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to not want MIL to stay for 3 months

(172 Posts)
FatOwl Tue 01-Oct-13 02:13:47

We live overseas and MIL lives alone in the UK (but SIL and her other grandchildren live in the same street)

She is becoming more difficult as time goes on (over fussy, unreasonable behaviour, extremely stubborn etc). She is physically in good health though, though can be forgetful. She is 77.

She is coming for xmas and new year.

She can't fly long haul on her own, she gets too confused, so we are flying her out with dd1 who is at uni in the UK (we have to tell her she is "bringing DD for us" because she won't believe she needs support through the airport) - arriving about 18th dec.

DD will need to be back at uni for 13th of jan so we'll probably fly them both back around the 10th Jan. They will both be here around three weeks.

DH now says he wants her to stay until the beginning of march when he is flying back to the UK on business.

Now if dh and MIL has a close loving relationship, that would be fine, but they row almost constantly, which I find very stressful.

When I asked him if he could really deal with his mother for three full months, he said well, she needs the company, it will be nice for her to "miss winter"

By company, he means me. It would be OK while dd1 was still here, but by the time she goes back, the other two dds are back at school, and dh is back at work, it will be down to me.

She has stayed that long before and I ended up very down. I like my own space. I came downstairs every morning for three months to find her sat ready to go with her handbag with an expectant "what are we doing today" face on.

She doesn't like Shopping. Or walking. Or the heat. She has visited us several times before, so doesn't want to do the tourist things again.

When she came for that long time before I naively thought she would make her own plans- there is a big expat retired community here- but no.

Dh is away about one week in three, so isn't even here (but at least that means they are not rowing I suppose.)

For the record, I would not be happy if my parents wanted to stay that long either. They normally come for about two- three weeks and it's enough.

I sound like a complete cow, but would AIBU to say I don't want her for that long and she needs to go back with DD1 mid-jan?

ZingWantsCake Tue 01-Oct-13 05:31:35

MrRected would you have wanted your MIL to stay with you for 3 months?

I'll be a MIL one day to a DIL. with 5 sons, if lucky, 5 times over.
I would not say yes to staying for that long even if they paid me.
too much friction

FatOwl Tue 01-Oct-13 05:32:07

To clarify, my other kids still at home are 12 and 15, so well beyond the needing to be minded stage. They will sit and chat with her well as teenagers go, bit then they are wanting to go off and do their thing

Last time she came to stay, dd1 was still at home and she had an absurd fit at me one day because I dropped dd (18) off at her boyfriends (parents apartment) and let her walk up on her own (ie didn't walk up with her) she hada slightly smaller got when I let dd2 -then 13 to go to the cinema with friends-no adults. I'm very irresponsible to that apparently.

I know I should be more generous. I'm happy to have her for three weeks over the holidays. But I really want her Togo bank with dd 1 in jan

FatOwl Tue 01-Oct-13 05:33:32

Sorry for all those typos- on phone

Thumbwitch Tue 01-Oct-13 05:38:00

3m is too long by far, YADNBU.

I had MIL come and stay with us when I was having Ds1 - she was invited, she came for 2m and I was relieved as anything when she went home. She is NOT fussy, forgetful, difficult etc, she was as helpful as she could be but by the time she was going it was just a massive relief to be able to relax again!

Your DH is being an arse. It's not like he wants to be company for her, he's just dumping her on you. And that's unfair.

I go every year to stay at my Dad's for 3 weeks. We have a lovely time but I can pretty much guarantee that he's also relieved to see the back of us (as well as sad to see us go) when we go home again, and he can get back to his untrammelled routine.

It cuts both ways!

Anyway, if you're getting her over with DD1 on the pretext that she is accompanying DD1, rather than the other way around, then surely it makes sense that she should "accompany" DD1 back again, to ensure her safety? Otherwise it makes a nonsense of her perceived role bringing DD1 out to you.

Good luck.

Optimist1 Tue 01-Oct-13 05:42:04

I'd be aiming to send her back to UK with your daughter when she returns in January.

KepekCrumbs Tue 01-Oct-13 05:45:53

My mum is in her late 80s and travels alone. She would loathe staying away from home that long.

Your mil is a little confused already by travelling. .. she shouldn't be away from her home so long. Stick to that reasoning. It'll drive you all nuts.

Lavenderhoney Tue 01-Oct-13 06:01:13

3 months is too long for both of you, and your dc, and I expect she won't want to leave her house for that long.

Is she covered by medical insurance on such a long stay?

Have you though about working yourself? Then you won't be around as entertainments director. Your dh sounds as though he has good intentions, but the reality is disastrous.

She would probably hate it too, as living with you is very different from a week or so stay, where you do touristy stuff. She would have to just fit in, and if this is explained to her, maybe she won't come.

What about booking the flight jan, and then she can get on it if she wants, flights can be moved. Take her to the expat club, get her doing activities, into the habit of going over there to read the daily mail, have coffee, swim or sit chatting, home for lunch and a nap, dc home, bit of chat, telly .. but surely most expat grandmas/ grandads will be gone by jan anyway?

It could be ok, if you are firm you can't take her everywhere with you, like you would if it was just a week or so, but talk to her. She might be horrified as wellsmile

Sunnysummer Tue 01-Oct-13 06:14:09

YANBU. If she made any effort to fit in or to help out or even to do her own thing it would be very different - but you are already having her there for weeks, and things are likely to sour over time, whereas you can make the shorter trip into a lovely stay that is all about her.

frogslegs35 Tue 01-Oct-13 06:20:18

I wouldn't risk mentioning it to her - she might actually want to stay that long then you won't have any chance if both she and your Dh are on at you.

