Is SAHM really code for "house slave" - Mothering Forums
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Stay at Home Parents > Is SAHM really code for "house slave"
Mom2GCNJ's Avatar Mom2GCNJ 07:19 PM 06-06-2010
I am new here at MDC. I have only read a few posts, but I have to say I am so impressed by the way everyone conducts themselves. This seems like such a welcoming place and I'm happy to have found it.

Ok - here is my issue. I'm a SAHM with a wonderful husband and three living children, DD 9, DS 3, DD 10 months. Like most families we have to make really large financial sacrifices to make this work. My DH and I are both strongly committed to one of us always being here for our children. The thing is, I'm wondering if we are doing the right thing.

I have come to feel that my role is not about mothering my children but cleaning the house. Our family of 5 + dog lives in a small two bedroom apartment (one of the financial sacrifices) and it is always a mess - always. I have come to resent feeling like all I do is clean up after everyone without ever being able to feel satisfied that my house is clean. Believe me, the issue is not that my standards are too high . I'm starting to wonder on a daily basis - what is the point of making all these sacrifices when all I do is clean - or think about cleaning - or walk around FURIOUS that I have to clean up another mess that someone purposely (it feels to me) made for me because "I have nothing to do but clean up after all of you" (words I utter on a daily basis).

This is not what I signed up for. I want to do things with my kids - not just run around after them with a mop bucket. The other thing that really gets me is being constantly told what a luxury it is to be a SAHM. Ha! I'm tired of feeling like I should me grateful to be a really poorly paid maid.

Anyone else have similar thoughts?

ssh's Avatar ssh 07:25 PM 06-06-2010
I've told my 4 year old that everyone has to pick up after their self so no one ends up feeling like Cinderella. My DH works full time too, but he still helps out with house stuff one the weekends.

I did notice, after moving into a bigger place, that smaller spaces get messier faster ....... or maybe they just look messier.
AFWife's Avatar AFWife 07:38 PM 06-06-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
I've told my 4 year old that everyone has to pick up after their self so no one ends up feeling like Cinderella. My DH works full time too, but he still helps out with house stuff one the weekends.

I did notice, after moving into a bigger place, that smaller spaces get messier faster ....... or maybe they just look messier.
If you have a lot of stuff (read: clutter ) like we do then yes.



Yeah, I do minor pickup on the weekdays. (Major messes, daily stuff that must get done like dishes and laundry, etc) and worry about big cleaning on weekends when DH can help (even if that means entertaining the baby while *I* do it)
Mom2GCNJ's Avatar Mom2GCNJ 07:46 PM 06-06-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by AFWife View Post
......and worry about big cleaning on weekends when DH can help (even if that means entertaining the baby while *I* do it)
Part of our problem is that my husband is self employed and also works a part-time job so he is gone from 7am to dark seven days per week - one night a week he doesn't make it home at all. The only time he is home is when a) it's raining (he mows lawns), b) he is with the kids so I can go to my job part-time job and c) he's sleeping.

You all don't think it's crazy that I can't keep up? I really feel like I should be better at this.
MCsMom's Avatar MCsMom 08:20 PM 06-06-2010
No, I don't think it is crazy you can't keep up. I don't think I would even be sane with three dc from 7 am to dark by myself, even not trying to keep the house clean.

The only advice I have for you is very old fashioned - 'A place for everything, and everything in it's place'. Does everything have a place in your house that you are happy with? If not, you have too much stuff and you need to de-clutter. Most people in America have this problem from the houses I have personally been in. It is much easier to keep things clean if they all actually do have a place to go.
zinemama's Avatar zinemama 08:40 PM 06-06-2010
I don't think it's crazy that you can't keep up. I think it's crazy that you expect yourself to raise three children and do all the housework, too. Keeping up with dishes and laundry through the day, sure. Having dinner on the table.

