Author Topic: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?  (Read 7581 times)

cats

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Here's the deal:

-husband and I are expecting a baby in a couple of months
-my parents would like to visit
-our apartment does have a 2nd bedroom, but is overall quite small, and we don't have a bed in the 2nd room.  I suggested that my parents might want to book a hotel or air bnb for their visit, as we don't really know how well the baby will be sleeping and the apartment is small
-parents have been receptive to this suggestion.  However, I have now TWICE gotten commentary on how expensive hotels are in our area and been reminded that they are not "made of money".  My brother has had similar experiences with them--they want him to visit more, he explains that he has limited vacation time and visits as often as he is able, suggests they visit him and gets an earful about how much it costs.

I don't think that my parents are secretly fabulously wealthy, but I do know that between my dad's pension and their social security, they have an income in the high five figures. They also have a pretty solid IRA.  Their only debt is a mortgage, and their monthly payment is less than my rent.  They are also not knee jerk tightwads...they renovated their kitchen a couple of years ago and went way over budget on cosmetic stuff like custom tiles, they have 3 cars between 2 people, they take at least one weekend trip (with hotel stay) per month, every time I visit their fridge is so full of food stuff is going off, and they've bought some new piece of something for the house.  If that's what they want to spend money on, fine.  They earned it and I have zero expectation of financial assistance or an inheritance, so as long as they aren't asking me for money, their choices are their business.  But it does bother me that they then complain about how they "never" see their kids and it is sooooo expensive to visit us--if they really wanted to visit more often, it's pretty obvious to me that they COULD find room in the budget.

Anyway, if they bring this up again, is there any reasonable way of telling them that even a 2 week stay in a local hotel would cost less than their pricey custom tiles, and that it's frankly a bit hurtful to feel that I rank below stuff like that on their priority list?  Like my brother, I try to visit them as often as work permits, but I only have 2 weeks vacation at the moment and my husband has relatives too!

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There is likely no good way to lecture your parents on their financial priorities, so let me suggest a different approach.  Gently remind them that 1) they certainly have more resources available to themselves than a young couple with a baby, and if they should choose to stay in your extra room that would come with costs of it's own, mostly born by yourself and your husband, not them.  But perhaps they would consider buying the bed for that room? Particularly if they plan on being dotting grandparents, and visit on a regular basis.  2) Alternatively, they could look into any number of modern alternatives for short term housing that better fits their lifestyle and budget, such as AirBnB.

Perhaps the idea of buying the bed, or supporting the costs of them visiting you, will encourage them to find another solution; but if not, maybe you get a new bed out of it.

pbkmaine

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Any chance you could research a nice AirBnB for them?

Zamboni

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This is really a common dilemma when expecting a new baby. If your parents caused you even the smallest bit of stress when they visit, then insist that they get a hotel. Often both sets of grandparents want to stay with the couple, particularly if it is a first grandchild, in the the guise of "helping." And, often, the new parents don't necessarily want their own parents in their face 24/7 when they are learning the ropes of having a new infant.

It's your house and you get to decide if, when and how you have houseguests. Draw your boundaries firmly now and then ignore their whining if it continues. Or you could just say "Well, we'd like for you to meet the new baby, but if it is too expensive for you to visit to see the newborn, then we understand. Again, if you want to visit, then you'll need to get a hotel. It's not negotiable."

ambimammular

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Don't feel like you have to give into their expectations.

When our first was born it was still expected that we fly out to see them for the holidays. Colicky baby, connecting flights, feeling terrible that the crying baby was keeping the household awake all night for the whole trip. I wish it would have occurred to us that we could just...not. With the second child it took 3 months for anyone to meet the newborn, but we just didn't make that our problem.


cats

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We are considering offering to get an air mattress for the 2nd bedroom.  My husband just told me yesterday you can actually get ones that come up off the floor as much as a mattress+box spring, which I hadn't even realized existed.  I don't really want to get a second bed (or even "real" mattress) if we can avoid it, as the room IS small and is also slated to eventually become the nursery (and we will likely move in another year or two, so...don't want a bunch of stuff to move!).

