Author Topic: Ummm....your welcome?  (Read 17825 times)

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sparksals

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2012, 05:18:16 PM »
This got me thinking.   When we go to visit my ILs, there's no question that MIL does the bulk of the cooking and cleaning, and yet I've never thought of her as hosting _more_ than FIL.  They both seem happy with the balance and I'm aware that FIL does many other 'home' tasks ( painting, yard work, general maintenance ) that are not as obvious during our stay, but still contribute to a welcoming home.

Oh, this, definitely. It's not really any of my PIL's business who does what at our house to contribute to their visit. The fact that TeamCakeEater has presented a welcoming stay is enough knowledge for them.

In fact, I like to cok and prepare for guests. I don't deserve any more praise than DH, who does not like to mow the lawns. He probably deserves more thanks.

If you feel like you're putting in more effort than DH to host his family, that's an issue for between the two of you.

However, while I don't expect the same value of gifts from my parents-in-law as DH receives, a $400 'just because' gift for DH and nothing for me at any time, would tell me where I stood in the family.

I think this is the crux of the issue for the OP.  I don't believe the gifts mean squat.   I think she has every right to feel some ingratitude from both her husband and ILs.   It all boils down to the feeling of having a lesser standing in the family no matter how much you do to try to please them. 

I feel this way with DH's family.  I stopped doing the shopping for MILs gifts, and I will not go to the effort I have in the past to entertain them after the treatment I received at the last family reunion.  It was glaringly obvious my lack of standing in the family and I won't go to effort for people who only see me as an extension and not part of the family.  In the past, everything I have done, the effort I have gone to is because I viewed them as Dh's and MY family.  Since they don't view me the same way, I have changed my behaviour.  If MIL comes to visit, DH will be responsible for entertaining her, arranging meals etc. 

I can relate to the OP's position.  It really isn't about the gift, but the message.  She should significantly alter the effort she puts forward for their visits.  Ensure DH is responsible for meals, entertainment, time schedule and just sit there and let them guide the visit.  They, after all, are not there to see the OP - which they made quite clear.

KenveeB

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2012, 05:38:30 PM »
Final verdict: Your in-laws really didn't do anything wrong. The gift was a random gift to their son. Their thanks to the both of you was in the breakfast out. I'm not going to say that's always a comfortable split for every family, but it's not rude. It's just different. Maybe the best you can do in this situation is remember it for if you ever end up having a son-in-law or daughter-in-law.

I agree with this. Their thanks for the visit was the breakfast out -- and hopefully a verbal TY, though nothing was mentioned one way or the other. The gifts to DH were separate, a gift for their son because they were thinking of him and wanted to get something they knew he wanted. I think the real problem here is with your DH. Why does he do no work for their visit, and why do you LET him do no work for their visit? Stop just asking him to do one thing and just shrugging when he doesn't even do that. Let him know the next time they're planning a visit that he needs to step up and help you out because you're not going to do all the work on your own anymore.

sparksals

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #32 on: May 19, 2012, 05:47:12 PM »
Final verdict: Your in-laws really didn't do anything wrong. The gift was a random gift to their son. Their thanks to the both of you was in the breakfast out. I'm not going to say that's always a comfortable split for every family, but it's not rude. It's just different. Maybe the best you can do in this situation is remember it for if you ever end up having a son-in-law or daughter-in-law.

I agree with this. Their thanks for the visit was the breakfast out -- and hopefully a verbal TY, though nothing was mentioned one way or the other. The gifts to DH were separate, a gift for their son because they were thinking of him and wanted to get something they knew he wanted. I think the real problem here is with your DH. Why does he do no work for their visit, and why do you LET him do no work for their visit? Stop just asking him to do one thing and just shrugging when he doesn't even do that. Let him know the next time they're planning a visit that he needs to step up and help you out because you're not going to do all the work on your own anymore.

The only way the message will truly get across is if she stops doing any work for their visits.  ILs may not notice, but DH certainly will and he just may 'get' it after that.

Weez

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #33 on: May 19, 2012, 07:12:21 PM »
I was curious about this so I read the original post to my DH, to get his opinion.  His first thought was that the parents were tactless, if not hurtful by gifting their son with $400 of gifts, while giving DIL nothing.  His second thought was that the OP should suggest using the gift voucher to buy a pressure washer or, if they already have one, buy lessons in how to use one! 

