I need to vent, MIL is throwing a fit that we won't give her and FIL the big bedroom/response update
Me and DH are about to close on our new house and we are so excited. We are moving from a 4 bedroom to a 6 bedroom, as we have 5 kids, we clearly needed the space. About a week ago, FIL had a massive heart attack and needed surgery. Luckily, he is still alive but at 60 years old, he is no longer able to work (at least for the foreseeable future). As MIL never worked and is 59, the likelihood that she could support them is not very good. He will get disability but that is not nearly enough to pay their rent and all their other bills. So to lessen the stress on FIL, we are having them move into our new home with us. Yes, it will be hard living with MIL but FIL can not handle the stress of worrying every month about paying the bills and things like that when their income will be so limited.
Our new home has 2 master bedrooms, rooms that are twice as big as the others, with two HUGE closets and a walk in bathroom, with garden tub. The other 4 rooms are standard sized bedrooms.
Our kids are
DS 8 (poor boy surrounded by girls)
We have found that DD 4 and DD 1 can not share a room, they keep each other up all night so DD1 one has been in our room since she was born (with the exception of the unfortunate 3 weeks DD4 and DS8 shared a room), an arrangement that is NOT going to continue in the new home. DD 4 and DS 8 can't share a room either, one because of the gender difference but two because they will bicker constantly. They are great with each other usually but when they are sharing a room, everything each other does drives the other crazy. So that leaves our two older girls sharing a room. I know they were bummed because they have shared a room since DD4 was born and we promised them their own rooms in this house. But, they have been very understanding since MIL and FIL have to move in with us. However, we felt that at least, they could have the big room. Both master bedrooms have 2 HUGE closets, so big that we can put their desks in them so that they each have their own quite space to do homework or just be alone in. Plus, they are so excited about the bathroom (they were sharing with all the kids except DD1 in the house we are leaving).
Well I brought MIL to the house (FIL is still in the hospital and DH was at work) so she could see how much space they will have. She saw the second master bedroom and asked why don't they get that room (we did give them the regular sized room that has a walk in closet, only one but the other 3 only have standard sized closets). I explained that since the older girls aren't getting their own rooms, as we promised, we figured they could at least share the big room (plus at least we don't have to have them fighting over it). MIL flipped out about how selfish we are being and how her and FIL need more room and that, as our elders, they should get the best room in the house.
Then she saw that she and FIL would be sharing a bathroom with the other kids. Really, it will mostly be with DS8 because we will give the younger girls baths in our bathroom but it will have to be the bathroom that company uses because it is the only one that isn't attatched to someone's bedroom. Again she had a fit.
I couldn't believe how ungrateful she was being, we are giving them a nice place to live, rent free for as long as they need and they are complaining that they aren't getting the pick of the house? I didn't want to fight so I just said "listen, this is what we are offering, if you have a better offer, please, feel free to take it" and then told her I would be in the living room when she is ready to go.
I just have to keep remembering that we are doing this for FIL's health and hopefully MIL will get the idea that this is mine and DH's home and she is not in charge.
I talked to DH about it and he said that we just have to be firm and not let her push us around because she tends to try to push people around a lot.
Wow, there are a ton of replies but most of them are pretty repetitive so I will answer them up here instead of doing it individually.
I am a good mom and yes, if I had to I could make my youngest two share a room BUT it would probably take a couple weeks of staying up listening to make sure they don't get up or sleeping in their room (which could cause a whole other problem of them being used to mommy sleeping in there). This is something I am simply not willing to do. If they wouldn't go to bed in their own rooms, yes, I would but since in their own rooms, they will go to sleep, it seems like a pretty simple solution since having all the kids in their own rooms was the plan anyway when we bought the house. The issue is not them being bad kids, they are very light sleepers and often, when they wake up, they don't go back to sleep, this is pretty normal for their ages.
As for the suggestion that we are be being unfair to the inlaws. We are rearranging our lives to have them stay with us because they have no where else to go, something I might add that neither of DH's 2 sisters are willing to do for them. They don't have the savings to keep paying their bills without FIL working, so they would be evicted within a couple of months. Yes, they are going to have to make accommodations too. Why shouldn't they? They are the ones benefiting from the situation, why shouldn't they give some? Everyone else in the family is giving, they can too.
The bathroom issue. I have decided to have DS keep his toothbrush in our bathroom and he can shower in there too. Occasionally, someone might have to use that bathroom to go to the bathroom but I am going to let the inlaws have it pretty much to themselves. I thought about it and since this is the only bathroom that you don't have to go through someone's bedroom to get to so it will be the one that company uses and I will expect it to be kept very clean. I don't want MIL to have to pick up after DS but I also don't want her blaming messes that she or FIL make on DS so this prevents either problem.
For those saying I am being disrespectful, where was their respect for themselves or us when they didn't save for retirement? They just assumed that one of their kids would take care of them, at least until they can get into an assisted living place, this is knowing that all 3 of their children would still be raising their own children when FIL turned 65. We are giving them a free place to live, they should be thankful instead of complaining. Some of you responded with "they need or deserve privacy" they are getting their own bedroom, it's not like I am making them sleep in the living room or something.
Yes, they raised DH (not me or the kids who are most of the people giving in this situation) and their parents raised them and we are raising their kids. You don't have and take care of your kids so that they can be your retirment plan.
Also, some of you may be confused by the response of MIL will need to help him in the bathroom. He had a heart attack, not a stroke. Once he recovers from his surgery, he will be able to do pretty much everything for himself as far as his personal care. He simply can't work due to the stress and the several doctor's appointments he will be going to every week.
We are moving in this weekend. Me and DH decided to sit down with MIL and lay out some ground rules. Mostly they are my rules since I am the one who runs the household and will be home with them during the day but DH agrees and we wanted to show a united front.
These are the rules:
I asked that MIL keep the bathroom they are using clean at all times since that is the bathroom that guests will use is they come over (all other bathrooms, you have to walk through someone's bedroom). But again, apart of someone occasionally needing to use the bathroom, MIL and FIL will be the only ones using it.
MIL or FIL will cook their own lunch and breakfast (unless I offer). I expect them to clean up after themselves, this including washing the dishes by hand or putting them in the dishwasher. If the dishwasher is clean, they can unload it and put their dirty dishes in or they can hand wash their dirty dishes.
I will label foods that I am going to use for dinner and I asked that she not use those for lunch or breakfast. I asked that she also not use the last of things like milk, butter or eggs unless she plans on going to the store to replace it within the hour.
I asked that they not use the whole milk at all. That is for the younger two and between the two of them, they go through almost a gallon a day.
Tuesday can be her laundry day, if she needs to do laundry any other point, just let me know.
If she has a problem with something the kids are doing (i.e. being too loud) come and talk to me or DH, and we will determine if the behavior is ok or not. It is not her or FIL's place to correct or discipline the children. On the other hand, I promised not to use them as the built in babysitters
We don't want to hear complaints or snippy comments about their bedroom or any of the rules. We are offering what we feel able to offer, if it is not enough, they can look somewhere else for a free place to live.
We asked that they ask before they invite people over.
DH wanted to make a rule about how they keep their room but I don't want to treat them like children and check up on them. I reminded DH that the worst case scenario is if they trash it, when they move out we will have to replace the carpet and paint the walls.
Since we laid down the rules, she hasn't brought up the room again. I think she is realizing that we are helping her and she is not really in the position to dictate what happens in our home. I am hoping that this can be a peaceful time