But other stuff? Your dh should be splitting that with you when he's home. I mean, back when you both worked, did you do everything? When he's home, he needs to pitch in.
Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 08:41 PM 06-06-2010
Wow! 5 people and a dog in a two bedroom!

Have you ever tried flylady.net? It really helped me figure out systems to help things run smoother, but they really can only get so smooth!
sapientia's Avatar sapientia 08:52 PM 06-06-2010
I second 'a place for everything...' and also, declutter. I mean, really take a look at what is enriching your life, and what you really need and everything else can be donated or garbage. That worked for me tremendously.
scottishmommy's Avatar scottishmommy 08:53 PM 06-06-2010
No, I do not think it's crazy that you can't keep up. The only people I know with kids and a clean house either have a maid or exceptionally tidy children.
Peony's Avatar Peony 12:27 AM 06-07-2010
I so hear you. I feel like my days involve me chasing after a child or three with a dustpan with a phone pressed to my ear (I WAHM part time). The clean up with children is constant! I am cleaning up one mess in the kitchen while two more are busy making messes in other parts of the house, as soon as I get them cleaned up then I am back cleaning up mess B that the first child has already created in yet another area. I declutter frequently but my biggest issue is really just the mess that 3 kids and two pets create. The dishes from breakfast, the cat litter a cat tracked through the house, someone grabbed a piece of watermelon and ate it and now there is a trail of sticky juice through the entire downstairs. Then a child goes outside and runs back with a hand full of pine needes because she wanted to show me a cool bug in it, now I am cleaning up the trail of pine needles before the 1y tries to eat them. The baby finds the box of crackers the 7y left out on the coffee table and suddenly I have crumbs ground into two rooms. On and one and on, and I know you know what I am taking about.

I pick up toys here and there, but we don't have a ton that is scattered through the house, it really is just all the "other" messes that consume all my time. No real advice here but I totally feel your pain. Maybe I just have really messy children though.
nina_yyc's Avatar nina_yyc 01:59 AM 06-07-2010
I have a 2BR too and I feel like decluttering/organizing is my hobby. We try to use vertical space for storage as best as we can and I am obsessed with boxing up and labelling things. All the kid stuff is organized as simply and easily as possible so that a three year old can handle cleanup with minimal supervision. If you look in the decluttering/mindful home management forums there are tons of ideas for small spaces.

I think one of the things that saves me the most time cleaning is keeping vinegar and baking soda and cleaning cloths permanently stashed in the kitchen or bathroom. I deep-clean only rarely but give things a quick once-over very regularly. My 3yo is used to being asked to pick up and doesn't always love it but is pretty competent. We have consistent expectations for coming in and out of the house (putting away shoes & coat) and clearing up after snack to minimize the incidental tidying. She needs reminders but she is used to it.

With all that I am still behind and here I am living it up on MDC instead of doing the dishes You're not alone.
phathui5's Avatar phathui5 11:00 AM 06-07-2010
I second the flylady recommendation. If you haven't checked out her site, you could at least try it.
cappuccinosmom's Avatar cappuccinosmom 12:14 PM 06-07-2010
I think you have a living situation that makes keeping things tidy very difficult. I also agree with others that you might want to consider doing a serious decluttering so that your volume of stuff fits the space available to you. It's very hard to keep anything tidy when there is *stuff* in every corner. Not just physically hard but it can overwhelm you emotionally.

Dh and I do "traditional" gender roles and I have no problem being responsible for the housework. Don't resent it. However, I also don't feel like "hired help" or that I'm the one doing all the work. Dh is a reasonably tidy person, so I'm not keeping up after a slobby husband, and I have three children (7 and under) who are perfectly capable of cleaning up their own toys, making their own beds, helping set and clear the table, etc. Working together, the housework is done quickly and we have lots of time in the day for the good stuff.
BetsyS's Avatar BetsyS 12:37 PM 06-07-2010
I also like flylady.

Part of that is that there are certain set tasks for every day. Once they are done, they are done (until the next scheduled time). That way, you're NOT thinking about cleaning all the time.

