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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?

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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......

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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!

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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!!! :)

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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!

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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.

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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 : )

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Sounds like if your husband wants them to stay a week then he needs to help you with some of the chores that come along with them staying, or talk to them about helping out. I understand him wanting them to stay that long, but help a girl out!!

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i so understand what u are going thru, i use to live w/my father in-law. it drove me crazy, but looking back at all the annoying stuff he did that bothered me. i just think about it like this one day he is going to move on and those are the memories we will look back at and laugh, cry and move on. seeing as they do live very far away, just be glad that they come once a year. LOL
your husband should understand, but maybe when they leave u and him can talk about it, w/no stress added. good luck.

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I have been through this, with chain smoking in-laws!
Best advice is this:
Don't do everything.
Make your own private space of your bedroom.
Give positive feedback to your mother in laws negative remarks.
Examples: Give everyone a spot for their wet towels, ask them to please hang them up and use them the whole week- bedding should be used for the whole week also.
Kids should be picking up their own things and making their own beds by now.
When you get up, make your bed, straighten up your room and bathroom. When you need quiet time, just tell the family you are going to lie down awhile. You can do this in the afternoon and then an early bedtime- like when your kids go to bed, you retire to your room- read, watch TV, get ready for bed. That way you can relax.

When you are cooking, cleaning up, ask for help. "Sweetie, would you please wash up these pans?", "Mom, would you mind making the salad for tonight?"
The kids can set the table and clear the table.

If you ask them not to stay a full week, you will be the bad guy. Even if your husband asks them, they will blame you, so forget that.
Your mother in law is getting older and with age comes a little depression. She may feel a little jealous at your youthfulness and energy. THis is normal and she will adjust as time goes on. Also, menopause is a very difficult time for women, so that may be a factor for her.

In some cases, you should just take the attitude of "can't beat them, join them". This is your husband's family, you love your husband, so you have to put up with them and they must have some good qualities.
So, if they are lazy, you can try to be lazy for one week. Just put your feet up and do as they are doing. Get some good magazines to distract you. Let some things go for one week- like the bathrooms- just get some disinfect wipes, so that if you can't stand it, wipe up quickly when you are in there.

I have a feeling from your note that you are harboring a little resentment for your husband, since it is his family and he does not help as much as you would like. Ask him for help when needed. Men don't know and telling him later won't help. Ask at the time of need. If stressed, maybe in the middle of the week, you and hubby and go out and see a movie and leave the kids with grandparents.
Remember: Nothing lasts forever.
You can clean up the next week. And cherish the memories of a happy time with all the family over Christmas!

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Let some of the work slide a little it will be there when they leave and you will be able to do it your way when they are gone. They are on vacation so you should be too, it's the holidays, don't worry about it, try and enjoy. Take advantage while they are here, let them keep the kids for awhile and go out "grocery shopping" (wink wink), just take a break get a breath of fresh air. My inlaws also live in Texas and normally stay for what I think is too long. Fortunately (or not) they don't make it up here too often but we go down there usually once a year. My biggest pet peeve is that they have money and we are your average middle class family and they expect us to purchase all the food while they are here and they eat three squares and rarely want to go out (that's the only time they pay). Anyway I usually just grin and bare it, I try to get away for alittle while even if it is just to another room. Its always over before I know it even though it seemed to last a life time while they were here. Happy New Year! (What part of Texas are they from... just curious)

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Visiting family puts stress on everyone, it doesn't matter if it's one week or one day. Your entire routine is disrupted. It's hard, but I think for you husband and children's sake, you need to grin and bear it. My mom is a negative Nancy too...it's incredibly hard to be around her for long periods of time, there were several times this Christmas that I had to simply leave the room. If you feel comfortable, and if they have a sense of humor, after dinner one night toss out "Hey...who's going to help with the dishes tonight? I'm pretty wiped out." See if anyone says anything. Also, I hate to say this, but even if one of them did help it probably wouldn't be 'right' I'm a control freak and if something isn't done MY way, then I have to re-do it. :D Perhaps your husband could mention that you are more than a little stressed and feel a bit taken advantage of. He could suggest to your houseguests that any help picking up would be appreciated. In the meantime, remember...it's just one week, even though I'm sure it seems longer.

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I don't know, if it's only 1 week a year, I think I'd suck it up for the sake of the kids. Or maybe suggest, politely, staying at a local nice hotel, to help offset some of the burden on you. I understand it's stressful, but for 1 week out of 52...I think the time with family should be enjoyed and appreciated. So many families can't spend any time together, and go years without seeing each other. So I think I'd be more gracious and thankful in the fact that your kids DO get to see their grandparents and get to have that special time with them.

