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#31 of 47 Old 11-06-2008, 04:54 PM
 
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Elephantine, I wonder if your tendency to keep things the way you do could be a way of rebelling against the "Martha Stewart" way your mom probably forced upon you in your childhood home? If that were the case, you might reflect on whether an old rebellion could be creating chaos in your adult life. Sometimes a coping strategy that worked in early life outlives its utility. Just a thought I wanted to share. I could be wrong, though.
YES!!!!! this is me! see over here? MEMEMEME!!!!! ugh. sigh. My Step dad was an evil evil man!!!!

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#32 of 47 Old 11-06-2008, 08:41 PM
 
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OK well I've heard this on other websites and i understand that recognizing the problem is the first step, but seriously, after you recognize the problem where do you go from there? Just joining groups working to change your behavior? But while you're working on the cleaning thing what do you do with the psychological stuff?

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#33 of 47 Old 11-07-2008, 07:04 PM
 
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Pay attention to what comes up emotionally and acknowledge it. As you go thru stuff, you might feel really scared or angry. Think about the feeling. What is it about? Who made you feel this way before...or at what time in your life? Let that part of you be understood.

So the little girl had to keep things "just so" and couldn't be creative or messy. There were lots of ways she wasn't supported. She wanted to play. Respond in a loving way from the grown up part of yourself. Let the kid know she's normal, and beautiful...and good enough. Reassure her and comfort her. Let the little child in you find ways to play...what activities feel fun? Finger painting? Play- doh? Put some of that into your life. Bake a cake and decorate it yourself. Whatever. When your little girl has felt some love and empathy and support, she may be more willing to part with some of her cluttery security blanket and move from rebellion to self love.

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#34 of 47 Old 11-07-2008, 07:55 PM
 
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Pay attention to what comes up emotionally and acknowledge it. As you go thru stuff, you might feel really scared or angry. Think about the feeling. What is it about? Who made you feel this way before...or at what time in your life? Let that part of you be understood.

So the little girl had to keep things "just so" and couldn't be creative or messy. There were lots of ways she wasn't supported. She wanted to play. Respond in a loving way from the grown up part of yourself. Let the kid know she's normal, and beautiful...and good enough. Reassure her and comfort her. Let the little child in you find ways to play...what activities feel fun? Finger painting? Play- doh? Put some of that into your life. Bake a cake and decorate it yourself. Whatever. When your little girl has felt some love and empathy and support, she may be more willing to part with some of her cluttery security blanket and move from rebellion to self love.
Excellent post!

Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
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#35 of 47 Old 11-08-2008, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Elephantine, I wonder if your tendency to keep things the way you do could be a way of rebelling against the "Martha Stewart" way your mom probably forced upon you in your childhood home? If that were the case, you might reflect on whether an old rebellion could be creating chaos in your adult life. Sometimes a coping strategy that worked in early life outlives its utility. Just a thought I wanted to share. I could be wrong, though.

I've deeply analyzed this idea and although I do think my extreme anxiety/panic/self loathing about my disorganized behavior has a lot to do with it, I really think I was born this way. Even as a very young child I never realized that I looked like a "slob" after dressing myself... matching together clothing in a socially acceptable way was a huge learning curve for me and didn't really come around until peer ridicule from 6-9 grades.

I just don't know what to do with stuff... even the slightest mess overwhelms me -- 5 dishes in the sink may look like a mountain of 100s and it scares me and I feel like an anxious frightened animal running away from something bad. And the more I try to pep talk myself the more I just want to curl up in a fetal position in a corner with the lights off and just be "left alone".(of course I have kids and can't do this very often lol).

When I was 18 years old, I was told by some church counselors that I was "emotionally retarded" and had emotional responses on par with a 12-13 year old. I think I've made a lot of progress since then on developing healthier emotional responses in general, but this is still an area that has completely overwhelmed, stumped and depressed me.

I would do all right I think as a single no child person with like 5 total outfits, one pair of shoes, 2 towels, 1 fork, 1 plate, 1 bowl etc etc too many "pieces" just get out of control... yet I have children so I've got to find some sort of happy medium where I can have some semblance of control without things getting overwhelming.

I don't even know if this will make sense to anyone but myself!

Do any of you on the same page lament not being able to handle cloth diapers?? I really really wanted to, but I can't even properly take care of regular laundry in a timely fashion.
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#36 of 47 Old 11-08-2008, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Elephantine, I could have written your post. My house is cluttered and disorganized. I have tried all of my married life (21 years now) to keep a neat house and I feel like I can't. No matter what system I try it doesn't work. The day-to-day chores just seem so overwhelming.

