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How often should grandparents visit?

(60 Posts)
Doris23 Wed 16-Jul-08 13:48:38

My inlaws moved 500+ miles away before my husband (an only child!) and I had children. Now my inlaws are demanding that they visit us every 6 weeks without fail. Visits last at least 2 nights, and are highly intensive as they follow the children around with a camera and dictaphone (they don't yet have a video recorder). If we leave the visit more than 6 weeks my MIL has a breakdown and cries on the phone for days at a time. They think they are being very reasonable only visiting every 6 weeks, but I think it is too much, and too fixed. Does anyone have any experience in this or any advice? It's getting to the stage where I am dreaming about divorcing my husband just to get rid of my inlaws - and I love my husband very much!!!

posieflump Wed 16-Jul-08 13:50:38

Could you visit them to save them coming to you so much?
I gues every 6 weeks for 2 nights insn't so bad
Some people have the inlaws dropping round for Sunday lunch every week
A friend of mine has her inlaws for a couple of months at a time as they live abroad
The camera and dictophone thing will soon stop
Maybe dh could suggest they moved closer?

LoveMyGirls Wed 16-Jul-08 13:51:03

Grin and bear it for now and try to look on the bright side - in years to come you will be thankful they are close to their grandparents so you can send them up there and you can have some time off

piratecat Wed 16-Jul-08 13:51:06

my ex mil cried alot too. She lives abroad. I wuold hate the regime part.

MingMingtheWonderPet Wed 16-Jul-08 13:51:08

Gosh, that does sound very prescriptive.
Can't you make up busy plans for some weekends?
How old are you children? as they get older and have plans of their own it will be easier, eg DS always has rugby on a Sunday morning.

thelittlestbadger Wed 16-Jul-08 13:51:24

Sounds very hard. CAn they do technology? Would it be worth getting Skype and a webcam set up so they can see the children more often. How old are your children? Could you say to the PILs " okay you can come down but DCs are playing football all day on saturday and then DH and I are going out for dinner on saturday night?" so you at least get a bit of a break from it?

Iklboo Wed 16-Jul-08 13:52:06

My inlaws could 'demand' all they bloody well liked!
What does your DH say about all this kerfuffle? It sounds like MIL is using emotional blackmail to get what she wants. Does she realise you've got a life too.
I'd definitely tell them no way - 3 or 4 times a year maybe. Send them lots of pics & your own dicctaphone recordings if needs be in the meantime

Or emigrate grin

itati Wed 16-Jul-08 13:52:34

You probably won't like this but I am a bit emotional today.

I would love my children to have grandparents who are so wanting to spend time with them.

Roll with it, use the time for a break for yourself, appreciate your children have grandparents, even if it isn't your bag to see them this often.

Be sympathetic to your MIL. She has one child so GC are a big deal. She may not be well, think of that.

ruddynorah Wed 16-Jul-08 13:53:02

there is no 'should' surely? it's how you all feel.

my dad visits us maybe once or twice a year, and vice versa, he lives abroad.

PILs come over at least once a week, or take dd off for the day or whatever. but they live in the same town.

OrmIrian Wed 16-Jul-08 13:53:32

Could you perhaps suggest they came less often for longer? Would you prefer that?

bythepowerofgreyskull Wed 16-Jul-08 13:55:17

We ha this when DH and i first got together. He had previously spent every other weekend at home with them
I was NOT prepared to do that.
When we got together we agreed that we would see them once a month, once to us then us to them.
When the kids came along it moved to every 6 weeks, alternating us to them, them to us.
it got a bit intense for a while I couldn't cope with the calls of when will we see them agian.
I took the calendar down one visit and sat with FiL and managed to agree to putting in a visit every 8 weeks (alternating locations) we planned to about 10 months ahead to stop the moaning at least they knew we were going to see them on * date.

Hope you manage tp get it sorted.

harleyd Wed 16-Jul-08 13:55:53

one day they wont be here

alicet Wed 16-Jul-08 13:57:02

To me it isn't so much the fact that they want to come for 2 nights every 6 weeks. That isn't such a big ask. More the emotional blackmail if it doesn't happen which would just totally put me off having them to stay!

I would second the webcam idea - my sis lives in New Zealand and this is great. Although we bought one for pils before ds1 was born (he is now nearly 2 and a half) and it's still in its box despite them saying it was a great ieda before we bought it hmm.