Once I do my morning routine, I just ignore the mess (usually matchbox cars on the floor here) until right before naptime, when I know that they'll be cleaned up again. It's nice for my brain to be able to shut off, not worrying about when I'm going to clean up--I *know* that I'll clean up at the next scheduled time, and everything can wait until then.

It's a little mind trick, but it works well for me.
Tigerchild's Avatar Tigerchild 03:31 PM 06-07-2010
You know, I think it's time to call a family meeting, as dorky as that sounds. (maybe you can buy some ice cream and have ice cream sundaes afterwards or something treat-y)

Your DH may work a lot, but he can have SOME tasks that he does. Your DD should be helping out. So should your three year old. Granted, your house never is going to look like a Pottery Barn catalog. But really, it sounds like don't have unrealistic expectations, you're just feeling overwhelmed and taken for granted.

IMO that is okay to share with your family when you're feeling that way.
Baby_Cakes's Avatar Baby_Cakes 03:45 PM 06-07-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post
No, I do not think it's crazy that you can't keep up. The only people I know with kids and a clean house either have a maid or exceptionally tidy children.


Let some of it go.
My house isn't always (ok is rarely) tidy enough for company. But usually the dishes and laundry are at least mostly done. We function. But my home is lived in.
journeymom's Avatar journeymom 04:11 PM 06-07-2010
Not crazy at all. What you describe sounds pretty stressful.

I second decluttering, or really, super-simplifying. Not just 'a place for everything'. Get rid of all but the bare necessities. Stuff you want to keep for the future, pack them up and put them ...in the back of the closet? Rent storage? Mom and Dad's garage? Something like that.

I get being disappointed and irritated because you're spending more time taking care of stuff than having fun with your kids.

1) This is going to be a high-pressure time of your life, it just is. Makes it harder to cope with other people's messes.

2) Take care of yourself. Don't put having a neat house ahead of having fun. You need to have fun!
nola79's Avatar nola79 05:48 PM 06-07-2010
Seriously?? Three children, a dog, and a husband that works a lot? No, it's not crazy! Not at all. I can hardly keep up and one of my children does all dishes, all garbage, and helps me a lot. And the other one is a baby. I do great with keeping everyone fed and the floor swept, but everything else I have trouble keeping up with. I'll have to check out flylady myself. My home is not dirty, really, just cluttered. I find with more room in a house comes more stuff!
Mom2GCNJ's Avatar Mom2GCNJ 01:15 AM 06-08-2010
Thanks everyone for taking time to respond to my vent. I'm picking out a few quotes to resond to. (Hopefully I'm doing it right.)

Quote:
Dh and I do "traditional" gender roles and I have no problem being responsible for the housework. Don't resent it. However, I also don't feel like "hired help" or that I'm the one doing all the work. Dh is a reasonably tidy person, so I'm not keeping up after a slobby husband, and I have three children (7 and under) who are perfectly capable of cleaning up their own toys, making their own beds, helping set and clear the table, etc. Working together, the housework is done quickly and we have lots of time in the day for the good stuff.
Quote:
Your DH may work a lot, but he can have SOME tasks that he does. Your DD should be helping out. So should your three year old. Granted, your house never is going to look like a Pottery Barn catalog. But really, it sounds like don't have unrealistic expectations, you're just feeling overwhelmed and taken for granted.
I don't necessarily have a problem with traditional gender roles. I do have a huge problem spending more time cleaning than doing things with my kids - or anyone else for that matter. I don't have a problem cleaning. I'm good at making things clean - just not keeping them that way. I just have this feeling that for at least a few minutes in any given day the cleaning should be done.

