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When should a parent learn to let go?

Posted by phoggie (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 24, 08 at 12:33

I know this is a petty thing, but it bugs me to no end.
My daughter is a wonderful gal and an immaculate housekeeper, EXCEPT for when it comes to cleaning the carpet. It is so filty that I can not stand to see the grandkids living on such "dirt". I know they live on a very low income, but have offered to pay for someone to come in and deep-clean the carpet...... For some reason, her husband thinks, "it will only get dirty again"...but they wash their clothes, dishes, cars, etc....that it just burns me to see their carpet being destroyed by filth.
She has pretty well let me know that this subject is "off limits"....so all you daughters, should I just let it go?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: When should a parent learn to let go?

Yes. Let her know that if she changes her mind, the offer stands. Give a handwritten "gift certificate" for future use, then she doesn't have swallow her pride to bring it up. She can just say "Here, Mom, lets do it." Maybe something will come up that will make her change her mind on her own. Until then, let it go.

But if you want to clean mine, I'll make an appointment. ;o) "Not me" is always spilling something that he/she "didn't have."

Actually, we have an upright steam cleaner. We use it a lot! It has paid for itself in savings of professional cleanings that would have been messed up in a few days. We decided that for us, with growing kids, it was more practical and cost effective to get the cleaner and clean the carpet as needed, spots as they happen. Maybe you could give them one of those on the next occassion to give a nice gift.


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RE: When should a parent learn to let go?

Yes, you should let it go. There's not really much else you can do. I do understand why it bothers you, though.
I think it's nice of you to want to pay for it being cleaned, but I would just give the gift certificate and drop the subject...


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RE: When should a parent learn to let go?

If you want to stay on good terms with your daughter, you will have to stop talking about the carpet.

Does she vacuum it ? How bad can it be, I wonder.

I think your grand kids can only benefit from playing in an environment that is NOT sterile, they will build up immunity. Afterall they play outside in the dirt, on the grass, don't they ? Lots of bacteria going on in those environments !

We have a lot of asthma in my country(Australia), I think it could be the worst rates in the world. One of the reasons they think is because we are more and more obsessed with sterile environments in our homes.

Perhaps you could find some comfort in thinking along those lines, I am sure all will be fine in your daughter's house.

Focus on the good things going on, keep your eyes up, and not down on the filthy carpet !

You have done all you can, offering to clean it for them. Nothing else you can do, is there ? Maybe you could pay to replace it, perhaps....


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RE: When should a parent learn to let go?

Yes, you should let it go. No gift certificate, no handwritten note, just let it go.


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RE: When should a parent learn to let go?

popi and daisyinga, you make good points.
Yes, my daughter does vacuum almost daily, but the path areas where the traffic pattern is what that is dirty. She is such a perfectionist in all other areas....but I think that her DH has made the decision that "it will only get dirty again"...and if I mention it to him, he would put me in my place pretty quickly~~ so I will try not to look at the floor....just concentrate on those wonderful, loving grandkids. They are a very busy family, and they are making memories while the kids are small~~~which I guess is really what is important and not what the carpet looks like.


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RE: When should a parent learn to let go?

Did you every think that maybe her husband is against getting the rug cleaned BECAUSE she is such a perfectionist? Maybe it's his way of having her get used to something that isn't perfect.

I remember a friend of mine who's mother was such a perfectionist and clean freak that she literally drove her husband crazy! He just flipped one day and "toilet paper rolled" the whole house. LOL


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RE: When should a parent learn to let go?

since she is a perfectionist... maybe they DID clean it and that is the best it will get.

They might be saving to replace it and don't want to throw more money down the drain....

Let it go!


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RE: When should a parent learn to let go?

