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Are mainstream SAHM more into cleaning? - Page 5

post #81 of 157
I was raised in a house of filth. And when I say filth, I mean filth. One time, the plates had been left so long in the kitchen dirty, that I found maggots on them. Feaces was left on the tiolets for months. Dirty plates, newspapers, clothes strewn all over the floors.

Consequently I like my home to be clean and tidy, does this mean that I am mainstream? No, it means that I am a product of my childhood environment. From the age of 5 years old onwards (when I first went to live with my Dad) my bedroom was the cleanest in the entire house. The only time I remember my parents having a massive clean up is when they knew my social worker was coming to visit (between the age of 5-8) and when my little sister was born when I was 15 years old.

I am not obsessive, my son can make as much mess as his little heart desires. But once he has gone to bed, I clean it all up.

As TigerTail pointed out, this isn't an issue about being mainstream or AP.

Sometimes I do despair at the opportunities taken to belittle and criticize others because they have a different lifestyle approach. Isn't this board supposed to be about support and sharing experiences and information? Isn't it amazing that people are inclined to include (no flames please) in the titles of their posts? Doesn't that indicate something?

Aren't we supposed to be creating an environment where women can come for support and information? Many women, myself included came here uninformed about many practices, but have consequently learnt so much and have adopted new approaches to their home and children as a result.

There's a risk of alienating new members with posts that subtly suggest that 'some' women care more about their clean homes than they do raising their children.
Blessings
post #82 of 157
I didn't mean it necessarily has to do with self-confidence, but I do think that it can be part of the equation. There are definitely people I know that would have people over more often if they weren't embarrassed about the dirt.

My theory on actual dirt (not clutter) is that the bathroom and kitchen should be hygenic if people are coming over.
post #83 of 157
I see where the OP is coming from simply because I know the type of person who is a SAHM who doesn't really connect with their kids but will spend 4 hours literally spraying down every surface in the house with bleach (just great for toddlers btw). And I know the type of person who isn't necessarily a SAHM but seems to BRAG about how clean their house is and what a neatfreak they are, usually also the people who spend 4 billion dollars a month on hair dyeing and tanning and nails etc. There is a huge difference to me in someone who has a personality that really needs their house to be clean and orderly- my grandmother is very much like that, but you don't get the sense that there is some ulterior motive like keeping up with the Joneses or feeling superior.

for the people who are feeling insulted that there are those who insinuate that you're not spending as much time with your kids- what DO you do with your kids while you're cleaning? my dd will sit happily and play by herself for a half hour or so, but she eventually gets bored, and she's too little to be involved (unless by "involved" you mean unfolding folded laundry, messing up piles of neat books or papers, taking everything out of a cabinet, etc lol). also, when I need to use stuff like soapscum remover or other harsh chemicals (if there are crunchy suggestions that work just as well let me know, but the natural bathroom cleaners I've tried just don't cut it)- I don't want her breathing that stuff in, yk?

I try but I just can't do it. On a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is pure filth and 10 is immaculate, mine is probably a 6 or 7. More junk and clutter than actual dirt. I just have a very hard time CARING enough to ignore dd while I scrub the shower I guess, and she goes to bed so late that I can't stay up to do it without being up all night. oh well.
post #84 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by bri276 View Post
I see where the OP is coming from simply because I know the type of person who is a SAHM who doesn't really connect with their kids but will spend 4 hours literally spraying down every surface in the house with bleach (just great for toddlers btw). And I know the type of person who isn't necessarily a SAHM but seems to BRAG about how clean their house is and what a neatfreak they are, usually also the people who spend 4 billion dollars a month on hair dyeing and tanning and nails etc. There is a huge difference to me in someone who has a personality that really needs their house to be clean and orderly- my grandmother is very much like that, but you don't get the sense that there is some ulterior motive like keeping up with the Joneses or feeling superior.

for the people who are feeling insulted that there are those who insinuate that you're not spending as much time with your kids- what DO you do with your kids while you're cleaning? my dd will sit happily and play by herself for a half hour or so, but she eventually gets bored, and she's too little to be involved (unless by "involved" you mean unfolding folded laundry, messing up piles of neat books or papers, taking everything out of a cabinet, etc lol). also, when I need to use stuff like soapscum remover or other harsh chemicals (if there are crunchy suggestions that work just as well let me know, but the natural bathroom cleaners I've tried just don't cut it)- I don't want her breathing that stuff in, yk?

