The In-Laws Are Coming!

Not today. But soon.

Two days.

I keep looking around the house with a critical eye, wondering what they’ll see. “Why is it so cluttered? Can’t you part with anything?” (Ummm, no. It’s just that with two kids underfoot, I can’t seem to get anything ACCOMPLISHED. For long, anyway. Can’t you remember what it’s like?)

I need to wash the guest room linens and clean the whole room. Towels are in the washing machine now. This morning, I scooped up a LOT of dog poop from the backyard. Fresh slipcovers are on the sofas; I picked up snazzy new throw pillows at Target today. Along with a new (kids/guest) bathroom rug; we have two smaller ones in there now. That won’t do. The car got a quick once-over this afternoon; I’m entertaining the idea of taking it to get detailed. Maybe the dog should get detailed, too.

Most of the time when they visit I feel a mixture of pity and lack of understanding from them. Or maybe it’s just me. They just can’t understand why we do things the way we do. It’s certainly not the way THEY do it.


I used to try harder when they came. More stress over cleaning and cooking. I was trying to turn the place into a bed and breakfast. Granted, I used to do this for any overnight guest, not just them, but I ached for their approval. Instead, they snubbed the dinners I’d worked on for hours and the basket of muffins I’d baked from scratch. Fancy gourmet coffee brewed fresh. Didn’t seem interested. Asked if we didn’t just have Folger’s half-caf.


Oh, we have a long history, we do. Over 15 years.

I’m stressed.


About Kathleen

Kathleen Heuer is a serial arts advocate and volunteer. She is the mom of two beautiful girls, wife to a brilliant nuclear engineer, and referee between her golden retriever and her hissy 18-year-old cat. For more, go to
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