I need a hug/How do you do it? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-08-2005, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Dh never complains about the status of the house, but he made one minor comment today that I broke down and cried about later. He wanted to have someone over, but said he decided against it because he said he didn't want anyone to see his house looking the way it did. At the time there was a pile of folded/but waiting to be ironed laundry in the L.R. Truthfully the white kitchen floor looked like a dirty rainbow from all the juice/ice-ee spills from last week/weekend and the kids toys needed picking up. I know these were all jobs that needed to be tended too badly and I have been putting them off mostly due to exhaustion, aching hip, the heat; but they were not things it would take more than 15mins to complete. Dh didn't really say anything in a rude way...just that he highlighted the eye sores that were already bothering me, but I just haven't been able to tackle yet; well I killed myself to clean it all up after he made the comment.

I'm venting cause I just want to know how everyone maintains a schedule to keep things in order. I know in general I have a hard time just getting a basic routine going for myself and its a good day when I can cook 3 meals in a timely manner wash the dishes before bed and at least do 1 homeschooling activity with the kids. Nevermind cleaning any of the messes they've made during the day, handwashing some clothes to keep down on the laundry for the laundromat, running errands, getting the kids out to play, or helping dh with his home based business; all the other things that need to happen during the day as well. There used to be a time when I hardly ever cleaned..mainly due to being depressed but also in part to my perfectionnism. Like I'm a fanatic at everything being sanitary when I clean e.g the mop, my rags/sponge. So if I run out of bleach then I can't clean thing x until I buy bleach to clean it properly. Many times this is what happens to me. In general I am slow, but I'm thorough, I can't just clean up something quickly and do the job half-a--, this how I think of it in my mind. Like my mother always had a way of bagging things up or doing a once over if she had to straighten things in a hurry..then that bag would never get sorted and just go into the pile with other junk. So I can't do this..when I do anything it has to be thorough, done right or I will just ignore the stains on the floor or that small stack of mail(cause I can't sort, throw away and file all at that moment) until it finally gets to a point I absolutely can't stand. Like that kitchen floor today, I had honestly just put out the mop and floor cleaner right before dh made the comment. This morning I looked at it and finally said so what if you can't do ure heavy disinfecting, it looks bad, even if u just throw some soapy water on the stains it'll look better. Its like dh's comment made me feel like the whole house was a wreck cause of how the kitchen floor looked. I said to him I don't think the house looks that bad so could please just say what specifically makes u feel like you can't have anyone over. So he said the kitchen, I just responded that I was going to get on that right at the moment.

I hope that no one is reading this thinking..why doesn't ure dh clean up or help you. That's kind of a whole nother discussion, not that my dh thinks the cleaning is a woman's job; he just doesn't clean and like I said in the beginning he never complains either, I can honestly say this was the 1st comment he's made for 2005. It just hit me hard, kwim?

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#2 of 9 Old 08-08-2005, 09:15 PM
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I'm sorry you're going through a hard time, taking your DH's comment so to heart. There are times in everyone's life, I think, when the cleaning of the house just kind of falls to the wayside and doesn't get done.

I know you said its a whole different discussion, but I was thinking as I read your post that your DH could have helped a bit, especially if he was the one who wanted to have people over and would have been embarrassed at the state of the house. I know that when something about the house is bugging my husband, instead of saying something to me he takes care of it. Cause maybe he notices that I'm feeling overwhelmed... I'm not sure I wouldn't get pretty upset if he said something too. Its not like he doesn't live there.

I think you already know the answer to your question. Perfectionism is just going to lead you to doing nothing. Do what must be done each day, and then add 5 or 10 minutes more, and eventually you'll feel more like you've got a handle on it all. Don't worry so much about doing it right. Anything you do is better than doing nothing.
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#3 of 9 Old 08-09-2005, 04:39 PM
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I totally agree that doing a little something helps so much. I also have found that since I switched to natural housecleaning, it is so much more pleasurable cleaning. I don't have to worry about toxic fumes, getting it on my hands, DD getting into it. And I rarely run out of supplies.

Dr. Bronner's lavender or peppermint, vinegar and baking soda work on pretty much everything. Add tea tree oil to it for disinfecting.

I try to do tasks in 15 - 30 minute increments. If I only have 5 minutes, I straighten up and perhaps throw a load of laundry in.

Hope this helps.

