Auntie not knowing the boundaries calling unannounced advice needed

posted 3 years ago in Family
  • poll: what should I do?
    ignore the door : (3 votes)
    27 %
    speak to her about ringing first : (8 votes)
    73 %
    shes not doing anything wrong : (0 votes)
  • Post # 3
    4959 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    @mandy86:  Even if she is extremely sensitive, I think that you need to sit her down and tell her (nicely) that she really needs to ring before she comes over. I would stress “we love having you come over, etc.” but since we have two young kids, we really need to know about visitors prior to their arrival so it doesnt disrupt the baby napping, our schedule, etc.

    She may be a little upset or hurt, but it’s just rude. She will get over it and hopefully follow the rules. I would also stop answering the door when she comes over unexpectedly (like you did when she woke you up). 

    And- keep the door locked always! 

    Post # 4
    2419 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    I don’t think there is a sensitive way to deal with people who are so insensitive. However, you could start by being politely insistent about her needing to let you know before she calls round. Anyone with any sense knows that you don’t just fetch up at the house of anyone with a new baby but clearly, your aunt does not have a well developed sense of the appropriate and seems to lack social skills.

    So you have to say that you may well not be able to answer the door if she just arrives because you might well be resting or dealing with the baby, or needing some quiet time. If she phones first then you can arrange a mutually convenient time but you cannot cope with unexpected arrivals.

    If she’s over-sensitive then sure, she might well get huffy. But it might well be that coping with her in a huff is a deal easier than coping with her unwanted and unexpected arrivals. So I think you’ll have to be firm and lay down some ground rules.

    Post # 5
    4494 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 2012

    If she’s that lonely, perhaps you could visit her sometimes so she doesn’t feel the urge to drop in on you?  if you’re feeling really devious, preferably do it past her bedtime unannounced.  I’d also recommend asking an older relative for help in talking to her – I’m assuming one of your parents is her sibling, so perhaps  ask them.  


    FWIW, I think ignoring her was a good way for you to stand your ground with her.  If at one point she shows up at an inopportune time, just let her know you can’t talk right now, and you’re happy to hang out some other time if she calls first.

    Post # 7
    2419 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    You’ll need to keep telling her then until she gets the message. Only somehow you have to break this pattern or put up with it. However, she does sound like a lonely person who needs company so I wonder if it would help to arrange convenient times for her to visit? This might break the dropping-in habit but would still give her something to look forwards to so far as seeing you.

    Post # 9
    6951 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2015

    @mandy86:  I see her being over sensitive as an advantage. Tell her she is rude and to call first or you will not answer the door. Hopefully she’ll be so offended she will stop calling altogether. 

    Post # 10
    1802 posts
    Buzzing bee

    It doesn’t seem like there will be a nice way to tell your aunt not to visit you without calling first. I would make sure the doors are always locked and the curtains are closed anytime you think you should be expecting a visit from your aunt. I wouldn’t answer the door for her, and if she becomes upset and calls you I would simply tell her that you aren’t home, and if she had called first you would’ve been able to tell her that and save her the trouble of traveling to your home. 

    I would also perhaps try establishing a day of the week and times that you are able to host her that is convienent for you and your family. Give her ONE day per week and maybe an hour if you can handle her for that long. If she tries to stay more than the amount of time you told her she could I would make up something that you have to do to get her to leave. This may not work though since you did mention that you don’t drive, so it would probably be hard to say you were going somewhere unless you are living within walking distance of shops or doctor’s offices. 

    It seems harsh, but my parents had the same issue with my mom’s uncle coming over constantly unannounced. We eventually started ignoring his knocking on the door, and he got the point that he needs to call before he comes over.

    Post # 11
    11668 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Sensitive or not, it’s time to tell her she cannot stop over unannounced anymore.  I would make a habit of not answering the door, even if you are home, if she continues to come by unannounced.

    Post # 14
    147 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    Ugh she sounds overbearing and just no fun.

    I would just continue with maintaining the boundary.

    Seriously if she doesn’t call first just DON’T answer the door. If you do that consistently she will just give up eventually. Surely any person would get bored banging on someone’s door for 15 minutes after a few times.

    And just be honest. “I’m sorry Aunt but I am trying to get (son) to bed now. I am really busy. Why don’t we schedule a visit at (x) time?” and “I’m sorry Aunt but (husband) has had a long day and this is  not a good time to visit.” DO NOT LET HER IN.


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