AIBU to not want my neighbour popping round(74 Posts)
I've lived in my home for nearly 5 years and appreciate things could be far worse but want to know what others think of what I see as an invasive neighbour situation.
Our one set of neighbours lived next door when we my dh moved into the house and they developed a relationship where they would watch each other's homes/move post if they went on holiday. That I am fine with.
A year after I moved in they stepped it up going on holiday for 5 weeks and asking me to feed their cat twice a day for 5 weeks (little did I know this would also inc scraping up cat poop off their conservatory floor each day!) The following summer they went away for 5 weeks again (cat had passed away) and asked if we'd cut the lawn as well. DH kindly obliged.
Last year her DH was very poorly and when we took our week holiday I did not dream of asking them to watch the house etc and made other arrangements.
In between the holidays, she will regularly call round unannounced and if I don't answer the dooron the first knock, she'll proceed to knock the front window, call my name etc etc which I find very stressful. They have a daughter and grown granddaughter who live no more than 10 mins away so I don't see that she is constantly lonely.
I'm currently 4 weeks away from being due to give birth to our 1st child and two weeks ago she popped round saying they were going away for 5 weeks again this year at the start of May and could I look after the house. I politely advised I didn't want to commit to anything as we will have a newborn. She then proceeded to say that's fair enough....will my dh do it instead and cut the lawn. I again repeated WE wouldn't want to commit to anything which she seemed quite upset by. She then stroked my bump, which took me totally by surprise and was not at all comfortable with before saying I better have the baby before they go away as she wants to see it.
I heard her knocking the door again yesterday but ignored it, but feel uncomfortable in my home.
I've ordered a please do not disturb sign to put in the porch but feel I shouldn't need to do this for someone to think about what is acceptable.
I got home today to find to my horror that a parcel of ours has been ledt with them! I've sent her a very polite text thanking them for taking it in and to set a time for me to collect it (right as I head out to yoga so I can't hang around) She's replied saying sure but dh has sold it on gumtree....
She never comes round when my dh is home and when I tell him he says I'm overreactingand they're good people.
I just feel very uncomfortable that she drops round when it suits her and I feel it quite selfish she wants us to house sit this year, especially after I showed them much better consideration last year when their situation was diffucult.
She also has a ladder propped up against the fence and scares the life out of me when I'm in my garden trying to get some time to myself and starts asking me questions about what I'm up to etc.
It's making me very anxious to go on mat leave thinking she will come round even more and watching my every move for baby to arrive and be inviting herself round the minute our baby arrives.
Does anyone have similar experiences that they've dealt with, or any advice on how to set some new boundaries after such a long time living next to them? I will get really mad if I can't even sit with my baby in the garden without being hassled or spied on, or sleep/feeding are disturbed by her relentless knocking/calling my name outside my front door!
She's replied saying sure but dh has sold it on gumtree....
Your neighbour sold your parcel on Gumtree? Please tell me I've misunderstood.
I'm assuming she's joking about that bit, I guess I'll find out at 6pm!
She's replied saying sure but dh has sold it on gumtree....
Baby sleeping sign!! And lock the door. Close blinds. She will get the message.
Ah okay, you'll have to update!
She sounds full on. Definitely stop the favours, she's taking the piss. We're on great terms with ours but we each sort out our in house/animal care.
I think once you stop the favours that'll help. Also, continue not answering when she knocks. She might get the hint (hopefully). If she does want to come round/see the baby when it arrives, I'd have a few stock answers ready - eg 'now isn't a good time.'
It's hard because you want to keep on good terms but she's definitely being over familiar.
They asked you to look after a cat and mow lawns for 5 weeks?
That's so cheeky.
You need to say No, very firmly, We are just too busy and make sure your DH is on the same page. And I'd get rid of that ladder a bit pronto while they're away or have an accident with some rungs on it...........
Gosh this all sounds horribly intrusive. You might just have to lose your temper with her. Not nice but I am not sure what else to suggest - she obviously has quite a thick skin.
Can you get hold of one of those advice leaflets from the police about not leaving ladders in gardens as thieves may use them to break in, and put it through her door? The rest, ugh, I wish I knew the answer that didn’t include a massive fall out with neighbours. I have had the same, and it is absolutely stifling!
