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How do you deal with overnight guests when there is not room for all?


Replies to: How do you deal with overnight guests when there is not room for all?

  • stradmomstradmom 5236 replies51 threads Senior Member
    There's a famous story of an anthropologist visiting Japan who stayed long-term at a hotel and was moved from room to room during his visit. He was confused, and thought it might be a "dis" because he was Western. It turned out that, as a long-term guest and a nice human being, the hotel management considered him "family" and felt comfortable moving him to accommodate "outsiders."

    Which, I guess, means that asking my kids to sleep on the floor in order to accommodate older guests makes me Japanese?

    At the same time, I prefer to stay in a hotel rather than with friends/family, partially because I'm an introvert and partially because I don't want to be a bother.
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  • eyemamomeyemamom 5428 replies79 threads Senior Member
    I’m on week 3 of company. Different groups of people, but Sunday night we all said no more company for awhile after the in laws can leave. Unfortunately mil and fil are here recuperating after being in a car accident.
    I hate sleeping at other people’s houses, but that is our family norm. I have 20 something people sleeping here for Thanksgiving! I have a pool house and I have a few beds and a bunch of cots and sleeping bags and the kids find their own space.
    My mom once stayed a few weeks recuperating after my dad died and she had surgery. Mostly people just stay a few days. My d just had college friends come from Wednesday to Saturday night. Hubby and I decided to beat it out of here Friday and stayed at a hotel.
    I understand your resentment completely. I’d ask your son his thoughts about it, but I’d also want my son in that room. What’s frustrating is your mil lack of consideration and probably your feeling your husband choosing his mom over his son. I’m sorry you lost your parents so young. That had to be very difficult.
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  • 1214mom1214mom 5396 replies197 threads Senior Member
    If I were in your situation, I would say grandma gets the bedroom, because she’s old and I’m assuming would be less comfortable than son sleeping on the sofa or whatever. I would have no problem putting one or multiple of our “adult” children on the sofa(s) or think about renting a place where everyone could be together. Are you comfortable asking your son how he feels about this? I know in many large families it’s just not a big deal at all to have even adult couples on sleep sofas in the open space. They make do. While visiting my husband’s family we sometimes had 16 people in a 4br house. Each set of “parents” got a bedroom, and “kids” either slept on floors of parents rooms, or in the family room or basement. This went on for up to 4 nights. As an only child,I was probably the least comfortable with it, but we all made it work.
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  • abasketabasket 21574 replies921 threads Senior Member
    Can't MIL somehow come earlier or later and you can sort of have a second Thanksgiving? So that the two of them overlap only a night or two? My son wouldn't think twice about sleeping on the couch - he does it all the time (and I'd do it myself for a couple of nights). I'd be a little perturbed that MIL isn't being cognizant that this might be an issue - the both of them in your place at the same time.

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  • thumper1thumper1 78498 replies3537 threads Senior Member
    But the MIL has already slept on the sleeper sofa, and clearly, it didn’t bother her.

    @Hoggirl is there a couch in your living room? Can your son sleep on that?
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  • MarilynMarilyn 4352 replies142 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2019
    So SIL prioritizes her husband’s family over her own mother. I assume she travels away so can’t have mother stay with her?

    In your situation, I would probably go off to a hotel with DS and ask DH what time he and his mother were serving Thanksgiving dinner.

    You’re correct that this is a problem that has to be nipped in the bud, but that may be difficult to do. It sounds like your husband will refuse to either insist his sister adjust, or send his mother to a hotel if your son has already planned to visit. DH and I had a lot of relationship difficulty because he admittedly prioritized his mother over me. He recognized it was a problem but would not bend. The situation really didn’t resolve until she passed away - at age 97.

    The default seems to be that you and your son are the only ones who have to make adjustments; everyone else gets what they prefer.

    Book a hotel room for MIL and present it as a given rather than a subject to be discussed.
    edited July 2019
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  • HoggirlHoggirl 2137 replies215 threads Senior Member
    @washugrad - solid advice for sure. To be fair from age four until ds graduated from high school, we spent Christmas proper just the three of us - we visited the in-laws either the weekend before or after to have the “family” Christmas. I guess a couple of years we were there on Christmas if it fell on a weekend. So, that worked fine. Time off is more limited for ds now that he is a fully functioning adult with a demanding job. We are on opposite coasts with mil in the middle.
    Dh doesn’t see the Thanksgiving thing as a big deal. When we sold our bigger home, I expressed concerns about holidays, and we had actually talked about the need to rent a larger place if and when ds ever married and had children. But doing that NOW is a good idea - as long as we could cancel in case ds doesn’t come.

    @eyemamom - that sounds exhausting! I can’t imagine hosting that many people no matter how much space I had! It’s the constant feeding!!! We have had a LOT of company since moving to Florida! I do love having company stay with me, but I prefer three or four nights only. I appreciate your understanding where I’m coming from. I’m sorry for your in-laws’ accident and hope they are healed/well/whole soon. You are an excellent daughter-in-law!

