I have two girls ages 9 and 12 (will be 13 in four days). And a husband. Dh works full time. I work 25 hours/week night shift. I am so, so tired of spending my nights off cleaning and picking up. The most frustrating part was dh always comes home saying the house is a mess, and my nearly 13 year old just told me last night that she doesn't want friends over because our house is not as clean as theirs.
Several of the friends have cleaners come 1-2 times a week. Another friend-- it's just her and her mom. And maybe they also are better at everyone chipping in and doing chores. And their houses are a lot bigger so they are not on top of each other like we are. I have tried chore charts, restricting fun stuff until cleaning is done, and even broken down in tears a few times. Nothing lasts. I just spent EIGHT solid hours cleaning and organizing. I can guarantee that two days from now it will be back in the state it was before. Last week I spent a total of TEN hours on my nights off. Then went back to work and got to be on my feet running around being a nurse for 12.5 hour shifts. And I come home to sinks full of dishes and messy bathrooms and dirty floors and crumbs on the sofa (when food is never allowed to be eating on the sofa).
The girls's bathroom is messy and gross and gets that way fast. They will sometimes wipe the toothpaste out of the sink but only if I ask. I literally just scrubbed poop off the toilet. Again. I do all the floor cleaning in the house. Dh will only sweep the dust from one area into a corner and usually leave it there. Or will mop only the kitchen but not the greatroom (we have tile everywhere). Ten year old leaves a trail of her stuff wherever she goes. Dh will unload some of the dishes, leave other stuff out on the counters. Leaves lunch box dishes in the sink. I could go on and on. I'm just so done. I even went on strike once and it just punished me because there was more mess to clean up after the strike (someone was coming to visit so I had to clean up and thus ended the strike).
I am clearly at my wit's end. What to do? And how do other people's house stay so clean when I pop over for a visit and see them?