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Setting guidelines for living with my adult daughter and grandson

(58 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.

sarahanew Mon 23-Sep-19 18:29:44

Let her keep her living space as she wants. Don't clean up after her. If she wants her area clean, she'll do it if no one else does

GagaJo Sat 21-Sep-19 15:34:18

Sinika, I'm in exactly your position, except my daughter doesn't work AND we share the space, because UK houses, mostly, don't have basements, although I am thinking about having a loft extension so I can get away from 'family matters'.

The difference is, I work 4 X 12 hour days, plus one half day and I'm 54 years old.

I don't cook or do laundry on those days but I do help clean up after my grandson goes to bed, even though NONE of the mess / kitchen duties are made by me.

If my house (and it is MINE, she owns an apartment she rents out, because it's too small for her and grandson) is trashed, I create holy hell. I understand it gets messy. She's a slob, grandson makes a mess too. BUT it needs cleaning up daily. I won't accept less.

I more or less ignore her bedroom. It's her personal space. But I do complain if my grandson's room is a mess for more than a couple of days. And common areas (kitchen, living room, dining area, hall, stairs) are to be tidied daily.

It is a balance between what I want, what is reasonable and what I can tolerate.

I MISS the days when my house was a spotless oasis of tranquility. I came home from work and destressed. Now I come home and cuddle my grandson. Give him a bath. Put him to bed. Go down (at 9pm, after a 5am start) and help tidy/clean. BUT he won't be tiny for long and I want to enjoy this time. So I'm tolerating this situation. It's all a compromise.

justwokeup Sat 21-Sep-19 15:23:15

Four 'days off' with a two year old is not spare time. Yes, some people are naturally tidy, clean etc, but some, like Davidhs says, just aren't able to do that. Perhaps the 'worthless' dad (seems that's okay!) could contribute to having a cleaner? If not, get a cleaner for your whole house as a gift to both of you. Try to be kinder to each other.

phoenix Sat 21-Sep-19 14:54:03

OP? Where are you?

LostChild Sat 21-Sep-19 14:29:25

Guys I have 5 children, work, study and keep a clean house all with fibromyalgia. That doesn't mean OPs daughter should automatically be wonderwoman or even care about having a perfect living space.

stella1949 Sat 21-Sep-19 09:33:49

I worked 12 hour shifts for years - and I did four per week, not three. Once the shifts are done , you daughter has four entire days off . If she can't be bothered to clean up after herself I'd be having a serious talk with her. Shape up or ship out !

Fflaurie Sat 21-Sep-19 08:50:48

David, did you have children to look after and a home to look after, or did your partner care for the children, house, meal, washing and ironing etc? My husband also used to do 12 hours shifts, but did nothing at home, I didn't expect him to.

sodapop Sat 21-Sep-19 08:26:00

Not sure its a parent's role to keep adult children safe Davidhs there comes a time when they need to take responsibility for themselves and their children.

Anja Sat 21-Sep-19 08:18:45

Say nothing!

Davidhs Sat 21-Sep-19 08:08:28

I’m not sure what AC is. Of course children are meant to leave home, most girls want to, the daughter here is not coping for whatever reason and wants to be at home. We don’t know what country they are in and the social support system may be very poor, so if the daughter is depressed or mentally ill, her and the child could be at serious risk.
As a father I would put their safety above all else and would do nothing to make them want to leave however untidy they were. I don’t understand what “crawl space “ or what the “basement” is, it doesn’t sound very pleasant, they seem to be content living there at present

M0nica Fri 20-Sep-19 23:30:26

David OP's husband doesn't want to discuss the issue with his daughter in case she moves out, so there is no question about making her leave, but what ever her present problems, they should be working towards that as an object as she gets herself sorted, it is odd that a parent should be worried that a AC might leave home. That is what AC are meant to do.

LostChild Fri 20-Sep-19 22:00:04

David, I've always had this saying

Tidy house = Tidy mind

I've realised recently it is the other way around for me

Tidy mind = Tidy house

Turns out I clean when I am happy

Davidhs Fri 20-Sep-19 21:36:04

Hang on a while ladies the OP states the daughter has a young child and a worthless man, she is quite likely struggling with the relationship and may well be depressed too.
When her circumstances improve and she can afford a decent roof over her head of course she should move out, until then I would help where it is needed. Lots of GPs help out with child care and it’s much more convenient in the same house

GabriellaG54 Fri 20-Sep-19 20:53:51

I'm with you on that but the OP is frightened worried because her DH wants the daughter to stay.
Obviously, he's not the one sorting the sh** or looking after the GC so I'd ignore his views.