....and if the daughter lives 10 mins away, why the fuck are you having to cat sit or mow the lawn??
Op I think you are going to have to be slightly rude here...she will not take no for an answer and whilst you may desire to keep on friendly terms you are going to have to be a bit tougher....I would say when questioned about DH looking after the house ...DH says sorry no can do ...I need to rest and he is going to be busy,,he is very insistant that myself and our baby have peace and quiet and he is going to make sure we do...by all means you may ask him but I knw he will not agree to it at this time..hes very headstrong Gladys so approach with caution!!! Then get your husband to slam a few doors in and out and ignore them! I blame my husband for allsorts and he is the nicest guy but it seems to work,,no one asks him anything lol
oh and dont forget to mention about your lovely friend who has found a top class cattery for her cat whist she is away apparently your friend told you it was superb and highly recommended...before hand google any old cattery and chuck the number at her,,,there you go Gladys I saw this and thought I could solve you a problem...followed by a tinkely laugh and a firm shutting of the door...!!!
I'm living the same nightmare! My neighbour asked me to look after her cat inside MY house while she went away for Xmas for THREE WEEKS. I'm also expecting but she still thought it was ok for me to have the cat and the cat litter tray in my house. I can't say no to people when they ask me for something so I did it.. she would also ask what time suits me for her to call over, I would give her a time but them she would still turn up whenever she felt like it. But since she got back I've avoided her as much as possible. Like your neighbour she will come and knock on the doors and then look in the windows but I pretend I can't hear her now when she does that. I'm ignoring all phone calls and messages and I think she's starting to get the picture. I think you should try and cut contact as much as possible, even for collecting parcels you should send your dh. She will ignore the sign and will be a nightmare when you're on maternity If you haven't cut her out by then.
I feel your pain. I had this with an elderly neighbour after I kicked my ex husband left - she would constantly pop round and knock on the door. It got to the point that I'd pull on to the driveway and before I'd had time to put my handbag down she'd be knocking on the door - the kids and I used to hide behind the furniture and crawl on hands and knees.
In the end I was quite snappy with her and she backed off. It might be that you just have to give it to her straight sadly, some people just can't take a hint
I think it will be fine once you've re-established your boundaries. If you don't answer to her she'll eventually stop calling round. Don't cat sit when it isn't convenient. My neighbours and I cat sit for each other (but always clear that there is no obligation and if not convenient we'll make other arrangements). I wouldn't dream of asking someone to mow my lawn though!
Op I think you are going to have to be slightly rude here
Agree, I think you're going to have to be fairly blunt in a way that will probably feel rude - but really she is the one forcing the situation into this with her own rudeness.
Depends on the layout of your house of course, but while you're on mat leave I'd just close the curtains of the downstairs front windows (obviously this is best if your living room is at the back and you can sit in there with curtains open without her seeing you and banging on the window).
I will need to know if she’s actually sold your parcel. Coz that’s actually batshit.
I've had this too. Had to go nuclear in the end.
When she pops up on the ladder and asks what you are up to, tell her you are just trying to get some peace and quiet. When baby comes and she knocks, tell her not too as it wakes the baby up.
Find a local gardner's details and give them to her as you and DH wont be available.
If all else fails, tell her bluntly that you are finding the constant visits overbearing and just to be left alone.
Yes. I had a neighbour like this. I couldn't even go in the garden, she would come right up to the fence and peek through. If I was there she would come rushing round. I had never had a garden before and it completely ruined my pleasure in it.
I even tried to make a place round the side of the building for me to sit but it was a horrible patch and right near the traffic smell and noise.
If she came to the door and I didn't answer she would question me next time I saw her.
One time I explained I was on the toilet when she called.
I was younger then and she was much older. I felt trapped and bullied.
Anyway my landlord started a boundary dispute with her and she went raving mad and hated me after that.
Many years later she did manage to speak to me and actually helped me with something that was a medical problem I had.
Until recently, she kept writing to me, but I never answer.
She was lonely and foolish.
Your neighbour sounds terribly demanding and I think you need to both stop helping her out. The baby is also a brilliant excuse for that.
Stop answering the door to her and always say how busy you are. x
You definitely need to set the boundaries before your baby arrives or she will be round all the time.
