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AIBU to print this out for the 4 males in my house?

(77 Posts)
dontdisstheteens Tue 30-Nov-10 15:37:12

Things need to change

When I ask someone to clear away the rubbish that they have left they should clear it up, not conveniently ‘forget’.

When someone leaves their shit in the loo they should clear it up. I also do not expect to have to clear up adult and teenage piss. Is it really so hard to use tissues and or bleach/ to do the job? Is it as impossible as replacing loo rolls when empty?

People should change their beds every week without me asking, you are not young children. **, perhaps as you know I like a clean bed you could initiate changing it?

This house is not huge if everyone actually took on the responsibility for it being a clean and comfortable home it would not take long at all. It is interesting that if we employed a cleaner (s)he would be able to clean the whole house within a couple of hours - if (s)he did not have to tidy and do other ‘everyday’ stuff as well.

Neither do I expect to be wholly responsible for food planning and preparation, why should I be?

It is not my job to ‘see’ when the dishwasher needs emptying and to have to ask again and again. There are others in this house to ‘see’ mess, and dirty towels, but for too long they have ignored it on the grounds that someone else (yes me) will deal with it. I have explained many times that hanging the bath mat up after use means it gets dry and therefore does not smell, so why not just do it? You all know that dirty glasses/mugs/plates need to go in the dishwasher – why do I have to ask???? There is no good reason why males cannot spot things that need doing, it shows a total lack of respect that you don’t bother instead preferring to leave it to me.

As for washing, the stuff gets rank. Why should I have to delve into a basket and get it out, why should I have to un-ball foul football socks and separate sweaty (sometimes skid marked) underpants from other clothes etc so they get clean? There is nobody in this house who is incapable of operating the washing machine and folding clean clothes to put away.

I fully accept that I am at home more and that it is easier for me to get some things done but this is done for us as a family not because I am a skivvy. Wouldn’t it be nice if the kitchen was tidy for me to work in starting as soon as people have gone to school/work?

I am fed up of saying things, being acknowledged and then ignored. You all know the types of things which make me feel miserable/cross/stressed – do none of you care enough about me as a person to avoid them?

There is real contempt in this house and it is shocking that no one seems to care enough to address it. I share the blame for this because I have allowed it to continue but given everyone’s ages and the fact that in order to earn money I need to complete my current work it is time to change things. I have asked a million times for change/help/respect and I am really pissed off that any change is so fleeting. What kind of loving family is this?

Who is going to step up to the mark and make sure change occurs?

HecateQueenOfWitches Tue 30-Nov-10 15:40:57

How have they responded when you've said this to them?

Perhaps reading it might make more of an impact. I hope so.

I think that if they don't listen, then placing rubbish left lying round in their beds, and chucking belongings left lying round in the bin, and just not washing their manky clothes would have quite an impact too.

Adversecamber Tue 30-Nov-10 15:41:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bubbleOseven Tue 30-Nov-10 15:44:32

Stop doing their laundry

hairyfairylights Tue 30-Nov-10 15:46:37


ElephantsAndMiasmas Tue 30-Nov-10 15:49:24

I think this is a very powerful letter. When my brother and I were teenagers I didn't really "get it" but realised later that by not doing things, it is letting the buck stop with the person who feels responsible for the house i.e. the mother (usually. still.)

I think maybe an extra bit about how at the moment they are living their lives assuming that things will get done whether they do them or not - that you will pick up their slack. Give them a warning that they need to start looking after themselves this week, or you are going to stop washing anything/cooking for anyone but yourself from next week.

And stick to it. Poor you - you sound hopping mad and no wonder.

FindingMyMojo Tue 30-Nov-10 15:51:25

you have my every sympathy. I'd stop doing their laundry for a start .............

dontdisstheteens Tue 30-Nov-10 15:54:00

I did stop doing their laundry - and posted photos of the overflowing basket on facebook! Trouble is if they do it they take my things out of machine etc and leave unfolded. What we need is more cooperation all round.

I refused to clean their bathroom - it was nearly four weeks and yesterday I caved - it stank.

I have done son number one's bedroom with black bin bags and pout them in the loft - many of his belongings are still there I think.

I hid the vilest lily of the valley air fresheners in bedrooms in an effort to convince them to remove smelly objects more often.

