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#1 of 17 Old 12-02-2010, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Seriously! I have a 19.5 month old (I know there's several mamas out there nodding as they read this...knowing what is coming next)

 

He's like destructo-kid or something.

 

I pick up, I vacuum (because he have ant issues that crop up from time to time), I wipe surfaces. The living room isn't show home perfect but it's presentable, dammit. (Sometimes for my own sanity, but today my parents are coming over)

 

10 minutes...on a good day I get that long to enjoy my work.

 

THIS CHILD SEEKS OUT STUFF TO THROW ON THE FLOOR!!! Seriously. He just went over to the dining table (apartment so it's all kind of the same room) grabbed the 3 diapers I had set up there and threw them all over the floor. He then grabbed anything else he could reach and spread it all over. I just vacuumed, right? Well, that means we're done with our fruit bar and it's time to grind it into crumbs and spread those on the floor too.

 

 

Sometimes it's because he's bored...I get that. Lately, though, it's just for the hell of it.

 

I'm 8.5 months pregnant. I just want a clean house. Even just for a little while (a day! I'll take a freaking day) Between DS and DH I can't seem to have it. It's a little, stupid thing, I know. But it's MY little, stupid thing YKWIM?


Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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#2 of 17 Old 12-03-2010, 04:31 PM
 
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It'll happen when he's older.  I swear I should NEVER mop.  NEVER!  Whenever I mop one of my kids spills something on the floor.  Something big and sticky.  If I don't mop for a month, they won't spill.  But the first time I mop, within 12hours one of my kids will spill.  It's inevitable.  So I mop quite infrequently.  :)  Actually though, I keep a prpetty tidy house.  It's not perfect, I wouldn't recommend eating off the floor, but it's presentable, like you said.  It's not cluttered, it's tidy, and I wouldn't be embarrassed for company to drop by unannounced.  But the thing is, there might be some papers out or crumbs on the counter or toys on the floor.  I have 3 kids.  I'm only one person.  It's GOING to be "lived in" looking.  I think you just have to lower your standards when they are little.  My kids are 10, 5, and 2 and the bigger two are just starting to be responsible for their stuff.  My 2 year old still doesn't do much unless I request it and supervise and help frequently.  But you gottajust lower your standards for a few years.  Unfortunately, that's part of parenting.


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#3 of 17 Old 12-03-2010, 07:33 PM
 
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Yep, this is what I deal with too. I just said "forget it" with the toys and let those stay spread out in the lviing room and focus on other stuff like clothes laying around, keeping the kitchen clean, etc. One less thing to worry about. smile.gif

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#4 of 17 Old 12-03-2010, 07:37 PM
 
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I'm one of those nodding mamas. My 14 month old loves to pull things off of our couch and throw them on the floor. I really need a new place to fold laundry.


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#5 of 17 Old 12-03-2010, 09:24 PM
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yup. :)

 

for my sanity, i do tidy times throughout the day.

 

each day, i have a chore (vacuum/dust, kitchen scrub, bathroom scrub). I do my chore. i make sure that messy stuff (eg, food, etc) is out of his reach (unless he's being watched closely). he is free to play and make a huge mess with his things-- cardboard boxes, plastic bins, toys of all kinds. he can color, he can ride his bike (we allow him to do that indoors and out), and he can play how ever he wants. i allow him to make a huge mess. :)

 

then, there is "tidy time." i sing the song, and we tidy everything away. it takes about 10 minutes. i go through the whole house, and do a tidy away. this is typically before lunch, and then DS and I have lunch and he goes down for a nap. 

 

i then have two hours of a clean, tidy house all to myself!

 

next, he wakes up, and if we don't go out, he can make a mess until his little heart is content (usually, this is DH's time). at 4, it's time to start his evening/bedtime routine, so they start with another tidy away--tidying up the whole house of toys. then it's bath and PJs, then dinner, then stories and fire fairy, and then bedtime. After he's asleep, we have dinner together, and then do a final tidy fort he day. usually, once ds is in bed, the toys are tidied, btu there may be laundry to put away or dishes to tidy up, but otherwise, it is clean and tidy for our evening together until bedtime. 

