When do you clean? Play? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 01-21-2010, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't necessarily have a problem with cleaning. The house has been looking great lately...I've found a routine with the help of flylady (although not HER routine) and I am able to get extra things done pretty much everyday.

But sometimes I feel bad.

I clean when DS is up and awake. Ready to play. He plays fine by himself. I jump in here and there. But for the most part, especially in the AM, I clean.

When he naps, I take some me time on the computer, or tending to my plants, or doing crafts.

Then in the afternoon we go for a walk, or to the store. I'll clean some more if the house needs it. And I'll start prep for dinner. Twice a week in the AM we go to the library.

All in all, I don't play very much. But I've never been an "playful" person. Even when I was a kid I was a reader.

When do you all clean? What do you do during naps? How often do you play?

tia!!

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#2 of 27 Old 01-21-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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I don't clean when DD is sleeping, or napping :]

I too, am not a good "player.." but I do like to set up little situations for pretend play. I may go to her barn and engage with her + her animals for a bit and walk away and start to clean up or work on my own personal craft or something, and she will play for quite a bit.

Same goes for DD if she's playing, or painting, or planting seeds or something. I instruct, I show her how to do it, and I let her take the wheel for creative craft type play while I work on my own stuff....this isn't to say we never do things together because we do! We read, go for walks, do a lot of talking [too much talking, DD LOVES TO CHAT!]

You know, years ago parents didn't even worry about this stuff. They did chores and household stuff to survive and the kids tagged along or played alone so I think we are doing okay!

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#3 of 27 Old 01-21-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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There are certain things that are mostly easily accomplished while DS is napping... I tend to cook while he's napping. Otherwise, he "helps" me with the other things.

There was a thread here a while back about how it's good for your child to see you working, not just playing. That's how they learn about life and how responsiblity is shared.

I'd see if you LO wanted to "help" - instill that cleaning is not just a mommy thing.
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#4 of 27 Old 01-21-2010, 06:17 PM
 
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We generally leave the house in the morning for a DS-focused outing (beach, park, library, museum, playgroup, playdate with friends), then after lunch he has a nap and I have me-time. When he wakes up, I potter around the house cleaning and play with him whenever he requests it, which is often. My cleaning gets done in very short burts of time. And the bathroom gets cleaned while both kiddies are in the bath of an evening.

I'm not much of a cleaner though My house is usually in a state of toddler-explosion.

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I knit : I sew : I read : I craft : and I very occasionally and irregularly blog
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#5 of 27 Old 01-21-2010, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There are certain things that are mostly easily accomplished while DS is napping... I tend to cook while he's napping. Otherwise, he "helps" me with the other things.

There was a thread here a while back about how it's good for your child to see you working, not just playing. That's how they learn about life and how responsiblity is shared.

I'd see if you LO wanted to "help" - instill that cleaning is not just a mommy thing.
yeah i totally let him help. i just feel bad sometimes that a lot of our day is me cleaning and not playing. esp. since i sah to BE WITH HIM.

although i read on here some time ago about an idea called the continuum concept...where part of it was letting your child see that the world doesn't revolve around them. that cleaning and taking care of responsibilities was important for all people including mommy.

thanks!

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#6 of 27 Old 01-22-2010, 12:49 PM
 
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I really don't play with my kids, I'm just not that type of mom. I will happily set them up with things to play with, a sink full of water, play doh, etc... but I don't sit there. I come over and assist when needed, but I do my thing and they do theirs.


I clean constantly, with 3 kids and two pets, it is a never ending job. If I always keep up on things then it is never bad. I make rounds around the house hourly, pick up toys, unload dishwasher, put clothes into the dryer... In between the rounds, I am feeding the baby like I am doing now, feeding kids, cooking dinner for later, packing up snacks and clothes for after school activities....

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#7 of 27 Old 01-22-2010, 05:52 PM
 
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I clean when he is contently playing or looking at a book. Mostly short bursts of cleaning here & there. If I need to clean the bathroom then I'll take him in the bathroom with me and he'll play with my brush or the Q-tips. He can run to his room or his bathroom, but he just plays. Then I'll stop and read a book to him or do flash cards and then he is off to something else.
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#8 of 27 Old 01-22-2010, 07:09 PM
 
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I'm with you here(except for the part about having cleaning under control. I do NOT have it under control, but that's because it's beyond my control, but anyway).

I also don't "play." I'm just not good at it. I sort of don't know how to do it. But I do things with the kids. We read, do board games, sometimes have 'movie night' together. They help prepare food with me. They help me with some chores. We go places together.