Initially I was VERY against having my parents stay with us because they usually do manage to drive me batty at least once per visit (love them, but...you know how it can go with relatives!).  However, they seem to have become much more laidback (or better at just staying off my case) since I got pregnant.  Plus, this would actually be the first time they've visited while my husband is around (they've only been out here once since I finished grad school and prior to that husband and I were in an LDR, so it is not quite as weird as it sounds...), and I think they might be more inclined to be on their "best" behavior with another person present.  My dad also told me they are now thinking of coordinating the visit with a visit to some distant relatives of his, so he proposed that they could perhaps visit us for 3-4 days, then take off for the weekend "to give you a break", and then come back for another 3-4 days.  So it seems like they are actually pretty cognizant that their presence could be a source of stress (CRAZY!), and the result is that I'm definitely softening on having them in the apartment.  Also, we have been thinking of asking my mother to come out for 3-4 weeks later this year as we may have a gap in between the end of my husband's paternity leave and the start of daycare, and it has occurred to me that if we could figure out a way of making staying at our place work for everyone, that would certainly make the idea more financially feasible for us (we'd obviously offer to pay for her accommodation in that case if staying with us was not an option...she'd be doing us a HUGE favor and even a nice air bnb + flight is less than a nanny!), but hey...if it turns out she can be just as comfortable here I'm not going to say no to saving some money). 

So yeah, I am thinking on the air mattress idea :)  Going to let it percolate for a week or two and see how I feel before suggesting it to the parents though!

letired

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You might try something like: "Hmm, that's tough. I'm sure you'll work something out! It'll be great seeing you guys! *change subject*"

When they complain about hotels being expensive, you don't need to make it your problem. Leave the ball in their court?

Exflyboy

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Well I don't have kids but I do remember when my Sister had her first.

I got the phone call from Mother and a lecture about how I was expected to be there.. what?.. Why?... well the ex Wife was all over this.. we HAVE to go because we are expected.

So I ask the perfectly reasonable question.. "Hang on a minute, my Sis has just got out of the hospital with HER new baby, shouldn't we be giving them time alone?".. No No we HAVE to be there.

So I cave and we go. When we get there, there is a house FULL of people.. and I mean Jammed packed full of relatives and the baby is being passed from one to the other. My Sister during this whole time was not looking exactly pleased.

After half an hour of this she bursts into tears and runs out, only for all of us to be given a detailed explanation of why she is so emotional by my Mother... From HER perspective of course.

Dear God!

So years later I asked my Sister about this and she told me "I just wanted everybody to piss off home so I could be ALONE with MY baby.

Huh funny that eh?.. The guy who knows nothing about kids (me) had it nailed all along.

So my advice.. tell them all to piss off home.. or more preferably make it quite clear you want the first few week ALONE with YOUR baby..:)

« Last Edit: January 25, 2016, 09:58:51 PM by Exflyboy »

cats

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You might try something like: "Hmm, that's tough. I'm sure you'll work something out! It'll be great seeing you guys! *change subject*"

When they complain about hotels being expensive, you don't need to make it your problem. Leave the ball in their court?

This is what I've been doing to their face so far.  I guess I feel a little bad because this is the first time since I moved to California that I haven't really been able to just offer them a place to stay.  I think my feelings of guilt may be making it more of an issue than it really is...oops.

Also, they definitely aren't coming out until the baby is at least 6-8 weeks old.  I told them our doctor recommended no visitors for at least two weeks to a month to allow for bonding time as a family and they seem to have bought it :)

okits

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Hmm...  I'm going to be the radical here and say, they're your parents, just say it to them.  "You paid for that expensive new kitchen, I hope visiting us is enough of a priority that you'll find room in your budget for that, too."  There. The truth.

With grandchildren on the line, if they're smart they'll find a way to work with you (and you'll find ways to compromise with them) so that there are no interpersonal obstacles to grandparents having as much of a relationship as they want with grandbaby.

lbmustache

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2016, 10:45:31 PM »
Hmm...  I'm going to be the radical here and say, they're your parents, just say it to them.  "You paid for that expensive new kitchen, I hope visiting us is enough of a priority that you'll find room in your budget for that, too."  There. The truth.

With grandchildren on the line, if they're smart they'll find a way to work with you (and you'll find ways to compromise with them) so that there are no interpersonal obstacles to grandparents having as much of a relationship as they want with grandbaby.

+1

I would have no problem telling my parents what OP wants to tell hers. It's not lecturing about them about their financial choices so much ("Did you really need to buy a new stove?") but just, "hey... you guys spend a lot of money and you could afford this hotel if you wanted to. Space is tight at our place."

