Lazy In-Laws Living With Me And Their Kids...Help!

Lonnessa - posted on 01/30/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )

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So my brother-in-law, his wife, and their 2 toddler daughters currently live with my husband, our 2 toddlers, and myself. It's been so stressful on myself...I get up every morning with all 4 children...I feed them every meal. The parents sit on their butts all day on the computer. They don't help out with housework or caring for their children (besides bathing them). It's absolutely awful for me...I am so stressed out and my anxiety has skyrocketed! We only have a 2 bedroom home to top it all off...so all 4 kids are in one bedroom. My husband works 12 hours a day...I tell him what's going on but he really doesn't do anything about it! I'm so fed up and I just want them out of my home! I hate to feel that way because I can only imagine how well the girls will be taken care of once they leave and they are on their own! Anyone have any suggestions to maybe help out this situation?

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Lonnessa - posted on 02/03/2014

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When they first moved in it was just my brother-in-law and his daughters...his wife moved in right before Christmas. We had agreed that certain people did specific things off the bat...as when he moved in I was in school full time. I have a dry-erase board on my kitchen wall and we had made a chore chart. After my schooling was finished (I graduated in Dec.) things changed. I have been doing all the housework and caring for the children (all 4). Neither of them work nor do I. I am waiting on my school to schedule my exam for MA. They aren't looking for work and they don't help out.

When I ask for any kind of from my brother-in-law he rolls his eyes at me and continues to sit at the computer. When I ask for help from his wife...she always tells me she doesn't feel good...or she's tired...any kind of excuse really.

My husband has tired to talk to them a couple of times about putting too much on me...and that they need to get up with their children...help out with housework...etc. Nothing ever changes.

They hardly leave the house...so that's not really an option there. When I leave I usually take the children except for when I needed to go get groceries and the wind chills were below 40. I like taking my children with me...I took them everywhere with me before they moved in as well.

I have exhausted my options at this point and I just don't know what to do anymore.

I don't know how long they plan to stay...I do they can't move out without an income or little income that my brother-in-law has (unemployment). He couldn't even get up in the morning to make an appointment for a job.

Chet - posted on 01/30/2014

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What things have you asked your in-laws to do so far and how have they responded?

It can be difficult to come into another person's home and know how to fit in. It's possible they arrived and you looked like you had things covered. If you didn't give them specific things to do when they arrived you may have helped to establish this pattern.

I would do two things:

First I would explain to your inlaws that it's a very small small, it's a lot of kids, and that you're feeling overwhelmed. Don't criticize them, just talk about how you feel and what you need in a very honest way. Hopefully, at this point, they will be primed to pitch in. You've helped them giving them a place to live, if they are decent people they will be receptive to heartfelt plea for help from you.

Second, I would start asking them to do very specific things: Can you empty the dishwasher while I wash these potatoes for supper? Can you the clear dishes off the table while I wash the pots from supper? Can you take one or two kids with you and do these errands while I vacuum? Can you take out the garbage while I bundle the recycling?

Do you know how long they will be staying with you?

Something else that may help is finding ways to benefit from the extra adults in the house. Can you get out and do things while they watch the kids, even if it's just after the kids have gone to bed? Is it nice to have other adults around instead of being alone with toddlers all day?

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