Cleaning (an update)

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by chthonicfatigue, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. chthonicfatigue

    chthonicfatigue Bitten by a radioactive trickster god

    I'm trying to calm down because my mother has been in my house and wanted to help clean, and I'm all shaky and generally out of sorts because she was cleaning it a different way than I do and now I have to clean it again to make it right.

    I am not an obsessive cleaner. Stuff can be dusty! I don't vacuum everyday. I'm not really neat (I like things in order but sometimes stuff defeats me. Hence the spare bedroom, or 'that shitheap of junk' as it's otherwise known.) But my mum came and used a wet spray cleaner with my elecrostatic dusters (negating all electrostatic properties) and now things are dust-smeary and wrong. I'm trying not to cry about this because that would be stupid but I have to wash my cloth to get it working properly and the thought of sitting while my rooms are all cleaned improperly while my cloths wash and dry is making me crazy.

    And I asked her not to clean the glass with the wrong cloth (there is a specific glass cleaning cloth, which is also chemical free) and she went all huffy and quiet on me, and said she would just go home - which is a good thing for me, because I was working myself up into quiet frothing. But it's one of the reasons I never tell her if something's going wrong with me, or the house, because it's always her fault and then I have to spend hours or days (or weeks, if it's a bad self-pity fit) stroking her ego and telling her of course it's not her fault, sorry, and devoting hours to being a more selfless child. She is always so damn disappointed that I'm not a good little clone and have differing opinions and needs, and when she's disappointed she stops eating and speaking until reparations are made.

    I think I it off this time by thaning her profusely for helping clean up and coming down and should I carry her bags for her, but I'm not convinced. There was a definite edge when she said that she would speak to me later.

    God I feel like such a terrible person all the time. How ungrateful am I. How stupid. Urgh.
  2. kmoss

    kmoss Under Construction

    It's definitely not your fault.

    I think we all have our own ways of cleaning.

    When I clean at someone else's house, I ask them how they prefer things cleaned, and I check with them because surprise, they're the ones who have to live with it, not me.

    Your mom is being super pushy about this. It's not your fault that she cleaned your stuff wrong, and you shouldn't have to appease her.

    Also, I can't remember if you've talked about your mom before, but she seems fairly manipulative/unpleasant.
    • Like x 1
  3. hoarmurath

    hoarmurath Thor's Hammer

    Your mom sounds like my grandma.

    The only solution to my grandma not coming over and cleaning and berating us for not doing it right has been mom telling her explicitly to knock it off. If you want a relationship with your mother, I suggest trying to divert her attention elsewhere. Clearly allowing her to clean creates more work to you and I doubt the amount of appeasement that gives her is really worth the effort of all this.

    You are not ungrateful and stupid. In fact I agree in that she comes off very manipulative and selfish, making it all about her. That's not okay.
  4. jaob

    jaob still not really grown up

    Your house, your rules. It's time your mother showed a little respect but that sounds like it's going to be difficult for her to accomplish. Anecdote: my grandmother used to visit our house and would ask if there was anything she could do to help. My mother hated it because same reasons as you. So she (mother) got her (gran) to clean the toilet. Totally unnecessary but it got her out of the way and was easy to fix later.
  5. chthonicfatigue

    chthonicfatigue Bitten by a radioactive trickster god

    Yeah. I really need to work on defining boundaries with my mother, because for a long time she framed it as 'you cannot cope with cleaning along, you poor thing' (I had not yet found the tools I needed to cope) and would chivvy me into an hours-long cleaning session with her as supervisor. Whereas I'll clean a bit every day with a longer cleaning session on my days off - still broken up into manageable chunks because haha what is an attention span - and 95% of my cleaning is eco-friendly with cloths and water (yay, allergies), miles away from her traditional method of Mr-Sheen-or-bleach-blitz-everything-into-submission.

    I defininely have some issues around mum and how she has reacted in the past to various family things which have cropped up (also see her response to me in my thread in ITA). Just more general things about boundaries and how she reacts. She was brought up by an aunt after being unwanted by her birth mother (who later went on to have another kid, who didn't know my mum was his sister until he was in his 50's - family fuckups R Us, basically) and makes a great deal of how hard it was to basically negate everyone else's shitty childhood experiences, like my spouse's horrible mentally and physically abusive childhood that he can't even bear to admit was bad - at least his parents wanted him! It could have been worse! Everything is black and white to her, nuance is not a thing and she never forgives anything. Which I get is totally her right, but that's not me.

    I feel like a bad person for pushing her away but she can be so smothering and I. I need my space.
  6. jaob

    jaob still not really grown up

    I have a feeling that you are going to have to mentally gird your loins with whatever armour you have at hand because one day there's going to have to be a bit of a bust up! You will have to be firm, she won't like it and there will be tears before bedtime. Your mum must have had a rough time but that in itself is not enough reason to let her overstep the mark the way she does. You won't be pushing her away, just maintaining an appropriate distance.
    • Like x 2
  7. Aviari

    Aviari PartyWolf Is In The House Tonight

    Your Mom sounds like mine. I ended up with a combination of
    "Deliberately leave used cleaning product in conspicuous place as evidence of cleaning"
    "Deliberately leave something not-clean so she has something to bitch about that isn't me and something to clean/organize so that she can 'feel like a Mom' that doesn't involve reorganizing the glasses in the cabinet what the fuck is wrong with you where are my tea mugs?!"

    It took my husband sitting her down and yelling-without-yelling at her to back the fuck off even temporarily.
    • Like x 2
  8. hoarmurath

    hoarmurath Thor's Hammer

    The thing about abusive pasts is that...people can get over them. People can work through them and struggle not to inflict their wounds on their children. So that's not a justification at all of how she's behaving towards you, in my opinion.

    My mother struggled with basically feeling she was unwanted from the moment she was in her mother's womb due to her father (who later on ended up ditching them both, making it even worse). And up to this day my grandma paints herself as the complete victim. But my mother did her best not to make me feel unwanted and while she fucked up in the whole emotional support department when I was smaller (more material for ITA, thanks to stepdad), she did not shame me for my sexuality, she did not leave me in a lurch, she has tried to make things better. She has admitted things were fucked up like whoa.

    *pets gently*
    • Like x 1
  9. Toaster

    Toaster Active Member

    On the cleaning thing specifically, do you have any room to go "Mom, I appreciate that you want to help, but it makes me feel guilty that you, a guest in my home, feel expected to clean. Will you let me treat you like a guest and not let me treat you like my housekeeper, please?" It's a script that worked for my dad when grandma visited, but given your history with her and cleaning it may not work so well.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
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