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Why don't you suggest that they take a day trip or two to visit some of the sites and give you some time alone. Cosi? The Historical Society? Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Just hint that "this is a great place and you should see it, but I'm just up to my eyeballs so you can go without me this time." That'll give you a couple of afternoons of breathing room without any hurt feelings.

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I am sorry this has been so hard for you. I understand your husband wanting to see his family. It is a long drive for them, so they want to make the visit worth the drive.

First, as soon as they leave, YOU go on a "housework" vacation - your husband has to do all the laundry, cooking, etc. because you are exhausted from cleaning up after his family. You do NOTHING!!!!!! Maybe he will get the message! And you can learn to let go just a bit.

Second, tell them that next year, they can stay for 3 days, but you are making hotel reservations for them for the rest of the time at THEIR expense. Your children need their privacy, and naps, and cannot give them up for an entire week. This will not get you off the hook for meals, but it may help.

Third, does your husband stay home from work while his family is at your house? Or do you have to do all the work alone? Plan a lunch out for yourself with a friend while his family is there, and let him handle the homefront. You need AIR!

Fourth, HUG your kids and thank them for being patient during this disruption. Plan some time for the kids to get out next time, too - they may also need a breather!

Bright Idea! Tell them that next year, you are making restaurant dinner reservations on their behalf at 2 different restaurants (choose their budget appropriately) for the entire family, for which they will pay, so that YOU can enjoy being with them, instead of your having to hostess the full time! If they just want you to step up to the plate and let them freeload, or if your husband objects, then GO OUT BY YOURSELF!!

Good luck!

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I don't think you should have to grin & bear it when people are coming into your home, being disrespectful, and loading you up with a huge amount of extra work. But I also don't think you should expect them to cut the visit short because 48 hours in a car is a LONG trip.

I understand that after a two day drive, a hotel isn't always an option financially & I also understand that not everyone has the means to hire a maid service to help out during or after the holidays (oh how I'd love the money to do that!).

My suggetion is, before they come back in the spring or summer, or for your kids' birthdays you send them a VERY polite letter & explain that you need help. Make it clear that you're very glad they're working so hard to build a relationship with their grandchildren & keep up a relationship with their son. Let them know how much you appricate that they travel so far to see you.

After all that tell them that you need help around the house when they come to visit. Explain that cleaning up after them & waiting on an entire family hand & foot is not something you are capable of doing for a week at a time. Don't make it about what you think is fair. Make it about what it is possible for one person to do on their own. Let them know that you want time to enjoy their visit.

If your MIL is incapable of doing house work because of her health, ask if she'll watch the kids while you work or run some errands. Ask if she can help settle your youngest in for a nap or rest time that he so desprately needs.

And as for the drinking & rude comments about your family, I'd be sure there was no alcohol around the next time they visit (even if it's something you normally keep in the house). If your FIL is being disrespectful about your family, he may need to be gently reminded that he shares grandchildren with the people he's being rude about.

I hope this all gets delt with before their next visit.

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It is only one week out of the entire year, so I say grin and bear it. It is better than you having to travel to Texas, and it may be a little hectic, but some people are not lucky enough to have family come visit. Just do the best you can and tell yourself it is only one week. Christmas is about family, good or bad. And this is your family for better or worse. Good luck and happy new year!

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Suggest a hotel room. If you can, maybe offer to pay for part of the hotel stay. It is a lot to have a bunch of people in and I think you should put your foot down. We have often stayed in hotels when we see family just to give everyone a break so we aren't always in each others space!

But it's tough if hubby isn't backing you on this. If he insists they stay with you, maybe you could get a room for one night where you and the kids can escape for a while.

That's just a suggestion....I hope all goes well for you!!

Hi K.,
My family lives far away also, so I really don't think one week a year is much to ask from your husband, its his family and as long as they're not disrespecting you, I think you should try to tolerate their one week visit and lower your expectations about cleaning and hosting for that period.
If you're a clean freak like you said, maybe you guys can hire some help (maid) during that one week so that you get help cleaning and don't feel so overwelmed (?).
Other solution would be to tell your inlaws when they get there to make themselves at home and show them how to use your washer and dryer (they'll get hint) and show them were you cleaning supplies are "in case they need to clean somethng" (they'll get that too).
Good luck!

