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Old 04-30-2008, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am in college. I have three school aged boys and a husband who is also in college full time and working part time.
My husband and I are doing really well in school. I am on track to go to grad school. I am applying to some of the top schools for my major, and have confidence that I will get in. My husband's grades are solid and he just started a bike club on his campus to promote bike commuting and he has gotten really active in the environmental and sustainable movement at his school. It looks like we got stuff going for us.
And there it ends.
My house is a mess. I just got back from a conference in another town and my smells. We have little dachshunds and my house smells musty, either from them or from laundry. We can't seem to keep up with laundry at all. We have two baskets for folding right now, there is dirty laundry all over my boys' room and they are having trouble finding clean clothes to wear.
Before I went away, I spent two days cleaning my boys' room. It is a disaster again. Every room in my house is a little bit messy, not too bad, but the smell is horrible! I need to shampoo the carpets, but that is so overwhelming.
My boys each are having issues at school. My oldest has Asperger Syndrome and just getting him to dress and be ready in the morning is horrible. He is going to a sleepaway camp today. I asked his teacher to send home another checklist of what he neede because I can't find the first one (in my defense, this is the first time I have been home in a week). He took the list upstairs to his room last night to get the items and then he lost it. I wanted to go through it today to see if he had everything and it is gone. His glasses have been breaking several times a week and he didn't tell us (it is happening at school) so we haven't gotten him a new pair. So he has to go to camp with one lens out of the glasses.
My middle boy, his teacher called yesterday. DS is not cocentrating and getting his work done. He is harrassing this girl in his class. And he is our steady one.
My youngest is being tested for attention issues and impulse control. I have a very hard time staying on top of all their homework and all the extras. I want to put them into some camps over the summer but I have to fill out the paperwork for financial aid and the process is overwhelming.
I want my house to be really clean, but I don't have the time. I feel like I am constantly running behind a bus trying to catch it, but people keep throwing things out the window at me and I have to catch those things before I can start running again.
I know it is supposed to be chaos when two parents are in school. We have kept the boys unscheduled beyond school, but it still feels like we have too much going on.
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Old 04-30-2008, 06:20 PM
 
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I could have written your post. I'll be back to write more later. But I just wanted to post, since I feel like I'm the only one like this here. Everyone else here seems so organized. I have been getting rid of dozens of garbagebags full of stuff, dh helps a lot, but I can't seem to get ahead, let alone catch up from being behind. Maybe you and I need our own tribe.

Katie, mama to Katherine 21, Christian 19, Johannah 17, Nicholas 12, Genevieve 10, Matthew 7, Andrew 11/16/09 10#6oz home waterbirth and madly in love with my husband, Scott
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Old 04-30-2008, 07:19 PM
 
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Well, I'd definitely join up!
I don't even have the energy to "pretend" I've got my crap together.

I moved into this little country home in 2004, and I have actually become complacent about all the piles of clutter around me. I'm surrounded by failed (or forgotten) projects, towers of unread magazines (but wait, they were such a deal! ), shopping bags full of stuff I don't even remember buying, stacks of junk mail (I can't seem to stay on top of that), you name it.

I downsized from a HUGE house on the East coast, foolishly thinking less space would mean I'd be forced to change my living habits and simplify, simplify, simplify.

*sigh*

Add to that a ridiculous lack of sleep (I work third shift), a bunch of recent personal setbacks, health issues, and I'm surprised I even get out of bed at all.

My Mom and I laugh about the situation often (believe me, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree--she still has half-done sewing projects from the 70's under her desk), but the truth is, I'm embarrassed about the way I live (is this even living???), and I tend to be fairly introverted because of it. I can't imagine inviting a friend over for dinner, when they'd have to weave through the mess to find the table...

...oh, wait, I forgot...the table is still in the garage, because I'm not done painting the dining room.

I started in 2006.

I'm exhausted just admitting that.

*another deep sigh*

Susan in Kansas
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:04 PM
 
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Thats all I got
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:39 AM
 
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Me too; count me in too. I wish I knew how to stop the bus for just a little while. But I don't. So I can only commiserate.
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Old 05-01-2008, 01:48 PM
 
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I'm not sure if you are only looking for a place to vent which, but I too have been in the same position and feel like I came out mentally in one piece ;-)

So, I thought I would tell you what worked for my family. To clarify, I am a little anal...so if you are not...more power to you...honest!

A little background: my hubby and I were highschool sweethearts who found ourselves parents by the time we graduated. After three years, we had another little boy...so we were a family of 3 for three years of college and 4 for two years.