Pretend you don't notice her tantrum. She sounds awful.
Yes! I’ve been through this. My husbands Aunty lived two doors down and was always popping over constraint d doing things like banging on the window, etc if I didn’t answer knocks. I was having a sleep one day at 38 weeks with our first, and she came over and started walking around our house. She came in through the back! I was furious. We got a lock for the back Door. When that didn’t stop her my husband had to go over and ask her not to come over unannounced again, don’t knock on windows etc. she was embarrassed and I think a bit put out but she didn’t do it again. I’d be direct with them.
Just tell her you'd like her to show you the same consideration you showed her when she was going through a rough time, and that you have enough on your plate without having the responsibility of their house to look after as well!
Just explain its your first child, it's a HUGE life change and why can't her daughter just pop round every now and again? Maybe just explain next time may be different but this time you have to say no.
It's so difficult isn't it as you are on good terms. If you explained a bit about how you feel do you think she would be understanding? Or maybe get your DH to speak to her or her husband instead. Take the pressure off you.
The following summer they went away for 5 weeks again (cat had passed away) and asked if we'd cut the lawn as well. DH kindly obliged.
why! You sound far too nice.
Next time she knocks, tell her that she woke you up and you would appreciate if she could let you sleep in peace.
Also tell her that you won't want noise with a baby!
The "do not disturb sign" is unfortunately unlikely to make any difference.
For the garden, either you can be really firm and demand privacy and to be left alone.
If you struggle with confrontation, you can borrow or buy a gazebo/ folding umbrella kind of thing to put in front of your fence and give you privacy. You shouldn't have to do that but if it helps you relax.
The only good news is that you will have 5 weeks of peace!
I'd also stipulate (politely) that if you don't answer the door, she is NOT to disturb you by banging on the windows, as you will be seeing to your baby and could be trying to rest in between feeds and surely she will understand this?
I’ve lived in the same house for 6 years and for the first time, last night, a neighbour came by and knocked on my kitchen window (side of house). Total one-off but I still feel intruded on today!
You need to do something about it, for your own sanity.
Definitely get a baby sleeping sign to stop randoms knocking on the door.
Otherwise I think you need to communicate your wishes gently but assertively.
If you can, give her a shit sandwich -two compliments/pleasantries either side of the bad news “you have been such a good neighbour to us...I have to be honest though, we really aren’t the kind of people who enjoy unannounced visits or people just dropping by and I expect that we’ll feel even more strongly about that when we have a new baby in the mix. Perhaps the best thing is to text me if you need us for something important?” At least you can control how you deal with someone by phone.
If it’s too difficult in person maybe you’ll need to engineer missing a few knocks at the door, prompting her to text and you can text back, “sorry we missed you, but since you mention it.....”
You need to put a different response on your repertoire.... Which you've already started to do!
If you do bump into her... Say hello and keep walking...
When she comes to the door, just say u I ure busy/can't talk etc etc
I had similar... Twice.... It gets exhausiting it feels s if you can't move without them seeing...
One batty neighbour used to camp out on our doorstep... We started going in our house the back way... She then realised this and kept watch to see of there was any movement in the house... Once she managed to get inside... Often saying it was cold outside and could she just come inside... She just would NOT leave... I started barring her... Never gave her coffee or any reason... Drove me mad...
Once she came in before I realised what a nuisance she was.. She popped by at 6pm...she ws still there at just before midnight .....
You need to take a massive step back - she's going to be all over your DC, wanting to take him/her for walks in the pram, etc. She'll be in your house, picking baby up out of the cot, wanting to feed him … Seriously, stop accommodating her. Be firm and polite, if that doesn't work just be firm. Then firm and rude, if necessary.
Your just going to have to tell her your too busy now for favours or chatting etc. I just wouldn't answer the door to her ever.If she knocks on the window then tell her to stop it off, that you have rests now during the day and its disturbing you.
I've had it with the NDN, who wont shut up talking for hours on an end about her family and health problems .I've just had to walk away when shes been talking or I've changed the subject etc. Bin day is difficult but I just say morning and a brief comment about the weather etc. Things are a lot better now and shes not been in the house for a few months. You just have to redraw the boundaries.