Villanelle

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2016, 11:27:25 PM »
I'd find a couple VRBO/AirBnB options, including a very cheap one (even if location isn't ideal and/or it is only a private room and not a private apartment), send them those links and tell them that I'd love to see them so I hope they can make it work, and leave it at that. 

kiwigirls

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2016, 11:42:09 PM »
In situations with parents & in-laws I think it is best to put yourself in their shoes.  You are about to have your own kids -  how do you want those children to treat you when its your turn to be the grandma?  Airbnnb/hotel down the road? Or right there with your hands on your new grandchild?  Its only for a short time and they are planning on breaking up the trip.  You also mention that you are intending on utilising them for free childcare? This cut both ways - biting your tongue & putting up with their presence for 2 weeks and in return free babysitters/extended nannying when you need it.  You are going to need extended family a lot while your children are growing up.  18 years is a long time and in my experience family are the only ones who you can impose on to take care of your children over and over again.  Of course my advice only holds if you have a functional relationship with your parents - if its dysfunctional I would keep a bit of distance between you...

cats

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2016, 10:33:38 AM »
In situations with parents & in-laws I think it is best to put yourself in their shoes.  You are about to have your own kids -  how do you want those children to treat you when its your turn to be the grandma?  Airbnnb/hotel down the road? Or right there with your hands on your new grandchild?  Its only for a short time and they are planning on breaking up the trip.  You also mention that you are intending on utilising them for free childcare? This cut both ways - biting your tongue & putting up with their presence for 2 weeks and in return free babysitters/extended nannying when you need it. You are going to need extended family a lot while your children are growing up.  18 years is a long time and in my experience family are the only ones who you can impose on to take care of your children over and over again.  Of course my advice only holds if you have a functional relationship with your parents - if its dysfunctional I would keep a bit of distance between you...

Okay, let's clear one thing up here--I would certainly NOT expect my parents to pay for flights or hotel for a visit where the primary purpose was to provide childcare, that is obviously a case where 100% of the cost should be borne by myself/my husband.  I also wouldn't expect them to stay in a hotel or air bnb that I wouldn't be comfortable staying in myself.  There are quite a few options within very easy walking distance of our apartment (less than a mile, in a safe part of town), that are reasonably priced by local standards--I've made a few suggestions and offered to check them out in person if there are any they particularly like the look of.  If I felt we could offer them a comfortable place to stay, I would in a heartbeat. And they pull this same kind of thing with my childless brother ("so expensive to visit you!"), so it's not really an issue of grandkid access.  Hopefully in the future we'll have a slightly nicer/bigger place (or at least a kid who is sleeping through the night) and be able to offer them a place to stay again.  We just aren't in a great place to host them right now, so it has seemed like staying offsite is probably the best choice for this particular visit.  In theory, they agree...they just keep mentioning the expense and it makes me roll my eyes because they expense is not unreasonable relative to many other "luxury" things that I know they spend money on.  Also, I've always made an effort to accommodate them in the past and make their visits as economical as possible, because I KNOW hotels are expensive, so it's annoying to have them bring it up repeatedly when I've always been sensitive to that expense and put up with a certain amount of inconvenience in the past (e.g., sleeping on the floor in order to give them a bed) in order to help them avoid it.

I've been thinking about it a little more and I guess what irks me about it is that it feels inconsistent with the message I've always gotten from them about needing to prioritize family time.  My parents have always been VERY into us spending time together as a family and we've definitely gotten the message from them you sometimes need to be willing to prioritize family time over things that you just "want" to do. Which in retrospect, I think was a very beneficial attitude for my brothers and I to grow up with, so I don't object at all (now!).  But to have gotten that message laid on so thickly growing up and now to be getting this commentary about how they can't visit for too long because of the expense...yeah, part of me just wants to point out that there's some "do as I say, not as I do" going on here.

ooeei

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2016, 11:02:51 AM »
We are considering offering to get an air mattress for the 2nd bedroom.  My husband just told me yesterday you can actually get ones that come up off the floor as much as a mattress+box spring, which I hadn't even realized existed.  I don't really want to get a second bed (or even "real" mattress) if we can avoid it, as the room IS small and is also slated to eventually become the nursery (and we will likely move in another year or two, so...don't want a bunch of stuff to move!).

