What if anything would you say about DIL's housekeeping

susanFebruary 14, 2001

I know, I know, this is none of my business, or is it? I have two grandchildren and I went over last night toget them because DIL wasnt' feeling well. I get physically sick when I walk into their bedroom, which they share. You can never even see the floor, there are socks (clean and dirty) mixedin the toy box, summer & winter clothes all piled together on the floor, drawers empty of clothes because theyre piled on the top of the dresser and in the floor, couldn't even begin to find matching clothes (which there are plenty, and most of which I've bought). The closet is so full of both clothes that fit and ones that don't, both summer and winter and all season, the hangers are hung to each other becausethe closet is so full. Now, I've offered (trying to be tactful) several times thta when she gets ready and has time to "do that room" to just call and I'll come get the kids so she can work in it. She laughs and says "I need to." I've gone over and helped separate and try to "organize" but it's a very touchy situation. She doesn't have to work but chooses to workpart time to "just get away from things" and doesn't clear $10.00 a week. My son works 12 hour shifts and I'm sorry to say, I didn't teach him to be a housekeeper, other than take care of his own things. I just feel that any mother who works or not should take at least some interest in the children's room, clothes, toys (another whole subject) because you can't even sit down and put a puzzle togehter because they're all lost, etc. I got so sick that I just had to leave and made a remark to my son thta something needed to be done in that room! He followed me to the car and said she threatened to leave every time he mentioned it needed attentin. He spent one sunday afternoon two weeks ago in there,trying to separate the clothes, etc., and had themin "stacks" but she obviously thought that was to "make her look bad" and let it all go, so now it's horrible!! I have bought a lot of the kids clothes and some they have outgrown wiht the price tag still on, and they wear the "same few things" all the time and look like orphans a lot. Please, please, I know this is long, but does anyone have any "workable" suggestions? My DIL and I seem to get along, or at least I think so, and she asks my opinion on a lot of things. Believe me, I am certainly not a good housekeeper myself, mine gets cluttered, etc, but I do clean and try to keep organized. When anyone mentions the word "go", she's the first one in line though and leaves that house without a care. Keeps saying she's going to "do" the kids room. Hasn't done anything to it since they were born. No decorating, no nothing. I am thoroughly disgusted this morning and thought about it all night. Sorry, I don't have time to correct mistakes here.

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Sounds like she is just not a good housekeeper. Just like some people aren't good at math or cooking, some people just aren't good at housekeeping. You could help, but the rooms you clean would probably only be clean for a short period of time. Your DIL will not change unless she wants to and she may not want to. The only thing that may help is getting a maid in (don't say they don't have the money..if it is that bad, they should get a maid and when you think about it, people who can't cook, order pizzas or go out to dinner and people who can't do math pay accountants to do their taxes so it costs everyone extra money to help with things they are not good at). She can't keep house--accept that and work with that instead of trying to change her--for some people I think it is close to impossible change this. If she shows a real desire to change, there are many cleaning and decluttering books on the market which may help. And, don't resent her too much for this. There are things that could be worse about her. You could also talk to your son (it may be easier to change him). Even if he is working long hours --just as many single working mothers do-- he should be able to pitch in more - don't just blame her for a messy house.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2001 at 5:58PM
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Sometimes it's really hard to be a grandma and bite your tongue when you see an unfortunate situation. The room certainly sounds like a disaster! The condition of the kids room seems to be a marital issue since she threatens to leave him for talking about it. The middle of anyone else's marital issue is not where you want to be. Unfortunately your son has to work this one out for himself. You have already made offers to help and hints that have been politely dismissd. What more can you do that won't offend your DIL? Perhaps you don't mean to sound this way but it does sound like you disapprove of your DIL who does not meet your standards. Since you manage to get along with her it might not be worth risking your relationship over a sloppy room.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2001 at 6:09PM
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just me