 

that gives me a number of hours each day where the house looks great, and it only takes about 15 or so minutes to tidy everything up if he was really messy. :)

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#6 of 17 Old 12-04-2010, 08:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post


each day, i have a chore (vacuum/dust, kitchen scrub, bathroom scrub). I do my chore. i make sure that messy stuff (eg, food, etc) is out of his reach (unless he's being watched closely). he is free to play and make a huge mess with his things-- cardboard boxes, plastic bins, toys of all kinds. he can color, he can ride his bike (we allow him to do that indoors and out), and he can play how ever he wants. i allow him to make a huge mess. :)

 

then, there is "tidy time." i sing the song, and we tidy everything away. it takes about 10 minutes. i go through the whole house, and do a tidy away. this is typically before lunch, and then DS and I have lunch and he goes down for a nap. 

 

i then have two hours of a clean, tidy house all to myself!

....

that gives me a number of hours each day where the house looks great, and it only takes about 15 or so minutes to tidy everything up if he was really messy. :)

 

This is pretty much how we roll at our house too.  The house is never completely clean, but we tidy throughout the day.  I'm constantly sweeping cat litter!  I do try to get the house all clean before we leave to go someplace, so then we can come home to a clean house.  I can't imagine what we'll do if/when we decide to have another kid, lol.  Our house got soooo horrible while I was pregnant with my daughter.
 


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#7 of 17 Old 12-05-2010, 04:20 AM
 
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I totally understand.  Totally.

 

I think the best thing that helped me was learning to lower my expectations.  (It's okay to let yourself grieve the tidy house you want, first.)  It's real for messes to happen (esp. at 1-1/2 as kids are exploring, and even as they grow) and it's real for young kids to not be able to manage cleanup independently. 

 

Having less stuff can help (less toys = less cleanup).  Trying to initiate cleanup between activities can help.  Making cleanup logical by having a specific home for each item or category helps.  Being willing to accept a jumble on a shelf instead of a neat stack helps.  (I used to sort out the wooden people from the Playmobil from the Lego guys from the painted wooden animals from the unpainted wooden animals...can you imagine?  Once I accepted that they could all be jumbled in a drawer and it would not stifle creativity, it greatly helped my stress level and the work that went into cleanup.)  Having a once-a-day tidy-up including vacuuming helps - recognizing that the results will last five minutes, knowing that it's still worth it, because a one-day mess is MUCH nicer than a two-day or a three-day mess).  Restricting food/drink to a particular area of the house helps - "food at the table" means no (well, fewer) crumbs in the toybox.

 

Might as well adjust your expectations now.  "Two under two" is exponentially capable of mess-making.  (I experienced it - twice - girls 20m apart and boys 17m apart.)  Its hardest when they are both toddlers.  But as they get older, they are also exponentially capable of cleanup.  So don't despair.  It's lovely when they grow up working together and when they begin to understand that MOM is happier and nicer and more generous and less stressed when the house is tidy.

 

But with two under two including a newborn, the game does change significantly.  My postpartum housework strategy went something like this: 

 

Wash diapers.  Vacuum floors. 

 

That's it.

 

Vacuuming meant I had to remove things from the floor, so that very basic floor tidying is sort of implied in vacuuming.  In the early weeks, those two tasks were all I could reasonably manage (that and eating, and making sure everyone else ate and had clean diapers.)

 

Maybe while you're waiting for baby you can experiment with ways to simplify your routine.

 

Remember, this too shall pass.


- single homeschooling mom to 16, 14, almost-12, and 10
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#8 of 17 Old 12-06-2010, 01:36 AM
 
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Seriously, my house would be a wreck if I wasn't a sahm.  I'm not saying that to insult wohps at ALL.  I just know there is no way I could keep an even semi home if I had to hold down a full time job.  I'm about to have my second child any day now and I know it's bound to get crazy.  Keeping up with things is a daily thing, and like others have said, that includes lowering expectations and having a home that's "lived in". 

