Wednesday, December 2, 2009

When the house is a mess

I've read this story in a magazine in Hebrew we receive monthly, and thought you ladies might find interest in it just as I did. I will translate some select parts for you. It's told by a housewife who decides to go out and do some volunteer work, and ends up volunteering to help another wife and mother take control over her household.

"I had some basic information about the family. They were new immigrants with six children, and the mother had no idea about home management. How hard could it be? I arrived at their house on the next day.

I knocked on the door, and as soon as it was open, I wanted to just turn around and run away. A hot cloud of stink issued out of the apartment. I walked in, hardly breathing. God have mercy. I have never seen such a house, not even dreamed such a thing could exist: dishes were piled on the floor, and each carried the remnants of what had been food a month previously. Thousands of ants were swarming around them. The floor and the area around the kitchen sink were piled with books, and plastic dishes on top of them. Clothes were heaped on the stove, the refrigerator was not connected to electricity; it was full of scraps of food. A horror. Another refrigerator was working, but its door was open. There were mattresses on the floor, with dishes and more dishes on top of them, and cups and forks. And garbage bags, part of which fell to the floor and mingled with - you guessed it - the plates.

I understood the plates business right away. In that house, they don't wash the dishes. They just put them aside after eating. They don't do the laundry and don't empty the trash can.

The woman apologized for the mess, and said it's because she's busy taking care of the baby. The baby was a creature crawling between the mattresses, the garbage and the plates. At the moment I first looked at her, she was eating sand. Perhaps because that was the tastiest thing she knew. I asked the mother what she normally cooks, and it turned out she doesn't cook anything but eggs. I thought she was kidding, but she was not. This woman would feed her children snacks, and once a week they would get meat from a volunteering organization. It was pure neglect.

But when the children arrived, I saw there are good sides to her too. She hugged and kissed all her children and told them to go get something to eat. I saw her children are happy, even though they were a little thin and very dirty. I saw how things run in their home. The children go through the cupboards and both refrigerators, the one that works and the one that doesn't, eat and throw the plates upon the floor, and it comes as naturally to them as breathing.

I went down to the grocery store and bought giant garbage bags. Three of them were full after three minutes. After an hour we had twenty-five bags full of garbage, and believe it or not, that was not even the half of it.

When we met next time, I consulted her on how we should wash the dishes. She suggested we should pile them in the bath tub and wash them all at once - and that's what we did. We filled the tub with hot water and lots of soap, and threw all the dishes inside. The woman washed the dishes and I wiped them dry. In the meantime we talked about life, about our husbands and children. It turned out she is not stupid at all. Actually, she was very intelligent, a university graduate, and she was a kind, warm person.

When the children arrived, they saw a table piled with tens, perhaps hundreds of clean dishes. It might sound unreal, but these people would buy dishes instead of washing them."

That isn't a very pretty picture, is it? I wonder if this story is actually true; I don't want to believe that such neglect can actually exist in a house with able-bodied adults. I can understand, however, that it might be easy to just let things go if there is no routine and no order.

When things are neglected at home, nothing can go right. It's a cause of discomfort because it's difficult to relax in a messy home, and a waste of time and money because food isn't prepared wisely and people buy things they already have.

And now excuse me, I'm off to wash some dishes.


Margaret said...

That isn't normal. It's not a lack of homemaking skills; I'm willing to bet the woman has some kind of mental or emotional problem. There is sloppiness, even low cleaning standards or a lot of dust, and then there are situations like this. Compulsive hoarders are similarly incapable of keeping their homes clean. It's a very serious problem. Normal, mentally healthy people would not be able to cope with living that way.

Jo said...

When my sons were younger I would visit their friends parents home and I was surprised at some of the messes I would encounter: dishes not washed, piles of washing on the floor, vacuum cleaner out but not used, toys everywhere. I can't live in a mess (or a dirty home) - I like my dishes washed, clothes put away and toys in their "homes" - but I assume some people cope with the mess and muddle!! Not me:)

Keeping a clean and tidy home also teachers our children the basics of managing a home - so when they move into their own homes they know what to do.


PS I try to never go to bed with dirty dishes on the sink! as I don't like waking up to food stuck on to plates:)

Anonymous said...

I must laugh; halfway through the post, I stopped reading to go wash dishes. In the US, there is a television show called Hoarders (which I must admit I haven't seen, as I don't have a TV) about about houses in complete chaos. I've always believed that everyone, regardless of gender, should be able to make a simple meal, wash dishes, and do laundry. Those skills go a long way to an orderly house.

