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Housework and teenagers getting me down

(35 Posts)
alemci Sat 10-Sep-11 12:08:44

I am feeling fed up today. I work part time and usually have Fridays off but it is a busy time and we spent the day at a university open day for my ED which was great but things are piling up.

None of my 3 children do a great deal around the house and obviously create mess but I feel resentful as my ED is out the whole weekend (working, parties) and she cannot understand why I get ratty and tearful about the amount that needs doing. The YD who is 16 isn't much better either.

I know I could say to hell with it and leave it but I just want my house to look reasonable. The washing alone is never ending and I would like them to do some ironing (their own).

Both my dd's are in 6th form and I want them to do well. However ED were not great and I think it is because she does too much socialising. 18th every weekend it seems. DH does help a bit but he works at the weekend and although off today is tired as he did the driving yesterday.

It is my first week back after the Summer so maybe I need to get into a routine but I am not sure how much more I can take. My son has just moaned at me because he want fajitas and I have told him to do the 'bloody' shopping if he doesn't like my food. not good. not very pleased with myself.

FabbyChic Sat 10-Sep-11 12:10:28

If you were in a routine life would be far easier. Do things at specific times, make them clear up after themselves, don't do their rooms and do none of their washing unless it is in the basket.

Once they have used all the plates buy paper plates.

It really is easy to keep on top of if you lay down ground rules.

Rowena8482 Sat 10-Sep-11 12:11:31

Clean the bits that bother you most, and leave their crap for them to do. Stop doing anything for them, just do your own laundry, feed yourself, and ignore them. You're their mother not their skivvy, and at their ages they're quite old enough to start fending for themselves a bit more. Good grief, my youngest is only four and he can put a load of washing on, or make himself a sandwich or snack...

ProfessionallyOffendedGoblin Sat 10-Sep-11 12:12:22

They are almost adults living in a shared house.
If they are off to uni or intending to ever live independently, you need to support them in acquiring life skills like washing, ironing, cooking, hoovering and bathroom cleaning.
Otherwise they will be the lazy little baggages my DD had to share uni accommodation with last year, unable to even sort out how to clean the shower for the next user or load a dishwasher.
So please help them.

gillybean2 Sat 10-Sep-11 12:17:04

It can be really demoralising when you are struggling and those around you who are meant to love and care for you expect you to be their skivy and can't even say thanks for what you do for them and demand extra (fajitas) on top!

They will just think you are being moody or difficult and not realise how hard it is for you unless you perhaps call a family meeting and explain and ask for help and support here.

So ask for support (I want you all to start being reponsible for your own laundy, give specific chores each night - washing up, hoovering, cooking dinner) on top of the tidy your own room, bring your own washing down etc.

I know it's hard but you mustn't pick up for them instead if they don't do it. Basically if you want them to do their own ironing don't iron their things and tell them you won't be doing it in future. Then they can choose to wear it as is or iron it themselves.

Take some time out for yourself. It sounds like you need a break and some chill out time. Can you go to a coffee shop with a book, or go for a walk or something to get out from the chaos?

allbie Sat 10-Sep-11 12:20:17

alemci, I hear you! This goes on in our house too! I actually threw a wobbly this morning and tossed all the laundry around the room in a fit of peak! It drives me insane to have folded stuff neatly in the basket to have them rifle through it and leave everything creased! My DD who was one of the culprits had the audacity to say, 'But how long have you left the stuff in the basket?' She saw my face change and scarpered! I'm sick to death of being the one appointed to be responsible for skivvying...

alemci Sat 10-Sep-11 12:51:48

thanks Alilbie and everyone. My dd's do that with the washing. It is all folded and then they rifle through and things end up on the floor ect. I wish they would put their own stuff away but guess who does it. Otherwise there is no room on the side for the clean stuff off the line.

It is helpful to hear that others are in the same boat. i have cleaned the bathroom and my DH made me some lunch so I feel a bit better. I may go out to the shops soon as I do need to take things back and go to Costco but not sure if I can be bothered as that in itself is stressful.

I tend to iron the stuff as otherwise it stays in the basket and they need shirts for 6th form now so that is more work. don't like them going out looking scruffy I suppose but maybe it is time for change.

They go to school which is a distance away so they do get tired. They will help (just about) with the clearing up after the evening meal in the week.

Also what really gets me is the expectation of being taken to parties etc when they don't do anything in return. My dd went on the train last night but i wasn't keen.

It has all got too much.

ProfessionallyOffendedGoblin Sat 10-Sep-11 12:55:41

Stop fulfilling their expectations, they don't appreciate your efforts.
So either continue to happily meet their every need, or change what's happening.
For example, my DS wants the laptop, but he knows he's got no chance until he's done the washing up, so he's not even asked. grin
As for lifts to parties and ironing for your 6th formers...WTF?
If you are not a happy slave, break the chains.