I saw a counselor once to discuss possible ADD issues but she wasn't very understanding about it. I think people think that housework and chores should be second nature because everyone else does it. She blamed it on other issues but bottom line is, I should be able to get my act together. My home is not a health hazard but it's just a mess all of the time.

I hope your appointment goes well.
Well, I'm 27 years old.. was married for 4 but now divorced. My ex used to brag about how cleaning was like recreation for him, and he really was great at it.... but he thought I should be the same so he would rarely help at all and just contribute to the mess and tell me if I leave it like that then I must enjoy squalor. It was especially difficult when I brought two newborns home from the hospital.

I've tried to focus on my talents -- booksmarts, streetsmarts... but nothing has been able to make up for this... it has been the bane of my life and the sorrow of my existence ever since I was old enough to realize that for some reason I am just really not able to take care of these basic things!

All I can really say is I feel your pain... before I had children, I used to wish I had been born male because it seems it is a lot more socially acceptable if you are a man. If you struggle with this as a woman you are just seen as sub par by virtually everyone (including yourself if you've developed self esteem issues). I always dreamed about meeting a man who loves domestic chores... maybe he'd inspire me to do better...yet I've ended up with @$$holes that remind me of my awful mother.

ugh even complaining about this leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
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#37 of 47 Old 11-08-2008, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wish I could put a poll on here... I mean really... I know that there are plenty of men, probably a majority of men that are neat and clean or at least keep things "ok" so I'm not bashing men.... but if we women who struggle with this, if we were men... would anyone really care that much? Or would we just be sitting on the couch after work scratching and saying, "I'm a guy, I work." And then our wives and mothers might be a little peeved from time to time but in the end laugh it off saying "he's just a guy and doesn't 'get it' but he works and treats us nice." Is working hard and treating the family nice enough for a woman??? No it isn't!

Like at gatherings at people's houses -- how often do you see the men group together to wash the dishes and clean up the kitchen??! :

I know it sounds like I am angry at men right now... I'm not... I'm just angry with the double standard... we're working, changing dipes 24/7, breastfeeding and cooking, clipping coupons and grocery shopping, running errands, taking care of babies and tots in the middle of the night, doing everyone's laundry and everyone's dishes, wiping butts... and if we suck at any one point, somehow we've failed as women/mothers???!

I love my babies and wouldn't trade them for the world, but it is certainly a lot of work... add a 'regular' job on that and moms are working the equivalent of 2-3 jobs. Oh and we're expected to be thin or athletic on top of it all with our hair and make up done or we're not attractive.

And I know not *everyone* thinks all this... but *so* many do including my ex's and my own mother and all but a couple people I know.

off my soapbox... feeling a little manic today.
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#38 of 47 Old 11-08-2008, 07:29 PM
 
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I've deeply analyzed this idea and although I do think my extreme anxiety/panic/self loathing about my disorganized behavior has a lot to do with it, I really think I was born this way. Even as a very young child I never realized that I looked like a "slob" after dressing myself... matching together clothing in a socially acceptable way was a huge learning curve for me and didn't really come around until peer ridicule from 6-9 grades.

I just don't know what to do with stuff... even the slightest mess overwhelms me -- 5 dishes in the sink may look like a mountain of 100s and it scares me and I feel like an anxious frightened animal running away from something bad. And the more I try to pep talk myself the more I just want to curl up in a fetal position in a corner with the lights off and just be "left alone".(of course I have kids and can't do this very often lol).

When I was 18 years old, I was told by some church counselors that I was "emotionally retarded" and had emotional responses on par with a 12-13 year old. I think I've made a lot of progress since then on developing healthier emotional responses in general, but this is still an area that has completely overwhelmed, stumped and depressed me.

I would do all right I think as a single no child person with like 5 total outfits, one pair of shoes, 2 towels, 1 fork, 1 plate, 1 bowl etc etc too many "pieces" just get out of control... yet I have children so I've got to find some sort of happy medium where I can have some semblance of control without things getting overwhelming.

I don't even know if this will make sense to anyone but myself!