Susan said...

Unfortunately, I think this story is probably true. Here in the US, we have a television show called "Hoarders" which is about trying to help people who find themselves in just this situation. For some it is a physical manifestation of a mental illness (obsessive compulsive disorder or depression usually). For others it is just something that creeps in over time until it seems insurmountable. Tragic.

Joie said...

It's not just simple neglect, it's mental illness. There may be other contributing factors but there's an underlying cause to living like that.

Dessi said...

Love your posts and this one was so on time:) Thank you for being an inspiration to me!!!

Anonymous said...

My house is nothing like that, but I do understand. I have too much clutter and we are so busy that it is difficult to get it under control. Even when we spend the weekend getting everything under control, it doesn't stay that way for very long. I don't know what to do. In some ways I feel guilty, but it is just stuff. Why should it matter so much if it is a little piled up? My clothes are clean and dishes are done.

Oh well, sorry to ramble. Obviously it bothers me some, but I am not an ordered person anyway. I appreciate those of you who are neat. I just remind myself that someday the kids will be all grown up and my house will be very quiet and very clean.

Civilla said...

I agree that that is what happens to a home that is a pit stop and not a home. Also, I agree that there could be some kind of emotional disorder with the wife. That is not normal or natural. Perhaps, though, the wife grew up in such a home and was never taught to keep things in order. Who knows? The picture painted is extreme and gross.

I have seen very bad houses, but not that bad. Speaking of the British women who go into home and clean them up, my two sons, when they were in high school, used to do that for their friends' rooms! They were appalled at the mess and had to clean it up.

Once, a couple of friends (brothers) shared the attic as their bedroom and it was a mess. My sons asked if they could clean it up, and after a whole afternoon of work, they had it spic and span, with, yes, several garbage bags filled with junk. The mom was impressed and asked me if my boys could come over all the time!

I'm gonna go wash some dishes now! My house isn't what it should be...I've slacked off!

Homemakers Cottage said...

Unfortunatelty, I'm afraid this story parallels the reality of some people's lives. Earlier this year, my husband and I helped a young family (4 small children, no father, non-working mother) that was in a very bad situation. When we helped this family move into a new apartment, the trailer they were living in looked very much like the description in the story you posted. It was sickening that humans could live in such conditions. The sad part is that, within a month, the apartment this family moved into looked like the disgusting trailer they had just moved out of. It was disheartening that we were not able to help this family... but how can you help someone who refuses to help herself?

Rachel said...

I would say I cannot imagine it, but unfortunately, I *can*. I've helped a friend of mine clean her home...when I was a newlywed, pre-children...I was appalled. I spent 3 hrs just cleaning the bathroom, and then went and cleaned the kitchen.

It wasn't just her, and her lack of skills--it was her husband's fault too. Between the two of them, and their 'issues', it was just...oh...there are no words.

All you can do is pray as you do what you can to help them dig themselves out...

Shorty said...

Someone mentioned the show Hoarders, which is a compulsion to keep everything. It is quite shocking to see how some of these people live, but also quite sad, they are clearly dealing with some issues mentally and emotionally.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in such a house, so I have no trouble believing it. My husband thinks it is funny that making up the bed every morning is so important to me, but in my head, each thing left undone is slipping toward that all-too-real possibility of household chaos. My parents are both educated, working, intelligent people, who probably seem normal to most of the people who know them.

It seems incomprehensible to people who have never experienced it, but it is something that happens easily, to more people than you'd ever believe. In my experience, there are a couple of major factors that played into it:

*Like many modern families, my parents both worked, but they still held onto older cultural ideas about the wife being responsible for the house. This doesn't lead to chaos for everyone, obviously, but it does put an unfair burden on the wife: she must work full-time just like the husband, but at the end of the workday, when they both arrive home, husband's job is over, but wife comes home to a second job: taking care of the house and kids.

*My mother suffers from depression, and possibly chronic fatigue. I don't think she would ever admit to this or seek help for it, but looking back, I see the symptoms clearly. She had several long (over a year) episodes where she barely had enough energy to get through a day at work, and then would come home and go to sleep. There was nobody to clean the house, and nobody to teach us kids to clean the house. So there were flies and mold in the kitchen sink. And yes, sometimes the dishes were too horrible to wash, and we bought new ones. Sometimes we'd put on a dust mask with a little perfume, and have a go at the mess in the kitchen, but our efforts were sporadic and disorganized at best.