Your DIL is overwhelmed at the prospect. Doesn't mean she's good or bad, it's just not her forte. You didn't say how old the children were. I'd let it be, just let her know you're there to help if need be. I second the idea of a housekeeper (organizer) if she's keen to the idea.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2001 at 1:04AM
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Susan, are you sure we dont have the same DIL? If I didn't know better, I'd think I wrote that letter. I also offer to help straighten, sort, etc. She laughingly declines and says she'll get to it sometime...but, sometime never comes!
When she decides the house is just too messy, dusty, etc...she takes off to another state to visit her mother; leaving their two small children with DS, who works at two jobs..to figure out what to do with the kids (which means its grandma's job) while he cleans the house. I get so angry at her lack of respect and caring...for her husband and the children. Does she work full time, you may ask? No, a receptionist part time..when she feels like it. My hubby finally drummed it into me that she's not going to change, and its up to DS to stand up for himself and not be a doormat. I decided to make myself scarce as much as possible, as I get too upset when I leave their house. I guess that's all you can do...and be there whenever your son needs your help.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2001 at 11:01AM
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Stay out of it. If your DIL needs help, she'll ask. I had a very, very, very messy sister in-law who had a heart of gold. My BIL would come to our house and wonder why it always looked so neat.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2001 at 5:11PM
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I understand this whole subject, all too well. I am so sure that my MIL would just love to get her hands on things in our house! :) (And in fact she has before, whether my husband wants to admit it or not...) I really hate it. I hate the whole thought of her coming into our bedroom and really the whole house and doing anything to it. I realize that I cannot do it all, no matter how much I want to. I don't believe that I am as disorganized as your dil, but my son's room is still messy. I don't blame myself for it, b/c when I do clean it up he immediately goes in a destroys it again. This goes for any room that I clean. To me, as long as the kids aren't living in pure filth (like in something that is making them sick) let it go. Perhaps she will get so disgusted with it, she will clean, but for now, forget it. It sounds to me like she may just be frustrated with the kids, and daily life. I know I get so upset when I clean and no one notices and then it gets messed up again all too quickly, or my husband nags me to clean it up, when he is perfectly capable too.

Please don't take offense to anything I have said, I don't mean to sound rude. Just offering some guidence. And also, understand that I DO clean, it's just that the house is cluttered. That's what it's like with a toddler in it! :)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2001 at 9:50PM
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I am a not so neat daughter-in-law. I know it! I admit it! Mind you I am not as bad your DIL. I do feel that I could be doing better things than cleaning, like playing with the kids, taking them to sports and school, baking, etc. My house is clean enough to be healthy, dirty enough to be happy! Maybe if it bothers you so much, next time you need to get her a gift, get a maid service. Do it tactfully though, she may take it the wrong way.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2001 at 5:12PM
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jtHouston TX

I vote for keeping out of this. It will cause nothing but hard feelings if you do butt in.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2001 at 2:19PM
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Well, I'm in a different situation: I'M the neat, organized, perfectionist DIL, while my MIL and mom struggle to keep their homes organized (too many messy males living with them). Anyway, I wouldn't bring up the topic with your DIL but I did have an idea: why not get her a subscription to a home decorating magazine. The pictures and articles may, over time, inspire her to re-decorate (and to do that, she'll need to clean up and organize). Those types of magazines usually also carry articles on organizing and de-cluttering. If that still doesn't help, I would just give up.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2001 at 10:02AM
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Granlan TX

It does sound like DIL is simply overwhelmed. If I walked into a room like you described, I would be too, you were. Maybe instead of buying more clothes for the kids, get her some things to help organize or a gift certificate to a store that sells all things to stay organized and things for storage.

She can't take criticism from her husband so she is very sensitive about this issue and maybe others. She needs to be approached with humor and good will, maybe a little conjoling. Let her know you understand how she feels about feeling overwhelmed whether you have actually felt that way or not. Sounds like she needs comforting and just plain woman to woman talk. Who knows, it might work.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2001 at 12:16AM
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Stephanie in So Fla

I define myself as organizationally challenged. If my MIL walked into our house unannounced on any given day, she'd be beside herself (then she'd call my SIL and gripe about me). Fortunately, she lives 1200 miles away and I get plenty of notice to clean up before she comes.

The boys share a room and it is always the worst, that and their bathroom, ugh. Looking at those home decor magazine does inspire me some, if it's the right ones. I also think I would be really motivated by going through model homes, just to look at the decor and how "together" all the rooms look. But, I don't do that because I wouldn't take my kids, it would have to be "ladies day" for something like that. Many times though, I think to myself that touring those homes would be exactly the kick in the rump I need to get started.