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#9 of 17 Old 12-06-2010, 09:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happyhats View Post

Seriously, my house would be a wreck if I wasn't a sahm.  I'm not saying that to insult wohps at ALL.  I just know there is no way I could keep an even semi home if I had to hold down a full time job.  I'm about to have my second child any day now and I know it's bound to get crazy.  Keeping up with things is a daily thing, and like others have said, that includes lowering expectations and having a home that's "lived in". 



actually, my house stays cleaner longer when we're busier... (I've never been fully a SAHM or a WOHM... I am also not such a great housekeeper regardless...)

 

Hi Kas! :) It does get better. Really. They stop being so random and widespread with their messes and then, eventually, you can reasonably contain the kid-mess (there might be a block-building or playmobil area that is in active use, but magically the rest of the house is actually okay!). I mean, so far I haven't noticed it being exactly easy, but my 6yo can put away his shoes and jacket, clear his plate, wipe up spills, and put away toys and books. It helps for everything to have a particular place, for things to be accessible (so he doesn't need help to hang his jacket) and for us to be flexible and allow for in-progress projects to stay out (within reason). In Montessori they have work rugs, and when DS was a younger kid (not 19m, but by 2 1/2 for sure) I could use a rug or other obvious thing like that to delineate the play area (trains have to stay on the yellow rug). B/c we also had the apartment situation where everything is kind of the same place. I've been hanging out around here lately b/c we four will be shortly moving into a much smaller apartment, and I think I really need to wrap my mind around: 1) less is more; 2) a place for everything and everything has a place; 3) functionality and frugality have to be my primary concerns in arranging the house and the decor.

 

Oh- and I loved my carpet sweeper, the mechanical kind. For some reason, that seemed so easy to just pop out and use, whereas the vacuuming always seemed like a chore. (new house is all hard surface floors with area rugs, so I have to rethink it...)

 


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#10 of 17 Old 12-06-2010, 09:34 AM
 
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I promise it gets better.  :)

 

I also did my "pick up" time before my kids went down for naps a few years ago.  Then, I would sit in my freshly-cleaned living room for an hour before my whirlwinds went through it again and enjoyed the bliss of a clean room.  They woke up again and trashed it, but I knew I was having a clean room again tomorrow, for as long as nap time lasted!!


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#11 of 17 Old 12-06-2010, 09:40 AM
 
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Ahh yes.... I am in this boat too!  DS is 16 months.

 

I have made peace with having my house clean for say 10 minutes!

 

It feels good to know that even if DS flings his grub all over the kitchen floor, atleast I cleaned it yesterday and it isn't completely gross since he seems to use it as his plate! 

 

I have been quoted...  "So, when does he get chores?"  LOL!

 

When I find myself frustrated....  I remember my home when DS wasn't a part of our lives.... how boring!  Makes the mess more tolerable. 

 


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#12 of 17 Old 12-07-2010, 02:38 PM
 
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I can totally relate!  I vacillate between wanting a pretty clean house and wanting to spend time with my kids.  My boys are school aged, so I put them to work with chores, etc.  But it still takes just a short time for the house to become a total disaster...You're right about "this too shall pass" but when they're out of the house I bet I'll be missing the days where I'm stepping on Legos.  I think...?

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#13 of 17 Old 12-08-2010, 08:12 PM
 
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it's hard at those young ages, but i remember cleaning up with my then 2-year old before night-night, every night no matter how tired i was.  even while pregnant with my third i would continue the nightly clean up all the while thinking in my head "this will pay off."   it's important to instill the good feeling of having a tidy home to your child.  do it together, sing the clean up song, get out the toy vacuum and broom - even if they are playing clean up it will help model what you want to get through to them when they are old enough to help.  i've also had to discuss the importance of modeling this with my dh (aka slob - though i love him dearly) so that he, too, can model tidiness. 


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#14 of 17 Old 12-09-2010, 12:02 PM
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i had a laugh and thought of this thread this morning because i did the dishes and scrubbed the kitchen, while my son colored on the walls in the lounge. LOL

 

oh well. tomorrow is a "big chore" day, and so i guess i'll both scrub the walls and clean the carpet's spots.