That was funny about the eggs, though :) We ate a lot of eggs growing up, because that was almost the only thing my dad knew how to cook. Scrambled eggs are "comfort food" for me.

I think we all live very close to the edge of chaos. If you've always lived in homes where it is kept at bay, perhaps it is not so apparent. But all it takes is an illness, a patch of household discord, a lack of time... and it all goes sliding off into the abyss.

Nothing shocks me anymore... said...

I am currently at home with the children but before that I was a social worker. I have been in those houses. I have tried to teach those families how to keep things in order. I have taken legal action and removed children from homes where the lack of cleanliness was a health and safety hazard. For many women( and I generalize b/c they were usually single parents I was working with) they were raised like that. They were not shown any different. IN their world there was no different. No need to change that b/c that was normal. Sometimes it is associated with domestic violence, drugs, alcohol, sickness or just plain laziness.
Another worker and I had to remove 4 children due to the condition of the house and the parent disregard for concern. They did not care and were fine with the kids being removed. We were fortunate enough to locate a relative who came to pick them up. She was not local so she was not aware of the ongoings. The kids were so filthy they had to be bathed before the Aunt could drive them anywhere. The stink on them was making her physically ill. Very sad.

Anonymous said...


I bet this is real, as others have said we have two shows here in the US that actually highlight this type of thing. Hoarders and How Clean Is Your House (started in England). A really famous one is Clean House where they go in and clean it all out, sell the clutter and use the proceeds to redecorate. I am SHOCKED that anyone allows television crews in. But no one teaches their children simple homemaking skills anymore.

I often wonder what they are thinking, there is no guarantee of a housekeeper, cook, nanny...etc..for ANYONE. AND if you do have have to know how to do the jobs right or they will NOT do them right. I know, I have both been staff and had staff.

I can verify that most young women do not have any idea how some things are done. When in basic training in the military we were told to iron our uniforms to certain standards. Out of 83 people in my flight (my training class) I was the ONLY one who knew how to iron. I am NOT kidding. And the age range was from 17 to 28 years old and included Wives and Mothers!

I also had to show everyone how to clean..they honestly had never cleaned at home and were actually very curious and almost excited to learn. That is HORRIFYING!

Parnets are setting up their children for absolute disaster this way. My children will not leave our home until they can live on their own successfully and have PROVEN that. They will, by the age of 16, be RUNNING my household and have plenty of time and experience to learn from and make mistakes while under my protection.

Sad for those kids, God Bless that volunteer.

Many Blessings :)

Anonymous said...

What a bizarre story! I think the woman who came to help has much patience and kindness. If I walked into a house that looked like the one described in this story, I don't think that I could last very long even though I would want to help this poor woman.

Personally, I like my house clean and organized. Before I became a full-time homemaker, I literally would just "let things go," and it got really ugly to do cleaning when I did decide to do it. So I promised myself when my husband and I moved to our new home, I would NOT be messy again, and so far so good!

Anna said...

Echoing other people, I just want to comment that this example is not normal but is a manifestation of a mental/emotional disorder. This woman needs more help than just volunteer housekeeping services.

Not bad housekeeping or lack of initiative, but a pathological inability to cope.

CappuccinoLife said...

Oh Anna, believe it. I totally believe that story.

And such situations can happen even with intelligent, loving, well-meaning people, although it is often the result of some kind of mental illness.

I knew a family that were hoarders. They were poor, but their house was so cluttered it was hard to find room to walk. Their children, as they grew, tried hard to change things, but could never quite escape the life they'd been brought up in.

Even my brother, who is highly intelligent, going to med school, and a very tidy person, obsessed with cleanliness, had the most amazingly cluttered room, and he didn't even have a family helping him clutter. When my dad cleared out brother's childhood bedroom, he got a good 15 bags of garbage out of it (mostly old newspapers, magazines, etc).

I do think some of us have a natural advantage in this area, or the advantage of having been brought up with an eye towards neatness and proper household management. But I can also sympathize with people who let dirt and clutter take over. I have to work hard and set my mind on keeping my house in order, and as I've had more children, I've seen that while I may never let things get that bad, I sometimes get a little too close to the edge of chaos than I should.

I don't know if it'd be on tv in Israel, but in America there is a whole reality series dedicated to showing such people and trying to help them clean up their homes and fix their unhealthy behaviours.

