To have rules for guests, or am I being controlling?(268 Posts)
My PILs are coming to stay for 5weeks in our 2-bed flat
They are from a different country and culture, normal for family to come and help for few months after birth of a child. I've managed to delay the visit until DS is 6months!
I want to set some rules but DH thinks IABU. Would value your opinions.
1) I don't want them to take DS out of flat without me.
2) As they will use our en-suite for showers (other bathroom only has low-level shower) I want them to set a time for this rather than tramp in and out of our bedroom when DS is napping/BF/I'm trying to have a break. I need some privacy!
3) I plan to invite them to some baby classes but not all. I feel it's inappropriate for them to observe baby yoga or swimming as other mums may feel awkward!
4) Some days I want to take DS out for day without PILs.
5) I want to do all bedtime routines, he's hard to settle so I don't want them coming into our bedroom after 8pm.
6) I don't want them to bath him without me (I have anxiety re him being left unattended for few secs).
7) DH wants to do a mini-break but I can't face a long drive with PILs as I will have to sit in back with no space and I get carsick in the back.
8) I hate family breakfasts. I want to be able to grab some toast/coffee after the 7am feed then get showered and dressed before facing anyone. DH thinks this is rude.
So... AIBU? So as not to drip feed they don't speak much English so DH will have to translate the 'rules'.
yes you are being unreasonable .... this is pfb right ??
the points you are being unreasonable about are 1/2/5/6/7/8
let them help let them be involved thats the whole point of the visit you don't have to do every routine or everything
trust me at about 18months you'll be begging for a break
You have my sympathy because I would rather eat my own arm than stay anywhere- let alone a small flat- with my in laws and five hours with them is taxing let alone five weeks. However, I think you're going to struggle here. Those are some very restrictive rules. Imposing some of them is not going to come across as friendly in any way so I suppose it depends on whether you care about rubbing them up the wrong way or not.
As an aside I suffer from anxiety and have been very anxious about things like others giving DD (now 18 months old) a bath. I found the only way to get over the anxiety was to let it happen. I just gritted my teeth and let others do things for her. It was hard but it worked.
To me those all sound like appropriate boundaries, but my concern would be that presenting them as a list of 'rules' might create a bit of tension.
I'm so very much 'for' people establishing and protecting their boundaries because I think it's actually a really loving thing to do; it's honest and when done in a kind way helps to protect the connection with other people.
Do you think there's a way to communicate those things in a clear way without your PILs feeling like they're being given a list of do's and don'ts? For example, when you're getting them settled in on arrival, just ask them what time they want to shower and make it clear that you'll plan around that. Or do you need to mention baths until they try to take LO for a bath without you? Etc...
Will DH be there too?
Can you not suggest that he take his parents out and about, show them the local sites etc?
You do sound a tiny bit controlling, but I can see that it's your anxiety talking, and honestly I would have been the same when my DC were small.
Have a few 'rules' but understand that they will want to see your son and your husband (and you!) so your routine will not possibly be able to stay unchanged while they visit.
You can't call them rules - that's terrible. But you CAN keep your bedroom door shut and ask people to ask before they go inside. You CAN stick to a bedtime routine. You CAN make sure your DS stays with you (though, honestly, what could happen to him if they took him for a walk in the pram?). You SHOULD leave the PILs at home for the classes you mention - they're not for spectators. You CAN grab breakfast when you get up. However, you should make sure there's plenty of breakfast things available for your PILs and that they know where to find them and how to prepare them.
The bath - I can't see how that would arise.
And about the mini-break... Can you go somewhere closer? Then stay in a cottage with more bedrooms/bathrooms? It might even be better! Or rent a bigger car and put PILs in the back?
Or is there some humungous back-story?!
We had guests when DS was a toddler. I told them I had one rule and that was could they please keep the lid on the toilet down because DS keeps putting his toys in there.
It must have pissed them off that there was a rule at all because I didn't see the toilet lid put down once.
I would say - no rules, just muddle through.
Sorry, but you are being a teensy bit unreasonable. I understand your feelings though. I think you could easily implement most of those things without stating them directly.
You sound really rude with all your 'rules'. And you've managed to keep them away for six months.rather find them a rental place where they can be comfortable instead of Being treated as in the way inconveniences.
Yes I can see how it might create tension.
DH has said his mum will 'want to run our household' and this bothers me! I don't mind her taking control of the kitchen (she loves to cook and rearrange cupboards etc) but I don't want her to take over with DS.
I also want some privacy and space, I hate people coming in and out of our bedroom.