Right, if it is a 2-day drive to your place, then to stay 2 days and leave is not worth the drive. I am at times frustrated when my m-in-law visits as she doesn't jump in and help either. But, I've realized that I don't ask for help from her either. When I ask for specific help she is quite willing. She doesn't want to get in my way or do something wrong sometimes. Perhaps your in-laws are concerned that they won't so something the way you want it done, etc. Perhaps they are just waiting to be asked. I tend to be a perfectionist...the towels need to be folded a certain way, etc. This sometimes makes it difficult for others to help - when there are a lot of (too many) rules for how things need to be done it can cause a roadblock to others being willing to help. As far as your children bunking in the same room, if it is approached as a fun adventure, what is the problem? It is a "treat" when they can spend more time together. Naps...when the boy is tired send him to bed. Yes, naps may be off schedule, but it is the holidays, that is what happens sometimes. If he is cranky just read him a story and and tuck him in for a while. Relax and enjoy as much as you can!

God bless!

Hi K.,
Well, good news is that you’ve got another year until this comes up again, right =)
What a dilemma! You love your husband and unfortunately, these are the people he came from so… yeah, you’ll probably have to grin and bear it.
I would say that it is a lot to ask of them to only stay 2-3 days with them driving 2 days just to get here. (Your husband does take the week off to be with them, RIGHT!!!!!) Making the request to shorten the visit would only offend and/or hurt people and you don’t need the guilt or stress from that!
Is there ANYTHING you can do to make things easier on yourself and the kids? For example, use paper plates and plastic silverware? Make and freeze some casseroles ahead of time? Use a slow cooker, if you have one? Have take-out menus handy?!!!!
Also, I’d just announce that it’s your son’s naptime. Could you grab your son and some books and escape to your bedroom so you two can get some rest/quiet time? (Heck, with that much chaos – bring your daughter, too!) Could your husband take his family somewhere – sightseeing, the mall – during naptime? That way you get a break and the kids get some quiet time. I don’t see anything wrong with you doing whatever it takes to make it less stressful. You should be able to enjoy this time with your children, too. Also, really communicate with your husband – don’t complain (afterall, it is his family!) BUT do ask him to help you!!!

I am sorry you are having to go through this. I have an aunt who said the first couple days you are visitors and from then on pretend you live here and help do what needs to be done. We visit our kids and this year it will be for two months. I must say when we are there both the men and women work so I keep up the house work do some cooking and help with the little ones. The one has a room and bath room just for us and the other one we stay in the music studio and have a bathroom with the kids. They say we are the easiest guests they have. Good luck and hang in there time will heal everthing.

Does your husband cook, do dishes, laundry, vacuum? If not and he isn't willing to start, tell him it's time his family stayed at a hotel.

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!

If your husband has listened to your feelings on this and is still not getting it then it's time for you to reset the visit parameters so you're more comfortable with them. As a famous advice columnist has said repeatedly, no one can take advantage of you without your help! Try to lower your clean-freak expectations for that week first. Give each person one towel and one washcloth and don't feel obliged to launder them until the visit is over. Same with bedding. Plan some meals to be take-out food, use paper plates, plastic cups, etc.
Most important, plan some outings for your husband and his family on their own so you can have the house to yourself for a bit--send them off to a movie, a museum, a sports event, a hike, and make it clear that you and the kids are not accompanying them! Then take a nap with your kids while the house is empty. Plan another outing for just you and the kids, leave the visitors at home with some ideas of how they can occupy themselves (like "There's a casserole in the fridge you can heat up for your lunch after you wash the breakfast dishes.") Don't worry about hurt feelings on their part, the worst that can happen is they won't stay as long next time. And part of your mother-in-law's depression might be the stress of being away from home for so long. Giving yourself a break gives her one too!
Finally, make sure you plan this all well ahead of time and discuss it with your husband and kids--are you the only one feeling this way? Do the kids enjoy the hectic and exciting visit?--so it isn't a last-minute surprise.

Next year long before they come send them a list of local hotel and motels that they can get a weekly rate on. Explain to them that you can not accomidate their stay as it disrupts your routine. Be nice but firm.This may help ease your tension. I am so glad I live in a 1 bedroom apartment, I gotta have my space too and Quiet time or I freak.

Could you suggest that they stay in a hotel? That way they are still around for Christmas but not always in your home.

Well K., if I were you, and your husband obviously does'nt want to hurt his parents feelings, when they do come for the Holiday, just ask them to please clean up after themselves, I know it would be hard for you at first, but once it's said, then I'm sure they would get the hint and do their part... I mean , come on. what do you have to do, And if they don't, then maybe they might think twice about coming back next year, at least you got your point across. If they care about their sons feelings, and know how you feel about them not cleaning up after themselves. I would think they would do their part, and then all would be well. HOPEFULLY!!! Good Luck.

