Please help this SAHM "housekeeping-with-kid" moron! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 11-14-2010, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is for all you mamas out there that are able to keep your house looking orderly yet still manage to spend time with your kids! I'm recently unemployed and was hoping to have the time to catch up with housework and spend time with DS, but I feel like I'm still in the same boat I was in when I was working 3 days a week! I'm constantly picking up, sweeping up, washing, cooking, tidying, moving, STUFF all the time, yet my house never looks clean. I hate hearing him say, "play with me mama!" and me stuck trying to clean / organize rather than spend time with my son. I'm not even trying to make it look like a model home (like I may have wanted in my 20's before kids). I just want to be able to walk in a straight line without kicking, tripping, or stepping on something. My counters attract clutter like crazy. We're in our late 30's so over the years we've accumulated a lot, not to mention that my husband is a collector. I am totally ready to purge stuff we don't use, but in the meantime, I need a plan to get my daily housework under control.

 

 

I thought about setting aside an hour a day where I just clean - no interruptions. That would mean I'd either hire a sitter/mama's helper to entertain DS or plop him in front of the TV for an hour, though. I have talked with him about having him help mama with housework & cooking so we can spend more time together. I don't know if an uninterrupted hour would be enough or if I should just hire people to clean & babysit for a whole day to start fresh then start the hour routine. 

 

I like the idea of having DS help out with the home now that he'll be 4 next month. Now that I'm home it will be a little easier for me to instill the routine as well. I just need help in finding ways to stay organized and fit in time to clean without neglecting DS. Any advice or ideas would be greatly appreciated! help.gif


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#2 of 10 Old 11-16-2010, 02:41 AM
 
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Check out flylady. Set a timer for fifteen minutes and do what you can in that time. Do that 4 times in a day and you've got your hour of cleaning. If you don't know where to start cleaning flylady can be very helpful with that. They focus on a particular area of the house each week with things to do daily within that area. They also focus pretty heavily on reducing clutter since that's what trips up a lot of us. You really can get a lot done in 15 minute chunks, or 10 minute chunks, or 5 minute chunks.

 

Make sure your son is helping to clean up his messes within reason of course. Now is a good time to start teaching him to clean up after himself when he's done playing with something, so long as his toys and books have a home to be put away in.

 

Also look at how realistic the expectations you're setting for yourself are. What else are you doing with your time? What do you need to do for yourself to stay happy? How much of your time do you feel you need to be spending with your son actively engaging with him? Is that realistic? What are the other things you need to do in a day? (Get dressed, feed, clothe, bathe, etc.) How much of your time does that take? Can you turn some of these necessary things into quality time with your son?


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#3 of 10 Old 11-16-2010, 08:21 PM
 
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I've had much better luck w motivated moms. Flylady was just far too much email for me, and i hated the basic premise that you had to be fully dressed w shoes first thing every morning.

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#4 of 10 Old 11-22-2010, 09:54 PM
 
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I'm no expert in this at all, but I've noticed my husband has a knack of getting things done *with* my son, instead inspite of him. I've recently learned that I can ask ds to hand me hangers while I hang laundry, or hand me the next item out of the basket. He's fascinated by the vacuum.  I'm still trying to find other things like that.


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#5 of 10 Old 11-24-2010, 09:22 AM
 
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I use Motivated Moms that a PP mentioned. At first, I definitely felt like you do now, that I was constantly cleaning and didn't have any time with DD. But once I got into the rhythm of it, I feel like it doesn't take much time at all. And if I do end up skipping something (e.g., we're out of the house for a long time on Mondays, so I don't always get everything done), I don't worry about it because I know it'll come up again soon.

 

Also, the main thing you can do it declutter and make sure everything has a place. The first time I clear out bad clutter spots, it takes forever, because the hardest part is figuring out where everything goes (at least that was always the hard part for me!). But every thing that gets it's own place makes cleaning up that much easier. For a concrete example, I completely decluttered under my bathroom sink, and now I keep everything for my bathroom under there except for the hand soap & toilet paper/wipes. I have a basket that holds things I bring out every day (contacts case & solution, case for my glasses, makeup bag, floss, etc), and even have my toothbrush holder under there - it also has a spot for the toothpaste, which I really like. When I need an item I bring it out. I try to put everything away right away, but even if I don't, I know that when I come by to wipe the sink, it will go back in it's place, and since I know exactly where it is, it takes less then 5 seconds to put away. If it's already away, the only thing I have to do to wipe the whole sink is pick up the soap dispenser. Couldn't be easier.