Or, you could offer to buy the kids some new things for their room, curtains or comforters, whatever, but you'd like to help get the room in order first.

Tell her your church is having a rummage sale, what a great time to go through the kids room. If the kids are old enough, they should help.

What a tough place you are in. I get the feeling you really want to help, not that you are judging her. But, honestly, if MIL offered to help me with my housekeeping, I would feel judged, even though I know it is true I am not good at it.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2001 at 10:40PM
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Your DIL sounds like my ex-SIL! She would only get out of bed in the morning long enough to tell her two daughters to get up, 8 & 11. They picked out their own clothes (didn't usually match), got their own breakfast, fixed their own hair (also another touchy subject) and watched the clock to make sure they made the bus. They many times got their own meals at night and forged parents signatures for their homework. BIL worked night shift and tried to everything in the world for the girls--they weren't his. Their house was never clean, she went grocery shopping once in awhile spent a couple of hundred dollars on junk and didn't go again until the cupboards were just about bare! The girls rooms had clothes and toys all over the floor. The closets were empty because everything was on the floor. I was visiting and they wanted to play a board game, we couldn't find half the cards! I felt so sorry for the girls. They were really sweet but their mother didn't seem to want to be bothered.

My MIL really couldn't put her two sense in because they had had an argument a few years back and she didn't even talk to her son. Thank goodness that they divorced!

I know you want to help, but by talking about it all the time, you'll only make her mad. Maybe she's not cleaning up out of spite. If your son doesn't want to live that way, he should clean it up. If she leaves him over something like that, she's dumb. He doesn't need her if that's the way she'll be about it.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2001 at 6:53PM
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It really makes me sick to see people let their homes get in such a shape.If they do not care for their HOME what do they care for? Just lazy as lazy can be.When they say they just can not do it all ...I would be willing to bet they can sure go shopping and spend the day.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2001 at 2:26AM
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Rowan of Trades

Say nothing.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2001 at 12:47AM
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You and MY MIL made huge mistakes yourself by not teaching your own sons to clean up. Why should the housework always fall on the female? GET AFTER YOUR SON

    Bookmark   March 27, 2001 at 7:42PM
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Well, this sounds an awful lot like Attention Deficit Disorder. Now I don't want to just slap a label on someone, but I just got done reading Women With Attention Deficit Disorder - Embracing Disorganization at Home and In the Workplace. There are different types of ADD, and I read one section that sounds an awful lot like what you said - right down to the "escaping at work". ADD women usually have no trouble at work when there is structure and certain things are expected by a certain time. It's at home, or if they are not supervised or don't have clear expectations at work, that the problems crop up. You might want to investigate ADD as a possibility. The being overwhelmed, not even being able to comprehend what to do in order to clean up a messy room like that, is a common ADD problem. The mind does not prioritize, so cannot decide where to begin. I read about one woman who was only able to figure out which order things should be done in (for cleaning) after she started treatment. With the right treatments, this type of disorganization can be dealt with - not always by the woman, but there are services that you can hire if she can't work out a way to handle things herself. Of course, after you have done some reading and if ADD seems to match her, I would have her husband suggest that she may have ADD. It may not sit well coming from you. Some people think ADD is a cop-out, but if you have ADD and don't know it, it's a hard life. Education is the only way to beat it.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2001 at 8:18PM
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Have you read Shakespeare and the other classics? Can you solve complex math problems? Do you have an amazing garden? Have you traveled the world? Have you studied European history? Have you documented your family geneology?

For some people, there just isn't enough time for everything and if there is time, cleaning holds little interest compared to all of the other interesting endeavors that are possible.

Just keep venting here, saying anything to her will likely only be detrimental to your relationship.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2001 at 11:27AM
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I'm a relatively organized DIL, but looking around our bedroom right this minute, there are stacks of dirty laundry, baskets of clean stuff to fold, a pile of paperwork and bills on the desk to go through, a not-so-neat closet and bins with the kids schoolwork from the past year to go through. I am a stay-home mom of 3 (expecting 4th) and could have chosen to plop the kids in front of the TV today while I took care of the mess.

Instead, we went to the park. Then we baked Christmas cookies (my son's special request) because it started to rain. We invited a neighbor kid over to play. Then made home-made pizza for dinner when dad got home. So now, the rest of the house is a mess, especially the kitchen.