Yanbu! it's way too long, it's bad enough she won't entertain herself a little but also disagree's interferes with your parenting decisions.

Really, get your Dh told.
Another poster already mentioned a good idea - get him to imagine trying to entertain your Dm for 3 whole months (MmmHmm! lightbulb moment/look of utter fear) - if he's honest and respects you he should see reason and understand you.
Good luck!

Jinty64 Tue 01-Oct-13 06:23:20

I think this is a great opportunity for you. Why don't you fly back with dd1 (after all if MIL accompanied her out someone should take her back) you could spend time with your parents/? Other family and do a bit of travelling/sightseeing. By the time you get home dh should have MIL organising herself and she should be out most days.

Or say no.

MrsHoratioNelson Tue 01-Oct-13 06:41:44

Frankly, 3 weeks is also too long in my book but I would have been arrested for murder of MIL (and DH for even suggesting it) before 3 months were up.

Absolutely not, no way. If your DH wants her to stay that long he can investigate taking a sabbatical and entertain her himself.

UnicornsNotRiddenByGrownUps Tue 01-Oct-13 06:47:25

Can you ask your DH how is he planning on getting 3 months off work if he thinks she needs the company?

LouiseAderyn Tue 01-Oct-13 07:12:37

It really pisses me off how some men think it is perfectly fine to invite their parents to stay and then expect their wives to entertain them, whike they go back to work!

OP, you really do have to say no. It's too much for you and not at all fair of dh to expect it, unkess he can afford to miss 3 months of work in order to look after her. She is his guest, not yours.

LindyHemming Tue 01-Oct-13 07:13:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Tue 01-Oct-13 07:19:47

Unicorns/Louise - great minds think alike!! That's what I was going to say smile

FatOwl - NO Just NO. It is a loooooooooong time to have someone stay, anyone, and especially someone who you know is somewhat difficult. Don't do it. Yes your DH might be upset/annoyed/whatever but unless he's prepared to take the whole 3 months off of work - that's tough. Be firm.

42andcounting Tue 01-Oct-13 08:14:53

YANBU! As an aside, does your DH realise her home insurance will not be valid for absences over a month? Lots of people don't realise this is a standard clause. I'm convinced it was created by someone in exactly your position smile

Thumbwitch Tue 01-Oct-13 08:16:33

Aha! I love Jinty's idea. Because after all, your DD1 "needs" escorting back so yes, why not you this time? And DH can entertain his own mother while you have a lovely time, and then you can maybe travel back with him (I expect you "need" escorting too, don't you? wink) when he brings his mother back. Win win! grin

diddl Tue 01-Oct-13 08:22:56

Is she alone/lonely at home?

Or does she only "need company" when at yours iyswim?

If so-she might not want to stay so long anyway.

Xmasbaby11 Tue 01-Oct-13 08:24:54

Say no, and say it fast!

3 weeks is absolutely loads ... and 3 months is quarter of a year! Don't even entertain the idea! As others have said, that would be waaaay too long for even your best friend to stay.

It doesn't really sound like she'd be up for it either. Explain to your DH why it would not suit her, and also why it doesn't suit you.

WestieMamma Tue 01-Oct-13 08:25:15

No. Just no.

I live overseas too. MIL has been to visit her new grandson 3 times in the last 5 months. First time was fine. Second time was less so. Third time, she was lucky to get back to Blighty with her head attached to her shoulders. 3 whole months? Hell would have to freeze over first.

<goes to lie down to recover from even thinking about it>

expatinscotland Tue 01-Oct-13 08:28:33

You tell him no unless he takes three months off work. YANBU.

DejaVuAllOverAgain Tue 01-Oct-13 08:38:34


I'd get twitchy after 3 days.

I think you're an angel for the 3 weeks. Jinty has the best idea. Inform your DH that you'll be coming back with DD1 and will stay until he comes back in March. I think he'll see your point of view then wink

ZillionChocolate Tue 01-Oct-13 08:41:21

3w yes 3m no. Stick with the original plan. If DH wants to spend more time with his mum see if she can come back in the summer.

whois Tue 01-Oct-13 08:41:58

"Oh how lovely DH, I didn't realise you were taking a 3 month sabbatical to spend quality time with your mother. That is so sweet. Seeing as you'll be at home keeping your mother company you'll be there for our other children so I think I'll go back to the UK with DD1 for a little bit"

smile I love all the suggestions you return to the UK with DD1. I live overseas too, and my own mum came over for 2 weeks after my DC2 was born, and by the end of the first week I was thoroughly convinced I'd rather have been home alone with triplet toddlers and triplet newborns 12 hours a day, than with 1 toddler, 1 newborn, and my mother - the stress of another slightly "difficult" adult in the house outweighs any benefit if you don't get on brilliantly and both think you are doing the other a favour! I was much happier managing on my own when DH went back to work after DC3 was born. My parents only come over together and stay in a local hotel now... shock

I think 3 weeks is above and beyond reasonable unless your DH is taking the time off to spend with her tbh. Take Jinty64 and whois 's advice, or just say NO. smile

Somebody always pulls the "You hate old people" or "You'll be a MIL one day" sad face card - but this is your DH's idea not your MIL's, and 3 months together could finish off any semblance of a good relationship for the rest of MIL's life, seriously! Better keep things on a workable level than be a martyr and end up with resentment all 'round!


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