 

It may take a while to get to that point (at least it did for me, and I'm still not done!), but it is *so* worth it. It may help you to have someone come and get a good base cleaning in, and if you can afford it, I would totally go for it, but in the long run, the main thing that is going to help will be the decluttering.

 

I also highly recommend letting your son help. My DD is almost 3, and she sometimes wants to help and sometimes doesn't, and I just go with that. She can sweep, put away her clothes (so long as I don't particularly care if they stay folded), help with dishes, wipe down the counter or spray the vinegar/water combo for counters & floor. I don't make her help with anything, but I almost always ask if she wants to, and I *always* accept her help if she offers (if I'm doing something I don't think is safe for her, I sometimes have to do some quick thinking to figure out how she can help - and even ask her if she has any ideas - but I never say no) even though, at this point, that usually makes things take longer.

 

Anyway, that's what is working for me. Definitely still a work in progress, and I do better sometimes then others, but it's a lot better then it was, with less work, so I must be doing something right! Hope you can find what works for you.

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#6 of 10 Old 11-24-2010, 09:33 AM
 
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Housekeeping with a kid moron has got to be hard!!!

 

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#7 of 10 Old 12-21-2010, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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LOL I guess I phrased that incorrectly! I'll add quotes. My kid is definitely not a moron! winky.gif

 

I definitely need to invest in storage supplies. My upstairs bathroom has bottles all over which make it difficult to clean and just look unruly. I was thinking the other day about how nice it would look to get little baskets to tidy things up and make it so much easier to clean & organize. I haven't checked out the website, I will now. Thanks for the tips. Keep 'em coming! thumb.gif


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#8 of 10 Old 12-21-2010, 09:29 PM
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"A place for everything and everything in its place"

 

The biggest advice I have is to simplify, get rid of things, and find a place for everything.  And the place should not ever be sitting on a counter (with a few exceptions - my coffee cup is always sitting out).  

 

Everything gets put away, right away.  That means toys, sewing, whatever.  If you have something in your hand, never put it down anywhere except where it belongs.  For example, if you get the mail, don't throw it on the counter.  While you have it in your hand, take the minute to sort, throw out the junk, and put the bills on your desk (or wherever you pay bills).  

 

A four year old should be old enough to put away own toys, but you need to make it easy.  Have bins, or baskets, handy for things to go in.  

 

A big thing for me is lowering my standards on how things should be organized / cleaned.  I used to sort kids clothes and fold a stack of tshirts, long sleeve t shirts, onesies, etc.  Now I just consider them shirts and they all just get thrown into the shirt drawer.  

 

I have discovered that keeping things tidy, and picked up means that when I do go to clean, it takes so much less time.  Easy to wipe off a kitchen counter / sink when there is no junk on it, or junk only in a big.  

 

I also got rid of most of my "decorative" items and only have practical things sitting around.  Partly because I have a toddler, but also because it makes it easier to clean.  Hopefully later, when kids are older, and I spend less time cleaning up after them, etc, I will be able to have houseplants again!

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#9 of 10 Old 12-21-2010, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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O.k., just looked at Motivated Moms. Yeah, that's kind of what I thought I might need. I'll have to just sit down and figure out what needs to be done and make a checklist. I can use MM as a guide and modify it for the needs of my home. I think a lot of what will end up being on my list is decluttering time every day. I know it's something I have to do, it's just the most difficult to get started, like the PP mentioned earlier.

 

I just looked at flylady. I like this so far. This quote stuck with me:

"When the "Put Away" box gets full, take the box in your arms and run around the house (good thing you have shoes on - right?) and put the items in the room where they belong. If they have a place, put them there, if not put them in the room where they logically belong. By the time you have finished you will have a place for everything and everything will be in it's place."

Woah. Never thought of that. Worrying about where to put everything is probably one of the major reasons I procrastinate in decluttering. Definitely a motivating thought!

 

I totally get the need for rhythm for the day. Some days seem to flow and others are constant brick walls. I have to step back and analyze what is happening when the day goes smoothly.


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#10 of 10 Old 12-21-2010, 10:04 PM
 
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I'm taking notes! :) Housekeeping is most definitely my weak point.

 

When I was a FT student/ WOHM, my excuse for my messy house was always, "I'm never home to clean."

 

Now that I only work PT, and am home with the kids 4-5 days per week, my excuse is, "We're ALWAYS home, so the house never STAYS clean!" lol.gif

 

I think really, it's just that we have too much stuff, period. The more I get rid of, the easier it is to keep the chaos at bay. Next month, I intend to do some serious purging of stuff!

 

 

 


“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”
― George Orwell, 1984
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