We both agreed that the OP's DH needs to acknowledge the work she put in; yes, she may be at home and therefore have more opportunity for doing the work, but he at least needs to acknowledge that and show some gratitude.

However, while I don't expect the same value of gifts from my parents-in-law as DH receives, a $400 'just because' gift for DH and nothing for me at any time, would tell me where I stood in the family.

I think this is the crux of the issue for the OP.  I don't believe the gifts mean squat.   I think she has every right to feel some ingratitude from both her husband and ILs.   It all boils down to the feeling of having a lesser standing in the family no matter how much you do to try to please them. 

Both DH and I also agree with CakeEater and sparksals.  I absolutely don't expect absolutely equal value of gifts for DH and me from his parents, but the blatant inequality of this size of gift would cause some unease.  To be fair, if this did happen to us, DH would be uncomfortable too as his parents have always been very generous towards both of us.  DH's take on it would be to use the gift vouchers for the desired purchases but then, as Two Ravens suggested earlier, use the money saved for those purchases to buy a treat for me, so that we both benefit.

(Extra info: DH's parents stayed with us a couple of weekends ago, I'm a SAHM and he ended up being away with work for the week prior to their visit, so I did 99% of the pre-visit prep work.  DH acknowledged this and thanked me, both in private and in front of his parents.)

Winterlight

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #34 on: May 19, 2012, 07:52:34 PM »
 I think the best thing to do is sit down with your DH and address how much work hosting his family is. He needs to step up and help out. Not blow off what you need because he can't be bothered.

I don't think I'd bring up the present issue. I would, however, read that as me not being valued in their family and tailor my reactions and expectations accordingly.
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And how, and when, and where.
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Hmmmmm

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #35 on: May 19, 2012, 08:17:21 PM »
Thank you for your replies!

I guess I feel that if they had sent him these gifts a month later....I would have thought nothing of it.    It is their son, and OFCOURSE they can send him random gifts if they like.

It just seemed like since it was only 4 days after they left....that this was their "thanks for the trip".

In my eyes, if they would have sent nothing....their thanks would have been enough.

Perhaps it was just bad timing?

Because, if they WANTED to give something, it should have been something for the whole family.

Or if they wanted to give their son something....it should have been at a later time.

Right???    Or no???

No.  They wanted to give their son something he stated he wanted and did it while they were thinking about it.  The note did not say they wanted to thank him for hosting them in the form of this gift.  You are putting that link there.

It is your DH who should be giving you a gift for doing all the work.

sparksals

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #36 on: May 20, 2012, 01:54:20 AM »
I disagree DH should be thanking the OP for doing all the work.  Part of being a good guest is thanking the host.  DH is their son and it is obvious did no work to host his parents.  Even though they are ILs, they still should specifically thank their DIL for all she did to host them.  As a guest, I would notice who did what and thank accordingly.  It is the right thing to do.

saki

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #37 on: May 20, 2012, 04:25:32 AM »
My MIL - last time she stayed - brought a gift that she explicitly called a thank you for having me gift. It was a bottle of a spirit that my husband drinks but I don't. She knows this and even said 'oh, saki, I know you don't drink this but..'

I wasn't impressed. We both put some effort into hosting her but, apparently, only one of us deserved a thank you.

She has also dropped hints to me of things she'd like for her birthday - she doesn't get me anything, just my husband.. I pass them to my husband who does buy her a present.

turnip

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #38 on: May 21, 2012, 12:47:21 PM »
I disagree DH should be thanking the OP for doing all the work.  Part of being a good guest is thanking the host.  DH is their son and it is obvious did no work to host his parents.  Even though they are ILs, they still should specifically thank their DIL for all she did to host them.  As a guest, I would notice who did what and thank accordingly.  It is the right thing to do.

I'm kind of repeating myself, but how is it obvious?   For all they know, DH spend the days before their arrival cleaning, repairing, and updating the home to make it welcome. 

