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(74 Posts)
grannygranby Mon 11-Feb-19 10:04:25

I question this title as I don’t know what to call it. The issue I would like to share and learn from is this. I am a confident, resourceful, independent, single woman. I have been married twice but unfortunately both of my ex husbands are dead. I say sadly because we were friends to the end in both cases. I have two grown up children. A daughter who lives a couple of miles away, and a son who has two children who lived 50 mikes away. Both happily married.
My issue which bothers me is that I am sometimes treated as s complete incompetant. Eg my daughter and her husband came round to fix something their dog had destroyed when I was boarding it; they let themselves in, the husband started on the job with no greeting, my daughter started cleaning my kitchen. So I am put in a curious role. Some kind of humble gratitude. Is this my future lot as I grow older with no partner?
I was also struck yesterday how an old friend/ acquaintance said she was busy but she would call round to my house and see me soon. Why does she think she can call on me anytime, without arranging it with me first? Should I be putting my foot down? I wished afterwards I had said to friend ‘don’t forget to ring me first’ as I hate being sprung on nowadays, in the middle of something or perhaps half dressed.
And as for daughter and husband...I don’t know, you can’t make people respect you, and perhaps I kid myself that they do really. I don’t usually ask them to help because of this.
Has anyone else experienced this kind of thing and what did they do about it?

dragonfly46 Mon 11-Feb-19 10:14:08

I find it odd that your DD and SiL let them selves in without a greeting. Mine would always ring the bell and give me a hug first.
I am afraid I am guilty of cleaning my daughter's floor and kitchen but I usually wait until she is out and I am staying there!! I tell her afterwards and she is always pleased.

wildswan16 Mon 11-Feb-19 10:20:27

I think you could look at your examples in two ways. Your daughter and SIL trust and respect you enough to care for their dog. They are apologetic enough to come round and "mend" the destruction the dog caused you. Your daughter feels at home in your house and tries to help in any way she can at the time. Your friend enjoys your company and is pleased she can pop in when she has a minute to spare.

Or, dog is dumped on you and is an absolute nightmare, destroying your home. You nag SIL until he comes round to sort it out while your daughter stomps around in the kitchen because she thinks you're a slovenly lady. Your friend takes advantage of you all the time and you're fed up of her.

I know which version I would try and believe in.

PECS Mon 11-Feb-19 10:23:23

I agree that a greeting and chat over a cuppa before starting the repairs would be good! I would also expect to be asked by DD if I needed anything done rather than the implication, by her just doung it, that my floor needed a clean because I was to old to manage!
I have an elderly aunt (94) who I go to visit. I would always check before that she was in and wanted me to call...I know the answer is 99% yes! 1% is when she has a medical appt. I always ask if she needs any jobs doing. Other than an occasional bit of shopping she says no.

Scribbles Mon 11-Feb-19 10:27:03

No matter how fond of them I might be, I'd tell anyone who walked into my home without a greeting that I think they're damned rude and plain inconsiderate. There are many reasons you may prefer not to have people walk in without warning.

And, unless you have some disability which makes cleaning the kitchen difficult, then your daughter is being very high-handed and I would certainly take her to task over it - nicely, of course.

GrannyO Mon 11-Feb-19 10:34:13

Change the locks for a start.

Riggie Mon 11-Feb-19 10:35:00

I think I'd be making sure they couldn't just walk in in future!! Doors locked with keys left in so they can't put theirs in (and so you can get out quickly if you need to). You can always cite security/lots of break ins in the area if they complain and you dont want to tell them the real reason!!

Urmstongran Mon 11-Feb-19 10:42:56

Tricky one GrannyO without causing a family upset. But in principle you’re right.
When we downsized we didn’t hand out keys to our DDs. Before (obviously) they’d had keys to what had been ‘the family home’ for years. Moving gave us the opportunity to do things differently as before they would just walk in (but shout ‘hi’).

Could you fit a bolt to the front door grannygranby and say it’s ‘for extra security and peace of mind’ then family can’t just use their keys? They have to knock and then you could unbolt the door and open it properly to them and welcome them into your home?

