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DSs who don't help round the house

(26 Posts)
chocoluvva Mon 24-Sep-12 23:27:39

Sorry if this has been done to death - I'm fairly new to this forum - but WHAT is with all these mums who can't or won't let their DS's grow up and become independent?
What hope do they have of sustaining good adult relationships when their mums do everything for them after they've reached school-leaving age?
When I was 18 the price you paid for living at home and still having everything done for you was no freedom. DD who is not quite 16 is allowed to stay over at her 18YO BF's home, he never ever sees her unless he gets a lift, though he could get the train, it's usually at his convenience, he'll invite her round without notice but never accepts a spontaneous invitation from her and while she dreams and plans for her independence as soon as she can have it, she still seems to think his behaviour is okay. His mum goes on about how independent and tough she is, but mollycoddles her DS and exaggerates the slightest sniffle he has.
She sat with him in the car once while DD and I wondered why he wasn't at the restaurant his mum had booked for his date with DD because it was too cold to wait for DD at the door of the restaurant.
I despair. I really do. Why does my competent, capable DD think this is acceptable.

chocoluvva Mon 24-Sep-12 23:28:34


WofflingOn Mon 24-Sep-12 23:29:58

She's in Luuurrve. The more you are irritated, the more she will love and defend him.

chocoluvva Mon 24-Sep-12 23:31:44

I feel so annoyed with his mum.

amillionyears Mon 24-Sep-12 23:32:06

She is young.
If she is anything like one of my DDs,as she gets older,her taste in boyfriends will improve.
Also it seems to take a long time,years in fact,for boys to mature.
tbh,I dont personally know many mums like you describe,but I am sure they exist.

WofflingOn Mon 24-Sep-12 23:33:35

You've been annoyed with him and his mum since this relationship started, does DD still seem to be preferring their house to your home?

chocoluvva Mon 24-Sep-12 23:44:58

Amillion, really?
While the educated, reflective me thinks it's just awful to let boys (and girls, but it seems to be more commonly boys) carry on with no requirement to put anything into the home AND be allowed to have MY DD sleep over, I've got the impression that compared with quite a lot of mums I'm a bit harsh.
Eg, I've rarely made the DCs' beds for years and I make a distinction between giving them lifts to 'worthy' things (hobbies) etc and just socialising, but I think I'm in the minority.

amillionyears Mon 24-Sep-12 23:50:21

chocoluvva,I dont understand your "really" comment.really,to which part of what I wrote?

amillionyears Mon 24-Sep-12 23:51:30

If you are talking about chores,my DSs and my DDs did equal amounts of chores.Always.

chocoluvva Mon 24-Sep-12 23:54:29

Yes, Woffling, they do spend time here but more often at his.
Like the time in the summer hols that DD was invited there for two days and nights and BF decided he wanted to spend one of the afternoons doing his hobby, so his mum gave DD the choice of trailing about the local shops with her or staying at his home and helping his sister collate a photo thing of him for his forthcoming birthday party. How can she think that's acceptable? Is that not teaching him that it's fine to be selfish?

chocoluvva Mon 24-Sep-12 23:56:01

Why take pride in bringing up a boy to be useless?

WofflingOn Tue 25-Sep-12 00:02:29

You could equally ask yourself why you have raised a daughter that accepts this as a relationship, why she puts up with such an uninterested and seemingly immature boy?

'Why does my competent, capable DD think this is acceptable.?'
Indeed. Mine wouldn't.

chocoluvva Tue 25-Sep-12 00:02:43

Oh. I mean't I'm glad if you don't know many mums like the one I'm describing. Sorry.

chocoluvva Tue 25-Sep-12 00:04:12

Oh Woffling. What an awful point you've made.
I think she has low self-esteem and it is probably my fault for being too critical (like my mum was with me).

chocoluvva Tue 25-Sep-12 00:05:37

She's obviously willing to put up with a lot for having someone say sweet nothings and give her cuddles......

WofflingOn Tue 25-Sep-12 00:06:23

Sorry, but you have been very critical over a lot of threads about this relationship, so I think you might benefit by looking at your DD's attitude and worrying why she is so accepting of it.
Either that or he's not as bad as you think, their relaxed lifestyle suits her and it will all be fine.

BertieBotts Tue 25-Sep-12 00:10:49

My taste in boyfriends has definitely improved grin

You have to kiss a few frogs etc.

