24 answers

How Long Is Too Long for In-law Visit-why Is It So Stressful???

My in-laws are coming sometime in Nov. My husband has taken ALL his vacation (3 weeks) to be with them when they come, so they will be here I am guessing 3-4 weeks. They are from Oregon. They came last year for 4 weeks and the year before for 3 weeks. Last year they also brought their dog. They stay with us in a 1500 sq ft house. We also have a dog who does not get along with their dog and has to be seperated and a 4 year old boy. My MIL keeps my son up at night by walking up and down the halls at night taking her dog out. My husband and I have both asked her to be more quiet or not do that and she still keeps doing it because she is "trying to be more quiet". My FIL wakes me and my son up at 4am when he and my husband get up to go hunting. We both have also asked him to be more quiet as well, but my husband just tells me that they have a hard time being quiet. I like my ILs, but I just feel that it is too long and can not believe they bring their dog as well. They have 4 cats and 2 dogs and say they are saving money bringing one of the dogs with them (I guess I should be lucky they are not bring all their pets), plus I think my MIL likes the company. She keeps her smalll dog in the guest bedroom where my son frequently opens the door to let the dog out so he can play with her. This then puts our dog and their dog in the same area and they fight. It just seems like it is toooo long for me. My husband tells me that he only gets to see his parents 3-4 weeks/year and that his parents want to be able to spend time with thier grandson - which I have no problem with. When my parents come visit, it is usually for 1 week or less (they live in MI and CA)and I also go visit them as well. Help! how do I not be so miserable and resent them coming as I really do like them.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the advice. And to answer a few questions, yes my husband takes all his vacation time to spend with his parents and will not spend any vacation with us. He will not spend time with me while his parents are here because he says that is his time to spend with his parents.

My ILs did ask to bring their dog last year and my husband said yes. I had only found out about it a few days before they arrived (ie-he did not ask me).

I do have some soothing music playing for my son at nighttime. My ILs are so loud when they walk down the hall and open and slam doors shut that I have turned it up. Ironically, my FIL asked me to turn the music down because he could not sleep as it was too loud. I said NO!

I do not want to leave my son unsuppervised with my ILs because when he was 18 mos, she spanked him and I was very upset that she would even think of doing this.

When my father visits he only stays for 2-3 days a year and my mother about a week every other year. I visit them at their house for about a week each every year (without my husband as he has no more vacation time to go) so most of my parents visits are not in our house.

Featured Answers

What's that saying about fish and house guests? They both stink after 3 days?

I'd put my foot down with my husband - you guys don't have a large enough home to accommodate guests (with pets) for that period of time. I would tell him I couldn't even tolerate my own parents that long in my home. :P

Or, maybe you can use that visit as an opportunity to go on a mom's retreat, or girls-only vacation. They might like it too!

5 moms found this helpful

What about breaking up the visit? I mean, 3-4 weeks all at once is a LONG time... Why not do 3 or 4 one week visits? If they fly out then that won't cut into visiting time much at all. Now if they're driving, well, then I would MAYBE let it stretch into a week and a half. My ILs & my own mother were at my home for a week after I had my 2nd baby, and both my husband and I were SO thrilled when everyone left. Family is nice, but a week is a long time, let alone 3 or 4 weeks!

4 moms found this helpful

Ugh. I lived in a 1300 sq. ft. house. That is very small for so many adults, their stuff and their pets. That's why it is stressful. Yeah, it's too long. And it also means you don't get to go with hubby on a fun vacation to anywhere, since he is taking all his vacation to hang with them. I would be bummed. Personally, I have always wanted to vacation by myself. This sounds like the perfect opportunity, if you are so inclined, to take a stack of books, some face cream, and a rental at the beach.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

What's that saying about fish and house guests? They both stink after 3 days?

I'd put my foot down with my husband - you guys don't have a large enough home to accommodate guests (with pets) for that period of time. I would tell him I couldn't even tolerate my own parents that long in my home. :P

Or, maybe you can use that visit as an opportunity to go on a mom's retreat, or girls-only vacation. They might like it too!

5 moms found this helpful

What about breaking up the visit? I mean, 3-4 weeks all at once is a LONG time... Why not do 3 or 4 one week visits? If they fly out then that won't cut into visiting time much at all. Now if they're driving, well, then I would MAYBE let it stretch into a week and a half. My ILs & my own mother were at my home for a week after I had my 2nd baby, and both my husband and I were SO thrilled when everyone left. Family is nice, but a week is a long time, let alone 3 or 4 weeks!

4 moms found this helpful

MY in-laws are coming in October from California.

I think about two hours is long enough.

: )

4 moms found this helpful

I saw this decorative sign the other day at the store and if it was a different color scheme I would have purchased it:

"Friends always welcome, Family call first"

That is a really long visit! I would be slightly annoyed honestly.. Plan a lot of day trips?? Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

WOW. I would not be able to stand anyone that long.