I am planning on handing out printed copies to all when they are home from work/college and going out to the pub while they think about it.

I have even threatened febreeze (not sure aboyt speling).

I cave too often that is the trouble.

SaggyHairyArse Tue 30-Nov-10 15:55:34

Yes, stop doing their washing, put small laundry baskets in their rooms, when it is full/they have no pants they will hopefully put a load on!

I do get my kids to do this stuff, like take the laundry basket on and load the machine/clear up after selves/empty the dishwasher and they are 9, 6and 3!

dontdisstheteens Tue 30-Nov-10 15:56:59

I caved on the laundry - doing school uniforms etc.

I caved on the cooking because they need vegetables.

I caved on the bathroom - can you imagine what it was like with 4 men using it after four weeks (I am lucky enough to have my own bathroom that they are banned from).

I need some backbone.

I am kind of hoping that asking them to work out a solution will have more effect than me setting rotas etc.

jessiealbright Tue 30-Nov-10 16:03:38

I think that's a really good letter.

By the way, are any of your sons old enough to have/want girlfriends/boyfriends? Just to give you a ray of hope.

The possibility you could lose the present crush/love of your life can be startlingly effective at drumming the point home.

ledkr Tue 30-Nov-10 16:05:03

god i had 3 teenage boys at home and a useless dh,i know exactly how you feel.I bought them up as working parent i thought with modern values but they just took the piss.I have to say i couldnt encourage them to leave home early enough for my liking by then i was a single parent and just felt like i was a skivvy spent most of my time shouting.I love them i really do but they are just slobs and yes i am sure im to blame in some way.Occasionally they have to come home,split ups or army leave or saving for something and they are equally messy and lazy.Just have dd now and another dd due in 9 wks thank God home is much more tranquil.
I cant advise you because i tried everything and nothing worked

MardyQuickFollowThatStar Tue 30-Nov-10 16:06:28

What about your DP? OK, it's not acceptable from the teens, but understandable. But an adult should not be colluding with them.

surfandturf Tue 30-Nov-10 16:07:40

I'm terrible - coz even if someone tries to help by tidying / cleaning up it's never done to my standards so I end up doing it again. They've come to realise it's best just to let me do it myself!
My 3 yr old DD was eating grapes the other day and when she found one that was going a bit bad she threw it on the carpet and said ' it's ok xxx will clean it up (meaning our au pai!!!) blush It's Amazing how quickly they realise other people will clean up after them if they let them isn't it!
Good luck!

jessiealbright Tue 30-Nov-10 16:16:34

Just saw your post about your washing, and caving. Treat the washing machine as if it were a launderette one. So, do the washing when you will be in, and take your washing out promptly.

nomoreheels Tue 30-Nov-10 16:28:04

Some other ideas:

Cut off all pocket money, if they get any.

Dump all their stuff in huge piles on their bed, not in the loft (they have to sleep so it may trigger something)

Don't do any food shopping or cooking. Let them fend for themselves. If they don't get vegetables for a while it won't kill them.

Hope you get through to them, good luck.

MissB75 Tue 30-Nov-10 16:29:00

They won't take a blind bit of notice of you or the letter and will more than likely just laugh at you and tell all their mates how unreasonable you are.

Men are by their very nature untidy, smelly disgusting creatures and they just can't help it!

I'd just get over it and accept you will be clearing up after them for ever more! They do love and care about you but not in the way you want!

ErnestTheBavarian Tue 30-Nov-10 16:38:20

I can fully empathise as I am in exacly the same position. Every word of your OP I felt and could have written myself.

I also accept that I am partly responsible.

When I ask them to do something the moan so much, do such a half arsed job, did I mention the moaning, and even tears, real tears, weeping at the thought of having to sweep the floor or tidy their room. It makes me so angry and fd up I realise that I subconsciously avoid asking them to do stuff cos of the complaining, vicious circle.

I can't say I've ever managed to initiate even a short-lived change. It's just always shit. Dh took the kids swimming (at my insistance) on Sunday. Last night I found, in the hallway, the bag full of festering swimming stuff.
Honestly, they eat a lolly and later that evening I'll find a chewed up lolly stick on the settee, on the stairs, in the washing machine.....