My DH is great. He does help out when he is home, but I am not exaggerating when I say he is gone from sun-up to sun-down. The thing is, he doesn't really care all that much about a tidy house. He does what he does to keep my head from blowing off - that feels like enough for him. The steady simmer the builds up in me over time doesn't matter to him - until I'm ready to blow. Also, he hasn't been hard wired to think of our untidy house as the embodiment of a character defect like I apparently was in my youth. He just says "Well it is a little house and we are busy and we have little kids so...." I feel like I carry my messy house around on my shoulders like a badge of shame. I HATE feeling like I am judged by my house. I also hate that my house keeps me from doing a good job at the work that is really important to ME - raising good kids.

Decluttering is a hobby as someone mentioned - but there is always room to purge more and I will continue to work on that. Paper is my nemesis - always has been. Toys are a thorn in my side too. I think I am going to toss everything we have now and start over with a very few really special toys and books that the kids really care about and will (hopefully) feel more compelled to take care of - or they will end up at Goodwill too. We are also working on other tricks to make the most of the space we have like lofting the beds and replacing our current horizontal dressers with verticle chests of drawers. In our house every inch matters.

Interestingly laundry is a real problem too. Since our daughter was born, I haven't been able to figure out the logistics of it. We live on the top floor. The laundry is in the basement which is accessed from an outside door. I don't feel comfortable leaving my baby alone upstairs - especially with a rammy pre-schooler. I can't haul her and the laundry up and down three flights of stairs. I don't have a sling that we both fit in - (we are both rather fluffy). I tried once leaving her in a pack n play (we don't have a crib) while changing the laundry and she was beyond hysterical when I got back - and it took her the better part of the day to recover. I am embarassed that is such a struggle for me. I mean I'm an intelligent, go get 'em kind of gal - and yet I am completely flummoxed by this. (

FlyLady sent me email messages for months years ago - but we never became real friends. I'll have to look her up again. :0)

I have never done a good job of getting my children to do their part. It is such a high intensity issue for me that I quickly get frustrated when they drag their heals and do a poor job (again - my expectations aren't very high). (My nine yo had a "rummage sale" in the front yard one day - It took 5 DAYS to get her to clean it up!!!! UGH I wanted to pull my hair out!) Trying unsuccessfully to get them to pitch in adds fuel to my fury - which makes me feel like crap - so I have given up to a large extent - I KNOW THIS A PROBLEM - I get the feeling from reading other posts that I can trust you all won't make me feel like a defective parent for confessing my shortcomings here.

Thank you again everyone - you've been so kind to offer your suggestions - please know that I am taking them all to heart. Your reassurance and encouragement are treassures to me too! )
Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 02:19 AM 06-08-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2GCNJ View Post
I just have this feeling that for at least a few minutes in any given day the cleaning should be done.
I think that's unrealistic.

Cleaning house while raising kids is like shoveling while it's still snowing.

Quote:
I feel like I carry my messy house around on my shoulders like a badge of shame. I HATE feeling like I am judged by my house. I also hate that my house keeps me from doing a good job at the work that is really important to ME - raising good kids.
Your house cannot judge you. It just doesn't have mental equipment for that! This isn't a moral issue. And there's no relationship between how clean a house is and how well you are doing raising your kids.

Over the years, I've met woman with very tidy homes who keep them that way by screaming at their kids, and I've met amazing moms with really messy houses. I'm personally happiest with something in the middle.

One of my little tricks that I've modified from Flylady is setting aside one hour to focus on housework, and make a list of the 6 most pressing issues. Then I use a timer and work on each issue for 10 minutes. Then I take a 10 minute break and decide what to do next. Even though some of the jobs won't be completely done, 10 minutes is enough to get them out of crises mode.

For kids, a 10 minute pick up with a timer is VERY helpful.

the timer is your friend.
BetsyS's Avatar BetsyS 10:05 AM 06-08-2010
In your case, I might try a once a week laundromat trip. Sure, it'd be a pain to lug it all down the stairs at once (then back up), but it would all be done in one fell swoop. Probably faster, because you could have multiple loads going at once. Then, it'd be done for a whole week, and you wouldn't have to think about it again until the next Thursday or whenever.
LorenaAZ's Avatar LorenaAZ 11:00 AM 06-08-2010
I would first declutter, donate, and throw stuff in the tash. After some stuff has been eliminated from the space, I would do what others have said: each thing in its place. Find a place for everything.

