41 answers

In-laws Overstaying Their Welcome?!

I feel torn. My husbands family lives in Texas and is always coming to stay with us for a full week during the Christmas holiday. I am thankful that we do not have to travel, yet, I do EVERYTHING and am extremely exhausted by the 2-3 day that they are here. I have told my husband that 1 week is a little much and to ask them to cut down their stay by a few days. He thinks that it is asking them way too much and it would not make their travel worth their while due to the fact that it is already a 2 day drive. This year his brother brought his new girlfriend but came the day after christmas and stayed for 3 days. I must say that I am a clean freak and get a bit anxious about not having my own space....so by the end of their stay, I am ready to jump out of my skin. My 6 yr old gave up her bedroom and bunked with her 4 yr old brother on the top bed. My 4 yr old did not have a nap in a whole week, and my in-laws do not help in any way, shape or form in cleaning up after themselves. I am up to my eyeballs in laundry-towels and bedding! Oh...my Mother -in-law suffers from depression and can be quite negative and nasty at times, we experienced this on christmas-eve! SO...do I put my foot down or just grin and bear it since it is "quality" family time? I just feel like the bad guy...why can't my husband see the stress that this puts on me? Any advice Mamas?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you for letting me vent, and I know that the only way to keep the peace is to just grin and bear it. I do appreciate the memories that my children are making and that is the only reason why I do it! I am a quiet person and I do not enjoy confrontation, yet, there are a few things that happened this year that just set me off the deep end, I think. My father-in-law drank a few too many glasses of wine one night and decided that it was a good idea to bash and make fun of my family in front of the new girlfriend that my brother in law had brought. I was horrified, but kept my composure and decided that it was not going to ruin the holidays, so I told my husband to not make a big deal out of it. But deep down, it saddens me that he took advantage and disrespected me that way, especially when it is myself and husband that hosts the Holiday for their family. So, on top of the laziness...my MIL has every ailment known to mankind and quite self-centered, it is hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel during that week. And, by the way, I have them coming for one week at each of my children's birthdays, they come for a week in the summer, and sometimes during springbreak! I AM grateful for their willingness to be close to their grandchildren, but I also feel taken advantage of in the same breath. My husband does help out, and has asked them to help by washing and loading their dishes after a meal for example, but this falls by the wayside and I am doing it at in the end. I guess that I can't have my cake and eat it too! Thanks Mamas......

Featured Answers

K.
I think that you are very lucky to have grandparents that want to visit. I think it is very wrong to ask them to shorten their trip. Especially when they drive so much. If I were you I would have my husband help me around the house more. My sister and her husband and their dog were here for over a week. I enlisted in every ones help around the house. It is only fair!
A.

More Answers

You probably aren't going to like my un-popular response...but I also say "grin and bear it" for a week. Then you can take a mini-vacation yourself or whatever....or get away yourself for a day or afternoon when they are there.. hire someone to help you keep the house clean or whatever...

But is it worth a lifetime of hurt feelings (you and hubby, kids and g-parents, hubby's parents and you) for a week?

Good Luck

2 moms found this helpful

Especially after reading you "So What Happened?" I think they are overstaying their welcome. Even when I am visiting just for overnight - even at my parents' place where I grew up - I ask continuously to see if there is anything I can do. Maybe its just me, but I see it as common courtesy.

I would consider the possibility that they might not expect their guests to do anything and mean no harm by it. However, your FIL's not-so-cute jokes tend to lean my thoughts otherwise; yeah he was drunk/tipsy/buzzed/with alcohol in his system, but alcohol tends to lower your inhibitions, so you're more likely to say what you truly feel. Sounds like an ingrate who needs to spend his holidays/birthdays/etc. somewhere else. I don't care much for my MIL, but I don't dare make fun of her or bash her in her own home.

As someone who does suffer from depression, that is no reason for your MIL to be nasty, especially if she knows she needs help and isn't getting it.

And the holidays are really for the kids to relax and have fun - not entertaining out-of-town folks.

2 moms found this helpful

Sorry K., I am with you on this one. A week is a long time to have your whole routine disrupted with the kids and family. Whoever disagrees with this has forgotten what it is like to have little ones with no nap. I do believe your husband needs to speak up and get in your corner. Set some boundries and don't feel bad about doing so. It is your home and you have a right to do so. It is far better to set the guidelines with your husband and family beforehand than do feel to disgruntled afterwards. Boundries by David Cloud may be good reading for you over the New year. Deb C