I try but I just can't do it. On a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is pure filth and 10 is immaculate, mine is probably a 6 or 7. More junk and clutter than actual dirt. I just have a very hard time CARING enough to ignore dd while I scrub the shower I guess, and she goes to bed so late that I can't stay up to do it without being up all night. oh well.

She doesn't nap? How about her dad or someone taking her out when you need to do those things?
post #85 of 157
See...to me, there is a huge difference between lived-in, VS filth and total disorganization. We knit, paint, play, cook, make bread, live in our home etc etc, but it's not a mess.

A knitting basket out, some playdough on the children's table is not a mess. An easel out with some paints isn't a mess. Now, dried up clay all over the rug for days, moldy paints, wool yarn with larvae in it-- that's a mess.

And there's a big difference.

I think it's about personality and whether you can function in disorganization. I can't function if things are a wreck. I can't funtion thinking there are moldy cereal bowls under the sofa. That said, I am also really good at organization, and I know it only takes 20 seconds to put my coffee mug in the dishwasher, and 20 seconds to sweep the playdough from the floor. That doesn't have anything to do with not being there for your children.

I fold the clothes and then the kids, dh and i put them away-- not because we are neat freaksm, but because we want to have clean clothing to wear that we can actually find. It's got nothing to do with 'apearances'.

I think the extremes are the ones who are cleaning everything with bleach, and the ones who let the dog poop pile up so much some mil calls CPS. Most of us are somewhere in the middle, and it's not a big deal and something you can actually label as mainstream or crunchy.
post #86 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinkerBelle View Post
She doesn't nap? How about her dad or someone taking her out when you need to do those things?
she naps for one hour per day and that's my break- when I eat lunch, make phone calls, check email, and while I do sometimes take that opportunity to empty the dishwasher or something, my house would still not be as clean as the self proclaimed neat freaks just from an extra hour of cleaning. I personally would not choose to have dh take the baby away just so I could clean. I'd rather spend time with both of them. I have only left her alone with him a few times, he has little free time and works long hours.
post #87 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Literate View Post
My theory on actual dirt (not clutter) is that the bathroom and kitchen should be hygenic if people are coming over.
Don't take this wrong cause I'm not a neat freak at all (there are toothpaste spots on my bathroom sink as I type) but shoulden't the bathroom and kitchen be hygenic whether people are coming over or not? it's not safe to live in unhygenic conditions.
post #88 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeannie81 View Post
Don't take this wrong cause I'm not a neat freak at all (there are toothpaste spots on my bathroom sink as I type) but shoulden't the bathroom and kitchen be hygenic whether people are coming over or not? it's not safe to live in unhygenic conditions.
Oh good grief! First, that did border on rude to the poster (as in, just didn't need to be said).

BUT, here's my deal: I am reforming myself, as we speak, into a flylady because I really do want a clean house - it's been years since that's been the case for more than a weekend at a time. We've never lived in filth, but there are piles of stuff on the couch and the dining room table, etc, and I rarely clean the bathroom all at once. One day I clean the sink, or one day the toilet, etc. Whenever I think it looks gross.

I, personally, am not scared of germs - I think the whole bathroom germ idea is a joke anyway. Obviously I'm not talking about people who have feces spread all over or something like that.
It has been proven time and time again that there are way more germs on the reciever of a phone than on a PUBLIC toilet seat.

