Do you need an invitation to visit your mother & father?

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Posted 4/13/2012 by LolaLayout in NSBR Board
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PeaNut 544,018
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Posted: 4/13/2012 10:53:52 PM
My SO & I were talking the other night and he was astounded that I can't go visit my mother & father's home without an invitation from them. He said he could literally show up at his parents' house at two in the morning unannounced, and they'd gladly welcome him, make him something to eat, and put him up on the couch.

My folks always made it clear that their children were not to do "pop-ins," and show up unannounced, and that if they wanted us over, they would invite us.

Is only my family like this?

ETA: My children are all young right now, but I know that even when they're grown, they'll always be welcome to come over my home any time they want. I couldn't imagine them feeling like strangers and having to invite them over.

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PeaNut 60,761
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Posted: 4/13/2012 10:57:22 PM
No, we can come over anytime. They may not be home...

In February the kids and I had a five day break, so I packed the car up, drove 10 hours, and showed up on their doorstep unannounced. It had been well over a year since we had seen them and they were so glad we came.

Then our five day break turned into a 6 day break when we were stranded in WY on the way home because the 80 was closed.Which then turned into a 7 day break because the school had a snow day the next day.


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PeaNut 83,119
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Posted: 4/13/2012 10:59:22 PM
It would be very strange. My mom lives six hours away and is a busy person, and my father lives four hours from the nearest airport in another state. I could never drop on either of them and have someone to welcome me. Pretty much the same with the in-laws.

I don't think they would turn me away, but it would be odd for me to do something like that.


PeaNut 446,722
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Posted: 4/13/2012 11:03:24 PM
Yes. My step dad does not want to be home when we are visiting

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PeaNut 471,001
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Posted: 4/13/2012 11:07:10 PM

He said he could literally show up at his parents' house at two in the morning unannounced, and they'd gladly welcome him, make him something to eat, and put him up on the couch.

This is how my family is. Not just my parents, but my grandparents, my sister, my brother, most of my aunts and uncles and cousins, my inlaws.

And I hope it's how my kids think of us when they grow up and move out.

Not only do I not need an invitation to go to my parents' house, I have a key and the alarm code. As I do for my grandparents' house, and my MIL's house.

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PeaNut 52,817
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Posted: 4/13/2012 11:08:22 PM
Yes. They live three hours away, so it's not like we'd just be dropping by. If we hadn't discussed visiting in advance, we'd run the risk of them not being there. It is OK to invite ourselves, aka, suggest a time we can come visit. They have no problem saying no if it doesn't work for them.

Plus, even if we lived close, I think dropping by unannounced is rude, no matter who it is.


Not only do I not need an invitation to go to my parents' house, I have a key and the alarm code. As I do for my grandparents' house, and my MIL's house.

We have keys and alarm codes for my parents' and my in-laws' homes, but we still wouldn't show up unannounced.

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PeaNut 186,047
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Posted: 4/13/2012 11:11:37 PM
I can't imagine having to be invited to my parent's house. Granted I live down the block. We all show up at each others homes at the drop of a hat. I can't imagine it any other way.

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PeaNut 432,055
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Posted: 4/13/2012 11:12:13 PM
I could show up anytime and would be welcome.

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PeaNut 245,376
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Posted: 4/13/2012 11:14:18 PM
I have a key to my moms house and all 3 of my kids have a key to my house. We are all welcome in each others house whenever I usually call my mom on my way over or before I just show up. My oldest son just shows up whenever he feels like it. My other two kids live out of state so if they come I know it.

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PeaNut 452,048
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Posted: 4/13/2012 11:15:46 PM
I could just show up anytime at my parents or inlaws and would be welcome, but I usually call first to make sure they are home.


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PeaNut 150,880
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Posted: 4/13/2012 11:16:09 PM
We all have keys to our parents' house.

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PeaNut 190,156
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Posted: 4/13/2012 11:19:43 PM
We can show up anytime for any reason and be welcomed with open arms. That is what I want my daughters to always feel about coming to my home too.

