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Old 08-25-2011, 03:56 PM
Raven Shadow Raven Shadow is offline
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Default How should I deal with my wife's family



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Hello Everyone,

I started to prep about a year ago. My wife and I have been married about two years and just had our first child. Since his birth I have started to ramp up my prepping. I want to be ready to protect him. I am lucky that my wife is ok with all of the prepping. She doesnít think it hurts anyone and can only help if things ever go wrong.

The problem that I am having is that she keeps implying that her whole family will be able to come to our home for a bug-in scenario. Her family includes grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. In total her family would add fifteen people to our home. My parents would be included and four of our close friends and their two children. This would bring a grand total including us to twenty-three. To me that is way too many people. Besides the fact that I am the only one prepping, this makes it impossible for me to have enough food and water for everyone. Also a lot of her family makes fun of me for prepping, which leads to the mentality of then why would I help you. Most of them do not have skills that would be useful to us. There are only two people in her family that could bring something to our group besides numbers. Her cousin is a nurse and one of her uncles has his pilot license, but who knows if this skill will ever be used. How can I prep my wife into understanding that her whole family will not be able to come?

I would like to only include her sister, brother-in-law, son, cousin and the cousinís husband. Her parents would create a power struggle as her mother tries to take control often and her grandparents would only be more mouths to feed. I would like to keep our numbers around fifteen. As I think this could be more manageable with food and defense. Any input would be great thanks for taking the time to check out this post.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:17 PM
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ackbob ackbob is offline
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How big is your house.....?.... How many bedrooms and bathrooms......?

The reality is that you should inform the family members that if they want to come to your house (and your wife seems to be inviting them) they need to contribute -- either now or then......

Lay out a plan (food, water, medical, etc.) and inform them that it will cost X number of dollars per month per person (adults and chidlren alike) for them to be considered to be included in the ability to come to your house should something happen..... they can either pay you that money or they can deliver certain goods to the house on the 1st or 15th of each month worth the value of the cost per person........ that would end the questions of who could be involved and expected to arrive.......... do this at a family meeting...... write it down, send it as an email with a return receipt requested, etc.... whatever you have to do to get the point across....
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:18 PM
wrc223 wrc223 is offline
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This is a tough one. Without getting into what you think prepared means (because it is different for all of us) you really only have a few choices.
Explain to your wife what it means to be prepped for over 20 people and how much that will cost. Then tell her that those that contribute will be taken care of, those that have not, will not be taken care of.
Just shake your head in agreement now and if the SHTF, turn her family away because they have done nothing to help you prepare and have done nothing for themselves.
Tell your wife they are not included in your plan. You are preparing to take care of her and your child and that it is not your responsibility to prep for her whole clan. If she wants them taken care of then she needs to explain to them how important this is and to get them on board with the preps.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:22 PM
kenny256 kenny256 is offline
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Are we talking SHTF?

If so 15 people is going to really hard to feed and maintian even for 6 months unless you live on a farm that is totaly sustainable.

Then go for it.

If not I say you might be lucky in keeping your wife and newborn alive with you.
I have the same problem with my wife, but if the SHTF im going to set her straight pretty fast.

We have a larger group but we can maintain including doctors, nurses, mechanics, military, farmers. Its a really good group of family and friends.

Get your self covered then worry about everyone else.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:24 PM
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I think if the both of you sat down with a calculator and figured out the cost of food, water, and lodging for that large amount of folks, she will see things differently.

Although the $$ will be a huge factor, it would not be the biggest problem.
Twenty three people means twenty three personalities to deal with...could turn very problematic.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:24 PM
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"Honey, come take a look at this... I have been doing some emergency planning - just in case. Here is the amount of food we have stored, the good news is with the three of us we have about 6 months of food. If you want to plan for your other 15 family members joining us if something major happens.... we have 3 days of food, which isn't enough. What do you think we should do?"

Then let HER make the suggestion......
Old 08-25-2011, 04:27 PM
Cherith Cherith is offline
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This is an issue that I'm mulling over as well so I don't have answers just empathy. We will feel responsible to take care of our parents even though they don't seem to be able to emotionally handle the prepping topic at all. Like you, it feels like a heavy load for one person to prepare for not only immediate family (which ours is large) but to start thinking beyond that. There will probably be some hard choices and limits but it's good that you are thinking this thru now rather than later. My spouse and I are on the same page with the prepping but haven't had the time to tackle this one. Will let you know if we come to any conclusions...
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:30 PM
Uncle Bob Uncle Bob is offline
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Have you seen the movie "The Shining"?
Old 08-25-2011, 04:31 PM
rsutter rsutter is offline
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Just playing devil's advocate, but is it fair to include your parents, but not hers?
I prep for my wife and my kids. No one else is invited to the party. I can't afford any more than that.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:31 PM
TheLawClerk TheLawClerk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoePrep View Post
"Honey, come take a look at this... I have been doing some emergency planning - just in case. Here is the amount of food we have stored, the good news is with the three of us we have about 6 months of food. If you want to plan for your other 15 family members joining us if something major happens.... we have 3 days of food, which isn't enough. What do you think we should do?"

Then let HER make the suggestion......
GREAT post! OP- this is the answer.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:32 PM
willow willow is offline
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2 cans per person/per day X 25 people = 50 cans per day

50 cans per day X 7 days = 350 cans per week

350 cans per week X 52 weeks = 18,200 cans per year

Ask her where you are supposed to store it. Then explain that just 2 cans of food per day is not enough calories or nutrition to live. You will all die a slow death including your baby.

