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worried about GD

(90 Posts)
Otter1 Sun 09-Dec-18 15:29:57

It has always been a bone of contention between DD and me that she is untidy and quite honestly unhygenic but after leaving home, doing the student thing, etc - I have left her to it, relieved not have to deal with the fallout of it when she would lose important stuff - repeatedly and not to have the mess in my home. After many years living the single lifestyle and partying very hard, she fell in love with her BF's boyfriend - and at the age of 33 she has given birth to a baby girl who is adorable. Their relationship is on and off and my DD at the age of 20 months lives in often what I would say is a dirty home - kitchen with washing up everywhere, black mould on the windows, the place is smelly, the drains get blocked often and water starts backing up, because they treat the sink and washing machine as waste disposal units.... often GD's clean clothes smell of cooking and cigarettes so when she came to stay with me recently I had to wash all her clothes and when I went to refresh the drink in her cup I thought it looked like it needed a rinse but was shocked to find a slimey texture inside the cup, suggesting that it has been there some time... I have told my DD that I'm worried that's not very healthy and I am getting a lot of (understandably) defensive attitude - I just think it's a shame that it has to come down to a fight between us (and GD's Dad as well) because my intention is to point out something they've missed and they make it about themselves rather than keeping it about their daughter's wellbeing - how else can this issue of lack of hygeine be addressed if no-one speaks up? very frustrated Gran

BlueBelle Sun 09-Dec-18 16:12:53

If the granddaughter seems well and happy and there is love and attention in the home I d leave it be

Izabella Sun 09-Dec-18 16:20:49

Good for her immune system, and she is obviously thriving. The only thing that would concern me is if she is subject to passive smoking. There is a school of thought (and increasing research) suggesting that the increase in allergies etc., is a direct result of children being raised in 'too clean' homes.

Buffybee Sun 09-Dec-18 16:32:14

The black mould, the slime in the cup and the passive smoke inhalation are all health risks.
As others have said, a bit of dirt does no harm and is actually benificial in avoiding allergies.
The spores from the black mould may affect your Gds chest, also the smoking.
Recently, children in a Nursery became very ill and it was traced back to the Drinkers that were not being washed properly.
If it was me I would have to keep nagging her/them. I'd help them get rid of the black mould and remind them of not smoking near the baby.
Must be upsetting for you!

aggie Sun 09-Dec-18 16:39:16

Sorry , but it is not necessarily a bad thing to have a few germs about , those feeding cups do get a bit slimy ! How do I know ? blush but it is from the drink , they do need scrubbing and I used to just rinse them .If the wee one is robust and showing no signs of illness , I wouldn't worry , it leads to bad temper and falling out if you keep nagging . My DIL would have bitten the head off me if I had sent the child home in washed clothes , she did smell of cigarettes occasionally

Otter1 Sun 09-Dec-18 18:34:32

Thanks for all replies, it has been said that she will have a healthy immune system and yes, one can overdo the cleaning - its a long history of having an untidy daughter with a tidy mum ... GD has had chesty cough recently and I just think 'would she choose to live like this if she could or had any choice'
Finding it really hard not to speak up - where does it stop? where do you draw the line? Can't interfere but can see problems ahead.......

Jalima1108 Sun 09-Dec-18 19:05:01

I, too, would be more worried about the passive smoking than a bit of dirt.
Although my stomach churns at the thought of a slimy feeding cup for a small child. I would be scrubbing it whenever I visited smile

agnurse Sun 09-Dec-18 20:38:54

Effectively what you're telling them is that they don't know how or aren't willing to take proper care of their child.

This is not your concern. If you feel there is a serious issue that's why we have social services.

FlexibleFriend Sun 09-Dec-18 20:53:05

Another granny who thinks she knows better than mum. No wonder you don't get on.
Why not do something useful like buy a couple of sippy cups so that they can have a good soak between uses.

mumofmadboys Sun 09-Dec-18 20:53:19

A report to social services would hardly aid family relationships and would be far too heavy handed agnurse. I would try not to worry Otter and just help out when you get the chance.

Chewbacca Sun 09-Dec-18 21:24:28

agnurse has a propensity for advising many problems being referred to social services mumof hmm

Otter, it's frustrating for you to see that your daughter's level of cleanliness isnt up to your standards, but maybe a more proactive approach would be to offer to help her? If she bats your offer away then there's little to be achieved in pursuing it. Best to keep the relationship going relatively smoothly for your GD's sake.

Jalima1108 Sun 09-Dec-18 23:23:47

I'm puzzled about the washing machine being used as a waste disposal unit.
Could you explain how this happens please?

lemongrove Sun 09-Dec-18 23:40:20

Soes your DD have a dishwasher? If so, suggest she puts the daughter’s drink bottles in there, and failing that, she boils a kettle and pours the hot water in there, and then uses a bottle brush, it sounds a real health risk.
Smoking, well, we all grew up in a tobacco fug I should think.You can say what you think of it, smoking around a child but be prepared for an arguement.
Untidy and a bit mucky homes, as long as there is love and not neglect don’t matter too much.
Your DD doesn’t have your good hygene standards ( mine doesn’t either.) They may well improve with time though.

agnurse Mon 10-Dec-18 01:35:07

The reason I always say go to social services is that these sorts of problems generally fall into two categories.

