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Unexpected Guests (ILs...)

Ok, I really just need to know if I am being unreasonable about this, or if I do have a reason to be upset. DH thinks I am just being silly and overreacting. I DO tend to overreact about things, so am looking for opinions!

My pet peeve is when people just drop by my house uninvited or without at least calling ahead. The major culprit of this is, of course, my FIL and MIL. We moved into our home back in June, and are now about 7 minutes from my ILs house. Before that we were about a half hour away, so never really had this problem. Now that we live so close and have a new baby they want to come over all.the.time. This started happening back in June, and I told DH to ask them to please call ahead if they wanted to stop by. Sometimes I like to walk around without pants on (haha), or will be in the middle of a nap, etc. Nowadays I am often pumping and my breasts are exposed. Anywho, DH asked them to call ahead and after that they were pretty good doing so. They have a key (DH gave it to them) and so ring the doorbell, unlock the door, and walk in.

Sunday my parents were in town for Xmas, and we invited my aunt and uncle over for lunch. We had just sat down and were literally lifting our forks when the doorbell rang and my ILs walked in. I was really surprised because I had not received a call telling me to expect them. They had been at Sam's Club and bought us a large box of diapers, wipes, and a few things for the freezer - which is fabulous and I am incredibly grateful that they did so. I was irritated, however, that I had to leave my guests at the table waiting to eat. My ILs asked me if I had room in the freezer for the thigns they brought. I quickly looked in the freezer, saw there was little to no room, and frankly didn't have time to unload and reorganize the entire thing. So, I handed ILs the boxes and said I didn't have room, and went back to my other guests. ILs proceeded to reorganize my freezer themselves. I should mention that we didn't ask them to bring the items for the freezer, they decided to pick them up for us on a whim.

Yesterday MIL told DH that her and FIL were upset because I seemed very unwelcoming. Apparently I was kind of short with them about the freezer issue, and just kind of impolite in general, and they were hurt. Looking back, yeah, I probably was a little short with them. I told DH that I was extremely flustered because I was trying to entertain other guests and had I received a call in advance, I could have been much more prepared. I mean, I didn't have time to reorganize my freezer at that exact moment?!! I really, truly appreciate that they brought over the baby things and food, but they also ignored my request for a call in advance.

DH says I need to calm down and not worry about people dropping by unannounced. He's basically telling me that wanting a call in advance is unnecessary, most people don't mind unexpected guests, and that I can't stop people from doing it, and . Well, of course I can't stop people from doing it, but if I specifically asked ILs to call ahead, why can't they comply? DH seems to think that because ILs have bought us some things, they now have the right to enter our home whenever they please.

I dunno, am I being completely unreasonable? Do unexpected guests annoy any of you?

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Re: Unexpected Guests (ILs...)

  • you are not be unreasable.

    first things first, take the key away.  DH should have consulted you before giving it to them.  handing over a key for housesitting purposes, fine.  but when you are actually there, they should not have a key.

    secondly, i would reiterate directly to your ILs that you really would appreciate if they call before coming over.  enforce this by packing up and leaving if you see them pulling in the drive.

    "gee, willikers MIL and FIL, i wish you had called first.  we're on our way out the door to pediatrician appt, play group, girls lunch, pole-dancing lessons, etc."  and then leave.

    your H is wrong about this.  you BOTH live there.  and you BOTH need to be comfortable in your own home. 

  • I don't think it's unreasonable at all.  I have to ask why they have a key, though.  That makes the usual suggestion (not going to the door until they take the hint) null and void.

    This sounds like it's going to turn into a DH issue, simply because he sees no problem with it whatsoever.  Have YOU asked them to not come by unnanounced?  I mean, as you said--you could be exposed, the baby could be sleeping, you could be hanging over the toilet puking your guts out when they walk in.

  • I think that paying someone a visit without giving them proper notice is extremely rude.  I would never dream of "dropping by unannounced".  I would HATE it if someone did that to me.

    However - until and unless you can convince your DH to see it your way, you will continue to have this problem.  This is a DH problem - not an inlaw problem.  Your DH isn't setting boundaries.

    My MIL has a key to our house - but I can guarantee you that if she EVER let herself into our house without us asking her to, my DH would rip that key out of her hand faster than you could blink, and she wouldn't be invited back to our house for a long, long time. 

