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My child's father reported me to DHS - Page 3

post #41 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenP View Post
We've got all the no-no's; no beds in kids rooms, cat box in the living room and kitchen, dirty dishes, compost bucket in the kitchen, clutter clutter everywhere, dirty laundry, baskets of clean laundry, fridge nearly empty (we generally buy some stuff each day to make dinner.) And the bathrooms are not particularly clean either.Jen
This makes me nervous just reading that.
post #42 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenP View Post
Hopefully there are no replies because she has jumped into action and has the house ready for a visit!
This. She hasn't signed on since last week. So I am hoping she has been super busy cleaning cleaning cleaning!
post #43 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post
This makes me nervous just reading that.
Really? You mean, nervous for me? It's just a typical messy house of a busy family with young children, like so many of my friends' and neighbors' houses, both now and as I recall from when I was growing up. It's really not dangerous or disease-ridden, if that was your worry. And everyone does have a bed (they are all just in the same room.) I think the difference is, we are very affluent and live in a fancy neighborhood, there are no ex's or anything like that, so CYS is not crawling up our bum. That is the sick part - people who make less money (so they need food stamps) or got divorced (and have a vindictive ex) all of a sudden get held to a totally different standard and have people crawling all up in their private life with a clipboard of completely arbitrary standards and the power to ruin lives if there's a pair of dirty underwear on the floor.
post #44 of 134
There was a wonderful thread on here a while back about a mommy who kicked butt getting her house cleaned up very quickly after her kids were taken, does anyone remember this thread? It is very motivating. I will try to find it but if anyone else is more computer savvy, please link to it.

Anyway, I agree with the previous posters, it sucks that you are in this situation but you need to get it done. I am so sorry you are going through this.
post #45 of 134
I don't know how to do a link to another thread but if you put the word squalor in search you will find it. It is a thread by Lisa Lubner called "State Took My Kids, need immediate advice." It is very long and I know you don't have time to read all of it, but just get the feel of it. I know you haven't lost your kids but this will help you see that you can do it...she did it in one night I think.
post #46 of 134
This is the thread several were thinking of:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...072&highlight=
post #47 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenP View Post
Hopefully there are no replies because she has jumped into action and has the house ready for a visit!

I keep thinking about this thread. It is so absolutely sickening that DHS bases everything on APPEARANCES!!! I mean, you can be verbally and psychologically and even physically (if you are sneaky) abusive to your kids, but as long as the laundry is put away and there's a bed in every room, they leave you alone, like everything is fine. But have a home filled with love and caring and learning and all that good stuff, and they can snatch your kids away if you happen to be a slob. That is SO SICK!!! They are just reinforcing this whole sick twisted idea in our culture that all that matters are appearances. I really take this personally because I am a slob, big time. Yeah, sometimes the clutter gets to me, but we usually find it more important to read or creates something or walk in the woods or visit family. Housework can wait. I'm just super-lucky no one vindictive has called in a complaint or my kids would be gone in a second. We've got all the no-no's; no beds in kids rooms, cat box in the living room and kitchen, dirty dishes, compost bucket in the kitchen, clutter clutter everywhere, dirty laundry, baskets of clean laundry, fridge nearly empty (we generally buy some stuff each day to make dinner.) And the bathrooms are not particularly clean either. It is just so sick that people can be punished, and punished SO SEVERELY, just for not placing housework above family. The only way I knew to get my house presentable when the kids were toddlers was to sit them in front of the TV for a few hours!
Okay, enough ranting about the unfairness of it all. Obviously everyone here KNOWS that!!! I was just surprised to learn just HOW stringent those standards are and it makes me so mad.
But the bottom line, like so many have already said, is, unfair or not is not important. Right now that IS the system, that IS the reality and you gotta jump through their stupid hoops no matter what it takes. And then when you get them off your back you can see about prosecuting the ex!!!! (Maybe get some of those threats of physical violence on tape? In addition to him calling in false reports on you?)
I wish you all the best of luck and hope it goes well, OP!!!