Initially I was VERY against having my parents stay with us because they usually do manage to drive me batty at least once per visit (love them, but...you know how it can go with relatives!).  However, they seem to have become much more laidback (or better at just staying off my case) since I got pregnant.  Plus, this would actually be the first time they've visited while my husband is around (they've only been out here once since I finished grad school and prior to that husband and I were in an LDR, so it is not quite as weird as it sounds...), and I think they might be more inclined to be on their "best" behavior with another person present.  My dad also told me they are now thinking of coordinating the visit with a visit to some distant relatives of his, so he proposed that they could perhaps visit us for 3-4 days, then take off for the weekend "to give you a break", and then come back for another 3-4 days.  So it seems like they are actually pretty cognizant that their presence could be a source of stress (CRAZY!), and the result is that I'm definitely softening on having them in the apartment.  Also, we have been thinking of asking my mother to come out for 3-4 weeks later this year as we may have a gap in between the end of my husband's paternity leave and the start of daycare, and it has occurred to me that if we could figure out a way of making staying at our place work for everyone, that would certainly make the idea more financially feasible for us (we'd obviously offer to pay for her accommodation in that case if staying with us was not an option...she'd be doing us a HUGE favor and even a nice air bnb + flight is less than a nanny!), but hey...if it turns out she can be just as comfortable here I'm not going to say no to saving some money). 

So yeah, I am thinking on the air mattress idea :)  Going to let it percolate for a week or two and see how I feel before suggesting it to the parents though!

I recently slept on one of those tall air mattresses, think my friend said it was $40 at Academy?  It was fine for me, but I'm a pretty easy sleeper.  If two people are on it and one of them moves, the other one will definitely feel it.  If their only problem with air mattresses is the height, it's a good option.  Another option is solid futons made of foam if they don't like air mattresses.

MayDay

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2016, 11:03:04 AM »
If it was my parents, I would point it out.  That is how our relationship is. 

Ignore the potential visit-to-provide-childcare for now.  That is an unknown.  Right now, you just have the question of whether they should stay with you for the newborn visit.  As someone with both kids and parents, I would strongly urge you to be firm on the hotel/aIRBNB, and tell them to suck it up buttercup.  I would also throw in a few "its ok, babycats knows your new kitchen renovation is more important than spending a few hundred dollars on a hotel, she won't mind". 

Yes they make taller air mattresses, but they aren't as tall as a real bed and they are still crappy wobbly air mattresses.  They'd be fine for a short trip, but don't kid yourself that your mom will want to sleep on one for a month. 


I'm a red panda

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2016, 11:05:47 AM »
The people on the babycenter DWIL boards can be a bit crazy (though it is amusing)- but the one thing I really really learned you have to be able to say is "Sorry, that won't work for us."  Nothing else needs to be said or explained.

This is YOUR baby. If you don't want visitors in your house, don't take them.  If it costs them a lot to come, they can wait until you eventually visit them.

But if you want them to provide childcare- well, yeah, then you are going to need to be the one being accommodating. Because they are doing you a favor.

jeromedawg

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2016, 11:06:55 AM »
This is a tough one - I can empathize with you.

When we had our son back in August (he's our first), we had my entire family visiting as well as my in-laws. My brothers opted to stay at a hotel but my parents stayed with us, and I think hers may have stayed overnight once too. It was crazy and hectic, and if we have another, I'm going to ask my parents to stay elsewhere or at least not to visit until we're settled a bit. If we have a second and it's a girl, I'm pretty sure none of that will fly, because this will be the first girl along the order of 8 boys straight (my brothers and I, their sons, and now my son). Anyway, we have a 3bed/2ba place, so having them stay over wasn't impossible, but it did feel cramped and I'm sure they were bothered by the incessant and loud crying overnight. In fact, my parents are back staying with us now but they're here to help with childcare during my wife's transition from quitting work to going full-time SAHM.

Perhaps you can come to some compromise with them, asking if they could just stay at a hotel maybe the first several nights you're back from the hospital while you guys anticipate needing space and adjusting to the baby a little bit. And reiterate that your apartment is small and will be in disarray when the baby arrives and you're back at home. Then go on to remind them how you don't have a bed and that sleeping on the floor would probably be uncomfortable for them but that they are welcome to if they really want; it's just that you definitely need those X number of days to adjust before they can stay with you either way. Then suggest a nearby hotel/VRBO/airbnb (with low prices) and tell them that would make life much easier even if it's for X days - if they give you a hard time about this then pull the kitchen remodel card ("you guys paid for that nice kitchen remodel for yourselves. can't you consider doing this small request for us? it's not like we're turning you down, we just need our space for a few days"). This way, you're not completely turning them down but encouraging them towards the other option (hotel) and making it sound much more desirable (and worth it) versus staying with you guys. If they're going to keep complaining about how expensive it is, then I would just tune them out and ignore when they say things along those lines - like another poster mentioned: "wow, that sounds rough.... so anyway, about the baby..."
« Last Edit: January 26, 2016, 11:12:24 AM by jplee3 »

Catbert

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2016, 11:47:55 AM »
I think drawing the line about them staying with you is fine.  Lecturing them about what they've spend money on in the past is not.

