Author Topic: (almost) DIL and her 5 kids are living with us and she's lazy and very dirty  (Read 3458 times)

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Offline PFORTE

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Help!  My son, husband and I are at our wits end as to what to do about his fiance'.  She is the dirtiest, laziest person we have ever met - and we've met plenty of others!!  My son and her moved from PA back to NH and are living with us while they get on their feet and save for a house.  She has 5 kids, 2 of which are his, so it was a big adjustment to add 7 people and 2 cats to our household of 3 but we were happy to help.

Since they've been here in Jan the situation has only gotten worse.  My son got a job immediately and is working 40-50 hr weeks as are myself, my husband and our other son. She refuses to look for work and when forced has a never ending supply of exscuses why it won't work out. She refuses to do anything around the house to clean and we're used to things being basically picked up, and clean. Clutter is no issue for me - filth I can't handle. There's constantly her hair and eyebrows and I don't know what else all over the bathroom sink/drain, she has swept exactly once in almost 4 months and never vacuumed. One of the boys has sever allergies and pet dander makes it really bad, but that doesn't matter to her.

The kids are 15, 9, 7, 2 and 4mos. She ONLY pays attn to the baby. The other kids are cared for by each other or my sons, husband or self.  The baby is used as a convenient excuse to not do anything else. She has the best breast pump they make but refuses to use it. She sits her wide arse on my couch allll day and is on her iPhone constantly on facebook, pinterest and those types of sites.

I have tried asking her directly, asking my son, making schedules etc and she still does nothing. He asks her to get something done during the day (maybe wash his work clothes) and she always forgets or runs out of time or something. She is sweet as can be when you ask her to do something, smiles, agrees it needs doing and then acts like it was never asked. On the few occassions where she is basically forced to do something, she waits until the baby is miserable, hungry and overtired, then makes him super uncomfortable (cold or over heated or laying on a hard floor), and proceeds to clean or whatever with him howling at the top of his lungs.  Which, of course, upsets the entire household.

My son owns a house in PA and part of moivng up was so that it would be empty and could sell quicker. Now she's wanting to go live in PA for the summer so ppl will leave her alone.

We help out as much as we can - i make the meals 5 of the 7 days, and clean as I go. We are footing the bill for everything. She gets food stamps, but keeps them for top-shelf junk food, ice cream, stuff I won't buy because most of us are overweight in the first place (and I have type 1 diabetes so that's a no no for me).   She will sometimes stack the dinner dishes in the washer and she sometimes does the kids' laundry (though usually the 15yr old is tasked with that) but that's about it.  The kids all have chores and get grounded if they don't do them, my son is always busy helping my husband with projects around the house and getting ready to start college etc.

What to do with someone who passively refuses to do anything???  We end up going out more and more to avoid dealing with her, but then we miss the kiddos. Oh - and the kids are the BEST behaved children ever. They're so neglected that ANY attn is eagerly received.  She isn't overrun with the kids, that's for sure!

She NEEDS to get off the couch! Whether it's go out and get a job and off of assistance (she's refused offers) or fine - stay home - but then clean, shop, plan meals etc and take care of ALL her kids.

At our wits end!
« Last Edit: April 30, 2014, 09:09:34 AM by luise.volta »

Offline Pooh

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Welcome Pforte.  When you get a moment, please read the posts under "Open Me First" for the forum rules.  Nothing wrong with your post, we ask all new members to do this.

My you have your hands full.  Ok, I so get this only mine wasn't as bad.  She only came with herself while she was pregnant and a baby for 4 months after while my Son was deployed.  I totally understand your frustration as I had to deal with her not doing anything around the house to help either.  You have a much bigger problem with 5 kids and animals.

Here's what I ended up doing.  I toughed it out because I had an end date.  I knew she would be leaving at a certain time so I just toughed it out.  Now, that being said, there was a part 2 to what I also did.  I didn't offer to let her stay with us this time.  Because I agreed the first time, not knowing that she was going to be totally lazy, I left it alone.  This time, she hinted and fussed about staying with her family and I just nodded and told her that must be really rough.  It lasted a month and she decided she couldn't stay with any of her family and went back home.

I hate it because I would have got to spend time with GS and new GS, but I wasn't about to subject myself to the stress again.  And yes, it was stressful because even though I toughed it out, on the inside I resented that she wasn't pulling her weight.  They are married, they chose to have kids, they need to figure it out....not me.