ImperialBlether Sat 10-Sep-11 12:56:04

OP, there's a trick to the problem you have with the lifts.

If they want a lift which will mean a twenty minute drive each way for you, you have to say that they have to do forty minutes of housework IN ADVANCE. Very, very important it's in advance!

Oh and it has to be forty minutes of doing what you say, not tidying up their own rooms, etc.

Result: either they do the work or they don't have the lift and you have an extra forty minutes with your feet up.

woollyideas Sat 10-Sep-11 13:00:30

I'm in the same boat, too, Alemci. DD nearly 15 and lazy as hell. TBH she did more housework when she was younger - would have thought nothing of cooking up some eggs for her dinner, making a batch of cookies, putting her washing away, taking out the recycling. But now it's a different story. When I get tired of seeing her stuff everywhere I pick it all up from the hall/living room/kitchen and, without concerning myself about creasing stuff or creating any sort of order, put it in one of those big plastic bucket things, put it in her room and wait for the 'Where are my hair straighteners/phone charger/homework diary, whatever.' I, of course, answer 'dunno' to everything... It's not ideal, but she is slowly beginning to understand. (I reckon another 2-3 years should do it!)
I have also (childish, I know, and I'm not proud of it) thrown items out of said bucket onto her bed, put duvet on top and waited for the screaming at bedtime...

bananamam Sat 10-Sep-11 13:07:54

When I left home at 17 one of my flatmates had NO clue about washing ironing or cleaning because it was all done at home for her.

They are as good as adults and should be doing this for themselves IMO. You all live together and it should all be a joint effort?

What do I know kids are 2 and 4! grin I'll be on here in 10 years moaning too no doubt! 4 year old can sort light and dark loads, put powder in washing machine and turn it to correct setting. They Hoover and do all sorts....wishful thinking that it might last!

alemci Sat 10-Sep-11 13:50:13

Imperial I like it. Trouble is dd is out today working (helping with a party) and getting paid so she may not have time but I am going to start to do this I thik as it is getting ridiculous.

i do chuck stuff in their rooms

I think this slave needs to be emancipated.

ProfessionallyOffendedGoblin Sat 10-Sep-11 13:56:38

Be calm but relentless.
Don't get weepy and upset, they aren't going to like their totally comfortable lifestyle being changed.

Mulan quote 'No matter how the wind howls, the mountain cannot bow to it'
Be mountainous!

Dawndonna Sat 10-Sep-11 13:57:04

Mine are 16 and 15 year old twins. If the washing doesn't hit the washing basket it doesn't get done. As DS has a habit of leaving it piling up in his room, he does his own now. As for ironing, I do their uniforms, but other than that, they do it.
The older one is 26, he was dragged up the same way. His house is clean and tidy and his suit for work always immaculate. That's coz I made him do it when he was young.
I don't give pocket money unless jobs are done, and wait for this, coz I'm a real bitch, if the jobs are not done with good grace they lose money!
Works here!

ImperialBlether Sat 10-Sep-11 14:40:08

Alemci, tell her you're starting tomorrow. So if she wants a lift next Saturday, then she has to do the work for it during the week.

marriedinwhite Sat 10-Sep-11 15:02:45

hugs, hugs and more hugs. Mine are almost 17 and 13 and appear allergic to housework or any other basic household task such as putting away their own clothes and taking dirty cups/glasses to the kitchen; picked up 6 pairs of pants from their bathroom floor this morning, their rooms are like cesspits and apparently I nag. Know just how you feel - one day the little sh1ts darlings will realise how lucky they are. As DH said, DS has 24 months until he goes to uni - and we are counting and contemplating leaving London if he decides on UCL.

amicissima Sat 10-Sep-11 15:25:38

I don't iron for anyone over 16 (apart from DH as we have a deal).

If washing is in the bag I'll do it and lob any DC clothes in the general direction of their rooms when it's dry. Otherwise stuff stays dirty.

I don't rescue my DCs from their mistakes. If what they need isn't ready/available or is forgotten, they do without it. If they leave the house late, they arrive at their destination late. Thus they learn.

I cook for anyone who's in at the time. If anyone would rather eat something else or at another time they can provide for themselves.

I expect the bath to be cleaned after use and will haul the culprit out of bed to sort it if necessary.

I do clean DCs' rooms from time to time because I want my house to be clean. I pile up everything from the floor/surfaces on the bed and clean where I want. If they can't find stuff as a result that's their problem.

If I'm being a chauffeuse I expect to be asked nicely and thanked nicely. I will do it at a (negotiated) time that suits me, or not at all. In general I expect arrangements to be made with another family so that we drive one way and they the other. Ie, I expect it to be appreciated that a favour is being done; they know that the lift they take for granted will be the last one they get, regardless of moaning, begging, pleading, yelling, crying or anything.

