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To not want MIL to invite herself along to our trip

(106 Posts)
EndoplasmicReticulum Tue 05-Feb-13 22:41:34

I probably am.

We're going to London for boy's birthday treat at half term. Booked two nights, so we're there for one whole day plus two half days.

Planning on doing museums, mostly - boy is 8, never been to London before, and is very keen to go to Natural History and Science.

MIL has decided she's going to come and meet us while we are there (she lives a couple of hours away in the other direction from us). I think she means just for a day. I'm hoping so, anyway.

I am not keen, although I like MIL and we generally get on well she is a "faffer". I have a plan for our brief time in London, and that doesn't include hanging around waiting for her at stations or dithering about in cafes.

I'd never presume to invite myself along to someone else's holiday.

I can't say no though, can I.

(just for the record I'd be equally irritated if my own mother decided to do the same thing).

claudedebussy Thu 14-Feb-13 20:30:15

sounds like it might actually work out!!

PommePoire Thu 14-Feb-13 20:28:20

True, in addition to the ground floor cafe the NHM has a cafeteria and loos in the basement which is also a picnic area, it's used by school during the week. Science museum has similar arrangement.

PerditaXDream Thu 14-Feb-13 20:17:45

You can do the sandwich thing in the museums - when we went to the Science Museum in October last year, we spent nearly the whole day in the museum and just had lunch in the cafe on the ground floor - DCs had lunch bags, (they choose 5 things for a set price). It was pretty reasonable for London prices and much quicker than trying to find somewhere outside.

Having said that you can go prepared with your own sandwich, which pre-empts the restaurant search completely!

EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 14-Feb-13 19:00:50

Update - it's now MIL, nephew, and BIL (cousin's dad) coming. They are coming on our one full day, arriving at about 11 apparently. Husband has said "great, phone us when you get to London and we'll tell you where we are".

Actually, with more of them coming that will be better because they can just go and do their own thing and we don't need to deviate from The Plan. And husband has said he's not going to let her suggest spending hours finding a restaurant for lunch (our plan was to have a quick sandwich, and we're sticking to it!).

EndoplasmicReticulum Fri 08-Feb-13 18:45:34

Don't mind - he's nearer to me, probably because I've had 21 years to train him.

DontmindifIdo Fri 08-Feb-13 09:53:29

Where does your DH fit on the spectrum of 'laid back vs planning' - is he closer to you?

EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 07-Feb-13 19:09:40

We have a culture clash - my family love an itinerary and plan everything carefully, are always early. In-laws are so laid back they are horizontal, enjoy being late for things (FIL thinks it's funny) and don't like to plan. They prefer to wing it.

Hence why going on holiday with them gives me stress.

BegoniaBampot Thu 07-Feb-13 17:05:09

Ha, sounds like they got it sussed!

ledkr Thu 07-Feb-13 16:26:04

Begonia - my pil invite themselves push boundaries and eat all my food but have stiff upper lips too. I got unlucky I guess grin

BegoniaBampot Thu 07-Feb-13 13:53:43

Was just talking in general, not necessarily regarding the OP. Think many of these problems IS when you have two kinds of families come together. One partner comes from the stiff upper lip, invite, front parlour brigade whilst other partner comes from family where there were five in a bed with granny in the corner, protect your food at all costs, everything is up for grabs, whole family live within a 1/2 mile radius and use the same toothbrush brigade. Almost like a clash of cultures. Neither is wrong but don't always rub along together. Wonder is there is a class/ regional element involved. I come from the second type, people didn't really do invites but just popped round. Find the first type quite cold and formal.

DontmindifIdo Thu 07-Feb-13 13:24:48

The problem with that Begonia - is what the OP and her DH have learned from this is to keep plans from MIL to avoid the same situation again.

ledkr Thu 07-Feb-13 12:53:28

begonia I get what you say but when someone marries into a family then you need to respect their feelings as well.
My in laws have this popping in policy and all do lots if stuff together. My family is very different and I'm very uncomfortable with people just dropping by and being around us for every occasion.
I have been privy to the displeasure if the other in laws partners when they are descended upon unexpectedly.
Pil must remember that their own children have grown up around them whereas the partners have ky know. Them a short time and sometimes need their space.

