My Theory:

What happens to our parents when we grow up and they come for a visit:

They seem to fall into 1 of 3, possibly 4, categories…they become either a) “Guests only” – doing nothing, and expecting to be waited on hand and foot, b) Overly demanding and taking charge – parenting your kids, telling you in many ways how you do it all wrong and that their way is better,   c) Completely clueless and “dumbing down”, or d) If you’re lucky, your parents know just how to handle being in your home with your children and they doing almost everything right!!

This theory developed after a meeting with my therapist.  And of course, there is no research and no data to back this all up.  It’s just me exploring my own experiences.  The thing is, there are reasons why parents might fall into these various roles.  And further exploration is something worth doing, probably for all of us!  And I imagine there may even be more “types” of  parents out there.

I’d love to hear what you have to add!

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6 thoughts on “My Theory:

  1. K says:

    This may be similar to the “guest”, but what about the “stranger”. We have parental guests so infrequently that it’s almost like they’re strangers to our home. I picture this being even more formal than the guest.

  2. outspokenandunderpaid says:

    Ooooohhh…great point, one step removed from guests!! That’s uncomfortable too!

  3. Sarah says:

    I am lucky that my parents are option D above. My IL’s though are more like option X – Can’t handle being away from home so they never visit. Supposedly they are coming in July, should be interesting.

  4. Anne says:

    We have one that is an indignant guest- my mother- hates to travel, complains about the bed, etc. Then we have my father- infrequent guest, requires fumigation after he leaves in case he or his skank left anything behind in the bed. And lastly, the quick visitor- my ex-step mom, stops often, does not spend the night. When we lived further south, my IL never visited, maybe once a year. Our entire family has this attitude of the CHILDREN must come to THEM, which is difficult with lots of kids. But we do it anyway.

    I often feel like it is harder to host family than friends. My friends do not care if my house is dusty, or if there is food stuck on the high chair, or if my dogs shed a pound of dog hair a day. I clean the heck out of my house for all blood relations and have panic attacks over what food to make.

  5. Colleen says:

    I have witnessed a lot of type (a), though I am lucky that my parents are definitely (d) and the ILs are pretty cool, too, though they don’t visit as frequently. Can’t fault them, though, because they almost always take us out for dinner! Though, that could be a slam toward my cooking, but I don’t care because I love to eat out!

    Did I miss what role(s) your parents are? I assume they’re not (d) or this whole thing wouldn’t have come up!

    • outspokenandunderpaid says:

      My Mum is a bit of (c) and a whole lot of (d). We’re currently working on improving our time together when she comes!

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