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To be pissed off by my parents' poor timekeeping?

(43 Posts)
guinnessgirl Wed 23-Dec-15 10:01:32

My parents have form for impressive lateness - think hours, not minutes. It's become a running family joke that you should never expect them to be on time.

They called last week and asked if they could come up to see us today. We don't often see them, as their house isn't suitable for small children filthy and full of junk so it's really nice when they make the 3hr drive to come and see us. DM said they'd probably try to arrive early and leave early ish as DF has work tomorrow. This was great, as we are off to see DMIL for Christmas tomorrow morning so need the evening to pack.

I texted DM yesterday to ask what time they were hoping to arrive today. DM replied that she wasn't sure, maybe lunchtimeish? OK, I thought, bit vague, but it gives me a rough idea to not expect them until early afternoon at best.

This morning at 8 I texted and asked DM to let me know when they're leaving so I have an idea of when to expect them. It's 10am now and no text yet... I expect they won't leave for another couple of hours. Meanwhile, DS1 (5) has been asking when DP will get here, obviously excited about seeing them. I can't tell him, which is frustrating for a 5yo, and for me tbh.

It's likely they won't get here until mid afternoon, by which time DS2 (6m) will be starting to get grouchy, and most of their time here will be spent with me stressed about sorting dinner etc, and they won't leave early, meaning I'll be up till the small hours packing, knowing I'll get hardly any sleep because DS2 will wake at 4am.

So! AIBU to be feeling a bit pissed off, and WIBU to ask them to leave at 8 even if they've only been here a couple of hours? I do love them dearly but their habitual lateness really grinds my gears angry

Moonriver1 Wed 23-Dec-15 10:03:40

Why don't you just have a really direct, blunt conversation with them?

I can't see any other way round this.

Louise43210 Wed 23-Dec-15 10:05:18

Mmm, I have a relative like this. I call her The Late Mary Smith. She's not dead yet. I would do what you fancy, go out if you want, leave a note on the door. Act as if they're not coming.

Queenbean Wed 23-Dec-15 10:06:19

My aunt and uncle are like this, they came over to see us yesterday (just popping in for a cup of tea) so we put off lunch until after they'd come. Except they didn't arrive for two hours but we didn't know that they'd be late, so just waited, and waited. I text my aunt and she said "we will be with you very shortly". Which became an hour.

It is so rude!! Can you text your mother and explain what you've said in your op, that you need to have an early night for tomorrow so could they please get going as you'll have to ask them to head off about 8pm, and you don't want your children to miss time with their grandparents?

Lweji Wed 23-Dec-15 10:07:06

Maybe send them a message that it's best if they don't come today after all? Because they are already missing lunch and then it will get too late?

Picnic2223 Wed 23-Dec-15 10:07:33

Why don't you pack now? It doesn't solve the problem but at least you won't need to be up all night.

nokidshere Wed 23-Dec-15 10:08:28

Why can't you pack during the day when you are waiting for them to arrive?

SummerNights1986 Wed 23-Dec-15 10:11:15

YANBU to feel pissed off op. But I wouldn't bring it up with them, i'd not bother because it probably won't make any difference.

My family are like this. Horrendous at time keeping (although not quite up to the standard of hours late!)

It impacts on me once every few months. When we're waiting for them to come over and they turn up 45 minutes late. Or when I go over to pick someone up, beep outside in the car (as agreed) and am still sitting there 20 minutes later when they finally appear angry

If it was all the time I had to deal with it, I would bring it up. But with my family, I know it won't change and would just piss them off and cause an argument which I could do without. For the sake of a 3-times-a-year irritation, I smile and nod rather than give people a reason to accuse me of causing a scene.

DeepBlueLake Wed 23-Dec-15 10:14:59

My mum is like this and always has been, you have my sympathy. Really pissed me off growing up, we rarely on time to anything unless I nagged mum to get ready.

I have got use to it now, if she's late and misses plans, that is her lookout. Still annoys me no end though.

I sometimes resort to telling her to arrive an hour earlier from the event starts.

glueandstick Wed 23-Dec-15 10:15:12

Having spent the morning so far reading various bits and getting to grip with my own odd situation, I reckon to do the following:

Work your day as YOU need to. Have lunch when you want, pack in good time and carry on the normal day. When they turn up let them slot into your day. Do not put it on hold for people who turn up in a one slot less reliable than a courier. Then you'll have stuff done and it'll be fine.