But I'm quite sure the kids had much more fun today than they would have had this room turned out spotless. If my MIL came over right now, she'd probably think we were slobs too, but I'm more interested in the happiness of my children and will clean another day.

As a DIL, I would strongly advise MIL's to say NOTHING unless you truly feel the kids are abused or there is a health hazard. The important thing is that your grandchildren are well cared for and happy, and since you don't have to live in their house, don't let the level of neatness bother you!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2001 at 8:03PM
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Can I come live at your house Janet? Even though I'm 31 I'm available for adoption . . .

    Bookmark   June 21, 2001 at 8:15PM
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Please, Suzy and other like-minded folks, don't judge someone as lazy because of poor housekeeping. There are many reasons (I know, some would probably call them 'excuses') why some people aren't good at housekeeping. Some have Attention-Deficit Disorder; others have learning disabilities; others simply have brains that work in a different way than yours. Still others keep messy houses because that's the way they grew up, and that's what they expect a house to look like.

Also, folks with poor housekeeping skills are probably far more 'down' on themselves than you could ever be. For many, it's a serious self-esteem issue wherein they think themselves to be lazy and a slob and worthless because they think differently, or notice different things from 'normal' people. So please, don't make the guilt trip any worse.

A useful link to look into, and for the OP's daughter-in-law to look into, is the Messies site, www.messies.com The Messies Anonymous organization was founded by a lady who was a poor housekeeper and was able to overcome it. She's a minister's wife, so the site and the group have a lot of Christian religious overtones, but don't let that bother you if you're not a Christian. It's still an extremely useful group. There are also several books by Sandra Felton (the founder), on why people are messy, how to change one's way of thinking, that sort of thing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Messies Anonymous

    Bookmark   June 23, 2001 at 11:01AM
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If she beats the kids, I would say something.
If she drinks all day, I would say something.
If the house is a mess, it's none of my business and, compared to the above issues, is NOT a big problem and REMEMBER it IS her problem, not yours. Really. No matter how much it bugs you.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2001 at 12:47PM
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I would be willing to bet that more than one person was offended by Suzy's post! She may be right, about how some people will escape to other things, more fun things, but just b/c your house is a mess, doesn't mean you are lazy!!! It may certainly mean, you've got children and you want a life other than cleaning all day! Especially if you have a toddler (and a strong willed one, at that), and a husband who contributes to the messes, but never offers to clean them up! I do clean, but not all the time. And my house is messy. Toys are scattered every where imaginable. Clothes find better homes on the floor most of the time. Not b/c I want the house to look like a cyclone went through, but b/c I work, I get up early to go to work, I take my son to work with me, then I come home to relax and have some fun time with my son. I get all kinds of gripes from my husband saying that the house is a mess and it needs to be cleaned up, but I just can't do it.

I don't want this to come out as rudely as it may sound, so I apologize ahead of time! :-) I just wanted to get that off my chest.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2001 at 11:09PM
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I can understand why you're upset. If you've never seen a house that has never been straightened or cleaned it's hard to believe that people really live that way. My MIL's house was once like you've described, but over the years with nothing being put away, swept, dusted, or ever cleaned, nobody can imagine what it is like. Piles of stuff that have been layed on top of each other--eventually making walls so that there are rooms that you can't get into. Dishes that have been on the counter for years. Sacks of groceries that have never been put away. A kitchen that is so cluttered that you can't get to anything but the sink. We no longer go to my MIL's because the smell is awful and there isn't a chair to sit in that doesn't have a pile of something already in it. My MIL also is very quick to leave the house every day--anything so she doesn't have to look at the mess. As hard as it is to believe, my MIL is a perfectionist. She just can't spend all her time making "everything" perfect. All her drawers are in perfect shape. She can spend all morning picking lint from jeans pockets before washing them. To clean and straighten a house is too overwhelming for someone who is a perfectionist.

I mentioned your listing to my husband and asked him what I should tell you. He wanted you to know how embarassing it was to have anyone over to visit or spend the night. He didn't want anyone to see his house. (He loves now to have company over, even after being married for 27 years.)However, he and all of his brothers and sisters have turned out to be wonderful people. They are a great family and are very close.