CappuccinoLife said...

Oh, I forgot something.

Last year I saw a documentary on Orthodox Jewish women (it was rather negative, sadly), but there was a contrast between some of the women that amazed me. Both families had many children. But one was highly organized, well-ordered, and spotlessly clean. The other was well completely chaotic. The children described it as "crazy" but were still happy kids. But we're talking about extreme clutter, clothes hanging on banisters, clothes in piles, dishes in piles, hardly room to move around for all the stuff that was in there.

Otter Mom said...

It's probably a true story. I see others have mentioned hoarding, which is a real thing. One of my father's friend's wife was a hoarder. When the man died, my father volunteered to help his widow get their house organized so she could sell it. That's when we discovered that she was a hoarder. At that point, their son got involved and got her into care that she badly needed but we still cleaned out the house for him. It is impossible to describe just how bad it gets. It's incredibly sad, it is a mental illness, and I hope to never have to see it again. It's not just possessions, sometimes it's animals that people collect. Filth goes along with it and frequently bad physical health.

Laura Ashley said...

I'm also inclined to beleive this is some kind of mental disorder. Maybe depression or ADD. Perhaps she can't focus enough on her enough to clean. Or perhaps she has just given up.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I have had relatives with similar types of problems, one much, much worse, if you can imagine. I was in charge of taking care of it and her. Alcohol was involved with these cases. I lived close to another family about 15 yrs ago whose situation sounded so much like this one. Mom was smart, is a nurse now, Dad was book smart but eccentric. There was no heat, no working toilet, the ceiling was caving in, and dishes stacked all over the place. We gave them a heater to use - she seemed to not be a bit embarrassed. The house was ordered torn down recently and she had already moved next door and they seem to be struggling to keep this place up, too. I know other cases, too, and I don't think the people are mentally ill as much as just very eccentric. I DO acknowledge there are those who are mentally ill doing this. Just saying it is a myriad of reasons. OH! I just remembered! I babysat for a family of brilliant scholars when I was about 13. The parents had post degrees in teaching, kids were all honor students. I hated being there and couldn't believe they let me in. Just a horrid mess and one child was sleeping on a wet mattress in the basement. At some point it came out that the woman had a pill problem and was depressed, but I don't think the house got cleaned up still. Because of homeschooling, I have had to let my standard down and get used to clutter. It makes me miserable, but I have managed for years to deal with it. There will time for being a neatnik later.
Blessings, Joanie (USA)

Lady M said...

I hope that no one would be offended if they showed up at my house and there were toys all over the living room floor (the 1 yr olds) and laundry in piles on the kitchen floor! That means the baby is busy playing while the older ones and I are doing laundry! Most of my friends with children understand (they are there, too) and not everyone has a laundry room to sort things in. That said, we try to clean up before we go to bed. But, we homeschool, thus our house is Completely being lived in 24/7 - thus, never perfectly tidy - not happening with 3 children in the home all day/every day.

Anna A said...

...Loving the sound I'm listening to right now: the dishwasher humming in the kitchen!

I've seen "How cealn is your home?" too, this kind of homes are unbelievable, but I guess true. Sad, I hope things go better for these people now.

I don't mind clutter or dust (well I do in my own home, but sometimes it's just overwhelming to keep things absolutely spotless) but dirty kitchens and bathrooms are a no-no..

Anonymous said...

Probably mental illness. It's true that it's easy to let things slide, but there's a big difference between a messy, kind of dirty house, and this slum. Most people sense an invisible line of acceptable societal hygene; whoever steps beyond that usually has a problem.

But why's everyone blaming just the woman? Where's the husband in this mess? He should step up, especially if she has issues. I don't see why no one holds him any more responsible than the kids.

Anonymous said...

Anna, this either has to be a gross exaggeration on the part of the author of the piece, or the woman with whom she was dealing had a serious disorder of some sort. This is not typical; indeed, it's not even atypical. It's radically wrong and uncommon. Those poor kids . . . .

Anonymous said...

Lady M, it's true that, extremes aside, one person's clutter is another person's choice (or lack thereof - I wish I had a scullery, too!). I am sure some people would regard the pile of books beside my bed as clutter. I regard them as essential to civilized living!


CappuccinoLife said...

For those who want to see the kind of extremes the article was talking about (as opposed to a "lived-in" look of a house with a largefamily or just general messiness), you can find episods of "How Clean is your house" on youtube. Oh my! That spurred me to to a little tidying up. Horrifying.