I can't imagine having to be invited first. That isn't the kind of relationship I want with my family.


PeaNut 106,912
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Posted: 4/13/2012 11:21:20 PM
It might be my culture or my family. But, NO! My dad is even remarried to a lady not too long ago. But that is my home if I want to. My home is where my family (including grandparents) is. I just have to pick one. They actually make it a big deal of I stay in one house longer than the other one. OP I can spear some houses if you need crazy puertoricans overfeeding you and talking you ear out.

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PeaNut 18,334
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Posted: 4/13/2012 11:24:21 PM
No invitation needed to go "home" to my parents. Like your dh I could show up any time of the day or night and they will give me shelter, food and care for my needs. On the flip side, I obviously don't abuse that privilege. I normally call during the polite caller hours and let them know I'd like to visit at a specific time if it is convenient for them.

My kids are the same way. They are welcome to come or call at any time day or night. But they are polite to do so during hours they know I am likely to be awake and ask before dropping. But if they need to drop in they are going to be welcomed.

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PeaNut 43,034
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Posted: 4/13/2012 11:24:22 PM
Well, I live over a 1000 miles away so dropping in isn't really reality. I suppose if I got a wild hair just to show up at their doorstep unannounced, they would be happy to see me, but annoyed that I hadn't called first.

All the same, if I lived in the same town, I still wouldn't just drop by, but then, I don't know anyone who just drops by unannounced anywhere, friend or family.

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PeaNut 38,879
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Posted: 4/13/2012 11:39:52 PM
They live on the other side of the country so it's not really likely that I would do that. I don't think they would care if I did, but I cannot imagine a reason why I would not first call and let them know I was coming.

OTOH, they do need an invitation to visit me. But that is because I am on the road all the time, and it is possible that I would just not be around. And my folks are the kind that need to be picked up at the airport and escorted everywhere.


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PeaNut 120,522
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Posted: 4/14/2012 12:08:36 AM
My parents live 15 minutes away. I call first out of politeness and the fact that I don't want them dropping in on my - surprise! I am always welcome.


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PeaNut 51,689
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Posted: 4/14/2012 12:12:01 AM
My Dad and step mum live about 5 minutes away. I would usually ring first to make sure they're home but will often do the 'pop-in' if I'm driving past. We have an open invitation to go there for a swim whenever we want, whether they are home or not. We have a key.

Same with my in-laws who are also only a couple of minutes down the road.

My Mum lives 40 minutes away so I would always ring first to make sure she's home.

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PeaNut 226,011
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Posted: 4/14/2012 12:23:12 AM
I don't even speak to my mom, but we never had to be invited to come over. That's just weird. What are they hiding?

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PeaNut 96,783
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Posted: 4/14/2012 12:24:32 AM
That seems strange to me and I was never close to my parents, ever. As a child growing up, did they have friends over? Did you and your sibs leave home on friendly terms or was it strained? Do they ever visit you?

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PeaNut 79,113
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Posted: 4/14/2012 12:27:32 AM
Not at all-- I usually call first when I go to my mom's because she's often out and about, but I also drop by unannounced. She's always happy when people drop by.

My dad lives two and a half hours away so dropping in would be a little harder, but I know he would be happy to see me if I just showed up, too. Usually he comes down here because I don't really like going to New York (he lives in NYC). Either he calls me and says he wants to come down for a visit and asks what time will work best, or I call him and ask him the same thing.

I would feel sad if I had to wait for an invitation from my parents.



PeaNut 544,018
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Posted: 4/14/2012 12:51:37 AM

What are they hiding?

Nothing as far as I know.

As a child growing up, did they have friends over? Did you and your sibs leave home on friendly terms or was it strained? Do they ever visit you?

I remember only once did my father have two of his friends (and their wives & children) over for a meatball dinner.

I left home on as friendly terms as I could. There was no drama-filled scene or anything. But there also wasn't any fond farewells nor tears shed on my departure. My brother still lives at home, along with his girlfriend and their two children. My parents adore my brother, his girlfriend, and their two children.

