TIA Brown: Sloppy, But Content


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

Dear Crowded and Confused:
Seems like you have two issues on your hand. First, the fact that you brought up that your long-term houseguests contribute minimally to your bottom line seems like a sore spot for you. You should look at your budget and determine what type of financial help you deem to be fair and adequate then set up a time to discuss the new contribution amount. Secondly, your houseguests’ financial contributions and catty commentary are not interwoven. Even if they pay all of your bills you shouldn’t be subjected to verbal abuse. Do a bit of introspection to determine whether there critiques have any underlying merit, for example you may yell a lot because you’re frustrated. Make a commitment to yourself to evaluate how you’d like to improve as a parent and take real strides – such as counseling – to be the best person you can be. Lastly, talk to your guests about their negative energy and let them know that you find their curt comments to be hurtful and if they have any serious grievances to let you know in a constructive manner, i.e.…having a private conversation or giving you a brief note about things that they find alarming. At the end of the day you are responsible for your happiness. You have the right to decide who lives in your home and how they must conduct themselves. Set the rules.

s-tia-brown-75x75S. Tia Brown has spent the last 10 years following her passion: journalism. As an editor, writer and TV correspondent – you may recognize her face from CNN, E! or MSNBC – Brown’s done everything from interviewing Alicia Keys to commenting on the daily dalliances of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Most recently Brown served as Senior Editor for In Touch Weekly magazine and also worked at Teen People. In addition to working as a journalist, Brown’s currently pursuing her certification as a professional life coach.

Published in: on April 7, 2009 at 1:47 am  Leave a Comment  

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