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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?

WhatchaMaCalllit Fri 04-Oct-13 15:07:13

Here is a suggestion to you OP - can you get your DD to plant the seed in your MILs mind when they are travelling over that she would really really appreciate Granny's help on the way back and that it would be so much easier if Granny came back with her after the Christmas & New Year Celebrations are over?

Could your daughter do that on the flight over? Granny then just has to say to your DH "Well, I had agreed with DGD that I'd be travelling back with her to help her through the airport" - would that work do you think?

Lavenderhoney Fri 04-Oct-13 10:02:22

I have stayed with my mil for months at a time, with dc. She managed by going about her daily business, cooking what she wants, basically having her life and I fitted in.

She was rather controlling about the washing machinesmile but otherwise fine. I took the dc out most days and had a hire car.

If she came to me, I would do the same, apart from control freakery about white goods. Big thing on the wall with what is happening, either tag along or stay home/ do what you want. If you don't like the food, the fridge is over theresmile

My dm stayed once overseas and didnt want to meet my friends, grew angry and upset when I went anyway ( toddler group!) threw a toddler tantrum when the daily mail was delivered late at the club, and clearly wanted to go home. Such a shame really, as the dc and I were looking forward to her coming. She made herself unpleasant and I really have no idea why. I asked her and she said she just wanted to go home.

wink1970 Fri 04-Oct-13 09:49:32

Jux is spot on - if you can't avoid the situation, make it work to your advantage.

Go do all those things that you don't do now because someone has to be home for DC/shop/cook/clean..... after all, you have a live-in nanny/cook/help for 3 months, what's not to like?!

And, make sure your husband has 'quality time' with his mum by going out with the DC at least once a week, and leaving them to their own devices.


onefewernow Fri 04-Oct-13 09:25:55

In effect your H is saying that he cares about whether the company would be good for her, but he doesn't care about whether it would be good for you.

If he insists, make yourself other plans.

ChasedByBees Fri 04-Oct-13 08:48:55

No. No no no no no no no.

God I'd go on sabbatical. Get DH to take time off work and look after her. You can head off on a 3 month cruise or something.

Seriously though, it is massively unreasonable to ask this of you.

Just no.

OrchidLass Fri 04-Oct-13 08:46:46

Hell no. Three hours is enough with mine never mind three months.

Jux Fri 04-Oct-13 08:43:12

Do those courses. Enjoy them and make the most of them. MIL will be at home, so there will be someone there who can get the dinner on, shop for bits, clean, tidy etc. on the days you are at your course. How fantastic that she can facilitate your studying and make life easier for you in that way wink

Presumably you will have to shut yourself away some evenings to study at home too, so dh can bear the full weight of entertaining her then too.

TheHeadlessLadyofCannock Thu 03-Oct-13 17:38:17

olgaga, yes, I see what you mean and I don't disagree per se. I just think it would look a bit as though she was finding excuses to stay out of MIL's way.

And on principle, I don't think she should be made to feel as though she can't relax and hang out at home because she has to worry about MIL.

But I do take your point.

OvertiredandConfused Thu 03-Oct-13 15:01:33

I like the idea of asking DH whether he would prefer his DM or you to fly back to the UK in January.


JustinBsMum Thu 03-Oct-13 14:55:38

I think home insurance only runs for about 6 weeks once property is empty. Also MIL broke her hip while on hols, v expensive!

hellsbellsmelons Thu 03-Oct-13 10:55:07

Why on earth were you having a 'discussion'???
You don't want to do it - the answer to her staying from 3 months is NO!!!
End of conversation.
He's already primed her for a 3 month stay and that is how long she will stay for.
You need to tell him that if she doesn't fly back with DD on 10th Jan then you will be and he can deal with HIS mother all on his own.
Don't back down - NO is NO!!

JustinBsMum Thu 03-Oct-13 01:27:13

I would insist that DH takes ALL available leave from work during her visit (as he is so insistent that it is no prob having her) - yes that means he isn't around for the rest of the year to go away with you but as he is such a selfish twerp that should please you immensely.

Then for 4-5 weeks of her stay he is entertaining her. I would absolutely insist on this, and if he times it for when DD is leaving for uni you can go to UK for nice extended hols on your own leaving the pair of them to it.

Other posters are loading the guilt by saying that they hope their children will want to spend time with them when they are old, they are being disengenuous, as obviously in this case it is not 'their children' but one child-in-law alone who is taking on the responsibility of entertainment manager.

olgaga Thu 03-Oct-13 01:11:40

Headless the reason I suggested the OP organise courses and other stuff to do outside the home is both for her benefit. It will also give weight to OPs case that she isn't there simply to do her DHs entertaining for him while life goes on for him as nornal.

