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Setting guidelines for living with my adult daughter and grandson

(57 Posts)
Sinika Thu 19-Sep-19 22:00:52

My adult daughter has lived with my husband and I since her son was born 2 years ago. Our entire house has been completly remodeled to our needs. Our daughter lives in the finished basement and before she moved in we remodeled the bathroom. She works three 12 hour days, is a really good mom, but the dad is worthless and no help!
My dilemma is that she is a slob! The bathroom is always dirty and she has laundry that has been sitting on top of the dryer for two years ( thankfully she had a separate laundry room in the basement). she leaves dishes in the basement, and she has all her stuff she came with in the crawl space ( which she needs to go through). I like a clean house and I'm constantly cleaning after her and the baby. We watch him three days a week. We need help on how to discuss this with our daughter, but my husband is an avoided and is fearful that she will move out.

Doodle Thu 19-Sep-19 22:47:26

If I had a two year old and worked 3 12 hour shifts I would be a slob too.

MiniMoon Thu 19-Sep-19 23:11:12

I used to work three twelve hour shifts. They were hard day's/nights. I still managed to do laundry, wash up, walk the dog and cook meals for a husband and two children.
If I hadn't done it, then nobody else would.
There is the crux of the matter. You clean up for her. If she had her own home she would have to do it herself.

Tangerine Thu 19-Sep-19 23:15:15

Perhaps you could try helping her to get her surroundings shipshape as things may have got so bad that she doesn't know where to start.

Then, having got the place nice and clean, ask her to maintain it.

It also depends on how you get on with her generally? If she is a reasonable type of person, perhaps you could try a calm discussion.

paddyann Thu 19-Sep-19 23:39:05

is it her space,does she pay rent for it? If you agreed that she had this space then its up to her how she lives in it .As long as its just untidy and she and her child are happy I'd leave well alone /

LondonGranny Fri 20-Sep-19 00:02:21

I don't know what a crawl space is...and why does she have to go through it? Is it the only way into the basement? Seems really grim to me unless I've got hold of the wrong end of the stick.

Coolgran65 Fri 20-Sep-19 00:08:31

LondonGranny I think the crawl space is the attic area, but stand to be corrected. Could be an American term.

Coolgran65 Fri 20-Sep-19 00:11:00

And she has to 'go through it' ....... as in.....Sort it out

ElaineI Fri 20-Sep-19 00:25:32

Perhaps you need to discuss things - maybe your standards are different from hers and neither is wrong but you need a bit of give and take. 3 x 12 hour shifts are very hard going so someone doing these may not be able to do much more on the work days but you could help her organise washing and cleaning on her days off. As long as things are clean and baby is catered for then other things you might consider important may not be. Minimoon if you worked for 12 hours there is no way you could walk the dog, make meals for husband and 2 children, do laundry, wash up etc on the days you were working 12 hours because you would not be in the house but at work so on those days someone else would have had to do these things. Maybe you organised these things but not quite the same.

Loulelady Fri 20-Sep-19 01:19:55

If the mess is in “her” basement then ignore.
If she is leaving mess in shared areas then you need to ask her to clear up after herself.
I understand that as a tidy person, it distresses you, but as long as her son is clean, fed and happy, the rest is her choice.
Avoid going in if it bothers you. Don’t clear up for her.
My adult daughter is messy (at 28 she shows signs of reforming!). However she looks great, is great, and she is galloping up the career ladder at a rate of knots in a very competitive field. I let it go. I’m no longer the boss of her.
She doesn’t live with me, admittedly.

Grammaretto Fri 20-Sep-19 05:44:36

Are you worried about vermin? I would find a cleaner with no emotional attachments. Surely you've done your fair share of clearing up after children!
Your current arrangements sound untenable.

Sara65 Fri 20-Sep-19 06:25:37

One of my daughters lived with us for a year with her then toddler, she is a slob, and I found myself doing ironing which had been hanging around for weeks, now , living in her own home she’s worse!

Her present relationship is shaky, I’ve always said if she ever came back, there would be some conditions, couldn’t live like that again

ClareAB Fri 20-Sep-19 07:19:49

If it's her space and not shared by you, then either leave it, or, if it really bothers you, and you have your daughters blessing, tidy it up.
Different people live differently. And, although you're her mum, and she's living in your basement, she is an adult and it really is none of your business how she chooses to keep her home. L
et it go!

BradfordLass72 Fri 20-Sep-19 09:02:01

I had a friend who complained bitterly that her daughter was untidy.
She was constantly going upstairs to her daughter's part of the house and washing up, folding laundry etc.

Daughter owned the house and had made a 'granny flat' for Mum downstairs.

Then I met the daughter and she complained bitterly about her mother's interference and assumption that she could just go up into her home and do domestic work, leaving little notes to point out where daughter was at fault.