We went to visit my ILs once and my FIL had spent the week before laying blocks out in front of their house to make a walking path from the driveway to the front door.   That is 'hosting', even if the work is done by the time we arrive.

sparksals

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #39 on: May 21, 2012, 01:22:52 PM »
I disagree DH should be thanking the OP for doing all the work.  Part of being a good guest is thanking the host.  DH is their son and it is obvious did no work to host his parents.  Even though they are ILs, they still should specifically thank their DIL for all she did to host them.  As a guest, I would notice who did what and thank accordingly.  It is the right thing to do.

I'm kind of repeating myself, but how is it obvious?   For all they know, DH spend the days before their arrival cleaning, repairing, and updating the home to make it welcome. 

We went to visit my ILs once and my FIL had spent the week before laying blocks out in front of their house to make a walking path from the driveway to the front door.   That is 'hosting', even if the work is done by the time we arrive.

It is obvious that the DIL did a great deal of work because she prepared and served the meals.  They certainly could not have been blind to that. 

I don't believe what your FIL did was 'hosting'.  He did an improvement to the home that was finished by the time you arrived.  He didn't do it specifically for you and they benefit from it after you leave.  Preparing for the visit by making the room clean with bedding, towels, ammenities, (which it sounds like the OP also did) shopping, preparing and serving meals are all part of hosting. 

Betelnut

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #40 on: May 21, 2012, 01:33:52 PM »
Let's look at a different situation.  Say the OP's mother was visiting and the two went out shopping together, "just the girls," and the OP's mother bought her daughter a nice jacket, priced at $150 because she was feeling generous and wanted to have fun with her daughter.  Would the OP's mother then be expected to buy her SIL a comparably priced gift?  That is sort of how I see the OP's situation but that the present arrived later.

In my family, there is no way my Mom would be expected to then do a tit for tat present for her SIL.  My parents usually take my sister and her husband out for one nice meal plus help pay for the groceries used during the trip.  I've never thought of giving a family member a "host" gift.  That is just weird.  A thank you meal is the most I would do.  Which is what the OP got.
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turnip

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #41 on: May 21, 2012, 02:01:41 PM »
I disagree DH should be thanking the OP for doing all the work.  Part of being a good guest is thanking the host.  DH is their son and it is obvious did no work to host his parents.  Even though they are ILs, they still should specifically thank their DIL for all she did to host them.  As a guest, I would notice who did what and thank accordingly.  It is the right thing to do.

I'm kind of repeating myself, but how is it obvious?   For all they know, DH spend the days before their arrival cleaning, repairing, and updating the home to make it welcome. 

We went to visit my ILs once and my FIL had spent the week before laying blocks out in front of their house to make a walking path from the driveway to the front door.   That is 'hosting', even if the work is done by the time we arrive.

It is obvious that the DIL did a great deal of work because she prepared and served the meals.  They certainly could not have been blind to that. 

I don't believe what your FIL did was 'hosting'.  He did an improvement to the home that was finished by the time you arrived.  He didn't do it specifically for you and they benefit from it after you leave.  Preparing for the visit by making the room clean with bedding, towels, ammenities, (which it sounds like the OP also did) shopping, preparing and serving meals are all part of hosting.


I think this is an interesting conversation so I don't want you to think I'm arguing, just drawing out my feelings on the matter.

Re: the bolded.  My FIL worked very hard, specifically so that the entryway would be ready by the time we arrived and we could walk down a nice stone path instead of stepping though the dirt.   One could argue it solely a 'hosting' task, as my ILs enter the house though their garage.   And cooking and cleaning up - which my MIL does - is also something she does when we aren't there, so while she has to make her recipes larger and clean some extra plates,  I still think it is presumptuous to assume that she has hosted 'more'.

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  As a guest, I would notice who did what and thank accordingly.  It is the right thing to do.

I just can't imagine thanking a married couple who has hosted me in their home 'differently' based on my observations of the effort they put in.  It seems like the kind of thing that is sure to cause more harm than good.