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  • image katorigasuki:

    you are not be unreasable.

    first things first, take the key away.  DH should have consulted you before giving it to them.  handing over a key for housesitting purposes, fine.  but when you are actually there, they should not have a key.

    secondly, i would reiterate directly to your ILs that you really would appreciate if they call before coming over.  enforce this by packing up and leaving if you see them pulling in the drive.

    "gee, willikers MIL and FIL, i wish you had called first.  we're on our way out the door to pediatrician appt, play group, girls lunch, pole-dancing lessons, etc."  and then leave.

    your H is wrong about this.  you BOTH live there.  and you BOTH need to be comfortable in your own home. 

    ITA.

    The only reason for an unexpected visit is an emergency.  And with cell phones, they can still call on their way over.

    Take the key, and make sure you make it clear to your H and your ILs that a call is NECESSARY, not just expected. 

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  • I think, if they can't respect your boundaries, they are over the line.  You and your DH need to sit down and explain to them that while you enjoy their visits, you need the key back until they learn to call first.  If they still insist on stopping by after you take their key, don't answer the door.

    You just have to teach them what your boundaries are.  It will probably be tough at first but they need to respect the fact that you aren't kids anymore.  You two are both adults and need your private time.

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  • What Maybride said.  This is definitely a DH problem.  I would calmly but very firmly explain my viewpoint on this to him, and tell him that whether he understands it or not is irrelevant.  It's the way I feel, and I'm uncomfortable with them (1) having a key and (2) dropping by without calling.  Then I'd ask him to get on board with me.

    If he didn't do it, and was unwilling to hear and support your side in this situation, then this is going to become a big, big problem, and you're going to look like the bad guy.

  • I would not be OK with them just dropping by unexpectedly... and I would be particularly PO-ed with them just letting themselves in.

    I don't think it horrible that someone else has a key to your house.  In fact I think it is a good idea that a person you can trust has access to your home in case of emergency.  However they are way overstepping their bounds. 

    If I were in this situation I would sit down with my husband and tell him that this is going to stop today.  I would ask for the key back, and let him know that the locks are going to be changed if it happens again.  This is your home, not theirs, and they need to treat you and your family with respect.

  • My IL's live about 5 minutes from us but luckily they rarely come by unexpectedly. I think it was very sweet of your IL's to pick stuff up for the baby but they should have called first. That way you would have known they were coming and you could let them know that you had guests over. That lets them know gently "be brief or drop the items off later". Your H is wrong about most people having NO problem with unexpected guests. I'm lucky, my MIL was scarred for life with her MIL dropping by unexpectedly that she very rarely does it to us (and the rare occasions they do, I don't mind at all). Unfortunately this situation is going to be hard to rectify until you and your husband are on the same page. If you were both on the same page, I would recommend that you both sit down with them and you apologize for being short. Explain that the unexpected visit without calling really made you feel like you were on the spot, especially since you were entertaining. Then I would recommend you both stating that they need to call before coming over.

    Something to think about, do they have cellphones? Could it have been a situation where they accidently forgot them at home? They could have forgotten their phones and thought it was worth the chance to stop by to drop off the items for the baby, rather than drive all the way home and call. Just a thought. ;)

  • The ONLY time your ILs should be using the key to your home is if you're out of town and have asked them to feed animals/water plants... or if there's a fire or pipes bursting that necessitates someone entering on your behalf.

    What state do you live in?  I've discovered that the whole "dropping by unannounced" thing can vary between cultures/states.  For instance, when I lived in Wisconsin, the group of friends/families I knew did this routinely and no one cared.  But moving back to Denver, I had to unlearn that tendency and get back to calling ahead.

    Basically, you're not going to win this battle until you and your DH can come to an agreement on it.  Him being OK with it does not mean it's automatically authorized and you should just get over it.  You both need to arrive to a mutual front you can put forth, and the ILs will have to accept it... as long as you two are paying the mortgage, you decide what the rules are.

    Waiting for some innocuous creativity... I'll let you know.
  • i also like to add that in the age of cellphones it is even more expected someone make a quick call if they are "in the neighborhood."

     

    the fact they can't even give you that speaks volumes about their lack of respect for your boundries.