Just thought I'd throw in my two cents...
I'm with the "grin and bear it" crowd. It's only a week, and they're traveling a long way.

Also, I think you need to take ownership of your stress. Other people can't make you stressed, it's your reaction to the situation, based on your own expectations. You can change your expectations and you can change your reactions. I know- easier said than done, especially for people prone to stress (for example, neat freaks and people with control issues). People with those issues need to try harder.

At the same time, you shouldn't hesitate to ask for help. I stay for a week (sometimes longer) when I visit my parents. I wash the towels we use if I do a load of our laundry, and my husband and I both help with dishes. My mom stays out of our bedroom and bathroom while we visit, which I think is appropriate. I keep those areas clean, and she makes it easier by keeping cleaning stuff in the bathroom cabinet. At the end of our visit, I always pull the bedding off the beds my family has slept on and start it in the wash. I think these are reasonable things to ask of visitors who stay longer than a couple of days.

I know depression is hard to deal with, both for the person suffering, and for the people around her. Please remember it is an illness, and your MIL can't help it.

Good luck! :)


You need to get some help from your husband or your boyfriend's girlfriend, or someone and not say anything to cause a rift in the family. Be glad you don't have to travel and that they come, but get some help! I would also say just don't do so much, but you probably couldn't let things go a bit, so...make someone else help you.

I am so glad my in laws live so far away. They are total jerks. They are Christian but only in their own way. They do not consider me Christian. They are very dicatoral so I was thrilled they all now live out of town. I have never even been to visit them. We do not have the funds to make the trip. They come here or did about once a year. Very rud stay up half the night expecct to be waited on hand an foot. I put my foot down I was running my own business and told them I need my sleep I am going to bed. They MUST tone it down. He of course never was distrubed by it. Now since we have lost our house we have NO ROOM for them YEA!!!. If they come they must get a room somewhere. What was always so bad was not only would it be his mother and step father but his sister and her entire family. Nine people to our 2. They get pissed if I watch MY TV. They only watch religious stations and I am BIG into Sci FI. I love sction movies too, They only watch cartoons. A bit silly to me. Point out things to your husband and don't make the stay to easy for them. Fish like guests stink after 3 days.

I do agree with your husband that with the two day drive they have, they do need to stay longer to make it worth their while. However, I think 5 days would be a fair compromise. Or could they fly out and then stay only 3 or 4 days? Another option would be to go see them every other year. This could be done in December, but wouldn't necessarily have to be right at Christmas. You could still spend Christmas Eve and Day in your own house. And you would have the benefit of going somewhere warmer for a little vacation. Let your in-laws prepare and host for you for a change! Now, when they do come to your house, you need to make it clear in advance that you will need help with cooking, cleaning, and laundry. Otherwise it is too overwhelming for you, so they would have to stay in a hotel. I would also let them know that you will not be cooking their every meal. Show them where the bread, cereal, and other foods are kept so they can make their own sandwiches, breakfast, etc... Your husband needs to pitch in, especially as this is his family. I'm sure he can find a tactful way to express that you need to cut the visits by a couple of days and that you have expectations for what they need to do around your house while they visit. Make sure they reuse their towels, and provide them with a laundry basket or hamper to put their dirty things into. Also, they need to respect your family's routines, so they should be quiet during nap time, etc... Good luck!

The one thing you DONT sacrifice is family time! HOWEVER, there is nothing wrong with setting some guidelines and boundaries - as you should. You have guidelines and rules in hotels, etc. why not in other people's houses?

Sit down and list 2 or 3 things you feel you need help with - meal prep, laundry, etc. THEN, you need to put some of the things in persepective.....like sacrificing naps for one week (IF that's not taking too much of a toll on everyone). Sometimes you need to realize this stuff is NOT a matter of life & death. If you had to choose - cleanliness and neatness over family......honestly......what is the most important?

Just tell them that with the kids, etc. it can be overwhelming and that you do NOT want to sacrifice that time, but in order to be able to enjoy it, you need some help. THAT'S NOT ASKING TOO MUCH!

If they were staying in a condo, they'd be doing their own laundry, preparing their own meals, etc. while they were on vacation, so why should this be any different? Sounds like they are taking advantage. Approach it as NOT wanting to sacrifice family time and wanting EVERYONE, including YOU, to enjoy their visit. They won't (shouldn't) be offended by this approach and maybe don't even realize you need help. You don't have because you don't ASK. Make sure your husband gets his share of the load, too. If you need to make a chart of who helps when, do it. Just make sure you plan for it and follow thru.

