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(102 Posts)
MINNACK Mon 25-Mar-13 19:56:53

never done this before so will try and keep it simple

our sons girlfriend is lovely and we genuinely love her but we feel a little put upon lately.

the two nights per week we agreed to let her stay over have turned into three and four now and we are finding it a little hard going as we never get the house to ourselves and every weekend is spoken for. not to mention the extra mouth to feed etc. she never contributes financially to takeaways etc but is on a very good wage.

just lately she has taken to raiding the fridge and cupboard when she feels like it and it using food we thought we had for ourselves and set menus etc - on top she is gradually just putting her washing in the laundry and instead of me having less work as our children grow - my workload is increasing. when she is here - she never helps me around the house and literally leaves a trail of mess everywhere she goes and i have to tidy it all up.

like i said we love her but all this is starting to grate on our nerves and we fear it will spoil our relationship.

any advice would be greatly appreciated

thank you

fryingpantoface Mon 25-Mar-13 22:16:47

We had a family rule growing up that said as soon as a guest had been in the house 24 hours, they were treated as family. They got chores to do, and were expected to help out

ImperialBlether Mon 25-Mar-13 23:41:07

She's got a nerve! You really do need to shout at them for eating food that was meant for the family (ie not them.) A couple of "Oh for christ's sake, who's eaten the bloody cheese again" will do wonders.

Pass her the vacuum cleaner too, if you're tidying up.

Where does she live? If she has somewhere to go to, you need to ask them what they're planning to do for the weekend, then say "Oh I was just asking because your dad and I fancied a weekend on our own." A hard stare should follow.

schoolgovernor Mon 25-Mar-13 23:53:55

It sounds as if you would rather have your space than gain another lodger. In which case I wouldn't be roping her in as "part of the family", I'd be sitting them both down to tell them that you hadn't planned on ending up sharing your home with another couple. She's welcome to stay for a couple of nights a week as planned, but if they want to live together they need to find somewhere to live. Also mention that when she does stay you'd appreciate a bit of help from both of them and don't expect extra laundry to do.

schoolgovernor Mon 25-Mar-13 23:55:30

p.s. And yes, point out that food in the fridge might be tomorrow's dinner, so you'd appreciate them not just helping themselves without checking first. Snacks fine, but don't eat the last of anything without going straight out to replace it. In other words - use some common sense.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Tue 26-Mar-13 06:34:07

You have to talk to them. If you've never said anything then she probably thinks that it's ok. She's relaxed, she feels like it's her home, she probably feels settled, etc. That in itself is not a bad thing. You WANT people to feel comfortable in your home. Just not to take the piss.

It's down to you to tell them the rules. max number of nights. not helping yourself to stuff. and enforce the rules.

And you can't always be your kids pal. That's not your role. If they're pissed off with you, then you're just going to have to be ok with that.

LisasCat Tue 26-Mar-13 07:13:57

When I was 18 I felt very welcome at BF's house, would stay most nights, and go round even if he wasn't there to chat to his mum and sister. But I never helped myself to food and never left a mess or laundry. That exceeds the boundaries of decent human behaviour and if she can't see that I'd worry how she functions in the grown up world of work.

RedHelenB Tue 26-Mar-13 08:10:21

I think she may not realise how she's being until she's told & you need to sit down & discuss it with them both. Your son could well have said to her, help yourself to food treat it like home.

LibertineLover Tue 26-Mar-13 08:19:57

Talk to your son! Tell him the 2 nights are more like 4, and you want your house back, also, buy a load of snacks to keep in his room if his GF likes to munch. However old she is, if she's earning a wage, why on earth is she not putting in for take aways? does your son put in?

birdofthenorth Tue 26-Mar-13 08:20:15

I think I also owe my teen ILs a big apology! My parents moved house part way through our relationship so it became a long distance relationship & I lived there for a month at a time during uni holidays... to make it worse I was a vegetarian and they were farmers! I don't think even working teenagers have any clue how much food costs.

I also never left a mess outside his room or helped myself to snacks though.

Agree with the general consensus that you need a gentle, friendly adult chat.

Sorry former ILs!

pinkyredrose Tue 26-Mar-13 11:52:25

Oh for gods sake, just tell her she isn't allowed to help herself to food or put her laundry in the basket (you're not washing it and silently fuming are you?)

Assert yourself, it's your house not hers,

TomArchersSausage Tue 26-Mar-13 12:04:22

Putting her washing in the basket and helping herself to the contents of the kitchen? hmm How terribly RUDEshock

Take the washing out and hand it back to her saying this appears to have mistakenly found its way into my laundry basket.

Have a serious word with your ds. Tell him how often she can stay and stick to it.