  • Unexpected guests are EXTREMELY annoying.  IL's or not, they should not be dropping by on a regular basis.  Even if they call first, they need to ASK when they can stop by.  And ringing once & then just walking in?  No, they need to ring the doorbell & wait until you answer.  You should be able to walk around pantsless & pump your breasts whenever/wherever you want to in your own house. 

    I do NOT think you are being silly.  Your DH needs to have a serious talk with your IL's about this.  They are not respecting your privacy. 

    They were hurt by you not being a good hostess to them when the dropped by with things for the baby & with freezer food.  How could you be a good hostess to them when you were being a good hostess to your INVITED guests!? 

    It seems like they are using every excuse (buying you things at the store) to be able to just drop in on you.  And your DH is under their thumb because he doesn't see how it's not acceptable. 

    I'd talk to your DH about this & make him realize that he NEEDS to address this IMMEDIATELY.  I'm not saying be rude, just be firm.  You two are married & have your own home, family, & life.  They need to respect that.  If the issue is that they feel that they don't see enough of you guys then tell them that you would like to SCHEDULE some time to see them.  That way you can be prepared & thus be a better hostess. 

  • You are right. DH is wrong. This would drive me batty and I agree with everyone else. Nip this right now or you'll be miserable.

    My mom used to do this. Until she came al the way here a couple of times and I was either not home or leaving. She got the hint and now she calls.?

  • It is up to you to decide if you are okay with your ILs walking into your home whenever they please.

    However, this may be a golden opportunity to get on the right track.  You can easily go over to your ILs home (call ahead!) and have a talk. 

    Say "DH relayed some hurt feelings when you came by last week.  I am mortified that your feelings got hurt and deeply aplogize.  You were both so wonderful to buy so many things. 

    But it really speaks to a point that I have been struggling with.  As much as I love the 'open door' policy, it has been difficult on my end.  Last week was a good example.  I got flustered and ended up being short becuase your arrival was so unexpected.  I was embarrassed to leave my guests and reorganize the freezer, and embarrassed to leave you.  

    On a minor scale, its also made me uncomfotable to pump - what if you walked in at that moment?!  I always want you to feel welcome so it would really help me welome you and feel comfortable if you called before coming over and checked if it was a good time.  I don't mind scrambling to accomodate you and I'm sure you don't mind working with me a bit, too.  And please wait for me to answer the door.  Its a small measure of privacy that I would really appreciate you help me maintain.  Its so important to me to always make you feel welcome and I never want to be thrown like that ever again."

    You've got some control here.  Use it.  And be firm that DH has got to back you up.  You DON'T need to give them a free pass to walk in whenever they want.  He's putting his parent's feeling before your and that is NOT RIGHT.  

    And keep enforcing your wishes.  It may be uncomfortable, but it is necessary.

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  • If you're not expecting them, don't let them in.  Stand in the doorway and say "oh, I wish you would have called to let us know you wanted to stop by.  We're ____ (just leaving, in the middle of something, not ready for company right now), next time let us know and we'll plan to see you".  It took only twice doing this to my inlaws to get them to stop.

    But yeah, PP are right that this is really your DH's battle to fight.  Unless you and he get on the same page your inlaws are going to keep dropping by even if you make yourself clear. 
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  • Answer the door nekkid. That'll stop them. Wink

     

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  • You need to have a long chat with your dh.  He is WRONG.  Unexpected guests are not the norm, and I know I (and everybody I know!) would not be okay with it!  Perhaps you can show him this page and how every single person on here would have a problem with it.  What they did was very rude to you and your family, and your dh seems to have no problem with that.  You need to get that key back, or change the locks, or install a deadbolt you can only lock from the inside.  But, you cannot continue to allow this to happen.
  • "DH says I need to calm down and not worry about people dropping by unannounced. He's basically telling me that wanting a call in advance is unnecessary, most people don't mind unexpected guests, and that I can't stop people from doing it, and . Well, of course I can't stop people from doing it, but if I specifically asked ILs to call ahead, why can't they comply? DH seems to think that because ILs have bought us some things, they now have the right to enter our home whenever they please. "

    Guess what? You have a DH problem. You are not being unreasonable, as other posts have said, you both have to be comfortable with the situation. In this case, you would have been rude to your invited guests to ignore them and deal with your in-laws. You and your DH should agree on a plan, whether it's getting the key back, asking them to call first, or allowing you the option of telling them that you are busy and to please come back another time. Then your DH has to tell his parents the new plan.

