Monday, April 6, 2009

TIA Brown Advice: Handling Catty Comments from Live-in Relatives


Got issues? Well I have answers. My advice philosophy is simple:

Getting to our best self is easy if you take it one choice at a time.

This week I tackle a double-dose of trouble (and more). What is the best way to handle a situation when your own relatives are critical about the way you run your home and they also want to live with you rent-free?

I’m a happily married attorney with a loving husband and two adorable toddler-aged sons. My girlfriend complains about the state of my house – she thinks it’s too messy - but I am really content. I don’t see what she sees. What should I do?Sloppy But Satisfied

Dear Sloppy But Satisfied:
Friends always have opinions but at the end of the day it is your life to live. Your biggest concerns shouldn’t be your friend’s perspective but whether you can function and whether your husband and young children are content and able to thrive in your home’s current state. If the answers to all of theses questions are yes, then tell your friend thanks, but no thanks, for his/her commentary. But if the answer is no, you should really take a look at how you can keep a more organized and aesthetically pleasing home. Since your schedule is definitely a hectic one you can start by making a cleaning schedule for larger duties, such as cleaning the bathroom or doing the laundry. Another great way to keep things tidy is to set aside 15 minutes at the end of the night after the kids are put to bed to make sure everything is put away. Ultimately, only you can determine what system works best for you.

Several of my family members live with me rent-free and contribute very little to the household finances. However, they are always making comments about the way I parent and run my house. I am very stressed and often feel upset when I’m home. What should I do?Crowded and Confused

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