Biggest life lesson is to stop letting everyone dictate your life.

candykane25 Wed 23-Dec-15 10:21:53

Learn from it and next time pre empt them with with a "we are only in between 12-4pmand out for the rest of the day.
Then if they miss this window, tell them not to come as you have plans and a routine to keep.
Frustrating for you today though. Pack when they are at your house, leave them to watch the DC. Then relax tonight.

guinnessgirl Wed 23-Dec-15 10:22:34

Packing during the day would be practically difficult as DS1 would want to 'help' (argh!) and there are lots of presents which I don't want him seeing. We're off to the park for the morning and may well head out again this afternoon to make the most of a rare dry, sunny day.

I think I'm most pissed off for, and on behalf of, DS1, who has got all excited about seeing the GPs he sees the least, but will probably only actually see them for a couple of hours and then will be a hyper nightmare to get to bed. I also feel sad that they can't seem to care enough to get their arses in gear to see their DGC. Their loss, I know, but I wish they were more bothered sad

Dipankrispaneven Wed 23-Dec-15 10:33:21

The thing is, they do this because they know they will get away with it with you. You can bet they wouldn't do it for, say, a doctors' appointment. So in future you need to give them a deadline and tell them that if they don't make that the whole thing is cancelled. I would suggest that you also have a conversation with other family members that this really needs to stop being treated as a family joke because you're all enabling them by tolerating it.

In fact, it may be best to tell your parents now that if they haven't left by 11 you need to cancel today anyway.

Readysteadyknit Wed 23-Dec-15 10:35:49

My DM is like this - it is really rude and selfish. In future don't tell DS they're coming so he isn't anxiously anticipating their arrival. Also just get on with your plans as normal - if you're out when they arrive, it might make them think next time.

SeoulSista Wed 23-Dec-15 10:41:40

Try to get as much packed as you can. Let DS help- get him to fetch, read off your packing list, show him how to fold and do it properly
Don't travel after very little sleep

VegetablEsoup Wed 23-Dec-15 10:51:45

I once left my mother, who seems to relish pissing every one off by being late, in a theme park.
I'm just not having it anymore.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 23-Dec-15 10:57:15

Oh I hate this. so sick of being constantly hounded and reminded I need to be there at X time at mates. I know already. I am always there . only to arrive and find the parents aren't remotely ready. yet somehow it's not because they are late but because they told me earlier than necessary to make sure I wasn't late.

I've never been.late. always early. and they faff. alot.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 23-Dec-15 10:57:38

at latest.

not mates

My mum was late for my brother's wedding. I phoned her when I got there to advise what time she book the taxi for, phoned again when the church was filling up, asked the best man to wait. The vicar assumed my dad's girlfriend was db's mum and started the wedding without her. She was also bringing other brother and a cohort of aunts who entered the church to surprised stares from the congregation pretty near the end.

I never got to school on time. Waited hours sometimes after school to be collected, etc.

Basically, I feel your pain.

All you can do is try to minimise the impact. Start your packing now. Don't host them beyond the time you would have had you been on time.

You can't change them but you can change how it affects you.

lorelei9 Wed 23-Dec-15 11:00:19

it's a gorgeous day here
go to the park
if they turn up, they'll have to wait grin

allwornout0 Wed 23-Dec-15 11:00:49

My parents are like this, although not as bad as some of yours.
They know that I can't stand lateness but still do it. If they are coming around for dinner at say 1pm I will have dinner on the table at 1pm, if they are not there we start without them.

Fatherwishmas Wed 23-Dec-15 11:01:26

Don't tell your DC that they are coming in future

OnlyLovers Wed 23-Dec-15 11:02:41

Pack now rather than waiting until the small hours. If they arrive and expect you to drop everything to see to them, tell them you had to pack now or you'd be up all night.

I hate lateness. It's so arrogant and egotistical.

Basically, carry on as you would if they weren't coming. Don't hang around and change/put off plans for them.

Goingtobeawesome Wed 23-Dec-15 11:06:28

You could pack now rather than after. Surely that is the sensible thing to do. Rope the child in to help. He can fetch things or sit him on the bed with a book. No need to make things harder for yourself. Next time don't tell your child. He can get exited when they actually walk in the door.

Lweji Wed 23-Dec-15 11:11:20

Do people read the thread?

If necessary your parents should do bed time and you pack (wrap?) while they do it or while they are there.

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