So I don't think it's a specific problem to not "play" with your child very much. As long as he's getting time to play, and he's happy, it's fine.
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#9 of 27 Old 01-22-2010, 07:55 PM
 
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We generally leave the house in the morning for a DS-focused outing (beach, park, library, museum, playgroup, playdate with friends), then after lunch he has a nap and I have me-time. When he wakes up, I potter around the house cleaning and play with him whenever he requests it, which is often. My cleaning gets done in very short burts of time. And the bathroom gets cleaned while both kiddies are in the bath of an evening.

I'm not much of a cleaner though My house is usually in a state of toddler-explosion.





I am much more of a player than a cleaner. And during his nap I would rather do yoga or cook something than clean. I clean in fast short bursts usually with him helping. I like to think that I keep us in the normal messy zone. I also don't have a dishwasher so just keeping up with the dishes is a 20 hour a week job.

I have boys! My first baby boy was born 10/08 and my second baby boy was born 7/12

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#10 of 27 Old 01-23-2010, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[/U][/B]



I am much more of a player than a cleaner. And during his nap I would rather do yoga or cook something than clean. I clean in fast short bursts usually with him helping. I like to think that I keep us in the normal messy zone. I also don't have a dishwasher so just keeping up with the dishes is a 20 hour a week job.
we don't have a dishwasher either, and I would say half the time I am cleaning it IS washing dishes. Dishes are one of those things that just makes me feel good to have done, so I make it a priority.

Toddler explosion of toys is a regular thing here. I don't even see it as mess, and I only clean toys about once a week. Any more than that and I start going crazy. DH tries to pick up toys sometimes, with DS right behind him dragging it all back out. He starts getting angry and muttering about futility...I don't know how many times I say "Don't do that to yourself..." But I guess he "sees" the toys more than I do. Plus, I think he feels that it's his way of helping out, even though they don't really bother me. They are the most "obvious" mess in the house, since I clean most other things...so to him that is what he is able to "help" with the most.

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#11 of 27 Old 01-23-2010, 11:36 PM
 
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I don't really play with DS1 a lot either, although I will occasionally sit down and build a train track or get him started on a Lego house. Mostly, though, he plays on his own, and I think one reason he is good at playing independently is that he has a lot of opportunities to do so. That said, I do read to him a lot, and I try to engage him in the activites I am doing if he is interested. We do a child-focused outing every day (drop-in program, playdate, playground) and we bake together a couple of days a week.

Our apartment is nowhere near as tidy or clean as I would like it, but it's OK. I have some very basic cleaning routines that work for us, and as time goes by (and DS2 who is now 6 months gets older) I can tackle the areas that still need work. The basics, like laundry, the kitchen, vacuuming, bathroom, basic tidying up etc. get done routinely, but I could get much better at decluttering, dusting, working on piles of stuff, etc.
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#12 of 27 Old 01-24-2010, 12:02 AM
 
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I really don't play with my kids, I'm just not that type of mom. I will happily set them up with things to play with, a sink full of water, play doh, etc... but I don't sit there. I come over and assist when needed, but I do my thing and they do theirs.


It took me until child #2 before I figured this out, that's ok not to be my child's primary playmate. But we are all so much better off when we are being productive in our own ways.

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#13 of 27 Old 01-24-2010, 12:02 AM
 
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I don't do a lot of playing either but I also don't spend all day cleaning. I do chores in the morning and then we sit down in the living room and do whatever we do. The kids play, I knit, or sew, or read, or whatever. We interact but we're not cosntantly giving 100% of our attention to one another. Although I will say that sometimes I will separate the kids purposely in their rooms for short bursts of time so they can learn to entertain themselves alone. (Or when they are driving me batty by wrestling with each other and screeching at the tops of their lungs - two 2 year olds in one house makes for a LOUD environment.)

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#14 of 27 Old 01-24-2010, 12:08 AM
 
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we don't have a dishwasher either, and I would say half the time I am cleaning it IS washing dishes. Dishes are one of those things that just makes me feel good to have done, so I make it a priority.

Toddler explosion of toys is a regular thing here. I don't even see it as mess, and I only clean toys about once a week. Any more than that and I start going crazy. DH tries to pick up toys sometimes, with DS right behind him dragging it all back out. He starts getting angry and muttering about futility...I don't know how many times I say "Don't do that to yourself..." But I guess he "sees" the toys more than I do. Plus, I think he feels that it's his way of helping out, even though they don't really bother me. They are the most "obvious" mess in the house, since I clean most other things...so to him that is what he is able to "help" with the most.
Well, that really bugged me too. I hate visual clutter. So now we have the new rule that there are only a couple of toys allowed out at a time, and only one at a time that has a lot of pieces. And none leave the kids' rooms. Nothing on the stairs, in the living room, hallways, etc. Sometimes dollie will migrate down or something and I don't have a problem with that if it's actively being played with; if it's dropped I ask the kids to take it upstairs. Since they don't like running up and down the stairs they've learned to basically leave toys upstairs to begin with. It's not perfect but it saves my sanity.

