What was your parents attitude towards housework, household chores ........

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StayWithMe

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when assigning them to you and your siblings?

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Hazy111

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Didnt have to do any. My mother was uBPD hermit/waif and full time martyr/victim.  So all chores were carried out by her and that enabled her to complain about her lot. Also her intense shame/inner critic  meant she was driven to do it always. Then project it onto children.

"Nobody does a thing in this house!"  I remember doing the washing up and her shouting at me to leave it. I said no its ok and she shouts even der, so what do you do?
, you stop.

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GettingOOTF

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I didnít have to do any chores and homework was pretty much ignored.

Iíve realized over the years that this was a great disservice. I didnít learn about a lot of things I needed to like cooking and keeping a house. I also never developed good study habits. Itís been a lifelong struggle to set routines and stick to them.

It was the same about personal grooming. I was and have always been clean but I never learned about stuff like makeup, eyebrows, doing my hair etc. It seems strange as we are surrounded by this stuff but I wasnít growing up at all so as an adult itís like it didnít apply to me and I ignored it.

I was visiting a friend recently and it struck me how she just seems to know stuff about cooking and having a home like itís second nature.

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FromTheSwamp

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My mom was a hermit/waif.  She hated housework and rarely did it.  Our house was a mess and meals were not reliable or nutritious.  But if we tried to do anything like cleaning she would have a meltdown and wail about what a terrible mother she was.  She also got super angry at us when she decided we needed to clean (because we were going to have rare company) because we weren't doing it right and we didn't care about her (more tears).  Of course she never gave us any direction, just guilt, anger, and tears. 

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biggerfish

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Didnt have to do any. My mother was uBPD hermit/waif and full time martyr/victim.  So all chores were carried out by her and that enabled her to complain about her lot. Also her intense shame/inner critic  meant she was driven to do it always. Then project it onto children.

"Nobody does a thing in this house!"  I remember doing the washing up and her shouting at me to leave it. I said no its ok and she shouts even der, so what do you do?
, you stop.

 :yeahthat:

Mine was exactly the same

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Thru the Rain

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Wow - I feel like we all had the same Mother!

My M was definitely a martyr/waif/hermit. The house was (and still it) a cluttered, dusty, cat-pee-smelling mess.

She did all the laundry - but really poorly. And she kept the machines full all the time so no one could sneak in to do their own clothes. She didn't sort anything, washed everything on the hottest setting - all of our clothes were eventually shades of gray. And she'd leave wet loads in the washing machine until they got moldy. She didn't rewash, just put moldy clothes in the dryer.

She was a terrible cook. Left food on the counter when it should have been in the refrigerator, served under cooked pork and chicken, rarely EVER washed her hands. We would all get sick regularly. She called it the 24-hour flu, but now that I'm an adult I know it was food poisoning. YUCK!


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Some One

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We were expected to make our beds and keep our rooms clean, but aside from that we weren't delegated any. 

My mother was the type of person who would go food shopping and when unloading the groceries need help unloading the groceries, but instead of coming into the house and asking for help unloading the groceries she would seethe with anger as she unloaded the groceries, because you weren't able to intuitively know she needed help unloading the groceries.  "Everyone else's kids help their parents unload the groceries...meanwhile, my ungrateful daughter is inside as I suffer unloading these groceries" she'd think.  What she'd fail to realize was that those other kids helped their parents unload the groceries, because years earlier their parents made it clear that when they came home from grocery shopping it would be appreciated if whoever was home would help unload the groceries.  My mother handled a lot of household chores this way. 
I will not pretend. 
I will not put on a smile. 
I will not say I'm all right for you,  
~Martha Wainwright.

NC almost 9.5 years with Nmom.  Enjoy the Silence.

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Malini

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I was raised by someone who grew up in a culture where 'cleanliness was next to godliness'. We moved back to that culture when I was 13. Up until then, we had a cleaning woman and I didn't have to do anything, apart from care for SGB. From 13 onwards, I became Cinderella. I was responsible for all the cleaning, and later for most of the cooking. It was considered normal that I would spend my hours when not at school cleaning the family home. I was often arbitrarily punished by enNF based on a tiny chore I had missed out on. While my friends were out having fun, I was cleaning.

I considered it normal, NM had started working again and we all had to chip in, she did laundry, and we all went grocery shopping on a Saturday. Except SGB didn't have to chip in, probably a gender thing.

But even when NM stopped working, she still expected me to clean. I think the worst moment was when she decided she wasn't going to iron anymore, because it was only my stuff and enNF work shirts. So enNF and I shared the ironing. EnNF a busy businessman providing for his family and I a full time student and then employee (now paying rent for my room)  would alternate the ironing, while she did fun stuff.