    @1214mom - I have sort of asked ds. I really do believe it’s my issue alone. I’m an only, and ds is an only. After a certain age, I just wouldn’t want to sleep on a floor - period!
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  • greenwitchgreenwitch 9286 replies42 threads Senior Member
    It's a good time to bring this up with your H and your son before this new pattern becomes embedded. I like doschicos' idea of offering a more comfortable hotel room for your MIL. Hopefully, that will work.

    If not, is there some kind of neighborhood list serve or condo newsletter that you can ask about available rooms in? Someone might be traveling and not mind making a little extra money if your friends are staying home for the holiday. Young people tend to be not so bothered by these casual arrangements.

    I'm sorry that you are seeing your son less than your MIL and so much of the time is overlapped and not as satisfying since he can't stay with you. I hate the holiday rush of traveling too and fantasize about visiting people in early January when nothing is going on. Maybe your son could do more of that? Eventually he may have his own nuclear family and things always seem to be pulled in so many directions, don't they? It's good to talk about these issues with your son and husband and have everyone remain flexible. Maybe your H can go visit his Mom alone for some quality time? They are both going through a transition after losing your FIL, and I know that you worked so hard to make your FIL comfortable that you need a break yourself.
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  • college_querycollege_query 4466 replies362 threads Senior Member
    A year ago last spring, my S and his gf (now fiancee) were coming to visit us. We had two guest bedrooms with an extra bathroom upstairs, and my plan was to let them have the entire upstairs. Then my in-laws decided to visit at the exact same time. My H was uncomfortable with having our S and his gf share a room while his parents were here (they don't live together and won't until they are married) so the gf got one guest bedroom and my in-laws got the other, and poor S got an air mattress in the dining room (we didn't have a dining room table so the room was empty). I'm sure my S wasn't thrilled, but he was happy to see his grandparents.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24993 replies20 threads Senior Member
    If your son has a lot of airline point, just get a hotel for him. He's a lot more able to move around, drive himself places, be independent. If he wants to come at thanksgiving, Grandma is there.
    You aren't displacing him from his room since it is not his room (and never was). He'll probably be happier in a hotel and if it is free (with points) even better.
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  • HoggirlHoggirl 2137 replies215 threads Senior Member
    @doschicos - I agree she would be more comfortable. Dh says that would hurt her feelings. My prediction? We have to rent something for ds, and she’s jealous when she sees it!

    @thumper1 - yes, we have a sofa. It’s actually a sectional, but not very wide - more sized for “apartment” living.

    @Marilyn - it’s not like that at all with sil. She is there, on the ground with mil. Has handled all kinds of things since fil’s death because she is close by. She deserves a break. Sil has said mil is welcome to come to her husband’s family gatherin, but mil has no interest in that. Brother-in-law is only five years younger than mil. Has three children from his first marriage. Mil doesn’t reallly know/care for his first family much (sil and bil have one daughter together). I can’t book a hotel and present it as a given to mil - dh doesn’t want to do that. It’s not a cross for me to die on. I just wish it were different. I didn’t anticipate space issues until ds had some grandchildren for me! We have couples stay with us (even on the sleeper sofa) all the time. Part of the issue is that ds doens’t/can’t plan to come until much closer to TG itself. His ability to come will depend on his work. So, it’s not like she plans to come after he has already said he is coming for sure. Dh doesn’t prioritize his mother over me. I just think he thinks it’s no big deal for ds to stay somewhere else. But, I do hear what you are saying. I have a friend who is worried we are “creating a monster” in mil by being so accommodating.

    @greenwitch - we live at the beach. There are literally hundreds of places we can get. But, it’s not really supposed to work like that at our condo. Minimum monthly rental. Guests are fine. I suppose ds could be a “guest” of someone other than our friends, but it’s supposed to be “free” because you’re a guest!
    H is fil’s executor, so he stayed on an additional two weeks after I returned home after the funeral. He also went to see his mom in early March last year to do her tax return for her. We are going again in September to visit her.

    Ds loves his grandmother, and we enjoy spending time together. This is truly the only situation where I miss our large home. Otherwise, we love living small!
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  • HoggirlHoggirl 2137 replies215 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2019
    @abasket - she probably could but that might increase the cost of her plane ticket. And she wants to see ds, too. We had one night last year with just the three of us. Fortunately, we had a nice long stretch in between Christmas and New Year’s with just our nuclear family. :)

    I do think she’s cognizant because she keeps asking if ds is coming. We keep telling her we don’t know and won’t know until closer to time.
    edited July 2019
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  • HoggirlHoggirl 2137 replies215 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2019
    @twoinanddone - Unfortunately, there are not many hotels near us at all. We are mostly surrounded by condominiums. I suppose we could give him one of our cars to drive. We would hopefully rent a condo that is within walking distance to ours. But, you are 100% correct - this is not ds’s “room,” he is being displaced from as this is not the home he was raised in.

    The humorous thing about all of this is that our friends in the building are having MAJOR family drama related to their daughter’s in-laws that is making THEIR plans uncertain.