HannahLoisLuke Mon 11-Feb-19 10:44:53

Or get a chain for the door and say it's a security measure.
At least then they can't just let themselves in.

Jaycee5 Mon 11-Feb-19 10:49:12

I agree with Riggie. Bolt or lock the door. It isn't a bad idea to keep it locked anyway.
It sounds as if your SIL was a bit narked at having to fix damage, or is this how he usually is?
Your daughter probably still sees your house as her home but coming in and cleaning is rude. It is surprising how many people will do it though even if in a small way of straightening pictures that are already straight. It is particularly annoying to feel that you have to be grateful for something that you didn't want done in the first place.
I'm not sure what you can do about it without it causing arguments.
If your friend just turns up, tell her at the door that you are pleased to see her but that you will be going out in 5 minutes for an appointment and suggest that she lets you know she is coming next time.

sodapop Mon 11-Feb-19 10:49:52

Bit of an over reaction here. So many threads complaining adult children don't visit or help then when they do that's wrong as well.
I agree they could have greeted you and explained why they were there. I go with Wildswan's first version. They were putting right the damage their dog had done.
I must admit I don't like people 'popping round' but it's good to know people care. You are lucky to have a caring daughter and friend Grannygranby

Luckygirl Mon 11-Feb-19 10:53:05

I think you are being very touchy! Send your DD and hubby round to do some mending at my house please!

Neither of these things warrants interpretation as disrespect.

anitamp1 Mon 11-Feb-19 10:56:52

My son and partner walk into our house without knocking, but he will shout 'hello' as they come in. That's absolutely fine with us. But if the door is locked he would ring the bell. If we don't answer because we are out, then he would let himself in if he needed to. He sometimes drops round to borrow tools etc. We are always happy to see them for whatever reason.
I think you should have a quiet word with your daughter and just ask her to ring the bell before they enter because you would be embarrassed if your SIL caught you just out of the shower. And next time your friend says she will call round, ask her to give you a quick ring first to make sure you are going to be in and maybe tell her you will make sure you have cake!. But don't discourage people to visit. There are so many lonely desperately sad people who post here, who would give their right arm to have people who care enough to call on you. You are really very lucky.

MissAdventure Mon 11-Feb-19 10:57:07

I would allow nobody to just walk into my home, family or not.
I'm very territorial about it, so would have to find a polite way of nipping that in the bud.
A chain, as suggested, is a good idea.

ninathenana Mon 11-Feb-19 10:58:43

DD has always waltzed in the back door which is unlocked, the same as I always did at mums. However, she does call "hi ! " as did I or more usually, "only me !" Must be just me but I find the idea of my children having to knock for permission to enter our house odd.

I would be miffed if SiL didn't give a greeting, also at DD cleaning the kitchen.

nanasam Mon 11-Feb-19 11:11:00

Sorry to go against the majority but we love that DDs family can just walk in when they like - we're so pleased to see them we'd hate it to be a formal request to visit. Likewise, their front door is always open for us. There may come a time when we might not get visitors so until then, mi casa es tu casa and if you feel like washing my kitchen floor, you're very welcome to do so!

nipsmum Mon 11-Feb-19 11:13:41

I don't mind my daughter walking in but when neighbours open the door and walk in shouting are you in? , I object to that. It's worse if they walk in when you are in the garden and use the telephone, " because I needed to phone and didn't want to disturb you". I only knew when my 7 year old daughter asked why he was on our phone. I kept the door locked after that. Why on earth were they surprised ?????

Jaycee5 Mon 11-Feb-19 11:14:28

ninethenana I agree with you. Frankly, I would rather have more visitors rather than fewer even if people did let themselves in. I'm in a flat with a security door so it doesn't apply to me but I wouldn't discourage visitors even if they do seem to have a knack of coming when the flat is at its most untidy. No one comes when I have just Spring cleaned.

nipsmum Mon 11-Feb-19 11:15:33

Maybe if he had washed then kitchen floor I wouldn't have been so cross !!!!