I think you've done enough (told them in plenty of time, gave them info about hotels/Airbnb, offered to check out personally any venues they want confirmation on).  The line someone already suggested works well:  I'm sure you'll work something out...

I say this as a 60 something who has been on all sides of this problem (including preferring to stay in a hotel when MIL wanted us to stay with her).

GizmoTX

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2016, 11:50:22 AM »
We are considering offering to get an air mattress for the 2nd bedroom.  My husband just told me yesterday you can actually get ones that come up off the floor as much as a mattress+box spring, which I hadn't even realized existed.  I don't really want to get a second bed (or even "real" mattress) if we can avoid it, as the room IS small and is also slated to eventually become the nursery (and we will likely move in another year or two, so...don't want a bunch of stuff to move!).

We did this when visiting my MIL in her small home when DS was small -- she was his only grandparent. She would have been offended if we stayed at a hotel, but she insisted on giving us her bed, which was a double/full & too small. We inflated the queen-size Aerobed in her living room, used conventional linens, & quickly deflated & rolled it up every morning. It was so much more comfortable for all of us & we had more together time.   

cats

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2016, 12:02:14 PM »

Yes they make taller air mattresses, but they aren't as tall as a real bed and they are still crappy wobbly air mattresses.  They'd be fine for a short trip, but don't kid yourself that your mom will want to sleep on one for a month.

Good to know!  My mom also has some problems with insomnia that she's been doing a LOT of work to fix, so I'm not convinced she'd really want to stay at our place for even a short trip if there's going to be a baby waking up multiple times during the night, no matter how comfortable a bed we might offer. Like I said, I don't really get the feeling my parents are seriously expecting us to "fix" this problem by making space for them at our place or paying for a hotel this time around, they're just mentioning the expense a lot and it's a little silly/annoying in the context of other things they choose to spend money on. Cost issues aside, we definitely would not expect my mom to stay at our place for a longer period unless she (and my dad) were confident she could do so without throwing her own sleep schedule out of whack or otherwise compromising her health.  The longer trip is very much a "maybe" at this point and whether or not it happens is really not about cost (we've run the math on flight+hotel and determined we can afford it if there is a genuine need...if it turns out it can be done more cheaply, great, but if not...that's life sometimes!)

honeybbq

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2016, 12:10:38 PM »
We are considering offering to get an air mattress for the 2nd bedroom. 

That was going to be my suggestion. We have one and it's great. Much better than keeping an extra Q size bed around!

Maybe I missed it; but it wasn't clear to me if you really wanted your parents there are not. I think if I were in your shoes, I WOULD want them there, and staying there. They can do a midnight feeding (pumped milk/formula) while you get some rest. They can cook dinner while you are playing with the baby, etc. As long as they are helping you, I'd want them there.

If they are just going to drive you crazy, then by all means suggest an alternative.

partgypsy

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2016, 12:19:31 PM »
If you did want your parents to stay at your house and needed something nicer than an air mattress (and you have an Ikea nearby) I highly recommend
BEDDINGE LÖVÅS sofa bed
and getting one of their foam mattresses. When I bought it the entire set up cost around $400. We used it when the room was a den, and now it is my oldest daughter's bed and is perfectly comfortable. It is somewhere between a double and a queen (we use queen size sheets which are loose on it). If there is not much space it turns into a sofa.



snuggler

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2016, 12:22:29 PM »
If you are going with the air mattress, just wanted to recommend one: http://www.amazon.com/Insta-Bed-Raised-Mattress-Never-Flat/dp/B006OU4ERA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1453835724&sr=8-1&keywords=air+mattress+auto-fill. It auto-fills when the air leaks out, so you wake up to a mattress that was just as full as it was the night before. It is really quiet too- you can barely hear it when it is on auto-fill mode, so the noise won't wake you up.

We have two twin versions of these, since it is hard to sleep on an air mattress with another person. They are so much better than any other air mattress I've slept on that I don't even mind giving up my bed to sleep on it! Not that you or your spouse should do that, though, since you will soon be the primary caretakers of a newborn.