First up: we had a STRICT schedule. My hubby and I woke up at least an hour and a half before we had to leave for the morning. This way we could have coffee after getting showered and dressed. Then we would get the boys up and ready so they had at least a half hour to chill and watch cartoons. Sometimes this was the only part of the day that my hubby and I could actually sit down together...we still do this to this day.
Next: Our days were crazy as are yours obviously!
Afternoon: When we finally got home for the evening, we had some sort of snack right away, so that the boys were not starving and cranky until supper. This was our family time. We went outside or for a walk or even just sat and watched tv. It may have only been for an hour too.
Supper: I know everyone says it, but menu planning...and trust me, I only made simple meals...mac and cheese, pizza, casserole, tacos...you know the ha ha Rachel Ray, I made supper in 15 minutes!
Next: Bath time. We made it a nightly wind down routine. Baths for the boys, jammies, and then books as a family. By now it's between 7-8 and the boys are in bed. Whether they were truly ready to sleep or not...most of the time they were because we would go outside.
Afterwards: My husband and I did homework and laundry until about 9. I am still to this day worthless after 9pm. So we would get the coffee ready for the next day, and maybe our lunch...maybe! Then watch the news and go to bed between 10-10:30.

Inbetween getting home and bed, usually entailed a load of laundry and we ALWAYS did the dishes after the meal...usually whoever did not cook...which was almost always my husband.

We also ALWAYS make the beds in the morning...I promise it just gets to be part of the routine.

On Saturdays, right away in the morning after a cup or two of coffee, we did the cleaning. My husband cleans the bathrooms and the kitchen floor, and I do the vacuuming and dusting. If you keep the house picked up through the week, then this is easy on the weekend. We also did all of the grocery shopping during the weekend. I REFUSE to enter a store on a weeknight!!!

I know it seems like a lot...but you really fall into a routine, and then it's all just part of life!

As far as your boys room...I know they are boys, but if you let them know that it is unacceptable, and give consequences, they will start to do what you ask. My boys are little, so I make the beds and put away the clothes.

I bet your son with Asphergers would probably appreciate a strict routine and maybe willing to help? (sorry, that's the special ed teacher part of me coming out)

So...I have rambled and rambled, but this works for us. We still have this same schedule...which is good because we are fulltime teachers and plan on beginning our masters (online) next year!

Good Luck!! I am a master organizer, so if you want any tips let me know.
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Old 05-01-2008, 03:10 PM
 
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listen, i feel the same way quite often and i'm a sahm with no school or job! seriously, i can sometimes have a decent house or be caught up on laundry, never both. one thing i'm proud of is i cook from scratch alot, but that's because i enjoy it as a hobby, not that i'm doing this important thing for my family! lol

one thing i find motivating for kids rooms is that once their stuff is organized and up off the floor, they actually have room to play and all the bits and pieces are more fun to play with (ie all the lego in one bucket means lego is more fun) so when that happens, they will play in there for ages, giving me time to relax or tackle something else, if i'm so inclined.
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Old 05-01-2008, 03:23 PM
 
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i meant to say i've also spent the winter getting rid of absolutely ANYthing extra and less stuff means less to clean up, and more room, and it just feels good to give it away, it's even quite satisfying to throw stuff out.

it's hard to get the kids to be on board with that philosophy though.

the drudgery of laundry, dingy carpets, smelly pets, and stuff like that can really be overwhelming at times. try and remind yourself that you do have alot to be proud of, with school etc, and i have always loved that line about no one ever being on their death bed wishing they'd done more housework in their life.

when i feel like i'm going nuts with all that stuff, i'll tackle one room at a time, and then not let anyone IN it for a while, so it lasts more than an afternoon. i'll give the bathroom a quick wipe while filling a kid's tub, and i only seem to enjoy putting away laundry if i'm chatting on the phone at the same time.

typically, i throw the clean laundry on my bed, then try and get to it during the day. most often this fails, and i shove it on the floor at bedtime, and then in the morning i pile it up again thinking i'll get to it TODAY, ha ha ha. i have been known to ask dh at 10 pm, "OH! do you have something to wear tomorrow?!?!" and have to scramble. i think more people live like that, and don't admit it.

i like using the internet to bribe myself too, like this morning i didn't get to sit down and check my email till i'd dumped the cat litter and vaccumed. inviting someone over will force me to get some stuff done also.

baby steps........ and pat yourself on the back for the little things.
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Old 05-04-2008, 03:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by karliyanchus View Post
listen, i feel the same way quite often and i'm a sahm with no school or job! seriously, i can sometimes have a decent house or be caught up on laundry, never both. .
Me too. I feel like there is no way to have everything caught up. Like the last few days every free moment I had I spent tackling a huge pile of laundry. Everything else got out of control while that was happening- including the fact that I let DD watch more than 1 DVD at a time.
I feel like I have to make choices all the time: Homecooked meals or a picked up house, laundry folded and put away or floors swept/vacummed. I get overwhelmed a lot. Like right now... I just don't know how some people do it all. The routine idea sounds good to me. I just can't figure out how to implement a routine.