He will need to shoulder his share responsibility for entertaining her too.
It's only fair if he imposes this on her.

I think the issues around her home insurance and medical insurance are well worth exploring.

Thumbwitch Thu 03-Oct-13 00:09:58

Another point to consider: are you in the southern hemisphere? Reason being that you said your MIL doesn't like the heat. Well if she doesn't like the heat, she'd probably prefer the UK winter to the wherever-you-are summer, wouldn't she? Surely! Just remind him that she doesn't like the heat. A LOT.
And that they don't get on.

Did you try telling him that you would go back to the UK with your DD1 instead of her if she insisted on staying? Because I think that is actually a VERY good plan.

But I see that he has "allowed" you to leave MIL's return date as optional - so I would insist that the earliest he gets to change the date for her return is 3 days before she's due to leave, i.e. 7th Jan. Any deviation from that and you'll be off to the UK instead. smile

MistressIggi Wed 02-Oct-13 21:28:09

OP I do wish you would not give up/give in so easily. sad Would be worth continuing the argument to avoid 3 difficult months. And the same again next year, probably.

clam Wed 02-Oct-13 21:02:13

Get this sorted out NOW, before he gets even more entrenched in this insane idea. No. Just NO.
Otherwise, don't come running back here in February moaning that it's all gone tits-up!

DontmindifIdo Wed 02-Oct-13 20:58:49

erm if he is determined she comes for the 3 months, then agree, but then book yourself a flight back to the UK with DD1. Not your problem.

Inertia Wed 02-Oct-13 20:53:23

Does he wave his hands in the style of Obi Wan Kanobi -" oh that can be sorted out these are not the droids you are looking for ".

In our house hand- waving does not confer any kind of special over-ruling powers, it must be disappointing for you to find that your husband gets to impose his wishes on you in such a condescending manner.

vtechjazz Wed 02-Oct-13 20:43:03

Wow....your husband waves his hand and you just give in. Frankly, if you behave like a doormat then don't bitch when people walk on you.

AintNobodyGotTimeFurThat Wed 02-Oct-13 20:01:27

3 hours is enough with my partners Mum (seriously).

But if you get on with her OK, I imagine 3 weeks is bearable, especially if everyone else is around for extra company.

3 months seems a ridiculous amount of time to have anyone stay. Anything longer than a month would make someone no longer a guest in my book, but a member of the household.

I couldn't handle that at all and I do feel for you.

I am sure she's a lovely lady but all jokes aside, if the nicer members of my partners family were to stay longer than a few weeks my hair would be well and truly pulled out.

Just tell him you can't do it. If he needs reasons, explain you have to do your own thing and don't have the time to entertain someone else.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 02-Oct-13 18:57:33

Well it sounds as if you have made it clear to DH and he is under no illusions. Difficult enough anyway, if he is away one week in three it doesn't bear thinking about. Most adult women staying under another roof for more than a fortnight start to feel like a 5th wheel or bored or dependent. I bet MIL might have her own opinion.

Has he been got at by his sister?

mistlethrush Wed 02-Oct-13 17:41:49

Apple - would you want to 'entertain' your MiL everyday for 3 months when she doesn't want to do any of the things that would normally 'entertain' visitors? Particularly if you found her over fussy and stubborn?

Have you actually experienced living with your MiL for any extended period of time, without having had any say in the matter?

juneau Wed 02-Oct-13 17:39:25

Just tell him 'no' for goodness sake, unless, of course he's prepared to be at home with her for three months! You shouldn't have to reel off lots of reasons why - the fact that you don't want a house guest for three months should enough. Would he be prepared to entertain YOUR mother for three months??? If my DH was this unreasonable I'd bloody divorce him!

Applefallingfromthetree2 Wed 02-Oct-13 17:25:26

Are you sure she would even want to stay for three months? It is likely that she would find the situation just as difficult and would be happier going back earlier. Your DH seems to be making the decision on behalf of everyone involved.

Mr Rected and Crucru put the point very well. The tone of some of these posts is very patronising towards this elderly lady

OddSockMonster Wed 02-Oct-13 17:02:47

How about you suggest that rather than having her to stay for three months in one go, she comes over to see you two or three times in the year for much shorter breaks. Would that work? Have you got any exciting local festivals or anything near you she'd enjoy?

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