I also wonder if your parents are making the comments because you have been so helpful in the past? I'm close enough to my parents that I would just tell them that these comments are hurtful and annoying, but I understand that not everyone is that close to their parents. If you are, it is worth considering.

rockstache

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2016, 01:56:19 PM »
I think what is bothering you is the mention of money. If it were me, I would just lovingly say to my mother, "Every time you bring up the expense of coming to visit, it makes me feel like it either A) isn't worth it to you to come visit, or B) you want me to fix it somehow. It makes me feel guilty for having a small house, but right now, that is just our situation. I am happy to help you find a place to stay, but staying here just isn't an option at this point."

Dicey

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2016, 02:58:49 PM »
My mom is gone now and my Dad's an invalid, but I was/am their fiduciary. Some years ago, when we were reviewing their finances, I was shocked to discover that they were earning more in retirement than some of their children who worked full time. Plus they had a paid-for, new-ish car and house, along with cheap property taxes, excellent medical insurance (Go GIHA!) and a Federal pension, complete with COL adjustments. I gently pointed this out to my mother. She shot right back with "Oh, but you guys could go out and earn more. We can't do that, so our income is fixed." OMG! Deluxe face palm!!!

The problem wasn't with their income, it was their perception of scarcity. If you think your parents might be caught in the same trap, as many parental-type folks are, stand your ground.

If there really are genuine financial concerns, do you have a nearby friend with a guest room? When we have large family gatherings at my sister's house out in the country, we stay with a friend of hers who has a very large home. We love it and them for accommodating us so graciously. Of course, she knows that our door is always open, should she or any of her family need a place to stay in our neck of the woods.

If that's not an option, do you have hotel points you could redeem?

We love the Holiday Inn Express Points and Cash Program. Basically, you can buy extra points and add some cash to get a great deal on a hotel room. On our road trip last weekend, instead of paying $119.99 plus a shitload of taxes, we paid $40.00 and 5k points, with zero taxes. Because we have Elite status, we get a 10% rebate on points spent and we always take the 500 points in lieu of the "Welcome Amenity" which is a bottle of water and a high calorie, low nutrient value snack. So net/net 4k points and $40 oop per night. Score! This may not help you today, but it might for future trips. If you know they'll be visiting again (check) and there's a decent Holiday Inn property (or any of their many brands) near you, it might be worth checking out their affinity credit card and collecting some points for future visits. And no, I have no connection to IHG, except that I stayed in their hotels during my working years and amassed a shitload of points, which I am stretching as far as is humanly possible. DH got their CC last year when they were offering a boatload of points to enroll, so we both have whatever their new, highest status level is called. Plus, each of us gets a free night every year with their CC, which more than covers the annual fee(s), especially when you redeem it for an Intercontinental Hotel in a lovely resort area. The annual free nights have a small window of overlap, so every other year, we can have a nice four-day stay at a lovely hotel between Christmas and mid-January. Sweet!

FWIW, I hate air mattresses. Sleeping on one attempting to sleep on one totally blows, IMO.


jeromedawg

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2016, 03:34:09 PM »
My mom is gone now and my Dad's an invalid, but I was/am their fiduciary. Some years ago, when we were reviewing their finances, I was shocked to discover that they were earning more in retirement than some of their children who worked full time. Plus they had a paid-for, new-ish car and house, along with cheap property taxes, excellent medical insurance (Go GIHA!) and a Federal pension, complete with COL adjustments. I gently pointed this out to my mother. She shot right back with "Oh, but you guys could go out and earn more. We can't do that, so our income is fixed." OMG! Deluxe face palm!!!

The problem wasn't with their income, it was their perception of scarcity. If you think your parents might be caught in the same trap, as many parental-type folks are, stand your ground.

If there really are genuine financial concerns, do you have a nearby friend with a guest room? When we have large family gatherings at my sister's house out in the country, we stay with a friend of hers who has a very large home. We love it and them for accommodating us so graciously. Of course, she knows that our door is always open, should she or any of her family need a place to stay in our neck of the woods.

If that's not an option, do you have hotel points you could redeem?

