General Etiquette > Family and Children

What is my obligation here?

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Hopefull:
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???

WillyNilly:

--- Quote from: Hopefull 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???

--- End quote ---

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

GSNW:
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:
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:
His mother. His house. He can clean.

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