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to expect my parents to keep their opinions to themselves?

(52 Posts)
Mamathulu Fri 07-Jan-11 12:12:13

Had 4th cs 4 weeks ago, DH does school runs tues-thurs, so only needed help from my mum & dad with mon & fri for 2 weeks, until I can drive again. (School's too far to walk).

This is the only help I've actually asked for from them. Any other help I've had has been offered. Whilst ringing my dad to leave a message saying my mum didn't need to do the school run for DC's 1 & 2 this afternoon (as xp's organising it), my dad came out with -
"You really need to sort out your flat, as it really distresses your stepmum to see it in such a mess after she does so much to help you out."

Now, don't flame me for this, but it's practically impossible to keep a house tidy with 4 dc's at the best of times, never mind when you have a 4 week old baby, right?

I tried to be calm about it, but he compared our house to theirs, where there's 2 adults, who're both neat-freaks, who both work part-time. I pointed out that a) caesaeran 4 weeks ago b) 4 dc's, one of which is a baby, who I spend 4 hours feeding in a day, one is a toddler who plays with toys all day. I also ended up saying that if it distressed them so much to come round, then perhaps they should think about whether they want to come round here, as they don't have to.

DH works full time, going to London 2 days a week, and I work part-time, DC's are 12, 8, 23 months and 4 weeks. The house is a perpetual bone of contention between us all - DH and I battling DC's 1 & 2 to not be so messy and help out a bit - by this I mean, occassionally wash up, put their clean clothes away & keep their rooms tidy - hardly slave labour. Then every time my stepmum comes round, she'll tisy for an hour or two, but expect it to stay that way.
Meanwhile, DH and I realistically know, that as fast as we pick up the toys and clean the kitchen, more are dropped and more washing and washing up is made.

However, my main beef is this - as I'm now an adult, my dad really shouldn't be telling me how to run my life. Surely, even if my house is not kept to my own standards, they should not expect me to keep to theirs and ABU to perpetually say so.

So, AIBU or am I being postnatally hormonal about this?

mutznutz Fri 07-Jan-11 12:17:05

Well I would say they should mind their own business and that you have enough to deal with...what with the kids and the CS.

However, it really depends on whether it's simply untidy...or actually filthy.

I know of a person whose children were taken into temporary care until she cleaned her house up because it was that bad...however, to hear her talk about was apparently 'just a bit of washing that wasn't put away and a bannister that needed painting'

charliesmommy Fri 07-Jan-11 12:17:49

Up until she died, my mum was still nagging me to be more tidy... (I was 39 when she died... )..

I just shrugged it off.. not worth getting into an argument about.

I would just say we were happy with our clutter.. she would tut and say "you were never brought up like that"... and that was that... it was a battle she knew she would never win, but it didnt stop her from commenting.. lol...

chipmonkey Fri 07-Jan-11 12:29:01

YADNBU! Tell your Dad if he's so concerned, that he should come in for the day, look after the kids and let you go to a spa. You will expect to find the place spotless on your return. I hate people like this who put pressure on new Mums.

SookyStackhouse Fri 07-Jan-11 12:37:57

Yanbu my mum does the same and talks about how she worked full time and still managed to do everything. She has 'mis-remembered' the past as she was a sahm until I went to secondary school and from that point on I made the dinners and hoovered before she got back from work and ironed my own clothes (DB didn't lift a finger but then he was a boy and couldn't be expected to do womens work even though he is four years older than me!)

Oh, rant over now!

iloveyankees Fri 07-Jan-11 12:39:09

I would tell him to mind his own business too I find it hard enough to deal with 2 kids mess let alone 4. You have just had a baby and a c-section wtf do they expect? if anything they should be offering to help you, I know I would if you were my daughter. I would definately say something to him though

ILoveItWhenYouCallMeBoo Fri 07-Jan-11 12:40:48


unless your house is actually unhealthy or a hazard to your children then it is none of his.

and even if it was his (which it isn't) he ould have at least had the sense to talk to the other adult who lives tehre that didn't just have a baby (your partner)

waitwhat Fri 07-Jan-11 12:42:07

My youngest is 11 weeks and my place is still a tip lol

Chil1234 Fri 07-Jan-11 12:42:54

YABU... but you'll only appreciate that when your children have their own homes and you find yourself making some observation that you probably shouldn't. I also think he's hit a nerve...

Sidge Fri 07-Jan-11 12:46:14

It's none of his business how you live in your own home, but I would guess he's touched a nerve?

Also your older two children are quite capable of tidying up even if you have to threaten them. Four weeks post section things are pretty much getting back to normal, you should be able to drive again soon and can tell them you no longer need them to take the children to school.

There's a big difference between a bit of normal family mess and living in squalor - if you are living like the latter then he may have a point, but if not then tell him they're welcome to come round each week and clean!

Mamathulu Fri 07-Jan-11 12:46:23

Thanks ladies - it's reassuring to know I'm nbu in principle - yes, it's messy and very cluttered here, but I clean the bathroom sink & toilet every day, we haven't (touch wood) had a sick bug in years, and although it's a struggle, we do manage (just about) to keep in clean clothes all the time. I do have a massive backlog of washing, the kitchen has an enormous pile of clutter that needs sorting out, and I groan inwardly everytime I walk up the stairs and see how badly they need dusting!

