm and indicated the carnage around me. She looked very hurt and said, I did text you earlier but you didn't reply. I said well yes, we've been busy all day, I didn't hear my phone go off.

She still stayed for 10 mins, and then made a big show and dance about leaving, because we're so busy, we have so much better things to do, etc etc.

Now I never go to hers without texting or ringing first. If she doesn't answer I assume she's not available.

WIBU to tell her we were busy? Was it rude? She's done this before, always when we're eating/prepping dinner, or when we're putting the kids to bed. I've never said anything before, but I knew it was her when the doorbell went, and it really irritated me.

Spatsky Sun 06-Jan-13 18:39:33

She wasn't rude to knock on your door but your telling her you were busy was her cue to say she would see you another time and leave.

A bit baffled that people think that you are rude for not giving a warm welcome to someone who has just turned up unannounced. If you can't treat yourself to a bit of privacy when you want it in your own home, where can you?

squeakytoy Sun 06-Jan-13 18:40:57

On the basis that it is a very close family member, not a casual mate then yabu and rude.

Whatdoiknowanyway Sun 06-Jan-13 19:08:35

I think it's a bit sad.

I've had similar at my brother's. Popped by to deliver Christmas presents with no intention of staying. SIL was very defensive - 'didn't DB tell you we were going out later?'. Yes, but were on our way to somewhere else and were dropping the gifts off en route. If we hadn't it would have meant another significant journey on a different day. We didn't want to be asked in but a bit of courtesy costs nothing.

At least she was even handed, we were invited over for dinner one day and her mother called round. She was frozen out, not even offered a cup of tea., and basically told to go home as they had guests. I would have set another place and invited her to stay.


I think you were being rude. The question is whether you would have treated your own mother the same way, I guess.

SneakyNuts Sun 06-Jan-13 19:14:36


I would always call to check if it's ok to pop over, I feel really uncomfortable when people turn up unannounced at my house.

With a one year old, the house is a mess more often than not and it's easier to stick on a tracksuit/pyjamas and my hair up than get ready...I don't fancy anyone seeing me like that!

SquinkiesRule Sun 06-Jan-13 19:19:39

I don't have much problem with people popping over, it's nice if I know ahead of time though. But if they turn up I don't stop what I'm doing and entertain them, I carry on cooking and chat while I do it, everyone ends up in the kitchen anyway it seems.

allnewtaketwo Sun 06-Jan-13 19:20:01

Some people like unannounced visits, some don't. Personally I hate it. I make it known that I hate it. So it doesn't happen any more. Those people saying you were rude are most likely the sort if people who don't mind impromptu visits. In reality just different personality types.

I wouldn't live so close to MIL though. But given you do, you need to set some clear boundaries

Sanjifair Sun 06-Jan-13 19:21:14

I live near my own mum and she would never dream of calling round without a call first, and not would I. YANBU

PurpleCrutches Sun 06-Jan-13 19:22:05

Wow - didn't expect so many replies, thank you.

I asked because I'm a bit new to people "popping over" - we moved here six months ago from a couple of hundred miles away, so we were never close enough for people to pop to.

I will call MIL and apologise. I still feel like I need to entertain her when she comes round, yet she probably would have been quite happy to play with the kids while I finished doing stuff.

I feel quite bad now. Thanks for the unbiased responses.

shrimponastick Sun 06-Jan-13 19:27:05

I hate anyone just 'popping' over' No visits without prior arrangements. applies to family/friends/anyone.

She shouldn't have come around with out waiting for a reply to her text first.

RuleBritannia Sun 06-Jan-13 19:27:15

I like to have people call without prior notice although I would prefer ti so I could wear something decent(ish).

Do the rest of you remember that scene in One Foot in the Grave where Victor Meldrew saw someone coming towards his house? He got down onto the floor and dragged himself by his arms across to a hiding place and didn't answer the front door. It was soooo funny!

