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To be sick of the in-laws

(27 Posts)
bessmum Sun 02-Nov-08 22:27:29

We live about 2 hours from the in-laws. DH works away one weekend a month (at least). The in-laws are desperate to see dd which I understand but are insisting on coming to ours to stay at least once every four weeks, for at least a long weekend. They don't ask if it is OK just announce when they will next be here. This means that we seem to have very few weekends just to ourselves. FIL is quite helpful but MIL does very little, they both stay up drinking till the early hours and so MIL doesn't get up till late. DH finds them more difficult than I do. We do understand that they need to see their only grandchild but feel like we can't relax in our own house when they are here and whenever they go they immediately try to arrange the next visit. We feel as though we can't do what we'd like to at weekends (just simple quiet family time or seeing our own friends!). We do go to their house sometimes but it is a bit too small for us to stay easily. They are the sort of people to get totally offended if you try to address issues. Feeling stressed that this will now be the pattern for ever, especially as expecting number 2 soon. But can see it from their side a bit too....

Tommy Sun 02-Nov-08 22:31:10

can you not be "busy" the next time they want to come and therefore put it off for another week. If you keep doing it, you may end up with them only every 8 weeks. You need to be assertive - maybe actually make plans to do something else so that you don't have to lie

How old is your dd? Could she go and stay with them on her own yet? (you may not want her to though!)

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 02-Nov-08 22:39:30

Message withdrawn

bessmum Mon 03-Nov-08 06:52:24

Thanks guys. We do try to arrange to be busy to keep putting them off but it is getting increasingly awkward. DD is too young to stay with them alone and we don't really want her to as they drink lots every night. I agree we need to be more assertive and I wish DH could talk straight to them, I'll work on him. Meeting halfway is a good idea, I did suggest it when dd was born but I think we'll have to insist on this. Thanks again.

LazyLinePainterJane Mon 03-Nov-08 08:17:59

I think you just need to cut down the length of the visits. Maybe if they weren't staying for so long they wouldn't annoy you so much, especially as MIL does nothing. 2 hours is not worth a long weekender IMO, that is a day drip. All day maybe, but a day trip none the less.

I would start by being more proactive in suggesting the visits, or suggest that you go to them for the day. This way you are not complaining or confronting anyone, you are in fact offering them an opportunity to see their grandchild.

If they ask about the long weekends, just say that you don't get many of them with DH's work, you would prefer to have more day trips so the children get to see them more often!

LazyLinePainterJane Mon 03-Nov-08 08:18:40

Leaving before the evening also cuts out the drink issue. I know how you feel, I have a similar IL issue.

hopefully Mon 03-Nov-08 08:19:08

have you tried pre empting them? before they leave after their next weekend visit say, 'oh, let's put a date in the diary for next time. we're busy X and Y weekends, but what about Z?', wher Z is 5/6 weeks away. Do this a couple of times, and then stretch it to 7 weeks. It might not be flawless, but should give you a bit longer between visits if you really don't want a confrontation. We use this strategy with great success on DP's mad dad and step mother...

DustyTv Mon 03-Nov-08 08:22:08

It must be awkward and frustrating for you. How about if they really want to stay overnight your DH could tell suggest to them that they come on a Friday afternoon about 4pm and stay the night then leave after an early lunch/late breakfast 11am-12 noon the next day.

That way they are still getting a night over but its not too much for you to have to deal with.

I do sympathise, I would go slowly mad if it were my in-laws. I would probably leave DH and DD to it and go stay at my mums for the weekend wink grin

filz Mon 03-Nov-08 08:31:13

mine do this aswell. I dont see what the problem is

You live away from them and tbh this scenario comes hand in hand with it.

try to look on the brightside, they want to be active grandparents. Let them stay but maybe try and work it to your advantage. Book a night out etc and get free babysitting

Jackstini Mon 03-Nov-08 08:36:58

Filz - don't think the op would be comfortable going out and leaving dd with 2 heavy drinkers...
I agree with going to theirs for a day once a month or meeting half way; dh should suggest!
When is new baby due? Hopefully can put them off staying for a while when that happens, jusy say too disturbing/tiring, they will have to come for the day only.

filz Mon 03-Nov-08 08:38:51

all she has to say is she isnt comfortable with their drinking whilst they are looking after their daughter

I think the trouble is people treat it as a holiday AND most probably drink more than they would normally

LazyLinePainterJane Mon 03-Nov-08 08:42:31

But 2 hours is really not that far, of course assuming they are well and able bodied. I really think the best option is to offer to see them more often but for less time. This way, the OP can go to their house. She can't stay there as there is not enough room but they can visit for a day.

The best solution is never to just say "put them off" or "pretend you are busy"...they will know you are lying and feel hurt and annoyed. Especially when you consider the fact that they only really seem to annoy the OP because they are outstaying their welcome.

