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I have lived out of home for 10 years but still to this day even though my house is clean when my mum comes for a visit she always picks on things not being clean. Even though I clean the house from top to bottom. Hubby Isnt much help because he works long hours and I’m home all the time so he has gotten a bit lazy but my house is still pretty clean considering he is a mechanic and a truck driver.
When she visits I feel as if I have to clean for the Queen and she makes me feel like my house is dirty and I can’t stand it!!!!! It drives me nuts and sometimes I tell her not to visit because of that reason.
I know my mum means well but now I’m just getting sick of it.
I just dont know how to get her to stop doing it.


Posted anonymously, 3rd February 2015


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  • well she can always stay away…less stress on you. you are so busy she should be thankful that you bothered!

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  • I feel like this too when the mother in law comes over. house can never be clean in her eyes. it can be quite stressful.

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  • My house was always spotless from top to tail UNTIL we had children. I told my mum sorry my house will no longer be spotless & she said as long as your bathroom & kitchen is cleaning nothing else matters. This is from a mum of 10 kids with 1 bathroom – so I don’t know how she kept our bathroom clean. Me personally would tell her if you don’t like the state of my home than just don’t visit it – make arrangements to meet somewhere for coffee

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  • Give her a broom, mop and cloth and tell her to get to it! hehe


    • Haha I don’t need to get her any cleaning items she knows where they are kept and sometimes she brings her own!! Lol

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  • I would ignore her or hand her a cleaning cloth and ask how she would suggest that you clean the problem areas!!, It really annoys me when people look at the cleanliness of homes and judge others no one knows what comes into your home and anyone with a family and with kids knows that unless you clean 24/7 nothing is ever going to be perfect and you will end up in therapy, explain to your mum that you are doing your best and ask her what she suggests, she may not be aware that she is upsetting you, some people are insensitive, and she may be able to assist you, it is hard accepting help but sometimes this may be the wakeup that she need to see that you are doing all you can and that once the family all grow up and leave home then your home will be perfect.

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  • That would drive me mad!


    • Oh trust me!! it does drive me mad and I can only handle so much before I explode.

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  • In addition to my comment below; I also put up some funny house rules about housework and cleaning and visitors. Needless to say after the comment and the funny rules the message was well and truly received! Good Luck!

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  • Last week, a friend called to visit, and I greeted her at the door with, “Welcome to my mess. I think I can almost grow a garden on my floor”. To be followed by, “I think I’ll start the house work when the kids move out for college”. We shared a laugh, and decided if someone didn’t like my house work, I’ll hand them the broom and ask for a demonstration. That was last week. Yesterday, I was expecting family, and I found myself exuberantly cleaning the already clean bath, just in case my visitors needed to use the toilet, washed their hands, and were horrified by the speck of dust on the edge of the bath. My point? I frequently have to remember 3 questions. What is within my control? {Focus on these issues}. What is outside my control, but I can still influence? {Spend some time on these issue, but don’t get upset by them}. What is outside my control and outside my influence? {Ignore these issues. Don’t let them upset you}. If you can talk to your mum, it may clear the air and help you both. If you can’t talk to her, can you change your outlook on how you deal with her comments? I found talking with my mum worked miracles and we have a stronger relationship now, but my mother-in-law was unapproachable, so now I muse her visits with, well, maybe if I hadn’t swept the floors for a week, she would have focussed on that, instead of the dirty face smudge on the glass sliding door behind the curtain. Best of luck.


    • Thank you for your comment, I love the 3 questions u ask yourself and especially what you have said to your visitors, I think my mum would get a big shock if I said something like that to her but I would get a good laugh out of it.

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  • Maybe if you tell her that you ask her not to visit because of it, she’ll stop.

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  • It is unfortunate that this happens as it can make a person feel inadequate. I dealt with this many years ago in this way: A comment was made about “oh this really could do with a clean”. My reply was “good, the vacuum is in the cupboard, go for it!”. Utter shock and never has another word been said! It is your house and your home; either talk about it or just ignore the comments. Just know that you choose to live the way you do as you are an adult. Parents need to respect that their children are now independent adults.

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  • My mum does this a little bit but my dad my god he loves to pick at everything and make rude comments that are totally unnecessary. I feel your pain!

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  • Im sorry to hear that your mum makes you feel that way. If she doesn’t visit very often then I would continue to clean to yours and hubbys standard, after all it is you and hubby that have to live there, and just let her thoughts and comments go over your head while she is there. The more you let it go, they get the hint and don’t say anything after a while lol

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  • We are all different the way we do things. Perhaps you could try a different approach and invite mum over to give you a demo on house cleaning. You could say something like gee mum you are such a terrific housekeeper perhaps you could pass on some of your tips so my house can shine just like yours. That way you would get some cleaning done and have a nice cuppa afterwards. My mum was a fastidious housekeeper but she did it in a quiet unassuming way and never criticized others on the way they did their housework! You are so fortunate to have your darling mum still. My darling mum was taken from me when I was 35. She was only 57. I would give the world to have her back. She was my mum but also my best friend. Cherish your mum while you still have her!

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  • I must be really lucky as neither my mum or mother in law do that. Sorry that is not much help but I feel for you as that must be really difficult to deal with

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  • Lol I have a Mother in law that would do exactly the same! The icy glances at anything out of place & for many years I spent hours making sure everything was in order before she arrived. As she got older & her eye sight deteriorated I was let off the hook!

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