Spin Off -Do You Treat Your Parents' House As If It Were Your Own
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Thread: Spin Off -Do You Treat Your Parents' House As If It Were Your Own

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    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Default Spin Off -Do You Treat Your Parents' House As If It Were Your Own

    Something that was said in the Living With Parents debate sparked a spin off for me.

    Is it acceptable to act like you still live in your parents' house? For example, should adult children (who no longer live there) knock before they come in the house? Is it acceptable for them open up the fridge and help themselves to something without asking? Does it matter if the house in question is their childhood home (meaning that presumably they spent about 18 years not knocking on that door and rooting around in that fridge.) Or should you treat your parents' house with the same manners that you would treat anyone else?
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    As I was reading the other debate, I realized that I kind of do still treat my parents' house like it's mine. I never knock before I come in, unless it's locked and I don't have my keys with me. I also don't feel weird about going in their fridge to get something to drink or pouring myself a glass of wine or snagging a cookie, or whatever.

    In fairness, my parents always encourage this behavior (saying things like "Just come in, it's not locked" or "Please, help yourself. You know where it is.") Also, I wouldn't care if my parents let themselves in to my house (unless it was an unexpected drop by - I don't think I would like being caught by surprise - but on the same token, I don't let myself in my parents house unless they are expecting me. If it is a spontaneous drop in, I always ring the bell.) I also wouldn't care if they helped themselves to something in my fridge. So I guess my casual attitude goes both ways.

    I would never act that way with someone else's house though - including my brother's.

    ETA: Melissa, you are right - I was wrong when I said that I would never act that way in someone else's house - I was picturing someone that I didn't know as well and didn't go to their house very often. I help myself at my ILs house and at close friends, and expect them to do the same at my house. I think that I don't act that way at my brother's house because I kind of consider it to be my SILs house and I'm not quite "getting in your fridge" close with her yet.
    Last edited by Alissa_Sal; 08-09-2011 at 08:08 PM.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    Nope, never have since I moved out & it was no longer my home. I'm a guest now, and I act like one. I knock on the door, I ask before getting something from the fridge (at least the first time), and if there's no TP in the bathroom then I say something instead of digging around in the hallway closet where I'm pretty sure she still keeps it. I also never just drop by. It's not likely to happen since I live 120 miles away, but if I'm out in the area doing something else & have time to visit with her unexpectedly, I will always call first. DH does the same thing with his parents, although both of them are now in different homes than he grew up in.

    My mom doesn't seem to have the same attitude, though. When she's at my house, she'll start washing dishes or putting things away that she thinks are out of place. I hate that!
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    If I didn't treat my mother's home like "my own", she would probably be offended. My mom's culture is to always make people feel warm, welcome, and like they are at home--- Even if you are a guest for the first time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mommytoMR.FACE View Post
    If I didn't treat my mother's home like "my own", she would probably be offended. My mom's culture is to always make people feel warm, welcome, and like they are at home--- Even if you are a guest for the first time.
    I'm like this.

    I never do a "drop in" without calling first, so I never knock when entering my parents home (honestly they usually meet us in the driveway to help unload the kids and whatever else). They love us! We are family. I help myself to the fridge or whatever. I don't like, go foodshopping at my parents house, but if we are hungry of course we help ourselves! That is why they have food, and I know where the food is, so of course we help ourselves to it to skip 30 requests of "do you have a sippie cup? May we use this bib? May the baby have some cheese?) That sort of talk would make my Mom get up and get it for me, I would much rather that she sat and enjoyed my kids while I got the things that she keeps at the house for us. I would be mortified to ask her to go get me toilet paper rather than getting and changing it myself! Amongst my good friends we are the same way ~ help yourself. It helps! I have three kids, if I had a good friend over for lunch and she kept asking "may I get a glass of water?", may I have some iced tea?" it would be so annoying! Help yourself! We are grownups, I love you, you know where my stuff is.........if you are in my home you are welcome to my things.

    I'm Italian. Mangia! My home is your home. If I didn't feel that way, you would not be over my house, barring some formal dining event or whatnot. In that case, my kids are with a sitter or in bed, and I enjoy playing formal hostess. The rest of life? No way.