Yeah agree you’ve been too accommodating re cutting their lawn etc. Don’t put up a Do Not Disturb sign though!!!
I had this with our neighbour in our old house. It got to the point where when I was pregnant she wanted to deliver the baby!! Then she just totally took over when our DD was born, she used to lie in wait for me going out with the pram and pushed me off it so she could push it and she just to walk into our house and take DD out of my arms. I started locking the door but she would just look in the living room window. There was no escape.
I think she thinks you are friends and friends pop in you are going to have to tell her you are busy everytime she calls round she doesn't know you are not friends.
Don’t put up a Do Not Disturb sign though!!!
why not? Many parent do, and hope neighbours/sales pest/ postmen/ couriers take notice. I am just not sure the neighbour will understand it applies to her.
Jesus I thought my neighbour was bad knocking on my door every couple of days when I was due to give birth asking me why I hadn't gone into labour yet! But bloody hell you situation is another level! With my nosey neighbour I just ended up being quite rude to her (I know it's hard to do but it's too much!!!). She does keep her distance now and we politely say hello and talk about the weather occasionally but she hasn't knocked on my door for a year so winning!!! I do however see her out of the window harassing the new neighbours quite regularly now 🙈 poor things!
OOOhhhh incoming petty brainwave OP! You need a for sale sign....That will put the cat,dead or otherwise amongst the pigeons!! A home made one will do! Erect sign say nothing ...when she asks just say we get no privacy here so we are looking to move ..let that sink in...maybe you might get your point across!!You know your not moving but she wont!
She's joking with you. She just sounds friendly but not everybody likes this.
Don't answer when she knocks, it's simple.
If she wants to chat too long in the street, be busy and have to rush off.
You never know when you might need your neighbours.
This is stressful enough to read about, can't imagine living through it.
Get the Royal Mail parcel opt-our sticker: all parcels get returned to sorting office so you can rearrange at your convenience, rather than her taking it in for you and you then owing her a favour.
Put some big plant pots underneath your window so she can't get to it.
When she pops her head over the fence on her ladder asking what you're up to, say "Well, I was enjoying some solitude..." Or just breezily say, "I was just heading inside for a nap, actually, enjoy the fresh air!" and skedaddle.
Only ever answer the door wearing your coat, so you can say you were just heading out.
Hang garlic around the door and nail a cross to it for good measure
Next time you are out in the garden and she climbs her ladder (I mean, WTF?!) to peer over, let her have it full blast in the face with the hose. Then say cheerily “oh sorry Gladys - I am watering and didnt mean to soak you but honestly what on earth were you doing peering over my fence like that?”
I could see a scene like that in Bridget Jones
They have a daughter and grown granddaughter who live no more than 10 mins away so I don't see that she is constantly lonely
I'll bet they've put a few boundaries in place with her. That's why she's bothering you.
You need to do the same.
Similar problem in the past
resolved initially by keeping the vacuum cleaner right by the door and switched it on the minute I got in, also causing a blockage/obstacle to stop access.
Neighbour got used to that and persisted, so I then used to strip off my clothes the minute I got in the front door, left a skimpy bath towel handy at the bottom of the stairs, knowing the neighbour would be ringing the doorbell within seconds....I would open the door looking flustered and not properly covered up.
She quickly asked if “now wasn’t a good time”...and she didnt come again!
When I had my ds my mum stayed over at mine and got chatting to the neighbor next door the day After I came out of hospital there was a knock at the door my dh opened it assuming it was a midwife (she was in a nurses uniform) she pushed him out the way marched into my lounge and said let me hold it and demanded to know if I was bf I never open the door to her now and if she she knocks I put the chain across and open it 😂 good luck but stand your ground or your never get rid of her good luck xx
She sounds like a nightmare, one of the reasons I avoided getting friendly with any neighbours when I moved house I had a neighbour with a daughter the same age as my youngest who used to knock every day and wanted my children to go round and play, it ended up being constant and uninvited, very early in morning or bedtime, letting herself in etc in the end I had to be rude and we no longer speak even though we see each other daily on the school run.