And then when I want some free time to myself I get out one of the bags of toys from the closet (like say, animals, or cloth bowling pins, or kitchen food, or whatever) and since it's "new" it distracts them - and then at the end of the activity we just pile it all back in the closet. No mess. I don't want to stifle creativity so sometimes we will have a free for all day - when all the toys can come out at once and interact. When they get a little older, too, I will be more than happy to let them have more toys out at their own disposal but right now all they do is dump the baskets of toys and leave them. In a year or two maybe it'll be different, but right now too many toys seems to overwhelm them anyway.

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#15 of 27 Old 01-24-2010, 12:14 AM
 
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I feel the same way about play. I'm not a player. I love bringing her over to Grandma's house (I have young siblings). She plays like crazy with them. But then, I'm at Grandma's house, too. lol

I try to clean with her. She is in the helping stage right now. I give her a rag and she scrubs along with me. I even have her clean her little potty to distract her while I scrub the toilet. Epic win!

Here's a photo of us vacuuming:
http://app1.sellersourcebook.com/use...1/pc110013.jpg

Playing just does NOT work at our home. She does some good independent play, but for some reason NOT when it is just the two of us. ??? I can't figure it out. She has tons of toys but tires of them. So we spend the 2nd half of the day out and about.

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#16 of 27 Old 01-24-2010, 03:02 PM
 
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yeah i totally let him help. i just feel bad sometimes that a lot of our day is me cleaning and not playing. esp. since i sah to BE WITH HIM.

although i read on here some time ago about an idea called the continuum concept...where part of it was letting your child see that the world doesn't revolve around them. that cleaning and taking care of responsibilities was important for all people including mommy.

thanks!

Same conflicted feelings here. I used to think, "I don't sah to be a maid." Now though, with three kids I have to clean when they're up, and I agree about the CC concept. I shouldn't have to sit on the floor and play all day. I did do more of that with my first and he sure does think the world revolves around him. If I'm with him and engaging while I do certain chores or cooking, or letting him help, I don't feel too bad. Usually. Still, I do try to limit it (not that cleaning is fun, but you know how it is- there's always something to do and it only piles on) I just remind myself to skip it sometimes and get out for the walk or play with him on the floor for a while. I also am not too into the playing, which doesn't help. I like to read with them and watch them play, but build legos myself? Not so much. I often feel that by the time I clean up from breakfast and get us dressed, the preschool morning is half over and my little flylady plan of cleaning a certain room is out the window, so I give that up and do something with him. I remember my mom always doing something around the house and never with me, and I don't quite want to be like that either!
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#17 of 27 Old 03-28-2010, 12:47 PM
 
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I this thread. It's nice to see others that do the same.


I clean a lot.

 

 

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#18 of 27 Old 03-28-2010, 01:14 PM
 
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Interesting thread!

When do I clean? I don't!! I would like to but I just don't have the energy. I pick up after us but DH does most of the necessary cleaning (like dishes) and everything else we are just too tired & stressed to deal with at the moment. I would love a cleaner house

DS will only nap on me which has been making me feel very trapped at times... but overall it works fine, because I need to work while he sleeps. If I wasn't working I'd definitely take that time to myself to read/go online/etc.

I hate hate hate "playing" -- it's so not me. I was also a reader... the only thing I really did with toys as a kid, according to my mom, was line them up (guess I was weird). I try to find things that I will enjoy doing with him -- pick up his toy cow and ask, "What does the cow say?"; going to the playground (I LOVE playgrounds); making our own toys (ex. we punched a hole in a coffee can cover & push macaroni through the hole -- toys are more fun if you've made them yourself); making up physical games (we play "rocketship" for ex., which involves counting from 10 & shooting him into the air, and we tackle each other, stuff like that)... and we do lots & lots of reading together. But often I will just close the door to the room and read/go on the computer/lay down & rest while DS does his thing, climbs on top of me, whatever... he's not very interested in toys at this point either.

OK I wrote way more info than you wanted I'm sure lol... I'm trying to forget the fact that I don't clean my house

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#19 of 27 Old 03-28-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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I have two boys-one aged 2 1/2, the other 8 months. I tend to do at least one DS1-focused outing or activity every day, and I make sure we have at least half an hour of outdoor time in there as well. In other words, one day we might go to the park for a couple of hours in the morning, or we might go to an indoor playgroup in the morning and then play for half an hour outside when we get home. Monday through Thursday, we are usually at some kind of activity in the morning (early childhood program or playgroup twice a week, a playdate, or the playground.) The routine cleaning stuff, I do when we're home and at least one of the boys is awake. Fridays are our deep-cleaning day, and aside from a short trip outside to play, we stay home and clean. DS1 can either join me (he usually does) or play on his own.

Any time both boys nap at the same time is "me-time." They give me this gift about half the days right now.