It's also been talked about, more than once, in articles about asthma being worse in industrialized countries and the effort we put in to keeping everything so clean. I agree with experts (plus it suits me since I am not a big cleaner : ) that some dirt and dust in the house is a good thing.
I don't believe in killing every germ in the house because I think it's good for the 'ole immune system. I clean with natural products 99% of the time and these products do not generally kill every single germ like bleach would. I also don't really believe in anti-bacterial stuff because that has been talked about, more than once, about how that contributes to us creating super bugs.

I do use bleach and anti-bacterial stuff when it comes to cleaning my daughters medical supplies because killing every germ when it is entering her bladder, her stomach or her bowel seems important.
I don't think it is important when cleaning your house however.

Back to the poster - no one wants a disgusting looking bathroom anytime, whether you have one or not....but hygienic? Hey, you do what you can, but after that - no one will be contracting anything weird from your bathroom.
post #89 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeannie81 View Post
Don't take this wrong cause I'm not a neat freak at all (there are toothpaste spots on my bathroom sink as I type) but shoulden't the bathroom and kitchen be hygenic whether people are coming over or not? it's not safe to live in unhygenic conditions.
This totally made me laugh! Right, right. Of course. When I said "hygenic" I was more thinking "spotless" -- my house is generally not anyone's definition of disgusting. Nor spotless. I aim for the middle.
post #90 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Literate View Post
This totally made me laugh! Right, right. Of course. When I said "hygenic" I was more thinking "spotless" -- my house is generally not anyone's definition of disgusting. Nor spotless. I aim for the middle.
sorry! i get it now. i usually pick up on things better than that and don't take stuff so literally... don't know why it struck me that way, but again, sorry! definately didn't mean to be rude to you. i too aim for middle. sometimes im a bit below middle and sometimes a bit above, but no matter how bad i want it i just can't maintain spotless. even when company is coming! then it ends up on the high end of middle.
post #91 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by bri276 View Post
for the people who are feeling insulted that there are those who insinuate that you're not spending as much time with your kids- what DO you do with your kids while you're cleaning?
My little one now is only 10 weeks old, so she sleeps while I clean. Or I should say I clean while she sleeps.

But for 8 years, i babysat for 3 kids. While I cleaned my house, the littlest would lay on teh floor and play with pots and pans, or blocks, or whatnot.

I clean one room per day. Only dishes get done every day, and any misc. messes like if the bathroom overflows or whatnot.

What do you do with your child while you cook healthy meals? Same thing, I assume? She plays and tries to "help"? He plays and bugs you with nonstop questions?

It is not so hard if it's an established routine that they know about and are comfortable with from the very beginning. Piece of cake, really. Just so long as you don't neglect them in favor of the housecleaning, there's no reason they can't self-entertain for an hour or so while you clean the kitchen.

I use a cleaner in the toilet basin that cleans the bowl constantly. We spray the shower and clean that while we're in it. The kitchen, I deep clean once a week or so. Same with the family room.

I take about 10 minutes to pick up from the day's activities after everyone has gone to bed, and daddy helps. We're done in no time at all. Then I'm off to work, and back again in time to catch some sleep before daddy's off to work.
post #92 of 157
I try to keep a few rooms pretty clean at a time, but there is always one
"shambles" room - usually whichever one is being used least. I can't function when there is a lot of dirt or bits on the floor, or if I or the kids are stepping on toys and hurting ourselves.

I can clean and talk to my kids, clean while something is in a stage of being cooked, and I often clean and turn up the music and sing. It is my most reliable form of exercise. The kids help, too. We use non-toxic cleaners, like baking soda, and they love wiping things. If I need to do something heavy duty, or use something I don't want the kids around, like bleach, my husband takes them out for a while and I tackle it.

We also have dust-mite allergies and asthma issues in our house, so not being clean is a health issue for us.

I would never claim to be the crunchiest person in the world, but I don't think my keeping the house clean has much to do with it.