Shortly after I moved out, she got a cleaning lady again  :stars:.



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louisebt

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My mothers approach was always 'leave it until I can't stand to look at it any longer, then blitz it'. She always hoarded and hated housework. She blamed being a single parent and too busy...

As she got more elderly, alcoholism and her PD got worse and her physical disabilities got worse, the house has become a cluttered, dirty run down mess. She doesn't even change her bed sheets, only does laundry when she runs out of clothes, and washing up when runs out of cooking utensils. If then, sometiems she just eats sandwiches and crisps for a while...
The last few years I drive myself into the ground trying to keep it to at least a safe standard and this dynamic got really awful, her calling me OCD for wanting to cheuck out rubbish including rotting food, hoovering once a month etc.

She now has a cleaner from a charity who can cope with her hardly allowing her to clean anything and says stuff to her like 'I like coming to yours, the other places are too clean and i have nothing to do!'  :aaauuugh:

Good luck to her! Fully expecting my mother to cancel that soon.

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xredshoesx

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when i lived with just my uPD mother and dad as a young child the house was chaos.  by 7 it was like living lord of the flies, just without the competition from other kids (that came later...)

then i was deposited on her parents who are both some kind of undiagnosed disorder as well.  the whole 'be clean to be closer to jesus' was a theme.  everything was a task or a chore, at 8 one of my first household jobs was dusting/ vacuuming and then i trimmed the grass around the trees with some funky scissors outside.  wiping/ washing dishes, running wash up/down the stairs and folding it came later, as did helping grandma cook.  i learned that these are all things a good christian woman does to keep a man. 

when my uPD mother lived there as well, the dynamic was even more screwed up.  she could come/go as she pleased and did not have chores.  she was even allowed to EAT IN HER ROOM.  to this day i still don't understand the level of enmeshment between my uPD mother and her parents- i figure they must have some great dirt on one another and the shame of being exposed keeps them all in their roles/places.

when my uPD mother remarried (she met uPD stepdad in 6th grade) we did everything.  the chore rotation included shopping by the time his oldest kid was able to drive and after my mom left and i got placed with him (long backstory that involved court battle and him being named my guardian because no one else could or would at the time and the court took me away from her) we never noticed she was gone because by 7th grade the three of us were basically running the show.  in HS i got more heaped on my because SS/ SB were both active in sports and that was more 'important' then me doing anything after school. 

my DH's mom who may also be PD was a terrible housekeeper.  she and her husband lost their youngest to a heart problem at 6 months and to this day my DH has a complex about things being clean enough because in his mind his baby sister died because the home was too dirty.


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LightOrb

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I don't remember when it started, but when I was a teenager I was in charge of cleaning our house. That was the most important thing in my life, cleaning could not be delayed or skipped because I needed or wanted to do something else. I remember one time I wanted to blow dry my hair, and M saw me. She scolded me and told me my hair could wait, that I had all the time after I ended my chores. Stupidly I believed that, not realizing my hair would be dry by the time I finished. When I dared to have a boyfriend, cleaning was first. xH is still angry about it. At some point it also became my responsibility iron my father's shirts. I spent many Sunday afternoons ironing his shirts. I was also in charge of cleaning the kitchen after the family lunch on Sunday, the only time when F, M, B and me would eat together. That was a time for myself. I would turn the tv on, close the kitchen door and spend the hour of the tv episode (mostly murder mysteries) slowly washing and cleaning, while the other 3 would be napping.

B, the male GC, didn't have to do anything. I would be scolded because the house wasn't clean, M would pick up dirty mugs or plates, or even his dirty clothes from his room. Many years after I left, she removed used condoms from his room. This didn't cause any reaction. I wasn't allowed to be in peace for 5 mins in the living room with my boyfriends, he was allowed to have sex in his room. This was a very weird situation, where M was in complete denial of who was his girlfriend, who was living with them at the time.

Her argument for all was that I needed to know how to take care of a home, for the time I had my own. There was the subtext of not being allowed to leave until I married, so what I was actually told was that I needed to learn to be a maid for my husband to be. And since my brother would get a wife to do everything for him, he didn't have to learn anything.