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#15 of 17 Old 12-10-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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right there with you, AFWife. DS2 was the same age as our babies are now when we were in the DDC together too, so I totally commiserate.


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#16 of 17 Old 12-15-2010, 02:17 PM
 
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Oh lordy, do I ever hear you.  DS is 16mo and we call him "TORnado" and "destrucTOR" (in a gentle and loving way of course, his name is Torin).  He is just so darn physical.  And he climbs!  And he's growing... things that were safely out of reach a week ago (so neat/tidy) are no longer safe (so trampled underfoot/smashed).  His 5yo sister and his 3yo sister bounce between egging him on and screaming that he has destroyed X, Y, or Z.

 

It's amazing how gifted this little guy is in knowing what will make the biggest mess or be the most dangerous.  If the choice is "pen" or "sharpie", the sharpie wins.  Closed bottle or open bottle?  Why, open of course!  Cup of water vs cup of cold coffee?  Hmmmm that depends... water if it'll spill on his sister's art, but coffee if we're talking the jute rug that'll stain nicely.  LOL

 

I use a lot of baskets and bins... play clothes in oned, play food in another, my craft stuff in a third, etc.  And we have a bookcase just for kiddo books.  With the baskets and bookcase the older kiddos can help tidy and/or I can do a FAST tidy up.  I use the "motivated moms" program most days and that helps with the cleaning, or at least with the sense that some things have been cleaned (dusting a light fixture may not seem like much, but it does improve the light AND none of the kiddos can reach it!  :)  Score!).  With a babe on the way, maybe pick one thing you need to have done every day and then maybe one or two things you'd like to have done?  Like, I hate dirty dishes in the sink and food on the floor drives me nuts but clean laundry sitting in a laundry basket doesn't bother me much.  So DH knew to wash dishes first, then vacuum under the table, and then (if HE felt like it) put away laundry.  Having that really quick "short list" really helped us stay "kinda neat" during my babymoon.

 

But... the girls were less "experimental"/"physical".  I have no clue how ds would manage his time if I was currently babymooning!  Good luck!


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#17 of 17 Old 12-15-2010, 11:04 PM
 
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Oh lordy, do I ever hear you.  DS is 16mo and we call him "TORnado" and "destrucTOR" (in a gentle and loving way of course, his name is Torin).  He is just so darn physical.  And he climbs!  And he's growing... things that were safely out of reach a week ago (so neat/tidy) are no longer safe (so trampled underfoot/smashed).  His 5yo sister and his 3yo sister bounce between egging him on and screaming that he has destroyed X, Y, or Z.

 

It's amazing how gifted this little guy is in knowing what will make the biggest mess or be the most dangerous.  If the choice is "pen" or "sharpie", the sharpie wins.  Closed bottle or open bottle?  Why, open of course!  Cup of water vs cup of cold coffee?  Hmmmm that depends... water if it'll spill on his sister's art, but coffee if we're talking the jute rug that'll stain nicely.  LOL

 

I use a lot of baskets and bins... play clothes in oned, play food in another, my craft stuff in a third, etc.  And we have a bookcase just for kiddo books.  With the baskets and bookcase the older kiddos can help tidy and/or I can do a FAST tidy up.  I use the "motivated moms" program most days and that helps with the cleaning, or at least with the sense that some things have been cleaned (dusting a light fixture may not seem like much, but it does improve the light AND none of the kiddos can reach it!  :)  Score!).  With a babe on the way, maybe pick one thing you need to have done every day and then maybe one or two things you'd like to have done?  Like, I hate dirty dishes in the sink and food on the floor drives me nuts but clean laundry sitting in a laundry basket doesn't bother me much.  So DH knew to wash dishes first, then vacuum under the table, and then (if HE felt like it) put away laundry.  Having that really quick "short list" really helped us stay "kinda neat" during my babymoon.

 

But... the girls were less "experimental"/"physical".  I have no clue how ds would manage his time if I was currently babymooning!  Good luck!

LOL. We finally got one like that. Out of six kids, number five is kicking our butts. If trouble is to be found, he'll find it!
 

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