    They were hurt, but they imposed on you and your guests - they were rude and you did your best to handle it. If it happens again, it should be okay for you to politely say, "would you mind storing this at your house for now? we have guests and I don't want to leave them." Blech, who wants to say that, but that's what they get if they come over unannounced.

  • I agree, you aren't overreacting and this is a problem that will continue until your DH respects your position. ?So I would address it with him- "Yes, your parents were really nice to think of us and pick up things, and I am grateful to them for doing something so nice. ?They were also disrespectful to not call ahead and to stay and rearrange the freezer when I obviously was entertaining.?I should be able to say, simultaneously, that I am grateful to them for doing the nice thing and angry with them for doing the disrespectful thing, and my feelings on BOTH should be respected." What annoys or upsets him? Is it okay with him if you do that as long as you surprise him at the same time with something nice he didn't ask for?

    It does sound like "just dropping by" is the way DH was raised and probably feels very familial and comfortable to him. ?I would point out that, while that's "his" normal, it's not "your" normal, and his argument is essentially, "My sense of normal is better or more correct than your sense of normal." ?That's not cool. ?I wouldn't let that slide.

  • image livinitup:

    It is up to you to decide if you are okay with your ILs walking into your home whenever?they please.

    However, this may be a golden opportunity to?get on the right track.? You can easily?go over to your?ILs home (call ahead!) and have a talk.?

    Say "DH relayed some hurt feelings?when you came by last week.??I am mortified that your feelings got hurt and deeply aplogize.? You were both so wonderful to buy so many things.?

    But it really speaks to a point that I have been struggling with.? As much as?I love the 'open door' policy, it has been difficult on my end.? Last week was a good example.??I got flustered and ended up being short becuase?your arrival was so unexpected.? I was embarrassed to leave my guests and reorganize the freezer,?and?embarrassed to?leave you.??

    On a minor scale, its also made?me uncomfotable to pump - what if you walked in at that moment?!? I always want you to feel welcome so?it would really help me?welome you and feel comfortable if you called before coming over and checked if it was a good time.??I don't mind scrambling?to accomodate you and I'm sure you don't mind working with me a bit, too.? And please wait for me to answer the door.? Its a small measure of privacy that I would really appreciate you help me maintain.? Its so important to me to always make you feel welcome and I never want?to be thrown like that ever again."

    You've got some control here.? Use it.? And be firm that DH has got to back you up.? You DON'T need to give them a free pass to walk in whenever they want.? He's?putting his parent's feeling before your and that is NOT RIGHT.??

    And keep enforcing your wishes.? It may be uncomfortable, but it is necessary.

    ?Worded beautifully!??

  • image zitiqueen:

    Answer the door nekkid. That'll stop them. Wink

     

    THIS

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  • You are not unreasonable.  I totally feel sorry for you.

    What planet is your DH from, where he thinks it's okay for his parents to not only come over unannounced, but to let themselves in your house with their own key?!  Get that key back ASAP!

    Why don't you give him a taste of his own medicene and give your parents a set of keys and see how he likes his privacy jacked with?  I don't think he would appreciate your parents barging in on him IN HIS OWN HOUSE, using a key that you provide.

    Your post makes my in-laws look like saints. 

  • image livinitup:

    It is up to you to decide if you are okay with your ILs walking into your home whenever they please.

    However, this may be a golden opportunity to get on the right track.  You can easily go over to your ILs home (call ahead!) and have a talk. 

    Say "DH relayed some hurt feelings when you came by last week.  I am mortified that your feelings got hurt and deeply aplogize.  You were both so wonderful to buy so many things. 

    But it really speaks to a point that I have been struggling with.  As much as I love the 'open door' policy, it has been difficult on my end.  Last week was a good example.  I got flustered and ended up being short becuase your arrival was so unexpected.  I was embarrassed to leave my guests and reorganize the freezer, and embarrassed to leave you.  

    On a minor scale, its also made me uncomfotable to pump - what if you walked in at that moment?!  I always want you to feel welcome so it would really help me welome you and feel comfortable if you called before coming over and checked if it was a good time.  I don't mind scrambling to accomodate you and I'm sure you don't mind working with me a bit, too.  And please wait for me to answer the door.  Its a small measure of privacy that I would really appreciate you help me maintain.  Its so important to me to always make you feel welcome and I never want to be thrown like that ever again."