That may open her eyes.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raven Shadow View Post
Hello Everyone,

I started to prep about a year ago. My wife and I have been married about two years and just had our first child. Since his birth I have started to ramp up my prepping. I want to be ready to protect him. I am lucky that my wife is ok with all of the prepping. She doesnít think it hurts anyone and can only help if things ever go wrong.
You are going to have to simply explain it to her. Just as you have here. That you are the only one prepping, and that there simply will not be enough for all.

That your priority must be her and your children. That only after that nuclear unit is safe and provided for can you even consider adding anyone else. That even in that case, priority must go to those that will add to the security of that nuclear family.

If she wants to have her entire family come over then you need to ask her to explain how that will work. Where each will sleep, what each will eat. Just how that is going to work.

Now, that may mean that she will say 'no' to your friends if she must say 'no' to her family. And she has a point.

In such a case you are going to have to make some form of added value argument in their defense. But it will be a hard sell.

The other option is that she gets fully and enthusiastically on board with the whole provisioning thing. That she lays out what is needed to support her family (or those she chooses in favor of) and then works like h3ll to make it happen.

A last option is that she might work to set it up so that those relations have their own preps. Something you should consider for your friends.

My last point would be the part about the struggle for leadership with her mother. You are going to have to cowboy up on this one. Lay it out to your wife, but understand the weight is on your shoulders. If you won't be the man of the house, then nobody can make you the man of the house.

Ultimately that may mean that you will have to 'challenge' the mother at some point in your home (not hers) and lay down the law.

YMMV,
Chad
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:32 PM
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vicdotcom vicdotcom is offline
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I may be the dissenting opinion here, but I say invite them in.

You can not really argue against your wife that her family can not come. And even if you believe it... you might not want to let her know that LOL!! Or even if you say you do not allow it... do you really believe she will listen??

But how many are realistically going to have a chance to make it there though? Are some in a different state?

CONDITIONS APPLY!

First, YOU ARE THE FINAL SAY ON ALL THINGS: You are the one to prep, you are the ones allowing them into your location. You are the one offering them safety and defense. You are the only one "schooled in disaster".

Second, MAKE THEM WORK: They will have to pull their own in order to make enough food. Keep the food locked up and you have the key. That means they make the trips for more water.

Third, Tell them to bring FOOD OVER STUFF: None of those sentimental items unless all the food is packed. Eat their food first since it is probably not long-term storage. Even most average pantries have a week or so of food.

There can be benefits to having more people including defense and more working bodies.

Also, tell you wife that you may agree to it as long as she works with you to increase your prepping budget.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:35 PM
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Son you’re not in a winning situation. Should it all hit the fan survival will depend on preparedness. Your wife is surely going to want to help her mother, father, and the like. I recommend getting prepared for that large number. Store a lot of oatmeal. It can go a long way and is cheap. Mac and cheese etc. The only other solution is a completely different location. That’s most likely not possible.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:36 PM
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Marlin240 Marlin240 is offline
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Direct the mob to the nearest FEMA, RED CROSS or Church location that is helping people who REFUSE to help them self. I will help people who help them self, welcome to the real world.
Old 08-25-2011, 04:37 PM
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Outstanding answer, a mother will take care of her children first.
Old 08-25-2011, 04:40 PM
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As stated in other posts, your wife and child are your only responsibilities. Period. I'm kinda going thru the same scenario with my wife and family. Grand kids makes it hard though. Just think about the water alone with that many people
Old 08-25-2011, 04:43 PM
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If things go south you might be lucky if half of them made it. My house is the emergency back up location for most of my family and it is a big one but they are scattered all over the country. The chance of many making it here is a little slim. The deal is if they can get here then do so but bring as much a you can with you because I do not have an abundance of room for stores and if they want to eat and wear clothes they better not how up half naked and hungry.

Nobody sits around the house either, chores to be done and if they chip in and contribute their labor whether its pulling weeds in the garden, pumping water, taking night soil out to be buried, harvesting wild raspberries or just standing guard with a weapon it will work. There is no room in a emergency for prima donas who consider themselves house guests. They are working members of the household or hit the road Jack.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:55 PM
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Get a BOL. Stock it. Don't tell ANYONE. When the time comes, tell family about nearest FEMA location. Then shove wife and baby in car, and Get Out of Dodge. Invite no one, or invite the few - depends on your stocks. The 'honey come talk to me about this...' is pointless. She'll knuckle under when SHTF and on Day 6 you'll all be getting hungry.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:57 PM
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You are going to have to simply explain it to her. Just as you have here. That you are the only one prepping, and that there simply will not be enough for all.

This says it all bub!

If it is a "natural disaster" type of scenario--and it is short lived, then yes they can come over and shelter up for a few days.

But if is total SHTF--then they have to be road kill with the others, and you have to make it clear with your ball-and-chain that this will be so on this scenario. They will have to be relegated to the mounds of of smoking skulls with the other dunces.

Also--if it is a natural disaster scenario... it is pay as you play with them. Especially the ones that made fun of you. They will wind up repaying/restocking your stuff afterwards, or they will sleep in the car and be fed crumbs and dog scraps.

Also--you idiot!! You blew your OPSEC with these people. Now if total SHTF comes, you will have to leave or face feeding an army of mocking freeloaders.

Never, ever, for any reason let anyone see what you have or what you are doing---especially family members that mock you.

ST
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