L.
post #93 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amris View Post
It is not so hard if it's an established routine that they know about and are comfortable with from the very beginning. Piece of cake, really. Just so long as you don't neglect them in favor of the housecleaning, there's no reason they can't self-entertain for an hour or so while you clean the kitchen.
I think this is completely dependent on the age and temperment of the child.
post #94 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by bri276 View Post
for the people who are feeling insulted that there are those who insinuate that you're not spending as much time with your kids- what DO you do with your kids while you're cleaning? my dd will sit happily and play by herself for a half hour or so, but she eventually gets bored, and she's too little to be involved (unless by "involved" you mean unfolding folded laundry, messing up piles of neat books or papers, taking everything out of a cabinet, etc lol). also, when I need to use stuff like soapscum remover or other harsh chemicals (if there are crunchy suggestions that work just as well let me know, but the natural bathroom cleaners I've tried just don't cut it)- I don't want her breathing that stuff in, yk?
Well, honestly it *is* kind of insulting to be told that the only way you can have a clean house is to ignore your kids. Not saying you're saying that of course, but it has been said, and not just in this thread either. I've heard this statement numerous times here & on other parenting forums. Of course it's also insulting to be told that you're "lazy" because keeping a clean home isn't a top priority and you'd rather do other stuff. Neither side has the right to judge the other, although that is unfortunatly what happens.

Now, to answer your question, if DD is willing to self-entertain I let her. Otherwise I work her into what I'm doing the best I can.

If I'm washing the dishes she stands on a chair next to me. Sometimes she's willing to rinse the non-breakable, non-sharp items & put them in the dish rack. Other times she just wants to play in the water with some bowls & spoons.

When I dust she gets her own feather or Swiffer duster.

I try to vacuum while she's playing or laying down having a quiet time listening to some music (she's 27 mo and pretty much stopped napping). Sometimes she gets out her toy vacuum & helps. Or takes a spray bottle of plain water & a rag and "washes" our sliding glass door.

For the bathroom I pretty much wipe the counter & swish the toilet daily. No chemicals at all. Just wipe the counter with a damp handtowel (usually the one I'm getting ready to toss in the wash ), and swish the toilet with a plain brush. I usually do this while she's bathing & since no chemicals are involved I don't worry about her being in the room. If I do need to use cleaner when she's in the room I use the 7th Gen. I've been very happy with their toilet cleaner, btw. For my big cleaning of the tub (once every week or two) I use Scrubbing Bubbles & do it either after she goes to bed, while she's self-entertaining during the day, or while DH plays with her for a bit.

She helps me make the beds. This involves her taking the pillows off & stacking them on the floor, helping me spread the blankets over the bed, and then helping to put the pillows back on (I put her on the bed & hand the pillows to her & she puts them in place).

For laundry she helps carry the stuff from the basket to the washer, dumps the detergent I've measured in (also 7th Gen), and pulls the button to start the load. For the dryer she takes the stuff I hand her & tosses it into the dryer, then pushes the button to turn the dryer on. She get ANGRY if I run a load of drying without letting her push the button actually. I fold stuff either while she's playing or DH helps me fold after she goes to bed. Sometimes she does help fold. I've been teaching her how to fold washclothes & match socks. When she was younger (like 12-20 months) she really liked to hand stuff to me for me to fold. I'd fold it & then put it up on the counter or somewhere she couldn't reach it to unfold it. She is also expected to bring her own dirty laundry to the basket when we change her clothes, her cloth napkin & bib to the laundry after meals, etc.

When she was little I did stuff with her in a carrier or while she was sleeping or while DH was having some Daddy/daughter time with her.

I don't want to give the impression either that all that stuff goes uninterrupted. It may take a couple sessions over an hour or two to get the whole house vacuumed for example. I'll do a little, she'll decide she wants to play or read or whatever so I'll stop, then once she's willing again I start back up. All the chores pretty much go like that.

