Mom's Reasons for Not Wanting In-Laws to Visit Grandkids Cheered: 'Dread'

Hosting the in-laws can be incredibly taxing as your routine goes out the window and you find yourself putting the guests' needs first before your own.

Mumsnet user Sohappyrun posted on the U.K.-based website on February 8, explaining that they feel "exhausted after overnight visitors."

The poster admitted that aside from working full time and parenting two children, aged six and one, being tasked with hosting guests is too much on top of their weekly routine. The poster added that their negativity about hosting could stem from the pandemic, when socializing was prohibited and people developed insular routines.

The Pew Research Center conducted a survey in 2020 in which it asked 9,220 U.S. adults what their views were on the pandemic, and how it had changed their perspectives on certain topics. When asked if the pandemic had a negative impact on anything in their lives, 89 percent responded that it had, and 41 percent said it had a negative impact on their personal relationships.

Woman Begrudges In-Laws Visiting Regularly
A file photo of a family enjoying dinner. A Mumsnet user has been backed online for asking how to set better boundaries with the in-laws. KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images

Among the responses that participants provided, loneliness was regularly mentioned, as well as too much isolation throughout the lockdowns.

If the Mumsnet user does feel that the pandemic has affected their ability to connect with people, they certainly wouldn't be alone in that thinking.

The post reads: "I'm finding increasingly (maybe since Covid) that weekend or weekday visitors exhaust me! These visitors are mainly the in-laws who live 3 hours away, but I'd feel like this with anyone. They'll normally just announce they are coming - weekend or weekday and do this every couple of months.

"I feel awful as they do live far away, so [they] have to stay and like seeing [their] grandkids, but they are quite loud, messy, opinionated people who always want to be talking and doing stuff, a bit like having extra children in the house."

The original poster [OP] goes on to explain that being a host makes them feel "physically exhausted and anxious" because of the way it drastically changes their routine.

At the end of the post, OP writes: "Think it's to do with me being a massive introvert [probably]...anyone else like this? Any tips? I'm beginning to dread visits and at the moment they seem to descend on us every couple of months."

Fortunately for user Sohappyrun, there are many ways to make life as a host easier, as etiquette expert Lisa Mirza Grotts discussed with Newsweek. Grotts explained that the best way of dealing with the situation is to graciously communicate to guests how you're feeling without being confrontational.

She said: "The overstaying welcome is a conundrum for many. On the one hand you're dealing with family, but on the other hand you still have your rules and your boundaries, so it's a fine line between what's right and what's right for your family."

She continued: "Make hinting your best medicine – things like asking if anyone else is tired for example. Also, make things clear before the invite what time your guests can stay until. You can stop serving food and beverages when you're ready for them to leave – this is such a party killer."

Grotts goes on to add that setting boundaries is an important step that many people can be reluctant to do, but it makes hosting far more comfortable.

"Don't be shy about recruiting another family member or guest who would like to have an escape plan. That way, you will have someone on your side.

"Don't be afraid to set boundaries. Sometimes family members take advantage without even knowing it, so let them know in a very kind way."

Grotts isn't the only person offering support and guidance to the Mumsnet user, as many people commented on the post to share their own suggestions.

One person wrote: "Mid-week isn't fair if you both work full-time. Once a month visits doesn't seem a lot, but if you have to host for a few days it's too much. You need firm boundaries. DH [dear husband] needs to take them up to visit more and you need to limit visits to weekends and one night only."

Another person was very firm in suggesting the OP should put their foot down on the matter: "You're an adult, you do not need anyone's permission to say no."

If you have a family dilemma, let us know via We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.