I will not shout or fight about what goes on in the house, though I will listen, discuss and possibly change my mind if a reasonable case is pleasantly put to me.

Nobody's time or energy is more valuable than anyone else's, or their business more important. I make it clear we are a family and we all have to co-operate. I also expect everyone to be civil to everyone else no matter what bad stuff is happening, and apologies are expected if there is grumpiness or snapping, but I'll happily listen and give advice if I'm asked.

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Sat 10-Sep-11 15:29:50

My son has just moaned at me because he want fajitas and I have told him to do the 'bloody' shopping if he doesn't like my food. not good. not very pleased with myself.

Don't feel bad, you had a point!

Time to start getting your kids to do their own ironing and to take turns doing washing and washing up etc. Stop doing it all for them, you are danger of producing kids who can't look after themselves.

Mia4 Sat 10-Sep-11 16:09:21

Shopping wise, don't get him to do it because he won't get what you want. Instead make him cook his own meals and has to buy the stuff for it, if he moans-or he goes hungry.

As for the girls, i can't believe you are still doing that for them! I was living alone at Uni at that age and for the 2 years before i did my own ironing and washing and woe betide it if we left a mess. My mother just picked up the offending items and tossed them into our room, dirty and clean washing alike!

YANBU, they are. But you need to get into a routine of giving them a set time/day to do their own washing and if they don't do it or don't swap days the TTs. After having clean stuff get dirty by mixing with stuff you just chuck into their rooms, having messy rooms when their mates come over, having to cook for themselves if they moan and having clothes creased or dirty, they may actually pull their fingers out and help you.

I'm forever happy my boyfriend's mum did the same with him, that way he can pull his weight along with me now.

ledkr Sat 10-Sep-11 18:27:21

Its a nightmare,i had 3 boys at home at one point and the rows were ridculous,i was pussyfooting about in my own home as they got so cross if i suggested they do anything.The problem is when you dont do their washing they do theirs then go out and you end up pulling it out so you can use the machine,then hanging it to dry cos it stinks otherwise,then they would just use the drier even on a hot summers day,as for cooking yep great,they will cook the easiest thing to hand and if that happens to be the pork chops you had planned for sunday then so be it. Im afraid i encouraged mine to leave asap grin we are great now and they do their own chores.

marriedinwhite Sat 10-Sep-11 23:12:21

I have just forgiven him for everything. He has texted me from the tube on his way home to tell me he's two stops away and written "love you mum" smile

AfternoonDelight Sat 10-Sep-11 23:32:46

As soon as I was 16 I was responsible for my own washing and ironing. My mum cooked meals at a certain time and if I wanted something different/to eat at a different time then I'd have to do it myself (I always had to check it was ok though in case she was saving something for another meal).

Cleaning was done on a certain day and my bedroom floor had to be clear so that the hoovering could be done. If it wasn't clear then everything was dumped on my bed and left there.

I never really did "chores" per se at my mum's (always had to help with washing up) but did them at my dad's house at the weekends.

If you let them walk all over you and do everything for you then they'll find it harder if they go to uni/move out. A bit of respect wouldn't go amiss either!

MaureenMLove Sat 10-Sep-11 23:49:33

I subscribe to practically the same rules at amicissima. My main point being, that I work bloody hard all week too and Friday and Saturday is also my weekend and I will not run here, there and everywhere making sure everyone else is OK, before me!

They are well old enough, to start looking after themselves. You are not doing them any favours, by pandering to their every whim.

M is for Mother not Maid, is what I say a lot!

alemci Sun 11-Sep-11 11:54:30

its still difficult. I have done most of the ironing and ended up taking my dd to a party last night and I have picked both dd up from a sleepover. effectively 2 hours of my time.

YD has crashed out but ED is going to work so at least she pays her way and I don't have to keep giving her money. YD knows that she needs to get a job. There may be something in the pipeline. Both girls worked yesterday at a private function as a 1 off and then YD does babysitting so maybe that is why I have cut them a bit of slack this weekend.

I did say to YD about the repayment but she said she had done a couple of things in the week which were done very halfheartedly and then I got all the emotional crap thrown in.

I did go out which made be feel a bit better. I will be firmer in future though and I feel like I can stand back a bit more.

MaureenMLove Sun 11-Sep-11 12:13:54

Who's cutting you some slack this weekend then? You've been at work all week too. Don't you deserve a weekend?

They are both in 6th form, so they're not babies. Fine, picking them up at night, when it's dark, but collecting them both from a sleep over this morning. And the ironing Stop. Stop right now! I stopped doing DD's when she was about 14! If her clothes aren't ironed, so be it! No one will judge you, because they looked creased. No one judges parents of teenagers that look scruffy! They just empathize!

At 17 they really need to buck their ideas up, stop treating you like a door mat and wake up and smell the coffee! Everyone is flippin' tired at the end of the working week, but they still have jobs to do. That's life - get over it! grin

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