I think you need to have a moan to her about how someone (invite friend or something) turned up uninvited when you were having a nap and you wish everyone would leave you alone, keep hinting you don’t want to be disturbed and if she doesn’t take the hint as including her I’d personally be honest with her and ask to be left alone. ‘I’ll text you if I want a visitor/if it’s urgent text me I’m too busy to answer the door/we won’t be taking visitors for quite some time/can I have relative contact number so if you need help I can pass it on to them’ headphones on when in garden even if you aren’t listening to anything, if she knocks on your window wave but don’t get up, don’t get involved in conversation a polite ‘morning’ will do. If she pesters your husband he needs to say you’re both busy preparing for the baby I hope your daughter/relative has made arrangements for garden/house sitting. May sound harsh but She has taken advantage of you so many times I think she has a cheek and you need to get this resolved before baby arrives.
She may well be lonely but she isn’t your problem, she has family local to rely on stop doing her favours and certainly don’t let her make you feel like a prisoner in your own home.
disorganisedmum really? I’ve only seen do not disturb signs in hotels. As a new parent I just ignored the door if I was busy.
Jesus christ she sounds like how Hyacinth Bouquet trying to get Emmet' s attention in Keeping Up Appearances! (Sorry if you're too young for the reference) Give her a wide birth,Weirdo.
Following as I am dying to know if the ndn's are that much of CFs as to ask you to mind their shiz for 5 weeks at a time - and with a new baba - and then to sell yer parcel on gumtree
I LOVE the skimpy towel idea. There's genius on here sometimes!
I used a less friendly "BABY ASLEEP, DO NOT RING BELL, DO NO KNOCK" myself
I used to disconnect the door bell, but not much about people banging at the door when no one answers the doorbell...
Tell her you are suffering from a very contagious disease which you don't want anyone catching and it can linger for months...tell her to close the gate on the way out....
Yes I'd get a sign as suggested above and let my close friends know who it really applies to.
Stop doing all the jobs for her - if she has a daughter living nearby she needs to ask her. She clearly has assumed you are 'on call' to her because of your kindness.
I think you just need to stop being polite and tell her to leave you alone. I would be telling her that I find her behaviour intrusive and want to be left alone. What are you scared of? If she gets the hump and stops talking to you... you win!
She’s a CF OP. I have my own NDN CF. Popping round on the guise of seeing how I am when really she just wants to tell me horrible things the neighbours are saying sbout us! Constantly appearing on my
Doorstep with her dogs when I’ve told
Her DC and I are Ill, so sorry can’t chat. She starts “oh well I’m really upset about my friend” yep ok but I don’t care, it’s freezing, I’m 9 months pregnant and look like death warmed up. Aargh!!
Does anybody else think the OP has gone to fetch her parcel and has been snatched by the neighbour?!
Has she been kidnapped by neighbour?....
Oh my goodness some of ypur responses are pure brilliance, although I certainly don't have big enough girl pants to see some of them through! I will definitely stick to setting some firm boundaries over the coming weeks and some of you saying sometimes you to be blunt to get your message across are probably right with this woman!
I went to fetch parcel at agreed time and she then wanted to bring it into my house for me and to know what I'd been buying. It was by no means heavy and I just replied saying no thank you, it's for a friend so it's going straight in my car. I added I wasn't expecting it to arrive until the weekend or I would have made other arrangements for delivery as I hate to bother people. I then left with a "gotta dash" and legged it!
Thank you for all the ideas though, def need to get dh on the same page as I'm certain as their hols approach they will ask again!
Crikey, we need to know you're safe
and so is your parcel!!!
There are a lot of radical suggestions being made, but how about just being honest and blunt with her. "I'm sorry Vera but I am a private person and don't like people knocking on my door (and windows), or talking to me every time I am in my garden. I need quiet time to myself. I'll pop round with baby so you can meet her when we are ready to share her with the world; we will be taking quiet family time for as long as we need, first." Presupposing understanding and co-operation can work wonders; "thank you so much for understanding, you're a lovely person I just need my own space in my own home and I know you wouldn't want to intrude on that."
What about saying she cant come in because you are suffering from Tourette's and then keep telling her to F off repeatedly. Anyone would get the message then very clearly.
The sly witch saying she'd flogged yer parcel. She's not no innocent yoke that's for sure. She knew it'd get a rise. I'd watch that one
The knocking on the door is easy to deal with, just ignore or answer and say you've a headache, you're expecting a call, or simply say you're too busy to talk.
