I need some space, but my family is closing in. Am I being unreasonable?

Mazy - posted on 05/24/2012 ( 23 moms have responded )

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About a month ago my BIL came to visit for two weeks. I was surprised with the news about the visit 2 days before his arrival since Hubs "forgot" to tell me. While he was here, Hubs convinced him to move from FL to CT, so he's been LIVING with us for the past 2 weeks, that's 4 consecutive weeks with a teenager sleeping on my couch. While in FL he was into drugs (mostly just pot), had a tough time keeping jobs, was very depressed, etc. Hubs felt that the relocation would give him better opportunities & be a better influence. Hubs has even said that he could live here for a few MONTHS if he wanted to...it's pretty much an open ended invitation. I am all for the restart, I really am. HOWEVER, I am due to have baby #3 in about 10 weeks. To top it all off, MIL & FIL have invited themselves up from FL for the birth & plan on staying in our home since hotels are too expensive. We currently live in a 2 bedroom, 900 sqft home that has three adults & two children...so I have no clue where I'll put two more adults & I don't know how long everyone plans on staying here. I just want to be left alone to focus on getting myself & household ready for this baby's arrival, but instead I'm stressing on where folks will sleep & how on Earth I'll afford enough groceries to cook for them all! How can I get rid of them without angering my whole family?

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Firebird - posted on 05/25/2012

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Tell your husband that his parents are not coming until you've settled in with the new baby. End of story. You are the one dealing with late night feedings, hormone changes, healing from a birth, and two toddlers. As for your MIL's feelings. Oh well, let her cry. You are not having this baby just to make her happy.

Elfrieda - posted on 05/25/2012

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Yes, absolutely what Dove said. If they're not there to help, they should stay away until you have things more under control. Your mother-in-law sounds a little high-maintenance, what with crying because she's not allowed to name the baby. (what?) She'll probably be upset no matter what, so you might as well do what's best for you and your family.

Dove - posted on 05/25/2012

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You are not being unreasonable at all. If they aren't going to be of any help then they have no business being there when you have a brand new baby. Period. Tell your husband that this is going to push you over the edge of insanity. Which would he prefer... his family loafing around and being useless... or a sane wife not ready to commit homicide at any second?

I'm so sorry. Good luck!!

Heidi - posted on 05/26/2012

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Tell them that they will have to split the cost of food and sleep on the floor since your children and you will not be giving up your bedrooms. Sometimes the prospect of sleeping on the floor is enough to steer people away. If that doesn't work, just tell them that with a new baby in the home that there is No Way that you will be able to accommodate them in your home since you will be too busy with the newborn and two other kids. If they don't understand that then they are the ones with the problem, not you! I would then suggest a motel room with a kitchenette so that cooking their own food will save on the cost of their visit.

Tasha - posted on 05/26/2012

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Girl, they don't help?? Tell them too stay in a hotel and take your BIL with them. Your Baby, your health and you sanity is the most important. It should come from hubby but if he won't tell them you will have too. You can't care what they think about you out how they react. I have 3 kids, it's hard. You need all your strength and energy. Good luck sweetie!

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Lara - posted on 06/02/2012

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I've just been through the same thing, but, were there a new baby on the way, I absolutely would've refused, to have him stay. As for the others, in a 900 sq. ft. home, I have no idea WHY they're not looking into other arrangements!

Hotels ARE expensive, yes, so, maybe it will have to be a short stay. Will this annoy them? TOUGH! It's your home, your baby, your rules, and anyone who can't hang w/ that, doesn't NEED to be in the picture, right now. Put your foot down; any husband worth his salt, will be on your side.

