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Please, I NEED to know if IABU before I take a stand with my in-laws.

(301 Posts)
MyShoofly Sun 28-Apr-13 23:28:36

I have posted about this once before several months ago but am waffling…..I will try to be as brief as possible:

My in-laws sold their house about 3 years ago (Canada). They spend about 6 months of the year snow-birding in the US where they own a trailer in a seniors community. The other 6 months they have been splitting their time with various family here in my city and in another province. They cannot stay in the US more than 6 months.

They never used to stay with us but last August they wanted to use our basement for 2 weeks. It morphed into 3 months due to medical appointments (my MIL has MS and my FIL had a minor surgery). They liked our basement and asked if when they come to our city in the future if they can stay with us again. I gather the step-sisters would move the in-laws between their houses if they had other guests which in-laws did not like. The conversation was in passing – it would hardly count as a conversation…nothing formal. I said it was fine, expecting them to only be around 2-3 weeks here and there.

We asked them to pay us $300 a month last Sept and Oct as they were costing us a fortune in food, water and electric – they indicated nobody else makes them pay to stay with them and seemed to think $300 steep but agreed.

They started to refer to themselves as “living” with us and it became clear they intended to be around for much longer than I anticipated. The basement is not self-contained. They use our kitchen and come up to visit. For my taste there is a lack of space and privacy. I found their visit Aug-Oct much too long. I was unhappy and very pregnant. They were crawling all over my very last nerve and it was clear to everyone.

DH and I bickered about their presence. I believe I was very diplomatic about it but my feelings were quite clear. He simply did not see my point of view. If it were up to him they would live with us forever as one big happy family. He spoke to them but basically made it worse – told them I was hormonal and stressed….to wait and see how it goes on their next “visit”…that I might enjoy their help while on maternity leave with a toddler and new baby.

While they were gone DH and I spoke about this openly with each other and with DH’s sister who was entirely on my side. I thought he finally could see my point of view and that everything was settled – that he would speak to them about their long-term living arrangements when they returned.

Now they are back. They have been here almost 2 weeks. This year they intend to stay with us for a total of about 4 months – half of April, all of May, then Aug-mid October. They are trying to stay in the basement (and avoid me) a bit more. I am trying to be more pleasant and sociable, though I’m afraid I am forever to be thought of as their uptight DIL. I am home on maternity leave so we are around one another a good deal. It’s going fine but my feelings remain the same.

They have changed their driver’s licenses and insurance to our house. They have bought a mini fridge for the basement – today they advised they want to chip in with us for a new guest room mattress (as if !!). I’ve had yet another argument with DH about it – he says he spoke to them and they are going to try to maintain this snow-birding thing for another few years and will try to stay at ours for only 2.5-3ish months a year. I gather they were very vague. I told DH he needs to pin them down on the specifics and that I personally think anything over a month is not reasonable – 2 at the absolute maximum. I told him I need a more specific plan from them. DH thinks this is all fine – no problem. I am the unreasonable one – these are his parents after all.

I find them utterly cheeky. If they really “live” with us then they should offer a substantial financial contribution (it costs us 2000+bills+food to live in this house every month). They should be buying groceries and splitting housework, cooking and maintenance when they are here. As I see it, they don’t want the financial or maintenance responsibility of a house/rental and are just using us to get around paying what the majority of all adults pay – living expenses. I totally resent it. I don’t think I should have to tell two grown adults that they are overstaying their welcome FFS.

What is too long I guess is the question…? Am I over-reacting here – would all of you welcome family to stay for months at a time with no end in sight? One month? Two? How about Three months? Where should I draw the line?

Before I put my foot down…please let me know – AIBU?

MyShoofly Sun 28-Apr-13 23:29:30

God that is soooo long. I tried really to keep it readable sad

Gingersstuff Sun 28-Apr-13 23:31:20

You are definitely not being unreasonable. I would go round the bend in your situation, as much as I love my in-laws.

SingingSands Sun 28-Apr-13 23:33:43

I'd tell them to book a hotel.

thereinmadnesslies Sun 28-Apr-13 23:33:57

What is snow birding?

They sound totally unreasonable

CocacolaMum Sun 28-Apr-13 23:34:53

for MONTHS.. YANBU sheesh they should be paying their way. This isn't a visit really, they should be renting the room and paying whatever the going rate is.

