Radical Unschoolers Who are Messy: but Hate Criticism - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, first off, I want to say that I'm not assuming that all RU parents are messy like me. Also, I don't want to imply that I never ask my children to help me around the house, or that they're never willing to. They usually help -- sometimes on their own, sometimes in response to being asked, and sometimes they don't want to for some reason, and I go ahead and do whatever on my own, if I care to have it done.

So ... our messy house isn't messy because I'm "too scared" to ask my kids to do anything. I'm sure they'd think about helping way more, if I were the kind of mom who thought about cleaning more. Cleaning (apart from the basics of keeping up with laundry, dishes, and bed-making -- for comfy sleep) is just usually kind of an after-thought to me.

Mess often piles up 'til it bugs me enough to tackle something. And then, doing just one room or part of the house makes me feel so good, I'm satisfied and relax for a while.

Enter dd, age 7, and her need for friendships. I think most girls dd's age have some awareness that you don't just walk into someone else's home and start critiquing everything. At least, my dd does. I recall that when she was 5, she told me (when we were home alone), "You know, so-and-so's house is even messier than ours!" And I said, "Well, if you say that to them, it's liable to hurt their feelings," and dd said, "Mommy, I'm not stupid! I'd never tell them that -- I'm just telling you!"

So, one of dd's friends (age 6), who dd loves playing with, comes from a large family with a very neat mama. This mama (a good friend of mine) can't stand clutter, and they have an extensive chore-chart, and the kids frequently have to miss out on fun stuff as a consequence of not getting their chores done.

One of our mutual friends has older children, and therefore has had more contact with the older children in the "neat" family, and she says they're all very openly critical when they come to their house (because it's not as neat as theirs), to the point where her own kids don't enjoy being with them that much.

Dd's little playmate used to just seem happy to come play -- but now she's starting to become very critical, like her older siblings (and it works best for most of dd's long playdates to take place in our home, because our dd isn't as comfortable going places without me or her dad for long periods, whereas all of her friends seem happy to come over here for a whole day or an overnight stay ... the long playdates also work best because of our current transportation situation).

Anyhow, if it were one of my friends coming in and critiquing, I'd be happy to show her to the door -- but since dd loves playing with this little girl, and it takes so much time to cultivate these friendship (and dd is always expressing a need for more friends, and even has a good friend who's moving away), I feel like I need to accept her friends as they are, not be mean because they're getting into my space and being rude.

I guess I just need help with boundary-setting that's kind enough that the child doesn't feel totally rejected.

The little girl came the other day -- and when they headed to dd's room she announced, "Your room's messy! I don't want to play in there."

Dd said, "Well, the whole house is messy, so what do you want to do?" (The mama had said she didn't want her dd getting her clothes muddy, and our yard was very muddy from the melting snow, so outdoor play was out). The girl eventually overcame her revulsion enough to play with dd -- but asked me some pointed questions, as in:

Her: Why don't you make your dd clean?

Me: That's really our business -- just as I don't come to your house and ask your mom why she makes you clean, because that's your mom's and your business.

Her: Oh ... well, my mom always makes us clean and that's why our house is always clean.

Later she came into our family-bed room and asked, why is it messy in here?

Me: Because it's messy.

Her: Oh ... does your baby make a mess?

Me: Sometimes she does. (Girl, looking puzzled, goes off to play.)

Maybe I should respond to all this curiosity by sharing my beliefs about children being able to choose, or maybe I should just say, "We have other interests besides just cleaning all the time ... I'm glad you're happy with the way your family does things ... each family does things differently and that's okay."

So ... I'm pondering what to do if it comes up again (and I don't see any reason to believe that it won't: this child seems totally clueless about what my dd learned early on -- almost by osmosis: that sometimes you can just observe that people are different, without critiquing them directly, or giving them the third degree).

I'm probably guilty of reverse-snobbery here -- but I certainly don't think these children's attitude is created by growing up in a clean home, and I also know that their mom (my good friend) is not at all the sort to cut people down behind their back (she's too busy cleaning, ). It's not my job to figure out where it's coming from, or why it seems to get worse with age, rather than the children getting more discreet as they get older and gain more experience of life and diversity.

