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Family coming to stay (strained relationship), I need some help to cope (pls be gentle)

(13 Posts)
CobOnTheCorn Thu 13-Oct-11 13:51:47

I'm fairly new to mumsnet and although this may sound trivial, I'd really like some words of wisdom/support. I wasn't a very happy child, mainly due to the relationship with my mother. I'm not an unhappy adult but I have low periods and outstanding 'stuff' I'd like to deal with...one day. So overall my relationship with my family isn't great, especially with my mum.

A few months ago my mum said she will come to visit me and dc in October, she visited in Feb just after ds2 was born and it was ok. This time she asked if she can bring my dn (9yrs), I had some reservations (there is a back story about dn's behaviour but it isn't really her fault) but I said yes because she is a nice girl and it will be good for her to spend time with her cousins.

Everything with my mum is left until the last minute so although she had mentioned she would be visiting during half term we didn't know when and for how long until Monday when she sent me a text saying she had booked her train tickets. A few minutes later my sister sent a text to say she had also booked a ticket ("I hope you don't mind"!). This has sent me in to a bit of a spin. I know some people take things like this in their stride and I also know there are more serious issues in teh world BUT I'm already flapping about where they will all sleep, how much mess and noise they will all make and I'm already feeling the pressure of three extra mouths to feed. They are staying for two nights so I know I can bear it but it'll be hard work.

My mum isn't the type to help, I think she brought the washing in for me once when she stayed here in Feb, otherwise she likes to sit around.

So, how do I respond to them all arriving at once, what can I do until they arrive to not make myself crazy with worry about how it will pan out and how can I stay calm when they are here?

Thanks <takes deep breath>

HerScaryness Thu 13-Oct-11 14:23:48

OK, it's 2 nights, 3 days max.

break this down into bite sized chunks. it won't be so daunting.

1. where ARE they all going to sleep, do you have spare rooms? If not, bundle them ALL in the lounge on cushions and put you up beds... it'll demonstrate hospitality, but not too much to encourage a further visit grin DON'T GIVE UP YOUR BED!

Better yet, in advance of the visit tell them that 3 extra will be a squeeze and unless they are happy to bunk down all together in the lounge that a cheap B&B nearby may be more comfortable. Give them the option. Make it THEIR choice, so they can't moan. If they DO decide to moan about being in the lounge, offer them the B&B number and say that you totally understand. [sweet smile]

2. Food - you could perhaps suggest to them that you'll get takeaway in the evenings and split the cost 3 ways.

3. TELL them to make the beds up, wash up their cups, plates etc, a good 'Make yourself at home, followed by, you're FAMILY, not guests, I'll not be waiting on you!! grin

4. If the DN acts up and it causes repercussions with YOUR DC, TELL your sister to deal with it. Don't back down.

5. plan what you are going to do for the time they are with you, having a plan will keep your mind busy, and will help get you through.

6. Post on here and tell us how it's going and if anyone's been murdered yet

CobOnTheCorn Thu 13-Oct-11 14:40:44

Thanks HerScaryness, all very sound advice from you. I'm not good at this but shall be brave. No spare rooms, but sofa bed downstairs which has their name on it!

Number 3 is my favourite point and I'm going to go and practice saying it in the mirror right now. I think I must turn back in to a child when I have to deal with my mum (the bitch!).

Blueberties Thu 13-Oct-11 15:44:48

Fantastic advice from Scaryness. Good luck with it smile

eaglewings Thu 13-Oct-11 15:53:41

Start the day with a list of 2 or 3 things you'd like her help with, be it shopping, washin, ironing, making lunch, sewing on some buttons etc. Give her plenty of warning
Otherwise do as herscaryness has told you (after all she as a name that must be obeyed!)

HerScaryness Thu 13-Oct-11 15:58:46

eaglewings grin I'm not that scary reeeally....

tranquilitygardens Thu 13-Oct-11 16:01:10

I am going to suggest to go against the grain, don't bark a list or orders at t
them!

I will have a think and come back later though x

buzzskeleton Thu 13-Oct-11 16:03:37

Freeze some meals ahead of time, so you can just reheat rather than doing from scratch.

CobOnTheCorn Thu 13-Oct-11 16:14:55

Thanks everyone for not making me feel like this is easy smile

buzz, yes I was thinking of doing a big casserole that we can all eat together. I normally love to host and cook, it's just I get an attack of patheticness combined with panic when my mum comes to stay.

tranquility, I'm looking forward to hearing your suggestions, especially if the atmosphere is transformed to a picture of your name.

izzywhizzysfritenite Thu 13-Oct-11 19:20:27

Your mantra is 'All things must pass - and this will too in x hours/mins'

When it gets too much, retreat to your room on pretext of some urgent task that needs doing and get mumsnetting grin

Inertia Thu 13-Oct-11 21:57:58

Bit cheeky of them all! Still, at least if your sister is there then your niece's behaviour is entirely her responsibility, and you can insist that she deals with any problems there.

They can all sleep in the front room on sofa-beds- don't go rejigging the children's beds, no need to unsettle them, and don't give up your room as you might want a retreat! Do you have anything like an over-door peg rail that they can use to keep clothes tidy while they are in the front room? Are there any big toys you could move out of there to clear space?

Personally I wouldn't get them to do extra jobs like ironing, but I would expect everyone to pitch in with things like clearing up after meals- delegate if necessary, or ask whether they want to wash/dry/clear the table etc.

Casserole is a good idea, you could even make this the day before and stick it in the fridge to heat up when they arrive. Second evening meal- something like chiili with rice or tortillas is reasonably straightforward and easy to do in large quantities.

Just don't go over the top in trying to be a fabulous hostess. You have enough to do smile

CobOnTheCorn Fri 14-Oct-11 15:19:15

izzy good points, I'm going to hide the laptop in my bedroom before they arrive and maybe even have a (childish I know) little countdown until they leave.

Inertia you have absolutely got them summed up, cheeky definitely, I'm planning for my mum and dsis to sleep on the sofa bed downstairs but I'd prefer my dn to sleep upstairs so might have to do a little bit of rejigging but I'm not giving up my bed!

Clearing up after themselves is exactly what I need them to do otheriwse the house will be an absolute tip in no time. I know I should just ask them (they won't do it automatically) but it feels a bit uncomfortable.

My homework is practising my best grin, making myself a fun countdown and kidnapping Inertia so she can be here instead of me!!

cecilyparsley Fri 14-Oct-11 15:56:21

you have my sympathy, any visitors make me feel very stressed!
I'd be inclined to not put myself out too much or make them too comfortable, it'd only encourage them blush

best of luck..maybe promise yourself some kind of treat or reward after they've gone to help you through?

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