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Do Your In-Laws Drop In Too Much? Here's How To Handle It

If you have in-laws, then there's probably been at least one moment where they've crossed some bounderies. So a recent Mom's Query on Facebook got a passionate response from our community, including: 'Jesus thats WAY to much. Ridiculous carry on. My in-laws ring once a week, and even that's too much!!'  and 'What are they even coming over so often for?! Is it to help out around the house, clean and do the dishes? If so tell them where I live and let them at it...'

Do you have trouble with overly involved in-laws? Or are yours babysitting heroes? Do you not have any at all? Whatever the case; I think you'll enjoy some of these spirited responses:

"Hi Moms, I’m looking for some advice. My husband is Irish, and I was not raised here. My in-laws are over every single day. My father-in-law has a key and lets himself in 1-2 times a day and my mother-in-law also comes over at separate times.

My father-in-law using his key wouldn't bother me, except neither of my husband’s parents call before coming over; and I am also breastfeeding. I've asked my husband to say something, but he only says it will hurt their feelings. Is this dynamic typical here? Should I just let it go? It really drives me crazy: I can't get anything done, and feel like we never have time to ourselves. I wouldn't mind if it was once a week, but it's every day. Thanks."

Break it to them gently

Melissa Would you not tell them yourself in a nice way? Just explain you don't like breastfeeding in front of people, and could they call so you know they're coming, even 10 mins ahead of time?

Anna They probably don't even realise it's upsetting you ... Just have a chat over a cup of tea and a scone. Unless you speak to them, they won't know!! Why expect your husband to speak to them? You're a grown woman, deal with it tactfully yourself.

Ursula Tell them you don't want to make anyone uncomfortable if you’re showering, or if you’re sleeping and get woken up. That's a nightmare.

Hailey My mam comes over nearly everyday but definitely calls beforehand! My future mother-in-law said that if we need space it's absolutely fine, and that she understands. Trust me, they would rather you say something, than create an awkward situation down the line.

Delegate

Maggie … That certainly is an invasion of privacy. And your husband really should say something regardless of hurting feelings. I'm sure if they knew how you feel they would be more hurt that they were not told. Ask if they wouldn't mind ringing or texting before they call over.

Jacqueline You have to talk to your husband again. His parents might be hurt, but they'll get over it: What about you, and how you’re hurt? They probably feel they have to keep coming over now, as they think you like it and would miss it. Maybe have a word with hubby, and talk to one of the parents, saying that you’re finding it a bit too much, and could they cut it down to a couple of times a week: If we don't ask, we don't get.

Nuala You need to chat with your husband again. You are his wife, mother of his child & your feelings matter just as much as his parents feelings. No one should be letting themselves into your home if you're not comfortable with it. My advice would be to speak to his parents together. Otherwise you could end up being painted as the villain. 

Lorna Your husband should be dealing with his family, you deal with yours; that's how it works. Show him all the responses on this, so he can see that no one thinks this is acceptable behaviour. Also, let him know that if he's more worried about upsetting his mum & dad than his own wife, then he needs to go live with his parents; since their opinions and feelings matter to him more than yours.

Be firm

Nicky That’s so NOT the norm. If they know you’re in, the polite thing to do is knock; and if they get no answer, go away and call in later, or better still phone and ask. That's absolutely crazy ... it's very disrespectful to just let themselves in!!

Stacy Omg this is not normal at all! I wouldn't have it! No keys should be given out unless you're away on holidays and they're keeping an eye on the house!! Get your keys back, or change the locks!! Your husband needs to grow a pair! ... Just curious though, why do they keep calling in? Do they do anything for you, or do you end up getting them a cup of tea??

Deborah Start putting the latch on the door so they can't just walk in! If you would prefer them to ring first, then tell them: They're not mind readers! If they've been given a key, obviously they're under the impression they can use it. Speak up now before you start a family feud, when it festers!

Amanda Need to put a stop to that, especially before baby is bigger: I can just imagine how 'involved' they would be in how you raise your child. Your home should be the one place where you can relax, and enjoy your time with your family; not be on constant alert for anyone walking through the door. Be nice but firm, and tell them no more!

Consider what they could walk in on...

Lulu What if you were in the middle of making baby number two when he let himself into the house?!

Margaret I had to ask my dad to stop letting himself into our house: I threatened him that I could be wandering around naked for all he knows (or breastfeeding) and I really didn't want him just walking in!!! He understood and stopped doing it! 

Eliza I understand he loves his parents, but they have to respect boundaries. They should be told it’s not fair to burst in unannounced; and if they ring first, you could be prepared. You have no problem with them calling, but it’s your home, and if you want to dance around naked, then so be it: You should be able to, without fear of them bursting in. Keys should be for emergency use only.

Sinead Walk around the house naked, that will frighten your FIL enough to never 'just walk in' again!! Seriously though, maybe just say you'd prefer if he knocked in advance, as you could be in the shower or anything; and wouldn't want the uncomfortable situation were you caught unawares!

Actions speak louder than words

Sarah This is not typical Irish behaviour, but passive aggressiveness is! Lock the door, and leave your key in it: "Oops, did I forget to take the key out? Baby brain!" At least that gives you 90 secs notice.

Gillian Get a bolt for the door- say you 've become very nervous since having a baby and you want added protection while you're napping etc. Then say 'Oh if you’re coming around let me know, and I can take the bolt off.'

Helen First I'd have my locks changed: It's not too expensive! And if your husband won't have the talk, tell him you’re going to do it yourself and it could end up very messy. But I’d defo change the lock, and only answer the door when you want. Good luck!

Loretta I had the same problem when I was younger! Get a simple lock like one of those hook and eye locks, and use it! If they say anything, tell them you need your privacy! If that doesn't work do what I did: Get a chihuahua that will bark and bite their ankles! That’s how I stopped it!

For more Mom's Queries and advice from our community, go to the eumom Facebook page. And if you'd like to submit your own query, private message eumom on facebook.

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