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Mom Called ‘Rude’ For Refusing To Play Hostess Every Time Her In-Laws Show Up Unannounced

Etty Fidele/Unsplash

Most of us want to be welcoming to our family members when they come to visit, but sometimes they can easily wear out their welcome.

A woman on Reddit found herself in this position when her in-laws starting visiting constantly. She wasn’t sure about how she handled it, so she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by Responsible_Split_35 on the site, asked:

“AITA for not going out of my way to play hostess to people who show up unannounced?”

She explained:

“My husband and I live a reasonable distance from the rest of our families. 10 years ago, we both had job opportunities in the south, our families live in the north. We chose to take said opportunities as it’d be cheaper housing and an increase in salary. Since then, we typically see our families once or twice a year, usually going to them.”

“Right before the world fell apart, my husband’s sister and her husband retired about a half-hour away from us. They’re 20 years older than we are, pretty well off and tired of the cold. From that point on, they started showing up unannounced.”

“I didn’t really mind, so long as I wasn’t expected to play hostess. In the beginning, they were really coming by to play with our kids and visit with my husband for a little bit. In time, that delved into them wanting to drink out on the deck with us after the kids go to bed, chatting for hours.”

“I work 50-60 hour weeks. When I come home, I just want to unplug and relax. My kids are getting to the age of being self-sufficient and don’t need a ton of help. I recently told my husband, I have no issue with his sister and BIL coming over all the time, but I’m not hanging out with them each time. He yes’d me but I don’t think he believed me.”

“The other night, I came home and there they were, helping my husband make dinner. I went upstairs, took a leisurely bath and then got into some sweats. By that time, they had already eaten dinner. I nibbled on some leftovers, checked on my kids, talked with them about their day.”

“Once they made it clear they just wanted to play video games and chill, I slipped back into my room to watch TV. After my kids went to bed, my husband texted me asking if I’d join them on the deck for some drinks and dessert. I declined and went to bed early.”

“The next day, my husband said I was completely rude for not hanging out with them. AITA?”

Redditors were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

And most of them empathized with OP and felt she’d done nothing wrong.


“I would have started doing this long ago. It’s not reasonable to expect to be hosted so often.” –Peasplease25

“You verbalized your boundary and stuck to it. Are you genuinely confused as to if you’re an a**hole or not?” –greenseraphima

“NTA. However, don’t you think it is time to set some boundaries? If you haven’t told them to not come by unaccounced, how are they supposed to know? I know, common sense, but still.”

“No, I don’t think you were rude. You were tired. They are retired and have apparently forgotten how tiring work life can be. Your husband is being unreasonable.”

“All of you need to sit down and talk this out.” –patjames904

“NTA. Your husband is an adult and can host them by himself if he wants them over so often.” –Misscarkrashian

“NTA. It sounds like they come really often, so there is no reason for you to have to be there every single time. They are retired, you aren’t. You deserve that time for yourself.” –crabrry

“NTA. Seems like you’ve set up a pretty reasonable compromise, your husband’s family can stop by without an invitation/notice, but when they do so, there can be no expectation of you to play host.”

“If your husband wants you to play host, then he needs to accept that means they will need to be invited and probably will be allowed over less often.” –photosbeersandteach

“NTA – I would be extremely stressed if I had to be “on” like that after a days work for the number of times you’re describing, and I have a family member who has on occasion hidden in the house so that unannounced visitors think they’re not home because they can’t face visitors, even when they’re people they’re close to.”

“Your husband can’t have it both ways – if they’re family, they should be comfortable with the idea that if they frequently drop around unannounced they don’t get the full hostess treatment, and if they do want the full hostess treatment, they need to moderate their visiting and give notice.” –ZippyKoala

“People who are super extroverts don’t understand that most people can’t really “relax” when there are a bunch of people in their space. Hell, I have a hard time relaxing sometimes even if it’s just my significant other in the area!”

“OP is being more than reasonable, she’s not even saying they can’t come over, she’s just saying she can’t be expected to immediately join them in whatever activities they’re undertaking!” –greengirl213

“NTA. It is your home that you work for so you can enjoy how you want. Uninvited guests who live on retirement home time can’t expect you to drop your evening for them. Let alone a day you just worked! You have others draws on your time and energy.” –Morrisonbran


“You were polite, and it sounds like you had a nice evening, even got some quality time with the kids.”

“Your husband got to hang out with the people HE invited/allowed to come over. That’s not your problem, especially if they are over on the regular. By this time, they should be comfortable in your home, and they are also your husband’s problem.”

“I also think you handled this perfectly. It sounds like you have a lovely deck and your husband is getting to connect with family that maybe he hasn’t been around in years. Add to that the pandemic limiting everyone’s social options, I totally get why they would want to be over so much.”

“Instead of banning them or causing a fight, you just decided that who gives a sh*t if they sit on the deck, and in fact, you can get some alone time! Your husband didn’t listen to you, and now he can decide what to do next! If he wants more time with you/as a couple, he can tell his family “sorry, not tonight, maybe another time” and slowly a new normal of this being a weekly thing instead of constant will emerge.”

“Or you can keep taking baths and eating leftovers, which sounds lovely.” –mfruitfly

Hopefully OP can figure out how to manage this dilemma.

Written by Peter Karleby

Peter Karleby is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.