3 moms found this helpful

I think you need to have a meeting with your husband and explain to him that it is too long a time to be with people you rarely ever see. Perhaps you guys could spend a week or so with them at their house. That way they can have the dirt and mess.

Visiting is nice but when someone does come they should be sefl-sufficient and can do things without having to be entertained. I know I am different. I visit family but I also have things I can do to keep myself busy, quiet and out of the way. After about a week I am ready to go back to my place.

Hubby has to learn that he has a new little family that comes before mom and dad and that new boundaries have to be created or your marriage may fail.

Good luck to you.

The other S.

PS I would never think of bringing my dog with me unless all got along. Besides there are vets that have boarding and that is part of traveling.

3 moms found this helpful

Ugh. I lived in a 1300 sq. ft. house. That is very small for so many adults, their stuff and their pets. That's why it is stressful. Yeah, it's too long. And it also means you don't get to go with hubby on a fun vacation to anywhere, since he is taking all his vacation to hang with them. I would be bummed. Personally, I have always wanted to vacation by myself. This sounds like the perfect opportunity, if you are so inclined, to take a stack of books, some face cream, and a rental at the beach.

3 moms found this helpful

A vacation is about having fun - not stress.

I love my parents to death but can really handle a visit for about 7 to 10 days. Especially in their home - my grandmother lives with them and DEMANDS a set feeding time for her diabetes...so we eat dinner at 5PM (which would be a late lunch for us)...so my kids end up being hungry around 9PM and my mom is a dream - she fixes them something understanding the time change...when they come here? the most they've been here is 3 weeks and they came in the motor home so it was good...we had breaks in the evening!! :)

My FIL? I can handle him for 3 days - MAX!!! He is a heavy drinker (not beer but alcohol) and, like my husband, loves to sleep so it's not like we really "visit"...

I would seriously talk with my husband and ask him to give specific dates they will be here..I would also make a place for their dog to stay - whether it be at a kennel or what - but that's not fair to your dog or your son...

GOOD LUCK!!

2 moms found this helpful

I think you need to talk to your husband. After 2.5 weeks, my OWN family (that I live with) was too close for comfort on our vacation.

Other things to consider: are there other family they can visit? Can your DH take them somewhere for a bit (like camp while hunting?). Can your DH ask them to board the dog?

Your son also needs to know to leave the dog alone because letting the dog out so it fights with your dog is huge.

If your husband wants to see his folks for that long, what about 1.5 weeks at a time? Or he/you visit them vs always hosting?

2 moms found this helpful

Oh my goodness, when we have guests, whether my parents or my in-laws, 4 days is about my max before I start losing it.

ETA:
And 3-4 weeks a year for out of state in-laws is a LOT to see them.

My parents come visit for 1 long weekend every 3-4 months.
My in-laws come once a year, for about 5 days, and we visit them once a year for the same time.

Time to cut the cord.

2 moms found this helpful

I dont let anyone stay more than 5days. Not my family or my husbands. And if anyone had pets I wouldnt let the pets stay at all -My dogs arent too friendly with other dogs at all. I think it might be better for everyones sanity if the inlaws stayed in a hotel.

2 moms found this helpful

Oh my goodness no...that is TOO long. It might be a bit easier if you lived in a 5,000 sf house and they could have their own space. Did they even ask to bring their dog? If not, then that is a HUGE no-no considering they know that their dog doesn't get along with yours. What are your DH and his parents thinking???? Do they not see how disruptive this long of a visit is to your household? And they cannot even manage to be quiet during night-time hours to not disturb your son? I think you need to make a stand with your husband. Doesn't he want to take a vacation with you and your son? It sounds like he won't have any time left to do something with the family that you and he created...

2 moms found this helpful

You know, you could go spend a long weekend with some of your family in the middle of their visit to get a break from them. I understand what your husband is saying. It is a long long long visit and of course it is hard on you guys.

Hubby could also make sure he is quieter. That falls on him entirely. They could go outside to visit and get things ready to leave.

The option for the nighttime dog walks is dog pooh/pee on the flooring so she can go out anytime the dog needs it. Your son might do well to have a white noise machine in his room if he is that light of a sleeper.

1 mom found this helpful

I think you have done a very good job defining what is too long. :)

At worst I get my in laws for a weekend but they don't bring along animals and such. :) They usually bring food. :D

1 mom found this helpful

My MIL comes for 2 weeks every time. And everytime she leaves we are fighting. It's too long. The last time she came for 5 days and it was fine. We don't ever get along GREAT, but we were able to enjoy the 5 days. More than enough for me!