However the ladder would drive me up the wall. Can you say the that it's a burglary risk - which it is - get the crime prevention people round. Alternatively can you put some sort of bamboo screen around where you sit so she can't see you, you could move it around so she gets the hint. You have my sympathies the garden thing would drive me up the wall!
Some people have the hide of a rhino so you DO need to be very blunt/rude to force them to back off.
These kind of people know that you are uncomfortable/don't want it but will play on your good nature/politeness to force you into being a doormat.
The Do Not Disturb sign is a good idea - but don;t be surprised if she feels it doesn't apply to her because of xyz...
Garden - i'd plant potted bamboo along the fence so that it grows really high and blocks her from peering over.
I live in a tenement block on the ground floor and have a current neighbour who used to take the utter piss after we got friendly.
If i ignored his phone calls/text msgs he'd be straight round knocking on my door or shouting through my letter box.
If i ignored this he'd shout that he knew i was in because i'd left the key on the door and he could see it - when i removed the key he'd peer through the keyhole so i now have a curtain in front of my door so he can't spy through the letterbox or keyhole.
He claimed to be deaf in one ear but funnily enough he'd hear every time i opened/closed my front door or someone rang my buzzer!
He would come round to my front window and knock on and shout for me if i ignored the front door/phone.
In summer he sits out the front in front of my windows so if my blinds/windows are open he can see/hear what i'm up to.
So i'm pre-empting him this year and getting potted thorny plants to put under my windows.
I finally lost my shit with him just over a year ago after he stood outside my front door in the communal hallway shouting "i know you're in there" and calling me all sorts for ignoring him.
I think the whole building - and the block next door - heard me put him in his place.
Now i completely ignore him even if i see him in the street.
At the most i'll just nod and say hi and that's it.
If i were you, the next time she asks for 'favours' i'd just say "we can't help you - perhaps you should ask your daughter?"
oh - and privacy film on your windows so they can't see fuck all when they try to spy!
Your husband needs to tell her before any more approaches are made, 'with the baby due and all your preparations underway, neither of you will be able to do any jobs for her in the future and you both need time to relax undisturbed' . If she approaches you after that you both have to be very firm as you'll know you are dealing with a nut job.
She thinks you are friends. Not her fault. You have acted as one on the surface whilst simultaneously seething.
What is the point of that?
Why would you be mortified a parcel had gone there?
Seems to be what friends do.
If you don't want to be friends, at least have the decency to tell her. I would feel humiliated if one of my friends was secretly resenting every conversation
Sorry, I should be clearer about the "relationship". They are in their 70's, we are in our 30's, we have never referred to each other as friends, but neighbours. We have never socialised or exchanged gifts on birthday's, Christmas etc. All of which I would do with an actual friend.
It has purely been a move the post/take in a parcel (normal neighbourly things) which are now being taken to the extreme and becoming suffocating. We have zero in common other than living on the same street. I've tried to be a good neighbour and now being taken for an idiot. What kind of friend would ask someone with a newborn to cut their lawn and take care of their house for 5 weeks without any thought?? Sorry but I totally disagree that my actions have given an impression of someone wanting anything other than to be a good neighbour. I just no longer wish to be taken advantage of as it's one way and way too much.
Whilst yes you have done more house watching than they have, it's down to circumstances rather than them refusing. She also does sound a bit lonely but once you have your lo having a decent neighbour could come in very handy. Yes have boundaries and don't overly encourage but don't get offended either.
OP - you've done nothing wrong. You've done neighbourly things for your neighbour, but they are taking advantage of you now.
If you’re looking for some neighbour themed light relief, check out “Two Doors Down” on BBC iPlayer, its v funny neighbour related sitcom.
All the best for your upcoming bundle OP, another vote for a homemade sign saying “DO NOT KNOCK OR RING, BABY SLEEPING” being permanently up when you are at home.
Do you ever see the daughter visiting? I just wonder, given the age gap, if you have become a sort of substitute in her mind. Anyway she is being horribly intrusive so I still say spray her with the hose. Also to any requests I would say “sorry but no I cant do that. How about asking your daughter - doesnt she live ^really close by^” and sort of tut.
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