I have a 5 month old daughter. My family and I live in a small home. I work from home and have part-time office hours, too.
I - just - feel - overwhelmed by housework!
I *don't* have piles of clutter. If there's a stack of paper/doo-dads/whatever I deal with it. It just seems never-ending and I'm really burnt out that I don't have time for anything other than taking care of my baby and staying on top of housework. We don't have a dishwasher, so there's always a big pile of dishes everyday. The floors *always* need doing. A load of laundry every day. My husband is no help.
I've considered hiring a cleaning service, but honestly, that wouldn't help with the day-to-day chores that drive me crazy.
I'm also thinking of doing a major purge of sentimental stuff that I've been holding onto, such as my artwork from when I was in college (I have a BFA). It bums me out seeing it sit there in valuable closet space, and I just don't care about it anymore. My husband says I will regret it if I throw it away and he's probably right. I'm also thinking of getting rid of half my clothes (I don't have a ton of clothes, either... just one dinky 1950s closet and a chest of drawers).
Can I chalk up these feelings to typical new mom stuff? Thanks for letting me vent... any advice or tips/tricks would be greatly appreciated.
3 houses - 2 blocks in the old neighborhood = 1 eclectic/traditional tribe!
Some of it, yes is typical new mum stuff. I remember for many years after having my first two children, always feeling overwhelmed by housework. Mainly because part of me just could never accept the relentless nature of housework, and some resentment for the end of my freedom...and why did I have to keep doing it day after day after day!! Sounds like you are pretty good at keeping up, but perhaps you actually need to drop your standards just a teensy bit, so that you don't worry overly about the floors etc, or yes get a cleaner if you can afford it, so you don't have to drop your standards that way.
I also did a BFA and I still have piles of drawings ferreted away in the tops of cupboards and some even in the garage....I have never got rid of them and I hate to think what state they are in, I am too scared to climb up and check the top cupboards to see if they have been eaten away! I am feeling much more motivated recently though to attack the artwork and single out only those worth keeping. I think my opinion of my own work has most likely become much harsher over time, I can be a better critic, and toss most of it.
I found that trying to figure out how to balance having a baby and housework was hardest with my first. I found that everything was overwhelming and I couldn't keep up with it. I didn't start getting things figured out until I had my second and by then my oldest (she was 22 months when my second was born) was able to play for 30 minutes and took an hour nap so I got an hour and a half to get things done..and take a nap myself. Now with two they entertain each other ALOT while Im working and they love to help me so I get a lot of help I didn't get before. I know people are like "What help is a 2 and almost 4 year old?" but they can be a LOT of help at times. Especially now when its hard/painful for me to bend over and they are always willing to pick things up and hand them to me.
ETA: also remember that age you spend a lot of time just taking care of them, nursing, changing, dressing, bathing etc. Mine are old enough where neither nurses , both are potty trained and my oldest at least can dress herself. So, what you spend hours a day on now will become less when your baby comes older, you will also get more able to multitask when your child is older.
Oh mama, you're definitely adjusting to life as a new mama with SAH hours!
It's exhausting caring for little ones, keeping house, working and maintaining some semblance of sanity. It sounds like you're doing a great job and are starting to feel a little resentment. Totally common! It's happened to nearly every mother I know at one point or another.
From your OP it sounds like you have your house organized and under control, it's just keeping up with the day to day that's exhausting you?
Somethings that have been helpful for me:
*doing dishes as I'm cooking dinner or immediately after (or instituting a "if I cook, you clean" policy)
*wiping up spills right when they happen & then
*sweeping floors nightly after kids are in bed (washing them 2x/month)
*doing laundry 1x/week and then dedicating a few hours to washing/folding/putting away. It helps me to feel as though I'm not constantly doing laundry and putting things away.
You're definitely NOT alone in your feelings, things will get better!
Is your artwork something that is easily scanned? I'm thinking maybe you could scan it and turn it into a Blurb book (or Snapfish, or any of those online book maker programs). We have started doing that with all of our digital photos instead of printing them out (or never printing them out!) and putting them into a photo book. Or maybe just pick your favorites, take it to FedEx/Kinko's and have everything scanned in.
We have a cleaning lady that comes every Friday and she charges $50. She does EVERYTHING...dust, cleaning toilets, bathtub, shower stall, wipes down bathroom vanities, mops the floors, vacuums, puts away dishes in the dishwasher, cleans the entire kitchen and dirty dishes in the sink....the list goes on. It really helps me out so much that I can't imagine my life without her! I run the swiffer over the floors, mop messes during the week, do laundry (she even helps me to fold the laundry!) She just tidy's up the house enough for me to keep things in check between Saturday-Thursday! She will even come in when she notices things getting out of hand and help me de-clutter (for extra $, of course)!! I love this woman. Maybe you can find somebody who can come in once a week or bi-weekly to help you with those major cleaning chores!
I have a three month old, work from home and my husband works FT, so I totally understand what you're feeling! For the new year, we just purchased a calendar from Motivated Moms (it was $8). For each day, there is a list of daily tasks and some "special" tasks so that everything is pretty equally distributed throughout the week. Even though we've only been using it for a couple of days, I'm already starting to feel like some things are coming a little better organized. It helps, too, to know that I have a limited number of things to do each day so I don't wake up feeling like I have to scrub the bathrooms, vacuum the floors, clean out the fridge, etc.. :)
The first year my son was born, it was honestly about being in survival mode and being happy. I was in college with a newborn and a hubby in the military. I set up my home to function for what was important and we had a little shed that I packed everything else into, purging and organizing as I was going. I did one thing first thing in the morning- vacuum, scrub down the bathroom or do a load of laundry and then spent the rest of my time holding my baby boy and reading for school or doing a little paperwork. I went out for walks a lot or just walked around the mall or took him to the beach. Seriously, if you do one task a day to keep on top of cleaning/home management and declutter and organize one spot a week, in about a month, you will notice a HUGE difference. Don't get on yourself too much. Enjoy your baby!!! : ) And twice a year, we hired a crew to do the deep cleaning- as in moving the furniture and clean and then steam the rugs, wash the curtains. Well worth the money. : )
If you have the funds, you could send the laundry out.
Also, unless your dh is working 14 hour days, he needs to do SOMETHING. I don't care what worked for you guys pre-baby, I don't care what will work when your LO is older, and I don't care what his mom could get done by herself--tell your dh to pick dishes or mopping or cooking dinner and deal with it.
I'm right there's with you I'm a total type i clean freak and cant bring myself to lower my standards so I'm constantly overwhelmed its just starting to get better but it is getting better maybe try making a list of stuff you seem to be doing all the time and brain storm ways to make them easier even stupid stuff maybe threes is something you can make easier ?
also I know moms who have hired a collage/highscool student to do laundry or dishes . Ive also had great luck with making many dinners at once so I only have to wash the big pots and stuff once. I didnt have a ton of clutter but did a major purge anyways with the if I dont need it use it or it doesnt make me happy I dont need it mind set . if your art makes you happy keep it . but if theres stuff your keeping just becuse why ? also just going through everything I own was helpful it fource me to take inventory and organize . hang in there