I am a long time MDC user -- but am posting under a different account to remain anonymous . I am a homebirthing, homeschooling, cloth diapering, extended nursing, cosleeping, attachment parenting mother of 3 girls. I, like most of you I suspect, have a fear that someone will call DHS on my family -- and we will be under scrutiny for our alternative parenting practices. And we read all of these horrible DHS stories here on MDC. It is a scary thought. So for me to be saying that I am considering calling DHS on my friend -- things are really bad. :( Please offer your thoughts -- without judgment if you are able. I am really torn in this situation.
The bottom line is that my friend's home is really disgusting. :( Now, I have 3 kids -- so there are days when the dishes pile up and I have 3 baskets of laundry on my own couch at the moment. So I am not talking about a messy house. I am talking about filth.
Here are some concrete examples: the floor is covered in rubbish and crumbs of food, the bottom of the refrigerator is dark black from children standing on it and reaching for food with filthy feet. The kitchen counter is covered in dirty hay (bedding from their various critters they have inside). The bathroom toilet is often backed up and rather than dealing with it, they leave it for days and days. The door handles are covered in sticky goo and I am afraid to touch them. The family almost always sleeps without sheets straight on a mattress. The bedroom is covered with piles and piles of clothes -- and the smell is really bad. I suspect there is mold or something growing on them. There are many rooms in the house with only cement floors -- including the bedroom. There are beer cans everywhere (and I can't help but worry about a little person picking up a can and slicing their sweet little fingers on them!). The working bathroom is beyond filthy -- I doubt the toilet has been cleaned in months. The toilet is black with filth and there is trash and clutter in the sinks. The tub is virtually unusable -- it is hard to imagine a child getting clean in there. There is dog food spilled on the kitchen counter and the floors.
Now, this is not a case of a poor family. They own a home in a rich neighborhood -- they probably make about 80,000 a year (about twice what my family lives on).
So these sweet little girls live in this environment! It makes me sad! Now, many friends of this woman have gone in multiple times and gotten things cleaned up -- only to have the house back in the same horrible condition only weeks later. Many of us have talked to her, given ideas about how to set up a cleaning schedule, offered to keep her girls so she could clean, and offered to help her clean. Her husband's family also lives in town and while they are appalled, they have kind of given up -- having done the same cleaning help that friends have done.
So the question is -- should I call? Would it make things better or worse? I can't stand the thought of these sweet little girls (who are good friends with my daughters) living like this. It really breaks my heart. Would DHS take the girls away if they saw the house? Because my friend is really an amazing mother -- she just really stinks at housecleaning. :( And I don't want the kids taken from her. But I wonder if this would be the rude wake up call she needs to finally make some changes.
Ok -- please give me your thoughts. I need some perspective here. Would you be appalled by this house? Would you call? Would you keep it a secret? Or fess up? Help please!