Rules and Guidelines for Life
April 22, 2010 8:17 PM Subscribe
TL;DR There is still hope. They have not passed the point of no return. Help me help them change their ways and change their lives. This young family needs guidelines for life which include cleaning, cooking, finances and vehicle maintenance. I am not passing judgement because "there, but for the grace of God, go I." I am simply trying to help. Unseemly details follow.
posted by CleverCrow to Home & Garden (44 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I would like to get some advice from the hive mind.
Both the husband and wife come from families that failed to impart important knowledge to them. They are completely unequipped to live on their own.
He comes from a dysfunctional family. He was belittled, badgered and ridiculed his entire childhood.
She comes from a dysfunctional family as well. She was extraordinarily overprotected and never allowed to grow up.
They live close to both his and her family. Its not the same town, but its the same area code.
The come from two families that are polar opposites, and yes, opposites attract.
Her father does everything. Everything from the cleaning, cooking and ironing to lawn-care and vehicle maintenance.
His father was around but did not take an overly active part in his son's life.
She never (ever) had to take responsibility for anything.
He was always the scapegoat.
She thinks that every single thing is his job.
He thinks that her family is normal and her dad is the typical dad.
In her family, birthdays were like Christmas and Christmas was like hitting the lottery.
She expected her new husband to be just like daddy and take care of her every need.
He didn't know how to clean, iron or cook.
He didn't know how to start a lawnmower, check the oil in his car, or shovel snow.
Neither did she, but she was always provided for.
Along comes child number one, then in short order child number two. Hubby now expected to tend to children when not at work. This is in addition to cooking, cleaning, shovelling snow and washing clothes. However, he doesn't know how to be self-sufficient let alone take care of a family. But what the heck. Neither does she.
Dining out, or at her parent's house makes wife happy (cooking is not a problem anymore). New clothes is easier than washing (especially when her parents make every day seem like Christmas). Charge a meal at the local eatery if it makes his wife happy.
When they fall short on funds, her dad provides. She wants everything her mom and dad have without realizing it took a lifetime to accumulate. The husband feels like he is a bad provider and starts grad school so he can earn more money. However, he is still expected to do everything (but hasn't a clue how to do it).
Every time hubby fails to meet her expectations, she tells mommy and daddy. Mommy and Daddy are starting to think hubby is lazy and no good.
The crisis intervention team cleaned their house (with consent). It was by far the most dirty and disgusting thing I have ever seen in my entire life. It was beyond belief. It was like an episode of hoarders where someone was teetering on the brink of total and complete disaster.
Dirty dishes were everywhere. There were no clean dishes, pots or pans to be had.
Dirty clothes were stacked a foot deep in the laundry room.
Children toys were everywhere. In the master bedroom, in the kitchen, in the living room, everywhere.
Trash and filth was scattered about. Diapers that never quite made it to the garbage can. Empty cracker boxes and half full cereal boxes on the kitchen table. Partially consumed bags of gummy snacks. Half-full soda cans everywhere. Fast food wrappers.
There were no roaches...thank goodness for small miracles.
Mail was everywhere. In the bedroom, in the living room, on the floor, on the dining room table. Paid bills, overdue bills, unopened mail.
The whole experience was surreal. But now, the house is now habitable. Unfortunately, I think that they are having financial problems too. The overdue bills gave me an indication of that.
The team needs to give them guidelines that will help them straighten out their life. Simple things that if followed will have profound effects.
Please provide some recommendations for me to pass on to them such as this:
1. Wash all the dishes in the sink before you go to bed.
2. Don't walk over garbage, pick it up and put it in the garbage can.
3. All the mail goes in the one spot.
4. Don't eat in the bedroom.
5. Dirty clothes go in the dirty clothes basket.
6. Trash goes to the dump. Do not let it pile up.
7. Empty your car of all trash each time you go to the dump with your household garbage.
8. Put groceries away when you get home from the store. Do not leave them in the grocery bags on the floor, counter and table.
9. Turn off the lights when you are not in the room.
10. Change the filter for your HVAC unit monthly.
11. Change the oil in your car every three months.
12. Use coupons (especially for the oil changes).
13. Don't eat out. Its cheaper (and healthier) to eat steak at home than going to McDonalds.
I know some of these sound like what I would tell a child, but these are the things that they need to hear.