Diane - posted on 05/28/2012

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Girlfriend this sounds like it is out of control and hubby is actually clueless. strap on a pair and tell the inlaws that you will let them know when it is convienent for them to visit also mention that you will appreciate the "help" they will give so they know you are not inviting them over so you can wait on them. tell bil that he will have to start working on his independence because you cant afford to support him or accomodate him with the new baby in the house.
take care of yourself a;nd dont let outsiders drive you crazy. your family is you, your husband and your kids and they need you. when all is said in done, all the inlaws will toddle off to live their lives. You will be the one holding your family together. take care of yourself and stay strong.

Bryndís - posted on 05/27/2012

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Without looking at other answers to this post, I will ask: have you talked to your husband about all this? You have to make him see that all this is stressing you out and it's not good for the baby. So start by talking to him, he may not realize how you feel until you do.

Pamela - posted on 05/26/2012

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First SET A TIME LIMIT for the brother-in-law. Sit down with your husband. Explain to him YOUR anxieties about it all and BE FIRM with setting a deadline for the brother-in-law. Second, explain to your husband that you are NOT COMFORTABLE with his parents coming and staying in your small space for any length of time. One or two nights, after that they need to find some inexpensive place to stay or return home.

Seems that your husband does not discuss these things with you before making promises to his family. WHY NOT? A marriage is made up of two individuals who have individual needs. Just because it is his family doesn't mean that he is OBLIGATED to house them when they come for a visit.

One would think that his mother would understand the situation of a 2 bedroom house with a family of 5. Hopefully she is a thinking, considerate human being who can imagine "shoe on her foot", so to speak.

If the parents insist on staying, ask them to bring their own sleeping bags, blankets, etc. or plan to rent beds when they come. After all, they may not be able to afford a hotel, but then can afford to rent cots or whatever. Also tell them it will be necessary for them to help with the cost of groceries. You really shouldn't have to do this, but maybe they aren't as considerate as they should be.

MOST OF ALL BE FIRM!!!!!!! You should not be expected to put up with all of this and take care of your family and the new baby too! It is inconsiderate of your husband to expect it of you. TALK THIS OUT NOW!!! Putting this kind of strain on you can cause hidden resentment that serves as a growing place for unresolved anger and resentment that will crop up later at an unexpected time.

BE STRONG and BE FIRM! Stand up for YOU and YOUR family! Hopefully your husband will understand and be strong enough himself to set limits for his own family.

The highest and best to you all!

Melina - posted on 05/26/2012

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When you have the baby, you don't have to cook & clean for a house full of people! Just stay in your room or the baby room the whole time & they can all sort themselves out!

Diane - posted on 05/26/2012

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it is his family, so tell him how you feel or let him read this letter. he probably doesnt realize what you are going through. men can really be clueless sometimes. you probably make it look easy and give the appearance that you can handle all this upheavel in an attempt to keep a peaceful home environment, However you do it at your own peril. right now you need space, peace and quiet. you do not need start worrying about hosting houseguests. the brother, if he isn't a problem child himself can not only be a help but can learn alot about parenting. He can also keep the others occupied. i have five kids and went through two miscarriages, i also took in myy niece for a while so i've been there. let hubby know how you are feeling, remind him of the dangers of stress and that baby, as well as the other kids, will pick up on your stress and will respond to it. husbands need a transition period after a new baby also so discuss with him how this situation will affect him too. let your inlaws know you appreciate their visit but that it would be easier if they stayed in a hotel if that is the case.

Diane - posted on 05/26/2012

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it is his family, so tell him how you feel or let him read this letter. he probably doesnt realize what you are going through. men can really be clueless sometimes. you probably make it look easy and give the appearance that you can handle all this upheavel in an attempt to keep a peaceful home environment, However you do it at your own peril. right now you need space, peace and quiet. you do not need start worrying about hosting houseguests. the brother, if he isn't a problem child himself can not only be a help but can learn alot about parenting. He can also keep the others occupied. i have five kids and went through two miscarriages, i also took in myy niece for a while so i've been there. let hubby know how you are feeling, remind him of the dangers of stress and that baby, as well as the other kids, will pick up on your stress and will respond to it. husbands need a transition period after a new baby also so discuss with him how this situation will affect him too. let your inlaws know you appreciate their visit but that it would be easier if they stayed in a hotel if that is the case.