Jen
I am in the same position you are JenP I cant remember a time when every dish was clean or every piece of laundry was put away. I only have 2 bedroom so only dd has her own room. Ds still sleeps in ours but in his own bed. I have 4 buckets of clean laundry sitting in my living room right now that need to be put away but it will probably be a day or 3 before it gets done because I have to do a lot of running over the next few days paying bills and taking care of grocery shopping and getting my SUV fixed where my tire blew out and messed the fender up etc. There is always something going on around here that takes up time from doing housework. Then when the kids get home I want to spend time with them because we dont have that much time after school.

Since I am the only person in this house out of 4 people who does any house work I cannot keep up. I have tried my hardest and worked myself into a state of panic so many times trying that I have decided my mental health is at stake if I dont let some of that tension go. I have tried all the neat tricks 15 minutes of working on one area. Works great until an hour later when it is messed up again

It scares the crap outta me knowing that if a Dr. took issue with me not vaxing or if someone called in a complaint I would loose my kids. That is the main reason that I dont have people in my house other than the il's and my parents. I cant risk loosing my kids just to socialize.
post #48 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tradd View Post
This is the thread several were thinking of:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...072&highlight=
Thank you Tradd!!
post #49 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenP View Post
Yeah, sometimes the clutter gets to me, but we usually find it more important to read or creates something or walk in the woods or visit family. Housework can wait. I'm just super-lucky no one vindictive has called in a complaint or my kids would be gone in a second. We've got all the no-no's; no beds in kids rooms, cat box in the living room and kitchen, dirty dishes, compost bucket in the kitchen, clutter clutter everywhere, dirty laundry, baskets of clean laundry, fridge nearly empty (we generally buy some stuff each day to make dinner.) And the bathrooms are not particularly clean either. It is just so sick that people can be punished, and punished SO SEVERELY, just for not placing housework above family. The only way I knew to get my house presentable when the kids were toddlers was to sit them in front of the TV for a few hours!
this is extremely judgmental of people who keep a clean house. are they placing housework above family? really? i know some fantastic parents with messy homes, and fantastic parents with freakishly clean homes. personally, i'm messy by nature, but working very hard at keeping a neat and clean house. i feel better, and my kids feel much better, when it's clean. lower stress, sleep better, play better, can find everything, always have clean socks, etc. and we can have people over without completely stressing out. i don't think it's terrible to let kids watch some tv, and even a 30-60 minute video is long enough to get a lot done! involving kids in household chores is really important too, imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post
I am in the same position you are JenP I cant remember a time when every dish was clean or every piece of laundry was put away. I only have 2 bedroom so only dd has her own room. Ds still sleeps in ours but in his own bed. I have 4 buckets of clean laundry sitting in my living room right now that need to be put away but it will probably be a day or 3 before it gets done because I have to do a lot of running over the next few days paying bills and taking care of grocery shopping and getting my SUV fixed where my tire blew out and messed the fender up etc. There is always something going on around here that takes up time from doing housework. Then when the kids get home I want to spend time with them because we dont have that much time after school.

Since I am the only person in this house out of 4 people who does any house work I cannot keep up. I have tried my hardest and worked myself into a state of panic so many times trying that I have decided my mental health is at stake if I dont let some of that tension go. I have tried all the neat tricks 15 minutes of working on one area. Works great until an hour later when it is messed up again

It scares the crap outta me knowing that if a Dr. took issue with me not vaxing or if someone called in a complaint I would loose my kids. That is the main reason that I dont have people in my house other than the il's and my parents. I cant risk loosing my kids just to socialize.


it would only take an hour to put those clothes away. i don't understand how you can be too busy because of bills, groceries and getting your car worked on. everyone has to do stuff like that on a very regular basis. and are your kids both in school? so you have . . . the whole day? or even just a few hours kid-free if your younger one is in half-day kindergarten. i'm not scolding you, but i just really don't understand how you can not accomplish basic housework. are you also working outside the home?

