General Etiquette > Family and Children

I don't want to take your mom shopping

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shygirl:
My mother-in-law is visiting.  She lives in a different country, and is here for a couple of months.  She's not staying us the whole time, since she also has a daughter who lives about 8 hours away from us.

Anyway, my husband wants me to take MIL out for shopping.  I don't want to.  I'm going to anyway, but I don't want to start taking her with me everytime I do errands.  It's bad enough that I have to take my toddler with me everytime I go somewhere (that's not work). 

One reason that I don't want to go shopping with MIL might be petty.  But, when my mom comes to visit, I don't try to foist my mom onto my husband to keep her busy.  In fact, my husband usually makes himself scarce when my mom is here visiting.  So, I feel like this is HIS mom.  He should be going places with her, doing errands with her, etc.

Am I being mean about this?  Is there any nice to explain to my husband that I'm not planning to take MIL with me everywhere I go?

(Also, in case anyone suggests using MIL as a babysitter so I can go out alone, this is not an option right now.)

Shoo:
You are not being mean at all.  It's HIS mother, he should take her shopping.  I totally get where you're coming from on this and I agree with you. 

Sit him down and tell him just what you wrote here.  Tell him you are happy to do things as a family with his mom, and that means WITH HIM too, but you don't want to be the one to keep busy all the time, especially since he doesn't feel it necessary to do the same with YOUR mom when she's there. 

gramma dishes:

--- Quote from: shygirl on June 18, 2013, 02:31:12 PM ---My mother-in-law is visiting.  She lives in a different country, and is here for a couple of months.  She's not staying us the whole time, since she also has a daughter who lives about 8 hours away from us.

Anyway, my husband wants me to take MIL out for shopping.  I don't want to.  I'm going to anyway, but I don't want to start taking her with me every time I do errands. It's bad enough that I have to take my toddler with me everytime I go somewhere (that's not work). 

One reason that I don't want to go shopping with MIL might be petty.  But, when my mom comes to visit, I don't try to foist my mom onto my husband to keep her busy.  In fact, my husband usually makes himself scarce when my mom is here visiting.  So, I feel like this is HIS mom.  He should be going places with her, doing errands with her, etc.

Am I being mean about this?  Is there any nice to explain to my husband that I'm not planning to take MIL with me everywhere I go?

(Also, in case anyone suggests using MIL as a babysitter so I can go out alone, this is not an option right now.)

--- End quote ---

I'm not absolutely sure you and your husband are on the same page here.  Are you sure he actually wants and expects you to take his mother with you every time you leave your house for any reason?

He may just think it would be nice if once or twice during her stay you'd take her to the mall or something so she can do a little shopping for herself.   Since she lives in a different country, he may think something like this would be a treat for her.

If he really did mean dragging her to the grocery store, the pharmacy, the bakery, the laundromat, etc. (in other words every place you go) then I think he'd probably understand that not only do you not want to do that, but even SHE might not want to do that.   You could also ask him if he plans to do anything special with her while she is here.

delabela:
I think this is a tough one.  How long is she actually staying with you?  I agree that in general, the person who's relative it is is usually on the hook for the entertainment.  But it does seem hospitable to offer a long term guest some opportunities to get out of the house.  I assume if she's staying for like a month, neither you nor your husband will be off of work the whole time, so there are necessarily times when he just isn't going to be available to hang out with her.  Now, I'm not saying you need to entertain her every minute of every day, but it would be nice to see if she wants to get out every once in a while. 

lowspark:
I think there's a lot of missing information (aside from what gramma dishes is asking).

How long is she going to be here? Do you both work outside the home? Is DH taking off any vacation time to spend with her? Assuming the scenario of you taking her with you every time you leave the house, what will she do with her time if you don't? And what will she do with her time when you're not taking her somewhere? Aside from shopping (and obviously, spending time with her son and grandchild) is there anything else on her agenda that she wishes to do while visiting?

Was any of this discussed or even considered before she planned her trip?

I agree that I would not want the dynamic to be such that he doesn't have to spend any time with my relatives when they come to visit but I have to spend all of my time with his when they visit. But I would think that this discussion should have taken place before the visit was planned so that everyone was on the same page. And my attitude about this would depend on what was expected of me, what my husband was doing, how long she was going to be here, how well I get along with her, and what other things are on my agenda.

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