6 Strategies for Dealing with In-Law Visits (or Any Houseguests You're Not Looking Forward To)

6 Strategies for Dealing with In-Law Visits (or Any Houseguests You're Not Looking Forward To)

Your children are always ecstatic to see their grandparents. But what if you aren’t?


By Susie Ochs

When you have kids, and they have grandparents, sometimes you find yourself sharing your home with parents or in-laws who are there to dote on the grandchildren, but can't help driving you up the wall with their harmless quirks while they're at it.
I am an expert on this very phenomenon. And these are my time-tested tips to get through with your sanity and relationships intact. It's not always easy, but you can do this.

Remember it's not about you
Repeat after me: They're not there to see you, and they're not trying to drive you crazy. Kids and their grandparents have such a special, precious relationship, and if grandparents are willing to get on a plane or hop in the car and come visit, this should be encouraged. Try to remind yourself of how much fun they're having together and how lucky you all are to have each other. Yes, it's cheesy, but I've found when you start with gratitude and a focus on the positives, everything else is just a little bit easier. Maybe not easy, but easier.

Vent cautiously
Complaining to your spouse about your in-laws can be tricky. If there are things you know bug you both that you can joke or vent about privately to ease the tension, great. But if your spouse doesn't want to hear negatively about his parents, that's understandable. If something is really upsetting you, it's worth it to talk it out anyway so you can get another perspective and hopefully get through the rest of the visit without blowing up. But for little things that just bug you, you could always turn to a friend, your journal, or even a pet.

Phone a friend
Don't just call to complain—make some plans to get yourself out of the house! Unless you really need to be around for some reason, take advantage of having an extra adult or two to watch the kids, and take some time for yourself. Go outlet shopping, go see a movie, go for a hike, go wine tasting, go volunteer, or just go sit at the library and read for a few hours.

If you're worried about being guilt tripped, try...just not explaining. Who knows, maybe it'll be fine. If it's not, I think a white lie to cover your tracks (you signed up for this volunteer shift months ago...even if you're really going to the movies) is forgivable. I mean, again, they're not really there to see you.

More from P&G everyday: 11 Women Reveal How Their Relationship With the In-Laws Changed After Kids

Dive into a project
If you can't get out of the house, this could be the perfect chance to clean out a closet, paint the mudroom, or refinish that bedside table. You'll still be available should anyone need anything, but they'll probably mostly leave you alone to your work. Kitchen projects are great too, and could tempt your guests and kids to pitch in—you might be surprised to find yourself bonding while whipping up a big batch of strawberry jam or homemade pickles.

Take a lot of photos
When everyone is hanging out together, make a point to whip out your camera or smartphone and capture lots of candid shots of the grandparents and kids together. This both lets you fade into the background a little bit, and helps refocus your attention on how special their time together really is. Look at the shots after everyone's gone to bed, and notice the way your kids smile at their grandparents, how sweet they look reading together. That's what it's all about, right? Plus, you can score huge brownie points later with prints, collages, calendars, and more.

Be kind to yourself
Like a square of chocolate after dinner? Have two, it's a stressful time. Take an extra 10 minutes in bed in the morning. Splurge on the fancy coffee creamer or the good bagels. Give lots of compliments all day long, and don't forget to include yourself too. Forgive your unkind thoughts and try to replace them with kind ones. But realize that when that's hard to do, well, at least you're getting plenty of chances to practice. I said it before, and I'll say it again: You can do this.

What strategies work best when you're dreading houseguests? Or, if you're someone who never dreads having houseguests...what's your secret, and when can we come over?

Susie Ochs writes about technology and parenting, and she really likes her in-laws, honestly she does.

Image ©iStock.com/JackF


You also may like:

How to Bond with Your In-Laws: 5 Ideas to Strengthen The Relationship

6 Ways Your In-Laws Break All Your Rules

Get a Shopper Card and Download Coupons for Instant Savings at Checkout

Complete your personal information

Please fill in the information marked with an asterisk to proceed; if you want to get tailored offers and content, don't forget to fill in the optional fields.

Lindsay

Lindsay

Reported

My name is Lindsay Cullen; my marriage was among the many that was rebuilt by this wonder working king of spell through: dr.wakinalovetemple@gmail.com I decided to share to share this after studying and learning from him during the whole love spell process. He is indeed a man to trust.

  • Report it

THE SPELL MAN THAT HELP ME GET BACK MY HUSBAND IN TIME,S OF PAINS,Just thought I should share my experience cause I strongly believe someone out there need’s it… You can email him via: aburinative@yahoo.com

  • Report it
cloud

cloud

Reported

Best online help to save your marriage or relationship, contact Dr Ewan now, a trust worthy man that can help you solve all your problem within the space of 6 hours contact him today on his email covenantsolutiontemple@gmail.com,call him on this number +2349078040531 or contact contact him through whats-app +2349057353987. He saved my marriage

  • Report it
Jessica

Jessica

Reported

My ex left me with so much pains and since then i have been heart broken and shattered. I have contact many spell casters and they rip me off my money without any result. I have Emailed so many sites online looking for a good spell caster till i was directed by a 32years old woman who Dr Zuma has helped before, to contact Dr Zuma, i never believed him?but after i did as he directed my ex came back to me, told me to forgive her and i did and today am, spiritualherbalisthealing@gmail.com

  • Report it
sabrina

sabrina

Reported

This is a testimony about a Spell Doctor named Great Malawi via meiismcenter@gmail.com, that restored my hope and gave me reasons to love my life again. Give him a try for a perfect solution to any kinds of relationship troubles .

  • Report it