Guests making me crazy!

VWbrownthumbJuly 10, 2014

OK, First off, I really do love my sister, her two daughters, and two grandsons. They really are lovely, wonderful people, and would never, NEVER deliberately leave a mess, disrupt anyone's life, etc. They are mostly visiting my home and my mom's home as a way to afford a CA vacation. They go off during the day, come home and fix dinner for all, sleep and shower.

All told, there's no real MESS, they wash their dishes, clothes, take out the trash, clean up after themselves. Best houseguests ever.

So why does everything feel so out of place?

Any thoughts?

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It's normal to find your life and your home out-of-whack when you have a houseful of visitors, but do you often find it challenging to cope with any type of disorder - let alone "friendly" disorder? Does this feel overwhelming to you?

The truth is, everything IS disrupted and out of place when you have visitors, and it's why you spend the day after they leave putting things right and getting "back to normal" - because "normal" doesn't include visitors. You go into "visitor mode" when you have guests.

How you handle the situation is where I think the challenge is, and you may want to spend some time on those feelings with a mental health professional and work through them so you can enjoy your guests rather the having them drive you crazy.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 5:28AM
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I don't know too many households that can absorb 5 additional bodies without a certain amount of disruption. Good news is they sound like very thoughtful guests. Since they're not messy by your own admission, maybe it's more about the interruption of your daily pattern?

What are you doing while they are out and about all day? Are they inviting you and your mother to join them in any of their adventures or are you feeling used? Like a hotel?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 8:17PM
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Send them to my place. Been there, done that, no problems.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 8:32PM
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I think it's an extra burden simply having people in your home who aren't there to visit -you-. Even if the literal impact on the house is exactly the same, when you are serving as a hotel, it feels like it, and it's a burden.

That's why one should only do it for people one adores and who are considerate.

And it's also why it's important in the middle of all of that to have time together that isn't "hotel keeper / guest," where they -are- visiting -you-.

Try to schedule some of that, pronto.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 4:41PM
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Dear Brownthumb -- you ask if there are any thoughts and I think you got some good answers. My question would be, does your sister really know you and know what you need to feel comfortable in your home? I ask that because you seem to be talking about a stranger even though you dearly love her. She's trying to stay out of your way -- did you anticipate enjoying her visit? Has she ever visited you before? Is this the first time anybody has ever stayed in your home as a guest? Were you upset with their visit from the first day or did it just suddenly get to you? I know if six people, dear family members, were coming to stay with me I would be all set for my life to be disrupted, aware that it was for a short time and trying to squeeze as much pleasure as I could out of their presence -- how many more times in your life will you see them as a family?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 5:40PM
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alameda/zone 8

Company stresses me too - unless I have everything perfectly in order, candles lit and fresh flowers in vases when they arrive. Then, I abandon myself to the joy of having friends or family come to visit me as none of us know when those people may not be with us. I go into overdrive, stay up much of the night [if needed] to prepare and have everything just perfect. Then.....if there is dirt on the floor, things are messed up - who cares? I can clean it up afterward, basking in knowing I provided the best hospitality I could. Usually, I am so tired afterward I don't care if things are not back in place. Count yourself lucky to have neat houseguests.........when my boyfriend's daughters used to come to stay, they were pigs and I had to tell them to pick up their things......thankfully they live far away and don't come visit! One was passing through on her way to Chicago and asked if her dog could stay.....I was complaining to my friend, my worst nightmare would be a lab/pitt bull cross. And that is exactly what it was! We had to had to stay in a horse stall - don't think she liked it much, but MY house, MY rules! So just try to relax, enjoy the visit and count blessings you have a nice family. Many people are lonely and would love to trade places. Am sure you are a wonderful hostess.......

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 4:11PM
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Further to the above - Thank you, everyone, for the great suggestions. I've been trying, really I have. THEY ARE STILL HERE, and the neatness and so on is not so absolute. Anyone willing for me to come stay with them til my group leaves?

When the 6-yr-old asked me if I was just stupid or a freak of nature, I lost it and told him don't talk to me like that in my own home. It's gone downhill since then.

grumble, grumble...

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 11:46PM
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It's a month. That's a long time for an entire family to be affording a California vacation in your home.

Maybe time to sit down with your sister and say, "I need my house back; it'll be better for our relationship. Of course I love you guys, and you're the best houseguests ever. But it's just too long. When are you leaving?"

It's not like they don't have a home to go to!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 1:15PM
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...if you aren't brave enough to tackle that conversation, or if you think it won't go over well, don't you have some sort of disruptive home repair you can schedule?

That plaster work, and the guy you wanted to hire has a window of next week, or you'll lose him to other work?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 1:17PM
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A month? They have "plumb wore out their welcome".

Time to have a heart-to-heart with the adults, tell them that you are beginning to feel like Mr/Ms Motel Six instead of a sibling, that their attention to housekeeping is slipping and the kids are becoming disrespectful.

