DP & I constantly argue about cleaning...how do we fix this?? - Mothering Forums
Stay at Home Parents > DP & I constantly argue about cleaning...how do we fix this??
winnie's Avatar winnie 08:02 PM 12-29-2010

Hi all,

 

DP works long hours during the week, plus some on weekends. I'm at home with 4.5yo DS and 16mo DD. I am with them ALL the time, except for the 4 hours per week DS is in preschool when I just have DD. At most once a week, I get out for an hour or two to get groceries or possibly coffee with a friend.

 

On weekends, there is always tension and sometimes arguments over housecleaning. We both get grumpy when the house is a disaster...but by the end of the week, that's usually where it's at. I see the weekend as a time to catch up, and also a time to relax a bit. DP usually does a few loads of laundry, makes a meal or two, and does a "powerclean" where he runs around and puts things away and mops, etc. If he is cleaning, then I am taking care of the kids.

 

Today we got on the topic of cleaning and DP said, "your idea and my idea of cleaning are very different.", he then went on to say, "I don't think you know how to clean. You tidy. I don't feel like it's even at all."

 

I'm hurt over the whole thing, because I try my best but I have a hard time keeping up with it all. I vacuum, sweep, load and unload the dishes every day. At least once a week I mop and clean the bathroom. I pick up toys throughout the day.

 

I have no idea what to do to fix this issue, but something needs to change. I refuse to ignore my children and clean all day (no, DP has not suggested I do this...). I just find it so tough to get stuff done in addition to diaper changes, playing, dishes, making meals, nursing, naps, etc, etc.

 

Thoughts??

 

Erin



autumnfairy76's Avatar autumnfairy76 04:45 AM 12-30-2010

hug2.gifI could have written this post.

I just do my best to explain to my DH that having well cared for, well raised, and happy kids is more important than a clean house and I am doing the best I can. Then I leave DH home w/ the 2 of them for a weekend afternoon and we laugh about how much stuff he got done. nothing obviously, but it helps him understand how much work the children are.

I know that not everyones budget can manage it, but a housecleaner (they are subsidized here in france for pregnant moms & families w/ very young babies, or we wouldn't have one!) has helped our sanity immensely and is worth every single penny we spend on it and then some.


cappuccinosmom's Avatar cappuccinosmom 09:06 AM 12-30-2010

A little different perspective, since you said the house being a wreck makes *you* unhappy too.

 

--First, if he is unreasonably persnickity, there is a point at which you say "I've done what I can, I can't meet your standards, if you want it done a certain way, you need to do it."  No fighting, just facts.

 

--But, if you also want a clean home, that can be accomplished without "cleaning all day".  Minimizing stuff helps.  Getting into a routine of daily smaller cleaning rather than doing tons of catch up cleaning once a week helps too.  For instance, if you have the stuff handy, wiping down the bathroom takes 2-3 minutes.  I found that if I did it daily the grime just didn't build up and I didn't need to do massive scrubbings.  Same with the kitchen.  You can also involve your kids.  Mine loved to be given a bottle of vinegar water and rags to "skate" on floors that needed mopping.  Happy kids + clean kitchen floor--everybody wins.  If this is a stressor for both you and your huband, it might be worth it to keep up with cleaning in small increments during the day, and then both of you truly would have the weekend free to relax and do other stuff.


laohaire's Avatar laohaire 09:32 AM 12-30-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post

 You can also involve your kids.  Mine loved to be given a bottle of vinegar water and rags to "skate" on floors that needed mopping.  Happy kids + clean kitchen floor--everybody wins.   

Hmm, I'm liking this idea a lot. My 5 year old probably WOULD enjoy "mopping" (via an actual small mop, which she in fact owns, or rags for "skating" or with her hands). She won't be that thorough, which is why I hadn't considered it, but if she did it frequently then when DH (he is the floor man because I don't see well enough) does it, it will already be in better shape.
lookatreestar's Avatar lookatreestar 10:28 AM 12-30-2010

i'd honestly rather have a messy house then have kids who are disconnected and have a grumpy mama. (i get really task centered sometimes and you know how many requests small kids have- i tend to get snappy). i just play it by ear, if the kids are playing nice i try to clean. if we are having a harder day (fighting, tantrums whatever) i really try to focus on them or include them in cleaning even though it doesn't "help" much winky.gif

 

hang in there mama hug.gif

 


kriket's Avatar kriket 02:39 PM 12-30-2010


ITA. I am the most unput together person in the universe. I think I have ADD or something. My brains just don't function in a tidy environment, thus, my environment deteriorates. I am a pretty clean person and like things to be in the right place, clean, and easy to find then use.

 

Anyway, I have found the only way to accomplish this is to just have less stuff. DH and I have been trying to just get rid of everything that isn't 100% necessary. I love our "new" life :) Whenever I visit friends and see all the 'things' they share their space with, I am reminded why we went minimalistic!

 

I <3 this blog http://mnmlist.com/ I may be totally off base with my suggestion, but DH and I used to have these exact arguments and now we don't. Things are clean because there isn't anything to get dirty.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post

 

--But, if you also want a clean home, that can be accomplished without "cleaning all day".  Minimizing stuff helps.  Getting into a routine of daily smaller cleaning rather than doing tons of catch up cleaning once a week helps too.  For instance, if you have the stuff handy, wiping down the bathroom takes 2-3 minutes.