    Family is just hard.

    edited July 2019
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30495 replies59 threads Senior Member
    This really comes down to how you and your DH feel about this. I’ve known families who do not have ANYONE stay with them overnight. There are families where EVERYONE crams in there for get togethers— that’s us. It’s getting difficult now days with the younger generation getting married and having families. Used to be we just had the kids bring sleeping bags or grab quilts and pillows and camp out in the family room. We let everyone know what space we had, and where they would sleep with an established pecking order, and if anyone didn’t like it, they could find their own arrangements or not come.

    And, yes, many many a parent has downsized, breathed a sigh of relief at the lesser upkeep and expense only to have kids marry , have grandkids, other family situations and wish they had the space again. We have neighbors whose 3 young adult sons all married and had children with a 2 year period—step kids in the mix, and that’s why they are our neighbors. Bought the house for family gatherings because the condo was highly unsatisfactory in that regard and it was important to them to have family together as much as possible as close as possible. It all depends upon how each family feels about this.

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  • mycupofteamycupoftea 490 replies17 threads Member
    @Hoggirl It's very clear from your posts that are a good DIL and you raised a loving son. I am sure you'll make it work one way or another, so don't let it bother you. Enjoy the holiday time together with your family.
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  • HImomHImom 36057 replies396 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2019
    So far, when we travel with our young adult S and D, both have declined offers of room for the two of them and the 4 of us all share a room.

    It would bother me if my young adult offspring was visiting from far away only for a brief time and couldn’t stay at my place because one of my in-laws was staying with us.

    I’d probably start inquiring around the condo building if anyone has a spare bedroom available for a few nights.

    Agree that the idea of renting a larger place for everyone for a few nights is attractive, if the money isn’t too much.

    We’ve stayed up to a week with S and same with BIL or SisIL. We’ve stopped staying with friends, though we’ve been invited to. We’ve had folks stay up to a week with us and our young adults weeks to months.

    I’m sure you will work out something that you can be OK with and agree you’ve been a wonderful DIL, @Hoggirl!
    edited July 2019
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  • oldfortoldfort 23510 replies308 threads Senior Member
    I have a sofa when you take off back cushions the sofa becomes a twin size bed. The seat cushion is one piece so it is not lumpy when you sleep on it. It is not big. I have it in my second bedroom - converted to a study now.
    I think someone said to have your MIL and S stagger their visits so they would only overlap for few nights.
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  • deb922deb922 6468 replies204 threads Senior Member
    First of all, I really get what you are saying.

    For lots of reasons my kids usually only come to where I live over Christmas. We go to where they live and we will meet up at other relatives houses but to my house, it’s Christmas.

    My mom, since she’s been a widow (5 years) has come to my house. She flys in before the kids and home after. Sometimes a day’s difference. The airport is 100 miles away! So i end up driving back and forth to the airport multiple times, sometimes in bad weather. And I just long to spend one minute alone with the kids. It sounds silly but it’s all I want.

    I love my mom but she can be difficult, critical and insecure all at the same time. She could go to my sibling but the way my sibling bungled that last year with mom almost not going and me having to play intermediate, it’s going to be my house she going to go to for the foreseeable future.

    It sounds like MIL stays home for Christmas so it’s only thanksgiving and your son also makes it home then so I would look at that as a win, lol!

    I like the idea suggested earlier that you rent a 3 bedroom place and everyone has a bedroom. See it as a trial to see other beaches in Florida. I would think that it would be something that you could rent pretty last minute. Thanksgiving isn’t a huge beach holiday and I suspect that if your son can get away, that you would be able to find something last minute.

    We went to Florida a few years ago with my il’s. My D decided to come. Il’s had rented a small 2 bed condo. We brought an air mattress but she elected to just bunk on the couch for the week. The only place for the air mattress was on the sun porch. She’s happy to do that for a short period of time.

    Even though it’s hard not to worry about different situations that might pop up, see how this pans out. Not that helpful though.
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  • HouseChatteHouseChatte 1288 replies2 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2019
    We're empty nesters with three bedrooms. Kids' rooms are still theirs, with some storage use. Seamless when they come for a visit. My mother lives ten minutes away, so no need to stay here unless she can't be alone. We'll have her here for medical / safety reasons -- recovery from outpatient surgery, power fails in her building, other one-off situations -- but we'd have to put her in the master bedroom and ourselves elsewhere. She'd take the couch downstairs, but the dogs are there and are probably a tripping hazard if she gets up overnight. She'd be happy in either of our sons' rooms if they weren't there, but you have to walk past the staircase to get to the bathroom and she's kind of rocky on her pins. Ditto our furnished walk-up attic, she'd love it, but no bathroom, and an 89 y.o. on the stairs at 3 AM is more stressful to me than finding a different place to sleep. Hilarious that we have all this room but only one suitable option for her.

    I have the impression that this is being presented to you as a done deal -- I'd be irked at that part too. And even though your son wasn't raised where you're living now, you're still his home the same way.

    Great to hear all the different definitions of family. Oddly, we think of the elders as family less because they're our parents and more by virtue of being our children's grandparents.

    I really like the idea of renting a larger place for all of you.
    edited July 2019
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