I often feel with my IL's that shorter visits more often would lead to a much better relationship between us, rather than overlong visits where they do nothing and get pissed hmm

pinkdelight Mon 03-Nov-08 08:45:00

This may be a terrible idea if they're veryunhelpful, but couldn't they come over on the weekend that your DH is working away? That would make more sense as you need more help with dd then and mil would have to be more helpful in that situation. It seems like if they're insisting on coming over, you may as well get some benefit. Like can't they look after dd whilst you pop out/pamper yourself/see friends for some of the time on the weekends when dh is away? You may also feel able to assert yourself more when they're coming on your terms. And you'd get the rest of the weekends together with your dh and dd in peace. Obviously they'd want dh to be there sometimes, but it's dd they really want to see so why not play it to your advantage?

kingprawntikka Mon 03-Nov-08 08:47:15

My parents live just over an hour and a half away. They visit me every two weeks. They arrive about lunchtime, have lunch , chat with me , see the children after school , stay to tea and then drive home. Sometimes they don't even stay to tea. So i do not think a two hour drive necessitates a long weekend.

needsomeonetotalkto Mon 03-Nov-08 09:36:14

I can see where you're coming from.smile I see my PIL about 1 weekend every 2 months, they probably would rather see their only GC more often but this is more than enough for me.smile When they visit I don't make a huge effort (because anything I do is not good enough)blush I quite often do my own thing - so it's not too bad plus they will babysit.wink

bozza Mon 03-Nov-08 09:47:59

Well I think the following:

2 hours is not that far - you could go to them for the day. Go in the morning, have lunch and tea, at DD's bedtime pop her into her pjs and then into the car.

You could maybe meet up somewhere half way for lunch and a walk.

If they are seeing your DD so often they will build up a relationship with her which will mean that DD will be able to go stay with them overnight when she is a suitable age.

bozza Mon 03-Nov-08 09:48:49

But I do also sympathise - just trying to offer helpful suggestions.

philmassive Mon 03-Nov-08 10:06:40

Just to put another perspective on this, my IL's come for the day each weekend and they get here for about 10 and go about 3 so that's the day more or less covered. They live about 20 mins drive away.

I would also rather have the day to do other things but that's life. I have one full day per week with my ds's to do what we like. My dh rarely has a day off when I'm not working and the only time we are all 4 together is when we're on holiday

You're not alone in finding it a pain, I'm sure that that's why IL's were invented. Just know that you're not alone! wink

filz Mon 03-Nov-08 11:54:05

you may think in laws are a pain but we are all going to become them eventually

Ronaldinhio Mon 03-Nov-08 12:10:57

yanbu as having anyone in your house for a long weekend a month can be a struggle imho

try to take advantage of the time they are there though in terms of babysitting, time to go into town sans squiddlies.

it is important to them that they spend time with the children and that is a brilliant thing, please try to support it if you can.
They are probably trying quite hard to be a big part of the childrens and their ds's life

Think of ways that they can support you and gently implement them over the coming months

TheProvincialLady Mon 03-Nov-08 12:19:01

Well a two hour journey is not too bad for you to make either - before your next DC is due - so you could compromise by visiting them for the day once a month/every six weeks and having them to stay the next time. You don't need to stay over any more than they do surely? So you would still have half your weekend free.

I think that honesty is the best approach. Your DH needs to tell his DP that a long weekend visit every month is too much because you don't get any family time, but an overnight visit would be OK or every 7/8 weeks or whataver you feel happy with. Make it clear you are still keen for them to see your DD so you will visit them.

They can't be allowed to decide when they come to visit you and for how long without your involvement and approval. That is just rude and it suggests that they don't see their son as an adult with his own family now.

As for the drinking - do they bring crates of wine with them when they visit? I would make sure that there was limited alcohol available when they come. It is rude to drink excessively when they visit you.

SamJohnsMum Mon 03-Nov-08 12:20:37

I don't think you're being unreasonable at all - it's good that you can see their point of view, but it's completely understandable that you're both finding this a bit OTT. Although others don't think this situation is unusual, we are all different and I must admit that both DH and I would find this very trying indeed!!

It's lovely that they want to be a part of your lives, but you do have your own lives to live, so perhaps just try to make a few changes over the coming months to break the pattern - perhaps have something to do one Sunday that means they would have to leave on the Saturday or perhaps one month you explain you can't do one weekend but immediately suggest another - that might keep everyone happy and help you to feel more in control.

LazyLinePainterJane Mon 03-Nov-08 13:09:15

Limiting the alcohol is a good idea but be aware that it might not work. Dh and I don't drink so PIL bring drink with them when they come, last time several bottles of wine and a crater of lager for 2 nights!

bluebump Mon 03-Nov-08 14:07:57

YANBU - my in laws come every weekend and it drives us mad, my DP more than me but even he won't say anything. My parents come once a week too but at least come in the week and late afternoon so they get to see DP for dinner and when he's back from work, my in laws could do the same but don't.

We had one weekend when we had plans and they could have come on their way out to do something else but they refused as they wanted to stay the day instead and it was terrible, the next time they saw DS they were all over him telling him they had forgotten what he looked like and taking his picture etc (he's 13 weeks) that it's easier just to let them come. The good thing is they help out when they come which is much appreciated.

I had/have a fantastic relationship with both sets of grandparents so I am just putting up with it as I hope my DS gets the same!

TheProvincialLady Mon 03-Nov-08 14:40:09

Gosh did they really LLPJ?shock We don't have much alcohol in the house at the moment because I am pg and DH doesn't drink a lot anyway, but if my in laws did this and drank it all I would be getting him to have a word. Luckily my in laws think that a bottle of Blue Nun on Christmas day is living the high life so it's not something we have to deal with! My brother has a drink problem but he understands that we don't want drunk people around DS so he is happy to stick with what we offer, luckily.

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