Preparing for That Dreaded Last-Minute Visit – The In-Laws Are Coming!

How many times have you been sitting there in the evening, winding down from a long and often frustrating day at work only to have the phone ring? It’s your mother-in-law with the “surprise of your life!” She announces that they will be in town for the weekend coming up and will be gladly staying with you to see their son and grandchildren.

Of course, they want to visit you as well, but you know what that means! No more time to sit and relax. The house, at its best, never meets her approval. But that’s the least of your worries. The cupboards are bare, quite literally. With no time to lose, you’re on the move again. Here are a few bits of advice to keep your stress levels at a bare minimum, if that’s at all possible where mum is concerned.

When You Can’t Multiply the Loaves and Fishes

With little food in the house at the moment and a very limited budget, what can you do? You might try looking for the latest online food deals. Many of these offer coupons and vouchers you can use at some of the major grocery stores but if you’ve even a few days’ advance warning, you could order next-day shipping as well for those online vendors you tend to frequent. Food deals are listed every day, so perhaps it would be wise to take a few moments to browse current food deals in UK shops.

Preparing the “Guest Room”

No, you don’t have an actual guest room, per se, so what you tend to do is clean debris from the kids’ room to offer that up to the in-laws during their stay. It’s much easier to bed the kids in the living room or alongside you when mum and dad come for a stay than it is to deal with two fussy adults in the middle of all that family activity. Not only is it inconvenient for you, it’s upsetting to them as well.

If you haven’t done so already, the one thing you may want to invest in if the in-laws spring these surprise visits on you often is some under-the-bed storage bins. Pack all those toys and random articles of clothing scattered about so they can be neatly tucked away when that magic moment comes.

The Importance of Preparing Foods Before They Arrive

Although you’ll need to spend a good bit of time cleaning and arranging your home for their arrival, you might also want to take some time baking and cooking dishes which can be frozen and stored until you are ready to use them. You’ve just found those amazing food deals, haven’t you? Stock up on items you can put together quickly, purchase ample beverages and don’t forget to store them safely in your freezer. Mum (in-law) will probably never know you didn’t prepare dinner that very night – unless she’s snooping about while you’re at work!

Don’t let that last minute “surprise visit” put you in a frenzy! Sometimes we think that’s what the in-laws intend but most often, they probably really do just want to see the kids. To borrow a proverb from the 17th Century, “The early bird catches the worm.” No, your in-laws aren’t technically worms but that time tested wisdom can help you get through another stressful weekend at home. Be prepared and the only stress you’ll have is when mum tells you your recipes are all wrong.

Charlotte Giver

Charlotte is the founder and editor-in-chief at Your Coffee Break magazine. She studied English Literature at Fairfield University in Connecticut whilst taking evening classes in journalism at MediaBistro in NYC. She then pursued a BA degree in Public Relations at Bournemouth University in the UK. With a background working in the PR industry in Los Angeles, Barcelona and London, Charlotte then moved on to launching Your Coffee Break from the YCB HQ in London’s Covent Garden and has been running the online magazine for the past 10 years. She is a mother, an avid reader, runner and puts a bit too much effort into perfecting her morning brew.