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    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mommytoMR.FACE View Post
    If I didn't treat my mother's home like "my own", she would probably be offended. My mom's culture is to always make people feel warm, welcome, and like they are at home--- Even if you are a guest for the first time.
    Yeah, this is kind of the same for my parents. My parents definitely believe in having a sort of warm, open house where they want people to feel at home. I also think my mom would balk if I started making her wait on me instead of just getting stuff myself. LOL! My parents definitely encourage me to let myself in, get my own drinks, et cetera. I think I would be more "formal" around them if that is what they wanted, but that doesn't seem to be what they want. And again, I wouldn't be offended if they got something out of my fridge either.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    You guys seriously never drop in on your parents? Then again I live in the same neighborhood as my parents, so maybe that is why. It doesn't happen often, but sometimes when I am driving home and literally driving past their house I will have something that I need to drop off or pick up from their house and will just stop by for a moment unplanned. But when that happens I do ring the doorbell since they aren't expecting me.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alissa_Sal View Post
    You guys seriously never drop in on your parents? Then again I live in the same neighborhood as my parents, so maybe that is why. It doesn't happen often, but sometimes when I am driving home and literally driving past their house I will have something that I need to drop off or pick up from their house and will just stop by for a moment unplanned. But when that happens I do ring the doorbell since they aren't expecting me.
    Alissa, mine are 4 miles away......I don't do a drop in......but not out of politeness or decorum, but because they are hardly ever there and I'm usually on a very defined schedule/not dropping in much as it would mess up the schedule that the kids are on. It's more of a "are you there" than an actual "can I come over" They have a home phone and individual cells, if I don't reach them I don't go, barring something emergent, where I leave it on their VM that I am stopping in and why. I admit to not liking any drop in's, for the same reason....we are on a schedule. Yesterday I was feeding my kids breakfast in a tank bra and pajama pants and the doorbell rang. It was 7:55. I went into total panic mode as I had no way to open the door in just a bra, and no way to run upstairs and put a shirt on without my three kids being unattended. I luckily spied a sweatshirt that a babysitter had accidentally left here (had to do a dash by of the front hallway in my bra while I spied a man I didn't know at my front door) to get said sweatshirt.......(it was a neighbors driveway paving crew dude wanting to use my hose) but DAYUM! I don't like drop in's in the day and age of cell phones, honestly. Give me a 5 minute heads up to throw clothes on or to get the kids to bed (like if it is 1 pm) and I'm all good. I also (in normal circumstances) talk to my mom once or twice a day, so I generally know what she is doing/if a drop in is even possible. I always call. I even call or text when we are almost at their beach house (a 2+ hour drive, I call them like 15 minutes away) just so that they can have a heads up (aka countdown to chaos) that the hoard is descending.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Potter75 View Post
    That is why they have food, and I know where the food is, so of course we help ourselves to it to skip 30 requests of "do you have a sippie cup? May we use this bib? May the baby have some cheese?) That sort of talk would make my Mom get up and get it for me, I would much rather that she sat and enjoyed my kids while I got the things that she keeps at the house for us.
    If my mom says, "Help yourself," then I do. It's been offered, I'll accept. If I ask if I can pour a glass of wine, she'll say, "Get one for me, too!" My mom is not the "I'll get that for you," kind of person, and I take my own sippies & bibs & snacks so there's no need to ask for things like that.

    And if one of my friends started digging around in my fridge for something to eat, I'd probably never invite them over again. That's just rude. If it's set out, you can eat it; otherwise, ask first. If I tell you to help yourself to anything, you can; otherwise, ask first.
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    Slight tangent:


    I had a sleep over for my 13th birthday or something, and every person had a bed to sleep on. As many pillows as they wanted, and a nice warm comforter for each person.

    A few weeks ago, my mom's friends were dropping in from Canada on their way to North Carolina, and they were just staying for the night. She went and bought THREE air mattresses to make sure nobody would be sleeping on a couch. She bought brand new sheets and pillows too. It totally sounds over the top, but it's just how my family is.

    I remember going over my friend's houses to stay the night, and I would have to sleep on the FLOOR with a pillow ( wouldn't even have the audacity to change the pillow cover) and a tiny throw blanket. I hated it and thought it was rude.

    Anytime people come over, you can eat or drink whatever you want. Nothing is labeled for a specific person. My mom's friends will also stop by unannounced, to gossip and drink tea.... Again, that's normal in the Turkish culture just to do drop ins or to call and say "Hey, are you home we are already on our way over." If you want to kick your legs up on the couch, go for it. Her home is your home.

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