Even though I know it's not my job to analyze, I guess it's just second nature -- and I think I may have figured it out: Just as I find it hard to understand why these children walk into houses and start critiquing/questioning their hosts if things aren't as neat as they're accustomed to (and seem to do it more, not less, as they get older and more mature) -- apparently they just can't wrap their minds around the idea that other families do things differently. So they keep giving people the third degree, in their attempts to understand.

I don't know why they lack this ability (to make room in their minds for messy people) -- but since I think learning tolerance is a good thing, it's probably good for me to learn to be more accepting of people like this, people I used to ditch in my other life (my pre-kids' life).

Also, the mom is a good friend (totally non-critical and tolerant of my messy house) who once expressed concern, to me, that her children all seem to develop an attitude that they aren't going to make the mistakes other people make, and they are always going to live their lives perfectly. She doesn't like it, either. So she's certainly not trying to create it.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#2 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 12:41 PM
 
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It sounds like her mother is telling her things like they have to keep the house clean so that others are comfortable and want to come and play. If her mom is making cleaning up and controlling clutter seem like an absolute necessity then it's understandable that she is having trouble understanding why you don't do those things. I think her questions about why you don't make DD clean are much like a schooled child's questions about why your kids don't have to go to school. Yes, they are sort of rude, but she is only 6 and it really sounds like she is trying to wrap her brain around how you do things. Most parents don't phrase things in a *our family does things this way* but in more of a *this is how it's done* way. I'm betting she's rather taken aback that everyone doesn't do things that way, especially with cleaning since a lot of families will clean up when expecting company (not a criticism of you, just an observation as to why it may not have come up before).

I know when my daycare kid first started coming here I got a lot of questions (and yes criticism) about the things we did differently and she was 8.

Can't explain the older kids though
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#3 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 01:11 PM
 
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I completely understand what you're saying and have the same things come up often. I'm learning to smile and nod more and let things roll of my back where they would have previoulsy made me privately upset for a long time.

I'm sorry that I don't have anything to add, I just wanted to make sure you know you're not alone.

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#4 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 01:16 PM
 
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I'd just look over it. All families are different. Plus, you can't really hold it against a child when they comment a certain way. I love an honest kid, I don't care what they say as long as it's not meant to be bullyish or totally nasty and mean.

I actually like to keep my house neat and clean but every day it isn't that way, just depends on my mood for cleaning on any particular day. But for the most part, I want a clean house. I am in a better mood when it's clean and prefer to clean it in the morning first thing before anything else gets done. : )However, I never make my kids think it has to be clean or to feel like they should say something to someone if they go in their house and it isn't as clean as our house is. In fact, if I knew they do that I would want to know so that I could get on to them for being so rude.

My 5 yr old DD did comment to a relative last year when we visited their home. She said something to the effect that their kids rooms were messy (and they were, they were TEENagers,lol) and that their kitchen needed to be swept and that she could do it for her if she wanted her to. I was mortified. It embarrassed me to no end that she would say such a thing! first of all we don't require our kids to clean any part of our house. If they want to clean they can, but that's that. So my DD didn't say she wanted to sweep because "I" make her do it at home. Heck, I don't even sweep. I vacuum a few times per week, that's it. But "I" do the cleaning around here. and secondly, my DD is a very honest kid that loves to talk about anything and everything and the fact that she said something about their messy house wasn't meant in a derogatory way. She's just a chatty-Kathy. AND DD was just pointing out the obvoius. PLUS, that mother had been telling her all along that her house was a mess as she walked us through the house to show us around, so my DD was just really repeating what she had already heard from the other mother.

I wouldn't let it bother me if she said something. This thread got me thinking. We have a porch that needs repairing that is at the entrance to our house and no one can step foot in to our home (adults) without commenting about our messed up porch. It's embarassing and it ticks me off when ADULTS point the porch out to us when they first visit our house, as if we didn't know we had issues with it already. It just makes it seem as though it "bothers" them. They don't have to live here so why comment on it. A kid can say anything they want to me, but adults are the only ones who tick me off when they make such rude comments.

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#5 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 01:23 PM
 
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I liked your response where you said something like "we have a lot of other things we like to do besides cleaning" and maybe you could add something like "we're comfortable with our house the way it is." I would keep anything you say to the kids all about *you* so there are no comparisons. Only if criticism continued would I go deeper, but then I would address the criticism itself, not the degree of cleanliness of your respective houses.