Second, I would find a way to get all 3 kids out of the house so you can clean in peace. That way you can go room by room and finish the apartment. Instead of doing 1 room, move on to the next, and the 1st room has been visited by a level 7 tornado already. Get a sitter, a friend, or a family member to take the kids to the park just a few hrs, just 1 day a week. Even if you have to pay a sitter, it shouldnt be too expensive.

I`m a single mom to a 16 month old girl and boy can she make a mess in no time! I clean our apartment, do landry, and put everthing in order every sunday when her dad has his visitation. Her toys are usually all over the place by monday, and by wednesday she`s gone through every drawer in the house and things are verywhere. I can only imagine what it must be like with 3 kids! My ex used to count as 5 kids because he was the messiest human being I had ever met. I hope your DH helps and is not a slob.

You are not crazy! Good luck getting things under control!
mrspineau's Avatar mrspineau 11:01 AM 06-08-2010
I think that you probably just need a system. It's figuring out the system that's the hardest part though lol. the laundry sounds like a real pain, but what if you just did it at night time when your husband gets home? or, maybe that could be his responsibility? I don't know how much clutter or organization you have, but I know from my experience that cutting out clutter and being organized is what really makes keeping a house clean simpler. my husband and i used to be quite messy, never able to keep on top of things, never able to get the laundry done, or the dishes, etc etc. but then one day we just, got rid of stuff, and gave everything a place. and now, our house is pretty much always clean. I don't spend all day cleaning, I probably spend an hour and a half in total from wake up to sit down doing house chores and meal preparation. and that would be on a day where I'm doing a lot. Before I buy anything, I decide in my head exactly where it is going to go in my house, and if I dont have a place for it, then I dont buy it. Also, baskets are like, a lifesaver. you can throw things in baskets and it looks organized. Toys are also a huge source of mess, so we have a designated area for toys in the livingroom, and they are organized by type. like, a basket of cars, a basket of musical instruments, a basket of blocks, etc. so that nothing really gets jumbled up together, and it is obvious to the kids where things are supposed to go. I also don't buy toys that have no real point to them, or toys that I think in my head "where in gods name will i put this thing now?" if you know what i mean. Hope this helps a little... you arent crazy. you are just a very busy mommy
annethcz's Avatar annethcz 12:13 PM 06-08-2010
I agree that you need some sort of system. I have found routines to be really helpful. If we clean up throughout the day, the house stays cleaner. It can be hard to get kids to clean, but I've found it helps to give them an incentive. Often, the incentive is food... ie we'll eat lunch after you clean off the kitchen table and put your toys in the living room away. Or the incentive can be an activity they like...we'll go swimming/go to the park/get out the paints once you've cleaned up your last mess.

I've also found an after dinner or before-bed cleanup to work really well for my family. By that time DH is usually home, so I have an equal. We all work for 15 minutes to clean up from dinner and clean up the house. In 15-20 minutes we can have the table cleared, the dishes in the dishwasher, the floors vacuumed and swept, and toys put away.
Pippi L.'s Avatar Pippi L. 02:07 PM 06-08-2010
I live in a 2 bedroom apartment with my husband, 2.5 year old, and I'm pregnant. Oh, and I don't have a dishwasher. My house is never totally clean. I have priorities. I work hard to keep the kitchen under control. If I go to bed and the dishes are done I consider it a good day If the toys are picked up and the entry way is clear that is big bonus. My bedroom is always, always trashed. I can always sweep the floor, but it rarely happens. I try to be really strict about no shoes in the house (the norm here in Canada, but hard to enforce sometimes with a 2 year old).

