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Any Thoughts on a Good Compromise?

I could use some advice on a good compromise with my inlaws. 

We're moving and DH's parents want to help.  Originally they said they cannot help physically (they're older and not in the best shape) but they wanted to help financially.  DH and I haven't planned our move yet so we've been telling them we'll let them know how they can help when we have a plan. 

Nonetheless, inlaws have been very persistent about telling us they can help.  The message from my MIL yesterday was starting to take a little bit of a desperate turn (voice tone, DH listened to the voicemail and agreed).  MIL has real problems with feeling not included/left out of anything.  We do see them fairly regularly, but MIL would be happier if she was significantly more involved in our lives.

Yesterday FIL offered DH a large sum of money - we're not comfortable with that, it's a lot of money and probably way more than we'd need.  DH handled it, said it was very generous, but more than we'd ever need.  We had not planned our move, but we'd let them know how they can help after we plan this weekend.

Anyhoo, DH does not really want inlaws help with the physical move - I've suggested maybe they can help us unpack (it means a lot for MIL to be involved) so that there is not a lot of standing or lifting involved.  DH said he's not keen on them involved with any physical help in the move because my MIL helps how she wants to help (he's right on this one).  In the end she has to be babysat because she does stuff that hinders positive progress.  Example - DH had a really heavy suitcase - told MIL it was too heavy and leave it for him or FIL to carry (it was really too heavy).  MIL argues with DH, just grabs the suitcase, takes a few steps, says it's too heavy and then drops it quite hard.  If anything was in there other than clothes they would have been broken.  DH had other examples, but that is the one that comes to mind.

Now inlaws are saying they can help with the move, just not do anything that involves lifting or stairs.

I'm taking DH's lead on this one because they are his parents.  Neither DH nor I want to categorically exclude them as that would cause more problems than it would be worth.  So we're trying to plan a compromise - ways for them to be involved without being a problem or accepting a wad of cash.  Any thoughts?

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Re: Any Thoughts on a Good Compromise?

  • Bring lunch or dinner over the day of the move?  I'd tell them that w/ the actual move, the fewer people you have to direct and worry about, the easier it will actually be.  But that a HUGE help would be if they could come over at __ time and bring dinner...

     

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  • For pity's sake, give these people something to do before they explode.

    Lunch/dinner on the day of moving would be great. Helping pack light things would be great. Wiping down the fronts of cabinets would be great. Changing out all the lightbulbs in the new house, putting in toilet paper and paper towels. Organizing your new linen closet.

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  • I had this exact same situation happen myself!  My MIL is very similar about wanting to be involved in everything. 

    I think the idea of having them bring food for the two of you for dinner that night would be great. 

    Also, what I did with my MIL, was that I stuck her unpacking clothes and hanging them up in the closet.  Granted, I had to arrange it later, but it was much easier to do it once everything had been hung on hangers!  So, between my clothes, H's clothes and jackets - it kept her busy for awhile. 

    Another suggestion - make a list of things you "might" need for the new place - i.e. door hangers, a new door mat, cleaning supplies, etc - and send her to Wal-Mart!  Usually that could take up a big space of time!

    Anyways, just some suggestions - good luck moving!

  • image EastCoastBride:

    Bring lunch or dinner over the day of the move?  I'd tell them that w/ the actual move, the fewer people you have to direct and worry about, the easier it will actually be.  But that a HUGE help would be if they could come over at __ time and bring dinner...

     

    This. Perfect. And really stress that it'd be a HUGE help. If MIL needs to feel needed, add in that you don't think you'll have dishes, etc, unpacked yet and that if they could bring over paper plates and plasticware and all that stuff, too, it'd be REALLY helpful. Again, stress the REALLY. :)

    And too, depending on if you feel it'd work for her, tell MIL that once you have the boxes sorted according to room, maybe she could come over and help you put that room's items in place? But if she only helps how she wants to help... hm. Not sure that'd work. But it's a thought.

    Further, if they feel that they want to help you with money, see if there's something they can do money-related (new drapes in the house? New other things that you didn't budget for) that you'd have control over choosing, but that the money itself was used for something tangible that they could see and have a feeling of contribution for when they visit. Again, this depends on their personalities and if it would cause more problems than not in the future, but you know that way better than I do.


  • are you hiring movers? If you do, get an estimate and share it with them.

    Are you having a moving day? Say, I would like to have a nice lunch for those helping us move, can you help us with that? Let her plan it if she wants

    You can also say, I got some dirty jobs that I would love some help with...such as, wiping out cabinets, wiping down walls, cleaning toilets, putting out fresh toilet paper and papertowels, sweeping behind fridge and stove (if someone pulls them out)

    I had my mom, who is disabled, lining shelves for me and some of the stuff above...even small painting jobs. 

    They can also, put away dishes...silver ware, bookshelves, dvd shelves...be prepared to say though...can you unpack this box and put it in this cabinet, make sure the dinner plates are reachable but the mugs can be out of reach...people will want direction.

  • image Sue_sue:

    For pity's sake, give these people something to do before they explode.

    Lunch/dinner on the day of moving would be great. Helping pack light things would be great. Wiping down the fronts of cabinets would be great. Changing out all the lightbulbs in the new house, putting in toilet paper and paper towels. Organizing your new linen closet.

