Overbearing family

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Overbearing family

Postby oranges » Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:36 pm

My husdand and I are both very lucky as we come from loving families, but at times they are so overbearing it feels as though they are stifling us.

For instance this weekend: we wake up on Saturday morning and we have had a 'visitor in the early hours!' aka my mother. She has left a shopping bag of surprises by our bag door - random items which she thought we might like - and a few carrier bags of logs for our woood burner. I had arranged to go and pick the logs up from my parents house this week but before I have had chance they are there.

Sunday morning and by 9.30 my mother has been and visited again and so have my in-laws. Again my mothers visit was a secret early morning poke around our garden. When we open the backdoor the washing has been taken off the line - although there was no need for it to be as it is still damp - and stuffed into a dirty old log basket so that it is now creased, damp and partly covered in dirt. Another couple of carrier bags if logs are also there. Before I have had breakfast my in-laws are wlaking through the back door and we have a surprise visit as they were passing - the third this week!!!!

My husband and I are both busy in the week working stressful jobs. On the weekend we have domestic chores, DIY (currently decoating) and our own busy social life. However, our parents just drop-in unannounced and it is becoming a real bug bear. It feels as though we are under siege. If it isn't one set of parents it's the other. How can we politely tell them to back off? I have tried broaching this subjectwith my mother before and she sulked for a month and now has reverted to sneaking around! It's driving me mad!!! :o
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Re: Overbearing family

Postby brendo » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:00 am

Both sets of parents obviously want to be part of your lives which is great, but I understand how overbearing they can be! The two issues here seem to be the early morning calls and the time they take from your weekend activities around the house.

You can't get rid of your parents completely and it is difficult to ask them to cut down on their visits without offending them as you have seen with your mum previously. But perhaps you can put them to good use when they do call over? When Dad visits, throw a paintbrush his way and get him to chip in with the decorating; if mum wants to take care of the laundry while you tend to the garden then it's all good. If the other set of parents arrive at the same time, sit them down for a quick cup of tea; then tell them how busy your week has been and send them off with your shopping list and some cash and they're out of your hair for a few hours! Perhaps you are a little overwhelmed with your weekends work and social demands so since you have extra hands around the house you should put them to good use.

Parents love nothing more than helping out their kids and love to feel they are of some use around the house(thus the gift of logs and clothes line 'help'). Involving them in the house chores ensures that all the work gets done and the family social needs are met at the same time. If any parent is adverse to a 'working' visit then maybe they will call less often and your wish will be granted without you having said anything to anyone! Either way, you should come out of it a more relaxed weekend person :)

Finally I would definitely make it clear that you do love their visits but after a long week you don't want to see ANYONE until after midday on a Saturday or Sunday. Close all the curtains and windows, lock all external doors and disconnect all phones for a few weekends until midday if that message doesn't hit home straight away. They need to see that it's not just them -> no one is welcome into the house before that hour.

Hope it all works out :D
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” -Albert Einstein
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Re: Overbearing family

Postby ILoveChristmas » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:19 am

I agree with Brendo - excellent advice.

My concern, and something Brendo touched on, is that inviting them in and getting them involved may be exactly what they're after. It might be the inch they need to take a mile if you understand my meaning.

It seems like your mother in particular is at the root of the issue. The early morning 'sneaky' visits are completely out of order in my view, despite her good intentions. You are entitled to your privacy and it's something which is being completely undermined by her wandering into your garden. If she's anything like my mother then she may simply not have realised what she's doing, but that doesn't excuse it, or make it right.

The Sunday morning drop-ins are also wrong on the part of your in-laws. Maybe they've been up for hours and feel that 9.30 is a reasonable time to call round to someone's house, but most people, particularly those with busy jobs and tiring lives would disagree.

I feel like you probably are going to have to tackle it fairly head on. You haven't made any mention of your dad. Could you talk to him about it? Perhaps the next time your mum is about to head round to yours he could catch her and suggest that she waits until a more reasonable hour, or leaves it until another day. If that isn't possible then I don't think you're left with any choice but to sit her down and explain that you would rather she didn't come round unannounced. Put it as delicately as possible, but it sounds as though she may get annoyed about it anyway. So be it. She'll snap out of it sooner or later, but she needs to learn that ground rules apply.

Your in-laws may take a hint a little better than your mother, but maybe your husband will have a better feeling for how to tackle them.
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Re: Overbearing family

Postby Angel_Fairy » Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:21 am

Wow! You're story is identical to my predicament! But its my dad mainly not my mum...

Ever since I moved in to my house he would pop round during the day (whilst I was at work) to do household chores for me...Though I know I should be grateful for this, I HATE when people snoop, and for someone to snoop around MY home when Im not there is completely unfair. It's ridiculous- My partner and I felt we had to actually lock our bank statements and other things we wouldnt want my dad to see away, otherwise that would be the subject of his early morning call the next day- 'you shouldve said you needed money'...etc. LOL.

Well, this went on for me, for about a year, including 8.30 phone calls at the weekend, and every weekend i would say call AFTER 10am- which I dont think was rude- but my dad would brush it off and call early anyways- with very UN urgent news.

Sounds horrible, but I needed to come out and say it, it did hurt my dad's feeling, but when he rang- i would say 'call back at 10am' and hang up. I know this sounds so incredibly rude now- as i know he's trying to be nice- but EVERY weekend for a year Saturday and Sunday being woken up at 8.30 after working all week- Needless to say I was a little fraught! but it worked- he was in a huff for a week and refused to call me, but thankfully he now calls dead on 10am, instead and he doesn't come in the house now - only when he has asked me to.

It's only because they love you and they genuinely think they are helping you. So try not to be rude- like me- but maybe they need more than hints. I now unplug the house phones every Friday- just encase- if its an emergency they will phone my mobile and leave a message. The doors are locked and bolted too. Sounds ridiculous, but i havent had any unwelcome visits for a while, and an offer of maybe cooking them a sunday roast will hopefully give them an excuse to keep all their 'urgent' news untill Sunday at an appropriate time, and they won't be offended. But dont get stuck in a routine of them coming round EVERY weekend for dinner! You don't want that either :)

Good Luck XXX :) XXX
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