Heidi , wife to my DH , mama to Hope Isobel (4/3/06), Molly Grace (7/31/09): , furbaby Callie :
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Old 05-04-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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Would it be possible to go to the laundromat just to get caught up on laundry? It may make you feel like you're getting somewhere.
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Old 05-04-2008, 05:12 PM
 
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Would it be possible to go to the laundromat just to get caught up on laundry? It may make you feel like you're getting somewhere.
I have done this before, just take everything at once and get it all done. It costs extra, but it takes the weight of the world off of me. I might do it again pretty soon.
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Old 05-05-2008, 05:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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naw, see I have tried schedules before. And the laundry thing, yeah, I could go to the laundromat, but it would get this way again. At the beginning of each quarter, I get my house very nearly spotless, and then I dive back in and sputter.
I am not looking for advice on how to fix it, more looking for commiseration. I can't be the only person like this. I have classmates who call me an overachiever and tell me they wish they could be like me and marvel at how organized I am. I am working with some of the top people in my field, just through my drive an determination. But I can't get around to filling out the scholarship paperwork for the YMCA or completely loading the dishwasher and getting the counter cleaned off
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Old 05-05-2008, 05:44 PM
 
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Although you seem to need commiseration more than anything else, I would like to recommend "Getting things done".

I was the same as you and the book really seems to help. I am feeling much better now about myself.
Before I was wondering why I could be so organized in one place (job, university etc.) and so hopelessly disorganized at home.

good luck!
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Old 05-05-2008, 06:11 PM
 
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I made a schedule once and I literally didn't have time to do all the stuff I thought I "needed" to do. There wasn't the time in the day. So, I went back to the drawing board as far as my priorities and realized what could and couldn't be done with two small children. Nowadays, some of the things I'd like to do I just have to let go of, because there's not time, but realizing that helped. Things like weeding the flowerbed, well, that's just not going to get done until the kids get a little older. Doesn't bother me so much now, though
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:34 PM
 
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I started working the equilvalent of full-time this semester and with the carpooling schedule I had to be away for even more hours. I was almost never home and it was a real struggle to keep it together.

I do have a system for the laundry though. The worst that happens is that it sits in baskets but usually it gets put away. It really helps that the kids wear uniforms and they get washed every day. That really cuts down on the amount of clothing.

I admit papers are in piles but I try to keep the piles in one place. I use magnetic clips on the refrigerator too to hold upcoming things.

What I do need to do is get the kids more involved. Now that there is a basic routine in place, they need to be part of it.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:58 PM
 
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I read this but am coming back to it a little late in the game.

First, don't be so hard on yourself. I know it seems how other people really have it "going on," but I think most of us have places where we just feel like a total mess. I sure as heck do.

Second, you guys have A LOT on your plate. Lets see: College times 2. Three kids. Jobs. Bike club. Grad school. Clubs. Life.

THAT'S A LOT OF STUFF! Heck, I went to college with no kids and no job and I still didn't have things together.

My advice is to slow down as much as you can, where you can. Take baby steps to clean the house and get the kids involved with it. Perhaps get your husband, who seems to already be reaaaallllly busy, to slow down from all his extras at school.

Talk to your kids to find out what is going on. Maybe they're just feeling like they're behind the bus, too. I think a good sit down with everyone (and yourself) is a good place to start. Really think about what you guys do and don't want and what you will (or won't) sacrifice to get it.

Baby steps. Be a little less hard on yourself.

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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Old 05-06-2008, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This morning was a perfect example of what I am talking about.
I spent most of my day yesterday writing a piece for popular publication. I am interning this quarter, and it is all new to me. I work in the kitchen, and it was driving me up the wall that the dishes weren't done, but I really had no time to stop and do them because my teacher (intern supervisor) had asked for more information on the piece and wanted it by the end of the day. It is time sensitive, so it had to be done. I got it done in time and got the kitchen cleaned (somewhat) after dinner.
So, this morning she sends me an email about it. She said we might use it as an op-ed and it might get into the Huffington Post. Which is a huge deal. Meanwhile, I am searching around for the kids' picture envelopes because we forgot to send them with the boys this morning. PIles of papers to sort through just to find it. It wasn't too bad, it only took me about 3 minutes to find the remaining envelope because it went to the wrong spot. But it really crystallized it for me.
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