June 08, 2010,
L.C. asks from Fort Worth, TX on June 07, 2010
Mother in Law! - Fort Worth,TX
My partner and I are currently living with our mother in law.
First I want to admit that I am not the cleanest person in the world. However, I do not keep a dirty house.
My mother in law has been telling me that when we move out on our own "someone" will call CPS on us because we are so filthy. She keeps saying that CPS is going to take our daughter away because I don't keep things clean enough.
Okay so I don't put the dishes in the dishwasher so neatly and sometimes I leave my breastpump parts in the sink so I can wash it all together. Oh yeah and I don't vacuum everyday. But am I filthy enough that CPS will take my baby away? And any way who does she mean when she say "someone" is giong to call CPS?
I am getting very worn out by her. Today when I came home from class she had cleaned and rearranged our room that we share with the baby. She was using the broom to sweep the walls and ceiling when I walked in.
I really need some advice on how to deal with her because I have just been keeping my mouth shut so far and I am afraid that I may lash out at her.
So What Happened?™
This situation only got worse over the course of the week I posted this and about four days after this post she kicked us out.
She pretty much told me and her son that she wants nothing to do with us or the baby and we are not really sure if she has called CPS yet or not.
It's pretty scary not knowing when or if CPS is going to show up.
So... I would recommend that no woman EVER agrees to living with in laws.
J.M. answers from Dallas on June 08, 2010
Move out - if it is this bad with MIL already - it will only get worse and she will be the one to call CPS. Sorry you are going through this - I don't get along with my MIL very well either.
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M.P. answers from Portland on June 07, 2010
I'm going to comment only on CPS and taking away your children. From what you've described they would NOT take away your children. They would not be concerned about a dirty or messy house, dirty dishes and breast pump in sink, clothes scattered about, floors not swept or vacuumed in weeks.
Their only concern is the safety of your children. They will only take away your children if they think that their LIVES are in danger. If they find some safety issues they also have the choice of opening a case and working with you and your children together in your home.
I've removed children and here are the reasons. 1) not having adequate nutrition 2) having moldy food all over the house and/or animal feces on floor 3) uncared for illness and such things as broken bones/unexplained injuries or injuries that are not consistent with explaination 4) drunk and or high parent unable to care for child 5) lack of supervision 6) unwillingness to talk about any of above or any other concerns expressed by caller when there is no way to determine if the situation exists or not and child may be in danger.
In summary: Children are only removed when the person doing the investigation is concerned about the safety of the child. You have not listed anything that would cause CPS or the police to send an investigator.
I do want to make a comment about your mil. I also recommend that if at all possible find your own place. You are probably eligible for state assistance which will give you a low cost apartment, food stamps, and perhaps child care while you and/or your husband train for and find a job. They will provide training and job search help. At least this is the way it works in OR. My daughter and her boyfriend got their start with the state's help. Her boyfriend left, I think because he couldn't handle the responsibility, but my daughter now has a career and is able to take care of herself and her family on her earnings.
Your mil is making idle threats. It's obvious she doesn't want you to live there. She may word it that IF you kept house according to her standards you could stay. But she isn't showing an ability to compromise or accept the possibility that there is more than her way to do things. She is angry. She is not loving or understanding. You don't want your daughter to live in that kind of negative environment. I urge you to find a way to move.
Until you are able to move, I suggest that you put a lock on your bedroom door. You have the right to privacy. How you keep your room should not be of concern to her unless there are safety issues, such as spoiled food, over flowing ash trays, furniture or clothes, bedding too close to a heater. She isn't living in it. You are the same as a renter. Hopefully you do contribute, at least a small amount, towards your living expenses.
You could try enlisting the help of a Neighborhood Mediation Office. They will make an appointment for both of you to come to their office and lead a discussion towards finding a solution that is acceptable to everyone.
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L.M. answers from New York on June 07, 2010
Everyone has their own idea of clean. She seems to be on one side of the scale and your somewhere in the middle. However, you are staying in her house so you need to maintain her level of clean.
As far as CPS in concerned, although very mean and uncalled for, this may just be her way of telling you that your standards are not good enough. Or since she is at the extreme end of the scale, she may beleive this to be true. Either way, I wouldn't worry about it. And once again, since you're in her house, there's not much you can do or say. Your partner could have a talk with her.
Let's face it. You have worn out your welcome. It's time to move out.
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F.H. answers from Phoenix on June 07, 2010
That's what can happen when you live in someone else's home. Try to get your own place asap and it won't be a concern! My friend works for CPS and in order for kids to be removed, some serious messes have to be made (Major dirty dishes everywhere, feces on the ground, laundry everywhere, bugs, dirt, etc) before the kids will be removed so no worries there.
Until you can move into your own home, be happy she is cleaning and you don't have to!
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T.N. answers from Albany on June 07, 2010
Yikes, time to find your own place Mamma! prefereably a few hours drive from her house!
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T.M. answers from Philadelphia on June 07, 2010
I have to agree with "momof2girls". It sounds like you may have worn out your welcome. This is probably why she is being so mean.
Even if you have to get a small apartment for now, i would do it. Good luck.
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A.G. answers from Pocatello on June 07, 2010
I'm sorry. It would be so hard to live with in-laws. If I were you I would try to find a place of your own asap. And I would just try my hardest to be up to "her standard" of clean. After all it is her house and she has her way of doing things. Now please don't get my wrong I don't agree with what your MIL is saying and the way she is talking to you. And it doesn't sound like you are a dirty person at all.....but to make peace and to keep her from making as many rude comments to you I would just try to do things as much her way as possible while you are in her house. Also ask your partner to help out too so it's not just you trying to keep up on all the house work.
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K.S. answers from Kansas City on June 07, 2010
Well, it's her house, I guess if you don't like you should move out. Easy, and problem solved!
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R.M. answers from Nashville on June 07, 2010
Since you said you were living with her I'm guessing that she is letting you guys live there for some financial or relocation reason, not that she needs to live with you. That is what I am basing my answer on, just FYI.
I think she is hinting to you that she doesn't appreciate you leaving things in the sink, and that she doesn't like how you clean and how you pitch in. I think she sounds controlling about the housework, like she has pretty high standards and wants things done a certain way. Whether she is saying you guys have worn our your welcome or not, I am sure she is saying she is unhappy with how you are sharing in the housekeeping with the situation.
Unfortunately, since you are in her house, you really can't complain. Even if you are paying rent to her, it is still her house. If you are paying rent, you can ask that your room be off limits, but as for the rest of the house, she likes things done her way, and you are probably going to have to do your best to comply. As for the CPS comments, that is just nasty and mean, and completely untrue. No, they will not take your baby away for dishes being left in the sink or not sweeping the walls (who does that?). If she ever actually called CPS, she would look foolish because that is ridiculous.
As far as dealing with her, your partner should be the one to speak to her, not you. The best rule in dealing with in-laws is that everyone deals with their own family. My hubby talks to his family about issues, and I talk to mine, even if the issue with them is my hubby's. Your partner can ask that some boundaries be respected, and ask what exactly is expected from you guys. Then everyone needs to agree to try their best to follow through until you are able to move out. And you just need to keep quiet for the sake of keeping the peace. Good luck!
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