I might bring mom into it if it got uncomfortable for you or your dd, because the issue really is more about judgement and criticism than it is about how clean your house is.
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#6 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 01:23 PM
 
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I am not instictively tidy either and although we do tidy up for visitors it is often only so that there is somewhere to sit and if downstairs is tidy it is because the mess has moved upstairs :

We had a friend over the other day with her dd who loves to dress up and role play with our dd and when they were ready to go home she said to her dd 'I hope you haven't made too much of a mess up there' and do you know what she replied 'Its already really messy up there!'

We have only 2 bedrooms and dd shares with us and our 16mo so it is not 'neat as a pin' in our room by any means. I laughed but I was a bit taken aback. Her mum is a neat freak by her own admission and doesn't even like lego mixed with action figures in toyboxes and it is possible that we are the only untidy people she knows.
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#7 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 01:26 PM
 
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I might bring mom into it if it got uncomfortable for you or your dd, because the issue really is more about judgement and criticism than it is about how clean your house is.
That's what I was trying to say in my post. I wouldn't like it if my DD commented and would want to know about it.

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#8 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's what I was trying to say in my post. I wouldn't like it if my DD commented and would want to know about it.
Well, my friend has been made aware before that her kids sometimes say rude stuff to others. Her response (on the one occasion when I was there) was, "I'm sorry! You know kids, they just say exactly what they think with no editing."

I certainly don't feel she should punish her kids or anything. If my child were rude to someone, I'd simply talk with my child and try to help her see how her remark hurt the other person. And maybe she does that: who knows what my friend says to her kids in private? But the impression she gave, on the one occasion when I saw her respond about this, was that other people just need to get used to how blunt kids are.

So I'm just guessing that since the criticism seems to get worse over time, that maybe she doesn't feel a need to have conversations about it (and with her very large family, it seems unlikely that she'd remember it for very long, and if she didn't deal with it at the time, it just wouldn't get dealt with). Maybe she thinks her kids will figure it out on their own eventually, and maybe they will. Or maybe they're happy as they are (just as we're happy in our messy house).

Yeah, I understand that sometimes kids will just blurt out comments like, "Wow! What a mess!" The other day, though, it just didn't seem like she was blurting stuff out: it felt rather pointed. I understand what the pp was saying about how apologizing about your messy house, can sometimes give people the impression that you're opening the subject up for them to add their own comments. I've realized that, which is why I usually don't make any kind of apology for my house.

I certainly don't want to lose my child any friends ... so if it comes up again I'll probably just try the line of different families doing things differently.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#9 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And I appreciate everyone's support and good advice! I'm glad I'm not the only one who sometimes deals with this.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#10 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 02:57 PM
 
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Why not just say "Cleaning isn't our priority. We are too busy making fun messes!"

Soon you'll be the most popular house in town!
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#11 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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I have delt with a similair situation. But in my case the mother was there when her child made the rude comments to my child (over and over again, ugh). The mother chose not to say anthing to her child and I was put in a very uncomfortable position. I really didn't know how to respond to the situation so I just told my dd I was sorry and then discussed it with her later. I have no problem telling my kids to stop it if they are making rude comments though and yes I actually do expect other parents to do the same.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#12 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Why not just say "Cleaning isn't our priority. We are too busy making fun messes!"
I like that idea!

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#13 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 05:03 PM
 
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I can so empathize with you!

I wouldn't use that line, however, because you don't want to make *her* feel bad either. I'm sure there's more to their lives than cleaning (even if we messies don't completely buy it). I think I'd just say, "we're happy with our house the way it is. I know you love your home and I love mine too."
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#14 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sheacoby, I'm sad that you went through that!

I'm wondering if maybe one of the reasons my 7yo seems more accepting of differences, is that we've been doing things very differently ever since she was born. So she's grown up with an awareness, for instance, that most kids sleep separately from their parents and don't remember what breastfeeding is like.

And as we've moved into radical unschooling, she's become quite aware that her friends either go to school or do school-at-home. She's the only child she knows who can decide whether she wants to do something or not.

