Shared spaces; living with and renting from a friend.

Lorna - posted on 09/07/2015 ( 2 moms have responded )




My dh (darling husband), dd (darling daughter) and I live with / rent rooms from a very good friend. This weekend we had an issue come up about cleanliness in the common living spaces of the house. My dd and I went to a Labor Day party at our minister's home. Before we had left, my dd had soaked her feet in a tub of water, that we took care of before we left. Unfortunately, my dd did not take care of the damp towel that was left on the futon in the living room. When we got home, my roommate started to scold her about lack of respect of the furniture in the house, about not picking up her things, and how this was not the first time, and that by now, my dd should be much better about such things. I let her finish, and then I responded with the fact that it was a simple mistake, it was just a slightly damp towel, and that every time she scolds my dd in that manor, it causes my dd to feel like she is not welcome to be in the rest of the house, and only in her room, that I pay rent for.
The roommate then proceeds to tell me that we (my family) has not been keeping up with the shared responsibilities of house keeping, and that we are the reason she has not invested in a proper couch for the living room. At this point, I shut down.
We are a very busy little family, my dh and I both work, my dd is in advanced classes in elementary school, and most week days by the time we get home, there is barely enough time for a quick dinner and homework before it is time for bed.
My roommate, and owner of the house, is single, no kids, and works 3 - 12 hour night shifts at the local hospital. She has had a lot of emotional, mental and physical trauma in her life that I would never wish upon anyone, and I don't believe that she truly remembers how it was to be a kid.
I will admit that we need to make a point of doing better about regular cleaning, however the roommate is not always on top of her end of things either.

Am I not seeing her side of things? Did she go to far and I have not lost my mind?
What are some reasonable expectations to help me talk with her about this situation?

We are slowly working on getting into our own place, but the recession hit my family hard, and we have not had space of our own in over 6 years. We are not yet in a financial situation where we could leave this living arrangement.


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Jodi - posted on 09/08/2015




Well, to be fair, I'd flip out if my kid left a wet towel on the futon all day too. I get that you guys are busy, but you are renting in her house, not the other way around. She obviously has expectations - you can't just write those off because you are busy. Perhaps it is time to move on?

Melissa - posted on 09/08/2015




That is a tough situation to be in, bless your heart! It sounds like maybe your friend was just having a bad day and the little mess she saw set her off. I thinking talking to her about the situation when everyone is calm is a great idea. I would be upfront and honest with her. Let her know that you appreciate the opportunity to live with her, but being a busy family, perfection in cleanliness is not an option at this stage in your life. Ask her what she expects of you all and if it isn't possible, then there's your answer. I hope you can work it out soon!

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