We love the Holiday Inn Express Points and Cash Program. Basically, you can buy extra points and add some cash to get a great deal on a hotel room. On our road trip last weekend, instead of paying $119.99 plus a shitload of taxes, we paid $40.00 and 5k points, with zero taxes. Because we have Elite status, we get a 10% rebate on points spent and we always take the 500 points in lieu of the "Welcome Amenity" which is a bottle of water and a high calorie, low nutrient value snack. So net/net 4k points and $40 oop per night. Score! This may not help you today, but it might for future trips. If you know they'll be visiting again (check) and there's a decent Holiday Inn property (or any of their many brands) near you, it might be worth checking out their affinity credit card and collecting some points for future visits. And no, I have no connection to IHG, except that I stayed in their hotels during my working years and amassed a shitload of points, which I am stretching as far as is humanly possible. DH got their CC last year when they were offering a boatload of points to enroll, so we both have whatever their new, highest status level is called. Plus, each of us gets a free night every year with their CC, which more than covers the annual fee(s), especially when you redeem it for an Intercontinental Hotel in a lovely resort area. The annual free nights have a small window of overlap, so every other year, we can have a nice four-day stay at a lovely hotel between Christmas and mid-January. Sweet!

FWIW, I hate air mattresses. Sleeping on one attempting to sleep on one totally blows, IMO.

I second the IHG rewards card - the annual fee is $49 (and I'm sure you could do some work to try getting it waived every year or two) but to me it's worth the price considering the free reward night alone (which can be used at any IHG property, including the premier Intercontinental hotel locations). We've used rewards to stay at the fancy Intercontinental Thalasso resort in Bora Bora as well as the Intercontinental Clement at Monterey (both spendy resorts). Previously they had really easy ways of accumulating more points (I think I racked up 10-20k of points, at least, from playing some dumb games they had), but as of late point accumulation outside of credit card usage and hotel stays has been pretty standard. I've ended up using my Chase Freedom card to get Ultimate Rewards back and just converting those to cash instead, since I still consider cash to be king. But for a travel/hotel credit card, I'd say the IHG one is pretty good. Plus, they have quite a few decent sign-up bonuses. For our Bora Bora/Tahiti trip, I signed up for the rewards card several months before specifically for the bonus, and it helped cut down on costs (although it was still a freakishly expensive vacation/honeymoon)

Anyway, sorry for the hijack. Back to the original topic :)
« Last Edit: January 26, 2016, 03:36:56 PM by jplee3 »

Doubleh

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2016, 04:17:33 PM »
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that when your mother mentions how expensive it is to visit that's not really what she means. She's looking for you to offer to put her up so she can be with family and feel loved. Possibly she feels slighted that you'd rather she stay at a hotel.

She doesn't need to hear about cheaper places to stay as it sounds like the cost is not a genuine concern for her. She probably just needs you to validate her concerns, to hear from you how much you wish they could stay with you but that the space is far too small and uncomfortable, and besides you'd be waking her up all night with feeds. You're only thinking of her own welfare.

Of course you shouldn't be guilted into letting her stay with you if that's not what you want. That said if you are ready to entertain the idea I can certainly recommend the high blow up mattresses. They do tend to spring a leak eventually, one good option is to buy them from Costco so you can benefit from their strong customer care when the inevitable happens. All I will say in favour of letting the parents stay in your own home is - maybe not just yet but in the next year or so - they can get up with their grandchild and you can lie in. I've never appreciated my folks add much as when they do that for us!

jeromedawg

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2016, 04:28:38 PM »
It's true, having your parents around to help out around the house with your first can be a huge help. In the case of my parents, it's love-hate. My dad really gets on my nerves (and pushes my buttons too) when we're around each other for more than several hours at a time...especially when I'm trying to adjust to working a telecommute job when I have never telecommuted before. I think he knows now, for the most part, not to call for me through the door while the door is closed. But it's still annoying when he says things like "you need to get out, and run around the block or something" in regards to getting exercise. The smart-a in me wants to respond by saying "yea, and you need to stop eating cheeseburgers every other day if you don't want triple-bypass again" but I think that would be a pretty mean thing to say and he'd probably get super-upset LOL. Anyway, the point is, it's easy to take your parents for granted, that's for sure. But if you need your space, you need your space and it's just a matter of letting them know that.

little_brown_dog

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2016, 05:19:49 PM »
I personally would not recommend committing to a long stay with a new baby in the house. You may love the help for a few nights, but that’s a really long time for you to be dealing with a new baby, a postpartum body (lots of blood, soreness, breastfeeding issues...all of which can last weeks after the birth), your new relationship with your spouse (yes, sleep deprivation doesn’t help your relationship), and your parents.
How about something like…"we would love you to visit for a couple nights but we really think we need time on our own to adjust to the new baby and to recover. Can you maybe stay two nights here and the rest of the time at a hotel?"

