Sunday, May 26, 2013

THE UGLY TRUTH

I have written this post a few times and then deleted it. I am going to make it short and to the point. Sometimes things happen in your life that can give you just the spark you need. I have prayed to God to help me get motivated. Help me to find a love for my home that had gone away. As you know, things don't always arrive in the exact way we have prayed for them. 

Our daughter and son in law have lived here for 3 years now. We had them pay a very small rent to keep them accountable. That faded away after the first year for some reason. So recently we have asked them to help out more around the house. That went over like a lead balloon. I was called lazy, I was told that it's not their house and they shouldn't have to help. I was told they were to busy with work and school. (these words came from our daughter) I also had some choice words to share with her! 

I had three simple requests: 
  1. Wash the tile floors once a month with the Hoover Hard Floor Cleaner machine.
  2. Dust the wooden blinds in the house twice a year.
  3. Wash the windows outside 3 times a year. 
I got super angry and was in total shock by what I heard that I decided that I don't want them cleaning anything in my house. No one will ever call me lazy again! Boy did I get a big dose of motivation. Don't like the way it happened but never the less I am on a roll....
  1. Washed the floors with the machine in two days. 
  2. Have completed washing 13 windows and two sliding doors outside.
  3. Have also completed cleaning 11 wooden blinds. (Have 3 more to do)
  4. Have also gone through some clothes and got two large bags full to giveaway! 
I am very pleased with myself. The house is feeling very clean and now I can't wait to get going on the other projects that I need to do. (of course cleaning out the closet is not high on my list or all the paperwork packed into drawers) Next is cleaning all the cabinet doors in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room. Also I have been able to work out my time between blogging and cleaning. Of course things will be put on hold as I do some traveling this summer but I am on my way to being totally organized.....hooray! 

I will not be cleaning the blinds or windows in their section of our home. It was a rough few weeks around here lately with everyone being in ugly moods but I'm happy to say that things are good between my daughter and me. We do love each other unconditionally, however I have changed my ways and can no longer be the person who swoops in to save the day! I am learning how to not be the helicopter mom which certainly contributed to the attitude issues. Also they will have to start paying rent again but that hasn't been discussed yet since we all need some more time to cool off. 

Sometimes as parents we get over protective and want to keep our children from pain. I've never been good at punishing. I thought I would give you an example of that mom who always saves the day. There were times when our daughter would be sent to her room for the night. I was the one who hurt and felt bad that she would miss her favorite shows, so what did I do? Well I taped them on the VCR so she could watch them later!

Insert helicopter starting up ......

35 comments:

Life in a Small Town said...

Wow. I can just imagine how hurt you must have felt. My first thought was how ungrateful she is: you're giving her a free place to stay, and this is how she repays you?
In our house, I'm the one who "sticks to my guns". When the boys were little, if they got grounded, it stuck; but if CH grounded them, after a day or 2 he would say, "I think he's doing better" and would let them go. Used to frustrate the snot out of me!!!
Hang in there, Debby!!!

Sandra said...

the good news is you got your cleaning done and in record breaking time...

Deb said...

I understand the helicopter thing...I did that from time to time...but being strong is best for all...hopefully she will thank you for being strong later...when she has her own children...she will understand..

Secret Agent Woman said...

I so understand this dilemma. My stepfather worked us like dogs and in reaction, I've been too lenient with expectations for help from the kids. But a kid old enough to be married should be able to help out - the "it's not my house" argument is absurd and insulting.

That said, I'm very impressed with how much you've been able to get done. Way to go!

Pen Pen said...

I'm still learning to be the strong person. I give,give,give to my children, esp.my daughter. She lived with us for a few months after she and her husband split up and I did everything for her. When I read your post, I got a sick feeling in my stomach, because I could feel your pain. I'm glad you were able to get motivated, but it shouldn't be because someone hurt your feelings. ((hugs))

Laura said...