BegoniaBampot Thu 07-Feb-13 12:40:51

2rebecca "Yes you can, visit your children but only when invited, if you don't get an invite then invite them or say "I'd love to see you can we arrange to meet up some time".

But I think this can be the problem. Many people and families don't live their lives by invites. They just pop round on the off chance or if passing. They see their families perhaps daily. Think it's strange this invite thing and people can't just turn up. There is no right way, just different and what you have been used to.

VenusRising Thu 07-Feb-13 12:36:17

I've got a lot more assertive with family, especially when I end up looking after a gaggle of cousins, as their parents think they're on a 'day off'.
Now I just say "no", or limit the time I meet people to the end of our day, and then we leave to go home when I've had enough baby sitting for others.
I like all the cousins, but after a while of them I also want to interact with my own DCs and see something's for myself, not just head count, and wipe bums.
My DH knows this now!

It's bad manners to invite yourself to any event.

Fallon: you can win, by being considerate and not pushing your own agenda, and realising that adding to someone's workload is not welcome.

VenusRising Thu 07-Feb-13 12:28:16

Make an arrangement to see her separately, at another time. Say this time would not suit.
Say she may not be up for the crazy that is London midterm, and that you won't be spending any quality time with her, just going from museum to museum, spending some time catching up with your own DS, and no time for shopping.

Suggest a concrete day to see her after the midterm.

Guard your family time - it's precious.

BuiltForComfort Thu 07-Feb-13 12:22:32

Re NHM, SM etc, you need to be clear with MIL that you will be doing things that ds wants to see, at your / his pace. Eg get to NHM for opening and go straight to dinosaurs as they get v busy. No meeting elsewhere or waiting around for her. If small cousin wants to see something else, she must take him. IME of NHM / SM etc dc can be quite surprising by the things that engage them and the stuff they are bored by. Ds is nearly 6, loves all the rocks / geology / volcano stuff but is bored rigid by the dinosaurs. I would be mad if I planned a special trip for him which turned into having to work to someone else's schedule or preferences.

EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 07-Feb-13 12:02:31

fallon I'm not complaining that she is coming to see us. I actually like her. We are going to visit her for a week, at Easter. I am complaining that she's hijacking my son's birthday trip, and (going on past form) will want to change our plans.

2rebecca Thu 07-Feb-13 11:43:46

Yes you can, visit your children but only when invited, if you don't get an invite then invite them or say "I'd love to see you can we arrange to meet up some time".
Most parents of adult children manage to find a happy medium, It's only a minority who either will never visit or only visit with a menagerie or invite themselves to other peoples holidays.
My oldest is now 16 and I don't see myself assuming he'll want me tagging along whenever he tells me he's going somewhere with his friends or girlfriend, just as he wouldn't just invite himself out with my friends.
Just because someone is family it doesn't follow that you have to be rude and inconsiderate.
I think the key to being a good parent or inlaw is to see your adult children as adults you have to be pleasant to and treat with respect like a close friend, not children you can impose upon; also having your own interests and not trying to revolve your life around the younger generation.

fallon8 Thu 07-Feb-13 10:52:40

Another post,complains her Mil won't leave her six dogs to visit her complain because your Mil is taking the time to see you!,, we can't bloody win!,,

