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SIL & kids moving in for a while.....?'s

Good morning ladies!  Just found out this week that my SIL and kids will need to stay with us for a while as they relocate. 

DH and I are in discussion regarding limits (so to speak) and I was hoping for some insight on things we may have missed.

He wants to make it clear that the stay is for a specified time....2 weeks which was what she had originally discussed.  This will allow the time she needs to take a few interviews and look for a place of her own.  We have a very small house and 2 LO's of our own so space will be tight.

SIL has offered to pitch in on the groceries but I am wondering if there is anything else that we may need to discuss??  Has anyone had family stay for a while?  If so, what are your suggesstions or were there any issues that you wish you would have discussed on the front end?

Thanks so much for your help Smile

Re: SIL & kids moving in for a while.....?'s

  • I have not had family stay w/ me, but some other things to think about in a proactive manner:

    1) Who will take care of the children?  Ie, SIL could assume that you two are built in babysitters.  I'd lay down some ground rules as far as what you and DH are/aren't willing to do. 

    2) Meals - who will cook and clean up?  Getting something down on paper would be a good idea.

    3) Cleanning: will you expect SIL and the kids pitch in?  If so, what do you want them to do? 

    4)  Are you and DH going to want "quiet time"?  This could mean that SIL needs to take the kids to the library/park/ect, to give you some time and space away from the kids. 

    Lastly, get all of this down on paper.  That way if something goes off track, you can point to the agreement that you have made. 


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  • Great suggestions!  I had not thought of this.  We want to lay everything out on the front end so that this goes as smoothly as possible for everyone.Smile
  • What do you mean you 'just found out'- weren't you part of the decision to let her stay with you?

    How old are her children?  If they're older I think there should be some expectation that they pick up after themselves and discuss what time you expect your home to be quiet for the night.

    What happens if she can't find a place in two weeks?  That's a very short amount of time to find an apartment and they may not lease to her if she hasn't gotten a job to guarantee income.  Just something to think about.

  • Regarding the "just found out"....originally she had intended to stay with a friend in the area.  The friend let her know earlier this week that she just didn't think it would work out.  So DH and I discussed and decided that 2 weeks would be better than the 3 she had originally planned and offered that she stay with us.

    I should say that this is a preliminary visit.  She does have a home in another nearby state and is coming up to take interviews and look for possible rentals in the area.

    My nieces are 7 and 11 so yes, they will be expected to pick up after themselves just as I expect of my own dd's.  Great suggestion on what time we'd like to shut down the house for the night!  Yet another thing I did not think of!

  • Don't do it. Mixing business with family members doesn't work -- I have never seen it have a good ending.



  • image TarponMonoxide:

    Don't do it. Mixing business with family members doesn't work -- I have never seen it have a good ending.



    Do you mean don't let them stay or don't set boundaries??  I'm not wanting to impose any harsh rules, just think all of the kids and adults will have a much easier time if we are on the same page with sharing responsibility. 

  • I had relatives stay for a visit for two weeks.  I agree to not make any harsh rules.  It does not sound like she is really moving in because she still has her home out of state.  I would accept her money for food, and I would discuss the child care thing.  However, for the most part, I would stay in hostess mode. 

  • Thanks everyone!  I really appreciate all of the input!
  • if it's her and 2 kids i'd ask for half of the weekly grocery trip bill, i probably wouldn't agree to just 'pitching in'. they will be eating there too and she'd probably think it fair.


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  • If the SIL didn't have a house in a nearby state, then I would also say don't do it. 

    Nonetheless, you should still have a "Plan B".  What if SIL says the interviews during the two weeks did not get her a job, and she needs to stay one more week (or come again for two weeks next month)?  You and DH need to be prepared to answer this question ahead of time.  You should be ready to tell her that after the two agreed upon weeks, she would need to find a hotel room.  You can be assertive while still being polite.

    And her splitting the cost for groceries while she's there also sounds like a good plan.  She's saving a ton on hotel bills, so sharing the cost of groceries is minimal.

  • I would not phrase this as her 'moving in with you". I'd phrase it as 'visiting for two weeks while you job hunt here as opposed to from home".


  • Make sure everyone discusses scheduling needs.  Figure out when everyone needs to leave in the mornings, who gets to use the shower when (if anyone is sharing a bathroom), any commitments you have for the weekend in the middle of her stay (perhaps you already have plans but SIL assumes you are entertaining her), etc.  This seems pretty minor in comparison to other issues but can still cause a lot of friction.

  • image tmc1030:
    image TarponMonoxide:

    Don't do it. Mixing business with family members doesn't work -- I have never seen it have a good ending.



    Do you mean don't let them stay or don't set boundaries??  I'm not wanting to impose any harsh rules, just think all of the kids and adults will have a much easier time if we are on the same page with sharing responsibility. 

    She means don't let them stay.
  • If your SIL doesn't have a job or home already lined-up, then it sounds highly unlikely that she'll only be staying with you for 2 weeks. If you allow her to stay with you, you may end-up feeling guilty if you "throw her out" if she isn't succeful at finding a job or home within 2 weeks. Your family might make you feel guilty about this as well. I would really re-think about letting her stay or, at the very least be "ok" with her staying longer than anticipated.
  • GBCKGBCK member
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    put it in writing, as specifically as possible.

    because 'clean up after themselves' means VERY different thigns to different people.

  • If she is only coming for 2 weeks to check out the area and job market, I wouldn't put too many rules down.  If she were moving in, that would be a different story. 

    When my husband and I moved across country last summer, we stayed with my SIL and her 17 y/o daughter for 3 months.  There was no time limit, but that's how long it took for us to get jobs and an apartment.  We split the household bills, and we had an agreement about groceries.  At the beginning, we sat down and "ran the numbers" so to speak.  As far as cleaning goes, we were the clean ones so that wasn't an issue!  But, we don't have kids, and we had our own room so that made things more simple.  We all got along, except the normal roommate annoyances here and there.  I think if you have a good relationship, then everything will work out.  Since they have a house somewhere else, it seems like they are just coming on a research mission, so that they don't have to impose on anyone when they actually move.  I don't think you have anything to worry about.

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  • oh wow this is tough- best of luck!!
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  • Does she plan to take the kids with her when she house hunts?   That may be inconvenient, but manageable.  However, she can't take the kids on the job interviews.  What is her plan?   

  • Honestly I wouldn't allow this.  I allowed it last year and it was a horrible experience. I felt like I was tip toeing through my house for 6 months. 

    If you go through with it, make sure there are limits, when you expect them to be out, how much you need in return for utilities, food, groceries, etc.  My SIL thought she could skip out since she was family, but my utilities doubled and I got stuck with high bills.  Also, alone time with your husband will diminish.  If its going to be a long time I would reconsider.  When there are family riffs, it makes it difficult all living in the same household.  Definitely discuss boundaries, and you guys will need alone time when all of them need to leave the house to leave you two alone.  My SIL got hurt in the process staying at our house and she was bed ridden, made for a crappy 6 months. 

  • image TarponMonoxide:

    Don't do it. Mixing business with family members doesn't work -- I have never seen it have a good ending.



    I agree.  I like my in-laws, but I never want to live with them.

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