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Parents coming to stay - help me see this as a good thing

(25 Posts)
TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 16-Jun-14 15:39:21

I invited my parents in passing to visit "for a couple of days" as we decided to spend our two week holiday "staycationing" this year. They have booked flights over the weekend and will be staying for just over a week of our annual two weeks off. I could cry. They booked flights (an hour away) without checking first so now I either have to be the horrible child who never visits them and now doesn't want them to come; or suck it up.

They are the kind of people who think they are easy guests but never want to "do" anything, will keep totally different hours to my children, DH and I; and eat an extraordinarily bland diet and will not pitch in. They will want to sit around the house and bore me out of my wits talking about people I don't know and wanting Sky News on 24x7. DH is going to murder me.

Other than actually spending time with them (but 3 days would have done it), roping my Dad into helping me paint the house and babysitting I am struggling to see a good side. Our babysitter is going to be away too so they are also going to be v disappointed when they find out we can't go out for dinner in the evenings.

Tell me to count my blessings and shut up.

Whereisegg Mon 16-Jun-14 15:43:17

It means you can start on the wine much earlier than would normally be appropriate grin

JellyBabiesSaveLives Mon 16-Jun-14 15:45:18

Any possibility that your and dh's annual leave could, err, be moved a little bit?

runningonwillpower Mon 16-Jun-14 16:01:37

I'm thinking it's really sad that you don't seem to like your parents.

To me, what jumps out from your post is your regular description of them as 'they'. Was there never a 'we'?

Did they do nothing in your childhood that warmed you to them?

As a parent of grown-up children, I'd be really horrified if they described me they way you've just done - no emotional kinship just irritation.

What's gone wrong in your relationship?

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 16-Jun-14 16:03:09

My parents don't drink. So even our usual intake of one or two glasses looks like a lot to them. I don't smoke so even a herbal cigarette isn't an option grin Gin doesn't smell does it?

Can't move our leave - it's all arranged around childcare.

noorqt Mon 16-Jun-14 16:06:00

I feel really sad reading your post, I wish I had parents that would take the time out to see me. Please be grateful and appreciate the fact that you have parents that love you.

rookiemater Mon 16-Jun-14 16:09:12

Child free break for a few nights grin

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 16-Jun-14 16:12:26

I do like them, we just have little in common so I guess we are not friends. They weren't horrible parents, just very busy and not very emotionally involved really I suppose.

The irritation is due to the length of the visit rather than the actual visit per se.

CarolineKnappShappey Mon 16-Jun-14 16:13:16

Oh please don't beat yourself up. I would tell them it's too long.

A project you can do together (like the house painting) sounds like an idea. Will they be tourists where you live - what's on at the nearby National Trust or whatever sites? Will they need any transport or can they use buses?

Send them out for dinner on their own one night.
Next night you guys get to go out alone.
One night find somewhere child friendly you can all go.
Then a takeaway.
Following night you cook something adaptable for everyone (filled baked potatoes, create your own salad)

Cardinal Mon 16-Jun-14 16:13:54

noorqt... life isn't that simple. Everybody has different relationships with their parents, and blood relation isn't a good enough reason to force company on yourself if you wouldn't under other circumstances.

I'd hate it too OP.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 16-Jun-14 16:16:35

I know noorqt. I wish I wasn't dreading it and it's really unfair on them. They mean well, it's just exhausting to have them stay for so long.
Knackered after a really stupidly busy weekend. Maybe I should just go to bed at 8pm tonight and get a grip blush

Olbas Mon 16-Jun-14 16:20:30

If they were going to stay for a long weekend, then am I right in saying that would have been great. I assume you are fed up/anxious what your dh will say/and the, less face it inconvenience of having people (even if it is your parents) to stay. Annual leave is precious, a time to relax with your own dh and children. If it's any help, my mum always takes " a couple of days" to mean 3 weeks!

Olbas Mon 16-Jun-14 16:21:23

How do you get flags next to your names....want one

runningonwillpower Mon 16-Jun-14 16:22:03

* just very busy and not very emotionally involved really I suppose.*

Yup, I'm getting emotional detachment.

