As a self-declared neat freak, and very organised person, it pains me to live with the mess of teenage boys. More than two years ago I wrote of my frustration with the lovely conditions that one of my sons chose to live in – not surprisingly we are still living with the same mess (I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the original stuff is still on the floor from my post of July 2011)!!
So what is a neat freak to do? Well we told the cleaners to stop at his bedroom door years ago. Just don’t bother, leave it alone, you can’t see the carpet anyway. Naturally, they can’t help themselves, so they pick up some of the stuff, pile it on his bed, and give part of the floor a cursory vacuum (I feel their pain).
Just tonight said Man-Child declared his room was so messy because his brother is constantly throwing things in the room, a tactic learned from their father, who used to put the dirty frying pan in the bedroom of the offender, when it wasn’t washed. Well when I looked I didn’t see any signs of recent rubbish, dirty breakfast bowls, half eaten pizza crusts, or empty stubbies. I saw a mixture of paperwork, leftover bedding from sleepovers, sports bags from past camping trips, music systems and gifts from Christmas, and crumpled clothing that he will either wear tomorrow or wore a year ago!
After more fighting upstairs recently between the men-children (it’s STILL a common occurrence) I told both of them that at a minimum I expected them to keep their common areas tidy and free of each other’s dirty clothes, crockery, rubbish, etc, but that they could keep their rooms as they chose. Except, it still pisses me off that one bedroom is a veritable swamp!
Tonight, I had a light bulb moment, inspired by the cleaner’s pile of whatever on the bed. I decided I now have two options: I will either bag up everything on the floor and dispose of it in plastic bags (or at least park it on the back porch), or better still, I will just open the cupboards (basically empty) and shove it all in there where I can’t see it, and quite frankly he can just forget about it, freeing the floor for the cleaners, me from further pain, and man-child from some ghastly disease as a result of the bacteria growing in his room.
I mentioned to him that I had a brain wave, and that I would take action on the weekend. Man-Child was filthy at me, and made various threats about what he would do if I set foot in his room. So I intend to stew on it for a few days and then consider implementing my plan. Let me know your thoughts please. Do I have the right to go into his room and clean it up (as the cleaners do)? Am I invading his privacy by doing so? I’m not snooping, just picking stuff up off the floor. He is almost 18, but I am his parent, and it’s my house! Am I crossing the line or not? Any other ideas about how to approach the problem, apart from therapy? Yours in hideous chaos, Mother of a Man-Child.
Here’s the original post about the mess: https://motherofamanchild.com/2011/07/22/living-with-man-child-mess/