Zamboni

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2016, 06:28:00 PM »
Unless your parents are really good at leaving you alone, keeping themselves busy,  and picking up after themselves, I recommend against letting them stay in your home during the first couple of weeks. There is a good chance you will be completely exhausted and possibly injured either slightly or recovering from surgery. At that point the only people you want around are those who let you sleep, who let the baby sleep, who make food for you, and who don't make any fuss or commentary about anything.

I had relatives all over the map, from genuinely helpfully keeping quiet and making food to quite the opposite. I had visitors expecting to be entertained, wanting to constantly "play" with the baby (newborns don't play yet) or insisting that they do the feeding, disparaging my cleanliness of my kitchen, and snapping tons of "surprise" photos of me doing things like breastfeeding in my nightgown. Another annoyance was the constant offering of all kinds of unsolicited and outdated childcare advice (put cereal in her bottle, formula is better than breast feeding, put her on her stomach to sleep, you're going to give up on breastfeeding because it's harder than you think, you'll see . . . ARGH!) Yes, a new baby can really bring out the obnoxious in people. While I'm sure you don't think they will get on your nerves, it's hard to predict ahead of time, and it's easier to deal with the obnoxious if they leave to go sleep somewhere else.

cats

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #31 on: January 26, 2016, 07:12:35 PM »
To be clear, the question here isn't really "should I let my parents stay with us?/when should my parents be allowed to visit?", it's "can I point out how ridiculous it is of them to complain about the cost of visiting, in light of their other financial choices?".  The answer to the second question seems to be, no, just don't go there unless they make a REALLY big deal out of it.  So thanks everyone who has offered input on that.

For the record, my parents AREN'T insisting on coming out right after the birth or staying for months on end.  And I guess it's possible they'll do a complete 180 after the birth, but for the most part they have had a pretty relaxed attitude towards pregnancy/birthing/baby care/becoming grandparents and have not offered tons of unsolicited advice or told us we are doing things SO WRONG.  Compared to many grandparents I've heard about, they are actually being pretty dreamy. They are generally quite good/considerate guests (they do drive me a little nuts at least once per visit but it always blows over quickly) and I think they do understand that for this particular visit, a hotel is the best option for everyone's sanity.  It's really strictly that I am already tired of hearing something that I can't do much about at this time and that in my mind isn't *really* a very reasonable complaint (and yes, maybe that I feel bad about my inability to offer a place to stay....like, is there something really wrong with me that I have a good job but not a pull-out couch or a space to put one?  But that's really my own issue to deal with and nothing to do with my parents, so I should at least sort that one out before I snap at them about their kitchen tiles!)

partgypsy

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2016, 09:32:27 AM »
My mother came to visit after my 2nd. She waited a few months before visiting. She slept on the pull out couch we had, and my sister slept on the other couch. She was no trouble, and allowed my husband and I to get out of the house and have a little more flexible schedule. Not like she ran around doing a bunch of housework or anything for us but it was nice.

My suggestion, invite your parents to stay with you. They can always refuse but they may appreciate the gesture. And give yourself a month or so home with the baby, before scheduling visits.

I'm a red panda

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2016, 09:36:08 AM »
To be clear, the question here isn't really "should I let my parents stay with us?/when should my parents be allowed to visit?", it's "can I point out how ridiculous it is of them to complain about the cost of visiting, in light of their other financial choices?".  The answer to the second question seems to be, no, just don't go there unless they make a REALLY big deal out of it.  So thanks everyone who has offered input on that.

Regardless of if they make a really big deal out of it, I'd say no. What they spend their money on is none of your business. Just ignore the whining.

MrsPete

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Re: I probably shouldn't lecture my parents on their financial choices, right?
« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2016, 09:10:31 PM »
Should your parents prioritize visiting you and their new grandchild over a new kitchen?  Yeah, seems logical.  However, often in situations like this you can point out the truth and be right ... or you can maintain good family relations.  I'll choose harmony every time.

I'd suggest you buy the air mattress.  It'll last for years and won't be much of anything to move in the future. 

Incidentally, my husband's family stayed with us a couple days after our kids were born.  I loved it.  They cooked (and I can't believe how hungry I was both times after giving birth -- I ate soooo much for about a week), they changed diapers, and they understood when I disappeared to nap.  My FIL even did a few home repairs.  They were helpful.  This in no way prevented us from bonding with the babies.  The only negative for us:  My FIL was very uncomfortable with breastfeeding, so I had to go into the bedroom to nurse.