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Help!! In Laws Visiting Soon!!

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by thegirlygirl, Jun 27, 2023.

  1. thegirlygirl

    thegirlygirl Platinum IL'ite

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    Hello ladies,

    My in laws are soon going to visit us for 3 long months starting next week, this is their first visit and the first time we all are going to live together.
    I was here even before we got married so I've never really stayed with them.

    I need your advise on how I can set boundaries, not lose my sanity, not waste my time unnecessarily and still have a cordial relation with them while they are here.
    I'm currently not working and dependant on hubby. While they are here I plan to devote my time for a licensing exam I'm planning to take which is tough and will be in Jan.

    So here are some red alerts already.
    1) mil has already made a list of friends and acquaintances she is going to invite over for lunch. Mil is very social and has many connections plus my hubby's childhood friends also live here. I've got an idea from our phone talks and whatsapp groups that she does the same while in india. Invites all her relatives and make my co sister entertain them all the time. I don't know how I will handle that. In addition to cooking we also have to do all the cleaning here unlike in india. My husband hardly helps and comes very late from work.

    2) She's told me on the phone that she would be cooking all hubby's favorite dishes, as in she mentioned ' we shall cook'. So I get a feeling that she will make me help her cook and learn all those things. So I basically cook independently as well as help her while she's at it! How will I handle that? I'll have no free time left for myself.

    3) I've found a public library behind my house, where I'm planning to go everyday to study for some hours. I don't know even how that will be taken by them? What do I tell them I'm going there to do? I haven't told them about the exam yet, they like to tell the whole clan about our personal lives and future plans.

    Please give advise on the above as well as some additional tips.
    Thanks in advance
     
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  2. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    Didn’t you post about this earlier? I remember replying.
    If you have an exam tell them that you have to spend some time studying. Your DH should be doing this. Make a schedule and stick to it. Don’t get into long explanations or justifications.
    What is your husband planning to do for their visit? He should be taking some time off for them, right?
    If she wants to cook then let her. Use it as an opportunity to learn to cook what your DH likes.
    You should talk to your husband about your MIL’s plans for entertaining people in your home and come to an arrangement that works for everyone.
     
  3. thegirlygirl

    thegirlygirl Platinum IL'ite

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    Thanks for your reply.
    Yes, you're right I posted this earlier when they booked their tickets.
    Now posted again as I'm getting jittery since it's just one week away.
    Ok, she has already mentioned inviting people.
    How do I bring this up with hubby?
    Like should I ask him if he will do chores when guests come?
    Or should I agree with him on how many people/ times we are going to be entertaining?
    I'm scared about telling regarding the exam since I fear things getting jinxed when I tell everyone. Plus I only recently decided about this since my other career options have failed.

    No, hubby is not planning to take time off. He comes really late from work. When I casually asked him once on how it would work when they come, he said I'm there to entertain them.

    Like I said Mil has a huge circle of close knit friends who must have already loaded her with tons of advice, and I'm sure she is also coming here with some plan in mind.....
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2023
  4. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    If your husband is planning to put all the work on you then it will be a problem. You need to talk to him and come up with something that’s equitable. And he needs to support you when they actually arrive. Other wise it’s going to be 3 vs you and you will become resentful. They may be thinking this way since they feel you’re not working and you have all the time in the world anyway, but you have to let him know that he should also shoulder some of the responsibility of their visit.
     
  5. lavani

    lavani Platinum IL'ite

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    I am confused. So what happens if you do that. I meant actually in consequences. May be you are anxious.

    Even if they tell about your plans to others , it does not really affect you. if you are sticking to your plan.

    I am not just saying to invalidate you, we all go through this. may be wait and watch instead of actually reacting early. and getting a bad name.

    helping them, i think you can spend an hr or 2 to help and get along with your goals. also this does not mean cooking 2 hrs daily. that is ridiculous.
     
