Post # 1
My husband and I bought a wreck of a house a few months ago and, given that both my husband and father-in-law are very handy, they are doing the work themselves. Whilst the boys are outside working, my mother-in-law just sits inside and I feel like I have to entertain her (as she is in my house) rather than getting on with jobs I need to do. This is fine, but it is now every weekend and, as much as I like my mother-in-law, she is depressive so being around her can be quite draining. I am finding it a bit much.
I knew my in-laws were coming over today, but my husband told me they were coming over in the afternoon. I am nearly 7 weeks’ pregnant, exhausted, working a 60+ hour working week Mon – Fri with more work to do at home this weekend, have morning sickness all day every day and was so looking forward to having a lie-in and then pottering around in my dressing gown this morning eating buttered toast (my current craving) and maybe watching some TV. I’ve woken up at 10am and my in-laws are already here. Am I unreasonable to feel pissed off at this? 10am is not the afternoon.
I feel so ungrateful as my father-in-law has been such a massive help with the house. But, they are super traditional and I know they think I should ‘look after’ my husband more (even though I have the more stressful, higher paid job) and therefore that I’m lazy when the housework isn’t done etc. They won’t say anything to me, but I know they’ll think I’m lazy for staying in bed this late (MIL doesn’t know I’m pregnant yet as her depression means she wouldn’t cope if we miscarry).
I just really needed a morning of R&R. Now I need to get up, showered and start doing things around the house immediately and talking to my Mother-In-Law about how depressed she is. Gah.
Post # 2
You’re complaining that they came round at 10am while your father in law is offering you a huge amount of free labour for your renovations?
Surely your father in law was talking to your husband about what work they needed to get done that day/ when they would be over etc?
I think you’re being a bit unreasonable getting annoyed at this, they aren’t demanding you get up and entertain MIl that’s something you’ve concluded yourself.
Who cares if MIl thinks you’re lazy if you’re still in bed at 10am?
Post # 3
zzar45 : Yes, I am annoyed they were here before 10am when my husband said it would be the afternoon.
I was brought up to be a hostess and would never knowingly be in bed when guests arrive or when I should be entertaining them. And yes, I do care that my in-laws will think I’m lazy.
I’m a tired, pregnant, nauseous, introvert who has had zero downtime this week and just wanted a bit of quiet time this morning rather than to wake up feeling rude as my in-laws have turned up many hours early and to have to occupy my depressive mother-in-law when I have no energy left to give.
They are also going to expect me to eat a full English breakfast with them for lunch (as they’ve brought it with them) and the thought is turning my stomach.
I am so grateful to father-in-law for his help, but couldn’t they just have turned up when expected.
Post # 4
splishsplash : I think you’re just being sensitive and emotional. You’re annoyed that you have to play hostess, but then on the other hand you’re also annoyed they brought food for lunch and you don’t want to eat it. Do you see how you’re being unreasonable? You can’t be annoyed at someone because they brought food that you don’t feel like eating because you’re in the early stages of pregnancy. I’m sure it’s annoying to have food cooking in your house when you’re feeling delicate but they brought food over to be nice, not to piss you off.
Again with them coming over in the morning, your father in law is working on your house for free so I’m sure you just thought they were helping. If 10am is too early then ask your husband to speak to them but it doesn’t need to be a massive deal.
Also, maybe you’re just tired and a bit off but your constant mention of not wanting to deal with your “depressive MIl” just comes off a bit rude.
Post # 5
Stop caring what they think. They want to think you’re lazy? Fine, let them. They have expectations that don’t work for you? Shut them down and set boundaries. You don’t want to eat the food? Don’t. You want to lounge in your bed clothes? Do it. You don’t want to entertain MIL? Don’t.
This is all on your husband to reinforce with his parents. If his mom needs entertained then it’s up to him to deal with that. If they’re talking negative about you then he should be shutting that down and making a boundary.
Mother-In-Law says “oh OP you should be taking care of my son more”. You say “MIL how our relationship operates is between me and him. This is not a topic that’s appropriate to discuss.”. Change subject. She pushes? You end the conversation and your husband follows up with boundary setting and telling his parents it’s not appropriate.
Stop bending yourself backwards especially for what’s going to always be a losing battle. Also either make the choice to not have the free help by your Inlaws so they aren’t over or accept that you’re getting free labor and you’re going to have to deal with this in some capacity.
Personally, I’d stop accepting the free labor, start seeing them less, and coordinate with your husband to better handle boundary setting/management when you do see them.
Post # 6
splishsplash : it might help you think of it this way…
I’m sure your in-laws would probably prefer to be at their own home doing their own chores or bring out doing something they enjoy instead of sitting in yours or renovating yours. It seems like this weekend everybody is doing something they most probably don’t want to. You included. Put your clothes on greet your in-laws and play hostess or get your Mother-In-Law to help you do your chore list. Tell them your tummy is off and just eat the toast with butter and beg out of the English breakfast. It will also explain your 10am sleep in if you tell them your tummy is off.
Post # 7
I feel you girl. First, I just got past that stage of pregnancy, and it gets better. I promise! Eat your toast in bed and relax 😊
I wouldnt give a flying f*ck what my mother in law thought of my house if I were the one working 60+ hours a week. I know it’s hard to get past that mentally, but try.