i do understand valuing the time you have with your kids in the evening and wanting to spend that time with them. however, when you are the only person who does housework, that's a problem. quality time does come in the form of working together as much as playing. i don't feel guilty about cleaning during the time i get with my kids (woh ft) because we're doing it together! and it doesn't take long on week days to make beds, throw laundry in the basket, tidy up toys, wash dishes . . . it sounds like a lot, but each thing only takes in the range of 5 to 20 minutes. i save the actual cleaning for the weekend, but even then, they help. they help clean the windows, dust with a feather duster, they love to clean the bathroom tile, they would like to sweep but haven't quite mastered that skill. and when kids take pride in a job well done, and have had the experience of enjoying a tidy space, they won't trash it 15 minutes after you clean it up, and if they do, then they need to clean it up.



i know it's not easy to keep up with the house, and it's probably also not easy to hear this, but there is one other thing i feel like i have to say. if you think having someone in your house might cause you to lose custody of your children, then the act of inviting someone in is not the point where you are taking the risk. you are taking the risk by having a home that is in that state. i say that gently as someone who has been there. what happens when you need something repaired?
post #50 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenP View Post
Really? You mean, nervous for me? It's just a typical messy house of a busy family with young children, like so many of my friends' and neighbors' houses, both now and as I recall from when I was growing up. It's really not dangerous or disease-ridden, if that was your worry. And everyone does have a bed (they are all just in the same room.) I think the difference is, we are very affluent and live in a fancy neighborhood, there are no ex's or anything like that, so CYS is not crawling up our bum. That is the sick part - people who make less money (so they need food stamps) or got divorced (and have a vindictive ex) all of a sudden get held to a totally different standard and have people crawling all up in their private life with a clipboard of completely arbitrary standards and the power to ruin lives if there's a pair of dirty underwear on the floor.
I think that I'm "affluent" (relatively) and live in a pretty affluent neighborhood and I don't know anyone whose house is like that. I'm the messiest person I know, but I definitely do the dishes every night before bed, and I think laundry is the easiest thing to keep up with so long as I keep on top of it.

For anyone feeling overwhelmed my laundry, my FlyLady career was short, but doing 1 load of laundry a day has definitely been something I've stuck to and it makes it so much easier. It takes less than 5 minutes to put away 1 load of laundry... it's only when I get behind and have 4+ load taking up my whole bed that it takes forever.
post #51 of 134
Laundry is tough for me too. Because I have to hang everything cuz my dryer is broken. I work full time and in the evening I spend my time with the kids. So laundry is usually a Twice a week habit. Mine during the week and kids on the weekend when I can take a load to the laundrymat. And that's only because I don't have enough hangers to hang theirs.
post #52 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledutch View Post
this is extremely judgmental of people who keep a clean house. are they placing housework above family? really? i know some fantastic parents with messy homes, and fantastic parents with freakishly clean homes. personally, i'm messy by nature, but working very hard at keeping a neat and clean house. i feel better, and my kids feel much better, when it's clean. lower stress, sleep better, play better, can find everything, always have clean socks, etc. and we can have people over without completely stressing out. i don't think it's terrible to let kids watch some tv, and even a 30-60 minute video is long enough to get a lot done! involving kids in household chores is really important too, imo.





it would only take an hour to put those clothes away. i don't understand how you can be too busy because of bills, groceries and getting your car worked on. everyone has to do stuff like that on a very regular basis. and are your kids both in school? so you have . . . the whole day? or even just a few hours kid-free if your younger one is in half-day kindergarten. i'm not scolding you, but i just really don't understand how you can not accomplish basic housework. are you also working outside the home?

i do understand valuing the time you have with your kids in the evening and wanting to spend that time with them. however, when you are the only person who does housework, that's a problem. quality time does come in the form of working together as much as playing. i don't feel guilty about cleaning during the time i get with my kids (woh ft) because we're doing it together! and it doesn't take long on week days to make beds, throw laundry in the basket, tidy up toys, wash dishes . . . it sounds like a lot, but each thing only takes in the range of 5 to 20 minutes. i save the actual cleaning for the weekend, but even then, they help. they help clean the windows, dust with a feather duster, they love to clean the bathroom tile, they would like to sweep but haven't quite mastered that skill. and when kids take pride in a job well done, and have had the experience of enjoying a tidy space, they won't trash it 15 minutes after you clean it up, and if they do, then they need to clean it up.