1 mom found this helpful

How long is too long? You really want to know?
1 hour. If my MIL visits us for 1 hr I will drink myself into oblivion. By the way, I rarely drink.
She does not visit.
She asked to come visit about a month ago and I asked her not to.
For you, offer to pay for that last pet to be put in a kennel.
Better yet, tell your husband, to talk to them to not bring their dog.

1 mom found this helpful

I hope you can get your husband to see your side of this. Unless he does, it won't change.
Maybe they can cut the time down and he could go alone to see them for a week at their place.

1 mom found this helpful

Wow. Three whole weeks. That's a long time to have other people on your turf and not lose your cool. I am guessing they come in one long trip to save on airfare? (You mentioned the dog being a money saver.)

To save your sanity, I would start by having a heart to heart with your husband (if you haven't already). It sounds like he is really close to them and WANTS to spend a lot of time with them since he uses up all his vacation on them instead of his own wife and child. But, tell him that it is just too long for you to host them. And tell him that you want to see him on his vacation time. Suggest that your family visits them for a week maybe and then they visit you for a week? Or maybe he could visit them alone for one trip and then when they come to visit you, you could plan events every day where you could do stuff as a family? Make it clear to your hubby that you are not happy with 3-4 weeks, that something's gotta give. You could also suggest just having them come a couple a weeks twice a year to break it up a little (if finances allow). If your husband is not willing to budge or at least discuss it with his parents, you should discuss it with his parents. It sounds like you like them and I doubt they mean to be overstepping. Just ask them if you could do shorter more frequent visits or visit them too.
If all discussions fail, I think you should just start visiting your family on the days his parents visit. At least you won't have to deal with them and you'll get to see your family more. Doesn't sound healthy for relationships, but my guess is that your husband or his parents will realize they need to make some changes. It's not like your asking them to stop visiting! Good luck.

Oh, and my in-laws come one time per year and stay about 10 days. It is a LONG time for me, but they are pretty helpful and buy all the groceries and diapers and gas while they are in town. It is just hard to get used to my MIL rearranging my furniture, asking probing questions about things that are none of her business and trying to get us new furniture or tv's or whatever. My husband can't stand his mom, so he doesn't take more than a day or two off work when they are here-since I'm a SAHM, it's all on me. I usually fare okay. :) I just remind myself they are guests, they raised my hubby, they love my kids, they only mean well, and they are leaving in 10 days. It's not so bad. :)

My parents have never visited us, but I could not stand my dad much longer than 10 days. My mom is the easiest person ever to live with though. She could live with us and only enhance our lives. :)

My general rule is 3-4 days max. I suppose if they are coming from so far away then 1 week would be fine. Any longer than that is too long no matter who it is. We are used to our routines and having our space, and such a long visit is just too hard. My husband and I have people come to stay quite often, so I know how hard it can be. My MIL comes 2-3 times a year to visit us and our son, but she only stays for about 3 days each time. She once stayed with us for 2 weeks, and I was ready to pull my hair out by the end. I would recommend having a heart to heart with your husband and make him really understand how hard this is on you. Hopefully you can get him to talk his parents into shortening their visit. Or maybe you can work it out so that you all can go visit them too. Then they won't feel like they need to spend so long with you. Good luck :)

Growing up my grandparents (mom's parents) lived with us 3 months out of the year... it could be worse! Actually they were wonderful and my father was very close to them, so no real issues until they were quite elderly and came with a live-in aide.

I digress... if this is the only time of year he gets to see his parents, just my opinion here, but I think you need to just deal with it. Your parents spread out their visits and you go see them, so you also get 4 weeks, just not at the same time.

Try planning activities that will get the out of the house. Maybe encourage them to take your son on a day trip or even better... take DH and DS on a little day trip (quiet time for you)!

In the future, suggest that they come for maybe 2 weeks and then you guys head out there for a week in the summer?

I can only have visitors 2 to 3 nights max. On the other hand, I can only stay 2 to 3 nights with anyone. I just like my time to myself too much and I get crabby if I don't get it. I love my parents and in-laws both, but there is not enough wine in the world to do 3 weeks with either of them. Not only that, but I have never smoked in front of any of them (I have never smoked in the house either) and I have to hide it, at 42 years old. I am not a heavy smoker 3 to 4 a day, but I have to hide out outside or go walk the do. It gets old after a few days........

A few hours is too long, for me. ;)

3 nights/4 days is about the most i can take. for both my in laws and my own parents. I'm at least pretty fair about it. i guess i'm set in my ways and like my house to myself with just me and my husband and kids. I'm the same way when I travel too. After the 3rd night I really want to come back home.

I didn't read your other responses but why don't you suggest they come out for one week 4x per year? Like one week every quarter? That way the visits can be spread out and it shouldn't be so stressful for you. Otherwise I would suggest a large fan in both the room you ILs sleep in AND the room your son sleeps in. The white noise blocks out a lot of other noises. But it has to be a loud one. =) good luck!

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