NyaChan

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #42 on: May 21, 2012, 02:07:47 PM »
My mom does the primary bulk of preparation for hosting most of the time.  But my Dad does vacuum, fix up the landscaping, make sure the lawn is neat, clear space for guest cars, clean up his visible work spaces, and help arrange furniture and whatnot for everyone's comfort.  These are all things he does before a guest even drives into our subdivision and no guest would know he did it unless we listed it out for them.  Mom & Dad are hosting as a couple and have divided the duties of hosting up between them according to what they are comfortable with.  I think it is appropriate to thank both of them as a couple, equally, unless one of them specifically went above and beyond to aid a guest with something (i.e. mom helped get a stain out of someone's dress when she spilled something on it).

sparksals

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #43 on: May 21, 2012, 03:05:23 PM »
I disagree DH should be thanking the OP for doing all the work.  Part of being a good guest is thanking the host.  DH is their son and it is obvious did no work to host his parents.  Even though they are ILs, they still should specifically thank their DIL for all she did to host them.  As a guest, I would notice who did what and thank accordingly.  It is the right thing to do.

I'm kind of repeating myself, but how is it obvious?   For all they know, DH spend the days before their arrival cleaning, repairing, and updating the home to make it welcome. 

We went to visit my ILs once and my FIL had spent the week before laying blocks out in front of their house to make a walking path from the driveway to the front door.   That is 'hosting', even if the work is done by the time we arrive.

It is obvious that the DIL did a great deal of work because she prepared and served the meals.  They certainly could not have been blind to that. 

I don't believe what your FIL did was 'hosting'.  He did an improvement to the home that was finished by the time you arrived.  He didn't do it specifically for you and they benefit from it after you leave.  Preparing for the visit by making the room clean with bedding, towels, ammenities, (which it sounds like the OP also did) shopping, preparing and serving meals are all part of hosting.


I think this is an interesting conversation so I don't want you to think I'm arguing, just drawing out my feelings on the matter.

Re: the bolded.  My FIL worked very hard, specifically so that the entryway would be ready by the time we arrived and we could walk down a nice stone path instead of stepping though the dirt.   One could argue it solely a 'hosting' task, as my ILs enter the house though their garage.   And cooking and cleaning up - which my MIL does - is also something she does when we aren't there, so while she has to make her recipes larger and clean some extra plates,  I still think it is presumptuous to assume that she has hosted 'more'.

Quote
  As a guest, I would notice who did what and thank accordingly.  It is the right thing to do.

I just can't imagine thanking a married couple who has hosted me in their home 'differently' based on my observations of the effort they put in.  It seems like the kind of thing that is sure to cause more harm than good.

It is an interesting conversation and I don't think you're arguing at all!  You're right, FIL worked very hard to get the walkway nice for your visit.  I presume both you and your dh ohhhd and ahhhh'd over it and both of you thanked each of his parents for having you.   I don't believe the social unit is excused from 'personal gratitude' in that the polite thing to do is to thank BOTH hosts, not just one, because as you can see, it can be perceived as ingratitude when one receives more thank you than the other... if that run on sentence makes sense! lol

I'm not advocating thanking the hosting couple differently, but thanking EACH of them.  When my FIL was alive, I wouldn't dream of only thanking FIL for having us, assuming he would tell MIL I thanked them.  I would also thank MIL personally.    I think the ILs did the DIL a disservice b/c I don't think they did notice she did the bulk of the visible hosting work. 

I believe more thank you is better than none to avoid situations like the OP has described.  The added bonus gift the OP's DH received certainly tipped the OP to feel they were not grateful for what she did.  This is why a token joint TY can be viewed as not much when someone else receives what is perceived to be a much bigger TY. 

sparksals

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #44 on: May 21, 2012, 03:07:44 PM »
My mom does the primary bulk of preparation for hosting most of the time.  But my Dad does vacuum, fix up the landscaping, make sure the lawn is neat, clear space for guest cars, clean up his visible work spaces, and help arrange furniture and whatnot for everyone's comfort.  These are all things he does before a guest even drives into our subdivision and no guest would know he did it unless we listed it out for them.  Mom & Dad are hosting as a couple and have divided the duties of hosting up between them according to what they are comfortable with.  I think it is appropriate to thank both of them as a couple, equally, unless one of them specifically went above and beyond to aid a guest with something (i.e. mom helped get a stain out of someone's dress when she spilled something on it).

Absolutely.  My husband does the cleaning and I do all the other prep.  But once he mom is here, everything falls onto me.  No one helps me clean up.  I'm up in the kitchen myself while they are having scotch in the FR. 

The problem with the OP is that her husband doesn't even do any of the advance prep, so that is definitely the marital issue that she must discuss with him.  But I can see why she felt the ILs were ungrateful too.