That's tough but I agree with some of the other posts that it's also important to stick to your guns. She'll respect you for it (eventually). I paid rent when I lived with my folks and when I bought my first house they gave me all the rent back to help with the down-payment I had saved. I think by having her pay rent she will learn that nothing in this life is free (because it's not). And she'll also be kicking herself that she didn't take those chores you offered! My goodness! If you have room, I'd love to come live with you! ;-) What a deal!!! Don't feel guilty though! It will make her a stronger and more independent woman! <3 Yeah for your clean house! I'm off to work too!! (though outside).
Happy Memorial Weekend!

Chatty Crone said...

I would say as I think a therapist would say - is that it took courage for you to look at yourself - find resolve - and then post it! Good for you Debby. I think you have found the good balance there - and I know you can keep it up. I have been and still in similar problems and I know about hovering - helping - etc. I'm proud of you! sandie

Kansas Bob said...

Grown children can be so difficult to deal with. Ten years ago my (then 23 year old) son showed up and announced that he was "moving back home". I told him no and he wound up living with his sister the six months before he went into the Army. It was a great experience for him and his sister. It changed our relationship. And when he was home on leave, and was discharged from the Army 5 years later, he stayed with us.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

That sounded awfully ungrateful to me and almost like it was a deflection tactic. I'm glad you've been able to get so much done, but I think I'd be really hurt by those words too. Good call on making them pay rent again. Life is not a free ride, and no matter whether they own the house or not, any place they would choose to live would have maintenance and cleaning that needed to be done on a regular basis.

Cyndy Newsome said...

May I suggest telling them you hope they never rent a home because by their logic, they would never have to clean it? LOL They live there, they should help out. Financially and with cleaning & maintenance.
Just my opinion! I'm sorry you were hurt. I hope things get better. xoxo

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Oh woman...yes, you have a clean house but your heart is absolutely broken. They told you the truth... "it's NOT their house"...and they should move...immediately if not sooner. 3 years is a long time to freeload and if they don't learn to stand on their own feet now...then when?
They're working...that means they can pay rent...now. Charge them what they'd be charged should they have their own apartment...that might motivate THEM to move.
Debby, stand UP, it makes it a lot hard for people to walk on you when you're standing.
Tough Love...if necessary, get your pastor involved but you need some intervention...NOW.

Miss Debbie said...

Relationships can be difficult...esp with adult children. It's hard sometimes to draw the line between mothering and smothering...helping and enabling...advising and interfering. I can imagine the dynamics are multiplied when you live together. I will pray for you and your family...that there will be kindness,consideration, and understanding.

Libbie Doyle said...

I am so glad to hear how great you are handling such a tough situation...we know you love her unconditionally...but yes...sometimes things get tough. You honesty is so beautiful & you both are so blessed to have each other ;) But you know that :) Hope you get a chance to enjoy each other this long weekend! :)

myletterstoemily said...

parenting adult children is SO hard!
you are an inspirationg.

Love Of Quilts said...

I have a smilar problem. I have my two oldest grand children living with me, they don't do a thing to help me out. They are young and don't make enought money to live on they're own so I won't be kicking them out but if they were married and had a husband and both worked they wouldn't be using me for a free ride. Three years and say this isn't my house. They need they're own house.

brigette said...

Your a great mama!!!! That's so kind of you to let them stay! ! Prayers your way!!!

Mrs4444 said...

It's easy to say that you'll put your foot down this time, but not so easy to follow through Don't be afraid to do some reading or even some therapy; it could change your life and your relationship with your kids. Who knows? From first-hand experience, I know the power of therapy, and you might be ready :)

Just Be Real said...

Debby, thank you for sharing your heart as difficult it may have been. Hugs

Katherines Corner said...

I know the hurt that can cause ( been there). I am sorry, I hope they will pitch in and realize that your love and generosity should be respected and not taken for granted. But, I'm happy you are happy now and that you feel good about your home. I send a great BIG hug your way xo

Cathy said...

Hard times...I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. But it sounds like you are doing a good job of it. I love all the work you've accomplished (I need to do that here) and I totally agree that you need to charge them rent again!

God bless and I'll pray God will give you the wisdom you need in dealing with your daughter.

Formerly known as Frau said...

It's hard when grown adults take advantage and aren't being respectful. But with that said we love them so much unconditionally and allow this because we think we are helping them. I hope soon they show there appreciation by helping out. Hang in there you are a great Mom.

Alexis AKA MOM said...

I've been praying on this since we talked a while back about what was going on.

I have become the helicopter mom since my experience growing up was so different and wanted to make sure my kids have all the love and things I wished for growing up. But I do see that going to the extreme the other side is just as bad.

You are such an amazing mom and person and I know you mean so well. And as I've said before they are so blessed that they had a home open up to them. When things got difficult here, I wish I would have gotten just a little help. Heck groceries would have been a blessing.

I'm so glad to hear that things are better with you and Amber. I hope they give a little more around the house.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Oh gosh I can't imagine not paying rent and helping out. I hope they start being accountable and start pitching in. I bet things are looking so nice!

Hilary said...

wow.. I am speechless. I can't even imagine how you felt, but I really admire your attitude... hang in there

The Boston Lady said...

Debby, I know how hard this post must have been to write and parent/child (even adult ones) relationships are difficult sometimes, especially when there are extenuating circumstances. What may seem black and white to some, is really a whole colorful history that factors in to our lives and our kids. I hope one day your daughter and her husband realize that what they said to you was hurtful and unreasonable. I'm glad you are taking steps to help them see this. And stay strong! Ann

P.S. You are not lazy

COUNTRY MOM said...

Debby, I am sorry things have been rough. You are such an incredible and amazing lady. I pray things are better soon. Love You...

Nichol said...

So sorry you're going through this. I feel your adult daughter should take responsibility and help out, after all she is living there. You'll all get through this and the other obstacles. Which reminds me, I must clean all our wooden blinds and the outside windows ugh.

Stephanie said...

Oh I am so sorry to hear things have been stressful. my girls are still quite young so I really can't offer any sage advice but what I do know is that life is hard and nothing is free. If your baby is living under your roof, she needs to respect you and lend a hand. Hugs to you!

Joyce said...

I'm sorry you've had so much stress at home recently. I honestly am surprised at your kids reaction. Where else could they live rent free? I don't think it's uncommon with this generation though and I applaud you for laying down the law-stick to it! I'm glad you've found movtivation through all of this. Take care.

Tesha Papik said...

Debby I am sorry you are going through this trial. I know God will come through and work this for good in both your lives. You are a wonderful mom and we all need a little kick in the butt sometimes, whether it comes from our mother our daughter or God. Praying only good comes from this:)

Kristie said...

I'm so sorry that it's been tense around there for you lately, but glad to hear the tension is on the mend! :-)

I will admit that I have a hard time cleaning around here. There are several areas that I haven't gotten to yet for Spring cleaning that I wish I had...one day! ;-) It'll probably take having company over sometime this summer to get it done-that's what motivates me ;-)

As far as working around the home and/or rent, I totally agree with you! I know I'd feel obligated to help/pay if I moved back in with my parents for some reason. :-)

Jennifer - The Deliberate Mom said...

Sounds like some tense and challenging times.

Good to hear things are improving.

Sending you love and prayers.
xoxo

Sweet Tea said...

Seriously, Girl, I "get you". Parenting "post high school" age kids is VERY difficult. My situation is different than yours, yet somewhat similar. It looks easy when one is on the outside looking in, but when you're the one "in the trenches" it is not so easy. We mother's and daughter's seem to just have a "thang". Glad you channeled all your energy into your house!!

Tami said...

I couldn't imagine speaking to my parents like that. WOW! I'm sure that hurt you. {{HUGS}} I clean when I get angry. Good for you not to clean their "section". They need to be held accountable and pay rent. It's not fair that you are paying for it all. Good idea to wait until everyone is calm before brining up the 'rent'. Good luck!

Tami said...

As another "helicopter" mom, I understand completely. You just want everyone to be happy and you want to shoulder all their hurts.

Unfortunately, that doesn't prepare kids to face the real world - been there, done that. You have such a good attitude and I admire how you're handling the conflict. Hang in their, Mom, and make them be accountable and responsible for heir own lives. :) God Bless!

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