I see part of my job as providing them with varied opportunities to play and learn, to read to them, let them join in with activities like cleaning and baking, and even to set up some semi-structured activities like providing DS1 with craft materials, that kind of thing. That said, I am also a big believer in the value of free play, and I expect him to play on his own most of the time. I also think it is important for them to see me working, and to have the opportunity to join in if they so choose. I do not often sit down on the floor and actually play with them.
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#20 of 27 Old 03-28-2010, 09:31 PM
 
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I'm not a big one to get on the floor and play, once the kiddos are mobile. I do an hour or so of housework right after breakfast. The two of mine who are still at home are 3, and we've been doing an hour or so of "preschool" in the mornings, where I read with them and do little crafts and play board games. But the rest of the time, they mostly play by themselves, while I cook, or knit, or read, or get on here, or talk to adult friends, or work in the garden, or whatever it is I need to do. That's the part of the day where we'll go do errands if we need to, or go to the park or whatever, but even at parks I mostly tend to bring an adult activity with me, and I work while they play nearby. They like to help with a lot of the work I do, or we just do our own thing near each other.

Like the PP said, I will set them up with an activity, and help when asked, and stay nearby and make appreciative noises when they're called for, and admire everybody's creations, but I don't really sit down and join in all that much.

I do play with my oldest-- she likes to play games that need somebody else to play with, like board games and card games, and the LOs don't understand how to play.

The time they spend napping is my "me" time. I spend it on here, or stuck in a book, or doing puzzles, or catching up with friends, or cooking something yummy just for me, or doing needlework. I only do housework during naptime when I'm really running behind. I need the time to feel sane and balanced.

Once their big sister is home from school, though, they play with her. They don't even want to KNOW me when she's around. She's their hero and the light of their life!

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#21 of 27 Old 03-28-2010, 09:52 PM
 
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I don't play. In the morning I make breakfast and do my work. The kids know that we have to have our work done before we get to play or go anywhere fun. That means dressed, teeth and hair brushed, toys picked up, dishwasher loaded, floor vacuumed. Then we may run errands or go somewhere like the zoo, etc.

I read books, help with puzzles, set up art projects, watch movies, bake/cook with them, push them on the swings, and occasionally build with legos or blocks. But I don't play with toys.

We don't nap here (sigh) so I pretty much work (cook/clean) all day with breaks to read the kids a book, set up a project, etc. I have "me" time to play on the computer or read a magazine when the baby is nursing. Which is a lot

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#22 of 27 Old 03-29-2010, 12:12 AM
 
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If its a mess my boys made, I usually clean right after, because I don't like looking at it..

Mondays we usually all stay in and I clean the house and my boys play with each other.

I have stopped "playing" with them as much now that my boys are a little older and they play with each other.

Tues-Friday I always take them out for fun and play dates and parks etc for half of the day.
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#23 of 27 Old 03-31-2010, 05:26 AM
 
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I'm very relieved to see that others parent the same way or similarly to how I do. I don't "play" with dd either. I interact with her of course, I don't just sit her in front of the tv to rot or throw her in her room and close the door (not that I'm not tempted) but we both tend to do our own thing. At sixteen months, dd is comfortable going into her room for some alone play. She pulls out her blocks or has conversations with her stuffed animals, or pulls apart her play mat. Until recently most of her toys were in the living room because she needed to see me and her daddy and have that reassurance we were present, but she still played independantly. I talk to her about what I'm doing, I talk to her about what she's doing. If she's alone in her room I go to check on her but I want to encourage her independance as well.
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#24 of 27 Old 04-01-2010, 10:03 AM
 
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Meant to start a new thread!

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#25 of 27 Old 04-02-2010, 04:55 PM
 
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I really don't have a set time. I clean whenever I get the chance! Most of the time it is in the morning before DH goes to work and DD is still sleeping.
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#26 of 27 Old 04-02-2010, 06:18 PM
 
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I don't know where this idea came from that at-home parents are supposed to play with their children. Historically, that is not what parents who were at home did. They worked in that house and made the kids help as soon as they were able.

I have never felt like I had to play with my children. Like pp said, I involve them in the work of the house (which they love), and I read to them. But playing is their job, not mine.

(Not knocking it if parents actually want to play with their kids - but I feel very strongly that this is an expectation we shouldn't have about our role as parents.)
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#27 of 27 Old 04-02-2010, 07:38 PM
 
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I don't know where this idea came from that at-home parents are supposed to play with their children. Historically, that is not what parents who were at home did. They worked in that house and made the kids help as soon as they were able.

I have never felt like I had to play with my children. Like pp said, I involve them in the work of the house (which they love), and I read to them. But playing is their job, not mine.

(Not knocking it if parents actually want to play with their kids - but I feel very strongly that this is an expectation we shouldn't have about our role as parents.)


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