What's that expression? What goes around comes around?

It's sad. Learn from that and don't make the same mistakes with your own children.

Meanwhile, I'd suck it up. Even without your babysitter.

HopefulHamster Mon 16-Jun-14 16:24:38

Running, you can like your parents but not want to spend a week with them!

Whenever mine visit for a mere two days, we have to go to the places my dad wants to go, go to the restaurants he likes (all dressed up as a nice suggestion that he thinks we might like), put the TV he wants on, etc. It's just the way he is and he's not going to change in his sixties. It's not awful, it's just a bit tedious. I don't really want to watch snooker when my parents visit, but I do. I don't want to go to the same chinese restaurant every single time, but I do, because I enjoy seeing them.

All the same a week might drive me crazy!

BadRoly Mon 16-Jun-14 16:25:40

What were you planning to do if it was just you? Could you carry on with your plans anyway? Eg we're off out today to do/go/whatever, are you joining us? That way they can decide to join in or stay at home and watch Sky news.

As for meals, I assume by bland you mean meat and 2 veg type meals. If you're on days out, could you do slow cooker type stuff or have barbeques perhaps?

ItHasANiceRingWhenYouLaugh Mon 16-Jun-14 16:25:40

My ILs are like this. The key is planning. If they never want to do anything and keep different hours, you just have to be quite brisk in making plans that suit YOU some of which they can tag along with.

zipzap Mon 16-Jun-14 16:26:22

Maybe ask them what they will be doing with the rest of their holiday when they have finished seeing you for 2-3 days as you'd arranged...

Is there somewhere local-ish that you could send them to for a couple of nights (although are they going to have transport if they have flown to see you?) to stay to break up their visit?

List out all the things you want to do in your break and let them know the timetable so they might start to get cold feet and be the ones that decide to change their break.

Tell them about childcare being away so ask if they will babysit on at least 3 evenings for you so you and dh can go out for the evening

Tell them about painting the house and how you are looking forward to both of them helping out.

Tell them that you've got other guests already booked in for some of the days - that as you'd discussed them coming for 3 days it never occurred to you that they would want to come for more.

Do you have a sibling you can offload onto and say arrrggghhh to, who might be able to diplomatically have words with your parents?

BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Mon 16-Jun-14 16:26:36

Sorry, no.

I would tell them it is too long. You have other things booked, other people coming to stay, or that you've booked to go away.

You said a couple of days!!!

Not on.

If I were your DH I really would be very pissed off at this.

runningonwillpower Mon 16-Jun-14 16:42:29

Hopeful - I hear you!

My parents were difficult when they visited - to the point of pre-ordering breakfast on their terms. Didn't matter what I'd planned or bought in. I bit my tongue till it bled.

But the odd week every other year versus a lifetime? I sucked it up.

Relationships are always convenient. But by definition they are a two way street. And sometimes, you just have to accommodate stuff for the bigger picture - that could be the past or the future.

AcrossthePond55 Mon 16-Jun-14 16:56:24

I would carry on pretty much as planned as far as your 'staycation' is concerned, maybe setting aside one day for what you think they'd want to do. They can either come with or stay home. Maybe you should email them your 'itinerary' for the time they are going to be there with a breezy 'this is what we are all doing whilst you are here won't this be fun!'. It may change their plans.

ItHasANiceRingWhenYouLaugh Mon 16-Jun-14 16:57:58

zipYou sound like you have some fantastic experience with this that we can all benefit from. wink

bumpertobumper Mon 16-Jun-14 18:02:44

could you and dh go away for a night or two and leave them home with the kids?

NoisyToyHell Mon 16-Jun-14 19:42:12

Tell them you have already booked 3 day trips online and they can come with you. Make one or two dsys oit to the park and lunch and arrange noisy messy indoor activities for the other days. And a trip to the local pool.

Throw in a couple of evenings babysitting and you're winning.

Rather than simply getting through it try to make as many memories as you can for your children and be super enthusiastic all week.

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