Now the house is a pigsty. Her cats pee all over the place and she doesn't care about it. She doesn't clean the dust. The floor is dirty. Once I had to sleep there and the mattress reeked of cat pee. She would claim it doesn't, she has this strange habit to put fabric covers on things like sofas or beds, and claim they are enough to protect them from pee. During one of my visits I told her we could clean the walls with enzymatic cleaner to remove the smell, and she laughed and said she had more important things to do. It was then when I realized that only my time was not important, and that she used cleaning as a tool to isolate me from others, because how could I do anything with friends if I had to spend the morning cleaning and the afternoon in school?
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 09:22:38 AM by LightOrb »

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zephyrblue

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These stories are heartbreaking.   :'(

Life at my parents' house when enSis and I were little started out fairly normal and functional.  en(PD?)mom did all of the housework, cooking, and grocery shopping.  uPDfather mowed the lawn and helped rake leaves in the fall. 

When uPDfather lost the job he loved when I was seven years old, things went downhill rapidly.  He wallowed in misery, drank more, put on a lot of weight, and got more abusive.  enMom set no boundaries.  uPDfather eventually found another job (not one he liked), but the downward spiral was entrenched.

Chores were inconsistently assigned to enSis and me.  Sometimes we could put things off and not do them and get away with it.  Sometimes not.  enMom enabled uPDfather more and more, growing increasingly resentful and depressed.  She adopted the mantle of long-suffering martyr.  Eventually uPDfather wouldn't even mow the lawn or rake leaves.  He'd just go to work, and when at home verbally and emotionally abuse the rest of us when he wasn't drinking beer and watching TV. 

On one hand I admire enMom's strength in single-handedly running the household while working FT at a job she hated and being dragged down by my sad sack, abusive father.  On the other hand, I wish she'd had the strength to leave him.  She has a large extended family.  But she chose to stay and suffer.  You know, "for the children" who were literally begging her to leave her alcoholic, abusive husband. 

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slugsandsnails

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Looking back, my Mum's attitude to housework was a bit odd. It was very important to her that the house looked clean and tidy & she's very house-proud these days. However, she didn't seem to wash our clothes very often and I don't remember having many baths or hair-washes. When I left to go to uni I didn't have a clue and didn't bath nearly enough - once the penny had dropped I took pains to do a better job and now, at 48, my personal hygiene is fine. I remember getting lots of bouts of cystitis, made worse by my wiping back to front rather than front to back as women are supposed to (sorry, TMI!) - but no-one had told me the correct way to do it. According to a nurse, my Mum was meant to have taught me that kind of thing. I've never shaved my legs, because Mum forbade me & I didn't have a clue - luckily the hairs on my legs are fair!

Anyway - back to the housework. Mum would often leave dirt & grot to build up in a particular area to "test" me & my brother to see if we noticed & cleaned it for her - then she would get angry because we didn't notice & were unable to read her mind! :-/
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly for you tread on my dreams.
~ W. B. Yeats

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LightOrb

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I've never shaved my legs, because Mum forbade me

Oh. This reminded me M never allowed me to remove my 'moustache'. It was quite noticeable: a 'friend' 'confided' in me that one of her friends had told her that he would kiss me, except that I had that mustache. That was 26 years ago and it still hurts  :'( And she didn't let me remove it. I had to do it without her permission, on the advice of another teenager. For all of this, she claimed that she didn't want me to lose my childhood. How could she be so cruel to me?

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slugsandsnails

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I'm so very, very sorry, LightOrb - that must be very hurtful. Internet ((hugs)), if you want them!
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly for you tread on my dreams.
~ W. B. Yeats

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StayWithMe

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My mother leaned on me for household chores.  When my 2 older siblings left for college and I had 3 more years of high school, I was still expected to set the table and clean the kitchen every night.  Keep (yes, keep) the kitchen clean in a house of 6 people still.  Fold the clothes and take them upstairs.  The next one youner wasin 4th grade, but apparently, in mother's mind he was capable of picking up after himself; tkaing his own clothes to his room or even folding them.

My mother had a systemof putting our things on the stairs.  She expected me to take everyone's belongings upstairs.  She never once asked the other siblings to do the same courtesy for me.  N

Now that I don't live with her, when she does that to me whenever i visit, I remind her that I will be her police for her.

For example, she will say to me -- as if she has never said this to me before -- something about put glases directly on  the furnitre and so forth.  Now, I will say, "yes, and I will make sure that every visitor that comes while I am here will follow your rules." 

One my sister did put a drinking glass on the furniture.  I brought my mother into the room to show that other do do these things.  Now, she'll say "I know that I've told you this before but....."  and then I'll remind her how I will police others.  she'll tell me I don't have to do that.  And then I'll tell her, but I want to help her out.

I try to be as much of a bully as she is.

