How much is too much - seeing families

Just wondering how much people see their family / inlaws

I don't see my family at all (long story) however I feel that we see quite a lot of my inlaws. 

My mother in law can text around 5 times every day, often more. We have my step son every other weekend, so we see them over the weekend if we have him, and often during the opposite weekend when we dont. If we see them for it day it is usually 10.30am until his bedtime. They also collect him from nursery at 3pm once a week, bring him home and stay until his bedtime. We often see them another week day evening as they have something to 'drop off' or another reason to come over.

If it is something like a birthday we would spend the whole day with them - my 30th in July we went out for the day at 9am with them, and they left our house after midnight. Same with kids birthdays. We have been on holiday with them 4 times in the last two years, but never on our own. 

Anyway... They announced the other day that they would like to come over on xmas eve and stay over here, staying for the whole of xmas day I guess. I feel that this is too much, as yet again we will get no time on our own. I don't think it's reasonable for them to expect to stay over on xmas eve when we have young kids - and I will be 8 months pregnant!

How much do you see your families?


  • That does seem to be a lot of family time!

    We tend to see my in laws once a week, they live locally and tend to pop over for maybe an hour on the weekend. Then maybe once a month we may do dinner/spend more time with them.

    My family live a bit further away, tend to see them a few times a month and it is usually for most of the day, also speak to them on the phone a few times a week.

    Think you need to put your foot down a little, once they get used to the routine of seeing you all so much it will be much harder to break the cycle!

  • I couldn't manage that FL. Even if they were my favourite people in the whole wide world! I think you definitely need some downtime, and some time for you and your man!

    What does your husband feel about the amount of contact?

  • That does seem a lot. I'd have to say something.

    I dont see my outlaws (never even met them), and I see my Mum a couple of times a week.

    I go shopping with her on Tuesdays, then I see her on Saturdays, when she picks my kids up.

  • What does your H feel about the amount of time you see his family? I guess as you live near them they may think its OK to pop round more.

    My H sees his dad about 6 times a year for a day each and takes the older two about 4 of those times. The last time I saw him was about a year ago when he came round to hurl abuse at me for half an hour but thats another story!

    My mum comes every Thursday evening and stays over as she looks after my children on a Friday. We go to my parents house to stay for the weekend about 8 times a year and are staying there for Christmas. My sister lives near my parents  and sees them every weekend

  • That's a lot, I'd be divorced I'm pretty sure! We live hundreds of miles away so see them rarely, perhaps once every two months? Last time I saw them at theirs was 1st September, plus they came up for a weekend since. That's plenty.

    In terms of a solution, gosh yes first consult with H, is he following suit because it's easier (we had a severe case of not cutting the apron strings when I met my H and he'd travel 400 miles each weekend to see them.. And do? Nothing? It just became habit). I would explain you would like a family Xmas as it's likely to be a lot busier next yeR with an almost one year old.

    I'd then break routines. Take SS out for days alone/unannounced without inviting them or tell them you've booked x/y/z (something they can't tag along with) and do that to break up the day. Your H needs time to be daddy too as well as you as SM.

  • I really get on with my inlaws but what you describe would be way too much time! We see them about every other week, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less, this has increased from monthly since we've had our LO. They live 40 miles away though so am sure they would 'pop in' more if they were local, and that would be fine. But yours sound very overbearing, and spending your whole birthday with you would be too much for me as well, not to mention never getting a holiday by yourself.

    I would definitely say something, as I don't think it's fair even if your H is totally happy with it.

  • I was going to post a moan about my ILs as they are driving me nuts with constant visiting at the moment but will refrain as you sound like you're having a much tougher time of it. I think I'm getting off lightly!

    You need to explain this can't go on to your H. It might be hard for him to hear, so try to say it in a way that doesn't sound like you're attacking, maybe say that you want to spend more time as a family with you, your H, step son and bump/baby.

    LM makes a good point - try breaking the routine and plan things that get you away from home at times when they would normally be round. You'll feel better for taking control of things.

    I really sympathise though. My ILs have started moaning that they haven't seen S in x amount of days and its not fair that my mum has done such and such with him and they haven't etc. For the most part I'm ignoring them butive found getting out and about with other people so we aren't around at all times to be working well.

  • I rarely see mine now... They live locally but we had a little bit of a fall out a couple of months ago... So at the moment my h pops over once a week for a couple of hours so they get to see little man.  

    Getting out and organising things without them sounds like a good plan.