Elfrieda - posted on 05/26/2012

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Betsy gives me an idea. Could you talk to your doctor about this? I wonder if s/he would lay down some strict guidelines so that you really could say, "Doctor's orders, sorry."

Betsy - posted on 05/26/2012

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sounds like you need to tell them nicely that you have no room for them to sleep and cant afford the expense. the promise of a short visit to them in a few months might do the trick. you shouldnt be this stressed by your family at this time! tell them doctors orders are quiet and rest.

Mazy - posted on 05/26/2012

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They are Eastern European...they are all from Latvia & moved here 17 years ago (only my BIL was born in the US). Apparently my husband's aunt is coming also; I found this out yesterday. I told him that no one could come to visit while his brother was still living with us & that I would prefer to have them visit during Labor Day weekend (since he would be home as well) & he agreed to that. Still not sure where everyone is sleeping, but he said he had that figured out....so ok!

As for BIL, I fear for him. His boss at his new job doesn't think he's doing very well (very slow), so I'm going to help him look for a 2nd job & go visit his two colleges on Mon. Basically we are just waiting on him to have enough start up to get an apartment. I told Hubs that I didn't want him here at all the last month & he said he didn't either......so maybe he's just saying different things to different people? After dumping a lot of stuff on Hubs last night, I am starting to feel better because I flat out told him that all the people are making me nervous, so at least he knows.

Thanks for all the responses & support!

[deleted account]

Not the slightest bit unreasonable of you; hellishly unreasonable of them though!



As others before me have said, you do not need to be taking care of guests when you are adjusting to a larger family size and the addition of a newborn to a house that is already small for the numbers before any guests, including your BiL, are taken into account.



It was not right of your husband to move your BiL in without consulting with you first, especially when you do not have a room for him and need the space in the daytime for your existing children, then space to adjust for the imminent newborn. As Susan Zurich already suggested, you need to have a discussion with your husband and then with your BiL with your husband present, concerning the plan for him to move out with no delay so that you can have your space in adequate time for the birth. You also should firm up the plan for how your BiL behaves while he is still there and this absolutely must include attention to babyproofing, taking care of his own dishes in a timely manner and being up and not sleeping on the sofa by 8am. Quite aside from any other consideration, if he wants to turn his life around then some kind of work is essential and it isn't particularly likely that he'll get it if his usual habit is not to be bothered to get up until the afternoon!



Your in-laws should be politely directed to the nearest motel. If they cannot afford that, then this is their problem and not for you to have to accommodate them at an emotionally and physically exhausting time!



Good luck, honey.

Susan - posted on 05/26/2012

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Is this a cultural thing? Your in-laws sound like old school Europeans. If it's not cultural and they are died in the wool, American born, it's time for you to respond. Be kind, yet frank. You will not have the energy to be taking care of 3 little ones, including a newborn, while entertaining guests. Period. Ask them to come after you're settled in.

And why is your husband not communicating with you? That seems to be the main problem. Check to make sure he wasn't born with a birth defect. You know, born without a spine! ;) He needs to man up and defend and support his wife.

Two bedrooms are not big enough for 5 adults and 3 children. Come right out and tell the in-laws that.

I'm sorry that they can't afford a motel room ... but that is not your problem. Your children and husband should be your one and only concern.

Also, time to have a heart to heart with you bil, with your husband present. Express joy that he is turning his life around and lay down the rules of your house ... childproofing, etc. Also, tell him that you need access to your sofa during the day ... that is NOT fair to your children. And come up with a plan for him to move out. Have him set a goal, so he knows that this is not a permanent situation.

Someone in your life has to put your children first and it looks as though it's going to have to be you!

