The Childfree Life

When having it all, means not having kids
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 Post subject: Bracing for the invasion
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:55 am 
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So my SIL and her two 9-year-olds are going to be visiting soon, and I. Am. Dreading it. They come every summer, and every summer it's awful. I mean, a lot of what these kids do is just normal kid stuff, but I hate normal kid stuff. And then on top of it they've got an abuse history (ex BIL) and SIL has a bajillion problems of her own, so they act out (as would be normal for any kid in this situation, and my heart goes out to them in theory, but holy shit I hate having them in my house). They'll be here for six days. Six endless days.

Fortunately my spouse knows how I feel and backs me up that I need to be at work for most of each day, but just getting through the evenings is torturous. Also, they bring an entire vanload of shit with them and all of it gets immediately strewn across the entire house, so that's fun. The cats are freaked out the whole time, I'm stressed out the whole time, it's a shitstorm of fun.

Any coping advice??


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:26 am 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
^You have my sympathies - that sounds awful!

Can you arrange to have a lot of evening meetings that week? Or you have to run errands on the other side of town? Think up any excuse to leave the house in the evenings - meeting friends, classes you're taking, volunteering at events. Can you fill your evenings with activities so you'll be home a minimal amount of time? Of course, this will make it pretty obvious that you're avoiding them.

If your spouse will back you up on it and you can afford it - would it be possible for you and the cats to stay at a hotel for the duration? Poor kitties - I hate seeing my cats stressed out.

If all else fails, you can always go for long walks in the evenings (pretend it's for exercise or something). That will at least get you away from the kids and out of the house for a bit.

So sorry you're dealing with this.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:02 pm 
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The. worst.

Put a lock on the bedroom door, and put the cats in there where the kids can't get to them, when you're not home.

And be out a lot.

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Some people meditate. Some people caffeinate and vegetate.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:24 pm 
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When we had family visiting and staying with us (often for several days), DH and I would try to plan the sh*t out of their stay... either going places with them or sending them without us. It was especially effective with the whiny nephew. Stuff like going swimming (we're lucky that we had our own pool), mini golf, going to the movies, anything to break up the monotony of sitting around the house and basically wear the kids out. If we sent them out for the evening, we had the added plus of some quiet time to ourselves.

Good luck!!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:38 am 
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Can you go to the gym after work or make plans a couple of nights that week so you are out of the house.

I wouldn't plan too many things as it may be obvious and that may lead to hurt feelings and a weird situation.

Maybe lots of deep breathing, an inner chant of it's only 6 days, it's only six days.

It sounds like hell, sorry, but come here to vent, that will probably help a lot.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:10 am 
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Thanks everyone!

I would love to go to hotel while they're here, but it would lead to family crap that's not worth the aftermath.

Locking the cats in the bedroom when I'm not home isn't a bad idea. I'm guessing they'll be hiding in there anyway.

I do plan to be verrrrrry busy during the days - couldn't possibly take any time off, so sorry! I purposely scheduled some unmissable meetings for when they're here. And obviously I'll have to go to bed early because I'm sooooo busy early in the mornings.

Fortunately they have full-day activities planned so the kids will be tired in the evening. Of course, tired cranky overstimulated children are their own particular brand of hell, so...

I'll definitely be doing the countdown. Minute by minute, if necessary. Objectively, I know it's only six days, but my depression/anxiety ramp way up and make every second torturous. And those kids have been through enough, so I don't want to be another hurtful factor in their lives, so I try SO HARD to have some positive interactions with them, not just "Stop that!" "Don't do that!" "Turn down that electronic thingy, we're trying to have a conversation!" "Leave the cats alone!"

Sigh.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:12 am 
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Oh! Also, Mom has trained them that the first four times she asks them to do something they don't count, because she does it while staring at her phone and then doesn't follow through. Around ask #5, she starts to put on her "mom face," and at #6 she starts yelling. So while I find it INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING that they don't do what they're asked, I absolutely can't blame them. Mom has trained them well.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:39 pm 
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Possibly find some peaceful place to board the cats for the duration? If they’re not used to shrieking grabby kids it might be a mercy.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:57 pm 
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When DH's family used to visit, I'd have to work a lot of "overtime" - actually shopping or stopping at a friends for a breather before getting home around the same time as DH... Saved my sanity more than once.

You could always "break" the wifi if she uses it on her phone... then she'll have to pay attention to them!!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:27 am 
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I think the kitties would be less stressed in the end to just stay home, but thanks for the boarding suggestion. They have hiding places in the basement and under the beds that they can use as needed.

That's an EXCELLENT idea to break the wifi. :twisted:


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