Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Need Personal Space!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Sissy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    286

    Need Personal Space!

    I will try to give the particulars of the situation as concisely as I can.

    I have 2 DD's married, and both pregnant. One is due any day and the other in December. The "most" pregnant one lives .3 mile from us, and has a 20 mo. old, and the other about 5 miles from us.They lost their dad (my ex) suddenly with a heart attack last December and are still grappling with that, too.

    Ok, I am an introvert and a semi-minimalist. DH and I live in a very small cabin-like house. I work 40 hours a week, plus an hour of driving. Recently I have been scheduled to see a cardiologist for some substantial symptoms.

    The problem: Most days as I round the corner to our house my heart (no pun) drops because I see that one or both girls are there. I cannot come home, get comfy and rest or do much of anything because the house is full, messy and just too busy. I like to be able to lie down on my couch and read or watch TV and talk to DH about my day, etc. Both girls are messies and I can't putter around and get things in order or clean and I have no time to myself because they stay until bedtime. I know that they both need support now.(the other DD is a high risk pregnancy) and they are worried about me, as in losing their other parent.

    This situation is stressing me to the max. I don't know what to do. I want to see my girls and sweet GD, but I am suffocating.

    Any ideas? I probably won't be back on here until tommorrow, but I sure could use some help.

    Thanks, Sherry

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rosemary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Saint Paul, MN
    Posts
    2,723
    It seems like you should be able to tell them exactly what you wrote here:
    - For your health, you need down time after work.
    - If they want to help you, they could help around the house instead of making messes.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    13,392
    I sympathize with you--I always needed decompression time after work or school and had some difficulty convincing people why. I was firm, and they got it after awhile. I'd just go ahead and lay it out--that you need to construct a virtual buffer zone between work and family activities. A friend of mine who lives with others in a small cottage needed quiet time for work and other solitary pursuits, so had an office built into her garage--is that possible for you? Or is there a park or coffee bar nearby you could stop at on the way home? I found that even leisurely grocery shopping helped bridge the gap. At least I didn't have to talk to the produce as I picked it over.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Kestra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    904
    I think it'd be good to bring up the idea of scheduled visits as well. Though might be a hard sell as it sounds like it's been this way for a while. Requesting advanced notice is quite reasonable. My family and my husband's aren't generally the drop-in unannounced types. If people did drop in we'd probably pretend to not be home. Once you've brought up the subject, you might want to consider asking for their keys back or changing locks, or locking the door, unless you're really concerned about emergencies. If you had a hidden key, and found them in your house you could pretend to panic - "what's the emergency?".

    Also, once you've brought up that you need down time, when you get home and they are there, just ignore them completely. Go into your bedroom, assuming there is something with the door. And just lay down and read or whatever. If they ask what's up, just remind them you need down time. If you're really boring and unsupportive at that time, they'll get the idea. Then you can schedule a visit to have supportive and GD time. As adults they need to learn not to rely on you constantly.

    As a follow introvert I'd be very annoyed to come home and find anyone there. I'd probably move-LOL. DH and I have agreed that if our parents moved to the same city we live in and started showing up unexpected we'd move to another city.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Anne Lee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Great Plains
    Posts
    618
    The next time they are there when you come home, announce you are tired and are going to rest. Say that you will see them later. Then do it. Close the door (if your bedroom does not have a door, get one ASAP). Get changed. Turn on the fan. Grab a book. Get in bed. Do not come out. If they ask if everything is ok, tell them you are fine, just tired, it's been a long day, etc. If they are concerned, thank them then ask them to do a few chores for you. Make a list. Even better if the list includes them picking up a mess they made (not in those words of course...)

    Sometimes telling people we are close to what we want is difficult but if we act what we want, it's easier. Don't do the martyr thing of course (not that you would). And be kind but firm, you are going to rest and need some time.

    If they don't take a hint after doing this a few times, then you will need to be more explicit. They are adults. They have homes to go to. They'll be fine.
    Formerly known as Blithe Morning II

  6. #6
    Senior Member Miss Cellane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,495
    I like Kestra's idea. Just shut yourself in your bedroom until dinner time. Then come out and eat the lovely meal that your daughters have prepared for you. Oh, they didn't? Then be sure to ask one of them to start dinner while you rest up from your hard day's work.

    Another tactic that you could take is to simply do whatever it was that you would have ordinarily done that day if the DDs weren't there. You are treating them like guests, in that you don't feel comfortable cleaning and watching TV with them there. But they are acting as if they are home, what with staying there until bedtime and making messes and all.

    So start treating them as you did when they lived with you. Come home, get changed and come out and watch TV--and watch what you want to watch, not what they want to watch. Or announce that you are cleaning the kitchen floor and everyone needs to get out now! If you want to read after dinner, announce that you are going to read, so the house needs to be quiet. In other words, start living your life, even though the girls are there.

    But I do think you need to set some boundaries. If you are unwilling to ask them not to come over after work, how about asking them to limit their hours a bit? Tell them that you love them and love seeing them, but you would really like it if they were not there when you get home. Tell them you need an hour or two alone with your DH. But that they are welcome to come over after 6:30, or after your dinner is over. Or they can be there when you get home, but need to leave 2 hours before whatever your bedtime is. Or they can come over Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while you get Tuesday and Thursday to yourself.


    I can see why you don't want to just tell them to stay home and give you some space. But you are going to fall apart if you keep this up. You deserve some down time, some peace and quiet, after a hard day's work.

    And your DH must be a great guy to put up with all the commotion. Make sure to tell him that. And maybe enlist him in the boundary setting.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    440
    Maybe the cardiologist visit would be an opening to making changes with fewer hurt feelings...doctors always want us to reduce our stress to be healthier. "I need to rest after work to take care of my health" is an easier thing to hear than "You drive me crazy when you're around..." especially when the extra hormones are surging...

  8. #8
    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    SW Washington State
    Posts
    2,388
    Boy, I feel for you---I have 2 childbearing aged girls, too...although they don't come over all the time, but they do call.

    I agree what some of the others have said. Tell them directly that your cardiologist is ordering you to rest more and you feel the most tired after work, so that is the time you need it most. Tell them if they want you to be helpful to them when their babies come, you need rest now so you can be there. Literally.
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

  9. #9
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    By a lake in MO
    Posts
    4,665
    I was going to suggest the "under Doctors orders" as well.
    I think you could also ask the daughters to arrange child care, that you'd like to take them out on a girls only dinner because you need to discuss your needs. Then just lay it out. You know they are thinking of you and wanting to check on you but you need more structure, etc. Plan who comes over when with what children. Explain you need your house left as its found.
    I think they will understand. I know that my mom would jump in and take care of everything and everyone even if she'd just come home from having surgery. She is just that type of person and yet I know deep down that she has needs too and I wish she would speak up and say 'enough' sometimes.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    3,750
    I'd suggest you engage them in a solution. One a weekend, after you've had some rest, pose this to them:
    "I'm having a dilemma, and I'd love your help solving it. I ADORE seeing you both. It's so exciting to be a part of your lives, and I love that you feel free to drop in whenever you want to. I also come home from work toasted, and completely unready to be present and available to you. As you probably know, I need some quiet time to recharge in order to be able to hang out and engage. How can we arrange our lives so that I get the quiet time I need, especially after work, and you get the connected time you need?"

    I'll bet they already know you need down time - that you're an introvert - and this convo will help them create solutions that they will then own, and be much more likely to support. Also, it will give them a chance to reflect on what they need. Your not only taking care of yourself, you;re also modeling self-care for soon-to-be mothers; a critical tool they will need to know about.

    Good luck!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •