or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Stay at Home Parents › Vent about feeling alone with housework
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Vent about feeling alone with housework

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I need to vent, so thank you in advance for listening.

Before kids, DH would cook and I would do dishes. He would do laundry sometimes and sometimes I would. Now that I am SAHM, I do it all. But I get nothing done. I am constantly overwhelmed by the state of the house. I get one room under control per week and then by the time I get another room tidy, the first one is a chaotic mess again. (DD is 5 and DS is 2 1/2 almost)

 

I came home from yoga tonight. The kids had been asleep for at least 40 minutes. The living room was worse than when I left. The toys I had told DD to put away were still out. And more too.

 

The kitchen had the same clothes, toys, dropped food on the floor, things from making dinner for today and tomorrow and recipes on the counter, dirty dishes in the sink.  The bags from DH's latest grocery trip on the floor with receipts in them.

 

DH started the dishwasher and thinks that is enough! What?!  Occaisionally DD (nearly 5) will do dishes and it is marvelous. But it comes on her whim. DH only does extra if I ask him specifically.

 

We don't have a routine around cleaning, and I don't know how to make it something the kids will do that I can keep doing and learn and feel good about. My Nana who helped raise me was addicted to routine and would freak out if she had to divert from it. I am turned off by routine, but feel lost without one too.

 

I feel like there is so much more to life, like I am always swimming up hill and never getting it done. I am not getting to my art or the learning I would love to do. I am not having fun. I have no energy for cleaning up the house, especially when DH will not help me very  much.

 

He will if I specifically ask him to do diapers or fold laundry. But I don't want to be the boss on it All the time. Can't he take leadership too and see something needs doing and do it?

 

I have a guest coming for dinner tomorrow and he helpfully did make some food to share with her today, but cleaning up? What's that?

 

he says he's tired too, but he gets to talk to other grown ups all day, have his own thoughts, pee by  himself, have uninterrupted phone conversations, and write down what he wants all day. I get that for 5 minutes if I am lucky.

 

I need more help and not sure how to get it. Livid. I said," How can I do the important things my life if I am always cleaning up after everyone and not even getting that done!?!"

 

He said "Maybe cleaning up is the important work you're supposed to get done."

 

I could have thrown a pizza at him.

 

After he left, I threw some of the food from the counter on the floor.

 

Thank you for listening.

post #2 of 24

 

Quote:

Now that I am SAHM, I do it all. But I get nothing done. I am constantly overwhelmed by the state of the house. I get one room under control per week and then by the time I get another room tidy, the first one is a chaotic mess again. (DD is 5 and DS is 2 1/2 almost)

 

I came home from yoga tonight. The kids had been asleep for at least 40 minutes. The living room was worse than when I left. The toys I had told DD to put away were still out. And more too.

 

The kitchen had the same clothes, toys, dropped food on the floor, things from making dinner for today and tomorrow and recipes on the counter, dirty dishes in the sink.

Oh can I relate!  I pretty much have given up trying to go anywhere by myself because when I get home its worse than ever and  just not worth it!  Whatever state of calm and relaxation I get from a short time alone w/my thoughts is replaced by dread about what I will find when I get back.  The kids are always 'still up'-- over tired, cranky, house trashed w/toys, crafts...whatever dessert/snack eaten AFTER I CLEANED UP is on counter/mess on floor....  

 

I was losing my mind trying to keep the house neat, organized (how I function best), and finally had to just let go of it and relax....however if I don't constantly pick up, it goes from messy to total chaos.  I get that my 'job' is taking care of the house, but there must be some way for me to stay on top of things without it being 24/7 constant vigilance, and never being able to leave the house by myself!

post #3 of 24

My dh doesn't see messes in the same way that I do.  He really likes clean floors, but the rest of the house will be filthy.  Or there will be crumbs left on the counters after he cleans the kitchen.  Or whatever.  He just doesn't see the same things I do.

 

But, he's a great help.  He's willing to do anything I ask of him, anytime. 

 

So, I had to get over myself when I started being a SAHM and realize that, in order to have the household running the way I wanted it to (and let's face it, I was the most impacted, cause I was home everyday all day), that I had to morph into the household manager.  Once I just embraced that as my role during this season, just as his is the financial breadwinner, then it started working better.

 

I also tried to put a priority on what things mattered to me, plus us as a family.  For instance, I really like healthy, home cooked meals.  So, I put a priority on making that happen.  Our family really likes to enjoy family down time together on the weekends.  So, I try to make sure that our family doesn't have too many chores to attend to on the weekends.  I'll forgo a trip to the park on a Thursday morning and clean, so that we can have Saturday morning free to play with all 5 of us.  Stuff like that. 

For different families, those priorities are going to look different.  Which is great and wonderful.  It's just a matter of figuring out what works better for your family.

post #4 of 24

Couldn't read and not reply.  I only have one child (an infant) but I can relate on many levels.  I have been with the father of my daughter for 9 years (married for almost 6 of those years) and he is decidedly untidy.  He is not particularly good at multitasking around the house, is prone to leaving a trail when he gets home from work (or during the day on weekends), and "cleaning as he goes" is a novel concept when he's in the kitchen.  However, we recently had a baby (currently 3 months old) and there is no longer room for either of us to hide behind "it's just my nature" or "I'm just not good at xy or z".  Part of being a good parent is recognizing areas of stagnation and fault and working to change those tendencies. 

 

If getting a reasonable amount of help from your husband requires constant nagging, perhaps you would benefit from what we did in my house.  I sat down and made a weekly list of chores, tasks, and expectations.  I broke everything down into little daily groups and then I put the list on the refrigerator.  I was very clear with my husband that these are the things that need to get done and I will NOT be doing them alone.  The list is always there (eliminating the need for him to ask me what needs to get done) for reference.  We had a talk about fair division of labor (which includes the planning and managing of our shared life), and he took ownership of several tasks.  Consequently, there are things around the house that are consistently completed by the other perfectly capable adult I live with wink1.gif.  Now that he is responsible for keeping the toaster oven clean, he is much less likely to leave it a mess between cleanings because it makes his job harder.  It sounds as if your husband could benefit from a good swift kick in the behind and a set of "his only" tasks.  Hopefully having chores, duties, and/or outings that he is solely responsible for will connect him more directly to the rhythm and needs of the home.

 

I did a blog post about our rhythm/routine if you're curious.  Feel free to PM me with any questions.

post #5 of 24

(didnt read replies)

 

its so frustrating, i know. i actually applaud you for throwing food on the floor, i bet (even though im sure you had to clean it up) it was a mini release. there are times where i wanna do the same thing!

 

like a million other women, i am having the same problem, and i post about it often, but im slowly learning that the only thing that gets dh to do anything is me telling him. why these grown men cant figure out that we need help and we dont want to spell everything out is beyond me.  ive honestly had to say, "can you get the baby from out of the bath? keep the towel on him so he is not cold. put lotion. dont forget his socks. umm... what am i supposed to do with the wet towel on the floor? can you UNPLUG the tub please?" 

 

and yet, men say we nag too much. i just dont get it, im sorry youre having such a rough time

post #6 of 24

We had a heated discussion about some of this topic last night- only it was mainly driven because HE does the bills and usually just tells me what I can and cant spend when I tell him I have to go to the store for something. I explained to him last night that sometimes it would be nice to have him ask me what I have in mind without immediately putting the things I can get in the confines of a budget.

Im not saying that I should be able to go off and spend but it would be nice to have goals to be able to purchase things and not only ever get to reach for whatever is in the account at the time.

It's complicated with us though... we are expecting our 7th in 4 weeks and I have only purchased some baby wash items and a mini crib (from a resale shop). Thats it.
WE dont have a lot of hand me downs because this is the first time Ive had a boy in almost 7 years.

 

But we just moved into a 3200sf house. Im feeling pretty tapped on housework. I have SO MUCH to prepare for and I have 3 kids at home during the day. Lots of people say, "get the older kids to help" but it feels like they are becoming my little slaves and I dont like that. Not to mention my oldest who is almost 12 and I home school, has Juvanile rheumatoid arthritis and has been suffering a LOT from it. The next one down ends up with a brunt of the big kid work since the boys cant reach anything and she gets resentful. And when I have the boys help who are 8 and 7, I have to redo it because I either spend 3 x's the effort just GETTING them to follow through or I find them sweeping dirt into the vents or using the bathroom sponge on the dishes. the other 2 are 5 and 20 mos and usually are the CAUSES OF THE MESS.

 

Laundry is driving me insane. The weather in Portland is SNOTTY.

The kids go out to play and wade in the duck pond or the creek and come in muddy and then change to go back out again so I have a ton of laundry. We are also still unpacking and there isnt a place for everything. Im literally to the point where are the misc hats and scraps of material and cloth napkins, and scarfs and clothes that need mending or stains treated or WHATEVER is all going to go in a MISC bin and thrown in the garage to just get them out of my room. I need heavy things moved around and I have a separated symphasis (pubic bone) so I already am very limited at 36 weeks pregnant. This CHILD is also a grasshopper and he has been pushing down on my cervix so hard I gasp. I lost some of my plug yesterday so I know Im dilating... I need to stay off my feet or he engages so low in my pelvis I cant walk.

In the meantime- my husband who works all day, is in advertising. He is a 1 man band at the time in a very stressful environment trying to get this project done by deadline so he can make it before I go into labor. On TOP of that he has a side freelancing contract he took so we could get an extra seat for my car to fit the new baby in and he is checked out when he gets home, too- this project was totally underbid and is insanely frusterating and tedious. Totally overwhelmed and exhausted as he is, I just cannot push myself to ask him to do all these things for me, too.

 

So last night I explained to him that Im UBER stressed out because I feel like Im completely on my own and I dont know what to do. This always seems to happen at the end of my pregnancies but then again.,.. I always seem to be pregnant, somehow... HAHAHA!

I just pray that God give me strength today and energy and that He remove all the needless things from my mind so I can concentrate on the important ones. Sometimes that means just letting the house work go for a day.

post #7 of 24

I recommend the flylady ( http://www.flylady.net/ ). I think it really helps to make the housework feel manageable, and I dread doing it less.

post #8 of 24
I can totally relate. My husband has literally never used our vacuum and we have been together for about ten years. I stopped working outside of the home when my ds was born 3.5 years ago. Until that point my husband did almost all the cooking and I've caught some slack about not "having dinner ready" when he gets home and complaints about how messy the house is. - sure now that I'm not "working" and only taking care of a 3.5 yo and a 21 mo why don't I do more of the house chores:) I like to quote a line I saw from another Mdc mama: I'm a stay at home mom not a stay at home maid:)
post #9 of 24

I do all of the housework, but with one kiddo it's pretty manageable. The only thing I hate is that DH works so much he's not always home to even help with our son, bath, bedtime etc. I'm due in a couple weeks with number 2 and have a feeling that DH is going to realize he has to make it a priority to work a little less or he's never going to see his kids. As far as housework? I'd be happy if DH would just pick up after himself regularly! I had a conversation with him about it today. It was never a huge deal before kids, but I know after this next kid arrives, it's going to drive me batty. He seemed to take it well...it's not going to be an easy change, but I know DH will adapt eventually. That said, DH does do all the outside work, mows the lawn(1/3 acre), powerwashes the patio, is responsible for all the household projects/repairs and works about 55-60 hours a week...we both try and make time to go to church, spend time with friends, have a date night occasionally and have our own personal time, oh and try and fit enough sleep in there too..that's the one thing that he usually sacrifices to spend time with us, or get any work at home done. That's a lot to cram into one week, so I know it's not all sunshine and roses on his side of things either. One thing I did that helped with laundry is paring down each of our socks to one kind, and not folding them. They all come out of the dryer and are put away in the drawer. I don't fold underwear, and I got rid of a lot of clothes we don't wear so the laundry CANNOT build up to an unmanageble point. I use a lot of foil lined baking pans for cooking, so clean up is easier, but the kitchen is one place where I don't make many shortcuts. I love to cook and prepare meals from scratch, so the kitchen is usually needing to be cleaned, but I try not to let it bother me. I make it a point to get the bathrooms cleaned and floors mopped once a week, and so far have been pretty good at it. I'm 38 weeks pregnant though and exhausted, so the cleaning just doesn't get done because I'm not going to ask DH on his time off to clean the bathtub when he has a million other things he needs to get done. The bathtub just gets rinsed with bleach or vinegar and we call it a day. :) I've found that figuring out ways to make the job easier on myself is the best solution. I never ever heard DH complain about a messy house ever. I don't think he sees or cares about the messes like I do. If I got a complaint out of him I'd probably throw a pizza at him too!

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dejagerw View Post

I recommend the flylady ( http://www.flylady.net/ ). I think it really helps to make the housework feel manageable, and I dread doing it less.



One of my issues with FL was her wearing tennis shoes in the house thing. I dont want people wearing shoes in the house, hahaha! But they have a lot of great tips, nonetheless.

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jynuine View Post





One of my issues with FL was her wearing tennis shoes in the house thing. I dont want people wearing shoes in the house, hahaha! But they have a lot of great tips, nonetheless.


That is so funny because I totally got hung up on that, too! :) But, I understood her sentiment -- when you are a SAHM mom, sometimes you don't put yourself as a priority and it's important. So I get dressed -- minus the shoes! :)

 

OP - I am sorry you are so stressed. I can relate. It's hard because both my husband and I have our own jobs, mine is raising our baby and his is working outside the home. Seriously, raising small children is a job in and of itself because they need so much from you. Especially with babies and their nighttime needs, it can get very exhausting and something as simple as folding laundry turns into a huge task. I was talking to my DH the other night because he was commenting on how tired I  look and act. I told him it's the insane pressure I feel. The mothering part is the easy part -- it's everything else that is so difficult, especially house work. I know what you mean about swimming uphill. I think the most frustrating part is how quickly the house can go from clean to messy. It's very discouraging.

 

This might be the worst advice ever, but have you thought about each having your own 'jurisdiction' of the house? I asked my husband if he would be responsible for the kitchen. He knows that it's his job and that I have my jobs, like the bathrooms, laundry, our room, cooking, etc. So I don't have to ask him to help with the kitchen every night, he knows that it's his job. I think housework really needs to be split equally between moms and dads because it is just too draining for one person to do. I just told my husband that it was too much for me to do everything and how overwhelmed I was feeling. Now that we have that agreement, I don't have to nag or badger, which I absolutely hate.

 

I also find that we when we work side by side its much more enjoyable. Sometimes we have our best conversations when we are doing the dishes together.

 

 

post #12 of 24

I think that it is your full time job to look after the house and the children. It is equal to the DH's job in any way, including having entitlement for the weekend ;)!

post #13 of 24

With us it totally depends on how much hes working, if he just returned from training, is getting ready for training or is deploying soon. If hes working a TON then he gets a free pass on housework and most child relating duties. There are days he works from 2am-6pm, Im not going to expect him to clean the kitchen on top of that. Ill even stay up and wash his uniforms, help get things ready for the next day if needed. If hes working a normal shift than its probably 90/10. I do 90 percent of the cleaning and he pitches in when I need it. Most nights it means he does baths then comes out and wipes down the table/sweeps the floor while Ill do the dishes, pots/pans, wipe down counters, sweep the kitchen and put the trash by the front door for him to take out. Trash is always his responsibility if hes around, I forget to do it half the time. If he just got back from training, is about to go to training or is deploying soon I rarely end up doing anything. He tends to just steam roll through everything and by the time I get around to doing it its already done. Like this morning he vacuumed the whole apartment, swipped the floors, cleaned the kitchen and helped the girls pick up their toys while I was showering and nursing the baby. I came out to clean and it was done. If hes on leave it ends up being around 50/50.

 

Some things through he never thinks about doing.. like putting clothing IN the laundry basket.. Putting underwear ON the children.. making food FOR the children.. and there are a couple more things but the girls are crying and needing me.

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mirandahope View Post

He will if I specifically ask him to do diapers or fold laundry. But I don't want to be the boss on it All the time. Can't he take leadership too and see something needs doing and do it?



I'm sure not all men feel the same about this, but I know with my husband, he's happy to do whatever I'd like him to do around the house, but he needs me to tell him what I need from him.  His brain doesn't work the same way mine does.  He doesn't notice the laundry basket in the corner of the kitchen that needs to be brought downstairs and thrown in the washer.  It would take him 2 minutes to do it and he totally doesn't mind doing it, but he won't think to do it unless I ask.  And as long as I don't nag him or ask when he's in the middle of something that's important to him, he doesn't mind that I ask.  Perhaps you could talk with your husband sometime when you're not stressed about the house or the kids and ask him how you can help him help you a bit.  Maybe you do need a cleaning schedule.  It could be as simple as hubby cleans the bathroom every Tuesday night while you put the kids to bed.  Maybe he doesn't mind you asking, even if you feel like you're being a bother.  Maybe he's like my husband and he just doesn't see the laundry in the corner and the crumbs on the counter.

post #15 of 24

I can relate.  My DH does nothing unless I ask.  If I ask he will do it, but I hate always having to ask!  He says I am like the house manager and all I need to do is delegate and it will get done.  But it frustrates the hell out of me nonetheless.  He is great at watching the kids when he gets home from work so that I can get stuff done, but how nice it would be for me to play with the kids and have dinner made for me, cleaned up for me and a couple of loads of laundry maybe done while dinner is cooking.  I feel like I am a multitasker extraordinaire, and I just don't understand how he can't see what needs to be done all on his own.  We also have 6 pets his job is to feed 4 of them.  If I didn't hound him to do it, they would get fed a couple of times a week if that.  I hate having to ask/tell him what to do. 

post #16 of 24

If you make a system (chore chart, list, whatever) then the responsibility falls to your DH and family to do their share.  Set chores, set days, no guesswork.  Change the expectations and the conversation will also change. It will most likely take a period of adjustment but if you don't like the way things are, it's time to try something else.

post #17 of 24

I made myself a home management notebook, and it has really helped. I leave it in the kitchen, and (after a few weeks of gently reminding him), he checks what he needs to do in the morning and it's (usually) done by that evening.

 

Sometimes it really is as simple as your partner just not knowing what it is you'd like them to do.

 

 

post #18 of 24

Ok, I'm kind of fussy about this, "Men just don't see the mess" thing.  It really really bugs me.  It's not that my husband doesn't see the mess.  It's that I have piles all over the house.  The piles mean things *to me*.  He has no idea what they mean.  If he comes in and starts helping I will yell at him.  I know what needs to be done in the house.  I am the general here. As the general it is my job to delegate work so I don't have to do it all. :P  It is his job not to whine when I start a chore list. :)

 

post #19 of 24

I don't think it's "men don't see the mess", but it's that my dh doesn't prioritize the same things I do.  I had roommates back in the day that thought I was a horrible mess to live with, too.  Different people see mess differently.  I don't think that's making excuses--it just is.

post #20 of 24

Has anyone here ever thought of hiring a full time maid? Someone who stays with with you and is required to do all organizing and all the housework even watch the kids. I know if you hire someone from the STates it would be hard, but I heard of people hiring maids from overseas who were a lot cheaper. What are your thoughts?

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Stay at Home Parents
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Stay at Home Parents › Vent about feeling alone with housework