I freely admit that I'm VERY anal about my home. Like many pp have said it has NOTHING to do with appearance or low self-esteem. I'm just another one who functions better in a organized environment & keeping my home that way come naturally to me. I also feel very strongly about teaching my children from a young age how to care for thier belongings & their home.

Like everything else childcare vs homecare is a balance. We do have tables covered with playdoh, baskets of toys spread around, and all the usual kids things. I don't require DD to only play with one toy at a time or anything like that. What I DO do is encourage her to pick-up after herself as much as possible, clean up throughout the day as the opportunity presents itself, etc. Since my house is always clean to start with tidying up a mess or two isn't a big deal and doesn't take a lot of time.

Holly
post #95 of 157
My 4 kids have always enjoyed doing real work, so it's never been too problematic including them in the basics. Not that we live in a pristine environment. : I believe a little dirt is good for the developing immune system. : We've always had animals, fi, and we've always worked the garden with our kids. Not only is our home not a complete disaster, we also have a lovely, rpoductive garden in warmer weather. Our garden is organic, and we don't use chemicals in the yard or in our home, so our kids' safety is an important priority.


I think it's just a matter of adults doing what they need to do, while including children. I find my kids like to do real work. Oh, they love playdough and other stuff, but they also like knitting and seeing a few snap beans they've planted come up. They all like to piddle around in the kitchen as well.

Kids want to be with their parents, and keeping a home running, vaccuming a and putting food on the table is very satisfying to small kids (ok, well...teens, and preteens, perhaps a different story. . But that's ok). My 7 yr old made pizza the other night and was tickled to death that everyone loved it so. She would not have felt as happy dailing for Dominoes, kwim?

Some people see the work of life as life and good time spent together, and some people see all work as drudgery. It's going to be different for everyone.
post #96 of 157
As, perhaps some of you have noticed (ha!), I'm new here and am not too skilled at finding topics I am interested in. Has anyone done a thread on how to involve kids in cleaning and housework?

My thoughts:

Swiffer dry -- take out the middle pole to make it kid-sized. Mine love it. Especially the 2 yr old.
Why buy matching memory games when we have SOCKS TO MATCH! We call the game "same same!" It's very exciting.

... and others mentioned many other good ideas.

If someone wants to start a new thread, please feel free to use my 2 brilliant suggestions.
post #97 of 157
Like some others have said, there is a difference in a DIRTY home and an untidy home. Ours is definitely untidy a lot of the time...but it's not dirty. The bathrooms are clean and the floors are too, and I don't like to cook in a dirty kitchen either. . Those are the main parts I try to keep clean, and that's for me...I get grossed out over a dirty bathroom, floors, or an unclean kitchen...it just seems unhygenic to me.

But I do have to say, I've learned from my crunchier friends whose homes are less than desirable in cleanliness, that having the house spottless is not the be all, end all. Tending to my children's needs comes first! And that may be the difference of ap vs. mainstream. I would never let my child cry so I continue mopping a floor. I would never put off my toddler's asking to nurse to vaccum. And I would play with my kids or read them a book if they asked me to in the middle of me cleaning the bathroom. My kids come first...always. But I do try and fit in cleaning when I can, because personally I like a clean house.
post #98 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amris View Post
My little one now is only 10 weeks old, so she sleeps while I clean. Or I should say I clean while she sleeps.

But for 8 years, i babysat for 3 kids. While I cleaned my house, the littlest would lay on teh floor and play with pots and pans, or blocks, or whatnot.

I clean one room per day. Only dishes get done every day, and any misc. messes like if the bathroom overflows or whatnot.

