I've been blessed with pretty great in-laws. They're relatively normal and helpful, and they truly want the best for both my husband and me. However, there are things exactly no one enjoys doing with their in-laws, no matter how wonderful they might be. And if they're not so wonderful? Eek. At the very least, rest assured you are not alone. Ain't nobody like doing certain things with their in-laws. Period.
We live several thousand miles away from either set of parents, which has some upsides and downsides. We don't have regular, free babysitters in the form of loving grandparents at our constant disposal, but we also don't have an audience while we work through some of life's more difficult decisions or parenting issues. Some nights, when I'd love to go out to a movie or dinner with my husband, I feel the downsides more. However, when I sit down and think about what we could be working through with an audience of in-laws, that upside comes right through. And when they do come to visit, we try to avoid this list of things exactly no one enjoys doing with their in-laws, and at any and all cost.
Instead, we focus on allowing our daughter to enjoy the company of her grandparents and keep ourselves in a relatively stress-free zone.
The only thing worse than sleep training your kid, is sleep training your kid when your in-laws are visiting and you live in an 800-square-foot apartment. Just. Saying.
It's positively the worst and absolutely no one wants to (or in my opinion, should have to) do it.
Caring For A Sick Kid
I'm not the most calm mama when my child is sick. I panic when I don't know what's wrong with her, and have a hard time soothing a toddler in the middle of the night when none of my tricks will work. So, having in-laws around just adds to that stress in a major way.
As a disclaimer, my mother-in-law actually saved my behind on one trip when we were traveling with two babies (our daughter and a foster baby) and one of them had a blow out in the security line at the airport. In most cases, though, in-laws can add to air travel stress when no one is their best selves anyway.
Oh, the stress of disciplining kids with an audience. Just made more stressful when that audience is your in-laws.
...Or Not Disciplining Kids
But really, no one wants to have their in-laws giving the side eye for not disciplining your kids in front of them when they think your children are acting out. Why can't children just be perfectly behaved at all times?!
Anything While Sleep Deprived
I try to make sure I'm my best self when my in-laws are around. When I'm sleep deprived and short tempered, that's when I'm liable to say something silly or sarcastic. When I know they're coming for a visit, I log all the sleeping hours I can beforehand. No one needs to add sleep deprivation to the in-law equation. Trust.
Make Big Parenting Decisions
Big parenting decisions, like where to send your children to school or which daycare to choose, are hard enough to make without an extra set of eyes and ears (or even an extra set of opinions). If you have big parenting decisions to make, do it privately and away from your in-laws, who preferably aren't in the same house.
Recover From Giving Birth
I've never given birth, but just the idea of having them around while I'm in the early stages of recovering from giving birth sounds almost more painful than birth sounds. No, thank you.