- 3 years ago
- Wedding: August 2012
First off, DH and I used to live 20 minutes from his parents and his mom’s entire side of the family, and they are a very close-knit group, and have always been warm and welcoming towards me, which I am very thankful for. Just this past May, DH and I moved 6 hours away to a town about 1.5 hours from D.C. and now his parents and relatives see our new house as a convenient cost-free hotel within easy reach of a tourist destination. Yippee…
DH’s parents have been telling us for about a month now how they’d like to visit us and go see the D.C. attractions with us, but they never asked if/when would be a good time to visit… they simply announced they’d be here on such-and-such date. They are going on a cruise out of Baltimore in two weeks and told us they’d be staying at our house for three days before the cruise and two days after the cruise. They don’t seem to understand that with DH working as an airline captain and being gone flying 2-3 days a week, and me managing a small airport and oftentimes working quite late, that there are times when we’re just not available to have guests over, let alone overnight guests.
To complicate things, we’ve found out that they are bringing their dog with them all the way from Ohio, and plan on leaving the dog at our house for the week while they’re on their cruise. I am a total dog person and I normally wouldn’t mind this, but DH and I rent a townhouse from an owner who does not want dogs in the house. MIL does not know this. DH spoke to FIL and he wants DH and I to go behind the owner’s back and hide the dog here for a week in hopes of them not finding out (and this is not a small dog… she is 50 lbs, energetic, and a loud barker, surely the neighbors will know what’s going on). I asked why none of their 10+ relatives who live nearby to them couldn’t watch the dog for a week instead of bringing the dog on a six-hour drive to our house, and it turns out that my MIL is so incredibly attached to this dog and so overprotective of her that she refused to go on the cruise unless it was specifically DH and I who dog-sat. No one else was “worthy” enough of taking care of her dog, not even MIL’s siblings/nieces/nephews. My FIL has asked DH and I to not tell my MIL that we aren’t allowed to have dogs at our rental house because, according to my FIL, “she’d be heartbroken” if the dog had to stay at anyone else’s house and she might even refuse to go on the already-paid-for cruise, in order to be with the dog. I’ve always known my MIL was very attached to this dog, but this just made my jaw hit the floor.
Aaaand, to top it off, my FIL has recently announced that DH’s aunt and uncle might be staying with us as well. We now have to scramble and find some way to sleep two more guests in our 2-bedroom townhouse, and we won’t know if they actually will be here until only half a day beforehand.
So, my two questions are:
1) How do DH and I gently set boundaries with his parents/relatives and make it known that, due to our inflexible work schedules, we cannot have guests inviting themselves over whenever they please?
2) More importantly… What do we do about the whole dog situation?? I don’t doubt that my MIL will be very upset if/when she finds out that DH and I cannot have her dog at our house for a week, and FIL will be upset if she finds out about that. DH and I are upset that my FIL wants us to go behind the landlord’s back and hide the dog.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Sorry this ended up as a novel.