When a frustrated stepmom came home to an unspeakable mess made by her 18 yo stepdaughter, she decided enough was enough. So, she charged her stepkid for the full amount from the cleaner. It did not go well.
Thus, she came to Reddit to ask:
I (43F) and my husband (47M) have been married for 4 years now. We both have children from our previous marriages, (12M) and (10M) and “O” (18F). My husband and I dated for 3 years prior to getting married but moved in all together 2 years ago.
O lives with us full time and it had a bit of a rocky start with mine and O’s relationship but we managed to push through it. I told O from day one that I wasn’t her mom but if there was anything she wants to talk about or need, she can come to me. After a few months, we became quite close and she talked to me about anything she was too embarrassed to talk about with her dad.
Recently, O has been trying to make friends at college since she just started in the spring. On campus residence is very expensive for the college and its close to our house so O decided to stay at home. That’s not a problem, the problem is that O keeps bringing her friends over to hang out, but leaving it a mess.
Normally it’s not a major deal (I have OCD so sometimes there is issues depending on the situation though) because she picks up after herself but I recently hired a housekeeper to clean the house once a week since I’ve been working overtime more often and me and my husband just don’t have time.
It is expensive but I cannot stand it when it becomes too messy for me so I think it’s worth it.
This time, she brought her friends over after the house was cleaned and I guess they decided not take their shoes off and walked all around the house leaving footprints.
They also made pizza from scratch and left the crumbles on the counters among other things. They pretty much made the entire house filthy before I could even come home.
Once again, the cleaning service is quite expensive because I like a higher level of cleaning quality so I was pissed. My husband is trying to make me let it go because O has always struggled making friends but I can’t let it go because of how much it cost.
I requested the exact amount I paid for the cleaning service to her Venmo and she acted all confused on why she had to pay for it. I explained that her and her friends ruined my house that was just cleaned but she insisted it wasn’t her.
I have a ring camera and I have video proof of her and her friends going into the house and they were the only ones home that day before me. I gave her two choices, pay for the damages or I stop paying for her phone. She’s complaining saying it wasn’t her and she doesn’t have the money to pay the phone bill. AITA (Am I the a-hole)?
Reddit was not on OP's team at all, and ruled a huge YTA (you're the a-hole).
Footprints in your house and pizza crumbs do not make a house “filthy.” You had plenty of options other than charging your step daughter - you could’ve cleaned it, your husband could’ve, you could have asked her to clean it, etc. YTA. Telling your step daughter she ruined your house is a sure fire way to ruin your relationship with her.
Yeah, this is outrageously unreasonable. I have OCD, I'm genuinely baffled that OP felt it was anything other than manipulative to refer to footprints and CRUMBS as DAMAGE.
...I thought this was going to be about some house party where furniture was destroyed and items were stolen. OP should consider therapy, this is some Monk-level insanity.
I’m really, really confused about why you didn’t simply…have a conversation with her and demand she clean it up? And state that if she continues to make messes like this after the cleaning service comes without cleaning it up, she can’t have guests in your home? This seems like a nuclear move on an 18 year old. ESH (Everyone sucks here).
YTA for calling your house 'ruined' for a fairly easily cleanable mess. She should have cleaned it. Because you're not the one who usually disciplines (and this is obviously an issue for you and between the two of you), you should have told her father to enforce that.
Of course her friends should have taken their shoes off. Of course your stepdaughter needs to clean up after herself (and her friends). But she's not an AH for living and sometimes leaving some mess. 'Ruined' implies actual damage. A mess is a mess, not damage. You're overreacting.
Yeah I was pretty bummed a few weeks ago because I loved my house but I accidentally got some crumbs on the counter making a PB&J so I had to burn it down and get a new one.
If this is how you respond to footprints and crumbs, I feel sorry for the 10 and 12 year old - they must live in a state of constant vigilance not wanting to upset you.
I mean the elephant in the room is that this woman feels that her stepdaughters visible presence is ruining her house. Kids are messy and signs of them in the form of crumbs or footprints are normal. For that to be described as filthy and destructive is very clearly not about the crumbs.
Do you agree with Reddit, or do you think they were a little harsh on OP?