I may have more later......


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daughter

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At age 10, I was drafted to be "typist" for their home-based business, required to type all proposals, bills, and letters on a manual typewriter (no self-correction).  I was berated for every typo.  NF's handwriting is illegible.  NBM refused to do the typing herself.  "Typing" came before homework.  As a child, this was one or two hour daily (unpaid until college) "job", on top of being nsis' constant babysitter-minder.  I also had more conventional household chores, including vacuuming, drying dishes, baking, etc.  As an adult, I'm disappointed that no adult in extended FOO Family intervened, because typist-role was grossly age-inappropriate.

NBM was a fanatical house-cleaner, washing floors on her knees at least once a week.  NF diligently attended to all "heavy-lifting" or "outside" maintenance; everything was maintained at "showroom standard".  No housekeeper employed, though my parents could easily afford this expense.  NBM complained non-stop about housework, about how "tired" she was, in a martyr-like manner, but never sought an alternate solution to maintaining an already always tidy house.  Me, I kept my enormous (unheated uninsulated and drafty) attic bedroom spotless, NBM "white-gloving" it weekly "to check", swift punishment for any detected dust.  I am/was a diligent housekeeper myself, already as MS/HS-aged kid; NBM "checks" continued unabated in her visits later in my own homes.  Oddly, nsis had zero household responsibilities, has housekeeper, nanny, cleaner, and my parents to "help keep house" - so different rules for different children too.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 11:56:10 AM by daughter »

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starfox

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My dad has a PD (probably NPD) and my mother is deeply affected. He does nothing in the house and she is an incredible house-cleaning perfectionist, which I think gives her a feeling of control. They bought their house in 1989 and it still looks like a show home.

I wasn't allowed to do chores but I wish I had, as I seem to have gone in the other direction. To say my home looks 'lived in' is an understatement. ;) She actually has a tiny paint brush she uses to get the tiniest specs of dust out of corners.

Oh, and I spilled a coffee in the livingroom once in 1993 and it's still talked about...


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Amadahy

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My Nmom would sweep a path through the plethora of papers and other debris and would dust ceilings and Windows with a broom.  She did laundry (badly) but  ironed everything and washed dishes. Never did she put away laundry or dishes or important papers, so I started doing this early on. I think part of her PD is that she honestly cannot sort or put things in a proper place.  It just didn't seem to be something she could comprehend. Even in a small apartment now, she has piles of newspapers, bills, government documents, flyers, etc all mixed in and both clean and dirty dishes line the sink. I want so badly to sort and put away, but I will be accused of losing something important.  I don't think her mom (abusive, PD) took the time to work with her, so all in all, she did remarkably well. I did lots of tidying, putting away, but sis and I were never assigned chores.
Ring the bells that still can ring;
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Some One

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My dad has a PD (probably NPD) and my mother is deeply affected. He does nothing in the house and she is an incredible house-cleaning perfectionist, which I think gives her a feeling of control. They bought their house in 1989 and it still looks like a show home.

I wasn't allowed to do chores but I wish I had, as I seem to have gone in the other direction. To say my home looks 'lived in' is an understatement. ;) She actually has a tiny paint brush she uses to get the tiniest specs of dust out of corners.

Oh, and I spilled a coffee in the livingroom once in 1993 and it's still talked about...

My mother was also a clean freak.  Boyfriends would always comment on this.  I felt she did it deliberately, easier to find fault and create drama.  God forbid I'd fall asleep and leave a glass out.  She'd fly into a rage accusing me of doing it deliberately to prove I didn't love her.  I would get so nervous being in that house I can't tell you how many times I've slipped and broken a glass and then panic at what to do with it so she wouldn't find it!  You'd think I was hiding a body!  My  father also didn't contribute to the chores or fulfill his duties relating to the stereotypical male role...mowing the lawn, stuff like that. 

I've also gone in the other direction.  I despise cleaning and often don't clean unless someone is coming over.  If it's just me and my dirt, who cares?  It's different when it's you and other people's dirt.
 I've never been able to get into a routine of cleaning on a regular schedule.  But I'm a minimalist, so it takes less to keep it clean and I prefer it that way.  In the future I'd consider getting a maid.  I had a friend who when she lived in an apartment hired a maid and it wasn't because she was dirty, it was because she wanted to maintain a certain appearance and didn't want to do it herself.  Now that she's married she still has one.
I will not pretend. 
I will not put on a smile. 
I will not say I'm all right for you,  
~Martha Wainwright.

NC almost 9.5 years with Nmom.  Enjoy the Silence.