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  6. hrastro

    hrastro Platinum IL'ite

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    @thegirlygirl
    Planning, Planning and more Planning
    Time chunking is the secret -
    1. Keep a 4 hour time for just yourself everyday - and keep it clear of anything to do with family
    2. Keep a 2-3 hour chunk for housework - include cooking, cleaning, washing clothes etc - combine this with the most active time of your in-laws so that you can keep talking with them while getting work done (you can escape to work if/when you want to answer unpolitical stuff or when you get irritated, you can scrub the kadai harder)
    3. Include and finish all prep and cooking for the day in these 2-3 hours (except roti or rice or dosa etc will be expected hot)
    4. Keep another hour where you discuss plans for the day/week/weekend with them - Do this everyday at the same time - so that they know you are available at this time everyday.
    5. Keep an hour with your DH - one-on-one - you will need to vent - when you want to vent, always be respectful as they are his parents - otherwise he will start defending and it becomes a fight. Tell him clearly - "listen without judging, I just want you to listen and not offer impossible solutions or start a fight" - be upfront - clear and respectful communication is the key
    6. Keep a time for your DH and inlaws where they can sit and talk comfortably - let them bond - your bonding is not affected just because they might have some private jokes or secrets... just let them be...
    7. Keep a time where your inlaws will relax or entertain themselves everyday - say go for a walk or meet friends or just sleep or watch TV - you should not be entertaining them 24x7 - thats where trouble starts!
    8. Dont leave any part of your day unplanned - make it clear when you are available and when you are not available - otherwise you will be spending the entire whole day "entertaining" them

    Tell it to them upfront - example - "I will not be available everyday from 1-5pm - I will ensure lunch is prepared, could you please manage tea, I will come back and prepare dinner" - And LEAVE EXACTLY ON TIME every single day. Go and prepare for that exam.
    If you dont want to share details of the exam - tell them it is for your further studies in your subject, some certificate course that you have to attend classes for, some new art class or finance class - if you tell about library, they could say oh dont go today or go half an hour late, wait till Dollyaunty arrives and then go or make chai for Sharmauncle and then go... etc...
    If you say it is a class where there is a teacher, your inlaws will respect your time (but for this to work - you have to also leave exactly at the same time every single day)

    Do what you want in that 4-hours - study, go for a walk, social media updates, a coffee at a favourite shop - do everything in that time - dont expect even a single minute of the rest of the day to be yours for the next 3 months ! If you get some other time just for yourself - appreciate it but dont expect.

    Always ENSURE that half an hour before you leave you ask all that is required by them - is there enough food, milk, phone balance, TV, if they need to go out - cab details etc, so that there is no excuse for them to say - arrey beta, thegirlygirl was not at home, so I struggled for this or could not find that!

    Make sure that whatever work you CAN push to DH, and he is good at - push it on him - it will reduce your burden and save your time for other things

    Have a guest day when your DH is available - for example - you can suggest that your inlaws call all guests only on saturdays for dinner because the guests would like to meet DH too :relieved::wink: Wow, such a good DIL you are!
    That way your guest days would be limited and no surprises - and you have your DH to handle the guests/extra work and on other days you are free! 10 guests or 15 guests doesnt make a difference to the work, but 3 days of 5 guests each increases your workload and BP levels!

    Any outings for them - ensure and plan the cab, travel plans - pack good healthy food, their tablets and water, pay for their comfortable travel, give them the map and lots of tips and be the most caring DIL - you could even combine some of their friends/relatives and plan for them too and let them go - have the home empty and peaceful for yourself :wink:

    I will stress on this once again -
    Be respectful when you complain to your DH about your in-laws !
    Am saying this because you said you have never lived with them! Obviously they will be different, so you will have some conflicts and complains. But be respectful!
    Convey to your DH upfront (not this exact sentence) - "I will complain, but please take it in the right spirit - if you dont listen, and I vent somewhere outside or burst in front of them, it will create further problems - so just listen to my venting and help if you can. Or at least encourage me and calm me down - dont get defensive and start a fight"
    Have some kind of a strategy about this based on your interactions with your DH.


    Make a list of grocery items that is required for "DH favourite foods" and ask him to get it before they come - include all unperishables for the next 3 months and ask him to arrange in kitchen. Also keep lots of trashbags and disposable glasses, plates, cutlery, & icecream/snacks for sudden guests

    Your kitchen will change its face when your MIL comes - so if there are any favourites that you dont want to be stained or broken (oh no... My best friend gifted me this blender) - please hide it now and keep alternatives ready.
    Keep a stock of food/drinks for unexpected guests - be prepared with drinks, juice, tea etc and also have something in the freezer - like frozen aloo tikki that you can prepare immediately
    Check these threads for some ideas:
    How do YOU keep your kitchen always ready ?
    What can You Make in 10 Minutes from Your Kitchen Right Now for Kids?

    Keep smiling
    HR
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2023
  7. DDream

    DDream Finest Post Winner

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    You already got great tips. Still...