Do any of you on the same page lament not being able to handle cloth diapers?? I really really wanted to, but I can't even properly take care of regular laundry in a timely fashion.
This is how I feel in the kitchen *Always*, and in my office, often, and then everywhere sometimes. If it has more than a few steps, I am petrified and immobile, but I've been getting better.{{{hugs}}}

Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
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#39 of 47 Old 11-08-2008, 07:31 PM
 
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Hey, don't be bummed about the diapers! You do what you have to do!

I'm also at the point of limiting my dishes, just to force myself to load the dishwasher or handwash them. Dh is a packrat so he's not very helpful when it comes to purging items.

I do feel like I'm more in control when my dishes are caught up, my kitchen table is clear and my bed is made. We just pull the covers up on the bed, nothing fancy.
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#40 of 47 Old 11-09-2008, 02:29 PM
 
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Hey, don't be bummed about the diapers! You do what you have to do!
OK, well first let me say that I am big on cloth diapers and we used a diaper service until dd was past 4 (she has a disability and is still in diapers at 13).
Apparently there is some newer study, or at least it was suppressed before. Anyway, I think it was paid for by environmentalists but the results weren't what they wanted so it was never talked about. Anyway, they found that disposable diapers are better for the planet compared to cloth. They said the only way cloth would be better is if you bought diapers and used them for 3 kids (handed them down) and also only washed them in cold water (not happening) and dunked them in the toilet and maybe a couple of other things I forgot. Anyway, I believe this is probably a correct study.

It's not like I regret using cloth. No matter what it's gotta be better for their skin. But now at 13 dd still uses diapers and I do think about it from time to time. I don't really feel guilty because I feel like I have no choice, but I will say that there are people out there who have older kids with disabilities who are using cloth. Anyway, this study makes me feel better and anyway, you do what you can and you can't feel guilty about everything you wish you could do but can't.


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I'm also at the point of limiting my dishes, just to force myself to load the dishwasher or handwash them. Dh is a packrat so he's not very helpful when it comes to purging items.
We used to do this and I am not above doing it again. I packed away all but 6 glasses, 4 plates, 4 or 6 kind of each piece of silverware, all but one pot or pan in each size. We only had one large pot, and a 4 qt and a 6 qt pan. and 2 frying pans. This really did help a lot. Then you never have the opportunity to use all your dishes before you have to wash them.

When we'd have company we'd use pie pans for plates or paper plates, etc. (obviously we don't do any fancy entertaining )

I really recommend this, but you can't just put the extra dishes away in a higher cupboard or something. You have to put them in the basement or garage or something.

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#41 of 47 Old 11-09-2008, 02:49 PM
 
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I wish I could put a poll on here... I mean really... I know that there are plenty of men, probably a majority of men that are neat and clean or at least keep things "ok" so I'm not bashing men.... but if we women who struggle with this, if we were men... would anyone really care that much? Or would we just be sitting on the couch after work scratching and saying, "I'm a guy, I work." And then our wives and mothers might be a little peeved from time to time but in the end laugh it off saying "he's just a guy and doesn't 'get it' but he works and treats us nice."

Quote:
Is working hard and treating the family nice enough for a woman??? No it isn't!
This really is unfortunate!

Quote:
Like at gatherings at people's houses -- how often do you see the men group together to wash the dishes and clean up the kitchen??! :

I know it sounds like I am angry at men right now... I'm not... I'm just angry with the double standard... we're working, changing dipes 24/7, breastfeeding and cooking, clipping coupons and grocery shopping, running errands, taking care of babies and tots in the middle of the night, doing everyone's laundry and everyone's dishes, wiping butts... and if we suck at any one point, somehow we've failed as women/mothers???!
Now, I do think it is important to be clean, but the tidy part I am not totally sold on, depending on the degree of untidiness ofcourse.
My brother used to live in squalor. I mean like I couldn't stand staying overnight at his house and using the bathroom at his house was horrible. It really was bad. Everyone chalked this up as him being a bachelor and even though he had 2 young girls he was raising in this serious squalor no one seemed that freaked out by it. People would comment but even the most critical people would always end whatever they said with something having to do with him being a guy/bachelor because that apparently lets you off the hook. I still thought it was nuts no matter what. I'd say he was at a level 2 and, at times, level 3 level of squalor. It was pretty bad.

We are at a 1 level of squalor and it seems as though I am judged more harshly than my brother who had animal feces in corners of the upstairs and some rooms where not even able to get in to and his kids didn't always have sheets and pillowcases to sleep on and their pillows smelled like urine and the mattresses were routinely peed on with no clean up. He was given constant credit for being such a good dad (which is true) and because he was a single dad, etc.

