Guests and keys(50 Posts)
I know I will probably get flamed here and I know I'm probably being unreasonable so I just need a bit of perspective really.
MIL comes to stay once a month for about 3 days. She's a nice lady, albeit with the usual minor MIL annoyances. I find her a bit grabby with DC, wants to help but only on her terms etc, but whatever, it's nothing major.
The issue is that I'm not brilliant having guests. I work at home plus really like my own space. DH has given MIL a set of keys and she now just lets herself in whenever she comes down. I know this is very petty of me, but for some reason it annoys me. I like feeling in control of my own space (realise this makes me sound like a highly strung maniac, but not IRL, honest) and my own mum and dad who I'm really close to don't just let themselves in.
I can see that there's no real harm in her doing this, but it just grates on me and adds to a sense of entitlement that I suspect she might already have.
Is she letting herself in whenever she feels like it (I would hate this) or for planned visits (I wouldn't mind this)?
My mum and MIL have keys to my house. Both knock if we are home. The set of keys your MIL has should only be used if your all out I think
Does she at least knock and call out when she comes in? With a text beforehand?
I'd hate it otherwise.
I wouldn't like it either, my Parents have keys to my house but they only use them when I am not in and I have asked them to go over to feed the dog. They wouldn't dream of letting themselves in.
No YNBU. I have keys to both my DDs' houses but I would never just let myself in when I call on them. Youngest DD's DP said to just let myself in once when I went there to babysit. I don't as it makes me feel uncomfortable to just walk in on them.
Likewise they each have a key to my house, but wouldn't just walk in.
The keys are given for emergencies. We're all very close but I respect their privacy and they respect mine.
I think I'd be changing the locks and forgetting to give her a copy of the new key.
YANBU. I would hate that. But then I can't bear unexpected visitors. I just want 10 minutes notice so I can put crap out of sight and bleach down the loo.
This would annoy me too actually.
Both our sets of parents have keys but for emergencies only or if my brother stays over and goes out with his work mates and returns in the wee hours.
None of them would let themselves in if we were home. It's a bit weird in my mind.
Once a month for three days is too often and too long IMO. Did your OH ask if you minded her having keys? I'd mind. A LOT!
My DP have keys to my house, but don't use them if we are at home, they always ring the doorbell, however if it's summer and I don't answer they are likely to come round to the garden to find me. PIL may have keys (not sure if DH has given them a set) but they rarely turn up without calling first. I like this arrangement, and I am happy that they come in when I'm not there to look after the pets or to see DC if they are home.
However both DP and PIL live in houses where the back door is usually unlocked and we always just let ourselves in. To be fair we always let PIL know we are coming and at my DP house you walk over a long gravel drive and often they will have seen you before you get to the door anyway.
Buy a security chain for the door so they can still have your key but can't just let themselves in
I'll go slightly against the grain here. As a regular visitor of 3 days a month it kind of makes sense for her to have keys and saves faffing about with finding them when she arrives.
However if you're not happy with the frequency and nature of the visits, that's another matter entirely.
3 days every month is quite a lot. i wouldn't be too keen, on that point alone. do you have to wait hand and foot on her too?
For regular planned trips or visits to my parents (which are each Saturday morning) I let myself and DC in - saves them getting up to get to the door - and it is the same time.
Any other unscheduled visits, I ring the door bell.
For their trips to mine, they knock the door - although they do have keys.
If they were staying for a couple of days (not likely, as live near) their own key would make sense.
YANBU. I personally wouldn't like the thought that anyone, family or not, could just waltz in at any time.
It would be different if, like others have said, it was just for emergencies but it sounds like she could just pop in at any time?
My DM and MIL have keys. My MIL is lovely and never would use hers except for emergencies. My DM would use hers, but she lives so far she has to schedule visits so I make sure I'm in because otherwise I would get panicky that she would be snooping. And it's rude of her. And weird. And annoying. YANBU
Thanks everyone. Good to get some unbiased voices. It's a bit hard talking to DH because he gets quite stressed about it, and I think essentially has a different outlook to mine ( his family were very much open door, happy to kip on other peoples couch types) whereas mine are super private, would much rather stay in hotels etc.
I do realise that practically it probably does make more sense her having a set of keys. For those who asked it is for scheduled visits since she lives quite a while away. She doesn't knock before hand or text either. But she sends fastidious emails with her schedule on it before hand.
She doesn't exactly expect us to wait on her hand and foot but there's a definite roll out the red carpet type attitude when she comes. ( bit complex because dHs parents aren't together anymore and he still gets upset about it, there's an element of not wanting to rock the boat about anything)
Oh I feel so mean spirited. In my head is love to be one of those people with an open door policy and delicious food constantly in the fridge. I'm destined to be a lonely old cat lady with my attitude, aren't it?
Lol'ing at your suggestion commander!
I actually think Commander's idea is seriously good. It gives back some control and will encourage knocking first. It's not rude in any way. Could be the answer...
I think it's one of those things that's perfectly ok in some families and not other. I'd like to be warned too. Can't you just ask her? Tell her you are worried she is going to walk in while you are changing or that it makes you nervous when you unexpectedly hear a door in the key.
If she sends you a schedule then surely you are expecting her?
YANBU! I am regularly grateful that DH and I have jobs that would be impossible to do near DH's family (they all live in the same area) or I'd have to face in-laws wondering in and out of our house whenever they like. It's nice that DH's family are so close but there is little to no privacy for SIL & BIL, not that they seem to mind, correction I think BIL does (he's the son-in-law) but doesn't complain about it. They don't even have locks on any of their bathroom doors which makes me strangely anxious when I'm visiting and need to go to the loo!
I'm going against the grain. DM has a key, she looks after dd lots and she does let herself in, even when we are home. It's much easier for me if she lets herself in than ringing the bell and I have to go and open the door! We have also told all the parents if we're home, just come on in, the door will be open. The other two sets of parents don't, the always ring the bell, so we have to stop what we doing to let them in. I'm not bothered either way, but I don't have any issues with close family letting themselves in, with a little shout out of "hiya!" As they come in.
I also don't think 3 days a month is a massive amount. My DM is here 3 days a week, admittedly not overnight, but it's not a huge amount.
I am expecting her Poikjhvcx. So i guess it's less about the 'being taken by suprise element' and more about just prefering people to knock rather than feel they can just let themselves in.
I totally agree that it's a difference in attitude.
If I'm being honest, and just thinking about it now, it also taps into the fact that the house we live in is essentially mine. Maybe it feels a bit like there's no concession to that. Oh god, I sounds even more petty don't I?
I obviously do view this OUR (DHs and my) home and he does too. I guess it's just a mild sense of entitlement and ownership on her part that pisses me off. But Poikjhvcx says it's probably just a difference in outlook
My PiL just walk in to our house, don't even knock. Drives me mad. They stay over every Sunday night as they look after the DTs on a Monday and sometimes if I'm feeling really vicious I'll lock the door and leave the keys in so they have to knock.
I have keys for a few family members snd they have keys for mine in case of an emergency but we have a bell ringing code before we use the key. All easy and ok, or we text to say on way and I have a key so they know it will be used
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