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To think that 6pm onwards is family time?

(42 Posts)
Zil131 Tue 25-Aug-09 12:20:09

My Mother in Law (no it’s not a Les Dawson joke...) tends to have no sense of order to her life, or routine, and often eats meals hours later than I would consider a ‘normal time’; as does her ex husband, and DPs sister. This means they all tend to just turn up at our house whenever they are passing, and hang around because they like to see DS.
I’m from quite a working class background where tea was on the table at 5.30, and we all sat down together.
I’m getting sick of them all just turning up when I get home from work and hanging around. I’ve even, on occasion, made tea for myself and DS (DP often works late), and sat down and ate, but they just sit at the table and watch...
AIBU because I’m tired, working class and routine focussed, whereas they are all more free flowing, relaxed and just love to see DS (who is the only child of his generation in the family); or can I just tell them all in no uncertain terms (I’ve been hinting for a year) to bugger off and leave me to my family time after 6pm??
(DP kind of agrees with me, but he’s often not around to be irritated by it)

moondog Tue 25-Aug-09 12:23:30

Be grateful that they love your ds so much.
Would it kill you to actually offer them some food?
How staggeringly rude to eat in front of guests and not offer them any.

mosschops30 Tue 25-Aug-09 12:25:08

YANBU - I hate it when people phone after a certain time for a 'chat' too, normally when me and dh are sitting down with a cuppa watching something on Sky+ (its normally my mother).

Maybe you could tactfully say something, although Ive no idea how, its not as easy as not answering the phone is it.
Do they do it regularly?
Maybe you can suggest that you all eat together one night a week, or they meet you at local restaurant etc for a one night a week treat.
Dont know if thats any help but just trying to think of things that may keep them away

colditz Tue 25-Aug-09 12:25:47

Either dn't let them in or let them in and welcome them. it's WEIRD to invite people in at tea time then not feed them. Either be freeflowing with them or be true to your working class roots and make them some tea!

mosschops30 Tue 25-Aug-09 12:26:35

Maybe she doesnt cater for unexpected guests (I dont)
and IMHO its polite if you turn up when someone is eating to either leave or at least sit in the other room until they have finished

LovelyLulu Tue 25-Aug-09 12:27:26

YANBU, you cope by having a routine. what happens when you invite them round specifically at a certain time? Do they turn up?

Wilts Tue 25-Aug-09 12:29:10

If someone turned up her unexpectedly I would be highly unlikely to have enough food to feed them blush But I would not eat in front of them. I would probably just give the children their tea though and wait for mine.

Wilts Tue 25-Aug-09 12:29:41


LibrasBiscuitsOfFortune Tue 25-Aug-09 12:31:28

It's not that I think you are being unreasonable but I do think you should go with the flow and not let it annoy you but then I wouldn't mind people dropping in. I wouldn't bother feeding them unless they asked and if I am that close to them they drop in uninvited I would expect them to make their own cuppa.

HerBeatitude Tue 25-Aug-09 12:32:55

Um, maybe they think they are your family?

mayorquimby Tue 25-Aug-09 12:41:46

yabu simply for your working class roots. it's Dinner not "tes" (how frightful)

mayorquimby Tue 25-Aug-09 12:42:00


TrillianAstra Tue 25-Aug-09 12:44:10

Stop going on about being working class. It's annoying.

How do you expect other people to know when you are happy to receive visitors and when you don't want to be disturbed if you don't tell them?

UnquietDad Tue 25-Aug-09 12:44:22

I think it's rude of people to drop in with no notice. I hate it when DW's family does it.

TrillianAstra Tue 25-Aug-09 12:49:43

And you should bear in mind that if you are at work (and DS at school/childcare) all day and you think that 6pm onwards is 'family time' then that leaves no time at all for MIL to see DS during the week. When do you expect her to see him?

EleanoraBuntingCupcake Tue 25-Aug-09 12:50:23

agree the working class things is fecking annoying i am sure all spectrums of society are capable of being ocd and unwelcoming.

but if you are tired after work it can be a pain in the ass. can you tell them to look after ds adn you go and have a bath.

skyblu Tue 25-Aug-09 12:52:54

If DH is not around to be irritated by it...then it's not really family time is it?!

I guess that is why they stay or don't feel as though they are intruding.
If he is not there, then it's not like they are imposing on your family time together....and as someone else has mentioned....they are family

mondaymonday Tue 25-Aug-09 12:52:57

I think it's rude for people to drop in without advance warning.
For all those who would feed the visitors when they 'drop in' at tea time - do you all make enough food for an extra couple of people every night or something? I cook enough for my family to eat - surely not unusual. What do you do if no-one extra turns up - eat the extras?

PlumpRumpSoggyBaps Tue 25-Aug-09 12:53:50

I wouldn't be at all happy about it either, tbh. But then I don't like people just 'dropping in' anyway. Everyone I know will phone first, thereby giving me a chance to say it's not convenient/a visit would be lovely.

I think you'll have to bite the bullet and say something to them. Or, next time they pitch up at the door, say you'd love to invite them in but it's teatime and you're in the middle of eating. Then suggest a better time.

LibrasBiscuitsOfFortune Tue 25-Aug-09 12:57:17

If someone dropped round mine at feeding time and said they were hungry if there wasn't enough of what I had cooked (and I do tend to over cook) I would point them in the direction of the bread and jam.

Mumcentreplus Tue 25-Aug-09 12:57:48

ask them to give you a call before they visit simples..I don't like unexpected visitors much..I wouldn't eat infront of them just feed the children...if I had some to offer as a take-out I would..not understanding the working class business..and certainly could'nt make tea or not offer a drink

sayithowitis Tue 25-Aug-09 13:02:43

How often do they do this? If it is every day, then I can see that it is too much, but if it is only once a week, I would go with the flow. Maybe it would make sense for you to have a planned night, once a week, where they come to you, for tea? And presumably you could go to see them? So could you consider taking turns: your house one week and theirs the next?

I do think that choosing to make yourself and DS something to eat whilst they were there and then to sit and eat in front of them was very rude on your part. It is different if they walked in on you halfway through a meal, but your post indicates that you did this to try to force them out! I don't think being working class is ever an excuse for plain bad manners!

Rollergirl1 Tue 25-Aug-09 13:02:46

I wouldn't dream of turning up un-announced at anyone's house at any time. And I think that any sensible person that understands the challenges of getting kids fed, bathed and to bed would not turn up at someone else house after 5.00.

LovelyLulu Tue 25-Aug-09 13:03:43

OP, how often do they turn up?

Some people are very much into routine and hate being disrupted, others are happy to go with the flow. If it bothers you why not ask your DH to have a quiet word with them, making sure they know that they are welcome at weekends after ringing first?

JemL Tue 25-Aug-09 13:04:33

If someone pops in unexpectedly at a mealtime, of course they should be offered food. But if they are turning up all the time at mealtimes, it is unreasonable to expect the OP to continually cater for extra guests. Perhaps they can't afford to? I have my sister round several times a week at tea time, and it does make a difference if you are on a tight budget.

If they think it is ok to drop in anytime because they are family, they won't expect to be treated like visitors and be catered for, beyond a cup of tea!

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