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To expect inlaws to respect my privacy a bit more

(179 Posts)
Honeybee85 Tue 23-Apr-19 06:50:44

I am currently 30 weeks pregnant and DH and I live in a house that officially still belongs to his parents. Since neither DH or I is a fan of gardening, my MIL and FIL regulary stop by (sometimes a few times per week depending on the weather) to work on the garden. Usually they announce their visits as I am home all day currently due to my pregnancy so I know they walk around the house and might see me trough the windows. Today it was particulary hot here, I wasnt feeling well and taking a nap in my knickers and a tshirt on the couch. Suddenly I can hear my inlaws talking because they decided to show up unannounced. I went upstairs to continue my nap but felt highly uncomfortable as they could have seen me.

I texted DH to ask him if they had notified him about their visit but this wasnt the case. He wants to complain about it later to them but I am not sure if thats a good idea because I dont want to be cheeky. Its their home after all and we dont have to pay any rent. Still I feel I should be able to dress and act inside the home as I like without being afraid to be seen.


GPatz Tue 23-Apr-19 07:26:40

There is some real bitterness on here this morning! So OP is lucky enough not to pay rent - the in laws appear to have happily made this offer to her and her DH. Doesn't mean that they shouldn't give a quick heads up to say they are coming around. It's the OP's home. Are we only allowed to make disparaging comments to evil LL's turning up unannounced and not angelic IL's?

Fairylea Tue 23-Apr-19 07:27:31

I wouldn’t like this. But then I am a real introvert and would hate feeling like people are popping round even if they’re not actually knocking etc.

What’s the long term plan here? Are you saving for your own house? I would want to be in my own home, rented or mortgaged.

sackrifice Tue 23-Apr-19 07:29:40

it makes me worried about how they will behave once our baby is born

Perhaps they could pay all your childcare bills for you as well?

Not being funny but talk about having cake and eating it.

NoSauce Tue 23-Apr-19 07:30:29

Did they come in the house?

LemonScentedStickyBat Tue 23-Apr-19 07:32:35

I own my home but when the window cleaner or gardener turn up they don’t text me first - yes, they try and have a regular routine but it’s disrupted when it’s bad weather so sometimes I look out of the window and there they are. If your ILs aren’t coming inside & you know what job they are doing in the garden (I mean they are not just sitting and chatting there) I don’t think they are invading your privacy really.

GinUnicorn Tue 23-Apr-19 07:32:47

I think if they didn’t come in just invest in some curtains or nap upstairs. I am a very private person but in this situation I think you would cause upset to what sound like lovely in laws. If they aren’t letting themselves in then they don’t seem to be trying to impose.

Sunonthepatio Tue 23-Apr-19 07:32:50

Learn to garden.

pinkyredrose Tue 23-Apr-19 07:32:58

Well you seem comfortable living in thier house free of charge so in this instance I think you'll have to suck it up. Unless you can buy the house from them or move somewhere else?

icelollycraving Tue 23-Apr-19 07:33:04

I’d love to have such lovely in-laws. Free home, they do maintenance and don’t come inside.
If you don’t like it, I’d recommend getting some independence long term of saving up. You must be saving so much, no rent or mortgage!

Redlocks28 Tue 23-Apr-19 07:37:23

They are letting you live rent-free. If you don’t like them doing the garden for you (I would be bloody grateful!), why don’t you move out?

likeridingabike Tue 23-Apr-19 07:38:54

I can't imagine anyone, let alone in-laws, coming over to do the garden of my rent free home and disappearing off upstairs. Why wouldn't you go outside to speak to then and offer them a drink. I have a gardener who comes while I'm at work but if I happened to be home I'd be putting the kettle on at least once.

Sidge Tue 23-Apr-19 07:39:20

They didn’t come in to the house.
They didn’t press up against the windows and peer in.
You weren’t naked.
Even if they had texted you might have been napping and not seen it.
They’re doing you a massive favour and might not want to religiously plan their day around your potential nap times, feeding times, etc.

I get you want to preempt any issues before baby arrives but the easiest way to do that is to talk to them! And given they only came to potter in the garden you can’t assume they’ll be popping in and out every five minutes once you’ve had the baby.

BertrandRussell Tue 23-Apr-19 07:40:11

No idea whether the in laws are nice or nasty- they could be utterly vile. But I don’t think you can stop them gardening their own garden!

saraclara Tue 23-Apr-19 07:40:22

Voile curtains. The answer is so obvious. Of course you can't say anything. Living rent free is just a massive thing in your favour. If they were coming in the house, it'd be a different thing. But yes, privacy curtains and don't give it another thought.

whitehalleve Tue 23-Apr-19 07:40:22

Do your own gardening then!

cakecakecheese Tue 23-Apr-19 07:40:57

I would not call people being in the garden while you're indoors a 'breach of privacy' however if it makes you feel uncomfortable just say you'd appreciate a heads up if they're popping over.

GPatz Tue 23-Apr-19 07:41:10

Do people get this catty when parents help their children by paying a deposit on a house? Or allow them to live rent free whilst saving for a deposit? I'm guessing you are not independent or standing on your own two feet if you accept any financial help whatsoever from your parents.

WhiteDust Tue 23-Apr-19 07:41:18

It's their house! You stay there, you don't rent it off them.
You think you should have all the rights of a tenant but none of the responsibilities? Tenants pay rent and maintain gardens themselves!
So, YABU. Your PIL can come and go as they please!
If you don't like the arrangement start paying rent, get a contract and maintain your own garden!!

BertrandRussell Tue 23-Apr-19 07:42:06

And imagine if you took over the gardening or got a gardener and the trees died.......

lovinglifexo Tue 23-Apr-19 07:42:38


NoSauce Tue 23-Apr-19 07:43:45

There is some real bitterness on here this morning! So OP is lucky enough not to pay rent - the in laws appear to have happily made this offer to her and her DH. Doesn't mean that they shouldn't give a quick heads up to say they are coming around. It's the OP's home.

The PILs own the house and still maintain their garden, their son has lived their a few years and the OP a few months.
So I can see how they still think of this as their house. A text to say they’re in their way would be thoughtful but I’m not sure they’d see it like that.

If they didn’t come in the house then I don’t think they did anything wrong if I’m honest. The OP needs to close the curtains if she’s napping during the day.

isabellerossignol Tue 23-Apr-19 07:47:01

I'm guessing you are not independent or standing on your own two feet if you accept any financial help whatsoever from your parents.

confused of course you're not standing on your own two feet if you get financial help from your parents.

saraclara Tue 23-Apr-19 07:48:14

Usually they announce their visits. Today they forgot. Don't let your partner make a big deal of it, or your lovely generous in laws are going to be very hurt.
Certainly don't "complain" though it's fine to say that you weren't expecting them and were napping, if it comes up in conversation. They'll probably end up apologising and explaining.

PrincessDanae Tue 23-Apr-19 07:48:17

I think it's a simple thing for your DH to point out that it would be better for them to drop you a quick text to let you know they are dropping by. You're not telling them not to, you're not telling them when they can or can't, just for them to let you know when they are. Particularly as you will be home during the day now, and can get startled if you've been napping etc.

Who knows, it could lead to a lovely arrangement whereby you and they catch up for a cuppa a couple of times a week when you're on maternity.

GPatz Tue 23-Apr-19 07:49:15


Yes I know that. It was an observation.

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