What do you do with your child while you cook healthy meals? Same thing, I assume? She plays and tries to "help"? He plays and bugs you with nonstop questions?
I think the problem is I'm really talking about SPOTLESS, immaculate homes. I can totally see how someone can have a clean but not absolutely perfect house without neglecting their kids though.
see, for me, the cooking is ESSENTIAL. for our health and longevity. so if it takes me away from dd for an hour total each day to make good nutritious meals, it's worth it, to prevent us all from becoming sick or developing illnesses as we age. I can't see the benefit from letting her whine in the exersaucer so that I can scrub the kitchen floor or rearrange the dishtowels, yk? cleaning one room per day is doable- it's the people who clean ALL rooms EVERY day that make me :

Quote:
Originally Posted by janerose View Post
Well, honestly it *is* kind of insulting to be told that the only way you can have a clean house is to ignore your kids.

Since my house is always clean to start with tidying up a mess or two isn't a big deal and doesn't take a lot of time.

Holly
first off- yes it is insulting to tell someone or imply that they're ignoring their kids- it's awful in fact. however, I do know someone first hand that does exactly that, so while I would never assume without proof, it does happen.

otoh- LOL- at the fact that your house is clean to begin with so it doesn't take a lot of time! I would need like a straight week of nothing but cleaning to make this place a blank canvass, becuase there is SO much to do, we have way too much stuff for a 2 bed townhouse and never got organized to begin with when we moved in. but, your post did give me hope that once dd is older and able to follow instructions more she'll become more involved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
I think it's just a matter of adults doing what they need to do, while including children.
Some people see the work of life as life and good time spent together, and some people see all work as drudgery. It's going to be different for everyone.
good points. very good. in fact, it wouldn't be going out on a limb to say that including children in housework is NFL. throughout human history I am 100% sure kids have always been working alongside their parents, whether it be in the fields, gardens, cooking, etc- very important.

BUT- I don't see the parents of the past spending 3 hours ironing curtains or cleaning grime out of the oven with Q-tips (other real life examples) so I really think again it's the fanatical, obsessive, tedious and truly unnecessary cleanliness that gets to me and makes me think someone's probably pushing the kids aside in favor of cleaning.
post #99 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by janerose View Post
I also feel very strongly about teaching my children from a young age how to care for thier belongings & their home.
Our house is very middle-of-the-road. While there is no filth, there are dustbunnies. There are dishes in the sink from this morning; we left the house immediately after breakfast, got home late and nobody felt like doing them. So they'll stay there until the morning. No biggy. I'll do them while I'm waiting for coffee to brew.

We have a fair amount of clutter. Lots of books, magazines, crafts, etc. I have two bins of Xmas decorations that I've been meaning to take down to the basement since Saturday.

Does this mean that I'm unable to care for my belongings and my home? I don't think so. Everything in my house is in working order and reasonably clean.

Honestly, I would prefer an immaculate house, too. I'm just not willing to give up other activities in order to achieve that. And although my kids are messy people, they don't abuse their things or destroy the house. They may not care for their belongings according to your standards, but our relaxed standards are met just fine.

FWIW, my former roommate (and good friend) was raised by very anal parents who made her clean, clean, clean. She is (bless her heart) one of the biggest slobs I've ever met.

My parents were/are dirty and extremely cluttery people. I used to get scolded for tidying the house, because they couldn't find things they'd left out. I turned out okay, if not like June Cleaver.

I think most kids, when finally grown and on their own, are going to keep house as they see fit and not how their mom sees fit. If I kept house like my mom, my bare feet would get dirty from walking on the carpet.
post #100 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imogen View Post


Sometimes I do despair at the opportunities taken to belittle and criticize others because they have a different lifestyle approach. Isn't this board supposed to be about support and sharing experiences and information? Isn't it amazing that people are inclined to include (no flames please) in the titles of their posts? Doesn't that indicate something?

Aren't we supposed to be creating an environment where women can come for support and information? Many women, myself included came here uninformed about many practices, but have consequently learnt so much and have adopted new approaches to their home and children as a result.

There's a risk of alienating new members with posts that subtly suggest that 'some' women care more about their clean homes than they do raising their children.
Blessings
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