  • Blimey that's a lot! 5 texts minimum a day would be enough to drive me up the wall. I think you need to say something.

    I see my outlaws maybe once a fortnight, less if we can get away with it. If I can wangle it so that H goes without me then all the better. But he's reluctant as he fears being stuck there with them alone. Safety in numbers and all.

  • I couldn't do that!

    In laws wise. I've met my mil about 5 times - once at her mothers funeral and they other times she's been at my bil's when we have stopped in. Fil we haven't seen since July 2010. He has met L once.

    My mum I tend to see on Thursday night be wise she watches the kids for me. And I usually lounge about in their house on Saturday afternoons when H is working. They occasionally pop in for a cuppa on the way home from work on a week night. But that is literally for 30 mins before the kids showers.

    My mum will complain if she doesn't see the kids much but in a caring, loving grandparent way. Not too over powering.

  • Thanks everyone - it's good to know I am not being too harsh feeling that we see them a lot.

    My partner is a bit stuck in the middle - he is an only child and he has always been very close to them. He does understand how I feel but it's hard to say anything without them being offended.

    I like the advice about breaking the routine - it is true that they have come to expect us to see them this much. I got into the habbit of spending Tuesdays with them every other week, because we had my step son for the day (he's 3 so not at school) and my partner was at work, so they always suggested I went out somewhere with them etc. I did this every other Tuesday for nearly a year, and one week I decided to break the routine. So, I texted and said that he needed new shoes and I had to take him shopping... They made such a big thing of it, said it was 'their time' with their grandson, as if I had no right to not see them, said how dissapointed and upset they were etc. They were then very cold with me for a few weeks and it made things very difficult. I was upset by it but my partner finds it very easy to ignore and just tells me not to let them get to me - but I find it hard when they are being so cold with me and they are not even my parents. But I think it's probably right that this is the only way forward.

    Our first baby together is due in February and I am worried this will just make things worse. My MIL is constantly saying how much help I am going to need, how they are just down the road, how she will come over to hoover for me, how I shouldnt be proud and ask for help if I need it. She has even told us how she is going to lay out her outfit from when I am about 30 weeks pregnant in her bedroom, in case I go into labour in the night and she has to come over!! I am worried that she will inflict this 'help' on me if I want it or not, and they will constantly be here. Even if they have no reason to come over, she will make cakes so that she has a reason to come and drop them off!

    It has made me feel better to know that we do see a lot of them though, and I am not being totally unfair thinking it is a lot!

  • It's a really difficult position to be in for you FL, I hope your MiL will take the hint and back off but I expect she won't understand the problem! I've got friends with MiLs who are similar and far too interfering! My MiL is pretty much the opposite, she's not very 'mumsy' at all, she lives an hour away but very rarely visits us, hardly hear from her. We're about to have our first baby and we haven't spoken to her in 4 weeks, it annoys me that she hasn't bothered to check how things are with the bump seeing as we're so close. H always says he's quite happy with the limited contact as obviously they aren't very close. It will be interesting to see of the arrival of a grandchild makes a difference!

  • If I saw my ILs that much I think I would've gone crazy. Mine live 20min drive away and never just pop in. It can be over 2weeks before we hear anything from them. If we want them to see the girls we either invite ourselves over and have to force them here by offering to cook dinner for them. My mil never sits down. She's always hovering around. She is verging on ocd with her cleaniless too so I know she's not comfortable in our house where the dog is allowed on our furniture.

    We had words a couple of years ago when eldest was a baby and things have been strained since.

    Doesn't bother me that we don't see them. H does go on his own.

    We hear from my parents who are 500miles away more.

  • I hate to say it FL, but if you don't do something now, you are going to have a masive problem when baby arrives. We currently live with my parents, but they aren't overbearing at all. We only see mil or bil once a week to once a fortnight as we stay a few miles apart and mil can't drive, and doesn't get on with my mum. It may cause a grump at the time, but laying down some ground rules for when baby arrives might be a good idea, like asking them to respect that you would like a little alone time and that you will ask for help if you need it. And unless you want her there, I'd make it known that you don't intend to tell them baby is on the way until you are leaving for the hospital. Saying it all now and keep reminding them of your wishes should hopefully give them time to get their head around how things are going to be.

  • wow I think that's a lot. We are on the opposite side of the spectrum though. We see my parents every 2-3 months and my ILs every 6 months. Distance is a big factor and we don't have particularly close relations hip with the ILs. I think you need to schedule in more family time like a date and help break the routine.

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