Tedber Fri 20-Sep-19 19:31:07

I don't understand the question "we need help on how to discuss this with our daughter"?

Maybe I am just a straight talking northerner but I would not need to ask for advice on how to approach any of my daughters.

I would say this place is a s**t tip so get it cleared up!

Jaye53 Fri 20-Sep-19 18:42:55

Crawlspace? Sounds awful. If its filthy get a cleaner in. You should not be cleaning her space for her.

Sussexborn Fri 20-Sep-19 18:28:52

Obviously not many viewers of American fixer upper type programmes. They seem to have shallower footings than in the UK and literally space under the house that you can only crawl in. Perhaps to do with the houses tending to be timber rather than brick.

Hithere Fri 20-Sep-19 17:33:14

Not everybody has the same definition of cleanliness and organization.

LostChild Fri 20-Sep-19 17:24:16

Personally I would ask her to be respectful of your space and shared space. Let her keep her space as she feels comfortable. Toddlers are a full time job on their own without such long shifts.

Coconut Fri 20-Sep-19 17:17:48

There should always be ground rules in shared accommodation, family or not. She has to accept that you are clearly poles apart in this area. You shouldn’t have to clean up after her that is so wrong.

M0nica Fri 20-Sep-19 17:16:11

I have just been re-reading your OP, and I noticed a strange sentence 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.

Hang on, she is an adult woman with a child. Surely both you and your DH should want her to move out and set out on an independent life, rather than still living at home.

I suspect she is an only child, and you both have spent your whole lives running round looking after her so that she is in a state of learned helplessness. Unable to live independently or do anything around her flat because she doesn't know how to because she has never been allowed to.

I would also you give her an ultimatum to get rid of everything in your 'crawl space' (this is a new word and concept to me). If it has been there two years without being touched, none of it is needed and can all go to a tip. Also after 2 years in a basement much of it will be damaged beyond repair by damp and vermin.

grandtanteJE65 Fri 20-Sep-19 14:02:45

If you are sharing a bathroom then you need to tell your daughter to remove her dirty clothes, or you could simply move them down into her laundry room If not, the matter is more complicated.

Perhaps I misunderstood, and it is not dirty clothes, although if clothes have been lying in one place for two years they can't be all that clean now.

A crawl space is not designed to act as a storage room. It's function is to allow air to circulate under the house, so tell your daughter nicely that in order to prevent rot or vermin, you and she will need to move everything that is in the crawl space somewhere else. Tell her, you will help with this.

You say she is working 36 hours a week in three twelve hours shifts, so it is only reasonable to help her with this.

Dirty dishes will attract mice or cockroaches or both, both unpleasant and a health hazard.

If however she refuses to clear any of this away, you will either have to ask her to move, thus damaging your relationship with her, or put up with her habits, but you are certainly entitled to ask her not to encroach on your part of the house with her mess.

As your daughter she can hardly be surprised that you have different standards.

sodapop Fri 20-Sep-19 12:47:44

I agree with MOnica allow your daughter to live as she pleases in her own accommodation. If the mess spills out into shared areas or becomes a hazard then take appropriate steps to deal with it. I worked full time doing shifts when my children were young so just had to adjust and plan my house work etc accordingly. You have done a lot for your daughter already Sinika now it's time to take a step back and let her cope on her own.

Esspee Fri 20-Sep-19 12:37:45

Is the OP coming back?

M0nica Fri 20-Sep-19 12:10:43

Three 12 hour shifts is a 36 hour working week, with 4 days at home when she can do all the housework etc. Does't strike me as unreasonable.

When my children were between 9 and 13, I worked a 5 day week which, including travel time, was a 12 hour day. We had a large old house and I managed to look after it and children. It was not that onerous, just required planning and I had time to follow outside interests.

From the sound of it her accommodation is entirely separate from yours, so there should be no reason to go into it. You should not be doing any housework or cleaning in her accommodation. To begin with it is an intrusion into her private life and secondly, I suspect, you have always rushed round and cleaned and tidied up after her so she has never had any reason to be clean and tidy because she always had staff (you) to do it for her - and you still do.

Look after your grandson on the days you have him in your own accommodation and do not go near her accommodation, certainly never go in it unless explicitly invited over the doorstep. One of two things will happen: either your DD will suddenly realise that the staff have left and are not going to be replaced unless she pays contractors to come in and she may gradually pull herself together and start caring for her home. Alternatively, she may be one of those terminally untidy people and the flat will reach a state where either it is a fire risk or it threatens the safety of your GS. In which case you notify the relevant authorities and let them deal with it.