MINNACK Tue 26-Mar-13 13:36:52

wow - thank you all very much!

i really appreciate all your views and help. i thought i was going nuts. the resentment is building all the time and i hate being put in this position.

i am also unwell myself with an 'proper' illness and they all know this but it doesnt get through to them when i ask for them to pull their weight. our other son is now asking for the same - with his gf being allowed to stay the same etc. the problem is doubled. i admit i am too soft and just end up feeling mean and sorry for them and that i should do everything they want as i love my kids so much etc - they are all between ages of 20 and 28!

as i write this i realise i am being pathetic and weak but i cant seem to get through to them all that enough is enough and when we do say something as mum and dad they all go mad and stop talking to us and walk out.

their rooms are always a tip and the bathroom is a health hazard - they have their own private one and they dont clean it at all unless i shout the house down - i refuse to clean it. we also have a young daughter who is not impressed by it all either.

i feel that at 45 years old and having spent all my life bringing them all up that i have now surely got the right to have a bit of peace and calm in my life? i have lots of hobbies but can never get the chance to do them without constant demands for what they all want.

i even feel mean for writing all this

thank you all

pinkyredrose Tue 26-Mar-13 13:40:20

They're between 20 and 28! shock

They are royally taking the piss!

MINNACK Tue 26-Mar-13 13:42:34

and yes i am doing the washing and the amount is slowing increasing and yes i do fume silently and it all is getting me down.

DreamingofSummer Tue 26-Mar-13 13:43:42

You need to tackle this head on. They are taking the piss mightily. If they want to live like pigs let them get their own sty.

Your house, your rules

pinkyredrose Tue 26-Mar-13 13:45:32

Stop doing the washing! Tell them if they want to live together they can get their own place.

They're treating your house like a free hotel. You really have to put your foot down or they'll still be there in ten yrs time.

Nancy66 Tue 26-Mar-13 13:48:32

You are being totally walked all over and it's horrible to think that your own kids would allow this to happen at a time when you are ill.

I would just tell the gf to leave permanently - no negotiation of terms. It's not her home and therefore she can't live here.

LemonBreeland Tue 26-Mar-13 13:50:52

I agree with schoolgovernor insist on it going back to two nights a week, and that if they want meals they buy them together.

If they want more time together they can get their own home.

BuiltForComfort Tue 26-Mar-13 13:52:25

neither your son's girlfriend nor your son sounds lovely. how dare they get mad and walk out when you try to exert a bit of control.

please stop being soft. you and your dh need to get tough. They contribute or they get out. Do they pay rent? I bet they don't. I am really shock that grown adults would treat their own parents in this way, and that the parents allow themselves to be walked over.

MadameOvary Tue 26-Mar-13 13:53:14

OMG OP, they must have really ground you down if you feel guilty for asking what is rightfully yours - space, time and money!
So what if they storm out? As long as you have spoken reasonably and calmly you have nothing to feel bad for.
Some stock phrases that might be helpful.
Currently x and y is happening and this leads to Z, which is not helpful.
What needs to happen is a and b, otherwise you will have to make other arrangements.
I appreciate you might not like it, but those are the options.
Do NOT apologise.
20 and 28! Fuck's sake. Time they moved out and gave you some peace.

quietlysuggests Tue 26-Mar-13 13:53:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pinkyredrose Tue 26-Mar-13 13:53:33

Does the girlfriend not have her own place with food and a washing machine? You're going to have to get tough even if it's uncomfortable to do so.

It's horrible that they're putting you in this position.

Primrose123 Tue 26-Mar-13 13:54:14

How about getting all the kids together, including partners, and telling them that you are struggling with the house and your illness, and they must keep things tidy. They don't have to actually clean or anything (!) just pick up their own stuff and leave the place tidy.

Secondly, the washing. YABVVVVVU to do their washing. If your son is in his twenties, then he should be doing all that himself. Show him how to sort his washing, and how to wash, dry and iron it. Tell him that he will have to do it when he leaves home, so he needs to start now. (If he says that he won't need to because his girlfriend/wife will do it then make sure you slap him hard around the head with a wet fish!) There really is no need for you to spend all your time doing another adult's washing and ironing! I still do my DCs washing and ironing, but they are young teenagers, and I am slowly showing them what to do, and get them to help in the school holidays. I would love them to still live at home with us when they are in their twenties, but I will not be doing their laundry!

You say that you love them, show that love by taking them for lunch or doing something enjoyable for you too, not by being their housekeeper!

mummytime Tue 26-Mar-13 13:54:31

I would have a family meeting, making it clear that unless everyone who lives in your house, and this includes GFs who regularly stay, help with chores/contribute financially; then you will have to down-size to something more manageable.

For a start: everyone does their SN washing, cleans their own room, meals only if their attendance is given in the morning, your sons provide a family meal at least once a week.

BTW I am older than you, but have much younger children, and am not ready to retire yet.

MadameOvary Tue 26-Mar-13 13:54:58

Of course if you were the gobby type then "Fuck off" might be good next time they demand something...

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