My daughter in law and her 6 month old baby stay with me. I don’t want to get into what happened with my son, but he can’t be in the picture as of now. It’s only them 2.
I have noticed that my DIL is horrible at cleaning up after herself and the baby. She often has dirty diapers, bibs, and clothes just laying out in the open. She leaves dirty bottles in the sink and the baby’s high chair with leftover food on it.
Over and over again I’ve gently reminded her to take care of these things and it seems like nothing I say sticks. It will be good for a while but then start happening again. I’m tired of living in these conditions in my own home and I don’t think it’s good to raise a baby in an unclean environment/develop these habits either.
I’m not her maid. I help out with the baby as much as I can and I don’t charge her rent. So I finally put my foot down and said that if she doesn’t stop being a slob we are going to have to find different arrangements. I wouldn’t actually kick them out, this was just more of a tactic to get her to start cleaning up after herself.
She said that she is trying her best but it is tough on her being a newly single young first time mom and she misses my son/has depression (she has not been diagnosed) because of it. Am I an ahole? Should I be more patient/understanding with her?
Have you helped/encouraged her to get help for what sounds a lot like PPD? It really sounds like she's strugging __a lot__ and speaking as someone who's been there, "gentle reminders" sure ain't gonna cure it. Believe me, she knows she's a hot mess. Reminding her of it is the opposite of helpful.
First: STOP threatening to put her out. It's only making the depression and anxiety worse, making her feel MORE lost, hopeless and that her live isn't worth living.
Next: Help her find a counsellor/therapist immediately. ALSO help her to find social service resources that may be available due to her current economic situation and the reason your son has dropped out of the picture.
Yes and No. Yes because she’s clearly struggling and I can guarantee you her mental health is a dumpster fire right now, with the absence of your son and post partum depression, plus being a newly young mother she’s bound to feel like her “fun years” are gone and this is her life now.
Being a single mother living with her baby daddy’s father, not even her own blood or someone she may have grown up with (idk how long you two have known each other). She definitely needs a break and a big win in her life cuz right now she doesn’t care about anything except the baby, especially not herself.
On the other hand, life happens. She is an adult and is in your living space. She has to start taking care of herself and the messes she makes in order to be the mother that her child needs right now.
Don’t know why your son isn’t in the picture, but she has to continue pushing past and be courteous to the one person who is trying to help her out in her time of need (I’m saying this assuming you are perhaps single yourself, could be wrong don’t know if you have a partner around since it’s left ambiguous in your post)
ESH it's reasonable for you to be upset with the lack of housekeeping especially the dirty diapers, but depression is real and name-calling won't fix it. DIL needs to get real treatment for her depression and stop expecting it to magically go away cuz it won't.
The two of you need to start communicating better, I recommend starting with encouraging her to let her doctor know she's got some pretty serious depression symptoms. If she can't bring herself to do it ask if it's okay for you to accompany her to an appointment and bring up the fact that she is struggling and needs help.
How I would see this as a mom who was depressed and mostly alone, how I wish someone had spoken: "honey, we can't live like this, your baby needs better and you also deserve better. The state of a home can often reflect the mind, and I already know things are tough.
I'm willing to help but I can't do it all for you, what do you need from me that would help you but not take over? I also kno hormones are a issue and it never hurts to seek professionals out, may I help you with (time, money, whatever) so you can get back on track? How do you feel like making a goal today? "
My son is not in jail/prison, he’s not an addict, not a deadbeat. I literally said I don’t want to disclose it but yet I see all kinds of assumptions being made. They are both consenting adults.
But thank you to everyone for your advice otherwise. She has been to a mental health professional before and couldn’t get a PPD diagnosis, but I will urge her to see a new one.
As for the cleaning, I’ll have a sit down conversation with her to see if we can try to work out some kind of schedule together. I realize that I went about it the wrong way and will extend more grace from now on.