Tell them that you need them to help you with some serious house cleaning, and make a plan for next year that fits their budget without you as a hotel. Maybe camping?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 1:23PM
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SInce they are living there like family, start treating them like family with chores - cutting grass, vacuuming, dusting, etc. - so YOU get something out of this deal. The alternative, for them, is to pay or a hotel where all those chores are done for them.

Seriously, I would have a talk with your sister and explain you love them all but are feeling like a free hotel and feeling like you are being taken advantage of.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 1:35PM
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alameda/zone 8

My first house guest rule is I always ask how long they plan to stay. I have only had one problem [with my boyfriend's children - and we had a trip planned so they knew they had to be out - and were moving several states away thankfully]. If it looks like guests don't plan to leave on the arranged date, already have Plan B in place - whatever excuse you can come up with. But with me, I am very honest - I would just say that I have enjoyed the visit but have some other things that will require my attention and why don't we plan a nice dinner for your last evening with us. I don't have siblings, but would hate to cause permanent rift and get into a fight because they are rude and wont leave - but wouldn't allow them to just become squatters. And especially with a kid who is a smart mouth to you! That would have been IT right then - hope you told your sister and she disciplined the kid. You don't need to feel guilty because you want them gone. Your house, after all! I have learned that NO is the most important word in the English language. NO, I cannot do this or that......and you don't have to make excuses! The answer is just NO. Every once in awhile someone asks if they can borrow money. I don't feel guilty because I wont. I just say sorry, no. End of story. Same with house guests. Your guests should know that a month is ridiculous. I would say something now......before you get nuts and blow up. I was about to explode with my boyfriend's kids here - they had way overstayed their welcome and had we not gone on our trip.......I would have had to just say enough. Time is up. I think they would have stayed all summer. The saying and houseguests smell in 3 days. Good luck to you. Were it me, if they asked to come again, I would tell them its not convenient but why don't you come visit THEM this time! Tell them you are having your house renovated and need a place to stay for a month or so! See how fast they come up with an excuse!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 1:39PM
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Oh, thank you all so much! Good to know it's not me. I also think, 2 weeks, 3 maybe if plans are made is more than enough, but this has been TWO months, not one (I was more or less ok the first month) and they go back & forth between me & my mom, so not daily. The 6 yr old I now refer to as "The Little Bast**d" to friends, he's banned from my house. My sister says "He's a 6-yr old BOY, you are only used to girls". I have 2 daughters, and they would NOT talk to anyone that way unless they wanted serious disciplinary measures. I don't care, boys or girls, manners matter, my sister's nuts.

I did tell my sister the problem, she moved to mom's house. It really sucks dealing with squatters. I think mom will throw them out soon. So exhausting. Your support is appreciated.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 4:50PM
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Do they not have a home of their own?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 4:53PM
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Oh, thank you all so much! Good to know it's not me.

Your patience is astounding ... I would have had them out on the front lawn in a week, and under the nearest under pass the week after that.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 8:05PM
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I think they caught on to my anger at them - they haven't been back to my house.

Not only do they have their own beautiful house (on 3/4 acre outside Seattle), my BIL makes really good money and I'm on food stamps.

Spelling this all out has made me angrier - I guess sometimes I just need to see in type or something.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 8:34PM
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You are appropriately & understandably upset.

However, I encourage you to not let too much time pass before talking with them.

I doubt you want to turn this into a lifetime feud. They may be completely wrong, but you may need to be the mature one in the situation. Family is too important. JMHO

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 9:04PM
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They are taking advantage of you in the name of "family" and "House Guests".

Send your sister a bill for expenses incurred during their stay. Add market rate for hotel rooms.

If I were you, I would talk to your mother too. Don't think it is fair for them to use her either.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 10:38PM
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They packed up and left this morning. All their stuff, screaming kids, grief and games. Gone!

Mom has agreed that we will set a time limit if/when they come again.

Everyone, thanks for your support and suggestions - they helped alot.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 3:25PM
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Praise be!! Don't let time diminish your memory of their unacceptable behavior.

I had a MIL who retired out of state and would regularly just show up on my doorstop along with FIL and sometimes various grandchildren. They would all sit at my DR table and do nothing all day and then ask me what was for dinner after I walked in the door after working a 10 hour day. My ex danced around it but would never just lay it on the line with them (note I said "ex") so the last time they did this (note "last" time), I told them I had an errand to run before dinner. I went to the local motel and booked and paid for a room for them. I went home and nicely dropped the key on the table and informed them that I had to get up very early the next day and I surely did not want to disturb them with all my banging around. They never pulled THAT again!.

Point being.............they have more financial resources than you do. So I wouldn't suggest you pay for their hotel as I did. But if and when they do approach you for another visit, don't hesitate to let them know that their last visit showed you that the house just is not big enough for everyone and certainly not for that amount of time. Round up the names of some accommodations close by and email some suggestions to them to make your point.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 4:20PM
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I'm just amazed that after that much time, they didn't long to be in their -own- house, sleeping in their own bed, playing with their own toys.

Are you -sure- they still have that nice big house?

Oh, and, family especially--any guest who stays more than 3 days is now "family" and gets light chores, dinner duty, responsibility for feeding everyone at least as often as the hosts. . .

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 1:35PM
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