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To ask for advice in handling visiting family (3 week stay)?

(46 Posts)
farfarawayfromhome Mon 24-Oct-16 09:34:06

I live overseas and my parents visit once a year - usually for 10 days. They stay with us. Since having DD this upped to 2 weeks on their last visit. They now say they want to come for 3 weeks on their next trip.

Our house isn't tiny but it isn't huge. We have 3 bedrooms, one is an office which we run our businesses from (ie they can't sleep in there). They sleep in DD's room and DD sleeps in our room. When DD sleeps in with us she inevitably wakes, we don't sleep well and she usually ends up in our bed.

We both work full time and are usually exhausted by the time they leave.

Obviously I love them dearly and I understand they want to spend time with their grandchild, I don't begrudge them that at all. I'm also grateful that I have two living, loving parents who want to visit, I really am.

3 weeks seems like such a long time to have to have this sleeping arrangement. There's also the issue of entertaining them and generally having no privacy of the time that they are staying - sometimes I just want to collapse in peace after a hard day at work without even making conversation with DH!

Any advice on how to handle this? AIBU for even thinking like this?

seminakedinsomebodyelsesroom Mon 24-Oct-16 09:37:18

Would there be the option of them taking DD away for a few days somewhere while they are with you? Maybe towards the end of the trip so she's got used to them and they are used to her routine etc?

Nanny0gg Mon 24-Oct-16 09:40:36

Is there a nice B&B/Guesthouse they could stay in nearby? Are you in a holiday destination?

yorkshapudding Mon 24-Oct-16 09:44:20

Perhaps you could gently explain that DD sleeps badly when she's in with you and you don't think it's fair to put her (or you!) through three whole weeks of disturbed sleep? That way you're clearly stating that the issue is the sleeping arrangements rather than anything to do with them so they might be less likely to take it personally. You could suggest a compromise of them staying in a hotel or B&B for part of their trip. I don't think that's unreasonable as there weeks is a long time to have houseguests, particularly when you're working full time.

ElfAndSafetyBored Mon 24-Oct-16 09:55:45

Three weeks out of a whole year, I think it's worth the inconvenience so your daughter can keep building her relationship with her grandparents.

If she always ends up in with you, why not try starting her in with you and cutting out the middle of the night shuffle?

DollyBarton Mon 24-Oct-16 09:59:08

How old is DD? Can you not put her cot in the office for the time? Or if older, a blow up bed?

TheWitTank Mon 24-Oct-16 10:01:39

Could you/they sleep downstairs on a blow up bed?

lalalalyra Mon 24-Oct-16 10:05:32

Could you not have a travel cot or air bed in the office for your DD?

yorkshapudding Mon 24-Oct-16 10:06:33

If she always ends up in with you, why not try starting her in with you and cutting out the middle of the night shuffle?

OP might not want to co-sleep though and after three weeks of bed sharing it might be very difficult to get her to sleep back in her own bed/cot.

Trifleorbust Mon 24-Oct-16 10:07:11

I would come up with a reason why the stay had to end after a fortnight - you're going away, big project at work, building grin

stillwantrachelshair Mon 24-Oct-16 10:10:01

Where do you live? How much are the flights? Could they come to you for a week, go travelling in the country where you live for a week & then back to yours for a week ? Could you all go away together for a week of it?

JoJoSM2 Mon 24-Oct-16 10:10:37

3 weeks is a long time and your house doesn't seem big enough to accommodate them comfortably. I'd find a nice guesthouse/b&b nearby.

Aebj Mon 24-Oct-16 10:18:14

I feel your pain. We are also overseas and my parents come over once a year which has now extended to 18 mths. One time they stayed just over 4 weeks and even they said it was to long.
They go away through the middle of the stay for 2 nights ( last visit 5 nights😃).
Are you able to go away one of the weekends with dh? We did last time they were here ( March 2015 and this was the first time that they had both boys EVER since ds 1 was born November 2003. ( for 4 years we lived 30 mins away from them!)
It is hard work as they are on holiday mode and you still have to work, so although it's only 3 weeks , it is a long time .
It sounds mad but I don't even like them tiding up as they put things in different places and then they can't remember where they put them!!!
Send them on day trips. I did! ( look at old peoples clubs in the area!!)
Good luck . Not much help but holding your hand in support .

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Mon 24-Oct-16 10:24:50

Can you put something in the office to sleep on? Give your room to the parents, daughter stays put and you sleep in the office room or if it's too small for that, then put your daughter in the office. Or even you and hubbie sleep in the living room and they have your room? It's not ideal, but better than 3 weeks of broke sleep.

Cherrysoup Mon 24-Oct-16 10:28:46

So next year will be a month, the year after 5 weeks and so on? If you're not going to or able to use annual leave for part of this, then I would knock them back to 2 weeks. I think it's incredibly cheeky of them to say three weeks. Don't they wait to be invited? Have they not realised that staying 3 weeks in the house is just too much? What will they do when your DD is too big to simply be shoved in your room?

gotthemoononastick Mon 24-Oct-16 10:36:04

Gosh that is a long time if you both need to do the daily grind as well.