1. Problems that you should report. These include abuse and neglect.

2. Problems that are not serious enough to report.

If it falls into the second category, it falls into the category of "not your business". People have the right to live as they wish. This is not OP's child. That means she does not get to dictate how the parents raise her, including how they keep their home. If she feels there is a major issue, social services is the appropriate means of correcting the problem.

mumofmadboys Mon 10-Dec-18 04:14:05

Agnurse I have reread Otter's post and there is no mention of abuse or neglect. Social services are stretched enough. They would laugh at you if such a situation was reported.

sodapop Mon 10-Dec-18 08:45:05

I understand your feelings Otter I am someone who likes everything clean and cared for.
It's hard when you see things you know are not as clean as they might be especially around children. I have to bite my tongue when I visit one daughter as cleaning is definitely not high on the priority list for her or her partner. However they are always the ones who help out family members when there are problems and generally put themselves out to help others. I wouldn't change that for the world.
Help where you can and let them be.

LJP1 Mon 10-Dec-18 11:07:30

Rejoice! exposure to bacteria and viruses reduce the chance of allergies asthma later in life. Your DGD sounds healthy& happy. If there are changes only then should you make any suggestions.

Enjoy her company and see how things turn out.

newnanny Mon 10-Dec-18 11:12:53

well I am going to against the grain and say that if my grandchild was subjected to this home life I would be unhappy about it too. If the child goes to school smelling of smoke with unclean clothing she is at risk of being bullied. I think in your shoes I would offer either to go in once a week and help your dd with cleaning her home or offer to to pay for a cleaner to come once a week to clean dgd bedroom and kitchen. It can be done with empathy e.g Oh I can remember when you were little and how hard it was to keep house clean with a small child, let me help you out. I would be keeping an eye on the situation and if it were to deteriorate further may consider calling in health visitor to advice your dd on hygiene. Neglect is subjective but not keeping dishes child has to use to eat and drink from clean is a clear example of neglect.

MaggieMay69 Mon 10-Dec-18 11:31:23

I try to tackle things a bit differently. My eldest is a loving wonderful bloke, but oh, the hygeine and mess! I never ever understood it, and for the life of me never knew where he got his slap dash attitude from, but me and him fighting or arguing about it was going nowhere, so one night, we sat down, he was in a great mood ( you pick your times!) and I said

'You know what, I have no right to interfere in how you life, as long as you are happy, and healthy its all I have ever cared about, and you have given me the worlds most gorgeous grandchildren to spoil and love, and if I seem over-protective about the cleanliness, its only because while some germs are great for you, too many can make you sick, and I just love you all so darned much I don't want any of you ill, so if you think I'm nagging or interfering, I will hush my gums, but just know its because I want you happy, otherwise, I wouldn't bother with nagging would I!

Yes it sounds cheesy, but I meant it, and almost overnight his attitude changed, because I wasn't going on and on about it, I had had my say, and the rest was down to him. If they know its coming from a good place, and they know you are saying things because you love them, and leave it at that, you might see a difference?? xxx

starbox Mon 10-Dec-18 11:31:30

Hmm... I get your horror at the standards, but honestly if you start criticizing, ringing social services etc, you could find yourself with no family at all! My son & partner live in a shocking mess. Crisp packets over floor, empty cans on mantlepiece, you can't even get thru the hall with the junk. My 4 yr old granddaughter even told me once that "we shold buy a new house" and when asked why, said "ours is a bit messy"! BUT she's doing incredibly well at school, is happy and while there's lots of stuff I baulk at (the McDonalds! The big screen TV on constantly! The MESS!) I just stay quiet on subject. How would it benefit any of us if we all fell out & never saw each other? Does it MATTER really?

Saggi Mon 10-Dec-18 11:34:40

My daughter is totally untidy and disorganised ....and slightly less clean home than I would wish her to grandchildren are always clean and tidy going to school ( if (un-ironed)...doesn’t believe in it! I go over 2/3 times a week to get kids breakfast and take them to school and always have a whiz round with a cleaning cloth...wash kitchen floor... shove in a load of laundry... and get in milk and bread which they neither of them seem able to get their heads around. I actual enjoy a bit of extra-curricula housework as it’s always appreciated ( unlike my OH who thinks that’s what I’m on planet for)...and if it helps them then I’m happy to do it. It makes me feel needed ...helps them out and as they both leave house at 7.15 and rarely get home before 5.30...they spend loads of time with their dishevelled kids at weekend and the house can ‘go to the dogs’. And do you know what?! .... I’m beginning to see their point of grow. I’m too old to change my hygienic ways...but I can understand the ‘mindset’.

Saggi Mon 10-Dec-18 11:35:47

‘point of veiw’

Aepgirl Mon 10-Dec-18 11:36:05

I think we put to much emphasis on cleanliness. If your GD and the baby are well, just be there for them if they need you.

Jalima1108 Mon 10-Dec-18 11:38:43

If the child goes to school smelling of smoke with unclean clothing she is at risk of being bullied.
I agree about the smoking *newnanny, particularly because of the passive smoking.
And the slimy drinking cup.
Whilst I do think that trying to make everywhere ultra-hygienic and bacteria free is not a good thing as we need to build up a resistance, certain standards need to be met regarding food, drinks, clean bedding and clothing.

I hope you can help in a way that will not antagonise your DD, Otter.

Jalima1108 Mon 10-Dec-18 11:39:39

ps newnanny I have just realised that the little girl is only 20 months so not at school yet.