i know it's not easy to keep up with the house, and it's probably also not easy to hear this, but there is one other thing i feel like i have to say. if you think having someone in your house might cause you to lose custody of your children, then the act of inviting someone in is not the point where you are taking the risk. you are taking the risk by having a home that is in that state. i say that gently as someone who has been there. what happens when you need something repaired?
Yo!!! I am NOT judging people who keep clean homes as "putting housework before family." I was merely saying that FOR ME, to keep my home to the type of standard outlined in previous posts that is apparently needed to get CYS off your back, yes, it would require ME to move housework up in my priority schedule; up past things that to me are more important to our family. Speaking about ME and MY family, not judging anyone else.
But WHOA!!!! do I feel judged by the rest of your post! Taking me to task for not keeping my house clean?? Hey, you know what, I'm not making any excuses, either. I COULD keep a spotless home if I prioritized it. I do not. We clean as WE feel is necessary for US to live happily. We are quite happy, we have clean clothes to wear every day, we have nutritious meals on clean dishes every day, we are almost never ever sick, so who are you to give me advice on how simple and easy it can be to clean my house??? It is OUR LIFESTYLE CHOICE. WE ARE HAPPY. WE LIKE THE CLUTTER. And, I do invite people over. Frequently. No one has ever batted an eyelid. I just tell them to kick stuff out of the way if they need to, and they say, "oh, you should see our place."
I'm glad you have a system that works for you and that you are happy with the cleanliness of your home. We also have a system that works for us and we too are happy with the cleanliness of our house.
As you pointed out, there are great parents with messy homes and great parents with freakishly clean homes.
Let's also realize that there are LOUSY parents with messy homes and LOUSY parents with freakishly clean homes.
In other words, the quality of parenting has little to do with how clean your house is. It is just a personal choice of lifestyle and priorities. And who is CYS to dictate our personal choices like that? (I mean, short of an ACTUAL dangerous or seriously unhealthy situation.)

Jen

And really, the whole point of my first post was just to offer support to the OP, to let her know I feel for her and for how unfair the system is.
Please let's not all get sidetracked from that.
post #53 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post
That is the main reason that I dont have people in my house other than the il's and my parents. I cant risk loosing my kids just to socialize.
Jen, I think she was responding to this post.

Its not yours but it is very scary. If children cannot have playdates or friends in because the house is too messy.. then something really is wrong, there.

Please mcatlover, get some help!
post #54 of 134
I get the reason why the OP needs to get the laundry put away- CPS is scary and petty sometimes.

But I don't really get the rest of the attitudes toward laundry. I do laundry when I feel like it. It's very low on my totem pole. It's not a safety issue, as long as we all have clean clothes to wear. Diapers get washed in an almost timely fashion, since that involves poop. But, otherwise, for someone who does not have CPS beating on their door, what does laundry matter? Assuming it's in a basket, or in a closet, or at least in a corner, and not taking up the whole floor like on hoarders. I mean, yeah, if it's so old that it's mildewed or hiding roaches or something, then that's bad. But, my slightly overflowing laundry basket just doesn't concern me. The clean laundry stacked on the futon next to the dryer in the basement concerns me even less.
post #55 of 134
Quote:
That is the main reason that I dont have people in my house other than the il's and my parents. I cant risk loosing my kids just to socialize.
I agree with pp that this is a problem. Either there is an irrational fear, or there is a big problem with basic, safe housing for the children.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post
Since I am the only person in this house out of 4 people who does any house work I cannot keep up.
I'm reading your siggy--one of your children is 10? Why can't the 10 yo clean? My dd is 9, and she knows that she needs to clean her room (and any messes she left in the shared spaces) before she can invite over a friend. In fact, that is her BIGGEST motivation to clean!