flaggybannel Thu 07-Feb-13 09:32:03

Its so wrong when anyone invites themselves anywhere!
I had something similar with my xp's family.
Myself, xp and my ds were planning to go to a two -day outdoor fair, was meant as a family outing as we didnt get to do much together because of work commitments and funds.
Day before planned outing xp tells his sister and she gets really enthusiastic and decides that her , her hub and 2dc must come too. Fine. We will meet you all there says i, thinking they will all do thier own thing as a family and we will do ours.
Before i know it xp is on the phone to his sis planning a military operation for the day starting with us meeting them at thier house so we can set off together in seperate cars. Couldnt see the point myself but i go along with it.
Morning of the trip comes and we duly arrive at the sisters. She answers door in dressing gown and announces that the hubs has changed his mind and will be going fishing instead, but thats okay because here are her two dc ready to go!
Xp bats not an eyelid and gets them in the car. Sis closes door. We all set off for the day out from hell where these unfortunetly spoilt children demanded everything in sight, ignored me and my ds, got cranky, dictated mealtimes etc etc. I ended up spending the day alone with ds when we got off a fairground ride to find the 3of them hadnt waited for us and had wandered off. Was a long day that never seemed to endi when we dropped them home the kids ran in without a thanks and the sister didnt needs even a cup of tea .
Xp saw no wrong in any of this and said i was a selfish cow for not wanting to spend time with his dn/n!
Maybe i am ? Anyway, my point is that you should do things to please you and yours or you end up feeling resentful.
Btw the twe dc's have been on fabulous holidays and been to the same fair every year since. Me and ds? Nowhere. And now my ds is too old to want to go on days out with his mum.
Tell her no.

2rebecca Thu 07-Feb-13 08:43:59

I would have a word with your husband Endo about saying to his mum when she says she wants to join you on jaunts like this "I'll mention to Endo that you would like to join our holiday and see what she thinks, a smaller group is sometimes easier to manage and we don't go away as a family very often".
My dad now he's alone enjoys coming away with us (but never invites himself) if he did mention wanting to come somewhere I wouldn't just say yes without discussing it with husband and if he's OK with it teenage kids, unless it was just me going on my own. Your husband may have thought he was being nice to his mum to not tell her it needed discussing but he should have been thinking of you. Extra people on a holiday alter the dynamics and slow things down.
If she does start dithering on the trip then you make it clear to her that you are doing certain things and if she wants to stop in cafes then she catches you up later.
It may be as well to phone her and explain that there won't be lots of cafe stops in your trip and it will be busy and also that you expect her to look after the cousin she is bringing and not give you an extra child to look after on a busy day. This also means that if she stops for coffee she keep the cousin with her and doesn't have to try and find you when it's time to take the cousin home.

EggRules Wed 06-Feb-13 22:23:03


Just said no about the same thing. Since he started school, I take DS away on my own twice a year. We get the train somewhere and stay overnight in a £29 room. I have said no twice this week to female relatives asking to join us.

I don't even think what we do is that exciting. I think people either can't be arsed to plan anything it's easier for them to join in OR hate to feel left out (even when it's not that interesting).

I don't want company; I was clear and polite about not wanting to change my plans. I'm happy to make alternative plans to do something else; 'no' to gegging in though.

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 06-Feb-13 21:52:42

PinkOcelot - sorry, I just never got the hang of DS / DH. Although I do use MIL as it's much quicker to type than Mother In Law. Also not going to tell you their real names.

xmasbaby - it's dithering on a massive scale. It's not just "shall we stop for a cuppa" - it's "ooh, shall we go in this cafe, or shall we go and see if there's another one down here, and oooh look we've passed a shop, this looks interesting, I'll just pop in to see if they've got any trousers, and then before we get to the cafe I need to find a cashpoint, and ooh now I'm feeling a bit peckish so maybe we'll go to the next cafe because they might have nicer cake....."

I'm definitely going to say no to staying over.

DontmindifIdo Wed 06-Feb-13 21:42:00

Xmasbaby11 - you might want to just do things at a lazy pace and stop for cuppas regularly, but if the OP and her DCS don't want to do that, then they shouldn't have to have someone along on their trip who will stop them doing what they want, particularly if they didn't want to invite them and fit round them in the first place.

ThePinkOcelot Wed 06-Feb-13 21:33:05

I don't understand all this "boy" and "husband" talk TBH!

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