If you grew up watching stand-up comedy acts in the '80s or any sitcom ever, then you're probably very familiar with the trope of the nosey/annoying/insufferable mother-in-law. And while it's definitely a stereotype, a lot of these behaviors must be rooted in some type of reality, or else they probably wouldn't have become so widespread.
However, it's also important for couples to have their space and if an intrusive in-law is constantly dropping by and causing problems, then it's probably better for everyone if they're just not around.
So how does one go about ensuring this doesn't happen? That could be next to impossible depending on the culture/family you come from. Speaking from personal experience, I know I've got some friends whose husband's moms aren't necessarily waiting for an invitation until they come over. So what's a person to do?
Well, you could just follow the lead of this one woman who literally just built a gate to keep her mother-in-law out of her home and her life.
In a Mumsnet post uploaded by user katrizia127 titled, "To not want MIL turning up unannounced in the mornings," the woman expressed her gripes with her MIL that many other commenters on the platform sympathized with.
She writes, "My MIL lives across town and has a tendency to just turn up on the doorstep unannounced and uninvited, usually at around 8:15 in the morning on a workday when DH starts work at 8:30 (he WFH). In DH's family it's the norm to just pop round to each others houses and they all live in the same neighbourhood but I really, really don't like surprise visitors. I'm a very private person and quite introverted so I need time to prepare myself mentally for any extended visits or socialising. DH has told his mum to call or text us before just showing up, and she scoffs and says 'I don't need to ask, I'm your mum!' and it's just not sinking in."
She continued, "We actually had a huge side gate installed on the drive because she had a habit of just coming round the back and knocking on the lounge windows when we didn't answer the front door. If we are in working out in the garden she will call DH and demand to know why he isn't answering the door. We had guests last summer that we hadn't seen in a while and she just turned up and came round the back and let herself in, and joined us all in the lounge until DH hinted that she needed to go. I just find it so intrusive, rude and socially inept but it doesn't seem to be sinking in with her."
It turns out, however, that the real issue is the fact that she feels like her mother-in-law doesn't even know how to hold a proper conversation and instead long-windedly talks about her own life and problems instead of engaging in a dialogue.
"I probably wouldn't mind her visits as much if she actually knew how to have a conversation. She just monologues about her family dramas and work issues until she whips herself up into tears about while I sit uncomfortably and DH scrolls through his phone ignoring her. I honestly can't remember a time when she has asked me how I am or what's going on in my life. I feel like she just breezes into my home and starts rambling and I can't even follow what she's talking about half the time. It's just consciousness ranting about people I don't know and will never meet."
She ultimately ends her post asking for some advice on how to best handle the situation because it appears that even the gate isn't working its intended magic.
"DH has told her time and again to call or text before coming over, and she does about half the time, but only to say 'I'm in the car, I'll be there in 5 minutes' instead of asking if it's alright to pop over or she will just show up and say 'but it was just spontaneous' when asked why she didn't call. I'm at my wits end here, AIBU for wanting to pull the curtains closed and ignore her next time she turns up?"
Other Mumsnet users expressed that at the very least her husband commiserates with her and isn't "siding" with his mother. Others said that they too would hate a MIL who popped in unannounced all the time and offered up the following advice: "Just be frank. Next time she comes over, tell her plainly that you enjoy having time to yourself. You don’t like being around people all the time. Tell her that your husband will contact her when he’s finished work to arrange a time the family can get together."
They added that if her MIL starts to comment on her pushback as "being rude" to not back down and stick to the situation at hand: you're someone who values their privacy and that her MIL should be kind enough to consider that. "Keep your explanations concise and polite and do not back down. Do not act apologetic. You simply have different personalities and social requirements. Her needs don’t trump yours."
There were some who thought that OP was being a bit over-dramatic about her mother-in-law visiting and seemed to have sided with her husband's mama dropping by whenever she wanted.
What do you think? Would that sort of thing drive you mad? Or are you cool with your in-laws and have no problem if they want to come and chill at your crib whenever they feel like it?