SneakyNuts Sun 06-Jan-13 19:42:05

OP, the reason my first word was "shit" was because my Mum dived behind the sofa to hide from someone at the door...and they saw her grin

Matildaduck Sun 06-Jan-13 19:43:43

God no, when people live so close its more important for them to call first. Otherwise they would be turning up all the bloody time.

We had to tell mil she wasn't welcome to pop round. She was a complete pain, it was like being on edge waiting for her to just knock on the door. ( and even if i answered in my coat and said i'm going out she would say well i'm arriving) wtf?

Also were not close, have nothing in common, it's awkward being around her without DH.
I would never be friends with her if we were not related, so no i don't want her popping round three times a week.

Harsh but all true.

2rebecca Sun 06-Jan-13 19:44:59

I wouldn't phone and apologise. You don't like people popping over who haven't been invited/ discussed it first, she has now got that message.
I would hate to have relatives popping in uninvited be they parents or inlaws.
Only phone and apologise if you want her to go back to popping in, other wise just wait and it will blow over and she'll be less intrusive.

MrsKeithRichards Sun 06-Jan-13 19:45:32

Rude I think, I can't imagine for a second opening the door to someone I know and making them explain why they are there!

2rebecca Sun 06-Jan-13 19:49:21

Isn't it normal to ask what someone wants if they knock at your door? We rarely get relatives visiting without letting us know they are coming so if someone suddenly appeared on our doorstep I'd be worried something awful had happened.
In this day of plentiful phones and computers just appearing at someone's door seems odd to me but then I've never lived round the corner from relatives.

allnewtaketwo Sun 06-Jan-13 19:51:49

Dont phone and apologise, she'll assume you'll be fine with popping in for evermore!

MrsKeithRichards Sun 06-Jan-13 19:52:25

It's quite obvious to me that if someone I know is on my doorstep it's because they want to see me!

Random charity collector, seller etc will get the what you want treatment but a friend or relative? No way!

EugenesAxe Sun 06-Jan-13 19:55:18

Well, if it was mine I would have welcomed her in and stuck a child in her hands. Or if they are older, got her to entertain them some other way. I wouldn't have turfed her out.... unless she has a track record of not helping herself/ you when in your house in such a situation.

So you were possibly a little unreasonable, but maybe not.

Salmotrutta Sun 06-Jan-13 19:55:29

I'm glad your not my DIL.

I only have a SIL so far but thankfully he has better manners than you.

I'll bet your MIL felt quite hurt at you asking what she wanted.

Salmotrutta Sun 06-Jan-13 19:56:08

you're not my DIL even

curiousuze Sun 06-Jan-13 19:58:21

Aww I feel bad for her - I hope you can smooth things over. You were pretty unwelcoming, whether you meant to be or not.

SneakyNuts Sun 06-Jan-13 20:06:45

What about the MIL's manners?!

Chunkymumma Sun 06-Jan-13 20:06:50

YANBU it's SO BLOODY RUDE of your mil to just come round and assume you'll be free!!!! Can't believe so many people think its ok to just drop by unannounced! It's not, it's extremely inconsiderate. I am very sensitive on this subject as I suffered months of this irritation from my fil and sil when my dd was born. They'd turn up at 9 in the morning when I'd been up most of ne night, looked like shit, the baby was screaming etc. and they'd sit they're lazy fucking arses down and demand tea and biscuits! Cunts
I'm sure your mil isn't a cunt though, sorry! It's just irritating to me

Sarraburd Sun 06-Jan-13 20:09:47

Personally I can't bear people popping in and definitely if MIL (or my own parents!) lived that near would want to set some ground rules.

I would have made her tea and let her play with the grandchildren, but made it clear that generally/next time I would want to confirm to her first that it was convenient.

Don't apologise if you don't want her turning up all the time! Just say something like I'm so sorry it wasn't convenient, next time please do check as we love having you round, and want to look after you properly.

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