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(27 Posts)
Betty1970 Sun 26-Jun-05 08:27:21

My parents in law seem to think it is ok that if they are in the area, that they just drop in unannounced. They have done this 3 times so far this year. I would never dream of just dropping in on someone without calling them first. They think that it is ridiculous of me to expect this of them (or of anyone), and I wondered what anyone else's views were. My dh agrees with them to make matters worse.

Please help!

Freckle Sun 26-Jun-05 08:30:32

Depends on who it is, I suppose. Would you feel the same way if it were your parents calling in unannounced?

I often drop in on my parents without forewarning them and vice-versa - only problem with the latter is that the house is usually a mess and my mum is bound to make some comment on my lack of housekeeping skills - but I'd rather see them than not. My MIL rarely sees us so calling in unannounced is not likely to happen - even though she only lives about 3 miles away.

So, no, it's not a problem for me, but, as it clearly is for you, then I think people should respect that.

bobbybob Sun 26-Jun-05 08:35:16

I work from home and so I would find it a huge problem if people just dropped in. In Laws came around the other day just as we got back from a weekend away (and before DS was brought back by my parents) and we said "we want to enjoy our last hour of peace alone, so it's lovely to see you, here's a hug, now we are going to shut the door."

KBear Sun 26-Jun-05 08:36:45

Could you say to your MIL "give me a call next time you're passing so I can clear the toys away and make the place look respectable" - all nonchalant and calm and in a jokey way. She might take the hint.

My parents can drop in any time and I don't have a problem but if I see my inlaws walking up the path without prior warning I do get a bit stressed because it's always when I'm up to my eyeballs in housework or the kids are camping in the hall or something. BUT I'm sure they just want to see you and the family and don't care about anything else.

KiwiKate Sun 26-Jun-05 08:41:54

I always prefer advance warning of IL's dropping by.

Difficult to deal with if DH does not share your view. Guess the only thing you can do is tell him that it is something that is really important to you, and that you need his support on. Tell him that this is something that will help you enjoy their visits more. It is a small thing you are asking for, and it is really in his best interests for you to have a good relationship with the IL's.

It is your house and it is annoying that they do not respect your views. Hopefully DH will respect your views and support you just because you tell him that it is important to you.

I think he should be the one to ask them to call in advance.

I guess you need to decide how important this is to you. If it is very important then you will have to take a stand (without DH support if necessary).

triceratops Sun 26-Jun-05 08:47:26

I drop in on my PIL when I am passing (they are only 10 mins away) and they do the same to me. Ds sees granny every time she goes to Sainsburys as I live around the corner . It was a bit wierd at first but I have got used to it.

If your dh agrees with it then I can see why PIL do it. It is just the way that family treat each other in his family.

sobernow Sun 26-Jun-05 08:52:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lilaclotus Sun 26-Jun-05 08:56:44

i'd be very angry if someone turned up unannounced. at my mum's house people did it all the time and i hated it. we live 45min away from my dh's family, so they usually let us know if they want to come over to save themselves a wasted journey.

Nightynight Sun 26-Jun-05 09:11:54

would you be angry if your mum turned up unannounced?

mogwai Sun 26-Jun-05 09:20:05

My mother turns up unannounced at everyone's house but mine. It seems to be acceptable to the rest of the family. She didn't used to do it to my cousin until he had two children in quick succession, now her car is always parked outside his house at weekends.

She has no man in her life and also no friends other than work colleagues, she doesn't see them outside work. She's quite a difficult woman, paranoid, selfish, immature.

She wrote me a letter once. One of the points she raised was that she felt she "needed an appointment to come and see me". She has no idea that this is the way many people behave - in her paranoia, she thought she was the only one who had to telephone prior to visiting.

Am about to have my first baby. I think she now sees herself being here most weekends instead of playing dollies at my cousin's house. She loves babies but gets bored when they grow up.

What the hell will I do?

Nightynight Sun 26-Jun-05 09:36:46

I find it a bit wierd actually that a mother and child (even if grown up) should have to phone each other before visiting.

Unfortunately, my mother is of the opposite view. She wants ample warning, but she is a control freak.

I wouldnt call on anyone else unannounced.

Nightynight Sun 26-Jun-05 09:37:37

this is a subject that has caused huge rows amongst previous generations in my family. Its interesting to see that we are apparently not unique!

mogwai Sun 26-Jun-05 09:41:55

if your mother had been as abusive as mine, you would not find it weird!

Yeah, it's maybe not how things should be. I reckon if she wasn't so difficult, I'd feel differently - her turning up would feel so natural.

