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The Strawberry Letter: My House My Rules

Dear Steve and Shirley,

I've been married for four years and I just had my first child at age 40. My husband has two children from a previous marriage. When I came home with the baby, he had his two children at my house and it was a mess. His son is 14 and his daughter is 11.

My husband said they're not used to cleaning up, so he would get to it. His entitled children have a housekeeper at their main home with their mom, so they don't have to lift a finger. I didn't speak to him for days because the house was filthy and he shouldn't have me and our newborn daughter come home to filth.

I told his ex-wife that she should start now. It's not too late to give the kids basic chores around the home. She agreed, but she said the children complained when they're tired or want to be with their friends instead of cleaning up. I wasn't that concerned about what goes on at her house, but I told her they need to be ready to keep my house clean when they're visiting us.

Then she got testy and said they're not visiting, they live at my house too. I reminded her that her ex-husband moved into my home, so they are still guests in my home when they come over. She called my husband and I was irritated that he even took the time to hear her out and even more irritated that he said he was offended by what I told his ex-wife.

I told him that by all means his children are welcome, but it's still my home and all of my household rules apply. So the kids will be cleaning up behind themselves over here.

Why are he and his ex-wife against instilling the values of cleanliness in their kids? Am I out of line for how I want to run my house? Help me understand.