A stepmom took to Reddit to ask whether she was in the wrong or not for forcing her daughter to pay her back after her daughter trashed her house.
Luckily, the Reddit community was there for her.
A Blended Family Unit
She’s 43, and her husband is 47. They have been married for four years and blended their families together.
One of their children, Olivia, is 18 and lives with them full-time.
A Good Relationship
She initially had a rocky start with OP (as a lot of stepmoms experience), but they eventually grew close.
Now, they confide in each other about things Olivia was too embarrassed to talk to her father about.
Her Daughter’s in College
Olivia is currently attending college and decided to save money by staying at home instead of living on campus, which is close to their house.
But She’s Got Messy Friends
This would have been fine if Olivia wasn’t constantly bringing her friends over and leaving the place a mess.
Normally, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but OP has OCD and hired a cleaning service to come once a week since she’s been working overtime.
Things escalated recently when Olivia and her friends made a complete mess of the house before OP could even come home.
The cleaner had just been a few hours before, but they walked all around the house with their shoes on, made pizza from scratch, and left the crumbs on the counters, among other things.
This Stepmom Was Mad
OP was furious because the cleaning service was quite expensive, and she liked a higher level of cleaning quality.
Her husband tried to get her to let it go, but she couldn’t because of how much it cost.
She Asked Her to Pay Her for the Cleaner!
When she asked Olivia to pay her back for the cleaning service, Olivia acted confused and said she wasn’t responsible.
But OP had video proof from her ring camera showing Olivia and her friends entering the house and making a mess.
She gave Olivia two choices: pay for the damages, or she would stop paying for her phone.
But here’s the thing: Olivia doesn’t have the money to pay for the cleaning service, nor can she afford to lose her phone service.
OP was at a loss, wondering if she was a bad person for forcing her stepdaughter to pay her back.
Was She in the Wrong?
Well, the answer is complicated. On the one hand, Olivia is a young college student who is still figuring things out.
She has been struggling to make friends, and this incident could potentially impact her relationships.
On the other hand, OP is OCD, and she paid for the cleaning service because she wants to ensure a high level of cleanliness in her home.
She Should Respect Her Surroundings
Olivia is trying to make friends, and it’s understandable that she wants to hang out with them at home.
But she should also be respectful of her surroundings and clean up after herself and her friends.
Actions Have Consequences
She should have known that her actions would have consequences, especially since the OP made it clear that she hired a cleaning service and preferred a higher level of cleaning quality.
Did She Overreact?
It’s also true that OP may have overreacted a bit. She could have used this as a teaching moment for Olivia instead of immediately demanding payment.
She could have sat down with her stepdaughter and explained why she was upset and what she expected from her in the future.
She could have also asked Olivia to help clean up the mess and make amends. After all, the mess doesn’t seem too bad – some dirty counters and a few shoe prints.
An Extreme Ultimatum
It’s also worth noting that OP’s ultimatum of paying for the damages or losing her phone bill payment seems a bit extreme.
It’s understandable that OP was angry and wanted some form of compensation, but there could have been other ways to handle the situation.
For example, she could have asked Olivia to contribute to the next cleaning service payment or take on additional chores around the house.
She Got Outside Help
Luckily, the discussion surrounding this was fierce. Many people echoed these sentiments, leading to OP rethinking her decision.
In a later update, she explained that she’d sat down with Olivia and had a full talk with her to fully discuss how they felt about OP’s reaction and how they were still feeling.
They Had an Open and Honest Discussion
Olivia explained to OP that she was upset at her because she’s been struggling to make friends and trying super hard, and she feels as though OP is trying to discourage her from making them.
She Apologized to Her Daughter!
They also talked about the house and the cleaning bill situation.OP apologized to her for overreacting and told her she said some things in the heat of the moment she regrets.
But she stressed to Olivia that she would like her to clean up after herself in the future.
She’s no longer going to ask her to cover the cleaning bill, and she’ll carry on paying for Olivia’s phone bill.
It’s a Tough Situation, but a Happy Ending
Her story is a classic example of the difficulties of blending families. The situation is complicated, and there’s no clear-cut answer to whether she was right or wrong to force her stepdaughter to pay her back.
However, what we can learn from this story is the importance of communication, understanding, and compromise.
Ultimately, trust and respect are the bedrock of any family relationship, and it’s up to families to nurture them.
What do you think about this woman’s story? Did she overreact, or was her daughter in the wrong?
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The post She Demanded That Her Daughter Pays for House Cleaning, Luckily They Aired Out Their Grievances! first appeared on Career Step Up.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dean Drobot. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.