Anyone with a list of very specific rules like yours is, by definition, being somewhat controlling. Also, it sounds as if you are preparing for a pretty tense and difficult visit - beware of the self-fulfilling prophecy.
1. YABU, within reason why can't they take him for a walk in his pram/pushchair?
2. Half unreasonable. It's ok to say please don't use the shower if baby napping etc but a bit much to set strict times. I expect you will all settle into a bit if a routine quite quickly anyway.
3. yANBU. Everyone needs a bit of privacy and you don't need to be joined at the hip. Will also mean you are free to make new friends, you will need other people to talk to when they go home!
5. Can't decide if yabu or not. If he is whingey in the evening they may not even want to do bed time.
6. yABU, but I can see you know that. Tell them you know you are being unreasonable but you can't help it. Let them do the bath with you there and if you start to trust them you could try popping in and out of the room. They didn't drown your husband!
7. Depends how long the drive would be, can you drive?
8. What about you breakfast together the first day and at weekends? I agree, especially if they don't wake up tel later this could be a pain.
I'm not sure it's a good idea to deliver this as a set of rules in one go. That would be a bit rude. Maybe say what you want to happen at each time of day as that time arises?
I don't think that (most) of what you are suggesting is unreasonable. But I am concerned about your tone. its all coming across very dictatorial.
Despite the language difficulties I think you need to have an open and empathetic conversation with them. And remember that they are the grandparents - who want to help you and only want the best for your DS, rather than some troublesome incompetent irritants who need to be micro managed.
If you present them with a list of rules like that when they arrive, that'd be insanely rude. You're planning for the visit to be shit before they even arrive, and how does that help?
Just deal with issues as and when they come up - if they come up.
In general ground rules and boundaries are fine but try not to be too prescriptive.
1) Why don't you want them to take your ds of without you?
2) this is reasonable
3) this seems reasonable
4) this is reasonable
5 and 6) reasonable that you want to do bedtime feed - perhaps you could think about getting some treatment for your anxiety - grandparents love bathing gc, singing lullabies etc. They didn't let your dh drown so I'm sure your ds will be safe.
7) just sit in the front - explain you get car sick. Tough if it upsets the fil. I'm assuming you think the fil will want to sit in the front.
Without being rude it sounds as if you don't want them to come and that you want to be in control of everything. In the nicest possible way get some treatment for your anxiety and be a bit more flexible about the visit. If I was your dh I'd feel a bit put out that you were creating barriers to them developing a relationship with their gs.
What a nightmare
Why do they get to impose their cultural norms on you?
Why can't you live your own lives?
I can't get past the fact that your pils are staying for 5 weeks! Honestly, it's completely unworkable anyway let alone in a 2 bed flat. Price up a holiday let or air bnb, you're already worked up and they're not even here yet, it will only get worse when they arrive.
I would not present this as a list of rules. For example, unless they are totally unreasonable, they would knock on the bedroom door and check if it's ok to use the bathroom, not just barge in, no? And you can of course still take your baby out without declaring it in advance.
Not allowing them to take the baby for a walk without you is a bit unreasonable - unless they're really old and frail and wouldn't manage?
And yes holiday somewhere with more space might actually be a good idea!
1) PFB - they've managed to raise their own family.
2) Fair enough. You need your privacy.
3) If they're bothered enough about baby classes to want to attend even one, then I don't see the harm in attending more.
4) Fair enough.
5) Fair enough, but you might end up relaxing a bit once they get used to the routine.
6) PFB - See 1)
7) Take a carrier bag and double bag it. Ask DH to stop whenever you feel sick.
8) Fair enough.
But to be honest, I would have tried to arrange a B&B for them so you all have your own space and privacy.
Try and put yourself in their position. If you were them and presented with 'the rules' how would you feel? Welcomed? Or not?
I'd be delighted if they stayed in a rental but DH is adamant they must stay with us. However he will be at work 3 of the weeks so most of the entertaining falls to me.
Low-level shower is over bath but can't stand up under it. More for washing hair when in bath. We can't swap bedrooms around as guest bedroom is small and we need room for cot in ours.
Yes maybe we could hire a 6-seater car that's a good idea! Otherwise I will be squished between car seat and FIL (MIL has to go in front due to painful knees).
Why is it less painful for her knees in the front? Unless she's 6 foot 6, it shouldn't be a problem.
Why is your DH 'adamant' that they stay with you? Do you not get a say? Or does your opinion not matter? He's got a family now, a child, you come before his parents and your needs are the most important.
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