    You've got some control here.  Use it.  And be firm that DH has got to back you up.  You DON'T need to give them a free pass to walk in whenever they want.  He's putting his parent's feeling before your and that is NOT RIGHT.  

    And keep enforcing your wishes.  It may be uncomfortable, but it is necessary.

    Wonderful advice!

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  • Completely agree with everyone else. Especially about printing this and showing it to him - he's dead wrong.

    And if my DH was as dismissive of my concerns and objections as yours seems to be, I'd tell him to go sleep with mommy until he figured out where his priorities are. ?

    Sorry he's being a dink.?

  • You are not being unreasonable AT ALL.  This is one of my pet peeves as well, but since our current apartment doesn't have a doorbell, we haven't had this problem because people HAVE TO call before they come over.  The thing is, I don't think your YH minds so you need to have another discussion with him about it or you will continue to have this problem.  GL!
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  • Agree 100% with the other posters. Where I was raised, it would be the height of rudeness to just "drop in" on someone. You just wouldn't do it.

    However....when DH and I first moved in together, his parents did just this. I was surprised and appalled, because his mother KNEW it was rude. She was doing it to try and show her dominance. We were about to leave the house, and I answered the door. My first reaction was to blurt out, "Ummm, what are you DOING here??" DH (then FI) was equally stunned. They then proceeded to walk into our home and onto our deck. We basically all just sat there in silence for about 1/2 hour. I was so pissed off, I didn't even offer a beverage. Finally, my FIL got up and convinced my MIL to be on their way. It was the most awkward 1/2 hour I could remember.

    Granted, they NEVER did it again.

    As previous posters said, this is really more of a DH problem. As long as he's on board with you, you won't continue to have drop ins. Good luck!

  • I know your pain to a certain degree. My MIL use to live less than two minutes away from us and was always stopping by unannounced and couldn't seem to figure out why we would get flustered. Luckily we never gave her a key.

    I would have to reiterate the advice of sitting your DH down, he is completely wrong in his thinking. Maybe you can print this thread out and show it to him, so he can see your not alone in your thinking. Try and be as respectful as you can with your inlaws, they seem like their well intentioned. However, I would say it might be best to take their key from them. I would be angry if someone just randomly let themselves into my home.

     Good luck.

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  • I also think it is pretty sad that he is fine with your inlaws and you essentially being rude to your guests by leaving the dinner table, however when his parents feelings are hurt he backs them up.  Why is mommy's feelings more important than yours and your family's.  Just because he was raised in a household where it was common to come over without calling doesn't mean it is ok.  Heck I have known families that fart in public but that doesn't mean that kind of behavior is still considered apporpriate.

    Their behavior was wrong and so was his.  I mean anyone with a little bit of courtesy and common sense would have at least seen that you were busy and come back at a better time.  At the very least. 

  • I had this exact same issue with my ILs - dropping by unannounced while using the excuse they were bring stuff over for us and our baby.  Like you, I would sometimes walk around naked or be bare breasted as I exclusively breastfed.

    DH talked to the IL's.  I talked to the ILs.  It made no difference.  They would come by and bang on all the windows and doors around the house (didn't matter that DS was napping or I was in the shower), and FIL more than once was caught peeking in (literally pushing his face up against our big front window looking in).

    My DH said it's the way they grew up, but still respects my need for at least a warning call before they come by.  He did talk to them and let them know I grew up differently and need the call.

    Long story short, we ended up cutting them off due to their lack of respect for any of our boundaries.  FIL showed up unannounced and uninvited Christmas day.  Yeah, after he got mad and said he'd never do it again. 

    If I were you, I'd ask DH to get the key back from them and talk to them about coming over unannounced (and not coming over at all if they don't clear it with you first).  Then, if they come at a bad time, don't answer the door.

  • First, I agree with everyone else.

    Second, you say you have a tendency to overreact to things - does your DH tell you that?  I have to wonder if that is his way of imposing his will on you, like he is trying to do in this case.

  • ivybug that's terrible! I'm sorry you had to deal with that. That's a bit creepy to have them peeking through windows and banging on windows.
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