NicaG's Avatar NicaG 08:21 PM 12-31-2010

Hmmm....houses need BOTH cleaning and tidying.  It sounds like you are doing the tidying and daily cleaning throughout the week, and dh is doing the deep cleaning on the weekends.  What is the problem exactly?  Dh resents doing the deep cleaning?  Dh thinks you should do the deep cleaning during the week?  Dh doesn't want to clean on the weekends?  Personally, I would love it if my dh would take the kids for a few hours on the weekend so I could clean, that would be like a mini vacation for me! I'm not saying you should feel that way at all, but it's just interesting how your dh chooses to view his own cleaning time (time when you are also working by taking care of the kids).  At our house, dh does very little cleaning, and it's generally understood that I do the best I can, and if dh has a problem with my standards (which are fairly high), he can choose to clean more, without complaining or nagging me.  He also works long hours, and I don't expect us to spend our evenings or weekends cleaning, unless there's a special project that needs to be done (like raking/fall yard cleanup).

 

Maybe you could come up with a list together of all the cleaning that needs to be done during an average week, and then discuss what each of you is already doing, and whether you feel it's a fair division of labor, and reassign chores if necessary.  And maybe come up with some strategies on the weekends that involve the whole family (like doing a really fast cleaning session with a timer on, and the kids participate too).  Good luck.


philomom's Avatar philomom 09:05 PM 12-31-2010

I agree that houses need both cleaning and tidying. Sometimes you pick up so you can clean. Sometimes you pick up because its time to pick up. Unless you feel like your dh's ideals are too unrealistic, I'd make a better effort. As the stay at home parent, it is my job to do the main bulk of the cleaning, errands, cooking and child care. While my dh pitches in whenever necessary, it does mainly fall on me. 

 

De-clutter every room. It is so much easier to pick up when there's not a ton of extras on every surface.

 

Run the dishwasher every night.

Scrub bathrooms once week. Kitchen floor whenever its nasty and all the floors should get a once over each month.

 

Assign "homes" for things. Make sure your older kid knows where things go.

 

Pick up a few minutes each morning after breakfast. Pick up a bit during naptime and once again just before you turn in. Your dh may even pitch in more of he sees your extra effort.

 

Good luck.


winnie's Avatar winnie 11:15 PM 12-31-2010
Thankyou for your replies everyone!

I think I'm now realizing (with your help) that clutter may be the biggest problem. It's true that I do more tidying than deep cleaning - simply because I never seem to get past the tidying point. I'm really glad I posted because I have a new perspective on the whole thing.

I constantly feel overwhelmed by what needs to be done just to get our house into decent shape, and I don't have enough of a system in place. Also, my son is very messy (constantly doing crafts), and I need to be on him more about cleaning up after himself.

Right now DP is on break until Thursday, so I'm hoping to be able to go through every room of the house and get rid of a TON of stuff. Then I think I will have a much better chance of keeping on top of it.

Just an aside - what sorts of chores should a nearly-5 year old be able to do? This may seem like a silly question, but we have never really given him a specific job to do.

Thanks!
Erin
SubliminalDarkness's Avatar SubliminalDarkness 06:50 AM 01-01-2011

My DH doesn't clean or do chores, so I can't help on that. But.... I totally feel you on how it never ends and once you get the tidying done it's exhausting and the notion of THEN cleaning again is daunting. 

 

What I have had to do is make lists of what needs to be done and how often that needs to happen. Like, main living areas need to be vacuumed daily, but the bathrooms only need to be cleaned once a week. Laundry needs to be done daily, but ironing only weekly, and so on. Then I made a chart and laid out what should be done each day so no one day is filled with nothing but chores. 

 

I try to do everything first thing in the morning, and plan a quick tidy again before dinner so the house is reasonably neat for the evening and overnight. 


MrsBone's Avatar MrsBone 07:53 AM 01-01-2011

Have you checked out motivated moms? it's basically what the previous poster suggested, but she does all the work for you. It costs a little money, but its totally worth it! http://www.motivatedmoms.com/


TinkerBelle's Avatar TinkerBelle 08:33 AM 01-01-2011

You can clean without ignoring kids all day. There is a happy medium here. It is not all one or the other.


texmati's Avatar texmati 09:15 AM 01-01-2011

I'm not a sahm, but I also think its good to acknowledge that you both have it hard, and are working hard. It doesn't sound like there is a huge discrepancy in free time. I agree with pp's-- maybe a list of what needs to be done and you can pick up some 'his' chores with the understanding that he does some of yours; or that some of yours go undone.


Sharlla's Avatar Sharlla 09:47 AM 01-01-2011

I think it's different for everyone.  I use to SAH and i nevr had a problem cleaning and cooking (like wearing the baby,doing chores while baby naps or plays)   but DH who SAH cannot seem to do it.   I cut him a little slack and try to take on more of the housework.  a lot of time we do stuff together, like I will make dinner while he washes the dishes, I play with the baby while he mows the lawn etc.


Petie1104's Avatar Petie1104 09:50 AM 01-01-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by winnie View Post

Thankyou for your replies everyone!

I think I'm now realizing (with your help) that clutter may be the biggest problem. It's true that I do more tidying than deep cleaning - simply because I never seem to get past the tidying point. I'm really glad I posted because I have a new perspective on the whole thing.

I constantly feel overwhelmed by what needs to be done just to get our house into decent shape, and I don't have enough of a system in place. Also, my son is very messy (constantly doing crafts), and I need to be on him more about cleaning up after himself.

Right now DP is on break until Thursday, so I'm hoping to be able to go through every room of the house and get rid of a TON of stuff. Then I think I will have a much better chance of keeping on top of it.

Just an aside - what sorts of chores should a nearly-5 year old be able to do? This may seem like a silly question, but we have never really given him a specific job to do.

Thanks!
Erin



My 4 yr. old wipes down the table after meals, helps put dishes away, makes his bed, cleans his room, helps sort clothes, swiffers the floor, picks up the living room so that we can vacuum.  Honestly he can do most chores with assistance, but only a few along, the bed and room he does alone and wiping down the table he does alone.  Other than that, he helps me out with the chores I'm doing. 


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