I also think its a good idea to try and make it work for you. Why not take the opportunity to have a break - go out for dinner with your dh one night while they babysit or go and get your hair done while they are hovering with the dictaphone. Thank them profusely for allowing you to have a break. And try and arrange the next visit with all of you together before they leave - if it's going to be longer than 6 weeks because of other commitments it might be easier to nip this in the bud if you're saying 'sorry we're doing X, Y and Z but look you can come then' so at least they have something to look forward to and won't be hassling you to come.

Pavlovthecat Wed 16-Jul-08 13:58:09

I would love my DDs only grandparent to come and visit every 6 weeks. She could stay in our front room and get right under our feet for all I care. It takes effort to get her to visit once a year. (although she does come from USA to be fair!).

I realised after my mum passed away, 6 months after my dd was born, that no matter how annoying they are, stressful it can be, and inconvenient it is, they are not hear forever, before you know it, all you and your DDs will have will be memories. The more your children see their family, the stronger and long lasting those memories will be.

Pavlovthecat Wed 16-Jul-08 13:58:31

So, yes to answer your question YABU.

seeker Wed 16-Jul-08 13:59:20

2 days every 6 weeks? Sounds fine to me Make sure that you make lots of plans for while you've got resident baby-sitters.....

itati Wed 16-Jul-08 14:00:15

FWIW It used to bug me that my FIL spent more time looking at the kdis through a video camera than he did through his own eyes, but having the DVD's to watch of the chidren as babies, as they grow, is great.

Doris23 Wed 16-Jul-08 14:01:57

Thanks everyone for your response. Part of the problem is that my MIL is rather unstable and so I don't trust her with my children - so I always need to be around when she is with them. I've been with my husband for 12 years, and my children are just over 3 years old and 9 months old. I know my inlaws quite well, but they have just about pushed me to the limit of my tolerance and understanding. When they visit we have to fit around them (they always have a new wacky diet to make them live forever). We can't visit them because they have such a tiny house. When my baby was 10 weeks old we did rent a place in their town for a week, but even that wasn't good enough for them. My MIL always has at least one breakdown when she visits, so we are always treading on eggshells, waiting for it to happen. I would so much prefer them to live closer so we could see each other for just a few hours each week, but they are not willing to move. I've got them coming this weekend, and am really dreading it.

WorzselMummage Wed 16-Jul-08 14:03:48


Think yourself lucky you have family that want to be involved and whp love your children.

A lot of people dont

I'd be gutted if we only saw either of our parents every 6 weeks and they would all be devastated to be so excluded, dd would miss out on a lot too.

Sim43 Wed 16-Jul-08 14:04:17

Yes I agree with Seeker. Make sure you go out every time they visit. Not many people get such frequent babysitting! It might even put them off a bit. However, as both my parents have passed away, I envy anyone with parents still around. Neither of mine saw my DS.

posieflump Wed 16-Jul-08 14:04:43

That sounds an awful situation to be in.
Does your dh know how you feel?
Could he have a word with his dad?
Can you just tell them your 3 year old has a lot of activities on a Saturday and holidays would be the best tiem to visit?

justaboutagrownup Wed 16-Jul-08 14:04:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

justaboutagrownup Wed 16-Jul-08 14:04:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

alicet Wed 16-Jul-08 14:04:55

Presumably you trust your dh with them though? So why don't you go out leaving him with them and the dc's for one afternoon / morning? I do this when mil comes to stay and I actually quite enjoy her company! Dh does it when my parents come to stay too and he loves them!

And go for a night out once dc's are asleep (presuming they settle OK in the evening) although I understand this is more tricky if you are not relaxed about leaving them.

Failing this just drink wine grin

bunchoflowers Wed 16-Jul-08 14:05:56

Ha ha, the dictaphone thing is funny. It's so strange, I'm sure my grandparents never followed me round with a dictaphone?? Anyone else think this child-worship is getting a bit out of hand these days? Leave them alone!!

On the alternate visits when you go to see them, couldn't you just let them go? If you just said it in a really friendly way that you'd love to have a weekend off, and that the kids would love being with their grandparents without mum around or something? Then you only have to see them every 2 months and you get loads of time to yourself as well!!

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