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CharLeila

Visiting parent issues!

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Hi guys, hoping you can help me out.

 

My folks live 8 hours away and we get on fairly well until we're together for more than 3-4 days. We don't argue or anything but they take over the house and say they want to visit to see the kids then spend the week sat on their ipads. It almost feels like we're getting in the way of their routine even though they are in our house. It's all the little things that build up that make it all so annoying and my wife and I end up really hating the last few days of their stay and really can't wait for them to leave. Sounds awful but they always just invite themselves for a week! A WEEK! I could handle a few days but a week is way too much. We both work full time with 2 kids at school and their visits are always planned when we're all of together around school holidays.

 

Just had the latest booking for April telling me they're coming Wednesday-Wednesday during the Easter holidays. Already we're feeling stressed about it and desperately looking for excuses to shorten the visit.

 

To add to it, my mum is the most fussy eater and everything is a massive drama and we don't really have the room either. I don't want to risk falling out with them but what do I do to avoid such long uninvited stays?

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I know just what you mean,the other way. My daughter and children come to us and 3 or 4 days is just right. Any longer and you risk saying something you may regret. Do they drive or have they booked flights? Can you say you have something planned and if they could do Sat to Wed it would be great.Do you think they notice that it's too much for everyone? If they aren't it will be more tricky. Can you arrange to go somewhere at the weekend,e.g. Hotel and they pay for themselves. Then the pressure is off for the cooking,cleaning.If it's too late for Easter and they like to plan a week in summer maybe you could plan trip with them and book 2 units then they get to see grandchildren and you each have your own space.

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Thanks for the reply.

 

They usually drive but it turns out it's just my mum coming so she'll be coming on the train. Still a hassle though with the food drama and it'd mean my son would be expected to go on an airbed for a week in our bedroom. Not really fair on him. Think it's too late to say we have something planned now as we've already spoken about her coming and I never mentioned anything. I don't think they do notice that they're getting under our feet. I like the hotel idea, a mutual place with our own spaces, only downside is eating out at a restaurant; an absolute nightmare with Mrs fussy who claims to be lactose intollerant (unless it's something really tasty/sweet/fattening/unhealthy).

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As you have school aged children you could say that there are lots of things that the children want to do over the holidays, playdates etc so could they just come for 3 to 4 days (5 if you are feeling brave!) so that your children can enjoy the holidays too.

 

Esp with the shorter school holidays I make sure that I schedule out at least 25% of the time as the children need to have time to 'kick back'....I think its great for us all to still be in pyjamas playing Lego at mid day; that's what school hols are about. Maybe Grandparents would better understand from the perspective of the Grandchildren? Perhaps you could go and stay near to them? If you were in a hotel or B&B you'd have a bit more control over the whole situation?

 

Good luck!

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Could you invite your mom to make dinner once or twice? Making it sound like it is an enormous gesture from your side? Remembering all those great meals from your childhood?

 

So she can do her own shopping and cooking and you won't have to worry about her fussiness! :shh::whistle:

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If def coming, I would plan all. Get her lactofree stuff, make what she likes and freeze so less stress at time. If you are off work,have outings planned with kids,local stuff usually plentiful at Easter. If you are out doing stuff it will take you're mind off things which annoy you.Your mum might be so exhausted she decides a week is too much. :lol:

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From what you've said, your parents aren't picking up on the hints that've been dropped. Whether that's deliberate or unwitting doesn't matter; either way it reduces your options.

 

From this point on, the only way things are going to change is through a bit of straight talking. However diplomatically, they need to know what you expect or need, and you need to listen to their point of view, with both parties talking candidly and openly. It doesn't need to be confrontational, but it does, of course, carry a risk of upsetting one side or another. Understandably, if you're not prepared to go down that road, the only possibility left is for you to grin and bear it.

 

Mind you, there's nothing wrong with opening that discussion from a neutral starting point like "now the kids are getting older and more independent, we're having to accept some changes within the family. Mum, Dad, I'm afraid that includes you because it's becoming impractical to turf the kids out of their beds now, so we're going to have to come up with a new answer". At least something like that would put you and your parents on the same side trying to find an answer to a mutual problem. Nonetheless, if you're going to improve the situation, your parents need to know where they stand, and that means you laying out the new ground rules somehow.

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:clap: to the above! Majorbloodnock, you are the voice of reason! It's hard but you are quite right; sometimes things do need to be spelled out, esp if hint previously dropped have been ignored. Yes, there is the risk of someone having a huffy fit but what is the alternative? Just to carry on as before and it then gets WORSE (I speak from bitter experience :roll: ) best to nip things in the bud whilst they can be dealt with reasonably rather than let things go on as before and have a big blow up later (happened to me :roll: ).

 

Mum and Dad are probably blissfully unaware of how you feel and may well be horrified that they have inadvertantly caused you stress! Things change and, with the children getting older and wanting to do their things perhaps this is now the time to broach the subject?

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How about the youngsters sleep in the same room as the grandparents for an adventure, although as they get older . . . how about saying grandad sleeps with one and grandma shares a separate bed with another child. Split the grandparents up. If they don't like that idea then tough. Then dive in and say well it's not fair on them now they are bigger. Or pre-empt the next holiday by saying oh if you are thinking of coming we won't be around as we are here there and everywhere so unable to cater for you.

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I would be tactfully straight with them.

I would tell them that although you love to see them, that a week is too long to expect your son to sleep on an air bed for and that it can't be comfortable for him.

Add that if they would still like to stay for a whole week, that maybe next time they could book into a nearby hotel for 2 or 3 days out of the week.

You can dress it up with saying how lovely it is that you all see so much of them and that if you had another bedroom, things would be different...

 

Good luck. It's not easy when you don't want to hurt someone's feelings especially when they are oblivious to the discomfort they are causing.

It's not really what you say but the way that you say it :wink:

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Thank you all so much for the replies guys, you've all helped! Definitely food for thought but I do think a frank discussion is needed. I just need to think about how I'm going to broach the subject without causing any friction. I can't just grin and bear it as that'll probably end up with a fall out. I'll let you know how it goes

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Possibly the thing to emphasise is that the children are getting older and their needs are changing and, obviously, that has to be taken into account when planning grandparents visits. If you present this sympathetically and tactfully and from the children's point of view then I don't think they can really take offence. Even if they are a bit huffy when you first bring the subject up, once they have had the chance to think things through, I am sure that they will come round! Good luck.

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