Anomaly Sun 28-Apr-13 23:37:08

Yanbu they need to pay. I think you've been very generous anyone staying more than a night or two makes me feel stabby.

letseatgrandma Sun 28-Apr-13 23:38:07

In sure you've posted about this before- this sounds familiar. Yanbu- I would want to change the locks by now! Interesting that your sil agrees with you; are they considered cim

iliketea Sun 28-Apr-13 23:39:19

I think you're a saint personally, but then I won't let my IL stay at mine for anymore than 3night plus the agreement is that DH takes time off work so I am not responsible for entertaining them (lots of little issues that built into a big problem!).

Whatever length of time you agree, your IL should definitely be paying their way a bit. If you had invites them for a week or so, then I wouldn't expect them to pay bills per se, just contribute to food; but the fact they are staying long enough for you to notice am increase in utility bills means they should definitely be paying their way.

pootlebug Sun 28-Apr-13 23:39:38

They sold their house and now expect to live with you for a quarter of the year? Insane. Yanbu. I would be going mad

BlackeyedSusan Sun 28-Apr-13 23:39:48

oh fuck, they are back?

I could not live like that.


letseatgrandma Sun 28-Apr-13 23:39:50


Are they considered complete freeloaders by the family?? (was what I meant to say!)

HansieMom Sun 28-Apr-13 23:40:29

Not them again! I do not think you can trust your husband to have a talk with them. Do it together.

You have been through all this before! Nothing was settled and now it is worse.

BackforGood Sun 28-Apr-13 23:40:38

Agree you are definitely NBU.
If you are going to share your home with anyone - relations or not - then it needs to be on a very clear footing agreed with everyone in advance, and, if the homeowner isn't keen (or one of the homeowners) then it should never happen. If you can't be relaxed and comfortable in your own home, then when/ where can you be?
Having family you find a bit intrusive to stay for 3 or 4 days once or twice a year is something I think people should probably put up with , for their partner's sake, but this is just taking a liberty.

Doinmummy Sun 28-Apr-13 23:40:48

They've got a nerve! Staying for months and not paying for food. I'd be livid.

LineRunner Sun 28-Apr-13 23:42:26


NotAnotherPackedLunch Sun 28-Apr-13 23:42:31


If they start to pay up or help with maintainance/chores then they will start to feel entitled to stay.
You need them to find somewhere else to stay before your relationship with them is further damaged.

Any chance the basement might accidentally be flooded? wink

UnrequitedSkink Sun 28-Apr-13 23:43:22

You are definitely not being unreasonable but it's going to be a nightmare to come to a solution if your DH is happy with them around! I'd start with the financials - at the very least they can't expect you to be out of pocket by letting them stay. Do they have any income or is that part of the problem?

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 28-Apr-13 23:43:38

They are def freeloading. I honestly think that if they were asked to pay the going rate they'd find alternative accommodation.

It must be nice for your DH to spend time with his parents but not that long!


MyShoofly Sun 28-Apr-13 23:44:23

Snowbirding is a term for Canadians who leave Canada for the winter months in favor of warmer locals.

I do not dislike my in-laws on the whole - they are quite nice people all in all.

I thought my SIL had made my DH see the light. She tried to broach the subject of them getting their own place but advised us that her parents don't seem to have a firm set of plans for down the road and in general they just don't think its a big deal to stay with family in lieu of having their own accomodation.

Doodledumdums Sun 28-Apr-13 23:46:43

YANBU- not at all! I wouldn't even want my inlaws staying overnight for one night, let alone months! They should DEFINITELY be paying their way if they do insist on staying.

TheChaoGoesMu Sun 28-Apr-13 23:49:06

No yanbu. I couldn't imagine doing this to my children. Are they skint? It doesn't sound like it. I'd either pay a fair rent, share of food and keep out of your way as much as I could, or rent somewhere.

Inertia Sun 28-Apr-13 23:50:01

They are taking the piss. Yanbu at all.

Never mind buying a new mattress - i would start storing bikes and prams in the room.

FairPhyllis Sun 28-Apr-13 23:51:02

I remember this. YANB at all U.

Tell them if they don't move out you will write to their insurance and the DMV telling them they have supplied a false address.

TigerSwallowTail Sun 28-Apr-13 23:51:36

You are definitely being reasonable here, and yes anything over a month is far too long. If they plan on doing this for a few years they need to plan it out better, maybe work out how much it would cost to rent somewhere for a few months of the year every year.

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