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#4 of 9 Old 08-10-2005, 10:08 AM
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I have given up on cleaning up after my family years ago. I used to break my back over keeping the house spotless. Literally! I was always frustrated having to clean up other peoples messes and not even getting noticed for it, let alone thanked for it.

Then I brutally ruptured a disk in my lower back and was laid up for almost 3 years. I’m still not up to par but I can get the necessary stuff done. DH has learned that I’m not the energizer bunny and the kids have learned that mom is not the maid. They have to help around the house a lot and I don’t clean up after them anymore. All 3 have learned to do just about any housecleaning chore there is incl. cleaning bathrooms, doing dishes, laundry and washing windows.

It has helped us all a lot. I have learned to accept that the house doesn’t have to be sterile and the kids and DH have learned that if they make a mess they have to clean it up.

I don’t know how old your kids are but even at a young age they can learn do wipe up spills they left behind. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

The only reaction my DH would get from me should he ever think about making a comment like that would be that I remind him where the mop and the soap is.
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#5 of 9 Old 08-10-2005, 01:25 PM
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#6 of 9 Old 08-10-2005, 04:13 PM
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Just to cheer you up a bit, I grew up in a home where my mother was know for her soft sculptures. She would throw the blankets over the piles of stuff when people were coming over. Also she would put the dirty dishes in the oven to hide them. We didn't have much in modern conveniences like today, and she did can and make everything like the bread and butter from scratch. Your house doesn't sound as bad as all that. You can tell your husband that you know someone who grew up with this and they still had company. I think my dad was a bit blind to it at times in his credit. He would often do the inviting.

I would ditto a previous post about the kids helping out.
Also another thought is scheduling when you do certain things. I try to vacuum downstairs one day and the upstairs another. Bathrooms are on a different day. I struggle mostly with my kitchen since that is a daily job. I love to do the cooking, but don't like the clean up. I went and bought some expensive dish soap so I would want to smell it while I wash. I figured that every little bit helps! When I was growing up my mom made it part of our chores to help with the cleaning. If she was doing something, we were right alongside her doing the same.
I hope this all sorts itself out for you. You already sound like quite a mom to me! Be encouraged-what really matters in the long run is the time you spent with your family and not the things.
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#7 of 9 Old 08-10-2005, 06:01 PM
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Baby steps. You don't have to clean everything at once.

Ruth, single mommy to 3 quasi-adults
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#8 of 9 Old 08-10-2005, 07:39 PM
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Oh that's pants. You have a lot going on, be kind to yourself.

I feel a bit overwhelmed too but I just do one thing - cos I'm lazy and lack motivation and I prefer to be out and about than at home looking at my house.

Today it was the kitchen floor. I cleaned it with bicarb and vinegar on a damp microfibre cloth. The floor doesn't get too wet so it dries quickly and it gets the sticky bits off without spreading them around. We don't have a large kitchen but I got under the table and behind the bin so it took about 10 mins. So the floor looks great but now after dinner the counter looks a mess and there is washing up to do.

I am preparing for having friends over on Sunday so I'm doing it bit by bit. Hopefully I will have got on top of the washing - not literally! - the kitchen and bathroom will be clean by then and we will do our usual 'all hands on deck' 15 minute quick 'everything in its place' tidy up an hour before they arrive. 10 hands are so much quicker than 2. Will your Dh work alongside you? Just for 5 mins? Every day? Tempt him to a tidier house, and your little people too.
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#9 of 9 Old 08-13-2005, 12:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I appreciate all the warm comments and support. I guess it was just one of those days for myself and dh. My mother always says one day at time and my sister's motto is KISS-keep it simple stupid. So I'll try to be easy on myself. I'm trying not to obsess...but it is hard keeping up with all the daily messes.

I plan to put up some of the kids toys so they can't make too much of a mess, that is too overwhelming for them to clean up themselves and requires my managing(nagging) to get the job done right. I could never really get with flylady on the clean sink before bed, I was just too tired....but I'm trying it out when I can and it helps. When I do, washing up the dishes revives me enough to at least sweep the floor quickly and if necessary I can run the mop over it that nite or first thing in the morning. I am going to try and get one of those swiffer mop thingy's to use with some old prefolds, then the kids can mop up for me while I do the dishes. I think just tackling those aspects makes things look much better. It's kinda like making the bed and how just that alone makes the room look like it's together.

Thank you

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