Family Matters
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5 Day Rule

I just finished hosting my aunt for seven days.  She was lovely and very nice.  We had a great time.  We took her OOT to leap peep for the first 3 days, then back to our place for the weekend and then she relaxed when we went back to work for 2 days. 

I'm exhausted.  I really hit the wall on day 5.  I'm sure she thought she was being pleasant and accomodating but her attitude was 100% "whatever we wanted to do".  Which had the ironic outcome of me planning any and all aspects of her vacation.  Where and when we eat.  Where and what we did. As such, I did a good job of doing exactly what I wanted, but it was a strain.  I actually loved running to the office on Monday.

In the future, would it be okay to say (to any would-be visitors) that they are welcome for 5 days.  To set a limit.  As a kinda "family policy"?  Or would it be rude?

Would it be better to just make polite excuses while planning?  Not come right out and say it, just keep saying 'no' to anything longer than 5 days. And if pressed, a slight lie like work or other plans?    

Anybody set a policy or is that harsh?

My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.

Re: 5 Day Rule

  • Well I suppose it depends on whether you feel like you have to entertain your guests by organising them to do stuff.

    When I've stayed with family, I've always said, you guys just go about your normal life. If they've offered to take me somewhere, then I'd take them up on it. But if they said, "what would you like to do" I would never expect them to organise fun for me. I'm happy to be pointed in the direction of the nearest fun or to potter about by myself.

    If you feel obliged to entertain guests, and more than 5 days is too much for you, then yes it's fair to limit their time. You are not a hotel.

    Like you said, though I wouldn't come right out and say, this is the limit. I'd just make it clear that you were only available as accommodation on certain days. 

    [IMG]http://i55.tinypic.com/213pzit.jpg[/IMG]
    Elizabeth 3yrs old Jane 1yr old
  • I think it's perfectly fine to tell future would-be visitors that they're welcome to stay x days, but that you won't be able to take them around/escort them after, say, the third day.

    5 days of constant togetherness and having to play the hostess would be exhausting on anyone.

  • I totally understand you on this one.  I just don't know if there is a good hard and fast rule for length of stay.  Some people are better visitors than others and for the sake of fairness (which is kinda BS but does reduce the potential for drama) you really can't make a rule for one but not have the same for another.

    With my Dad and Step mom they are pretty self sufficient and usually have their own idea for things they would like to do.  We don't mind a long visit from them. 

    My husband's parents are totally like your aunt.  "We don't want to be a bother so you just decide what we should do"  What do we want to do?  Well I want to sit on my @ss and watch trashy VH1 reality shows all night drinking beer and making fun of strippers.  You probably aren't interested in that though.

    I don't think people realize how difficult it is for the host when they 'let' him/her make all the plans.  Now that I have been on the receiving end of this type of visit, I never go to visit anyone without a list of things I'd be interested in checking out.

  • 7 days is too much for me.  5 days is alot.  I'm very good with 3 days.  I try to keep all of my visits to just 3 days.
  • I'm with Lily on this one.
    [IMG]http://i39.tinypic.com/rkd75g.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i41.tinypic.com/23r1e34.jpg[/IMG]
  • I'm sure she thought she was being pleasant and accomodating but her attitude was 100% "whatever we wanted to do".  Which had the ironic outcome of me planning any and all aspects of her vacation.  Where and when we eat.  Where and what we did.

    My IL's do this and it drives me crazy.  I'm not your cruise director, you need to have some thoughts of what you want to do.  I'm ok with saying for example, I want to go to a winery, and then I'll figure out what winery to go to.  However, don't say we can do whatever I want to do.  I want to sit my ass in front of the TV and watch it - you want to be entertained! 

    When we go see them, we always have plans of how we want to spend our time.  We never go down there and say "whatever, you decide."

    Needless to say, a weekend is long enough for people who aren't some what self sufficient.  7 days worth I'd be wanting to jump off the bridge.

     

  • I think Benjamin Franklin said it best: fish and guests tend to smell after three days.  A limit is fine.  You're not a hotel, after all.

    I'd handle it by, when the plans are being made, telling the prospective visitor something like "Oh, that's a bit much - we're going to drive each other crazy after a few days.  How about making it three days?"

    image
  • 1- The whole "whatever you want to do" DOES get annoying.  Voice an opinion.  Dont' put it all on ME to make the decisions!!!!  I totally feel you on that one.

    2- My parents are about to host friends from England for over 2 weeks.  They are dreading it.  Tehse people invited themselves.  Why my parents didn't feel they couldn't say "no", or said "We can only do a week", I don't know -but they ARE taking this couple on a trip to Canada.  Just an excuse to not really have to entertain them at HOME the entire time.

    3- I wouldn't make a blanket rule about 5 days.  But ABSOLUTELY, the next someone says "I'd like to come visit from __ to __", you have every right to say "Oh- we'd love for you to come. however, to __ date wont' work.  We have plans that weekend.  But if you'd like to come until ___ instead, we'd LOVE to see you!". 