I don't know what to suggest to you. I know that I've tried to help clean the kitchen, only to have it go back to its original state. We've offered all sorts of help. She even hired a housekeeper, but wouldn't let her put anything away, only clean around the stuff. My MIL had a heart attack several years ago and the family went and cleaned a few rooms for her (3 rooms and a bathroom). We spent 2 weeks cleaning and now it is worse than ever. We've tried talking to her and she realizes that something needs to be done, but she never gives us the ok to go ahead and do it.

I guess, if it were my grandchildren, I would try and straighten their room a little at a time and stick to "only" their room. Maybe a nice little talk, expressing your concern, and letting her know that it's because you know how overwhelming keeping the house and raising kids can be. If it gets to where you know that she's upset then I would back off and not risk ruining the relationship that you have with her.

I'm sorry that I've gone on and on. This really hits close to home. I hope that I've been helpful and you'll be in my prayers.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2001 at 12:46PM
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First to address Suzy: I absolutely HATE house cleaning. I do it because it needs to be done and I do it to meet my standards of clean, not anyone elses. As for shopping, I ALSO HATE that. I do it ONLY when I have to. What do I do with my time? To list a few, I assist my elderly mother in cleaning her home to her liking several times a week. I take my mother grocery shopping 2 times a week. In the last 12 years I have volunteered over 6,000 hours of time as a docent at the Los Angeles Zoo, giving tours to school children and scouting groups, telling them about the wonders of the animal kingdom. I vegetable garden and share much of the produce I grow with the senior citizens on fixed incomes at the senior citizens center across the street from my house. I am FAR FROM LAZY!!! I work very hard and have very different priorities in my life.
Now for Susan: Do yourself a favor and don't try to tell someone else how they should keep house. You certainly won't gain any popularity with your daughter in law. You wouldn't appreciate someone reminding you about a lacking skill you possess and have no desire to acquire. If your son is 30 or under, he was born during the era of women's liberation, and YOU should have taught him a few cleaning skills. Did you ever stop to think that he might have children of his own to care for and clean up after some day? Would the house be clean and spotless if he were the only parent in this picture? Your daughter in law and son both have full time jobs away from the home. Maybe you should start your next conversation with both of them by informing your son that you did a great injustice to his wife, you taught him that he only needed to be responsible for his own messes. Times change. Now that he is a father he should know that he has to share equally with the cleaning, cooking, washing, shopping, children etc. especially since they both work. (Instead of blaming your daughter in law for the messy kids room, you might hint t

    Bookmark   July 26, 2001 at 8:35PM
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oops, whole message didn't show up. . . . . keep what they already have. Instead, go and buy them some nice room organizers for what they already have and take the time to teach them how to use them. Explain that taking care of______ (fill in the blank shows you that they appreciate gifts you have given them and that if you know they will take good care of things you will be more likely to continue to bring them gifts in the future. Help the mother AND FATHER teach them to be responsible.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2001 at 8:53PM
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My DIL is every bit as messy as yours-maybe-probably worse.
In her house the mess flows out of the bedrooms into the rest of the house. When my grandson comes to my house I help him to keep his room here picked up and seems to prefer a clean room. He still has all the parts to his toys! I can't imagine how he can stand his mother's house.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2001 at 6:22AM
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stay out of it... but if you absolutely can't help yourself then might i suggest starting the only place you might actually have the right to... by urging your own son to pick up a mop now and then. :)

    Bookmark   September 4, 2001 at 7:21AM
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Whew....no wonder MIL's have a bad reputation. How about minding your own business? Would you go into your friends houses and inspect, criticize, interfere, drop hints, etc. If you do, I'll bet you don't keep your friends for very long. So she's messy. There are worse things to be in this world. As long as the kids are in no danger, keep out of it. The fact that you're mentioning it to your son just seems like you're trying to stir up trouble. A messy room is of no consequence if the children are brought up in a loving environment. I suspect that if she did keep everything tidy and organized, you would probably find something else to criticize.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2001 at 12:07PM
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I have 2 DIL's and they are both much better house keepers than I am. One DIL just had her 6 th baby, and home schools the 3 older children! I admire her tremendously (although they are now living in Peru and she has a maid who comes in every day). She is a great mom and that is what is important. The other DIL only has one child but she lives near me and helps me alot. I love them both. My DD has 2 boys and she has ADD (so does her oldest son) and her house is always a disaster. I've tried to help her but it never lasts for long, but she is not lazy at all. She loves plants and roses and works in her yard for hours on in. She also has ponds that she dug herself. It is just a difference in people! Your DIL probably wishes she had a clean house (I know that I do!) but can't manage it for one reason or another. I know that it is frustrating for you but sometime you have to recognize that you can't do anything about it and love her anyway.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2001 at 11:08PM
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I am a DIL and live on a farm with three kids, 7 yo, 5 yo and 14 months. I used to work full time and tried to keep up all the house work. I was major league stressed and the kids felt it. You can't enjoy your kids when you are yelling at them to pick up or getting mad because they have made yet another mess!