I know you want to hear "put your foot down". I would too... BUT I think you know that "grinning and bearing it" is really the best in the long run.

I understand your situation very well. The difference is it is my family that comes to my home and my wife feels like you. The way we solved the problem is to pay for two rooms at a motel for some of the days. I explained to the my visiting family that we want them here very much but the kids can't get out of their routine for so long. My family understood and even helped pay for the rooms at the motel. They understand that we love them and want them to stay as long as they can but they need to help with crowded situation.


Set some ground rules and be grateful that your children have grandparents with enough love in their hearts to come see them. Trust me on this, if they insisted that you always come to them instead, once your kids are school aged in a few years, you just wont be able to do it anymore. Some grand parents would rather stay where it is warm, or just can't manage to leave their lives for something as mundane as knowing their grandchildren.

Put a laundry basket in each bedroom and bath room for the in laws to do their own laundry, ask for them to do the dishes, and hire a cleaning service when they leave while you spend the day at the spa reflecting on how lucky you are to have a family who will go out of their way to be with you.


I think that you are being very ungrateful. This is one time a year. You could ask your inlaws to help in many different ways without sounding hateful. You could say, MOM, could you please clear off the table for me, or Whoever, could you please help me do whatever. Also, since it is your husbands parents, ask him to help you. If he wants their visit to continue, than I would stress to him that you are not going to continue to do this alone and he needs to pitch in and help. Don't let a little mess stop your children from having grandparents around. This won't continue forever. You may be blessed one day because of something that happens during these visits. Hope this helps. Forgive me if I sounded too harsh. It is not intended that way. D.

Okay, from heartless, old, and having had this type of experience in my past, and by the way, I owned a beauty shop and couldn't be home with the company all of the time!! Here are the rules and regs about coming and staying at my house!!
Be a neat freak once they have gone home, take a vacation from the perfectly clean home and learn to enjoy the fingerprints on the coffee table. All children need to eat a peck of dirt during childhood! Quit making yourself, your husband, and the family miserable and enjoy this time. There will come a day, in the not to far distant future, when they will be unable to make this trip and be gone from your lives forever. Try to enjoy this time with them and your children before it is too late.
1.) Husband's family, he needs to pitch in and help with the extra work while he is home with all of you.
2.) This is his mom, ask her to help with the laundry and since she cooked for him for many years ask her to fix dinner at least three of the nights they are there, she knows childhood favorites and it would be a blessing. Ask her to help you in the kitchen with the dishes etc. this is a perfect time for some one on one time with her so she doesn't feel like a guest but part of the family. You can talk about your husband's childhood, your children and special things they have done, or books you have read, etc. Make her feel welcome and family not a guest. PS this will make her feel less depressed.
3.) So, who is staying in your bedroom while they are visiting? If it is you and your husband I don't see why you think you don't have any private space of your own!!!
4.) Frankly your 4 year old should not still be taking naps. Get with the program of real life in the outside world. He will be starting school next year (probably) and there is a thing called all day kindergartern that is becoming more and more popular with school districts all of the time.
5.) Big deal your daughter shared a room with her brother while the grandparents were there. My children had campouts in each other's rooms on a bi-weekly basis for most of their young lives. This is not an inconvenience it is a great time for them to share with each other and what learn what you do for family. Thank God they are learning this at a young age and will be willing to have you and your husband come to stay with them should they move away when they are older!
6.) Instead of working yourself to death have you ever just asked them to pitch in and help get the house cleaned up so that you could all do something fun in the afternoon like go to a museum, the movies, a pizza place like Chucky Cheese for lunch? If not then you have really missed the boat!!!
7.) Grandparents love their grandchildren, they like quality time with them. Have you ever asked them to watch the children for the afternoon and gone out to get a hair cut??? If not why not? You are missing the great opportunities available to you by their coming to spend some time.
8.)So get off the horse, get down in the padlock and start to see the blessings involved and enjoy their visit.

Tell your husband that it's HIS family and HIS mess to clean up if they can't do it for themselves. Lay down some ground rules that you agree on (like making sure kids get naps or at least quiet time) and then have him relay them to his family.
Good Luck:)

Wow one time a year the in-laws come to visit for a week and you are complaining. I agree with hubby that asking them to cut their visit short would be wrong. Employ his help and let him do the x-tra laundry during that week. If your house gets dirty so be it, it won't be the end of the world. Enjoy your time and relax.

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