    These are good ideas.  Maybe they can vacuum the new place, mop bathrooms/kitchen, dust above the kitchen cabinets, have the locks changed, plant some flowers outside.  These things actually will be a big help -- you want the place clean before moving in furniture and everything.

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  • Help with cleaning the new place before you unpack? (wiping down counters, bathrooms..)----if they'd be up for that kinda thing...

    I like the idea of bringing dinner/lunch the day of the move

    If it needs to be a money thing you could ask them to help with the moving truck expense? 

     

  • image vjcjenn1:

    are you hiring movers? If you do, get an estimate and share it with them.

    Are you having a moving day? Say, I would like to have a nice lunch for those helping us move, can you help us with that? Let her plan it if she wants

    You can also say, I got some dirty jobs that I would love some help with...such as, wiping out cabinets, wiping down walls, cleaning toilets, putting out fresh toilet paper and papertowels, sweeping behind fridge and stove (if someone pulls them out)

    I had my mom, who is disabled, lining shelves for me and some of the stuff above...even small painting jobs. 

    Ditto this. 

    LET them help!  This is a good thing.  Even if they have their own way of doing things, at least the effort is there!

    DH and I have moved 3x since we have been together.  My family & our friends helped, IL's never offered.  When we bought our now home, which was our final move, IL's never offered any help.  They knew we were at our home every weekend painting & fixing it up and never once offered to lend a hand.  Ok, fine.  

    My point is, IL's aren't obligated to help you in any way.  You & DH are your own unit, you're both adults and can handle together any life situation.  The idea that they want to be so involved is nice. 

    If you don't want MIL lifting/carrying anything, stick her at the house with some white vinegar & baking soda, sponges and paper towels and tell her to clean.  Put her in charge of ordering lunch from X restaurant at X time. 

    Depending on organizational skills, maybe tell FIL he can help monetarily by finding & booking the movers.  Tell him that would be a great help.  If you feel uncomfortable taking any monetary hand-outs from them, maybe stick him at the house with MIL and tell him to work outside?  How is he with yardwork?  If you aren't hiring movers and don't want FIL to lift heavy things - compose an area of boxes of unbreakables and have him stick to moving those?

  • Thanks for all of the ideas.  I hadn't thought of having them bring lunch/dinner or cleaning.

    Both DH and I think it's wonderful they want to help, we be no means expect them to do so in any way.  And yes, we recognize everyone has different means of helping - it's just when the help isn't really help (and sometimes is harmful) that it becomes a little trickier.  We trying to find a way they can help without it being absolutely maddening.

    We're not totally against some financial contribution, the amount my FIL suggested was just way more than our moving expense are likely to be (we're talking thousands over).
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  • What about her helping you either prep the new place or ready your old place (as far as cleaning...windexing windows, sweeping floors, scrubbing sinks, cleaning inside of kitchen shelves)?  I'm thinking sorta like busy work that's also helpful.

    Another compromise would be to ask her to help you stock the kitchen the day following the major move...let the bag boy load the car, you empty it, and she can put cans away.  Maybe feed your MILs desire to be helpful but also needed would be to ask if she could put aside a day in the near future to accompany you shopping for new curtains or something like that?

     

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  • image chavayjakov:

    What about her helping you either prep the new place or ready your old place (as far as cleaning...windexing windows, sweeping floors, scrubbing sinks, cleaning inside of kitchen shelves)?  I'm thinking sorta like busy work that's also helpful.

    Another compromise would be to ask her to help you stock the kitchen the day following the major move...let the bag boy load the car, you empty it, and she can put cans away.  Maybe feed your MILs desire to be helpful but also needed would be to ask if she could put aside a day in the near future to accompany you shopping for new curtains or something like that?

     

    Just found out the inlaws have a cleaning lady because MIL says her knees are too bad to clean (we're not really sure what is wrong with her knees, apparently DH knew about the cleaning lady and forgot to tell me - no biggie).  Going shopping for new curtains or something of that nature is a good idea. 

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • image GreenMonkey1:

    Just found out the inlaws have a cleaning lady because MIL says her knees are too bad to clean (we're not really sure what is wrong with her knees, apparently DH knew about the cleaning lady and forgot to tell me - no biggie).  Going shopping for new curtains or something of that nature is a good idea. 

    Another idea is to make a shopping list ahead of time and ask them to bring those things to the new house....items to stock up with....paper towels, toilet paper, dish soap, washing detergent, etc.

    My Parents recently helped us with our move, it was way too much physcially for them and I wish I had just tasked them to help with errands instead of accepting their help around the house. My Mom did bring food with them and that was a godsend. Also, we have a toddler and my ILs watched our little one, that was really helpful and kept them all away from the chaos of move day.

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  • If they want to help out money wise, you could always send them to home depot, lowe's,or walmat. Have MIL pick out some really nice plants, flowers, and possibly a new patio furniture set if they want. FIL could go threw and find a nice lawn mower, grill or yard equipment that you might need that you don't already have. If they keep insisting to give you money tell they that you would love for them to go to a home improvement store and they can pick up a few of these items on what they think will be most beneficial to your new home. Those places you can take hours in. 
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