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AIBU to not want my neighbour popping round

(74 Posts)
JMcD13 Thu 28-Mar-19 16:50:58

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!

thedisorganisedmum Thu 28-Mar-19 17:41:39

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!

Crossfitgirl Thu 28-Mar-19 17:42:23

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?

DC3dilemma Thu 28-Mar-19 17:42:30


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.....”

IamtheDevilsAvocado Thu 28-Mar-19 17:43:25

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 confused.....

Piffle11 Thu 28-Mar-19 17:43:49

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.

Zoflorabore Thu 28-Mar-19 17:46:33

I think the cat is actually dead....

Boysey45 Thu 28-Mar-19 17:50:27

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.

Summer23 Thu 28-Mar-19 17:51:09

Yeah agree you’ve been too accommodating re cutting their lawn etc. Don’t put up a Do Not Disturb sign though!!!

Glitterblue Thu 28-Mar-19 18:03:04

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.

Iminitforthewine Thu 28-Mar-19 18:08:51

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.

thedisorganisedmum Thu 28-Mar-19 18:14:15

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.

hamandpease Thu 28-Mar-19 18:33:45

@Glitterblue that's positively bonkers 😮

popsadaisy Thu 28-Mar-19 18:43:35

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!

Sallycinammonbangsthedruminthe Thu 28-Mar-19 18:47:20

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!

RomanyQueen1 Thu 28-Mar-19 18:52:04

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.

burritofan Thu 28-Mar-19 19:00:11

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

CoraPirbright Thu 28-Mar-19 19:08:14

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?”

thedisorganisedmum Thu 28-Mar-19 19:10:27


I could see a scene like that in Bridget Jones gringrin

AfterSchoolWorry Thu 28-Mar-19 19:11:52

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.

SynchroSwimmer Thu 28-Mar-19 19:15:35

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!

augustboymummy17 Thu 28-Mar-19 19:18:14

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

AnnieMay100 Thu 28-Mar-19 19:30:41

She sounds like a nightmare, one of the reasons I avoided getting friendly with any neighbours when I moved house blush 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.

Summer23 Thu 28-Mar-19 19:31:52

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.

Rumbletum2 Thu 28-Mar-19 19:40:45

Omg I would HATE that 😡

SauvingnonBlanketyBlanc Thu 28-Mar-19 19:47:56

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.

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