That situation ended in a horrible blazing row which resulted in mother moving out into her own place, losing contact with her two grand-daughters.

Davidhs Fri 20-Sep-19 09:13:43

3 12 hour shifts hard, that’s rubbish, all my life I’ve worked 12 hour days and more, that’s what you do when you run your own business. I will concede that night shifts are hard and I could never do that.

She is a slob, in your words, as long as she is otherwise OK do some tidying put a load of washing in on the days you look after the child. Otherwise leave her to it, it’s her space let her slum in it.

I do really wish I could have done only 3 shifts a week!.

Sara65 Fri 20-Sep-19 09:19:02

I think it’s very hard, if you’re tidy by nature, to live with someone who isn’t. I don’t recall my daughter ever being so untidy before she left home, I live in hope that she’ll change, but I’m not holding my breath!

knickas63 Fri 20-Sep-19 09:27:50

I would be honest with my daughter - but is a slightly jokey way. The conversation would be: 'Baby. This place is a shit tip. Do you want some help?' then - she would either get on an do it herself, or accept my help. If she accepted my help we would come up with a plan to try and keep it up. My eldest daughters house permanently looks like a bomb has gone off! She is an excellent mum, but would rather be on the floor playing Lego with her 3 boys then doing housework. Can't say I blame her! Once in a while I will help her have a blitz. She gets a bit overwhelmed by it all. Perhaps you daughter does as well.

Shazmo24 Fri 20-Sep-19 10:25:52

What's in her space stays in her long as it doesn't migrate into your space it's up to her.
She's an adult & shouldn't be tidying up after her either

jenpax Fri 20-Sep-19 10:26:57

I am with those who say that unless it DIRECTLY effects you then leave well alone! It is different of course if she is using your living areas, but as I understand it she is living in self contained accommodation in your basement.She is an adult and not your responsibility so don’t make an issue of it.

jaylucy Fri 20-Sep-19 10:29:27

If you are constantly cleaning up after her, why does she have to bother doing it herself ?
Why are you going into her personal areas of the house? Is she not entitled to privacy?
You can very well insist that she keep the shared areas of the house clean and tidy and you could always set up a rota for it, but otherwise leave her to her own devices - she is an adult, not a child!

4allweknow Fri 20-Sep-19 10:42:38

If she pays rent then the accommodation she has can be treated within reason eg no health hazards, damage to the property, as she wishes. If she is freeloading then you need to speak with her about the mess. Perhaps suggest helping with a massive clean up but define who is to do what or you may end up doing it all. Also set a timescale. If she isn't cooperative just give her the local rental newsoaoer and tell her you will start charging for babysitting. Having 4 days from work she must surely have time to clean up behind her. Think she needs a bit of a wakeup call.

Saggi Fri 20-Sep-19 10:46:50

Doodle..... working 36 hours out of a 168 hour week is not an astronomical task! I worked 45 hours a week with two kids... of which was in and out of hospital 34 times in the course of 12 years.... a shift working husband of the old fashioned sort, who thought the housework was ‘my territory’.... and still managed to keep a clean , reasonably tidy house and garden!, .... with no washing machine until the youngest was 3.... so that included mounds of terry nappies!! So she works three days , what the hell is she doing the other four days! I tell you what she’s doing... she’s relying on mummy and daddy to pick up the flack! Please Sinika ... take my advice and sit down with this daughter explain to her the facts of life... her child is hers to look after, keep clean, entertained and in an environment where he can thrive. Grandparents are there as back-up and shouldn’t be ‘used’ in this manner. Be firm with her.... you’ll all benefit in the end... especially your own daughter.

TrendyNannie6 Fri 20-Sep-19 10:54:52

If she is making your living area untidy then yes that’s different you should say something, you obviously have different ideas of how you should tidy up, as long as her child was well looked after clean etc I think I would leave it, I wouldn’t go tidying up her things, I wouldn’t interfere it’s her life

Hetty58 Fri 20-Sep-19 10:58:57

My daughter and grandson lived with me too. She simply wasn't quite well for the first few years after she had him and was having cognitive therapy. She split up with the father. She just wasn't able to clear up, do laundry etc. so I did it. I resented it at the time.

She got her own place when he was two (although often he was here) and by then she managed much better.

Nowadays, she has a new partner, two more kids, she works, is happy and manages just fine!

EthelJ Fri 20-Sep-19 10:59:18

I agree with others. If the mess is in her space leave it. Presumably it's her home and up to her how she lives. What you term mess might be homely to her. We all have different standards of what we feel. Comfirtable with. Or maybe she would rather spend her spare time playing with her child than tidying up.
If the mess encroaches on your space then you should mention it to her. She shouldn't be messing up your home and making you feel uncomfortable.