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K., you may not want to hear from yet anouther, but grin and bear it:-) Feel blessed your in-laws, your kids GRANDPARENTS want to visit. My own parents live only 3 hours away, but heaven forbid they ever come see their grandson.The one year I did try to get my parents to come for Christmas, about 12 years ago, my oldest son was about 6 or 7, my Mom threw such a fit, "I'm old ( she was only in her mid 40's), I should be able to have Christmas in my own house, ect... I uninvited them, my Dad had to call me to make ammends. My Dad would come in a heartbeat, and does every year to pick my little one up, now 6, but not my own mother. Dont get me wrong, we have a good relationship, but be thankful for what you do have. Holidays for us now consist of myself, my husband and our little one ( my oldest is off at school. And due to the economy, my husband is laid off and there is no money for even the gas to drive to their house, which we do 3-4 times a year. I would welcome them with open arms so they could see their grandsons eyes on Christmas Morning, so we could spend some time just talking. Try to look at it a different way, and be thankful. The house will still be standing, I promise:-)I have had to adjust to my husband being home, he is a big slob,LOL, but if I dont let it go, whats the point in arguing? Try a different perspective, at least your kids have their grandparents. Good Luck, and God Bless.

1 mom found this helpful

You know there are times that I wish I lived away from my inlaws but you just put me into a reality check that maybe I should be grateful they live close by ha ha! I don't think it would be easy for me to have my inlaws in my house for a full week.
Just know it's ok for you to escape to your room to read a book or whatever and let your husband take over the guest entertaining part. Maybe taking time for yourself to get a breather so you can have your own space will make it a little bit tolarable and for pete's sake sister get some paper plates cups and plastic silverware!!! :)
S.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.,
I totally feel your pain about the stress and exhaustion of the holidays. I don't have anyone stay with me for an entire week, but I'm still constantly hosting family parties and such. Like you, I'm a clean freak, and I easily get anxious about keeping up with it all (I have 3 girls who are 6, 2, and 1). As much as I hate to say it, I think it's a situation where you are going to just have to deal with it. When I get really overwhelmed, I leave the house, and just take an hour to grab a cup of coffee or something. If you can just clear your head for a little bit, you do feel refreshed when you get back so you can continue hosting and cleaning up after everyone again. I've been really stressed the past couple weeks, and I've realized it's a time of year when you are doing so much for other people it just gets to be too much. You want the perfect Christmas for your children and family, but that involves so much work. You have to shop for gifts, prepare a million "nice" meals, make sure evreyone is bathed and presentable for church, make sure your gifts are wrapped, bake cookies for Santa, take the kids to sit on Santa's lap, the list just goes on and on. Plus, you have to keep up on your regular housework on top of all this. I don't know, I think the holidays for moms is like trying to do one big job that could really use the work of several people, but it's up to you to do it all, and make it perfect. Sure, husbands help a little, but they can't do the work a mother does. :) I bet you could use a vacation! Good luck with everything!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.
I'm in a similar situation. I "grin and bear it" within reason. I do that b/c my in-laws are my son's grandparents and my son needs the memories w/his grandparents... I would say first of all, change your expectations. You are going to have more work to do. Prepare yourself mentally and try not to get anxious about it. Stress is your response to a situation. So, if you can learn to minimize your stress by adjusting your expectations, it will help you. Also, do breathing exercises when your in-laws are there (deep breaths in through the nose, out through the mouth). See if you can hire someone that can help you once in-laws are leaving or even while they are with you. Also, put your foot down as far as your kids' sleeping schedule. Your in-laws need to respect it (and it won't be forever). Maybe your husband can take them out to eat or shopping or sight-seeing or whatever while your son is napping. Try to come up with other solutions that will help you cope. Even if you take some time off and go shopping and leave kids w/hubby and family, just to get your sanity back... When we are w/my in-laws, I take my son out as much as possible (hard to do when it's cold outside) or I take him sight-seeing. My in-laws' marriage is not good and the constant bickering wears on me. When my son is napping, I send them (along w/hubby) to either the basement where we have an extra TV and sofa or out to eat or something. I try to take as many sanity breaks for me as I can even if it is just escaping to the bathroom or another room for 5 or 10 minutes. You can do it for one week out of the year. It's for your kids. Try to set healthy boundaries. A visit from the in-laws does not mean that you have to suffer.

1 mom found this helpful

I have to say K. this is a tough one.
I have in -laws that come stay from out of town and it is tiring for everyone.
We do have a good time and I do have more laundry, dishes -clean-ups also.
Could you tell your husband that you simply have to have his help? My MIL will help with the dishes a bit, and she cleans up most of her messes. When she stays longer than one week she always helps with all kinds of things so that makes it easier.
I don't see that asking them to cut their trip down would be helpful - only hurtful, especially if they want to see you enough to make the long trip.
Maybe thy could stay at a hotel some of the nights? The brother and his girlfriend especially.
If it is only a week, my opinion is that you tell your husband he is simply going to have to help you with chores and picking up and the such.
A week isn't too terribly long - though tiring.
Is it more of an issue that you feel you can't enjoy your holiday? Or that it is exhausting you. Maybe your husband could talk to them a bit for you - in a nice way to let them know how it tires you, maybe they just don't realize it.
Good luck to you. I hope you can work it out.
Happy new year to you and your family : )
C.

1 mom found this helpful

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