    1) Be who you are
    2) treat them with respect, or the same way you want your husband to treat your parents
    3) Dont build up prejudice or biases and consider them as monsters. It will reflect in your body language
    4) one they are here, make them comfortable by preparing some things they prefer to eat. Do basics , ask if they need anything, let MIL cook if she prefer. Dont be afraid, if you like some thing for you, you can cook them as you wish.
    5) behave as normal and stick with your schedules or plans
    6) go for watch / observe mode, just use common sense. You guys are strangers to some extent, so learn by observing them.
    7) they are here, let them spend time with their son, give space.
    8) its an opportunity to build a cordial relationship with them, so face the situation open minded
    9) if you have some concerns, convey it your h in your private space and use ' I' instead of ' you' and seek his help. Complaining and negativity wont work.
    10) let him do his chores, dont over do. Some MILs dont like it, and if they want they can do it , dont take that responsibility

    11) be practical, not emotional, dont take every thing to heart

    12) you will never consider them as your parents and they can't consider you as their kid. MIL is always MIL, know the boundary, same way DIL is DIL. So, try to form a respectable working relationship. Dont expect much.

    13) talk with your h in advance, plan things ahead, so it's easy on both. Let him know its his parents, you will provide support and your aim is to have a comfortable stay for every one

    14) if you need to say no, learn how to express in a nicer way. Never say 'yes' when your mind says 'no'. You should know what to talk what not to. Being pleasant helps. Also, learn when to walk away.

    15) take it easy. Use your brain than heart. Dont share every thing with your parents.
    16) Senior citizens like acknowledgement, hierarchy, etc.. Be smart.
    17) go with the flow.
    18) tell your h in advance that, you like them to have a great time, but he should not ignore you. Instead he should treat you well as usual and both of you act as a team. Use ' we' to enforce that you want every one happy
    ( this is the main issue that create problems later, not PILs, blame falls on them. Many h's dont know how to be a h and son at the same time)

    I have a good relationship with my PILs. I am not afraid to express my opinion. We can talk on any topic. I mostly listen. Also, I appreciate good things and encourage positive things. My MIL dress so elegant and cooks well. She likes if I provide a positive feedback, for example. I had this mindset- they are my guests and I will try to make their stay comfortable in my home. It helped. A slight detachment also helps. The above tips helped me when they visited my home and helped us to build a good relationship.

    Its not easy to entertain anyone for long. So, give respect , take respect , give space, take space. Communicate in a calm respectable way. Be free, confident, fearless and who you are.You will be fine.

    Also, I like to acknowledge that every one, and situations are different. But, a positive approach will give a satisfaction that you tried. Just face it or any situation with a free mind. That will give ideas to tackle. No need to get stressed in advance.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2023
  8. gamma50g

    gamma50g Gold IL'ite

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    @thegirlygirl if none of the above advices work for you, then think of people like me who get a visit from their in laws for 15 to 18 months at a time with a 3 (very short) months break in between (thank you Green Card) and be happy its just a 3 month visit :tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy:
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2023
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  9. lavani

    lavani Platinum IL'ite

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    I love your point 16. sometimes it is good to act aggreable even if you want to do your way with some adjustments. ego fights no good.
     
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  10. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    Wow! The job of DIL appears to be more complicated than of HR head managing Human Resources in a company and even a traffic manager who manages all the trains in both directions.

    In my view, please do the following:

    1) Create a great first impression since it is a first visit.

    2) Suggest your DH should take them to various places on a regular intervals that would help you get me time.

    3) The best way to tell the difficulties of managing chores overseas is to sympathize with them for doing it themselves. Tell them you know how hard it is.

    4) Prepare a detailed plan as to when the guests can come. Divide them into manageable sets of people and present it as that is when MIL and you can handle chores.

    5) Prepare lunch and tea made in a flask if you were going to be out from 1-5 pm

    6) Prefer time to spend with in-laws when your husband is around. Tell him to take it easy for 1-2 days in a week. Minimize time you need to spend with in-laws all by yourself.

    7) Introduce them to the parks where they can walk on their own and spend time themselves. Load your home with books and videos that would excite them.

    8) If in-laws were to interact with your friends, please ensure your presence always. Do not send them for a senior citizens meet all by themselves.

    9) One day over the weekend, ask your husband to take them to the temple.

    10) 15 days prior to their departure, begin telling them that you were going to miss them. Ensure you go to see them off.
     
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