Gransnet forums


Problem DiL

(57 Posts)
Madkaty Mon 15-May-23 05:31:18

I’m a widow (10yrs)with one son whose wife is non UK. I have a beautiful 11 yr old granddaughter.They live over 8000 miles away and I try and visit twice yearly (birthdays and Xmas). Last year I stayed longer than usual and had problems with my DiL who was drinking all the time. Long story short I criticised (I know!). Which resulted in the DiL making life difficult and keeping (yes, literally) grandchild away from me or altering our plans last minute. I have been advised that I am only welcome to stay for 2 weeks at a time and consider this too restrictive (I usually stay for three). I’ve just had a visit for three weeks because I was allowed to take her away for a weeks holiday but these things are really expensive and I simply can’t afford to keep doing it. Should I go for 2 was at Christmas knowing that it’s not really what I want?

NotSpaghetti Mon 15-May-23 05:38:28

Yes I'd say 2 weeks or don't go twice a year.
3 weeks is a long time to accommodate anyone (even a relative in my opinion) especially if you stay with them in their home.

I'm not sure from your info if you stay in their house or not but if you do, maybe consider taking a rental/hotel next time?

Georgesgran Mon 15-May-23 06:01:59

I’d go again, otherwise you’d be cutting your nose off to spite your face and risk losing contact with your DGD. See how the land lies after your ‘gaff’ last time and drop to once a year if more appropriate? Perhaps your DinL was going through a rough time and stressed by your visit?
Perhaps what you consider excessive drinking is just normal to another person? What’s the relationship like with your son?
Did he get involved? What are his feelings?

I hope other GN’s post some comments.

MercuryQueen Mon 15-May-23 07:26:15

A few questions: if 3 weeks is normally your stay, what was the longer version? Also, what do you mean by drinking all the time?

They’ve been clear that two weeks is the max. That’s their choice. Your choice is to decide if two weeks is better than none. What you can’t do is force them to accommodate you.

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 15-May-23 07:32:42

Maybe go once a year and stay in a nearby Bed and Breakfast? That way you could be more independent.
Our neighbours went to Australia for a month every year, but always stayed nearby, never with their son and DIL, it worked well for years, they did school pick ups with their GCs, after school clubs and took the children out and about.

VioletSky Mon 15-May-23 07:43:30

They are inviting you for 2 weeks at a time

That's all that is on offer, you could try and fight that but doing so will only worsen your relationship.

Where is your son in this? I'm assuming he is on board with 2 weeks so no point placing sole blame on your DIL

One comment may be the final straw and their are also other issues with your long stay

Most families would consider 2 weeks in their home a long visit. Concentrate on what you do have and work on having a positive relationship with everyone while you are there

Madkaty Mon 15-May-23 07:44:52

After Covid I stayed for six weeks which was too long I know.
My dil was ( and still is) drinking neat gin throughout the day most days. My son is aware and admitted it was causing problems but will always go with whatever she says and I respect that. I think I’ll lump it and go for two weeks at Christmas and see how it goes. Thanks for your comments x

BlueBelle Mon 15-May-23 07:56:26

Two weeks is a good, long stay and that’s twice a year! I think that’s more than enough Gosh I loved my mum in law but couldn’t imagine have her stay for two/ three weeks at a time
When I used to visit my son in NZ I d stay 3 weeks but that was once every four or five years not twice a year
I think you are getting a very fair deal don’t rock the boat

Fleurpepper Mon 15-May-23 08:13:39

Go for 2 weeks and stay in a cottage/flat/hôtel for 1 or 2 weeks, and go just the once a year. Surely in the grand scale of things, that will only be a minor extra expense.

HeavenLeigh Mon 15-May-23 08:30:57

I also think two weeks twice a year is more than enough! When you say you will lump it. Makes me feel that you would like to stay longer. But surely it’s up to your son and dil to say how long they would like you to stay they are the ones inviting you. As much as i love my family having the stay longer than two weeks twice a year would be too much and we get on great

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 15-May-23 08:34:08

Three weeks is a very long time to accommodate a visitor. So, frankly, is two weeks. I can’t begin to imagine the six week stay! You’ve doubtless heard the saying about visitors and fish going off. I agree, go for two weeks and stay nearby. That will lessen the work and the stress, which won’t have helped your daughter in law if she has a drink problem (which is not for you to comment on, as I think you now realise).

dragonfly46 Mon 15-May-23 08:40:31

My MiL used to come for 3 weeks twice a year. My DH could go off to work each day so I had to entertain her. I used to dread her coming. She was always difficult and demanding.
Two weeks is long enough.

wildswan16 Mon 15-May-23 08:40:46

Two weeks is plenty if you are staying in their home. If you are going twice a year that is a whole month of 24 hr days. That is much more than many of us are happy with when seeing GC in the UK let alone overseas.

Your relationship with your DIL sounds very awkward and I can understand that she is probably dreading your visit. You will need to tread very carefully not to damage the relationship further.

Your granddaughter is also coming up to an age when she will have lots of her own activities to pursue - things change and your expectations may need to change as well.

