OP, I'm so so very glad to hear that your friend realizes she has a problem & has already made the decision to reach out for help & that her dr office worked her in so soon-- help w PPD is not something that should wait! I can't help thinking that your concern for her (although you may not have mentioned it directly, I'm sure it showed in many ways) was a catalyst for positive change on her part. You've helped this entire family more than you may realize.
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A friend's house is filthy, WWYD? Updated - Page 3post #42 of 653/19/13 at 6:53pmpost #43 of 653/21/13 at 6:39pmpost #44 of 653/21/13 at 8:10pmpost #45 of 653/21/13 at 10:12pm
I grew up in a home like that. It disgusts me to think about it. And whenever my home gets dirty it brings back terrible memories.
However, involvement from CPS was unlikely to improve things. Going into fostercare would NOT have been a better situation.
I'd say do whatever you can. Next time you visit bring some cleaning supplies and simply tell her you're going to clean up a little. Then explain why you're cleaning up and encourage her to continue it. Leave the supplies for her (out of the children's reach of course).post #46 of 653/22/13 at 2:10pmThread StarterWe are headed there this weekend to do some cleaning. She agrees that she needs the help, and was very grateful that we reached out to her.
She seems to think we are going there to help her declutter, which needs to be done. However our first priority is to get the place sanitary. We had planned on starting with the kitchen and bathroom, then coming back in a week or so to tackle the clutter. She went out and bought a bunch of furniature for the "new room makeover". Stuff that she found on Pinterest. I also don't know how much she actually wants to get rid of.
Her DH is also really mad that this is happening...so I'm not sure what the day will bring. I'll update once the weekend is over...looks like our work is cut out for us!post #47 of 653/22/13 at 2:43pmpost #48 of 653/22/13 at 6:39pmpost #49 of 653/22/13 at 9:03pmpost #50 of 653/22/13 at 10:12pmpost #51 of 653/23/13 at 2:31amThread StarterApparently he doesn't want anyone going through and purging any of his things. She doesn't want to tell him that if he would just help her out it wouldn't be this bad, because she didn't want to start an argument...it sounds like he doesn't think things are that bad, either that or he is really embarrassed that this has to even happen.
She seems to be doing well, she told me that for the first time in months she has something to look forward to, so that is good. I think we still plan to declutter, but one of us will take the bathroom and maybe get started on the kitchen because we don't need all 4 of us doing one room. Her DH is going to be there, and in my opinion needs to be helping, but it doesn't sound like he will be.post #52 of 653/24/13 at 8:13ampost #53 of 653/24/13 at 8:46amOr maybe after an extended period of feeling "abandoned" by her dh and left to shoulder the burden of housework, cleaning, and decluttering on her own she has simply given in to the feeling of being overwhelmed by it all. But now that she has some significant, motivated, "fresh" help to tackle this huge task she is feeling motivated and excited herself?post #54 of 653/24/13 at 9:21amQuote:Originally Posted by kitteh
Or maybe after an extended period of feeling "abandoned" by her dh and left to shoulder the burden of housework, cleaning, and decluttering on her own she has simply given in to the feeling of being overwhelmed by it all. But now that she has some significant, motivated, "fresh" help to tackle this huge task she is feeling motivated and excited herself?
That's true and a good point.post #55 of 653/24/13 at 9:42am
I definitely agree that her excitement--an maybe more so her focus on the decluttering aspect and buying new furniture etc over cleaning up the filth and making the house more sanitary for herself and her children--seems misplaced. But hopefully this is the kickstart that she needs to feel better about her space and herself. And perhaps once she sees the space as it OUGHT to look, she might be better equipped to maintain it? I hope so.
I grew up in a household with 7 children and a very overworked, under-appreciated step-mom who received little to no help from my father (actually, his presence probably just made things worse!) And while we never had feces on our toilet or mice in our home, we did live in near-constant chaos with dirty dished strewn everywhere and clutter++ and piles of dirty laundry next to piles of clean but unsorted laundry all over the place. I hated it, but that experience has taught me how easy it is to become overwhelmed by being the only one in charge of household duties, and also how easy it can be to become sort of desensitized by clutter and chaos. If you are so used to seeing it every day, you kind of STOP seeing it, you know? It just becomes the norm, and suddenly seeing the space the way it "ought" to be can be awfully eye-opening.post #56 of 653/24/13 at 12:38pmpost #57 of 653/24/13 at 2:49pm
To preface my impressions here's a bit of my backstory.
My dad is an awful hoarder, and if it wasn't for my mom we would have lived in filth. He instilled a fear of purging belonging in me that is really hard to shake.
I've suffered from PPD and just plain depression. I'm dealing with ADD or an ADD-type thing.
My father, aside from being a hoarder, was very abusive.
Purging helps my home to stay cleaner. Once I've gone through and done a purge it's easier to apply myself to the day-to-day cleaning since I'm not frantically trying to stem the clutter. This mother trying to purge may be trying to get on top of things. Once she has a house to be proud of it may be easier for her to keep it clean. I know it helped me a lot.
If she lives with a hoarder, and it sounds like she does, it makes it hard to do anything with the house. She needs to figure out her relationship with her husband if he is a hoarder. Why won't he let her throw anything out?
I don't know what her childhood was like, but I know what mine was like. It takes a lot of my energy to treat my children better than I was treated. My children and their well-being it always my first priority, but that takes so much energy when you're fighting so much internal rage. Often my housekeeping slips in order for me to be a better mother. Depression certainly adds to this, because I have even less energy. Her kids are at that stage where they need sooooo much mother interaction, I see how it could be quite easy to let the house slide.
Her house is filthy, that's true. It shouldn't be like that. But, come one ladies! We're always talking about how much community is important for our mothering. Let's get off our high horses and help another mother. Stop judging and start realizing that everyone is not like you and that's okay. And it's okay to help each other.post #58 of 653/24/13 at 4:37pmpost #59 of 653/24/13 at 6:09pm
I don't know about other places, but here in Ontario Canada CAS will not take your children for a filthy home.
My sister suffers from mental health issues. She has a VERY filthy home. Sometimes it is just filthy, and sometimes it is so dirty that it should really be condemned. She has had CAS in her life for many years. They worried when she sisn;t take her kids to school. They worry when she won't let them out of her sight or have any independence. They worried a bit about the mess, but more so because it was a manifestation of her mental health, not because it was unhealthy.
They would offer her parenting classes. They would suggest cleaning. But it wasn't a pre-requisite for her keeping her children.
And my sisters home was WAY worst than what this woman's sounds like. Dishes piled up and so dirty for so long that they were mouldy. Food spilled on the floor and not cleaned for weeks. Cat litter so over flowing that the cat wouldn't even go near it. Etc, etc, etc.
So yes, great that you can help a friend. And hopefully it will help. But I do not think that CAS will take her kids. But CAS may have help in the form of parenting classes, recommend therapy that could help, etc.post #60 of 653/24/13 at 8:40pmQuote:
Oh, interesting. Honestly, I wouldn't purge any of his things, I probably wouldn't purge her things either, unless she had gone through them already and told me which things I could get rid of. I've tried to help someone organize/declutter once, as a paid job, and it was an exercise in futility. She really wanted to save every tiny scrap of crumpled paper and seemed to think I should know how to organize it. I thought I would too, because so much of it could be thrown away, but she wouldn't let me do that. It's easier when it's not my stuff.
Hopefully you can at least go through and clear out some of the excess toys. Good luck to you!
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