The thing is that his laziness or whatever won't be of concern to her now because she's never experienced living together with someone in a relationship so the issue of "who does the dishes and washes the socks" is probably totally off her radar. And even if she has thought of this it will be in a very abstract way because you just have no idea as a teenager what it's like to run a home and the amount of work that is involved! Also I'd have thought it's pretty unlikely that she'd associate a general lack of independence on his part with a "lazy husband" sort of mentality because, remember, she's in the generation that think they have equality sad that one comes as a bit of a shock. She won't see herself stepping into the "housewife/mother" role because it just won't occur to her that anyone still does that. And yet, she'd probably find herself doing it anyway because social conditioning tells women and girls that we are important if we're taking care of people (also the reasoning behind mums who mollycoddle boys) and that men don't see dirt/don't care about dirt and she'll be aware on a subconscious level that it will be her who gets judged if their house is untidy, even if she's only consciously aware that she cares what it looks like for visitors and he doesn't.

BUT - don't panic just yet. She's not yet 16 and it's rather unlikely they'll still be together by the time she leaves home, and even if they are if she's an independent type she'll get bored of doing everything before very long and then she'll know exactly what to avoid next time!

Still, if she's not planning on going to uni, I'd drum into her that it's a really really good idea to move into your own flat or somewhere with friends for at least a year or two before you move in with a partner, and never to move in with a bloke who's just moved out of the family home either. (I wish I'd listened to this hmm)

chocoluvva Tue 25-Sep-12 00:15:52

Thanks for your (challenging) advice.
There MUST be something wrong, as BF and his mum have virtually no friends.
I think DD must have been flattered by the attention of a slightly older boy and enjoys having a BF. I think it makes her feel grown up.
Interestingly she has commented on his mum making his and his older sister's bed everyday and said she doesn't think that makes her a better mum than me.

chocoluvva Tue 25-Sep-12 00:18:38

Crossed posts - that makes me feel a bit better, Bertie.
BF is very, very clean and pernickety!!!

suburbophobe Tue 25-Sep-12 00:25:17

So, it sounds like she is starting to notice already.

I think you should leave well alone though and let her find out for herself what kind of guy she wants to be with eventually.

BertieBotts Tue 25-Sep-12 00:30:15

Argh then he'll be even worse because he'll expect her to keep up the standards his mum has!

Still. I'm sure it won't last. (Make sure she's on triple contraception wink)

If you're worried you've been too critical why not have a heart to heart with her, and from now on make an effort to praise or mention things that you think she's done well, or you could write her a nice letter/card/photo book keepsake for her 16th birthday if you think she'd be too embarrassed (and I suppose it's better as she can look back on it in years to come too...) saying how proud you are of her and listing all of the amazing/incredible things that you admire about her or that you're proud of her for, I bet that would give her a great boost to her sense of self worth.

chocoluvva Tue 25-Sep-12 00:41:02

Aww, Bertie what a nice kind person you are.
I do praise her. She's exceptionally talented at her hobby, but as she goes to a specialist school she's one of quite a few and I praise her for doing good things and being pretty (I'm a total minger).
She's bright but has several friends who are exceptionally clever.
I sometimes tell her what a nice girlfriend she must be to have - so accepting etc, but that annoys her.
This has made me think that she maybe enjoys the company of her 'average' BF IYSWIM.

chipmonkey Tue 25-Sep-12 00:44:15

chocca, with respect, if you post this in feminism all you are going to get is another bunch of women all as baffled as you by this behaviour!

My Ds's all help around the house and most of the time it's dh who's doing the sergeant major act and telling them to tidy, clean, hoover etc. Actually my standards are fairly low, housework isn't my strong point so probably just as well it's not up to me!

And of course if you criticise him, your dd will get defensive and run straight into his arms.

Perhaps you could work on building up your dd's self esteem? And encourage her to keep up her friendships with her female friends, rather than allowing this guy to take up all her time? Because if she will listen to anyone on not putting up with crap from blokes it will likely be them she'll listen to, not you.

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 25-Sep-12 06:39:03

Baffled, but fairly familiar with it, surely? We must all have known young men like this and I bet most of us still do.

If she's annoyed at the idea she's a 'nice girlfriend' she is probably on the right track grin.

What happens when he comes over to yours? I had my little cousin and (similar, but slightly more consciously rude) teenager boyfriend over to ours a while back and it was the funniest thing to see him working it out when my DH got up to clear things up, and when we expected him to pitch in (he wasn't really there as a guest, we were putting them up so they could do stuff nearby).

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 25-Sep-12 08:48:11

Choco please don't say that you are a minger, please be nicer to yourself than that.

I haven't read your other threads so I'm sure there's more to it but does your DD see other female friends getting lifts, getting stuff arranged by their mums etc? If so she might see this as a "mum" difference more than anything else (eg I had friends at this age where the parents would come and pick us up after going out and parents who'd be happy for us to get the train or share a cab)

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