My parents always have an excuse as to why they can't visit me, though I have asked them to come many, many times. I've offered to drive them here myself and return them, and put them up in a hotel if they didn't like staying at my house, but they declined.


PeaNut 172,235
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Posted: 4/14/2012 1:57:17 AM
I guess I'm in the middle somewhat. My parents would absolutely welcome me if I showed up unannounced any time (and I have done that on occasion for a surprise) but on the whole I respect that they have their own lives, busy with friends and activities etc, so I would always check it was convenient.

I think it'll be the same with my DDs - at least I hope so

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PeaNut 19,817
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Posted: 4/14/2012 2:07:55 AM

Not only do I not need an invitation to go to my parents' house, I have a key and the alarm code.
Same here. When I lived in the same city with them, I would often call first, but if mom was out in the yard she wouldn't hear the house phone anyway, so no answer didn't necessarily mean no one was home. I'd go on by if I wanted to visit.

On the flip side, I do let DD know when I'm going to visit, but she lives 400+ miles from me. She has never said no when I ask to visit, and I don't imagine her ever doing so. I've offered to stay in a hotel, but she won't hear of it.

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PeaNut 512,122
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Posted: 4/14/2012 2:16:46 AM
Well I can go over there but no guarantee they will be home unless I call first!

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PeaNut 166,713
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Posted: 4/14/2012 2:25:32 AM
No. The door is always open. Well, not literally, but I am always welcome. I have a key.

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PeaNut 159,331
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Posted: 4/14/2012 3:02:01 AM
Not specifically, but for practical purposes it makes more sense for me to call first. I can't reach the stupid alarm. It's about an inch and a half too high up. They were going to fix it once we realized the problem but I told them not to bother. No point in spending the money to bring the guy in to fix it; there's no reason for me to be there when they aren't home anyway. So I call first.

My mom and I Have a rule where she won't come over unless she gives me an hour's notice so I can clean up the place to her standard. If she fails to give me warning she's not allowed to comment/complain re: the mess. I mean, she shoudn't be doing tha anyway, but still.... I let her as long as I have had enough time to get the place tidy.

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PeaNut 232,220
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Posted: 4/14/2012 3:19:12 AM
I can and do show up whenever I want but I also have brothers who are 9 and 14 so it's not like they're home alone. It's fairly common for me to call and ask where everyone is because I'm sitting in their house and nobody's home. They live about 45 minutes away so when I'm in town I almost always stop by to visit for awhile.

I don't expect them to do anything while I'm there. I help myself to food if I'm hungry and join in on whatever's going on that day, soccer games, yard work, watching tv, it doesn't matter.

I'd like to think I have this same relationship with most of my family, at least the ones I see often.

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Posted: 4/14/2012 3:22:28 AM
We live so far away that a drop in isn't possible but if we happened to find ourselves in their city we could drop in without an invite anytime. And they would be welcome here. Generally we make advance arrangements but that is mostly due to distance and the fact that both DH and my mom travel a lot for work.


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PeaNut 43,061
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Posted: 4/14/2012 6:07:33 AM
I live across the country, so there's no real "dropping in" possibility. But our family is a "drop in whenever but you may want to call first to make sure that someone's actually home" kind of family.

So I guess it's not an "invitation" sort of thing, just more of a make sure someone's home kind of thing. If for some random reason I decided to fly home, not tell them I was coming and decided to rent a car instead of having them pick me up at the airport (thereby wasting money because they always have a car for me to use when I'm home) and show up at the condo, I'd have to ring their buzzer to get into the building. BUT, I know the passcode to get into the condo. It's just the pesky outer condo doors, I'd have issues with. My brother has that key though... so maybe I'd call him first.

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PeaNut 156,993
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Posted: 4/14/2012 6:22:26 AM

I guess I'm in the middle somewhat. My parents would absolutely welcome me if I showed up unannounced any time (and I have done that on occasion for a surprise) but on the whole I respect that they have their own lives, busy with friends and activities etc, so I would always check it was convenient.