We try hard to constantly declutter, but we don't like to use too much vertical space because we live in an earthquake zone. My husband job is planning for earthquakes so we just can't stand to have heavy things high on the walls. That rules out a lot of excellent space saving measures.

Your daughter is definitely old enough to help out in a meaningful way. Delegate! At that age I was in charge of folding and putting away my own clothes and keeping track of my own stuff. You might even be able to get her to help with dishes (I can't wait until my daughter can help with the dishes!) Or you might even want to give her the job of cooking once a week. It might be something easy, but she's learning a skill and after a bit of a training period that takes a big job off of you one day a week. Who cares if it's peanut butter sandwiches to begin with -- in the long run it will get better! Give her some options of ways to help out and see what interests her. Make it sound like a special, grown up privilege.

The 3 year old can be in charge of keeping his/her (sorry, I can't remember!) toys in their places. We sing a clean up song when we we clean and if my daughter doesn't help then the toys go on vacation. The 10 month old, well, I think you're stuck there

Don't be upset with yourself -- it's hard work keeping a small space clean. Everyone capable needs to pitch in. It might still be messy, but at least all the work isn't on your shoulders.
journeymom's Avatar journeymom 02:18 PM 06-08-2010
Quote:
I just have this feeling that for at least a few minutes in any given day the cleaning should be done.
You are right! The thing is, you have the solution. Spend a reasonable amount of time in the morning doing some clearly defined housework (a realistic to-do list), and when you finish that to-do list, that's it: cleaning is done for the day. That doesn't mean you don't clean up spills and help the kids put stuff away through-out the day. But in your mind you know that the cleaning/straightening part of the day is finished, and you can rest easier.

The key is your attitude here. Set yourself a realistic goal and then stick to it. Anything that doesn't get done in 20 minutes or 45 minutes is actually OK. You've done what needed to be done.

Quote:
Also, he hasn't been hard wired to think of our untidy house as the embodiment of a character defect like I apparently was in my youth. He just says "Well it is a little house and we are busy and we have little kids so...."
He's right, little house, little kids and a busy life style equals a home that's messier than a home without those variables. And you're right, your dh and many other guys don't seem to see the mess and dirt as much as many women do.

Tell us about this untidy house character defect. Who does it come from? Yes, I'm playing dumb.

In ALL of us there are two different things that motivate us to keep our homes neat. One is external: pride/shame (what will other people think of me?), expectations, upbringing. The other is internal: a threshold of mess that is simply unpleasant to live in, for anyone. Spend some time thinking about what your external and internal motivations are, think about which ones deserve most of your mental energy.

Quote:
I feel like I carry my messy house around on my shoulders like a badge of shame. I HATE feeling like I am judged by my house. I also hate that my house keeps me from doing a good job at the work that is really important to ME - raising good kids.
Who is judging you?

How does your house keep you from raising good kids?
jeteaa's Avatar jeteaa 05:20 PM 06-08-2010
I'm feeling the same way. We have 2 dc (4 and 6 yrs old), 2 cats and 2 big dogs living in about 1300 sq ft. We like our home. Its not about getting a bigger house. Its about THE KIDS CLEANING UP THEIR TOYS/GAMES/CRAFTS. We hsed this year and the mess us one of the main reasons I'm putting dd1 in school next year. She WANTS to con't hsing and I told her a month ago if she would keep her room clean and pick up after herself then we could hs next year. Well, it just didn't get though to her. So I feel, I would rather have them out of the house 3 days a week (K and preschool) and just pick up after them myself and actually have a clean house for the times we are all home.
Gucci&Granola's Avatar Gucci&Granola 05:29 PM 06-12-2010
I am a SAHW soon to be SAHM and I too have struggled with the balance of keeping things clean and sharing responsibility with a husband who has a full time career at a high profile company.

What I would suggest is scheduling, planning, and delegating.