I say let it go. At least you have a daughter, SIL and grandkids that will let you in their lives

My son has been estranged from us for about 3 years and I would give anything to have him in my life again. We are not alone if you read many of the other posts on this forum. There are multiple families out there who were wonderful parents, who have adult children that have alienated/disowned/estranged themselves for unknown reasons. This may sound strange since you have a relationship with your daughter and her family. Believe me just 3 years ago, I would have looked at people like they were crazy if they said that there was evem a possibility that my komd, lovimg adult son would never speak to jos family again and never even bother to tell us why. I still find it hard to believe that I am not allowed any access---phone, email, address, cell----no birthday cards, mother's/father's day cards, no phone calls, no visits, no letters or any type of contact---just silence. Almost over night without explanation, our previously generous, caring son become a spineless, selfish person we believe because he was given an ultimatum from a very stong minded, controlling girlfriend.

I say your daughter is an adult and it is not a parent's or other adult's responsibility to solicit advice that is not welcome or requested/ Adult children have to learn their own lessons and no not have the same values or perceptions as we do.

I apologize if this sounds harsh and I do not mean it to sound that way. I am just learning through reading these forums that life is just too short and material things are not whtat's important. Having a realtionship with your family is what is important and any little thing that might jeopardise that is simply not worth it.

I don't even know why my son hasn't spoken to his family for the past 3 years, but would just hate to think it could have been something as simple as commenting on his dirty carpet.

My thought, after 3 years of pain and depression and unkowing, is to look at what really matters and ignore what doesn't. I would rather have a realtionship with a child with dirty carpets than no relationship at all. Just my opinion and something to think about as I now know that our children do not always perceive our seemingly harmless words/actions the same way we parent do.


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RE: When should a parent learn to let go?

I am with Penbyrd on this one. Look the other way, say nothing and let the situation be.

My downward sprial began when my son asked advice about how much of a house he could afford. He ASKED my opinion. In the course of the conversation, we discussed his friend who was buying an more expensive place. When I asked if the friend was going to live alone or have a roommate. My son said the friend would have a roommate. When I asked if the roommater was living there for free I was told he was not. When I then asked if my son had a roommate who could contribute to the mortgage- the offense was taken. The gf construed this as implying she was incapable of contributing to the payment for the house. As she was 19, not working and had a total of $40 to her name I doubt she could contribute. I never mentioned her name, never said that she was not working or not able to use savings to contribute. Her name never came up!!! Yet, this created World War 3- she started to say I was prejudiced against her when I did not even mention her name.

So, if I had it to do over again, I would not give any reason. I would not give any advice- my giving advice started the whole estrangment ball of wax in motion.

Kids of this generation hate anything that can be construed as advice. Do not give it unless they absolutely ask for it and then weigh your words carefully- in fact- do not give it at all to be safe.


Good luck


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RE: When should a parent learn to let go?

penbryd and lostmana~~~

I REALLY do appreciate your words of wisdom and am SO sorry for your situation with your family. I guess I never realized just how bad some mothers have it until I started reading this forum.

I WILL do my very best and not mention this again...although it is very hard for me to sit by and see them make mistakes....but I have to quit trying to "protect" them and let them make them....at least, they will be THEIR mistakes. No wonder so many of them are in a terrible financial shape....just whip out the plastic and get what they want! This economy is in such bad shape, that they might have problems that they can not imagine...they haven't lived through the "tough times" that people of our generation have. We always saved until we had the cash to pay for what we wanted, but that is not the way they want to live~~

Kids are so different when our generation, aren't they? I would have welcomed any advice my parents or my husband's parents would have given me. But they just are not like that anymore....they have to show their independence...come hell or high water~~ They don't seem to realize that we have had the experience of living and learning so much longer than they have.

And when it comes to discipline (or lack of it), it makes me scared to death of how these little grandchildren will turn out. They want for nothing~~~and if they they don't get what they want and get it when they want it, they get so nasty with their parents. In fact, they need a good old swat on the rear end and their mouths washed out with soap....we survived...and I don't think it hurt us a bit!

I wish the both of you peace in your family.....life it too short, but they don't see it that way.


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