How often to see the in-laws, what's reasonable?(20 Posts)
We've been married for over a year, DS 4 months old. DHs parents are divorced so I have two sets of in-laws. After miserable time with his parents over Christmas, DH and I are now talking / negotiating about how often his parents should visit.
Both sets live 300 miles away and in their 70s. When they come, they stay for a week which I find hard as they're high maintenance and I have to look after them as well as DS. Both sets of in-laws also very selfish which adds to the stress and my lack of enthusiasm about them visiting. I wouldn't ever stop them from seeing their grandson but need to have some boundaries.
DH can't say no to his parents so I have to stand up to him. How often is reasonable for his parents to visit? I have two sets of in-laws so it means double the number of in-law visits. DH would be happy for them to come all year round - joy! - but I definitely do not. What is reasonable for the number of visits and how long? As an example, my parents live much closer and stay for 24 hours if that, every few months.
There isn't a hard and fast rule. Though generally staying with anyone / away from home for a length of time does feel stressful and grating.
My ex PILs never stayed for longer than 6 hours, every 6 months or so
If they say a week at a time I would defiantly say 3 a year absolute max. But there is no set rule.
As you have 2 sets I would be more inclined 2 time per set.
I have to look after them as well as DS
That's the thing you need to solve first.
A WEEK AT A TIME?????
If he wants them there for that length of time, then he needs to take time off work and look after them.
My parents are divorced and live about 5 hours away. We have a 2 year old and one on the way. We go and visit at least once a year (but only manage about 3 days) and then they come to us. As our children (and them) get older we will visit more often. One set are hard work but the others are ok (and visit about 3 times a year and are lots of help).
Three or four nights is my absolute max for visitors. A week seems very long.
A week! Then they would be expected to get their own breakfasts, wash up, help out etc etc. Also make their own entertainment and prob go out at least 1 day without you. If they aren't then DH should have told them to years ago.
DH should also bear in mind the visits are for his pleasure not yours, nor is it fair for them to suck up all of his annual leave time.
There is no set rule - 6 weeks (broken up into chunks) can easily be done from ILs who are a pleasure while 1 day from selfish fun sponges can feel like a life time.
Although your parents are closer it is reasonable to use them as a comparison as their visits are infrequent and put much less strain on you - if his parents visited at that kind of frequency presumably it would be easier. And 4 days is still a reasonable visit in the UK.
My parents aren't allowed to come for a week! Similar ages. We have found a cheapish holiday rental in the village and they stay there two or three times a year. MIL comes for a week once a year but there is only one of her and she is no trouble.
Emigrate! No, don't, I know someone who did to get away from their parents and now she sees more of them than ever because they go twice annually and stay for two months!
I'd say twice a year, but not for a week, that's obscene, I'd be up for murder if my lot stayed that long.
Once, my mil (who I love and get on with brilliantly) stayed for two weeks. I'd had a protracted hospital stay and was not very mobile. It nearly killed me as my dh swanned off to work and I had to entertain daily. When I said to the DH that I found it hard work and when was she going home, he told me he'd had a hard time that year. I could have cried.
I would suggest that you don't invite them to come to you any more 'because of the distance and their age', but that he should go to visit them. And take your child with him to visit Granny/Grandpa. This will soon pall believe me. If he/they insist on coming down to visit you then they stay in a hotel and he takes time off work to look after them and you decamp to your parents (without the child).
I do realise that this sounds like the nuclear option, but I wish I had done this right from the start rather than enduring 10 years of IL misery. You are not saying he can't see his parents - he can whenever he wants to, but they cannot stay at your house. And you are not an entertainment officer on board ship who's job it is to make sure everyone has a nice time. His parents, his job.
In terms of frequency twice a year is plenty.
My ILs are about 5hrs away - although only one set thank god. Once the DC were born they decided they wanted to come up every 6 weeks - and stayed for a week each time They are hard work too - great with the kids but very loud and all a bit 'too much' for me. After a couple of years of that I was getting so resentful of them coming it was driving me crazy - finally discussed it properly with DH and agreed I could only cope with that regularity if it got cut down to a few days per visit.
I agree there are no hard and fast rules as everyone is different. But definitely think about what works for you - I just let them go with whatever they wanted (DH is very laid back) and it really built up into unbearable
I think I'm lucky in having an OH who, despite saying that family is the one important thing in life, isn't bothered about seeing his DM (my MIL) very often - so we visit twice a year for about three hours each time.
I have managed to reduce contact with my parents to three or four times a year also. If they come to us, they don't stay, and so only visit for a couple of hours. If we go to them - and by we, I mean myself and DS, OH doesn't come with us - then it's for a couple of nights; twice a year.
I don't have a close relationship with my mother. She'd like us to be closer but she's borderline narcissistic and my father is enabling. I can cope with those few visits, a weekly phone call, and FB likes. I dread the future as my parents get older. My brother is virtually non-contact with them, so I'd be expected to pick up the care needs.
2-4 night visits as an absolute max including a weekend when DH is the one running around after them.
4 visits in total - so 2 each!
We're a few hundred miles away from both sets of parents. Both sides visit 2-3 times per year for 4-5 days at a time. I tidy the house before they arrive and make dinner. That's it. Everyone does their own breakfast when they get up. DM/MIL do lunch. PIL potters about fixing things. Everyone chips in with childcare and chores. Everyone is happy and relaxed.
I see FIL most weekends, but he is local and lovely and its short visits (generally an afternoon) MIL lives about 5 hours away and visits 4 times a year for a few days each time (Easter, summer holidays, Christmas and the week between hers and DD's birthdays) I honestly couldn't cope with her more than that.
My own parents rarely visit us either, I take the kids to see them or we meet up somewhere, I couldn't cope with them here for a whole week either!
DH has suggested he goes up to see them which I think might be helpful. I'm so busy and a working mum and don't have the desire or inclination to entertain and indulge his demanding parents for a week at a time - both MIL and FIL love to be the centre of attention which is demanding.
So, when your parents come to stay, does he do for them all that he expects you to do for his lot?
If he goes to see them, make sure it doesn't use up all your family time together.
If he goes up to theirs, will he have to wait on them, or will he get treated like a king? If the latter, taking the child up as oldestmum suggests would be a good idea so he has some work to do!
Just to compare, my mum will come for a week about 3-4 times a year and then house sit when we are away. However she will do all the cooking/ironing/washing/gardening in that time, keep out of DH's way (he is at home) and appreciate we don't want to spend all evening with her.
If the system was different, I would have been complaining well before DH
We see ours way more than I like, pretty much daily at the moment but they live a five minute drive away so are always 'popping in'. It's annoyingly but at least we can keep visits brief and never ever have to stay overnight, which is a godsend.
My ideal would be once a week and no overnights. We manage that most of the time but at Christmas or other busy times we see them a lot more.
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