I don't have a really clean house. I keep up on the dishes, laundry, must sweep my large kitchen floor twice a day and vacuum when needed. My DH is NOT neat. He is like having a 4th child and I tell him this all the time. He can be neat when he wants and when he gets tired of something the way it is, will clean or organize.

We have a challenge with the kids and their rooms. My 5 yo DS pulls everything out of his drawers when looking for clothes to wear. My 7 yo DD throws her clean/dirty clothes and everything else on the floor and then when told to clean up, shoves it under her bed!

I did not have a mother who took care of my toys and clothes. I did, if I wanted them to be around. I do not want to run around keeping everything as it was, meaning keeping track of all their things. If they want it and like it, they should take care of it. We try to teach them about respect of their things. When they are somewhere else, they have respect for others things, just not their own.

I have a large veggie garden, 50 rose bushes, 3 horses, chickens, 2 dogs and cats. I can not put all my effort (and do not want to, it does not make me happy) into keeping a spotless house. I don't like dusting. But I do all the yard work, scoop dog poop so the kids can play in a clean yard and take care of all the animals. Not to mention cooking, dishes, kids baths everynight, homework, reading bedtime stories, and then their needs to be time for me!(I have not been horseback riding in over 2 months) :(

When we are having company over, like my Dad, who is anal about housework and does it himself, I clean like a mad woman. Although, I don't know why because he probably still thinks it is not clean enough. This is probably how your DIL feels.
Life is too short and we all need to have some fun everyday.

Don't stress over things that really aren't going to matter in the long run. I would rather have my kids be happy and playing than me running around yelling at them to clean up all the time.

Just had to do some venting, this is a hot spot for me as well in my own house. Sorry it is so long.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2001 at 2:00PM
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I have to chime in on this one. I have a sister who lets her kids' rooms look like a city dump, and they are 8 and 12 y/o. She is a SAHM, has never really worked. She has a heart of gold, a wonderful cook......but is severely obese. However, even when he weighed A LOT less and was married to my ex-BIL, she was NEVER a housekeeper. I could tell you stories that would fill a book about how messy (filthy, dirty, etc) her house has been - and is! The thing that I find comical is that her own bedroom is relatively clean, while the kids rooms are just unbelieveable. We visited in July, she knew we were coming, and literally, you could not see the floor of my nicece's bedroom for all the junk lying around. When my niece went to bed for the night (she sleeps on a futon that is rolled out all the time), she just plopped herself down amidst all kind stuff - laying on pens, batteries, toys, Gamboys, CDs, papers, clothes, video games, you name it. That is the main gripe I have with my sister - even though I never voice it. How can you allow children to live in that kind of filth, and to sleep like that? I have no doubt she is teaching her 12 y/o daughter that this perfectly acceptable behavior. I'm sorry - ADHD or no - no one should be taught that this is acceptable. To say nothing of the notion that "you can treat your belongings any way you want to, and it's okay."