But on Wednesday I spent an hour tidying and sweeping the front room, and then I walked DD1 to the dentist and back. Subsequently I ended up spending most of yesterday in bed! And today I've managed to wash up, tidy up the kitchen counters, and change the crib bedding, on top of feeds, dressing, making lunches, breakfast & nappy changes. Just reading that back makes me feel a bit better!

Mamathulu Fri 07-Jan-11 12:48:18

oops - x-post! Will show DH this & discuss later tonight!

justcarrots29 Fri 07-Jan-11 12:52:56

Well it does sound like you are aware of the clutter and mess in your home and probably just need someone to take the children (not the baby) out for a day or overnight and you could manage a really good clean. Then it would be easier to keep on top of it.

Your dad doesn't have the right to tell you how to live but I think from your post you feel similar. Ask for a bit of help with childcare in another couple of weeks and have a good clear out. I am sure it will make you feel so much better!

ILoveItWhenYouCallMeBoo Fri 07-Jan-11 12:54:02

try not to attack it all at once.

do little bits at a time. as and when you feel you can manage it and have the time, do 15 minutes of something. stop after 15 minutes and if you feel you want to do more afetr another 15 minutes then do it, but again, stop at 15 minutes.

do all dishes after every meal and do a wash everyday to keep on top of it. you're already doing the bathroom daily (more than i do blush) so apart from keeping the place clutter free there isn't much you can do at this point post surgery. agree with sidge. your older children are capable of tidying up after themselves, doing dishes, putting on a wash, hanging it, and putting it away, tehy can both hoover and have a general tidy up. add that in with what your DH can do well, that leaves very little for you to do. have a family meeting and delegate jobs. put everyone on a rota. even the 23 month old can put her washing in the laundry basket.

Mamathulu Fri 07-Jan-11 13:08:17

That's it - I started the flylady routine when pg and it was really beginning to work - they've seen my printed out charted pinned up in the kitchen. I've asked the kids to do exactly these chores, but they'll either make a drama about it or not do them properly, so the battle is ongoing there - I'm just sick of having to ask them multiple times to the point where I have to shout.

I can't really ask my parents to have the kids, unfortunately, although I did think about it. They're fine with the older two, but the last time I left DC3 with them, I think they stuck him in a playpen and ignored him crying - he had a really sore bum and had obviously not been changed when we got him home, so DH and I have said that we won't leave the younger two with them until they're out of nappies and talking.

DH is v supportive, does what he can, but I think we both feel we're drowning in clutter & washing, and that it's a bit of a Phrygian Stables here, but that DF & DS-M just don't, can't & won't understand.

Mamathulu Fri 07-Jan-11 13:10:03

sorry Augean stables, getting my myths & music mixed up!

Mamathulu Fri 07-Jan-11 13:15:37

'Course, it also doesn't help that I'm still very hormonal - keep bursting into tear over virtually nothing & flying off the handle at other slight events, but I'm trying really hard to keep it under control. Am seeing the doc next thurs, so if it's still a problem I'll raise the pnd issue.

diddl Fri 07-Jan-11 13:23:19

Of course he should keep his mouth shut.

Problem is (imo), when they are helping out in some way, they seem to think it is their business tbh.

And it does sound as if your oldest two should be doing more.

lololizzy Fri 07-Jan-11 13:37:25

crazy. they are being super anal. and unfair. poor you.

reup Fri 07-Jan-11 13:44:54

Re the 6 weeks not driving thing. It's just a guideline. I rang my insurance company and talked to a couple of drs about it. They all said if you can do an emergency stop thens it's absolutely fine to drive.

Then you won't have to ask for any help!

missmehalia Fri 07-Jan-11 13:54:05

Show him this:

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

Tell him to shove that in his pipe and smoke it. What you're doing is almost compulsory for your health and sanity, let alone your relationships with your children.

Mamathulu Fri 07-Jan-11 14:02:40

Thanks missmehalla, I've read it before, but the timing of reading it this time brought me to tears!
I've just posted it on my facebook profile as a note. I know my DSM will see it before the day's out!

FranSanDisco Fri 07-Jan-11 14:03:14

Just tell him he's showing his age as it's obvioulsy a long time since he had small children living with him. My 8 yo's bedroom looks like an earthquake hit it followed by a hurricane; the cat avoids it. I just changed his bed linen and found two pairs of old worn socks under his pillow!! He also told me his cd player fell on him in the night (off a shelf full of clutter) and the lead wrapped itself around his neck (TALL STORY). So it is literally a death trap! grin I'm not going under his bed ever!!

Mamathulu Fri 07-Jan-11 14:13:34

oh and reup I'd already got a doctor's appointment for next Thursday, the nearest I could get with my own doc, to have my 6 week check & start driving again. It'll just be 5 weeks by then.

To be honest I could probably do an emergency stop, but I'd probably suffer afterwards. Every time I lift my toddler up for a nappy change I get some serious twinges afterwards, so I don't think I'm quite as healed as I could be. DH keeps telling me to rest, but I just feel I ought to be picking up the slack a bit more now he's at work.

I'm sure things'll get better once I've been to see the doc - I think I'm probably being more dramatic about this than I might normally be, perhaps!

Mamathulu Fri 07-Jan-11 14:14:27


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