I really need help - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 09-05-2008, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I am in a HUGE cleaning rut right now. At the moment the only clean thing in the house is the sink, where there are actually fewer than 5 dirty dishes right now! That's a huge accomplishment for me. Usually the sink is piled up but I have been making a point to clean up after every.single.meal because I just can't stand it anymore.

The rest of the house however is a wreck. Clutter everywhere, dust, cobwebs, crumbs, laundry (mostly clean but still all over the house), craft/sewing supplies in huge amounts that are just overwhelming, food rotting because we don't bother eating it... I could go on an on. Oh and the BATHROOM- mildew and mold and rings in the toilet.

I am a SAHM so it's my "duty" to keep the house clean. Okay, I can deal with that, I don't feel like it's sexist because DP does work 40 hours a week and when he gets home he does deserve a break. He will play with DD while I get dinner ready, etc., so he's not just uselessly sitting on the couch or anything. (Even though most of the time he will convince DD to play with him near the couch... ) I think he does pull his weight for the most part, but I just need more help domestically.

I've had plenty of jobs in schools, restaurants, and stores where I had to clean daily: sweep, mop, vacuum, etc. I know how to do it. I don't even really MIND doing it. But for some reason I just CAN'T. I look around at the mess and resentment builds up- Why didn't he hang his towel up? It's on the floor every morning. He never puts his clothes in the hamper. He left the dishes out again. I just cleaned that yesterday and now he's messed it up... Then I become so angry and I just shut down and I can't deal with it.

It's not like he's disgusting. He's just a messy guy and even when he tries it still takes me coming in after him to re-clean. And he shouldn't have to clean a ton, when he has zero time and I theoretically have all day. A two-year-old is a little hard to manage, but if I put in the patience to let her "help" then I could get it done.

And there is the part of me that says, "I have better things to do than clean up after him." But I don't really. I'm crafty but my stuff is so cluttered I never get anything finished. I only cook once a day, after he is home to help with DD. Usually I just go to the gym and hang out all day, playing with her or doing my own thing online or reading. Often I will accidentally nap when she does, wiping out 2 more hours of potential "productivity."

So what excuse do I have? I hate messes. I hate dirt. I have a BIG fear of bugs. But I just can't get myself to change it because of all the emotion that comes up.

I haven't had anyone over for awhile, even though I've started a playgroup. I just can't let anyone see this disgusting pigsty we live in.

And I feel horrible because my poor daughter is living in it too. Her room is a mess, I know it's stifling her play. I'm so depressed about the house that I don't do the things I want with her- gardening, reading, crafting, etc. I will get out the paints but then it gets so messy and everything else is so dirty already that I start to freak and put them up after 10 minutes.

The other day I told her it was bath time, and she said the tub was too dirty for a bath.

I've tried FlyLady but even that is overwhelming. I am trying to convince DP to pay for a one-time cleaning service. Even just an independent cleaner who isn't under a company, anything!

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#2 of 5 Old 09-05-2008, 05:40 PM
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A few thoughts. bulleted as my brain is dead.

1) keep pestering to get that hired help

2) your job during the day is caring for your daughter, not house cleaning

3) work on letting go of perfect. have your partner help and don't redo what he does. some clean is better than no clean, right?

4) are you depressed? not feeling well? you mention that you're a clean person, what has happened so that you're less clean?

5) declutter. it sounds like a lot of what is there is superflous.

6) turn off your negative voice. when it kicks in, acknowledge it, tell it you will listen to it later that night and then keep plugging through your task.

7) maybe start with cleaning areas that don't have "baggage," like the tub. Your partner didn't mold up the tub. mold just grows in damp areas like the bathroom. it's not anyone's fault.

Hope some of that helps!

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#3 of 5 Old 09-05-2008, 07:07 PM
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I think Julia had lots of great ideas and thoughts. I just couldn't read without responding though.

One suggestion I have that I actually did get when I tried flylady before, is to consider housework (even done imperfectly) something that is done to bless your family. Not something that has to be done, but as a gift that you're choosing to give your family.

I'm not sure how well it works with husbands, but I've been trying really hard to model helpfulness and cleaning up lately with my kids. Rather than resent them for stepping over the toy rather than picking it up and putting it away, or nagging at them to pick it up, I cheerfully pick it up and put it away. Occasionally I'll say "Oh, I see this toy needs to be put away. I'm heading upstairs so I'll take care of it." I think the key is that I'm truly doing it cheerfully, not fake at all. And when I point out that I'm taking it up, it's not in a way to make them feel bad or guilty or make myself feel good for doing it. It's simply pointing out that I see something that needs to be done and I'll do it.
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#4 of 5 Old 09-06-2008, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the support.

Talked with DP and we are holding a garage sale next week and use the money to pay for someone to clean. I have little piles and baskets everywhere of junk I want to get rid of. He complains that I have too much stuff but for almost every new thing I buy I get rid of something else. DP on the other hand still has outdated work clothes from the early nineties that he "might need someday." :
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#5 of 5 Old 09-06-2008, 08:16 PM
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I find I clean much better when DD is not around making my cleaning go slower. If the one time professional cleaning service doesn't get it all to your desired status, could you ask DH to take DD away to play for a few hours some day he has off and you can be left to clean?

And, don't worry about the "accidental" naps. It is exhausting to take care of a toddler, so you have earned those naps!
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