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • I'd just set polite limits and not set a policy.  I had a friend who was going to be in town for 2 weeks with her husband visiting a clinic for IVF.  They asked to stay with me the whole time.  I love her dearly, but if it gives you an idea, we roomed together for two years in college because after freshman year, no one else could handle her.  She's one of my dearest friends, but she is a lot.  I politely told her, "I'd love to have you stay with me the second half of your visit, but [insert polite excuse regarding why the first half of the stay wouldn't work]." 

    It's completely okay to set limits, but I wouldn't make it an official policy.  Just decide what works for you in the context of those particular guests and that time in your own family's schedule, and then communicate it politely.

    Usually, anything over 3-4 days gets really long for me.  I was absolutely willing to make an exception for my old friend - and offer one week.  But two full weeks would have driven me batty!

  • I think that setting a policy is really harsh in most cases.  However, if you live in a tourist area (or otherwise attractive area) to family and friends, then it make work in your favor to make some sort of blanket policy. 

    If you just get the random house guest here or there, I wouldn't make the policy.  What if someone DESPERATELY needed a place ot stay for longer than three days?  You'd let them, right?  Then your policy is void.  Best to go on a case by case basis.  For a time limit, simply state X will work or X won't work. 

    BabyFruit Ticker
  • I completely understand. I think with a wonderful person like your aunt, you could say "You know, I just need to kick back and relax today; here's a list of local sights" or "You know, I just need to kick back and relax tonight; do you think you could put dinner together? Here's what we have" . You really can just opt out. 

     

    SO SINGS MY SOUL *WHAM!* MY SAVIOR GOD TO THEE *WHAM!* HOW GREAT THOU ART *WHAM!* HOW GREAT THOU ART *WHAM!*
  • Many thanks, I'm glad everyone represented the range of options and feelings I have. 

    I agree to limit without a set policy, per say.  I'll have it set in my head but gentle in real life.  And thanks for the support in setting limits.  It does get a bit much.

    And I'll just add that it was so WEIRD that I couldn't get her to make a decision on ANYTHING.  I was direct, I was clear and still I got this vague "okay" and "whatever you want" at every turn.  Hmmph.

    Next time, less time.

    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • We have a "policy", but it's only really common knowledge for my husband and I- if someone calls wanting to stay two weeks, we wouldn't announce to the would-be guest, "Oh, no, our house rules are that we only host guests for three days." We usually say something like, "We'd love to have you up to visit! We checked our schedules and Aug 26-29, September 1-3, or September 27-30 all work for us.  Do any of those work for you?" And if there was something specific Guest had said they wanted to see, we'd have already checked out that schedule when we were figuring out dates so we'd be sure they'd get a chance to do that.

    There's a lot of reasons our general policy is 3 days- we live relatively close to 3 cities that all have lots of concerts, museums, events, etc. going on, so we end up hosting frequently- and happily so, we love having guests over.   Our place is pretty small- so our space can get seriously cramped after a few days.  We have limited vacation days and there is only so often either of us could take off extra days if we were hosting guests, so weekends or long weekends really work best.

    I don't think it's harsh to set a policy- our lives would be kinda crazy if we had to decide on a case-by-case basis how long we could host whom, so setting a limit and sticking to it keeps our lives sane and our place hopefully a fun place to visit.  But we don't make it part of the phrasing when we're hammering out visit dates- we would just give them options of different dates that worked for us, and go from there.  

  • image ReturnOfKuus:

    I think Benjamin Franklin said it best: fish and guests tend to smell after three days 

     

    And all these years I thought Grandma made that one up!

  • image livinitup:

    And I'll just add that it was so WEIRD that I couldn't get her to make a decision on ANYTHING.  I was direct, I was clear and still I got this vague "okay" and "whatever you want" at every turn.  Hmmph.

    We had a guy staying w/ us this summer for a few days while he apartment hunted.  He was the same way and it was maddening.  I know he was trying to be polite, but he took it to an extreme and by the end, I felt like we were forcing him to do stuff he didn't really want to do!
    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • I couldn't take a visitor that I had to entertain for even 5 days.

    But if they can entertain themselves and tend to make themselves useful then they can stay a couple weeks  - for example when my MIL visited for a week, I made plans to go into the office one day while she babysat DD. When she's here I get to sleep in. She doesn't expect me to do anything for breakfast except stock the fridge with milk and cereal. She cleans up after herself. She takes naps or reads while DD naps and doesn't expect me to entertain her at all. When she comes to visit all my planning involves figuring out what DH and I can do with all the extra date-nights we get while she's visiting. Frankly she could stay a month and I'd feel like *I* was on vacation!

    On the other hand my mom expects me to plan out all the meals and spend every spare second with her. I feel pressured to come up with at least a couple "special outings" to go on (even though she lived in this city for over 25 years!!) I can take her about a week and then I want to shove her out the window and regret that I have a single-story home.

    I would not do a family policy, seems like it will just cause hurt feelings. I would just say you can't take off work or some other polite white lie.

    - Jena
    image
  • oh yeah, and if we go somewhere/anywhere that costs, I say, "well...the admission is $12 a person and there's 4 of us.  Are you up for that?

    and we could go eat here, and that averages so-much a person.  Are you up for that."

    I am not using my vacation savings or unbudgeted $$ to entertain someone else on their vacation.

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