Today we’re super excited to welcome the very funny and creative Ilana from MommyShorts as our Guest Mouthy! You may recall that Ilana just snagged the (high coveted and majorly prestigious) Mouthy Housewives Seal of Approval and now she’s here to answer a question for us. Whooo! Thanks, Ilana!
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
Throughout the 18 years that I have been with my husband, I have established a disturbing pattern with my in-laws. I have let them guilt me into hosting every single family occasion- birthdays, holidays, showers, all of it! Even worse, they show up early EVERY time! If it was just my MIL that showed up early (she showed up 1.5 hours early for the last celebration), I could pin her down and let her know. But sometimes it’s my lovely sister in law and sometimes it’s my loud FIL, with his equally loud girlfriend. My husband has sympathy for me but he doesn’t say anything to them. What do I do? I’m sick of one of them showing up when I’m still preparing food, or sweeping the floor, or possibly getting out of the shower!
Dear In-Law Issues,
There is no excuse for company arriving early. You’ve already agreed to allow them into your home, feed them and put on your hostess face. The least your in-laws can do is not take up more of your time than necessary.
Since the problem persists with more than one family member, the best solution is to address them all at once. The most effective way to do this is to hang a sign on your front door.
“My invitation was for 6pm. Feel free to wait in your car.”
If your husband insists you entertain his family from the second they arrive, I suggest the following sign alternative:
“My invitation was for 6pm. I have left a game of Trivial Pursuit in the driveway to occupy you until that time.”
If your goal is to get other family members to take over hosting duties, take advantage of the fact that the in-laws are on your home turf. You are in the perfect position to ruin special occasions for them altogether.
For instance, for the next holiday dinner, send your dining room table out for refinishing and then make everyone eat on the floor.
If it’s a child’s birthday party you’re hosting, pick that time to announce your conversion to veganism. “Where’s the cake, auntie?” “Sorry, no can do. But here’s a plate of raw agave macaroons!”
For a baby shower, plan a game where everyone must tell their birthing horror stories. Serve placenta mocktails and invite the mom-to-be’s obstetrician to show instructional videos as entertainment.
The trick is to continue to act eager to host. I guarantee they’ll find another plan by Christmas.
Ilana, Guest TMH