The OP, too, has older kids (teens, IIRC). The teens should be part of the solution for two reasons: the help make the mess, and they need to learn how to keep a home clean and organized.

I hope the OP is cleaning like mad, and we hear a positive outcome soon.
post #56 of 134
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
OP I am wondering if you are reading this thread.

you have not replied even once.

i am concerned and hope things are going well for you.

i just wanted to let you know you and your family have been on my mind and i keep checking for updates.
The house is just part of my problems in dealing with life. I can't handle the stress this man puts me through. I have been telling him for 2 years that we need help, that I can't deal with him for 18 years.

I had a breakdown last night and got rid of all my kids so I can have peace in the house. I told the baby's dad to take her and get the hell out of my life so I can stay alive for my 2 older kids who need me (even if they sleep at their Dad's). I told the CPS lady there are no kids in my house, so there should be no reason for her to come. Baby's daddy is freaking out a little, falling all over himself to help me and back pedal(money is not important!! Whatever you need!!You're a good mother!!She needs you !!! She needs you more than she needs me!!), but I need to heal first. I'm not in my right mind. And he wants to talk, but I need to rest first. I will probably be getting counseling. I spent several days in a mental hospital after a suicide attempt 10 years ago when my ex-husband took the kids. He gave them right back, it was a control thing.

I'm not going to sign custody over to him or anything else like that while I'm so distraught.

I think the solution should have been for him to put her in day care 2 days a week and let me spend that time working on my house in peace. He said that was good, but DHS was already on the way and we couldn't stop the train.

I don't work well under pressure. I know I can do it if I can spend the time. It is important to me to do it myself and to do it right.

Thanks for all the good advice. Please pray.
post #57 of 134
I am one of those horrible mothers that puts on a DVD for her kids while she cleans.

Honestly, I don't feel bad about it. Watching a movie for an hour while I clean up isn't going to kill them and I think it's important for them to have a clean, tidy home.

I also think it's good for them to see me getting on with life and doing the things that need to be done.

Because I keep on top of it, it really does only take me about an hour a day. I pick up the toys at the end of the day and run the vacuum round, while they're in the bath at night and do a final sweep before I go to bed at night and then the house is all clean and tidy for when we get up in the morning.

I definitely don't need to spend all day cleaning and still get to spend lots of time with the kids.
post #58 of 134
It sounds counterintuitive, but my house has gotten more under control and cleaner with each kid. My very basic discovery has been that doing a little here and there is so much easier than trying to play catch up.

If I make sure the dishes are done and the kitchen clean before bed, I don't start behind.

If I actually do the laundry before I need it, there is no stress involved.

I make a habit of mopping every couple days and sweeping or vacuuming daily.

Toys are picked up before every snack, meal, nap, or sleep.

My eight year old is responsible for putting her own things away.

Have. Less. Stuff. (Seriously, if you can't manage this, the rest is so much harder.)

OP- I hope things are going well for you. I'm so post-traumatic from my experience that I do swing to the extreme of being a little obsessive- but it works for us.
post #59 of 134
OP, we cross posted. It sounds like you are in a really bad place at the moment and it definitely sounds like you need help.

I too suffer from depression and know what it's like to feel overwhelmed by everything. Luckily I have supportive friends and family who help me out when I need it.

It sounds like you do need some time away from your kids but please don't make it too long. I'm really glad that you're thinking clearly enough not to sign over custody. Who knows, maybe your ex finding out how hard it is to care for a little one while get him off your back. I just really hope that he doesn't use this against you.
post #60 of 134
To the OP...I'm so sorry you're feeling this pain right now. Being overwhelmed by housecare is really difficult to deal with when you have a house full of kids. I hope your dd's father feels bad enough to kick in some funds so you can get help decluttering and cleaning and get a day or two to yourself. I have resorted to those nasty 5 hour energy drinks when I need to accomplish a ton. They don't make me feel sick later.
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