Speaking of company, I hate to sound ungrateful, but how do you all handle company? It can be expensive cooking for extra people, and definitely more work. So, then we end up eating out, which really is more expensive. And it can be time-consuming. Not only do I not get things done when they are here, but I have more to do because of them (more cleaning, more laundry--sheets and towels, etc.). And then, we play tourist, which is often more expensive than our normal activities. Is that just the price I pay for company? (And afterall, I did save the cost of a plane ticket to visit them?) Or is there a tactful way to suggest that everyone chip in to help?
Our families are usually pretty considerate, and chip in without asking. I suggest, that if you are going to have family over, that if you send out an email with confirmation of dates, suggestions for things to do etc., you note the cost and that you will not be able to cover it yourselves. The financial burden for their visit should not fall completely on your shoulders.
I make no apologies for not entertaining people when they are here. We don't have a maid, or a housekeeper, just me. So far, no one has complained, and my most recent houseguest even did her own laundry, and helped with dishes. I figure if people don't like it, then they won't come back. But that's what you get for staying in a working household and not a five star hotel.
I tried to help make breakfast when I stayed at MNM's house, but apparently I don't cut peaches the way they prefer. :P
My family typically is pretty good about helping out when they visit, but Mr. S's family is not. It doesn't help that he's cast himself in the role of 'man of the family' with his bunch, so even if someone were to offer to pay or pay part, he insists. I keep telling him to let his sisters pay for things if they want to (two of the three of them make more money on their own than the two of us together and can certainly afford it more than we can), but he won't hear of it. He also tries to pull that with my mom and sisters, but they usually just tell him to stuff it.
And on the house-guest front--I've just gotten a reprieve. Mr. S's mom decided to visit her daughter in England instead, so he just went up to visit for the weekend, but he isn't bringing her back here with him tomorrow. So yay! I *will* have my couple of weeks off work in an empty house while the kids are still in school.
mcg - I fed you peaches? God, I really don't remember that!
ks - that sounds awesome!
They were on top of delicious waffles.
On the complete opposite vein: When we visit Hubby's family in PR, his stepfather insists on going out to dinners, lunches, breakfasts, and often snacks. They take us on sightseeing trips, and pay for gas in thebrand new Volvo SUV loaner from his dealership. We tell them several times that they don't need to spend so much money on us, that we're perfectly capable of cooking at home and paying our own way for sightseeing, but SF insists. It's tough because we know they're about as well-off as us, since nobody's buying cars right now. I would LOVE to find out a way that someone has used successfully to get your hosts to stop being so generous.
Fake an illness? There's an ongoing sort of joke between my AG's siblings and their father, who does the same thing as your husbands family. We all secretly plot on how to get the check out of my FIL's hands so he isn't paying for everything. AG's parents have probably lent *all* of us money for house downpayments, college loans, etc., so it always kinda sticks in our collective craw to let them pay for anything else. When we go out to eat, one of us will excuse ourselves to go to the restroom, and then we discreetly pull our server to the side an ask to be given the check directly. Once it's on the table, it's as good as in my FIL's hands, so we have to be proactive!
I usually insist on cooking at some point and doing my own grocery store trip for it. I use some sort of excuse to do it: ranging from a new recipe I want to try to the desire to be alone. It usually works and I pay for at least one meal then. (This is, of course, with those people that I feel the need to insist. )
On the hostess front, I enjoy playing hostess, so I also often want to to cook, show people the town, but about mid-way through I get exhausted and realize how expensive it is and stress out. So, I just have to find a better balance from the get-go. And put out the peanut butter for "make your own PB&J" on occasion.
Both sides of our family live locally, which can both be wonderful and nightmare-inspiring all at once. The farthest ones are in Baltimore, about three hours away, so there's never really an issue of week-long visits or overnights. I feel for the rest of you. I would go loudly, bloodily insane.
Certain spouses need to learn to balance certain needs better. Yes, there are things that need done around the house. I've been begging you to help me with them for various lengths of time ranging between weeks and years. They needed done yesterday, and they'll still need done tomorrow. Today, however, I would just like to drop the kid off at his grandparents' and go get dinner and have some time for just the two of us. I have a womanly right to feel like crap for a couple days a month and not be happy about putting up a fence while being surrounded by mosquitoes. If you would've listened to me about the fence LAST YEAR or about the paperwork LAST MONTH or about the grass being knee-high and going to seed before the social worker came over LAST WEEK, we could be eating delicious, allergen-laden pizza and getting a sundae at my favoritest ice cream place ever in the history of the universe. At this point, all that other stuff can all wait another day without any real consequences. I don't do hints. I do very plain, laid-out explainations. And if you would listen, then you could spend some time with your rather uncomfortable wife and relieve her from cooking, dishwashing, and childcare duties while you're at it.
So, can I get an "amen" that (1) men need to listen more and buy their wives some freaking ice cream already and (2) that men need to be pitied for being expected to go to dinner with their PMS-ing wives, who will afterward complain that the deer are eating all their peas and where are their freaking fences?
god almighty that is a long time. my folks wanted to come visit for a week, and I had to tell them that was too long. 4 to 5 days at MOST. My dad just sits around and watches fox news (that's a load of fun), and my just sits on her computer dicking around on yahoo. meanwhile my kids get no attention from them. then when they schedule another trip, I tell them to make it short, and they get all grumpy with me.