Develop a realistic chore chart and stick to it. You mentioned that in your current situation laundry is difficult for you. I can only imagine what a nightmare the laundry situation must be like with three small children, but I do know that in our home having a designated laundry day makes a big difference in keeping the pile up to a minimum. If you need to have someone over for an hour or two once a week so that you can do laundry it would be helpful to have that as a scheduled and regular occurrence. Rather than deciding to clean for three hours and see where you get, try having tasks that you do on a particular day of the week and dividing up portions of the cleaning between your children. For ex: if you are doing laundry on Sundays then having your children gather all of their own dirty laundry (the ones that are old enough) and teaching them to sort lights and darks into communal hampers would be an excellent way to get them involved. At first this may feel futile and chaotic, stick with it. Eventually the rhythm of the chart will get your house on a schedule and you will find that things become more manageable.

Buy reasonably sized (meaning small if your space is limited) toy bins or chests and allow the children to keep only what they can fit inside their chest. When it comes time to clean up they can gather their own things, fill their chest, and be done with it. Things that remain lying around are hidden and earned back with good behavior, items that are rarely used, forgotten, or never put away are given to Good Will.

If paper is your weakness try making as many aspects of your life paperless as possible. Most billing and banking can be done online and you can opt out of paper statements and bills.

Of course all of this will take time to set up and even longer to become part of the recognized and accepted routine. Do not expect your children to adapt overnight but also do not allow any family members to derail your efforts simply because they are used to you doing everything. Think of a few things that each capable person can do (in my house my husband does the dishes and a general kitchen cleaning on the weekends) and make them own that task. Part of what is stressful for me is not only cleaning by trying to constantly orchestrate everyone to "help" when I feel overwhelmed. If there are even a few small things that you no longer have to worry about you might be amazed how far that can go towards giving you some peace and room to breath.

Being married to a man who is naturally a slob means that I see and am bothered by mess long before him. If I had to rely on his instincts to get him to clean we would be living in squalor before anything got done. Make a chart and stick to it. If he knows that you do certain tasks on certain days (even if he is working) he can make sure to do his best to accommodate the schedule whether he "sees" the mess or not. (Ex: he knows that the next day is laundry day so before bed or before work the next morning he does something simple like make sure all of his own laundry is in order or helps the kids do their part).

Good luck!
CT Mommy's Avatar CT Mommy 11:45 PM 06-14-2010
I'm feeling completely overwhelmed as well. 2 of the 6 of us are out of clean undies (myself included) and I literally cannot walk through the family room w/out stepping on something. Did I mention I only got 2 1/2 hours of sleep last night b/c of teething baby! Somethings got to give!

I just found out about motivated moms. For $8 you get a daily schedule of how to keep up with your house. Seasonal things and daily routines as well. I am going to try to commit to it and see if I cannot turn things around. I feel like I'm just this side of living in a frat house!

Good luck!
spu's Avatar spu 11:12 AM 06-15-2010
you're not crazy. it's overwhelming, for sure, and can be so consuming. i'm right there with you. our house is really big, and really messy still. our kids are old enough to clean up, but they don't. dh is old enough to take his shoes off outside after mowing, but he doesn't. everyone is old enough to pull up the sheets when they roll out of bed, or hang their wet bath towels.

i'd say the 9 year old can definitely clean up their own stuff. the 3 year old can help with toys or dishes from the table.

for us, aside from the daily dropping of clothes and shoes and junk strewn about the house, i sometimes feel bad for the girls' playroom since they do need more 'containers' or spots to put things. otherwise, it's all over the desk or the floor. and that's not their fault. problem is, it's expensive to buy all that nice storage stuff. even from ikea, it adds up for sure. so my next step now that school is almost out, is to declutter like crazy i'm using the 'let's paint the playroom' as an incentive to take everything out. literally. i'll bring up boxes, and extra large trash bags. we'll keep what they want, make a donation bag, and make a big bag for trash.

but i'm right there with you. why is it that it's our responsibility to clean up everything?! and it shouldn't be...
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