Okay, so many of you are parents of adult children and grandparents maybe you can help me…I love my parents dearly and we live in different states. When my mother wants to come visit, she always expects to come for as long as she wants and gets upset if I suggest a shorter visit. I can tell my father it needs to be a shorter visit and he will take the blame, but I really hate to do that to him. We have a baby on the way and my parents are coming soon and planning a 10day visit and the hubby and I need that to be closer to 5 days. I need to have this talk with her now or she will move in over the summer before and after the baby is born…but we’re not going there b/c then I get to deal with MIL too ! Anyway, any of you have experience or advice on how to have this chat with my mother without completely offending her?
I wish I could give you some advice, but I have the exact opposite with my family. I want them to come visit and stay longer, but they don’t. Hope someone is able to answer your questions!
You could always tell her that you don’t really have that much time for her to be around this visit, but could suggest a longer visit sometime later when its more convenient for all of you for her to stay a longer time.
I’d have a better grasp on the situation if I knew why 5 days was okay & 10 too much. Yes, you need to talk to her. But first you need to be clear on what the issues are.
Does she expect to be entertained? Be clear on your schedule & set time limits. Does she take over your household? Designate tasks that she can & can’t do. Nicely of course, such as “I’d like help with cooking but prefer to do my own laundry.” Do you & your husband need more alone time? Suggest activities that get them out of the house in the evening. Do you grate on each others nerves? Just be honest, “I love you, but we clash over fill in the blank. Let’s hash this out so out time together is better.”
Whatever the issues, try to make it a win-win for both of you. Parents can be a big help. Or a big hinderance. If you iron out the misconceptions early on, your married life is better. And your kids have access to supportive grandparents.
I have plenty of sympathy. I think some of it may be communication styles - I can be with my parents and my dad and my mom will interpret my words in 2 entirely different ways.
Here’s where I’d start: I’d tell her you love to have her visit. I’d ask her if she remembered how tired she got when she was pregnant, and suggest that she come for 5 days now and 5 days after the baby is born. (My mom has always visited for a week for each new grandbaby - it’s long enough to help, to cuddle the baby, and to get out of the parents’ way.)
I never had problems with parental visits. I just never invited them. So it’s worked out as I’d hoped. All of my adult kids are still living at home, but I will never visit them unless they ask, will most likely stay in a hotel and try not to interfere in their schedules any more than I have to. I’ve always worked on the supposition that 3 days is a good visit. Any more than that and it’s like old fish.
Of course, my kids will be welcome to visit me any time they like and stay for 3 days, then leave.
Do they live close to you? Far away? How long does it take for them to get to your house? Is it an expensive air fare to get to your house? If it takes them a few days to travel to see you, or if it is a very expensive trip, or if they don’t visit very often, I would expect them to stay more than 5 days to make it worth their while.
Just my opinion.
As a mother and a grand mother I can say it’s a sticky problem. Both my children live far away so I have limited time to visit. My daughter is 2000 miles away and it costs us over $500 for the plane tickets alone, then we have to rent a car. So I want to stay as long as possible. I am going in June for 10 days before her wedding. So I don’t think 10 days is too long.
My Son and his wife live closer, they have a baby and another due any day. It’s a 6 hour drive and not as expensive a trip, and we make the trip 3-4 times a year. I also usually stay at a hotel when we visit, their house is small and they don’t have a “guest room” When I visit them I never stay more than 4 days, including the two travel days.
So my answer is, it depends. Why are you uncomfortable having her stay 10 days is the more pressing question.
My Mother is gone but when she was alive I would go visit her once a year for two weeks and that never seemed long enough.
My dear, You have some deep issues and I think you should be careful of free advice which sometimes won’t cost you anything, unless you take it. Some replies here are very thoughtful, probably because we all have parental issues at some time. Are you an only child? I wonder, because it appears your mom needs you to need her and you & hubby feel as if her intrusiveness is overwhelming. I don’t know how long you’ve been married, actually, I know very little about your situation. I do think that your mom needs to expand her own life experiences and these issues can’t be solved with no one’s feelings hurt. It’s too bad you two haven’t had a more open relationship.
Your mom is excited about her grandchild (maybe the 1st?) so please don’t deny her that. Consider, if any complications occur, you may be very glad to have extra help. Also consider, when you expect to have a bad experience you probably will. Best of luck. Jean
I think you gave EXCELLENT ADVICE, Abby123! Very well said, and very intuitive.
I couldn’t have said it better. I wouldn’t change one word of your advice!
When I was a new young mother…and only 18 years old…I couldn’t take my mother in the house
for 1 day. Not even half a day. We clashed. I don’t know why. I was too young to appreciate her. She was too young to be a grandmother (36yrs old). There really wasn’t anything wrong with her. It was just the chemistry between us.
She died when she was 46. I surely do miss her now.
We patched things up over the years. It was all about me learning to get along with her.
My immaturity. Me not knowing what’s really important to make issues about.
She only had me, and my brother. She lived for me. And little else.
I miss that adoration now! It’s a wonderful thing to have a mother who adores you!
Her unconditional love still keeps my heart warm all these 32 years later.
Unbeknownst to her, her confidence in me gave me confidence in myself. I think they call that self-esteem, don’t they?
I know the feeling. My mother died when I was 20 and she was 44. I never really got to the point of truly appreciating her before she died although we did get along fine. I never had her around at all when I got married or had kids and I sure did miss that.