And even though we don't make our girls sit down for meals, and we don't necessarily eat at the table, dd is used to us eating in other people's homes, and in going along with whatever the rules are for the children in that family (it's not that she has to: we could leave if dd were uncomfortable -- but since she's always happy to be with her friends it's never been an issue). I've simply presented it as, "Your friends might feel left out to see you up playing while they're still having to sit at the table."

Sometimes I've felt guilty for not modeling better housekeeping habits for my girls: After all, we live in a society where most people either have a clean house, or perpetually apologize and cringe for having a messy one. While I've occasionally heard someone berate herself for being "such a neat freak" -- I don't really hear people apologizing for having a clean house (it's way more common for the person with a clean house to apologize for it being "such a mess.")

But now I'm thinking that being comfortable with who I am is the best value to model. My girls are always growing, and I know my toddler's not always going to be so enthralled with pulling everything out of its place and throwing it all into heaps on the floor or down the stairs. So at some point, it will be easier to establish more of a semblance of order --

And yes, I do enjoy when things look nice ... it just seems like picking up is such a battle when it's all going to be dumped so quickly. Still, picking up from time to time enables me to sweep up the dust and debris, or vacuum the carpeted areas!

But I don't think the fascination with mud is going to end any time soon ... so while our stuff will get more organized, we'll probably still end up with tracks and pieces of mud all over the place ...

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#15 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 05:06 PM
 
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I have delt with a similair situation. But in my case the mother was there when her child made the rude comments to my child (over and over again, ugh). The mother chose not to say anthing to her child and I was put in a very uncomfortable position. I really didn't know how to respond to the situation so I just told my dd I was sorry and then discussed it with her later. I have no problem telling my kids to stop it if they are making rude comments though and yes I actually do expect other parents to do the same.
this happened to me once, only my son made comments about a messy house in general to the room. It was more of this exclaimed observation to everyone! He made a couple comments and I was mortified. I had never passed any type of judgment like that behind the moms back or to my children. I think he wasn't meaning to be rude, more of making an observation. I had no clue what to say when he did it except respond that we weren't exactly neat freaks either. Then when we got home I discussed manners and keeping comments to ourselves if they might not be considered polite. In my son's defense, he had no clue exclaiming to the entire room how messy the house was might be considered a rude statement. In his mind, he was making an observation (even if it sounded rude). We'll probably discuss it a couple more times to make sure it cements in his mind because it really was mortifying to be the mom with the child making the comments!

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#16 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 05:27 PM
 
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That doesn't sound out of line for a 6yo at all.

If your house is messy, it's messy. It seems unfair to get down on a kid for telling it like it is! Although I would also talk to mine about politeness later.
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#17 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can so empathize with you!
Thanks!

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I wouldn't use that line, however, because you don't want to make *her* feel bad either. I'm sure there's more to their lives than cleaning (even if we messies don't completely buy it). I think I'd just say, "we're happy with our house the way it is. I know you love your home and I love mine too."
Oh, I'm sure there's more to their lives than cleaning -- and they may not spend as much time looking for missing stuff!, which frees up more time for fun. But how is saying, "We're too busy making fun messes!" an implication that they don't do anything but clean?

I will say that this particular friend has told me how much her girls love coming over (two of her older girls used to also come until they got a little older and no longer connected as much with dd): my friend said they don't get to paint and do messy stuff at home, because she just doesn't have time to deal with the mess.

So it's not like I'm saying, "We're too busy having fun!" (which might seem to imply that they have no fun of any kind) -- I'm just talking about "fun messes" -- which they're not generally allowed to make ... so I'm not saying anything inaccurate. They get to have fun that's not messy ... we get to have both kinds of fun -- and they get to have a house that's "always clean" (in the words of the 6yo).

Am I being too petty, in wanting to emphasize the positive aspects of our lifestyle, to someone who seems to just be seeing (and talking about) negatives? While I realize some children just ask lots of questions out of interest and curiosity -- the way this girl was talking SOOOO came across to me as "Our way is better than your way... you're such idiots for living like this."

And my dd was having to hear this cr@p. I know I shouldn't feel a need to prove, to myself, that it's okay to do live in the way that makes us happiest. But I don't want my dd to start feeling inferior. Sure, if she wants to get things cleaned up before this friend comes again, I'll be glad to help her. And I'll be glad to help us to have a cleaner house if this ever becomes a goal for either of my children.