Ditto. My dad and his wife and my mom and her husband are all very busy people and I would always call first - just to make sure they are home. But I can invite myself any time.


PeaNut 205,553
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Posted: 4/14/2012 6:29:33 AM
My mother, I do not need and invitation. My mil, yeah, I kind of do. I have dropped by occasionally with the kids, but it was not something that was encouraged. We live 5 minutes from my mil and she has never stopped by unannounced, not even in the days when the kids were little and she knew that we were just hanging out playing in the yard.


PeaNut 288,430
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Posted: 4/14/2012 7:16:26 AM
If I lived in the same city it would be no problem. Growing up we walked to my grandparents any time we wanted. They lived 2 blocks away.
My siblings & dad drop in each other's houses all the time. Even if no one is home at my sister's my dad has a key & will check on her diabetic dog. We all have keys to my parents.
My in-laws do not want this though. My dh never visited his grandparents who lived close by. They only want us for holidays. Even then you don't feel welcome.


PeaNut 185,436
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Posted: 4/14/2012 7:22:07 AM
I was always welcome any time day or night. Sadly my parents are gone now. I have an open door policy with my kids and siblings and in laws, nieces, nephews, any family member is always welcome at my door!

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PeaNut 257,022
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Posted: 4/14/2012 7:40:18 AM

My folks always made it clear that their children were not to do "pop-ins," and show up unannounced, and that if they wanted us over, they would invite us.
That sounds strange. I do not know anyone personally that has this rule or has to live with it when visiting their parents. My parents and DH's parents are always happy to have their children drop by whether the visit be announced or unannounced. We also have an open door policy with our children and grandchildren. They are welcome anytime day or night and are happy to see them show up. When we lived closer to them, they would sometimes drop by more than once a day. Now when they come, they spend at least the weekend with us, sometimes more. Time with family is precious and I do not want to miss a minute of it. We would never ever do anything to make our children feel like they were not welcome.

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PeaNut 182,623
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Posted: 4/14/2012 7:56:08 AM
I am always welcome at my mom & dads house! No invite needed. I generally call first though so they know I'm coming.

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PeaNut 51,429
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Posted: 4/14/2012 8:09:26 AM
We usually visit them when they've called to invite us over, or if we've called beforehand to suggest a get together and make sure it works for everyone, but it is certainly not 'forbidden' to just pop by, and we have done it before, as have they when visiting us.

They live less than an hour away, and there have been a couple of times when we've been out for a casual drive and passed near their area and called to see if it was convenient to come over. I know they'd never refuse (unless they were not there or had plans) and are always happy to see us.

Even if we didn't have a phone to call and just knocked on the door, if they were home they'd be more than welcoming. And if there was some kind of personal crisis where I just showed up day or night and needed a place to stay, there's no question in my mind they'd provide it, not consider it an imposition, and do anything they could for me.

It would be the same with my siblings. As a family we aren't 'daily close' like some people. We don't talk every day or get together every weekend, but we are still very close emotionally, enjoy one another's company, and can count on one another. We are all 'open door policy' for one another should the need/event arise.

If I could only see my parents after being issued a specific invitation that had to be initiated from their end, that would make me very sad.

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PeaNut 80,815
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Posted: 4/14/2012 8:10:39 AM
It's not something we've done in recent years but we have done it a few times and there was never an issue. I'm sure it wouldn't be now. We don't know because our lives are busier and things are much more planned and my parents are a half hour away. That was before parenthood. Also now we have cell phones so if we are out and about and decide to pop in, it's easy to call and say "hey, we're coming over".

ETA-we have keys, a few times they weren't home so we just let ourselves in. They were fine with it, in fact once we did not and they were chiding us for not just going in.

My sister and I live about two miles from one another and we do usually call but sometimes it's as we are walking out our own door or pulling in the other's driveway so only about five or ten minutes notice lol.