The double standard does suck for real. This same brother is now married to a clean freak and she doesn't like to come to our house, eat at our house and will for sure not sleep here. It really sucks. I do the best I can, and I realize it is not good enough, but it is difficult to be judged so harshly. It is also hard that, as a woman, we are expected to automatically be gifted in this area. It really does suck sometimes.

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#42 of 47 Old 11-09-2008, 02:54 PM
 
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My ex used to brag about how cleaning was like recreation for him, and he really was great at it.... but he thought I should be the same so he would rarely help at all and just contribute to the mess and tell me if I leave it like that then I must enjoy squalor.
This is just abusive behavior and has nothing to do, IMO, with anything but him using cleaning as an excuse to be mean. Inexcusable
That's enough to tear down anyone's self esteem and make them not want to clean anyway.

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#43 of 47 Old 11-09-2008, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is just abusive behavior and has nothing to do, IMO, with anything but him using cleaning as an excuse to be mean. Inexcusable
That's enough to tear down anyone's self esteem and make them not want to clean anyway.
The divorce was finalized in May... he has surrendered all rights to these kids so that he doesn't have to pay any child support! But good riddance, I wasted all my early 20s with the jerk!
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#44 of 47 Old 11-09-2008, 07:25 PM
 
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[quote]OK, well first let me say that I am big on cloth diapers and we used a diaper service until dd was past 4 (she has a disability and is still in diapers at 13).
Apparently there is some newer study, or at least it was suppressed before. Anyway, I think it was paid for by environmentalists but the results weren't what they wanted so it was never talked about. Anyway, they found that disposable diapers are better for the planet compared to cloth. They said the only way cloth would be better is if you bought diapers and used them for 3 kids (handed them down) and also only washed them in cold water (not happening) and dunked them in the toilet and maybe a couple of other things I forgot. Anyway, I believe this is probably a correct study.[quote]
I did cloth, shared dipes with friends and used on both kids. I sprayed with bi-o-kleen bac-out, no soaking, washed cold with premium powder from bi-o-kleen and was very happy. lots of enzymes in the laundry powder, warm or hot would have killed the enzymes.

Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
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#45 of 47 Old 11-09-2008, 09:07 PM
 
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[QUOTE=harrietsmama;12574961]
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I did cloth, shared dipes with friends and used on both kids. I sprayed with bi-o-kleen bac-out, no soaking, washed cold with premium powder from bi-o-kleen and was very happy. lots of enzymes in the laundry powder, warm or hot would have killed the enzymes.
Wow, good to know...however, my point I was trying to make was that disposable diapers aren't the end of the world and you should not feel guilty for doing the best you can with anything.
Trying to be supportive.

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#46 of 47 Old 11-09-2008, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, my kitchen is still cluttered, but I had someone watch my kids for a few hours today and was able to clear up the living room clutter and vacuum up all the crumbs etc and take out some trash. Folded some laundry too. I feel a little relief, but then look at everything else that *isn't* done and get depressed.

My squalor tends to be level 1... except the left side of my bed is completely piled up with clothes that don't fit me since my pregnancy weight gain... every time I start picking them up and see my cute skinny jeans and tops I get more depressed and just let them lie there.

if I move to a place with a separate laundry room(and get a new washer because mine leaks!), I may try prefolds again part time with the new baby, I think I could set up a dry pail and stay on top of it because feces, filth, bacteria etc just freaks me out. My three year olds are just into everything right now and the apartment is so small. I know one baby should be a lot easier than two, so I haven't completely written it off, but it isn't #1 on my priority list right now either.

Thank you for all the responses... it is nice to feel a little less alone.

Judejude -- I'm sorry about how your brother and his wife treat you now! That just isn't fair at all.
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#47 of 47 Old 11-09-2008, 10:04 PM
 
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[QUOTE=judejude;12575509]
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Wow, good to know...however, my point I was trying to make was that disposable diapers aren't the end of the world and you should not feel guilty for doing the best you can with anything.
Trying to be supportive.
Oh, yup, sorry, I had 'spent too long on the computer' brain I totally didn't mean to be unsupportive, I just kinda went into cloth diaper land lol. No they certainly aren't the end of the world, especially now that they are so much less bulky than they used to be. Whatever it takes to make it easier to be a good mom, I agree the relationship is the number one priority. FWIW, my mom said I never wore anything but a diaper, a onesie, and depending on the weather, a blanket, until I was mobile

Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
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