Does she have nothing else to do but sit on your couch all day and wait for her husband? That seems odd. I would honestly just go about your plans. Give her the TV remote and let her know you’re going to run your errands, or do whatever house project you had planned to do that day. Let her know there’s water in the fridge and snacks in the pantry but don’t babysit her. It may seem rude, but if she’s doing this every weekend, how can YOU get anything done?!
Post # 8
You are being unreasonable. BUT I understand where you’re coming from. Last year, my Future Father-In-Law generously offered his deceased parents’ house to us rent-free. They plan to give it to my fiancé (or he’ll inherit it in many years). The deal was though that we’d have to renovate the house and care for it properly. Similar to your situation, my fiancé, his brother and his dad are really handy and they did so much work last summer. Sure, they used my inheritance money for the materials but if we’d had to hire craftspeople, things would have been slower and more expensive by far.
I’m super grateful, I really am. But I also got SO ANNOYED at seeings my Future Father-In-Law every bloody day. He can be kind and funny and generous but he can also be really disrespectful (saying mean things about my career) and I often feel he disapproves of me not being handy at all (but willing to learn). There were some days when I really needed to finish working on the house earlier than what he deemed appropriate and I often stayed on even though I was exhausted and sometimes he pressured us to come to his place for dinner. Kindly meant, impossible to refuse – but I really just wanted pizza and to flop on the couch in my PJs.
So you see, I really understand where you’re coming from. There’s only one things to do though: suck it up. Some time soon the house will be finished. You’ll have more time and privacy. It’s hard now, especially when you feel you’re being an ungrateful brat but you’ll get there and you’ll have the house and all will be well.
Post # 9
splishsplash : I was brought up to be a hostess and would never knowingly be in bed when guests arrive or when I should be entertaining them. And yes, I do care that my in-laws will think I’m lazy.
This is your problem bee….you’re doing this to yourself. You are a grown ass woman and your choices are YOUR choices….own them! If they think you are lazy does that make it true? As long as you continue to choose to do things you neither need nor want to do then yes you are being unreasonable…to yourself. Stop making yourself so available, open your mouth and speak up. If you’re not up to visitors that day, then you’re not up for it. There should be no obligation for you to entertain
As far as the introvert thing is concerned, I myself am an introvert so I totally get how you felt when they showed up hours earlier than expected. You were going to use that time to chill out and refresh in preparation for their arrival and they totally destroyed those plans. Dear bee learn to speak up to your husband. He needs to know how important your downtime is so he can effectively communicate to his parents.
Post # 10
I actually totally understand how you’re feeling. It would drive me up a wall to feel like I had to entertain every weekend without getting a chance to sleep in. I guess I don’t understand why your Mother-In-Law tags along every time though. If she has nothing better to do then, as PPs have said, go about your business regardless of what she might think. It’s hard because no one likes to be judged in their own home, but she sounds like the type to find fault anyway. It is definitely nice of your Father-In-Law to offer free help, so I would probably suck it up until then and just continue to sleep in and go about your day. You shouldn’t have to entertain someone all day long.
Post # 11
In your shoes, I know that I’d feel annoyed!
I hope you start feeling better soon. Those early weeks of pregnancy are really tough!
Post # 12
I totally get the introvert thing, Bee, as I’m the same way. I have to have downtime, or I can’t function. Plus you’re pregnant and probably having to find ways to get around eating food that they bring that might make you sick.
Deep breaths! First, your Father-In-Law is super awesome for spending his weekends helping you, so definitely keep that in perspective. Second, just let your Mother-In-Law babysit herself and take care of YOU! After a certain point of being around someone, I just stop caring and do what I want. My parents don’t care if I’m in my PJs, and neither do my in-laws. Eventually they should understand that you can’t host them all weekend, every weekend when you’re also working. It’s all about finding a balance.
Post # 13
This has a simple solution. Put on some comfy lounging clothes in which you don’t mind being seen in front of your inlaws, but tell everyone that you’re feeling exhausted and run down from the pace of your job your home responsibilities and really need to start spending some downtime on the weekends trying to rest and recuperate from the demands of the week to stay healthy. Then do that.
Have your buttered toast and a beverage, and disappear to your room and relax with a book. Or lie on your sofa and watch some TV, even though Mother-In-Law is there. You’re not really a “hostess” in the sense that you’ve invited your in-laws over for dinner or a party, so you don’t need to entertain and wait on your Mother-In-Law hand and foot while she’s there.
If it makes you feel better, you can simply “apologize” for the fact that circumstances are such that your house simply cannot look picture perfect each time your in-laws are there, and that you’re glad they’re family and not merely guests.
Post # 14
splishsplash : how you choose to react to a situation is 100% within your control. Is it annoying that they came early? Sure. But you’re the one choosing to care about what they think and play hostess. You don’t HAVE to do these things. You are choosing to care more about Mother-In-Law thinking you’re lazy than telling her you’re pregnant (because you’ve also chosen to put her mental status above your physical health right now). Her depression is not your burden. If you don’t want to tell her about your pregnancy, that’s fine. But don’t then get annoyed that you think she feels you’re lazy when in fact you’re pregnant and need to sleep. That’s your choice.
Post # 15
You are setting the requirement that you have to get up, shower, and entertain. Tell Mother-In-Law you’re exhausted and not feeling well and go back to your bed.
Your Father-In-Law is doing a great deal for you right now and apparently Mother-In-Law tagging along is part of the package. When you are feeling better you can have a brief visit with her, let her know what you have to accomplish that day, and then set to accomplishing it. She can choose to join in or not, that is up to her.