    Bookmark   September 19, 2001 at 1:11PM
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I'd say> mind your own business. Some of the nicest people I have met were lousy housekeepers

    Bookmark   September 29, 2001 at 6:16PM
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StitchChick---"... When my niece went to bed for the night (she sleeps on a futon that is
rolled out all the time), she just plopped herself down amidst all kind stuff -
laying on pens, batteries, toys, Gamboys, CDs, papers, clothes, video games,..." Thanks for the laugh!!! Boy, was that funny! binkie

    Bookmark   November 3, 2001 at 1:44PM
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Shirley Astleford

I have to say I am one of those people who HATE housework yet I like having a clean home. This creates a real conflict. Your DIL could be in the same catagory. I used to have someone come in and clean for me, but can no longer afford it, so had to find another solution and I did.
The solution? Flylady! You are not overwhelmed with cleaning, it's done in 15 minute increments. She sends you reminders all day. Now that doesn't mean you have to jump up and do them. It's all about baby steps and learning new habits the easy way. You start small and add routines as you go. I'm still a long way from being the best housekeeper in the world, but my friends and family have noticed a difference and I've only aquired a few of the habits.
If your DIL hates cleaning and has no interest in finding away around this to achieve a better home, nothing will work. If she wants a clean home but is overwhelmed by the effort needed to do something she hates, this site may be the answer. http://www.flylady.net/index.asp

    Bookmark   November 7, 2001 at 5:23PM
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You should heed the advice that Thumper's mother gave to him: If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2001 at 9:02PM
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Well, I used to be pretty much like the DIL mentioned here. I don't have kids, but I could still never keep a clean house.

Recently I had an epiphany that led to my changing almost overnight about cleaning up the house and maintaining it.

"Housekeeping is a REAL full time job!"

It took me two years to understand that very simple fact. I stubbornly refused to admit it, and my house was in shambles. It's got nothing to do with laziness, or anything of the sort. Once you know that it is a job, you read a book, find out how to do it, and then you organize yourself (mentally) into doing it. It's not chores, it's not what you do when you aren't doing what you'd rather be doing. It is what you do. You make home a beautiful place to live in.

Unfortunately, just saying that to someone won't make it happen. *sighs* I wish I could offer a solution, but I can't. All I can do is show you that sometimes there *is* hope.


    Bookmark   December 10, 2001 at 12:26PM
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Sam, that is a very good point. I don't think people realize that cleaning is something you have to learn to do. That's why its important for parents to teach their kids how to maintain and clean a home. Friends of mine who are efficient housekeepers do it in half the time and are way more orderly than me.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2001 at 2:08PM
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I am very proud of my daughter-in-law as she keeps a neat house and it's clean for my son to come home to after a hard day at work. I think sometimes it is a little overkill. I used to tell her she needed to relax and get a hobby, instead of cleaning all the time. Now she has gotten a little more relaxed since our grandson was born. There's two kids now. If she had to work, I don't know how she would manage. I remind her how lucky she is to be able to stay at home & raise her children.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2001 at 7:09PM
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Also...."messy", I can live with, as my house is not the showcase that I'm sure some people live in. BUT....there are just some things that you do every day, just to keep them from becoming momumental tasks when you DO finally have to do them.

I thought of two other stories about my sister and my SIL. My sister has a real block about doing laundry - I have been to her house when there was literally a mountain of clothes in the laundry room. Since she opens her house for us to visit and treats us great when we visit about twice a year, I always try to keep her laundry done up. One visit I started washing and folding clothes, and I counted 42 pairs of my niece's underwear!! I'm assuming this means that either my niece had changed underwear numerous times a day (not likely; she's 12), OR my sister hadn't done laundry in at least 42 days!!! Can't imagine the latter happening at my house, since I'd be wearing sheets if I went that long without doing laundry.

And, one time I went to my SIL's house to borrow a roaster pan to cook a turkey. She couldn't find it, and her husband said "look in the oven." Sure enough, here was the roaster pan, half full of dried out LASAGNA that had been in there goodness knows how long. To her credit she looked sorta sheepish and said "uh....do you still have to go to the store? I'll soak this and have it clean for you when you get back." And all the time I'm looking at her kitchen and her sink is PILED HIGH with dirty dishes, table is loaded with dirty dishes and packages of food, counter is covered with stuff. I'm sorry - I just cannot imagine living like this. No wonder they ordered pizza just about every night - it was just too much trouble to get enough dishes together to have a regular meal!

And IMHO - why should a DH have to work hard all day FT and come home and clean the house for a wife who is only working PT? Sounds like she needs to kick it up a notch and make her other PT job "cleaning". I'm not thrilled with cleaning but the results far outweigh the discomfort of living in filth. Just my 2 cents worth.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 2:07PM
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