Unfortunately not everyone has a lovely mum! Mine could cause an arguement in an empty house (I bet she argues with herself when she's alone). Who wants that over their bacon butty and sunday papers?

Nightynight Sun 26-Jun-05 09:44:50

I cant stand my mum actually. you wouldnt believe some of the things shes done! she has the right to come to my house cos shes my mum though!

mandyc66 Sun 26-Jun-05 10:13:06

they are his parents. Of course they should drop in!! I know its hard and somehow we all feel our mil is judging us...but remember her son CHOSE you!!!!!!

hercules Sun 26-Jun-05 13:13:17

I wouldnt expect my mum to check with me first if it was okay. She does call before to check I'm in as it's 30 mins drive to get here. I wouldnt expect DH's parents to tell us beforehand either if they lived near us.
I wouldnt just drop in on friends but wouldnt think twice about it for close family.

mogwai Sun 26-Jun-05 13:43:40

nighty night, you can't stand your mum?

But you think she has the right to pop in whenever she likes, just cos she's your mum? OOOh I feel a bit sorry for you! Fancy having someone you can't stand popping in whenever they choose!

Why can't you stand her, by the way? Wonder if she's as bad as mine??? You shuld post on the relationships thread, there are loads of us there with difficult mothers, I've started to think it's the same woman [wink. Some have cut off all contact with their mum, I've not gone that far just yet.

suedonim Sun 26-Jun-05 16:17:25

I don't think you should have to make an appointment to see family and friends but at the same time visitors should be aware that it may not be convenient and be prepared to go away, or just stay five minutes, if that's the case.

hunkermunker Sun 26-Jun-05 16:25:28

It's not about making an appointment, it's just polite. What if you're on the way out or had someone else coming over? It's just good manners to inform others if you plan to call in and see them.

Betty1970 Sun 26-Jun-05 20:58:03

Wow, what a lot of views. As hunker munker says, I am not saying they have to make an appointment; I just think it is common courtesy to call before turning up on the doorstep. They said that if they turned up and I was busy, I should just tell them to piss off - yeh right! I would be the daughter in law from hell then!! Re how would I feel about my mum turning up unannounced; hard to say, as they would never dream of it, and therefore I think I would be in total shock if she did! I would think there was something wrong.

mogwai Sun 26-Jun-05 21:03:26

agree with last few posts. My in laws often used to pop in when we were busy doing something else or about to go out, have friends over. We were asleep last time it happened - which I think made them realise. They give us a quick courtesy call now, which works much better

It's hard sometimes because they don't understand the extent of our social lives (hectic). They don't have this sort of life so don't imagine that we do either. can't blame them for that.

SoftFroggie Sun 26-Jun-05 21:10:38

I'm with HM.
MY PIL live very close and love to pop round. MY parents are about 40 mins away and often call in when passing. All of them will just walk in through the back door and call hello when they arrive - because I asked them to.
However, they would all always call first - often just 5 mins before from their mobile on the road. I certainly wouldn't expect an appointment, but I'd want the opportunity to say "sorry, I'm about to go out / got someone else round / sorry, really not convenient".
So - I don't think you should insist on 'appointments made in advance' but a buzz just before they pop in seems very reasonable to me. Surprised how many people would just drop in on people without any warning.

However, you do need to tread carefully and get DH on your side to manage this without raising hackles. They and lots of other people think it's perfectly reasonable, and you wouldn't want to appear unreasonable.

Flossam Sun 26-Jun-05 21:14:07

My PIL haven't even bothered calling to see how DS is/was at all since he was about a month all. Phone calls are rare and only ever because she wants something. It is nice that they want to see you (and children?), kind of think they are family and it would be nice to be like this.

Betty1970 Mon 27-Jun-05 16:41:08

Yep, that's all I am asking for. A quick phone call. We shall see what happens going forward, but having had a confrontation on Saturday, I think they are going to continue dropping in as that's the way they do things. Their argument is that they would be happy for us to drop in with no warning, but my argument is it is my house (and dh's) and I prefer a phone call. The most annoying things is that dh is never around when fil drops in, so he is not even "affected" per se.

Nightynight Mon 27-Jun-05 16:47:38

hi mogwai
its just that I think we have certain rights and responsibilities that are irrespective of whether we actually like people or not. hope that doesnt sound too pompous!

i wondered if you were my sister actually! but she has no kids.

I more or less dont speak to my mother now after 8 destructive years. if she did come to see us it would be a step forward, but she wont. We'd practically have to do the Congress of Vienna first before she'd visit.

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