You can also google "squalor". There are websites and support groups dedicated to helping people pull their lives together. Some of the before-pictures of their homes are just nausea-inducing.

I think some would be prone to blame poverty, but I don't believe that's the cause. Rich people can be disgustingly messy, and yet I have been inside dirt/grass huts that were clean, tidy, and comfortable to spend time in. :)

Pendragon said...

I definitely believe this story is true, and the cause probably is mental illness exacerbated by stress and a feeling of being overwhelmed.

Growing up, I knew three families (at different time) whose homes shocked me.

I had a sleep-over once with a girlfriend, when we were eight, whose house consisted of just piles of junk everywhere. I remember being so upset because I got into bed only to find hamster poop all over the sheets and on the pillow. Boy, was I glad to get home.

Each of the three families I knew had five or six kids, with stay-at-home mothers. I don't remember much about the hamster poop mother. One of the mothers seemed very depressed. The third mother was just very involved in organizing activities for her children and the other kids in the neighborhood, like puppet shows and little musicals, so I think that is where she preferred to put her energies; her house wasn't so much dirty as just really messy and chaotic.

Although the cases I knew growing up were large-ish families, I also have relatives who never clean and have many animals in their house. They are a married couple with no kids. I actually get nauseous whenever I step into their kitchen. It's weird because my side of the family (I am related to the male half of this couple) is compulsively neat and tidy. In fact, my male relative is compulsively neat and tidy with respect to his clothes and his cars. I think he just assumes that the housework is his wife's job so he doesn't do any of it. Meanwhile, she is not doing it either because she is not neat and tidy. So it's a bad combination. By the way, they are well-educated and have a very expensive home, the value of which I am sure has depreciated due to the filth inside. Anyone who buys the home will have to have it extensively cleaned and fumigated.

Having that compulsively clean-and-tidy gene, it is hard for me to understand.

Kari said...

My goodness - I didn't realize that things got this bad for some folks!! I grew up with a quasi-hoarder for a mom, and I have now vowed to never follow in that path!! But I do find it extremely difficult to maintain order in the house, partially because of the two toddlers that are "helping" me every step along the way, and partially because I've been dealing with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for the past 10 years. I know that I often get strange looks from folks about things that are exhausting for me, but even simple things like washing the floors take up most of one day's worth of energy. I think we all need to find our happy balance and strive to make our homes warm and inviting to others and our families!!

Anonymous said...

I do want to comment again on hoarding. My mother in law died 6 months ago and she was a severe hoarder. My father in law was not that way and suffered a lot. When he got his garage finally built he said teasingly, but we all knew he meant it, that it was NOT going to get filled up. But that is exactly what happened. So much of what she hung onto was nothing of any value and things of value got mixed with the junk and ruined in the garage. Bedrooms were filled to the ceiling in areas. We have a long, long way to go trying to go through all this stuff. She even had clothes in the garage that cats and mice had got to and she insisted that it should be given to a mission at one time, but wouldn't let them go. She constantly talked about being clean and all the cleaning products she used on the house and her person and I found it so odd. She convinced herself she was the cleanest person around, but it was impossible to truly clean the house because of the heaps of junk. Even her kitchen floor was covered in cans and foods and she would not throw food away that was old. Her eyes grew bad and my son, who lived with her for a while, said she refused to stop when he told her she was eating moldy food. She did affect my father in law in some ways. He recently tried to give me some yogurt that was hers from a year and a half ago and he was eating home canned food from 10 yrs ago. The canned stuff might be safe and if starving, I would say go ahead. But it has lost its nutrients by now and is not a good practice. I feel sorry for the ones who have to live with people like this. She was a very strong personality and her husband tried to just put up with it.

Anonymous said...

yeah, like someone else mentioned there is a US show called "hoarders," my husband and I saw it and it was horrifying. These people would accumulate mass amounts of STUFF, with nowhere to put it... their material things just invaded and took over their lives.
They addressed the issue as basically an addiction to acquiring more and more "stuff" to fill an emotional void. The people had a hard time parting with their clutter, even though it was clearly miserable.

This lady you described sounds like one such case, in similar proportions to those on that tv show that I saw. Of course, perhaps she was not materialistic but more overwhelmed by it all, and had a huge lack of personal responsibility and motivation. (i.e, the responsibility to learn to cook healthy meals, clean, wash dishes, etc)
I am curious as to whether she was able to maintain order and make a decent life for her family after the volunteer left?
Anyway, just think about the implications about idleness, materialism, the need for more, bigger and better that is so strong and prevalent, at least here in my country!