I know you are trying to help them, but I would give them an expiration date.  As in, "Hey, if the house hasn't sold in the next 30-60 days, you really need to think about moving back in it or finding somewhere else to live."   That was the only way I could not get angry at her and cause a scene because I knew it was temporary.  And don't let your Son off the hook either and lay the total blame on almost DIL.  He should also be stepping up and helping if she's not going to.  She is his responsibility, not yours.  He may be working, but if he's allowing her to disrespect your home, he's just as guilty.  He needs to be working out the issues with her, not you.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2014, 11:10:39 AM by Pooh »
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline PFORTE

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Thanks Pooh.

The problem with the ultimatum is that he can't afford them all on just his salary, to stay in NH. If he goes back to PA he would have to quit his job (he couldn't find work for 6 mos there before - no reason to think it's better) and then he's worse off.

He has no issue holding her responsible, and has talked to her lots of times about it, but it's like nailing jell-o to a tree. She says YES YES YES! But doesn't DO anything.  He's a former Marine and so 'not' working is something he/we have no real experience with.

Is there really no way to get her to understand that she has to grow up?  Any daughters in law care to comment what would work if you were in this situation?  What would cause you to lift a finger vs not?

Thank you!
Patty


Offline luise.volta

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Welcome, P. - We are a moderated Forum. I modified your language in a couple of places as outlined in the Forum Agreement.

My take on your situation is just my own perspective. I would not open my home the way you have unless mutual respect was factored in. I would see myself as making a contribution to DS's desire to save money...in turn they would be required to contribute to the food budget and home upkeep. They are adults, not dependent children. In the circumstances in which you are involved, since you have not been heard, I would be presenting an ultimatum...here's what has to change and be maintained or you will be evicted on the first of the month after you break your contract. Being related in my world does not preclude being a responsible and respectful adult. It's time for them to face the consequences of running over you roughshod and for you to see how you are enabling that.

You ask Pooh if theres a way to get her to understand that she has to grow up. Why would she?  She gets to have life on her own terms and DS's holding her responsible is of no interest to her. Neither does she find your generosity interesting. No growing up is required. She's running the show.

It's up to them, again my view, to sell the house...and find a way to manage life. It's not easy. but it is necessary.

« Last Edit: April 30, 2014, 04:41:03 PM by luise.volta »
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline confusedbyinlaws

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PFORTE,  You are a much more giving an patient person than I am.  I agree with the advice you have here from Luise and Pooh too.    I have found for myself that every time I allow situations or say yes to things that are good for another person, but not good for me, that it ends up causing me to feel angry and become a person I don't want to be, and it seems you are not happy with the situation. And I don't blame you!  I fear that over time, you will become more and more angry with the situation.   Taking in your son's fiancé and 5 kids would be very stressful for anyone, even if she was helpful and respectful.   Like Luise said she has things on her terms and why would she want to change that on her own.  You can't make her change but you don't have to allow it in your home and if it were me, like Luise, I would have to give and ultimatum and mean it.  I was particularly struck by her passive-aggressive behavior.... being all sweet when you ask her to do something and then not doing it or waiting until the baby is miserable so that everyone would have to listen to the baby cry while she cleans. 
It's great to be a generous person and many of us like to be generous with our children, but like Luise mentioned, you are enabling her to continue to be this way.  I have learned that there are some people who wouldn't take advantage even if I would allow it, but many are not like that and it's important for my own well-being to look after my self and not feel guilty with those type of people.  I sort have taken the you take care of you and I'll take care of me approach with those type of people and that works for me. 

Offline jdtm

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I have found for myself that every time I allow situations or say yes to things that are good for another person, but not good for me, that it ends up causing me to feel angry and become a person I don't want to be

confusedbyinlaws - what an eyeopener!  That's me - trying to please everyone and then when everyone is "fine", I will try to please myself.  Guess what - it's not working!  I have never put myself first, thinking that when this worked out and that worked out and so-and-so got back on his feet, etc., then "it would be my turn".  Guess what - my turn hasn't come yet - until today.  I won't be selfish, but I won't be a doormat or a problem-solver or feel guilty any more.  No one (except my husband and mother) has ever put me first.  I count too.  Thanks confused ...

