Author Topic: What is my obligation here?  (Read 4852 times)

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Hopefull

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What is my obligation here?
« on: November 18, 2012, 05:39:49 PM »
OK MIL was supposed to come here on Wednesday and stay for 2 days. No problem. I had plenty of time to clean. My house isn't as good as I would like it to be due to some health issues I have been facing. IT is not a pig stye but not up to what I want it at.

Well as luck would have it DH came up to me today and told me MIL decided to come TOMORROW and stay until Wednesday. Problem is.............. house isn't what I want it at. She is not a bad person but has made comments in the past about my house being unkempt. I am not ready for the holidays let alone guest. Actually I hate the holidays but they are here and I am dealing with it. :(

There is NO way my house will be where I want it to be. I can get it better in the few hours I have.

My etiquette question.............. how much of an obligation do I have to what really is a suprise guest???
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WillyNilly

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Re: What is my obligation here?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2012, 05:51:00 PM »
OK MIL was supposed to come here on Wednesday and stay for 2 days. No problem. I had plenty of time to clean. My house isn't as good as I would like it to be due to some health issues I have been facing. IT is not a pig stye but not up to what I want it at.

Well as luck would have it DH came up to me today and told me MIL decided to come TOMORROW and stay until Wednesday. Problem is.............. house isn't what I want it at. She is not a bad person but has made comments in the past about my house being unkempt. I am not ready for the holidays let alone guest. Actually I hate the holidays but they are here and I am dealing with it. :(

There is NO way my house will be where I want it to be. I can get it better in the few hours I have.

My etiquette question.............. how much of an obligation do I have to what really is a suprise guest???

Why are you not involved in this decision?  Its your home, say no.

GSNW

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Re: What is my obligation here?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2012, 05:52:48 PM »
Not a lot, really.  I understand feeling self-conscious about the state of your home regardless.  DH has the obligation here to get out the dustrag and the vacuum or call the cleaning services, pronto.  Does he know about the comments your MIL has made in the past?  If not, clue him in.  It's not fair for her to criticize the way your house is kept and it's especially not fair for her to do so when she has been sprung on you by surprise.  I would also tell DH that next time this happens, he needs to clear the change of schedule with you first or tell MIL that it won't be possible.

If she makes remarks regardless, I would just deflect her remark.  Example:

"Your floor sure does seem to collect a lot of dirt!"
"Mm.  Would you like another glass of wine?"

"Your bookshelves are awfully disorganized."
"Isn't it funny how people do things differently?  It's time for a sandwich."

Good luck.  I think it is very rude of her to comment on your housekeeping at all.  We have visited the home of some dear friends of ours and I was pretty disgusted by their housekeeping habits - or what was a lack of housekeeping - but I wouldn't breathe a word.  We just don't stay there any more and the close friendship has remained intact.

Deetee

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Re: What is my obligation here?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2012, 05:54:04 PM »
Personally, I don't feel an obligation to the guest to clean. I feel an obligation to myself to clean so the house looks good to me for the guest. If the guest has higher standards than me, I don't particularly care, BUT I do have different standards of house for guests and house for just me. Does that distinction even make sense?

My minimum for an invited guest (and 24 hours notice):
1) Guest room with fresh sheets and cleared out of junk (uh..we had a problem as the guest room was fairly spacious so "stuff" accumulates in it)
2) Snack and drinks available for offer.
3) Kitchen tidy(ish-if I making dinner for arrival, that will show)
4) Bathroom that they will use tidy.
5) Living room-acceptable
6) My bedroom-full of all the stuff I took out of the other rooms.
7) Laundry-Piled up on dryer, no problem.

And because my husband and share these responsibilities, his mom can complain to him if things are not tidy enough. (She never would.)


veryfluffy

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Re: What is my obligation here?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2012, 06:03:35 PM »
His mother. His house. He can clean.
   

Sharnita

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Re: What is my obligation here?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2012, 06:04:46 PM »
His mother. His house. He can clean.

and he can field complaints

mbbored

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Re: What is my obligation here?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2012, 06:34:52 PM »

SPuck

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Re: What is my obligation here?
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2012, 06:41:32 PM »
What is the best way to stop or shoot down a comments about what a guest considers an unclean house?

Sharnita

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Re: What is my obligation here?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2012, 06:46:48 PM »
"I hear hotels have professional housekeeping available"

LeveeWoman

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Re: What is my obligation here?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2012, 06:49:01 PM »
"I hear hotels have professional housekeeping available"

Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

Winterlight

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Re: What is my obligation here?
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2012, 06:55:55 PM »
His mother. His house. He can clean.

and he can field complaints

This!
"I hear hotels have professional housekeeping available"

And this again!
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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QueenofAllThings

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Re: What is my obligation here?
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2012, 06:57:06 PM »
Where's the Like button when you need it?

GratefulMaria

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Re: What is my obligation here?
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2012, 07:28:48 PM »
Is calling a service an option for you?  Not for anyone else's sake, but for your own.  And re the original question, no, you don't have an obligation.

Hope the holidays treat you kindly.

Deetee

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Re: What is my obligation here?
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2012, 12:03:01 AM »
So I disagree that the OP has no obligation whatsoever. I agree that the husband should be cleaning for his family, but I also recognise that is not how all house holds work*.

However, I strongly feel that a welcomed guest should be accorded appropriate hospitality. I also believe that all guests are welcomed guests as a potential host should be completely free to say "No" to any guest that they do not wish to host. Grudging hospitality is completely unfair to both guest and host. So, once someone is allowed into your home they should get a welcome bit of hospitality.

If it's short notice, things may be slightly more disorganised, but I don't think there should be any "punishing of the guest".

This is a tricky one as the husband Ok'd the change in plans but the wife seems to feel responsible for cleaning. But husband and wife should be on the same page as to guests and flexibility and it shouldn't be the guest who bears the brunt of that miscommunication.

All that been said, I don't have a lot of sympathy for a guest that says nasty things about housekeeping.

*minor off topic: We have a cleaning person who comes every two weeks to scrub things for about 2 hours. I loves it. I was away for several months that the cleaning person was unaware of. After I was back for a couple months the cleaning person commented to my husband that "Your wife must be away. The house is much messier" My husband simply didn't have the heart to explain that the oppisite was true.

bloo

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Re: What is my obligation here?
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2012, 07:02:05 AM »
So I disagree that the OP has no obligation whatsoever. I agree that the husband should be cleaning for his family, but I also recognise that is not how all house holds work*.

However, I strongly feel that a welcomed guest should be accorded appropriate hospitality. I also believe that all guests are welcomed guests as a potential host should be completely free to say "No" to any guest that they do not wish to host. Grudging hospitality is completely unfair to both guest and host. So, once someone is allowed into your home they should get a welcome bit of hospitality.

If it's short notice, things may be slightly more disorganised, but I don't think there should be any "punishing of the guest".

This is a tricky one as the husband Ok'd the change in plans but the wife seems to feel responsible for cleaning. But husband and wife should be on the same page as to guests and flexibility and it shouldn't be the guest who bears the brunt of that miscommunication.

All that been said, I don't have a lot of sympathy for a guest that says nasty things about housekeeping.

*minor off topic: We have a cleaning person who comes every two weeks to scrub things for about 2 hours. I loves it. I was away for several months that the cleaning person was unaware of. After I was back for a couple months the cleaning person commented to my husband that "Your wife must be away. The house is much messier" My husband simply didn't have the heart to explain that the oppisite was true.

I love the replies of all the PP's but I do agree with everything Deetee said here. If OP doesn't draw a line on the change of plans then according her the hospitality she'd give becomes an obligation.

OP, get your hubby on board, if possible to do the cleaning up to your standards as best as you both have time for. If you can afford it, a cleaning service will be a good idea for the doing the rough work.

Then direct all snarky comments to your DH (her son!) and bean dip.

My mom's MIL used to make all kinds of comments on my mom's laid back cleaning style (my mom doesn't dust, do laundry or vacuum - IF it gets done, it's all done by my dad). So my mom's MIL (my grandmother) would request to visit for anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months in the wintertime. It drove my dad nuts cuz he didn't really like his mother. My mom didn't care because she could easily ignore her MIL and loved having someone else do her cleaning and some light cooking.

OT: Deetee, maybe my brain's not working right. In your last paragraph it sounds like you're saying that your DH does the cleaning. Why did your cleaning person think the house was messier, not knowing you're away? I'm all confused! :)
« Last Edit: November 19, 2012, 07:04:15 AM by bloo »