Anonymous said...

I have some trouble with energy, focus and prioritizing so I can understand how a house could get like this. I don't know if there is a name for what ails me but thankfully I am able to hold it together with the help of lists and lots of prayer. It probably seems silly to some people but I have a list of everything I need to do every day including brushing my teeth. I try not to judge people that get in worse shape than me because you never know what they are walking through-and there but for the grace of God go I.

Lea said...

Just to add another comment... :)

I think sometimes people have other issues that show up through this. We have a friend who quit cooking many years ago becuase her husband preferred fast food (he would actually go buy it while she had dinner on the table at home and then it it in front of the TV in the other room), and she has 9 children, one of which is a special needs child. After the special needs child was born, she quit her job to care for him. Their home was always tidy but not clean (she blames sheer numbers of people) and their diet is appaling. Their then 17 year old helped us out for two weeks when our twins were born and was amazed that the laundry got done, three meals a day were prepared at home, and that things were clean! Even more so since we had 2 7-week-olds in the house! She had never seen a cookbook before and was amazed that I had any energy. It turns out that Mom was dealing with her son's disabilities by not eating - she was anorexic. All of the things that my working mother taught me about homemaking (she always said she had two full time jobs that she would gladly choose - teaching outside the home and a wife and mother at home) were things that her mother considered "too hard" "too time consuming" "too energy draining" or just over the top "amazing" to do.

Now that the only child this woman has at home is her special needs son, the house is finally clean. She still doesn't eat enough or well, but the volume of work is much less and she is dealing better mentally with her son.

I also have a relative who is physically disabled who has a home like this - partly due to physical disability and partly due to the same type of emotional language I metnion above (too hard, too time consuming, etc.).

It is sad. And scarey. And not easy to fix.

Thanks for letting me comment.

Anonymous said...

I really struggle with keeping my house neat, but not like that! I tend to let my dishes pile up all day so that I have to do a huge load at night. I tell myself every time that I need to just do a few dishes after every meal. Problem solved. I just have a mental block that when I see two dishes in the sink I think "Oh, that's nothing, I can get those with the lunch dishes." Wrong attitude!

Right now our washing machine broke so I'm taking all the weeks laundry to the laundromat so that we can have a fresh slate when the repair man comes tomorrow. I'm frankly very embaressed and shocked how much laundry I have to do for just one week!

I definitely have some hording tendancies, especially with paper work. Thankfully, my wonderful husband is very good at keeping us organized and making me throw away things that we just do not need. It's definitely a struggle. I grew up with a single mother who didn't know a thing about keeping a house.

She kept the dishes and clothes washed, but there was just so much clutter. I'm afriad I have similar tendencies. I'm trying to set a better example for my children.

Vanessa said...

I can believe this story - I've seen and heard of other homes like this. Sometimes it's hard to understand how anyone could tolerate such a mess, but some people really are that disorganized. My personal opinion is that a variety of spiritual, mental, and emotional problems lead to a disorganized outward life - disorder on the inside tends to lead to disorder on the outside.

Front Porch Society said...

When I worked as a family counselor, this was a too common scene in some of my clients' homes. So, yes, this can be quite common - especially in the inner city areas where poverty resides.

The parents are not purposefully neglecting their children. They just have never been taught the skills themselves. It is literally just them repeating the life cycle they grew up in. They are doing what they know - which relates back to their own homelife experiences.

Add to this that most suffer from some type of mental illness. It paints a really sad picture but this is reality. There are many families that live like this.

Instead of accusing them of being lazy or stupid, more people need to wake up and realize that families like this need our help. They need someone to come alongside them, teach them how to run a house, how to take care of their children, and help them get the mental help they need.

Mommy Lynda said...

I can believe it. I feel sad for the family though. I've been there. (Not quite that bad though). I was working more than full time, a husband that was gone a lot for his work, and a brand new baby with no homemaking knowledge at all. I would get so frustrated at the mess that I would just bag it all up and throw it in the dumpster. No thought to what was going in the bags. We did this our first 2 years of marriage. I'm a lot better now. Still struggling, but doable now. I am thankful beyond words for the people, books, blogs, websites, that I have learned how to take care of my home and my family.

Thank you Anna for your blog!