Social Question

Draconess25's avatar

How do I deal with my mom?

Asked by Draconess25 (4448points) May 10th, 2010

I’m 19. I live with my mom. I plan on remaining that way until I’m out of college (which I haven’t even started yet). I would move into one of my girlfriends’ houses, but Rachel’s mom is an alcoholic, & Ellie’s parents hate me.

My mom is a clean freak; the living, breathing embodiment of the word. I don’t have a problem with her keeping the house clean, but she wants my room to be spotless, which I find uncomfortable because it reminds me of hospitals.

She’ll even go in my room & start tossing out my belongings. She’ll spray Febreze all over my bed, which hurts my lungs & (in my opinion) reeks of chemicals. Everyone (my dad & stepdad, my girlfriends) agrees that she’s going a bit overboard, but my dad & stepdad just tell me to “deal with it”. I’ve been “dealing with it” for the past 12 years.

Also she’s the only one who thinks my room stinks. Everyone else says she’s bonkers. I don’t even know how she can smell anything, since she’s been a heavy smoker for the past 40 years.

I love my mom, but damn!

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40 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

It sounds as if your mom may be suffering from some of the features of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She needs your support. It’s a dreadful condition that leaves one in constant fear. Let her fuck up your room; it won’t kill you, and she needs to do it.

Blackberry's avatar

You are going to have to deal with it unless you do something about. Move out with other independent friends or something. There’s not really much you can do when it’s her house though.

Draconess25's avatar

@dpworkin Yes, but she’s been fucking up my room for the past 12 years. I’d put a lock on my door, but I don’t know how.
@Blackberry Other than my 2 girlfriends, I have no friends.

dpworkin's avatar

Just feel badly for her, try to understand that it’s a compulsion, and try to maintain some privacy somewhere else or in a different way. Mom is unwell.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I agree it sounds like OCD. That being said, talk to her about it. Try to come up with a compromise. If she can’t compromise, ask if you can have a lock on your door so that she won’t be tempted to go in your room and clean it.

Does she acknowledge that she is a bit obsessive with the cleaning or does she not realize that she could be a bit OCD? If she doesn’t think she is OCD, it will be a harder situation to deal with. If she does see that she has a bit of OCD, perhaps getting her to talk to someone professionally could help.

Draconess25's avatar

@Seaofclouds I mentioned it to her a few years ago. She brushed it off as bullshit.
@dpworkin I wouldn’t have a problem with that if she didn’t throw my shit away.

MissA's avatar

When you get out on your own and are paying your own way, you can let your room be however it suits you. Until then, find a way to deal with it.

dpworkin's avatar

Yeah, that’s pretty awful. Maybe she will agree to compromise, and just store it in the garage or something.

poofandmook's avatar

Her house, her rules. You can ask her really nicely to stop but that’s about the only option you have aside from moving out.

Draconess25's avatar

@dpworkin We don’t have a garage. We live in an apartment.

dpworkin's avatar

Ah, I see. Storage unit? Maybe you can pay for a small one.

Draconess25's avatar

@dpworkin How much would it cost?

dpworkin's avatar

I would need to know where you live and stuff to answer that. You can look up “Self Storage” and ask around for some prices. In big cities it costs more, out in the ‘burbs it’s less, and in the country it’s really cheap.

YARNLADY's avatar

If you are paying rent, or working for room and board, you have the right to enforce privacy. It only takes a few dollars and a screw driver to replace your bedroom door handle with the lock type. You can find them at the local home improvement shop.

If you freeloading – you have to just put up with it.

Draconess25's avatar

@YARNLADY I give her money for groceries & bills. Does that count?

YARNLADY's avatar

@Draconess25 Yes, if it come near being self supporting. Here in my area, rooms rent for $400 – $500 a month and food and utilities would run around $200 a month. My grandson does one hour a day housework in exchange for his room and board and pays all of his car expenses, including gas, insurance and upkeep. He’s getting off very cheap.

Draconess25's avatar

@YARNLADY Well, I don’t drive, so I don’t have to worry about that one.

KatawaGrey's avatar

Have you spoken to your mother specifically about the throwing away of your stuff? If she brushes that off, maybe you could try and do the cleaning with her. Tell her you want to learn from the best about how to clean once you get your own place. Or maybe you could tell her that you will clean your room x times a week in exchange for her not cleaning at all. It sounds to me that you don’t have a terrible relationship with your mom aside from the cleaning issues so this shouldn’t be too hard or weird for her to hear.

@YARNLADY: Since when is a teenager living at home freeloading? It’s not as if @Draconess25 is in her mid-twenties and refuses to get a job.

perspicacious's avatar

You keep your room clean and mom will stay out of it. If she wants a spotless house, and you live in her house, that’s the way it has to be. You’ll have your own home one day. Sorry, but that’s life.