Offline luise.volta

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Beautiful! :D
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline Pooh

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Is there really no way to get her to understand that she has to grow up?  Any daughters in law care to comment what would work if you were in this situation?  What would cause you to lift a finger vs not?

Thank you!
Patty

Well, I guess I still qualify because although I'm an MIL, I'm also a DIL.  My answer would be I wouldn't be in this situation.  If I ever found myself in a situation where I was having to rely on the generosity of others, you can bet I would be bending over backwards cooking, cleaning, mowing, laundry...whatever needed to be done to show my gratitude. 

My opinion is you can't make someone grow up, they have to want to do it on their own or be through enough hardships in order to gain maturity with their years.  If they haven't had to figure things out on their own and are always relying and expecting others to do for them, they may never grow up.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline confusedbyinlaws

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Is there really no way to get her to understand that she has to grow up?  Any daughters in law care to comment what would work if you were in this situation?  What would cause you to lift a finger vs not?

Thank you!
Patty

Well, I guess I still qualify because although I'm an MIL, I'm also a DIL.  My answer would be I wouldn't be in this situation.  If I ever found myself in a situation where I was having to rely on the generosity of others, you can bet I would be bending over backwards cooking, cleaning, mowing, laundry...whatever needed to be done to show my gratitude. 

My opinion is you can't make someone grow up, they have to want to do it on their own or be through enough hardships in order to gain maturity with their years.  If they haven't had to figure things out on their own and are always relying and expecting others to do for them, they may never grow up.

I am also both a MIL and DIL, but have had more difficult issues as a DIL.     I am grateful that I never had to live with my inlaws after I was married because I believe that would have been hell for me and probably not great for them either.  But if forced to, I would never have behaved this way.  I agree with Pooh.  As long as she can rely on others to do for her she probably won't change.

Offline PFORTE

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And another option arose that I never even considered ...

I had asked my son's fat6her for advice as well since he's a mgr and used to dealing with "problem people".  He had a frank discussion with my son, who again spoke with the fiance'  evidently her hearing it from a 'removed' source was enough (or perhaps she read this forum).  But in any event I'm pleased to report that things have been better. I don't have to hound her to clean up after themselves and generally care for her family.  Phew!

Thanks for all your encouragement.  We are going to give it some time and then address an 'end date' as I still think that's important for everyone's sake!

Offline Pooh

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That's great!  Now, even though it's not your responsibility and she should have been doing it all along, I would be sure to praise her work.  Let her know how much you appreciate her efforts.  Sometimes positive reinforcement is enough to make someone continue the good behavior.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline confusedbyinlaws

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I have found for myself that every time I allow situations or say yes to things that are good for another person, but not good for me, that it ends up causing me to feel angry and become a person I don't want to be

confusedbyinlaws - what an eyeopener!  That's me - trying to please everyone and then when everyone is "fine", I will try to please myself.  Guess what - it's not working!  I have never put myself first, thinking that when this worked out and that worked out and so-and-so got back on his feet, etc., then "it would be my turn".  Guess what - my turn hasn't come yet - until today.  I won't be selfish, but I won't be a doormat or a problem-solver or feel guilty any more.  No one (except my husband and mother) has ever put me first.  I count too.  Thanks confused ...
I have functioned this way too.  This is one area where I have made a lot of progress in recent years.  I felt like I was being to selfish at first and still have to remind myself that I don't have to take responsibilty for everyone else's feelings.  I don't want to get what I want at someone else's expense, but I also don't want everyone else to get what they want at my expense.  I have always tried to live but the Golden Rule and treat others how I want to be treated.  Well I don't want others to do things for me if it's not what they want to do or if they feel resentful about it later.  My daughter told me during a conversation "No one wants you to do things for them if you are going to feel resentful about it later"  So in a way being a pleaser and doing things you don't want to do to please others isn't living by the Golden Rule.  Does that make sense?
I have found that I give more freely and lovingly to my loved ones  rather than begrudgingly since I have made this change.  I am glad this was helpful to you

Offline confusedbyinlaws

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I am so glad things are improving PFORTE!     

Offline Pen

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Yay! And I agree with Pooh - to keep it going, make sure you praise her (but subtly, not in a patronizing tone, lol.)
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Pooh

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And THAT is the catch!  :)
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell