To not do it when asked

(64 Posts)
hazell42 Wed 06-Jul-16 11:56:32

I have always hated housework. I'm not the hoarder next door, or anything, but I do enjoy a bit of clutter. Sterile minimalism makes me itch.
I have had 2 husbands who could not understand my indifference towards 'home-making'. 'Surely, you want a tidy house,' they would say, as they naively tried to train me to the standards they expected.
I don't have a husband any more.
The more they tried to persuade/force me to be a housewife, the less I wanted to do it. In fact, without their constant nagging, I would have done much more than I did.
Now, six years after my last divorce, I thought that things were good. I clean when I want, I do a bit and leave a fair bit more. House is more or less clean most of the time, but fairly cluttered quite often. I think it has a homely, lived in feel (honestly, not at all horrorshow tv programme standard)
This morning my son (16 and moody) said, 'Surely you want it to be tidy?'
Arggh!
He has decided that I am not up to scratch and other (non-working, domestic godess type) mothers manage to have the house pristine at all times.
Am tempted to take the same tack as I did with husbands, though, obviously, without showing him the door, which was to stubbornly refuse to lift a finger anytime they mentioned the 'state' of the house, and instead point them in the direction of the hoover.
What do you think?

Religieuse Wed 06-Jul-16 12:00:34

OP, while I giggled inwardly at the possible implication that the two crappy husbands are now under the patio, the fact that there's a pattern that the men in your life, husbands and son, seem to feel that you should be extremely involved with the tidiness of your house on no other grounds than because you have a vagina is making me ask about whether you are picking or raising sexist pigs?

We have a cleaner for two hours a week. I never think about housework at all. My husband and son do not assume this is somehow my concern.

Smellyrose Wed 06-Jul-16 12:02:21

Tell your son to tidy it if he's that bothered. If he lives there he can take responsibility for anything he's unhappy with.

Junosmum Wed 06-Jul-16 12:05:29

It's very hard to have a clean house if you are untidy.

How's DSs room in terms of tidy/clean+

CMOTDibbler Wed 06-Jul-16 12:11:59

He wants it tidy, tell him to go for it! Being tidy minded isn't a requirement

fattyfattytoadgirl Wed 06-Jul-16 12:18:48

You say our house is comfortable, clean and just a bit cluttered.
Nothing wrong with that.
If your son wants a whole new level of spanking, shiny, cleanliness, he needs to roll up his sleeves and set to work.

Mummyme1987 Wed 06-Jul-16 12:20:23

My answer would be thank you for noticing, the Hoover is over there, let me know when it's all done.

ValhallaAwaits Wed 06-Jul-16 12:25:34

Give it a few years, and your son's wife will be on here, spurred on by cheers of 'LTB!!' because your son is apparently lazy and doesnt know what clean/tidy is.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Wed 06-Jul-16 12:30:46

I have a friend who describes her house like you describe yours.

It's actually a filthy pigsty, her children are embarrassed and it's WAY beyond anything a child should be expected to manage.

That is another possibility to your situation. If the mess is not of your son's making it's not really reasonable to expect him to deal with it.

Religieuse Wed 06-Jul-16 12:42:25

If the mess is not of your son's making it's not really reasonable to expect him to deal with it.

If the OP's son is actually living in their shared house, cooking, eating, using crockery and cutlery, sleeping etc surely it's logical to conclude that he contributes to the general mess of every day life? Rather than that he lives in a sealed neatfreak bubble without using the resources of the house, while the OP trashes the place?

19lottie82 Wed 06-Jul-16 12:45:30

It's hard to give a YABU / YANBU answer without actually knowing what your definition of "sort of tidy but kind of cluttered" actually means!

HarryPottersMagicWand Wed 06-Jul-16 12:45:31

Given 2 husbands and now your son has brought this up, I'd say it's a hell of a lot massive and dirtier than you think and they most likely have a good point. I doubt others have pristine homes, your son probably realises he lives in a bit of a shit hole.

Baffy Wed 06-Jul-16 12:48:07

I clean when I want, I do a bit and leave a fair bit more. House is more or less clean most of the time, but fairly cluttered quite often.

It's all relative I think. This would suggest to me that the place is possibly a bit of a mess, and not really quite as clean as it could be. I agree with others - it's hard to clean when there's lots of clutter around.

If a 16 year old boy is recognising that the house is a bit of a state, then as well as getting him to do his bit, do you need to accept that maybe the house is worse than you think??

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Wed 06-Jul-16 12:48:40

Religieuse - yes, if the son is contributing to the mess he should help keep it clean and tidy.

But if it's the OP's mess and has built up because the OP "doesn't mind" it then no. eg the son can't do any dusting if all the surfaces are covered in the OP's clutter.

SugarMiceInTheRain Wed 06-Jul-16 12:51:07

I would describe my house as a bit messy and I'm lazy about housework, but it is clean and most days I wouldn't be embarrassed to have people come round after a quick tidy away of toys in the living room! But a friend who would describe her house as a bit messy lives in utter chaos - I don't know how she finds anything, she has 2 dogs, 2 cats, chickens and rabbits and there is pet hair on most surfaces <boak> and the house smells of animals so it's a matter of perspective.

hazell42 Wed 06-Jul-16 12:51:41

Thanks for the opinions. I don't, generally, ask any of the kids to help me clean as the aggro out is far greater than the resulting effort in, if you know what I mean. Much easier to do it myself. And I do. I just don't like being TOLD to it, not by a husband and not by a son either.
The poster who said I probably had iffy judgement when it came to choosing men was probably correct. Sons, however, cannot be got rid of as easily as husbands (no they are not under the patio, but considered that as an option more than once).
I think I may be a bit sensitive about my cleaning abilities. My mum was a crappy housewife, but she loved us and was a brilliant mum in lots of other ways.
And son's comments came just after I told him there was no more pocket money to be had, so not entirely sure they were justified anyway. House would be entirely clean in half an hour and had intended to do it today, but now feel like just saying, sod it, and putting my feet up instead. I can't tell you how much I HATE that terrible housewife label.

timelytess Wed 06-Jul-16 12:51:56

grin
I don't have the housework gene. I've never had it.
I'm so delighted that my dgd (4), has inherited it from her other grandma. She'll always have a nice, tidy home she can invite people into.

OP, your son can put up with it for a bit then move out. If he's criticising your homemaking, its time he made his own.

youngestisapsycho Wed 06-Jul-16 12:52:13

I'm with HarryPotter.... you might think it's not bad to your standards, but it could be really bad.... maybe your son is ashamed to bring friends home?
It's all very well telling him to tidy it, but if its lots of clutter and shit that you've accumulated, he will not know what to do with it. Clutter and mess is different to cleanliness and is not his responsibility.

WhirlwindHugs Wed 06-Jul-16 12:54:37

It's fair enough to say 'no, you need to tidy up' if your son is responsible or partly responsible for the mess.

But if it's nothing to do with him, then I think you are unfair to expect him to live in cluttered mess just because you don't want to tidy. That would be a pretty selfish attitude when, at 16, he has no choice but to live amongst your dirt and clutter.

I would be inclined to treat clearing up as a project you do together.

2016Hopeful Wed 06-Jul-16 12:54:56

Maybe he is comparing your house with his dad's house? If it was my son who mentioned it I would be inclined to make more effort, providing my son kept his room tidy and did his fair share around the rest of the house. However, if he does nothing then it is not up to him to comment really.

WhirlwindHugs Wed 06-Jul-16 12:56:01

xpost - ah, if it was an insult after an argument about pocket money then I wouldn't think anything of it.

MollyTwo Wed 06-Jul-16 12:57:16

Three people who have shared a home with you has brought this up and you still don't think it's a problem?

EarthboundMisfit Wed 06-Jul-16 12:57:38

It depends how messy it is. I wouldn't expect a 16yo to notice unless it was so untidy it affected day to day living or they were embarrassed to invite people over.
I freely admit I only bother keeping my house nice for the kids, though they do pitch in.
If there genuinely isn't a problem, tell him to clean more. If it's actually embarrassing for him, unhygienic or hard to move about, I'd up the ante on cleaning up, getting him involved too.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 06-Jul-16 13:03:52

I think it's not just your house, it's your kids' house too. If your son (and I'm not sure if the fact that he is male is relevant, though you seem to imply it is) is genuinely unhappy then I think you should work out a compromise.

I also suspect you are minimising the dirt and clutter.

Magicpaintbrush Wed 06-Jul-16 13:03:54

I do understand where you are coming from OP. I am a clean and tidy person but my husband is up another level from that, and it is sometimes really hard to live with when the person you live with wants 'show home' standards around the house.

If there are any drops of water around the bathroom sink he hates it. If there is a single wrinkle in a made bed he hates it - you have to be able to bounce a coin off it, rigid, not a crease in sight etc. Every piece of laundry has to be flapped a number of times before it's hung up to dry. And two days after a big clean of the house if there is a thin layer of dust starting to form (literally only 2 days worth of dust) then the house is "disgusting!". In fact he uses the word 'disgusting' a lot to describe our home, and it really and truly isn't. Sometimes I really resent it and have to bite my tongue, other times I find myself snapping at him. He is lovely in all other ways (he really is, he's fab) but this issue is very draining.

He got really huffy and arsey with me the other day for kneeling on the spare room bed to open a window and leaving a wrinkle. I told him I wanted to live in a home, not a 'show home', it's too sterile, but I got the "You knew this about me when you married me" rant, and then "You have to see it from my point of view". To which I replied "Why?? Why do I have to see it from your point of view? This is my home too. I live here too."

He went away for a few days and it was actually really nice to be able to relax and not worry that I was going to be told off. I actually took deliberate pleasure in making the beds with wrinkles in. I prefer them that way.

And yet before he came home from his trip I did a big panic clean. :-(

I know just how you feel OP.

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