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Help! DM needs to clean her house! How do I broach this?

(30 Posts)
missgrainger Sun 16-Jun-13 18:51:09

My DM is very well turned out, make up done, hair done, well dressed. Her house is neat and tidy but gawd it's just not clean. She doesn't change sheets, clean dishes properly, clean sinks etc. We don't live close by so don't visit very often, when we do I have to grit my teeth if I'm stayong over. I'm not fussy or overly clean myself, but it's getting worse and starting to make me cringe and avoid staying. My children don't notice (I'd be worried if they do). DM is late sixties, very fit and very busy. She has a new man on the scene...this may put him off!! Am I being an absolute beatch? Tell me if I am. How to broach the subject sensitively?

KittensoftPuppydog Mon 17-Jun-13 10:35:27

Not really Eddie. My mother never had a washing machine in her life, and was from an era when we weren't as paranoid about germs and didn't have all the products we have for getting rid of them. Most people from her generation and class wouldnt dream of having a bath every day but this is now common practice. To be honest, I'm including myself in the 'older people' camp. I think people are a bit hysterical about dirt.

Startail Sun 16-Jun-13 23:01:02

You don't!
I loved visiting DMIL precisely because she had a life and didn't spend her whole time cleaning.

eddiemairswife Sun 16-Jun-13 22:58:34

'older people have different hygiene standards'. Really? How patronising.

mrsjay Sun 16-Jun-13 22:29:27

She has 20-20 vision! She just laughs her head off about the cobwebs in the corners like it's a great big joke.

Wel I just think life is for living and not to worry about cobwebs if she is healthy and happy id leave her to it or you could clean it for her

mrsjay Sun 16-Jun-13 22:27:54

IS her eyesight ok maybe she just doesnt see the dirty marks I have an uncle with a tidy but a mucky house just here and there , anyway if you feel she is slipping then tell her does she live alone maybe she thinks life is to short to care <shrug>

xylem8 Sun 16-Jun-13 22:24:53

If you think she is physically and mentally capable, then it really is none of your business.She has every right to live the way she wants to!"

joanofarchitrave Sun 16-Jun-13 22:17:40

If she's anything like my mum, she's spent over 50 years enslaved to housework. Enough - let her live the way she likes. If it puts the bloke off, he could perhaps do the cleaning, she might be OK with that.

Nanny0gg Sun 16-Jun-13 22:13:46

*It is your business. It's your mum. If its getting worse it might be a symptom of something else. I'm sorry I don't really have advice. I used to just turn up at the weekend and re wash up everything in the cupboards.
Older people seem to have different hygiene standards, but the getting worse is something you need to keep an eye on, along with the rest of her behaviour.
Here's hoping she's just having a really good time and hasn't noticed.*
If someone just turned up at my house and cleaned it without my agreement, as I'm not in my dotage - and nor is the OP's mother by the sound of it - I hope they wouldn't expect thanks.
Because that's the last thing they would get.
And I really take offence at Older people seem to have different hygiene standards.
I've met plenty of slovenly younger people in my time too. Cleanliness is down to personal preference, not age.

Talkinpeace Sun 16-Jun-13 21:13:06

I work all over, sometimes in people's houses.
One place I work, the owner does not have a vacuum cleaner.
Her carpets curve up at the walls
the walls in the bathroom are covered in mould.
Her house. Her choice. She's bright and happy but chooses not to clean.

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Sun 16-Jun-13 21:04:17

Disengage. It's not your house or life.
My mum's house is a mess. It used to wind me up no end. I used to go and clean and tidy, scrub the kitchen and work through the piles of post. And the next time I visited, it would be back to square 1 (in fact, proably untouched since my last visit). So now I avoid visiting and if I do, I just don't engage anymore. Its her choice how she lives.
And if people start to avoid visiting? That's your mum's choice.

KittensoftPuppydog Sun 16-Jun-13 21:00:42

It is your business. It's your mum. If its getting worse it might be a symptom of something else. I'm sorry I don't really have advice. I used to just turn up at the weekend and re wash up everything in the cupboards.
Older people seem to have different hygiene standards, but the getting worse is something you need to keep an eye on, along with the rest of her behaviour.
Here's hoping she's just having a really good time and hasn't noticed.

parakeet Sun 16-Jun-13 20:53:00

This is none of your business.

Rowgtfc72 Sun 16-Jun-13 20:37:52

My dad is 76 and lives alone. His house needs a damn good clean and it smells funny - as does he. I would feel very awkward mentioning this too him. Luckily he goes away at least once a month for a night and I go round and clean. I just tell him Ive hoovered and he says thanks. What neither of us mention is his kitchen and bathroom are presentable again. If the smell gets worse I will mention it though.

Talkinpeace Sun 16-Jun-13 20:28:07

it is none of your business

carabos Sun 16-Jun-13 20:26:00

My DM is the same. She's a busy, newly retired former senior professional in her field, she's signed up with the OU to do yet another degree, she's active in politics, she cares for my 95 yr old and GM and my 10 yr old nephew.

She's always been like this and the house has always been a filthy hovel. I hate it, but I don't have to live in it now. As an adult I can understand that housekeeping just doesn't make it onto her to do list, and its NOMB.

missgrainger Sun 16-Jun-13 19:14:14

I know it's up to her but things would be so much better all around if she woke up and smelt the Pledge. Decided I'm going to get my older DS to tell DM straight, as she's hard-faced enough, and I'm a coward. Thanks Mumsnetters!

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 16-Jun-13 19:07:59

x-post.

it really really bothers you, doesn't it? grin

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 16-Jun-13 19:07:20

Well then, she obviously doesn't care and since it's her house - that's up to her.

It's also her problem if people are put off coming to her house because of it.

missgrainger Sun 16-Jun-13 19:07:03

What about this for an idea - I send her away with new loverboy for a weekend. And I employ cleaner! She may not notice but years of dirt are wiped away and dysentry risk to DCs is reduced - result!

TidyDancer Sun 16-Jun-13 19:06:26

Compared to my friend who lives in a house even Kim and Aggie would shy away from, your mum's house sounds like a palace.

Some people don't care about this stuff.

missgrainger Sun 16-Jun-13 19:03:17

She has 20-20 vision! She just laughs her head off about the cobwebs in the corners like it's a great big joke.

Tortington Sun 16-Jun-13 19:03:04

get her a cleaner £10 for one hour a fortnight.

if she is like the rest of us, she will clean beofre the cleaner gets there

yu might think this is therefore a waste of money

but it is not

what do you want - a tidy house

if you get a cleaner - even if SHE cleans before hand, is the house clean?

yes.

well then, you have your desired result

PoppyWearer Sun 16-Jun-13 19:01:38

X-post!

PoppyWearer Sun 16-Jun-13 19:01:22

Could it be an eyesight thing? Maybe ask about her eyesight, if she needs a test....we noticed this with DH's grandma, she couldn't see the dirt and was oblivious to it as a result.

WaitingForMe Sun 16-Jun-13 19:00:03

Say you had an eye test recently and ask when her last one was.

My Grandad literally couldn't see the dirt.

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