Lazy, Messy Daughter-in-Law

Question: Dear Luise: How can I learn to cope with a lazy daughter in law who keeps my grand kids living environment a messy, nasty house and dresses my granddaughter as if she does not have any nice clothes to wear to school and won’t dress her in nice things that I bought for school? J.

Answer: Dear
J. You learn to cope with her by learning to cope with you son’s choice. We don’t get to pick our children’s spouses and sometimes I think that custom has some merit. They are young when they choose a mate, (just like we were), and they have very little going for them except luck. When it comes to a life-partner, it doesn’t seem fair to have to settle for the luck of the draw.

Most of the time our adult children don’t ask us what we think, and when they do, it may not affect their decisions. I use the term “adult” very loosely here because it takes most of us, myself included, a long time to become mature and wise. Most of us don’t start out that way and most of us pick a mate when we don’t have a clue.

The ball is now in your son’s court, so to speak. He’s made his choice and how his house is kept and how his children are dressed are up to your son and his wife. That’s a bitter pill to swallow, I know, especially when you have contributed clothes you feel are suitable for your granddaughter…that are not being used or properly taken care of.

That’s just the way it is. Your son created a new family unit and you are not an integral part of it. It’s often pretty hard to face that fact. When our children are born they are 100% our business…and that continues for many years. When it’s over, it is sometimes hard to accept. None-the-less, it is over when they leave home and establish family units themselves and we have to back off. Blessings, Luise

3 Responses to Lazy, Messy Daughter-in-Law

  1. A. July 6, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    Hi I am from Brisbane Australia and a very caring sharing considerate, thoughtful, grandmother of 2, well let me tell you it isn’t any better in Australia either, they breed em lazy down here as well, housework doenst take a high priority with either my son or his lazy wife.

    Each time I visit the house smells, nappys piled high , rubbish strewn, sink full of god knows what!!! smelly too boot, it stresses me and frustrates me NO END and you feel so helpless and angry at their choice of lifestyle and they way they treat their possessions and environment, fresh air WHAT”S THAT!!!!!!!!!!

    they have 2 big dogs who roam the house leaving their hair everywhere, they do their doggy business at the back door on the porch and the droppings are left there, which is directly above my grandsons sandpit, every time I go there I spend 6 hours cleaning and tidying as I cant stand to be amongst it!! thinking they would take the hint, I know it is their house and their choice but gee I wish grandparents were acknowledged in a fitting way instead of being branded the interfering mother in law who has no brains, or ideas or experience with kids!! I am sure that they think we landed from another planet

    , so when it rains, guess where the watery slush goes??? OMG this GenY have no idea of cleanliness, you are right, you cant pick your family, but you dare not say anything directly, aaahhh but they can say what they think and feel!!!! you can hint indirectly albeit they feel like you are criticising and judging, but all you care about is the welfare of your grandchildren, it breaks my heart to see them living like this and unless their life is in danger, family services don’t want to know about it, they too live on luck and borrowed time before something comes crashing down, I support them financially as well, they do appreciate it, but don’t show any emotion over my kind gestures

    I would like to see them cope without any of my help, I am not a martyr by no means, but the price you pay to see your grandchildren, I tolerate my daughter in law for my precious grandchildrens sake, Iand I wish I could say I was happy with my son and his choices but unfortunately I cant and I wont as it is a bone on contention, I am sure your readers will empathise entirely, thanks for listening. A.

    • Luise Volta July 14, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

      I sure wish your situation was the exception to the rule…but I have read about it too many times to be able to hang on to that fantasy. Please consider coming over to my Web-forum at if you would like to joing a supportive comunity of other women facing cimilar circumstances. Blessings, Luise

      • Leila April 15, 2020 at 5:03 pm #

        “they breed em lazy down here”
        “OMG this GenY have…”
        “I wish grandparents were acknowledged in a fitting way instead of being branded the interfering mother in law”

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