Draconess25's avatar

@KatawaGrey But there’s nothing to clean! My books & games are on the shelves in alphabetical order, & I organize my clothes based on style. Only my bed is messy, because I sleep 12 hours at a time & I see no point in constantly making it. Surprisingly, she leaves my bed alone save for the Febreze. She just walks in, & takes stuff out of my closet & throws it out. She doesn’t even check if it is messy.

janbb's avatar

I would seriously consider putting a lock on the door and telling your Mom you will keep your room clean but do it by yourself. It should not be too hard to enlist a friend to help you with the installation or ask Home Depot for instructions and tools. Since you love your Mom, why not talk to her about your plan, tell her you understand her urge to clean and reassure her that you will keep your room clean but it needs to be your room?

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Draconess25: I’m sorry to hear that. :( That sounds like it goes beyond the cleaning and into some completely different issues. Could you perhaps talk to your stepdad and ask him to talk to your mom with you?

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Draconess25: Ah, damn, that’s rough. In that case, I think @janbb‘s suggestion of getting a lock and explaining to your mother why you got it is the best. Best of luck, I hope it all works out for the best.

janbb's avatar

what am I, chopped liver?

Draconess25's avatar

@janbb Thanks, I’m just in a hurry. I need a shower bad.

janbb's avatar

You’re forgiven. Go get clean. :-)

@dpworkin Another county heard from. Don’t you have to go study again?

casheroo's avatar

Dude, I pay rent..I’m married, with kids..live at my parents. My mother is majorly OCD when it comes to cleaning. So much that she totally invades our privacy ALL the time. I’ve asked her to stop, and she seems to forget anytime I’ve asked. Try being woken up at 7am after almost no sleep because of a toddler or newborn, to be told to clean.

I don’t think there’s anything you can do. I’ve tried with my mom and she hasn’t changed! We move on Sunday and we’re so excited! lol

Supacase's avatar

This isn’t a cleanliness issue, this is now a privacy issue. You are an adult and she needs to respect that by leaving your things alone. I understand your mom has an illness, so it won’t be easy. Maybe she will agree to let you keep the door closed? If the door is closed, she stays out?

If not, maybe you can at least overcome the Febreze problem. Is there a natural scent that you like? Maybe something citrusy? Citrus tends to smell clean, so if you can find something you like maybe the two of you can come to some agreement on that.

john65pennington's avatar

Bottomline out of all the other answers, is that this is still her home. its yours also, but under a different set of rules, since you are an adult. i assume you pay no rent, so you really do not have much of a valued opinion. my words are tough, but this is the way it is in life and i think you know this. your best bet is to move out, but since this is not possible, you are stuck with the situation. if you are just starting college and living at home, your mothers ground rules still are paramount for you.

poofandmook's avatar

I would not put a lock on your bedroom door, since it’s her house. I would try putting a lock on your closet door instead, since you said she just goes in there and throws things out.

Also, do some research online and try to find a natural deodorizer. There are probably tons of them out there for people who want to stay away from chemicals. I don’t remember the name of the company, but I keep seeing commercials for “green” cleaning supplies. If you can pick up a spray that you’re happy with, maybe she will use that instead of Febreze.

YARNLADY's avatar

@KatawaGrey According to the ‘details’ above, this person is an adult – age 19

KatawaGrey's avatar

@YARNLADY: Yes, and at 19, she is still a teenager. It is not freeloading when a young adult who is planning on going to college lives at home. Also, I would like to point out that when you were the same age as this person, you were not an adult.

poofandmook's avatar

@KatawaGrey: I see where @YARNLADY is coming from though… I moved out the day before I graduated high school, only having turned 18 a month prior. It all depends on how you were raised and your personal circumstances, I suppose.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@poofandmook: This is true. I will say that I called my mother to inquire about her reaction to this question and she told me that once I had graduated, she would expect me to start helping out with bills and the like but before then, she would not expect any form of payment as I have no gainful employment and am losing money going to school rather than making money working.

YARNLADY's avatar

@KatawaGrey I was not only an adult, I was married, pregnant and living on my own.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I would discuss with your mother how she would feel if you felt forced to leave home because you can’t be sure your belongings won’t be thrown away whenever you are not there to guard them.
If she does not want to drive you out of her home permanently, then ask her if she will consent to you having your room locked when you are not in it.
If she agrees, you must be prepared to keep your room so clean and sanitary that it will not affect the rest of the house. There may be room for compromise here, even if your mother has OCD or obsessive tendencies.

partyparty's avatar

Have you tried talking to your mum about the situation?
Think she is acting excessively by thowing out your clothes.
Regarding the cleanliness, all I can say is it’s her house, so she can decide whether it is clean or dirty. If you offer to keep your room clean, and perhaps say your mum can check it once or twice a week, then maybe, just maybe she will leave your room alone.
Until you are living independently you will have to tolerate her rules.

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