I yelled something about being back in 19 bloody 56 to dh (as I single handedly got all 4 kids ready by 7.30). He's good at apologising and agreeing I'm right but it doesn't actually make any difference......

So, dontdisstheteens and others, do you have the complaining too and how do you deal with that? And what do you find best, writing them a list of jobs daily/weekly/rota? Do you really think printing that letter would help? I wonder if it's too 'female', and boys/men would just think 'yeah yeah'? What else would egt through to men better?

jessiealbright Tue 30-Nov-10 16:41:17

MissB75 I completely disagree. Having a penis does not render one incapable of tidying.

I don't know how to change someone once they've got into bad habits (like leaving everything to one's mother/partner), but such behaviour is not part of being male.

ErnestTheBavarian Tue 30-Nov-10 16:43:32

missb75, just seen your post. I agree men won't take any notice of it probably ( see end of my post) but I strongly disagree that that's just how men are and that dontdisstheteens should just lighten up and put up with being treated like a mug/skivvy/slave for the next X years. Why should she have to spend 5 minutes scraping off skid marls every time she wants to do a wee? Or live in squalour for years just cos they are too lazy or inconsiderate? If you are living in the situation it isn't funny

fluffles Tue 30-Nov-10 16:44:32

some people (young mostly, and generally male, so young and male doubly so) just don't 'see' the things you see.

so, i'm afraid i would consider it - time for a rota.

i know that families shouldn't need to be organised like flatshares but if you're all grown up and all work outside the home, then imo a written rota is the only way to go. with consequences (financial?) for non-compliance.

good luck!

ElephantsAndMiasmas Tue 30-Nov-10 16:50:54

Some men are only like that if allowed to be because society tells us that cleaning is women's work. Still. Hence the DP behaving in the same way. Cock is not a get out of housework free card.

Agree OP you need to kneehiminthenuts have it out with DP first. No point trying to work on the kids if their dad thinks "let's get mum to do all our housework for us" is a hilarious game. He needs to know how disrespectful it is to you.

<prays to god that DP's current tidy habits last forever>

VictorianIce Tue 30-Nov-10 17:01:53

Argh! Think of your future daughters-in-law! You need rotas for everything - cooking, cleaning, dishwasher etc. If they don't do it properly, then make a massive fuss, but don't under any circumstances do it yourself. It's not a game.

The point above about this being "just the way men are" is so far from reality it's unbelievable - and pretty offensive.

Gender doesn't come in to this, because everyone should be able to cook clean and wash clothes, these are basic life skills and you shouldn't let teenage boys/girls/anythings get away with not doing it! It's hard to change expectations of lazy teens, but you have to, if you're ever to get fairness in your house.

tallwivglasses Tue 30-Nov-10 17:27:19

Well done OP for tackling this. I believe they WILL make some changes (maybe not as many as you'd like but it's a start) and your boys' future partners will be grateful to their MIL!

When I ended up with 3, sometimes 4 teenagers under my roof things HAD to change.

I'm a great believer in 'Do it NOW!' - not 'Later' or 'In a minute', both of which of course translate as 'Never'.

Okay, so you're 'nagging' but at least the nagging's over once the laundry's sorted, rubbish is put out, etc.

I found sarcastic little notes were helpful (and very theraputic) too. Their friends would read them out and laugh, mock my teens' general crapness and back me up because I'mniceandIfeedthem I'm cool.

eg: (above the kettle) 'You're making a cuppa. How nice. Please ensure that the coffee hits the cup rather than the counter because dried-on coffee take a lot of cillit-f*cking-banging. Oh, and thanks for asking. Mine's a tea, white no sugar. Of course you'll be putting the teabag in the bin... smile'

LittleMissHoHoHoFit Tue 30-Nov-10 18:05:19

I think you are going to have to stage a 'Mum's lost It' intervention.

give the impression you have flipped, but in reality you are staging it. Ice. Cold. Calm.

Demand a family meeting, sat down, and hand them a rota. TELL them that from this day forth, these are the rules, that you are fed up being the skivvy and clearing up people's piss and shit.

Tell them that you will not be doing things for them starting NOW, and tell DP that his 'privileges' are revoked too, unless he whole heartedly backs you.

Loving the sarcastic notes too! Nice touch!

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