But I'd just like for dd to feel good about the fact that we get to play in the mud and make other messes -- and yeah, some other people may have more perfect-looking houses, but we're getting to do some things we really enjoy. I'm not saying neater people can't have messy fun in their homes, too. For instance, I once met a family with a brilliantly clean house, who had one room set aside as an art room, where their child could make all the messes she wanted to make, and they didn't worry about cleaning up in there, it was just a fun room.

But most of the people I know with brilliantly clean houses (who also have children) manage it by limiting what their kids can do in the house.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#18 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 05:40 PM
 
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Just as I find it hard to understand why these children walk into houses and start critiquing/questioning their hosts if things aren't as neat as they're accustomed to ... apparently they just can't wrap their minds around the idea that other families do things differently. So they keep giving people the third degree, in their attempts to understand.
Yes, I think this is true. I've had two kids comment on my house. One did it once and I invited him (with a smile) to join me in cleaning it. He never did, but he also never mentioned it again and continued to practically live at our house, so it couldn't have bothered him all that much, lol.

The other child just seems to have the idea that the way things are done in his family is the ONLY right way to do them. He will often advise me of how I "should" do certain things (cleaning, caring for our dog, food shopping, etc.) My standard line with him now is, "I guess we just do things differently than you do them at your house." That seems to stop his comments. Well, for that day, anyway!

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#19 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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meowmix -- what your son did doesn't seem offensive to me. Like you, in such a situation I'd talk with my child about how such remarks can sometimes hurt others' feelings, but I wouldn't assume he was doing it to put others down. There've been times when a very small child has commented about my mess, or told me my thighs were fat (it happened when swimming, I don't normally display my fat thighs!) -- and I just took it as a very small child making an observation.

I can't exactly put it into words -- but dd's friend's comments just felt more like intentional criticism, like she was really saying, "We're better than you!"

Still, she's just a kid ... dd really likes her ... and her mom is a very nice person as well. So I know I need to be the grownup here.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#20 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Deleted post, cause I decided I was being sexist -- in my surprise that SagMom's had a similar experience with -- gasp -- a boy!

Why should I be assuming that girls are more likely to critique than boys?

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#21 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 06:05 PM
 
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-- and I just took it as a very small child making an observation.

I can't exactly put it into words -- but dd's friend's comments just felt more like intentional criticism, like she was really saying, "We're better than you!"
I think that is a lot of personal baggage to put on a 6 year old!
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#22 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think that is a lot of personal baggage to put on a 6 year old!
I think it would be, too! It's a good thing I'm discussing this here, with adults -- and not with the 6yo, huh?!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#23 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 06:50 PM
 
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As Eleanor Roosevelt said: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
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#24 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As Eleanor Roosevelt said: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Yes! And no one can make my dd feel inferior without her consent -- so I just need to keep feeling good about myself, and responding with that "feel-goodness" to any criticism that rares it's ugly head, and quit worrying that dd will start feeling like she's "less" for living in a messy house.

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#25 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 06:58 PM
 
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I think it would be, too! It's a good thing I'm discussing this here, with adults -- and not with the 6yo, huh?!
That's why we're all here, right? :

And I meant 'attribute' more than I mean 'put on'. I know you're not saying anything inappropriate to the child, I was afraid you're thinking she's thinking things she is not. Kwim? I can barely read my dh's mind and I've know him forever...some little kid...well, I'd proably suck more at it.
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#26 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 07:06 PM
 
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haven't read through all the posts...

I am glad you started this thread, OP, b/c I have been going a little bonkers over the weekend about this very topic. Well, except no one is bugging me about the house but...ME!

I am NOT messy, but my house can be sometimes. I get so tired of picking up toys that will be spilling onto the floor in 20 minutes anyway. The hardest part is there is so much stuff and no closet to put it in, so things can be put up when guests appear. I would love a closet with lots of shelves and bins so the kids could still get their things out and play with them, and then when it's cleanup time, everything could "disappear". Sigh. Someday.

I like order and tidiness. I am not a fanatic. But if I have a shoe shelf, I like the shoes in a row, not a pile. I like to put things in their places so I can find them again, and I like my bed made during the day.