Medic - posted on 05/25/2012

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Hell no you are totally in the right. I just told everyone that I would call and let everyone know who what when where and why they could come by and stuck to my times. I ignored all calls that I just didn't want to take and sat home with my kids. I also did not tell anyone that I was in the hospital with the second because with the first god and everyone showed and thank goodness for the nurses that refused to let anyone back because I might have killed someone. I personally didn't care what anyone else thought because last time I checked the kid was coming out of me so they could stick it.

Gale - posted on 05/25/2012

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Okay, why don't you take the 2 little ones and get a hotel, since your going to be buying them food why not use the money for a hotel for yourself and the kids? and your hubby can entertain his family while you have your space, I know what your going threw, my in laws are the same, but I made my husband tell his family that I don't want them there till after the birth, I don't care if they get pist off, baby gets 1st choice grown ups can just suck it.

Mazy - posted on 05/24/2012

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I'm also afraid of telling MIL that I don't want them there for the labor/delivery but a few weeks after because we already had to tell her that she wasn't going to name the baby & she got VERY emotional & cried over the fact that she couldn't pick the name. I'm so afraid that she'll be even more emotional & think I'm turning her down or away.

Mazy - posted on 05/24/2012

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I do want to compromise, but I know that I won't get help from my MIL or FIL. They were there IMMEDIATELY after the births of my first two & were no help. I had to cook for them, clean up after them, and drive them around. And they didn't help with the baby in anyway whatsoever. For the first, it wasn't a big deal, for the second, it was very irritating. I can't imagine they will help for the 3rd...they just want to hold & play with the babies until anything is needed. Which is FINE, just not right away...I need a little time to prepare & adjust.

BIL is already here & he's a typical teenager. He's 19 & works very part time as a waiter for now. He's not a bad kid in any way & very respectful, but he is sleeping on our living room couch, so his stuff is all over the cramped room. He tends to sleep all day too. Often he won't get up until 1 or 2 pm. He also isn't used to living with two small kids (I have a 3 year old & an 18 month old), so he leaves a lot of things down or around that they get into that they really shouldn't. There's lots of dishes left on the floor, lights & TVs left on, loud music; typical teenager stuff. I don't have an issue with any of it other than the timing & the fact that Hub & his family thinks it's ok. I've already had to turn my sister down for help & loans because we can't afford to help her, but now it's okay to help out another family memeber in pretty much the same situation?

Elfrieda - posted on 05/24/2012

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Are they here yet? You need to say kindly but firmly that you would be glad to see them one week after the baby is due, and either get your husband to do it or do it yourself. Make sure that you express joy that they're coming, but be very clear that you don't want them there for the birth or immediately after. Explain about wanting to focus on getting yourself and the household ready instead of worrying about groceries and sleeping arrangements if you think that would make them sympathetic. Even if they say, "Oh, don't worry about that!" just tell them, "Well, thank you, but I will worry about it, I'm like that." (although, seriously, don't worry about it when they do come. They can buy groceries and cook. Just rest and feed the baby and chat with people, don't cook and run around. They're coming to help, they'll probably be happy to take care of your other kids and make meals and do laundry, so go ahead and let them.)



Is your brother-in-law any trouble, or does he sort of stay in his room and realize that he is in a temporary location? If he really doesn't have anywhere else to go, personally I'd keep him. But I'm thinking of my husband's brother who was just in a very similar situation. He was living with his cousin and girlfriend, and they had a baby. He basically stayed in his room or was at work all the time, and now after the baby is a few months old has found an apartment with some roommates. I'd keep him, since he cleans up after himself and doesn't intrude, but I don't know your situation. You'd be very much within reason to say, "Yes, he can stay for a few months if he needs to, but from a week before my due date to two weeks later he needs to find somewhere else to live." Surely he can manage to couch-surf for 3 weeks.



My opinion summed up is Compromise. Be friendly and kind but have firm boundaries that don't change if someone else is angry.

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