NotSpaghetti Tue 16-May-23 07:45:29

wildswan16 - I hadn't thought about it like that. A month is a 12th of a year... or 14 hours a week! It's more days than many people have holiday.

Do your son or daughter-in-law stay home from work when you visit? Who is there with you in the daytime (or maybe you are alone)?

Salti Tue 16-May-23 08:15:32

Although I got on well generally with my in-laws the mere thought of any of them staying in my home for more than a week would have me reaching for the booze too.

Also your granddaughter is now reaching the age where she should be wanting more independence and may not want granny around for such a long time twice a year. Don't put all the blame on your Daaughter in law.

silverlining48 Tue 16-May-23 08:17:56

I suppose anything less than two weeks doesn’t do justice to the distance and cost of flights so do understand why you want to stay longer. but if you are staying in their home two weeks is long enough for most to have a guest.
If there is a chance of breaking up your visit with a trip elsewhere, that might help.
Someone I knew used to visit her son in the US but always arranged a trip for herself midway through the visit to give them all a break and she found her trips interesting and an opportunity to see more of the country.

Norah Tue 16-May-23 08:25:35

What you desire is not on offer. Two weeks sounds sufficient.

Wyllow3 Tue 16-May-23 08:31:20

Two weeks is an awfully long time to be on top of people unless you all really get on well.

I'd go stay for the two weeks and while you are there look around for nearby accommodation and have a think about whether that would work out.

My DiL is really really close to her mum but even then visits are limited: we get on Ok, providing not on top of each other.

silverlining48 Tue 16-May-23 08:38:10

A widowed friend has just returned from a 6 week holiday in Australia visiting son snd dil. She had a lovely time but its good to bear in mind it helps to give host family some time and space.

pascal30 Tue 16-May-23 11:13:02

I don't know how you manage to stay with them for so long.. If I was in your situation I would rent an Air bnb somewhere close and stay for longer once a year, using money saved from the extra flight and I would explore the area and make it an interesting holiday.. less pressure all round..

Hithere Tue 16-May-23 12:10:58

If this post is serious

1. Where does your son stand here?
Again, dil is the bad guy and son is not mentioned at all
2. You are INVITED to visit them for 2 weeks in 2 very significant dates of the year.
Do you even appreciate that?
3. Assuming their home is yours to stay as you wish is what the kind of material monsters in law are made of
4. Why not stay in your own accommodations? That will give everybody breathing room
5. What are you going to do when gd is a teenager and she doesn't want to spend time with you?
6. Your dislike for your dil, your hostess, comes loud and clear
I bet she also feels it in person.
Her drinking habits are none of your business, it is up to her and son to address when she is ready

Apologize to them, say thank you very much for their hospitality and look forward to seeing them soon

Dil is a saint for still invite you at her home

Grammaretto Tue 16-May-23 12:21:20

I think you are very fortunate to be able to visit so often and for so long!

I have just booked to go to NZ next year for just under a month to visit my DS, DDiL and 11yr old DGS.
I have not been for 11 years.
They have been here a few times between.
My NZ cousins will be staying with me for a week soon. They try to come every 2 years to stay with their son and family who live here in Scotland but they don't stay more than a week at a time with them and use the rest of their stay to visit old friends, like me.
Like you, they have a difficult relationship with their DiL.
But count yourself lucky. You are!

biglouis Tue 16-May-23 12:26:41

My grandmother only lived a short tram ride away when I was small but I was taken to see her once a month for a few hours. That was all my parents would allow and she had to be content with that. When I grew older and more independent I used to make my own way there. I often sneaked off when my parents thought I was playing with friends or doing school sports.

Alas a grandparent has no rights in law to see their grandchild so its pot luck and you have to take what the parents are willing to give. Harsh but true.

Dinahmo Tue 16-May-23 12:39:28

When my DH and I were doing up our house my in-laws came for a visit. The kitchen and dining room were finished so we weren't using the wrecked bit. I'm talking an afternoon here. We made a high tea - quiches etc. As they left FIL said we'll come again when it's finished. They didn't say anything about the house or the meal. Their GD (my BIL's daughter not mine) told them that if they continued to criticize her she would not see them again. They were of the generation that thought that they were owed deference without actually doing anything to deserve it.

I think for most families 2 weeks is too long and to criticize is beyond the pale.

Living in France we have several friends who visit us. We're always pleased to see them. They helpful, complimentary and pleasant company. No problem and often do little jobs, such a bit gardening. We have a lovely time but by the time they go it's quite a relief to be on our own again. And they only stay for about 5 days. Less if they're en route to their holiday homes.

Finally children do pick up on these things. I was aware that my own GM was not keen on my mother and the size of the family (4 children in 7 years) but she never said anything out right and I had a lovely relationship with her. She introduced to many things that i still enjoy doing.

Davida1968 Tue 16-May-23 13:56:16

IMO two weeks is too long to stay with others, or to have ANY visitors to stay, unless for a special reason. (Such as helping out with a new baby or due to illness.) Just saying.