Now, I am one person. I happen to live in a home with a wonderful husband who's idea of organization is a pile. Yep, and throw in a 5 year old and a 3 year old, it gets messy. They help in small ways, and it's nt toal chaos, but it's not my idea of a well-ordered home, either. But I think someday, when I have less preschool age kids and more teens it can be nicer. Or is that just wishful thinking??


I grew up with a messy home, my mom being a tired SAHM with 8 kids and a DH who worked constantly to provide for us. I remember resenting the state of disorder our home was in. I asked my mom for chore charts so we could all keep the houseclean--I was always cleaning bathrooms and floors and tidying up when people came over. Not that it was barely a dent. I loved my friends' clean and orderly home--it was so nice to be in, compared to being at my home! Her family all were expected to pitch in and rotated jobs. I was embarrassed when she would come over and immediately offer to vacuum the crumbs from the couch or whatever, though.

Now, I understand that my mom was lucky to grow her kids up and out and remain sane. It was a miracle we ever ate off clean dishes and I hold nothing against her.

What bugs me the most, and I know b/c I vowed I would never have a house like the one I grew up in...messy ...is that if someone walks into a messy house, one sometimes assumes the people who all live there are messy, or messy/lazy people. This is not true in my case. I used to have a little saying on the wall about how we value relationships over tidiness, and you've probably seen them too.

These days, I just say, "step over the things in your way. We've been busy with projects lately, the house is clean beneath the layers of wonderful things we are doing". Most of all, I know being a mom is much more important than being Martha Stewart and I try to ignore those shocked expressions that appear from people who never grew up in or are not used to a messy home.

But some days, I just wish IKEA would deliver a home organization kit and that I could somehow get our home in beautiful order. The saga continues...

Just think, you are modeling for this girl who is your dd's friend a home different than her own...you are helping her learn a bit about diversity, LOL.

I have a good friend who comes over so our kids can play. She homeschooled her oldest DD, 1st grade age, for a few weeks before enrolling her in school again. Keeping her home spotless and decorated is top-priority to her, and whenever this friend comes over, I catch her cleaning my stove-top or loading my dishwasher.

Sometimes I just join her and wash a few dishes and thank her for her help, and other days I just ignore it. She just wanst to help, and sometimes I think it's what helps her to be comfortable in my home, so I let it be. She has her own opinions and beliefs about how a mother should keep her house, she doesn't know my whole story, and she is entitled to her opinions anyway. So I don't try to change her mind anymore. I hope she can accept me for me, and I will continue to accept her for who she is.

Don't know if any of this is helpful, just do your best and let your friendliness shine through

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#27 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 07:11 PM
 
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Yeah, the keeping your DD feeling confident is important. Did she say anything? Is she bothered? If so, how does DD feel about your house? Would she like help keeping her room clean or does she need to practice some comeback lines about the fact that she is OK with her room?

I guess I'd make sure she actually has a problem first. And then if she does, find out how she wants to handle it, since this is really between her and her friend. My suspicion is that right now it's bothering you more than her, but that might change as she gets older. On the upside, as she gets older she'll be more and more equipped to work out a balance she can live with between messiness and neatness.
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#28 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 07:15 PM
 
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What bugs me the most, and I know b/c I vowed I would never have a house like the one I grew up in...messy ...is that if someone walks into a messy house, one sometimes assumes the people who all live there are messy, or messy/lazy people.
Interesting. I think they assume the *women* in the house are slobs. I've never felt like anyone put judgments about our house on DH, but I do feel like those judgments get put on me. And while I am a messy person, I am not solely responsible for the mess around here!
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#29 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 07:21 PM
 
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Interesting. I think they assume the *women* in the house are slobs. I've never felt like anyone put judgments about our house on DH, but I do feel like those judgments get put on me. And while I am a messy person, I am not solely responsible for the mess around here!
Yeah, I think that could be true, too, that folks assume that moms are supposed to keep everything spick and span on their own all the time, right?? Oooh, bad, bad mom! She MUST be popping bon bons and watching soaps all day, right!?

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#30 of 51 Old 01-28-2008, 09:58 PM
 
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I'd just tell her that she's being impolite.
or
"I'd never come into your home and say unkinds things to you, so please don't come into our home and say unkind things to us."

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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