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Posted: 4/14/2012 8:26:58 AM
nope. even since my dad remarried where they are is still "home". I would never take advantage of the situation, however, and would always try to be courteous. But they would welcome me regardless. They always welcome my oldest son too, who does pop in from time to time. (my parents live over two hours away from me, but my son has military duty once a month at a base just a few miles from them. They love when he is down there because they know he will come to their house rather than go out with his buddies. )

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PeaNut 11,642
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Posted: 4/14/2012 8:50:15 AM
We always call first to make sure it is a good time. They always say yes. I think it's rude to go to anyone's house unannounced, maybe that's because I always have to pick up my house before guests come.

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PeaNut 266,020
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Posted: 4/14/2012 9:09:19 AM
When my dad was alive, all it took (either direction) was a call to say that they wanted to come (or we wanted to go to them). I had to call ahead because they traveled a lot but I was always welcomed...

We were never allowed to just drop in on my Mother-in-law...

Always had a key to my parents house as well...


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PeaNut 434,313
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Posted: 4/14/2012 9:12:16 AM
I just call and say" I'm coming will you be home and do you care?"

That is all it takes for me but if I showed up unannounced they wouldn't care but the house would be dirty, which I don't care.

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PeaNut 74,479
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Posted: 4/14/2012 9:12:27 AM
We can pop in anytime.

If I was going to ILs without dh I would want an invitation - not that it is necessary though, it is just how i feel.


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Posted: 4/14/2012 9:29:19 AM
Can't really pop-in to Canada or Hong Kong from AZ but we do invite ourselves and are met with joy and excitement. DH mentioned possibly sending the older two up duing the summer to his parents last weekend and the next day he heard from one of his brothers, "I hear the kids are coming up! Mom and Dad are excited. "

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PeaNut 65,852
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Posted: 4/14/2012 9:34:40 AM
No invitation needed...but now that they are retired they are less likely to be home of they don't have warning.

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PeaNut 100,930
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Posted: 4/14/2012 10:10:58 AM
yes except my mother is halfway across the country


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Posted: 4/14/2012 10:18:46 AM
I would never show up unannounced, but (for my mom) I definitely will invite myself/DH & kids by saying I/we would like to visit. Since it involves a cross-country plane flight, there's always lots of advance notice. She's always thrilled because we live so far away and only see her a few times a year. She's busy with her activities, but she LOVES seeing everyone (her kids & grandkids, our friends & their kids, etc.). Nothing pleases her more than when one of our childhood friends looks up my mom and goes by for a visit. Everyone's got a standing invitation to my mom's house, but you'd better call and make sure she's home!

For my FIL and SMIL, we live 1.5 hours away and still make plans. I'd never show up unannounced and neither would they. They do call during the week and say they'd like to come down and watch the kids' games that weekend. We always say yes even though, frankly, sometimes it's not terribly convenient.

When we go visit them, we give a few weeks notice at least.

MIL is a lot tougher as she travels between two homes (one of which is harder for us to get to) and everything needs to be done on her terms and her timeline.

ETA We *could* show up anywhere uninvited/unannounced and be welcomed in -- providing someone was home -- but it's just not something we'd do.

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Posted: 4/14/2012 10:21:41 AM
I would need an invite from Jesus to see mom but dad lives about 6 houses away, I can go by anytime, no problem. likewise, he stops by here frequently.


PeaNut 393,905
October 2008
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Loc: Illinois

Posted: 4/14/2012 10:24:45 AM

If I lived 'away' and popping in to visit included staying overnight at their house for several days with 3 kids I wouldnt just drop by unannounced. Or if I did, Id arrange a hotel to stay in.

PEAceful Pea

PeaNut 14,521
April 2001
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Loc: Washington State

Posted: 4/14/2012 10:33:04 AM
We could go to any of my or dh's immediate families house without an invitation. It would be polite to call and make sure they didn't have other plans if we wanted to stay for more than a short visit and to make sure they were home. Almost all our family lives out of state.

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