We often host visitors and family OP.Get them senior railcards if they apply and tickets to interesting sights .Pay the small fee upfront for the guides to meet and show them around.

If they are from somewhere that has a wicked exchange rate to the pound I make up little picnic hampers.Have biscuits snacks and toiletries just for them to use. They always convert in their heads and a pound is big!

Sometimes DH pays the car hire for family and good friends who are 'slumming' due to the expensive pound.

Above all they will be dying to see their grandchild...tis a fierce unexplained love that has 'seniors' travellingl the world.

shovetheholly Mon 24-Oct-16 10:37:51


3 weeks!!! That's a crazily long time. I think even good relations would be really stretched by the end. You sound like the kind of person who needs their own space and some time out, and I honestly don't think you should be asked to sacrifice that for so very long. Some people can deal with others in their space much better than others, and if you're the kind who struggles, it's just not a good idea to push this so far.

Can you compromise - have them stay for 10 days and then organise a hotel or B&B for the rest of the time? You can simply explain the sleeping issue and say that you have an extremely busy period of work and can't afford the lack of rest.

MimiSunshine Mon 24-Oct-16 10:47:27

Presumably your DD is a toddler and not a small baby now. Who wants to share a bed with a toddler for three weeks and as for putting her in the businesses office 😄 Yeah that wouldn't end in disaster (I'm sure some people read home office as play area for occasional internet use)

I think the solution is to say you'd love for them to visit for three weeks but DD can only really manage 10 days to 2 weeks out of her bedtime routine and bedroom so they'll need to stay in a hotel / B&B for part of the trip. So would they prefer to break up their stay with you and stay elsewhere in the middle of the three weeks or get a break at the end?

farfarawayfromhome Mon 24-Oct-16 11:06:37

thanks for all the replies, lots to think about.

the office is fully functioning with 3 desks and us/our team working in it during the day and sometimes up until her bedtime. so she can't sleep in there sadly. there's definitely no room for us to go in there!

ElfAndSafetyBored she goes to bed at 7, and won't go down into our bed, only hers. and as MimiSunshine says, sharing a bed with a 3 year old for 3 weeks does not make for much fun really.

i suppose we could get an air bed and sleep in the lounge...but we go to bed at a reasonable time, which would mean no one could use the lounge...

we live in a holiday destination with a lot of hotels, but they are not cheap. i think the compromise will be to find a good value hotel nearby - which is a challenge. I'm off to do some research.

farfarawayfromhome Mon 24-Oct-16 11:37:00

Aebj thanks for the words of support smile

they won't entertain going away anywhere whilst they are here, as they want to see DD as much as is possible, they wouldn't leave her. much as they love me, she is their reason for the visit.

DD does 3 mornings a week at nursery, so as it is, they feel their time is eaten into...she goes to nursery 9-1, then home and naps 2-4, so on the nursery days they feel like they are on limited time...another reason why it's hard having them here as if i am working from home, they are round the house those days too...

i'm currently on tripadvisor smile

StayAChild Mon 24-Oct-16 11:52:36

Could you find them a reasonably priced holiday rental apartment? I would be much happier with that set up as a grandparent and I would sort that out for myself rather than impose on my DC for more than a couple of nights. I prefer to have my own space and go to bed/get up when I feel like it.

Hotels are a bit limiting and you still need to find food, whereas with an apartment you can stock up on the necessities. They could also take your toddler there for a change. They might take the opportunity to do a bit more in the area too, rather than hanging around your house when you're working.

NothingIsOK Mon 24-Oct-16 11:59:30

Do you know anyone locally who has a spare room you could rent from them for the three weeks, on the basis that the year go there to sleep only, and all other time is spent at your place? We've used this successfully both as the visitors and the visited.

SpookyPotato Mon 24-Oct-16 12:09:55

Even when you adore someone, 3 weeks at a time is too much.. It's one of the main downsides to living abroad I think, when you lose the 'popping in once a week' visits. I would do the hotel thing and say you three don't sleep well at all during the time. Then you'll be able to relax in the evenings.. It won't eat into their time with her.
I've just had a week with my inlaws and I really love them, but that is long enough.

farfarawayfromhome Mon 24-Oct-16 12:22:54

ok so i've been doing some research online.

StayAChild there are some hotel apartments near us , i just checked and they are 160 GBP a night!

there is a small not very sparkly hotel, near to our house, that is 95 GBP a night.this is considered to be very reasonable, it is expensive here...they ideally need to be walking distance of our house as driving here is horrendous and they won't entertain it. i don't blame them on this front...

so even a week in a hotel is going to cost them between 665 GBP-1120 GBP. Certainly can't see them stumping up for a full 3 weeks.

NothingIsOK much as my friends love me, i don't know any in the area who would agree to my parents living in their house...nice as the idea is.

i'll check Air BnB too...

MatildaTheCat Mon 24-Oct-16 12:33:13

You have to talk to them and explain that three straight weeks is too much for you. Could you work out a period of time when dd is doing her nursery days and suggest they go and visit somewhere else for a few days to break it up? My parents usually stay with db for a month each year and always factor in a week or so staying somewhere else.

Unless you say something how can they know and as a pp says, next year it might well be a month.

You know what they say about house guests and fish.....

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