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Parent Called Out For Demanding Their Daughter Clean Her House Before They Visit Her

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For those of us who have a place to call our own, our comfort levels regarding the cleanliness and presentation of our home will vary based on our personalities and who is visiting.

Unfortunately for some, there are people out there who like to comment on and criticize someone else’s house when they visit and inspect it.

One parent went so far as to make demands before they would even agree to visit, according to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Immediate_Reserve977 didn’t see anything wrong with only agreeing to visit their daughter’s house after she had thoroughly cleaned it.

But after hearing her reaction to this, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if they were demanding too much.

They asked the sub:

“AITA for telling my daughter she would need to clean the house before I visit?”

The OP had high standards for cleanliness.

“My daughter has been wanting me to come to visit her, her husband, and her four children for a while now.”

“I don’t like to go to anyone’s home because I like them to be neatly kept before I enter them.”

“I keep my home pristine. Nothing is out of place, and you could eat off the floor. It’s never dirty, messy, or cluttered.”

“It’s as clean as a model home and that’s how I prefer it.”

The OP was not comfortable visiting their daughter’s house for this reason.

“My daughter has a beagle inside and sometimes dog hair is on the furniture.”

“Also, there are toys strewn about, dirty dishes in the sink, unfolded laundry in baskets. Book bags, papers, lunch boxes on the table and just not up to my standards at all.”

“Just being in her home makes my skin crawl because of how messy it is. I can’t be in there for long.”

“She tells me just to relax and that the clutter won’t kill me, but she doesn’t realize how badly it affects me.”

The OP agreed to visit, but with conditions.

“I told her that if she wanted me to visit, then she needs to clean the house well before I arrive.”

“Dishes washed, laundry put away, sweep, vacuum, mop, put the kids’ things away that are on the floor and table.”

The OP’s daughter did not agree.

“I don’t think that is unreasonable, but she was mad at me.”

“She said I can just stay home then if the only way I’m going to visit is if she deep cleans her house right before.”

“I had my other daughter who keeps a neat home call her and tell her that I visit her when she cleans, but that just made my daughter even angrier.”

“She’s telling everyone in our family that my love is conditional and that I’m being an AH.”

“AITA?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some said it sounded like the daughter’s house was lived in, not dirty.

“Considering OP described her home as looking like a model home. Yea, the daughter’s house just sounds like people actually live there.”PlacidPanda

“My mother grew up in an ultra-neat household and hated it, she always used to say that enjoying your family doesn’t involve sanitizing them. It’d be a lot to ask even a SAHP to keep a household of four kids and a pet spotless. I wonder what OP’s daughter’s childhood was like.”Vilnius_Nastavnik

“YTA, she has a functioning family and a pet, she doesn’t live by herself. It’s not practical nor feasible to keep it neat and tidy like your house for the duration of the visit. Kids and dogs are messy.”

“I don’t think you should set an ultimatum and cancel your arrival, your daughter needs the visit of her mom. It’s unfair to take away her anticipated visit because she doesn’t live up to those expectations. I love clean houses too, but I’m not going to cancel an invitation to someone I love because it’s not clean.”

“I suppose you’ve been to messy places before, it’s not your first place and not your last. Be flexible, she’s your daughter in the aftermath. Maybe you can set a compromise that she’ll keep your room neat while you stay.”Compensate1995

“For me, the daughter’s house sounds a lot more comfortable to be in than OP. Clean homes seem sterile and unlived in to me, and they make me nervous. I wonder how she would like it if I insisted she messy up her house before I visited?”

“Honestly, I bet her daughter is so relieved to not have to live in a showroom anymore.”

“I went a little nuts when I went to college because I didn’t have to live with my dad’s standards of only 10 items on the dresser and 15 on the desk anymore. He once counted each individual pad I had hidden behind the stereo, which was mortifying for a teenage girl.”SnipesCC

Others agreed and said the OP should consider getting help.

“What you are describing seems like in the normal range of mess for a large family with pets and a pathological need for cleanliness on your part.”

“I won’t call you an AH for your apparent mental health disorder, but YTA for getting your other daughter involved.”

“Consider therapy.”jacquilynne

“It’s lived in. The daughter has 6 people and pets! It’s not going to stay clean unless she follows everyone and everything around cleaning up. OP is OCD and needs therapy before she loses her daughter.”wet_fartz

“I get like this about messes too and I don’t let it be anyone else’s issue but my own. It’s nothing to do with ‘dirty,’ it’s a mental disorder. Either that or OP is just super rude but I’m leaning towards it being an issue that she could seek mental help for.”

“Take it from me, OP, you can’t let this control you/your life. I know that it can be hard to fight the “germaphobia” (not 100% accurate term but IDK (I don’t know) what else to call it) but it’s YOUR problem, not your daughter’s.”

“If you can’t control yourself for a few hours, then you need to apologize to your daughter and seek therapy and try again when your head is in a better space. Think of it as a ‘deep clean’ for your brain.”Lilpinkpanties

“Those who mind, don’t matter and those who matter, don’t mind.”

“That’s a mantra around my friend group because we all have kids, pets, hobbies, and full-time jobs, so a little mess isn’t going to bother us or prevent us from spending quality time with our loved ones.”

“OP, you really better hope your daughter doesn’t hear this phrase, because instead of focusing on what’s important – spending time with family – you’d rather nitpick and complain her house is messy… with 4 children in it.”

“Your conditional love is not going to get you anywhere except sitting by yourself in your neat house.”lisalef

The OP seemed to believe this demand was justified before visiting their daughter’s house, but the subReddit did not agree. Rather, they believed this was a sign of conditional love and that the OP needed help before they ruined their chances of having a relationship with their daughter and grandchildren.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.