JanaNana Mon 11-Feb-19 11:17:40

I would never just walk in to anyone"s home even a close family member as a matter of courtesy.......unless that person was ill or had some disability and had given me a key, or had told me specifically to just let myself in. It's your own space and people should recognise this and respect it. Imagine this situation in reverse and you had done the same in their home would they mind? Regarding your old friend/acquaintance who is going to call to see you soon, if this is something she has been used to doing regularly then she probably sees nothing wrong with it. If you want to see her, phone her and ask if she would like to meet up for coffee somewhere. If she says she is just going to call round in the usual way you could say "it's my turn to call on you this time", play it by ear and guage your reply by hers.

grannygranby Mon 11-Feb-19 11:18:57

I actually was editing the above when it posted...never mind.I hope you get my gist.

anitamp1 Mon 11-Feb-19 11:35:53

ninathenana. As I've already posted, I'm with you on this. We are happy for our son to walk in any time. This was, and always will be, his home. I always walked in to my parents house without knocking once I was married. Again, think it was because it was my family home, because I wouldn't dream of entering son's house without ringing bell. We are fairly recently retired but have busy, active lives. Yet visits from DS and DIL trumps everything else.

grannygranby Mon 11-Feb-19 11:49:15

actually my long answer didn't get posted at all! - but was deleted so ignore the above.
what i added was that I see it is a delicate matter. I thought wildswan6 answer was funny but it was neither. I love their dog but he does have issues. He had destroyed an expensive dog flap which is used by my dogs. I replaced it but couldn't fit it so asked if they would. D was a bit cross but she quickly is remorseful and is a do-er more than a sayer so am grateful...but I just wish a little more politeness could be added. As for the door access.. it is difficult when you live alone and have a health condition which might cause collapse. So I have keyboard entry device. When she told me they were coming later that morning but no time suggested she thought it a good idea I took my dogs out there and then (I was halfway through cleaning gastove) they arrived at my house before I had got back. They would have rung the bell had I been in. There is half of me that thinks it great that she starts cleaning with a gusto - (she has a cleaner) and half insulted. that's the human condition isn't it. My mother used to sweep my kitchen floor as if it had never been swept in its life whereas of course it needs sweeping twice a day. again I acted grateful and half was...
as for my friend...she is a great activist and carer of the needy and has been officially awarded for her good deeds. She is my age but calls me 'dear' . Oh dear. again grateful a bit and pissed off a bit. I think you have to be careful that in not waving a superior attitude (my mother was a bit of a know it all...and now my daughter is!) and always being smiley and grateful that you don't wave a one that invites inconsiderateness. But I still think I could handle it better and am very interested in all your views.

HellsBells Mon 11-Feb-19 11:52:25

All my children have a key to our house- they always shout as they come in not wanting to catch us in a state of undress!! and i certainly don't mind if they come in when we are not here - may be needing a bed for the night or to borrow something - we trust them absolutely .

Saggi Mon 11-Feb-19 12:00:38

I have a key to my daughter:SIL house as I take and fetch kids from school 3 days a week. They live in a big Victorian pile of a house ( I hate most stuffVictorian)....with no doorbell! I knock and wait maybe 30 secs. if then nobody comes to door I let myself in, shout “morning” and go make myself a cuppa. I’m doing them a massive favour as I walk over to theirs three times a week in all weathers( between 6/7) in morning... and if anybody thinks I’m gonna wait on freezing cold doorstep waiting for someone to open door for another think coming!! After reading other threads on Gransnet I’ve had s word with daughter about this and she says why would she give me access( keys) if she didn’t want me to use them!?! Also after taking kids to school I got back and put in wash-load, run mop over kitchen floor and generally tidy awash breakfast ditritus! Asked my daughter about this also .... she said when she gets home and sees a tidy kitchen and washing on line she sighs in relief! She NEVER expects it and us always thankful. Sometimes I don’t feel like doing anything but sit there reading my book cos I can’t at my house cos of blaring tele 15 hours a day!! And she says that’s good too!! I try to help her and family ....but if she doesn’t want it she would be first to say so!! She was brought up forthright, and lives that way!