I love your blog abqbabylove... made me laugh and I am sooo where you are at the moment. Thanks for putting a smile on my face as I procrastinate over the mound of laundry sitting behind me!
What a powerful statement and wonderful reminder!!
lol. I do get up early, have my cup of tea, surf the net......and I'm still not ready for when my kids wake up.
The thing is, when you have a toddler or a bunch of new kids, and especially when you're just starting the parenting journey, it takes figuring out. It takes years of figuring out. My parents always told me that as the first, I was the "guinea pig" for their parenting skillz. Now I have my own kids, I know why they said that. When they started, with me, it was all crazy for a while. And it was the same for me with my first (and second, and third, since they came in the space of four years). Pretty much every mom I know personally has the feeling of being overwhelmed and inadequate in their early years of parenting. Even the moms with nicer houses and seemingly more organized lives. And yes, sometimes that's just a little corner of nice-ness in their lives that are otherwise busy and frenetic. I don't post pictures of my children's messy room or the after supper dishes, lol. Every couple of weeks, I do bake with the kids or let them do an experiment, and I do post those. But that is not daily life. I just figure people would rather see that than clothes on the floor, you know?
Now, all of that said, I personally find it worthwhile to kick myself out of bed early in the morning. Sleeping in is nice, and especially when dh is sleeping in. But if I wake up "behind", my whole day feels like crap. If I'm up, dressed, and caffienated when things start rolling, it seems to go a lot better for me. Took me a while to develop the habit, but for me it was worth it.
Hi mama, you're certainly normal! I just ordered a book - Simplicity Parenting: Using the Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids. I haven't got it yet, but I hope it provides some answers to issues like the ones you're having. In the meantime, I would suggest going outside as much as possible, and getting rid of toys except for the "creative ones" (blocks, crayons, dolls, etc). Also, don't be too hard on yourself and accept that life is going to be somewhat chaotic and messy for awhile. Our days are often made up of the mundane things, so we have to do our best to find joy in those.
Finally, this won't solve your problems, but it might give you a laugh and help you see that you're not alone - my blog - http://ladynamedcarlos.blogspot.com/
Oh my gosh... I LOVE the "You know you're a parent when..." on your blog!!! Cannot begin to tell you how many times I've been out and about for hours, only to finally realize I have some cartoony sticker on my behind/back/boob/in my hair....lol!
Xzavier - 9 Julien - 5 Jayce - 3 Jaxon - 18mos
Hoping for a in November!
These posts are amazing, uplifting, and reassuring. Thank you all. I am surprised by how many moms feel like this. I thought I was the only one. I have found that some of the best therapy is to find another mom who feels like this and hang out and be normal together (i.e. hang out in the messy house while the kids run around or something, lol). One facebook commenter wrote "I would love the be ideal mother. But I am too busy raising my kids." That was really relieving for me to hear. I found it to be very beautiful.
Mothering my sweet preschool boy and my new arrival
I got to a place that I love now by making goals for myself each day.
So at the end of every night I made two goals for myself.
One based around my children and one around the house.
For example: Tomorrow I will paint with the kids and Tomorrow I will organize the closet.
Married to Hubs, DD Miss A (Oct 2008), DS Bubba E (April 2010)
You have a toddler, 'nuff said. If you're staying home with a someone who needs help to eat, sleep and toilet, how on earth are you supposed to do anything else? Cut yourself some slack until they're older. I"ve met several totally together moms only to later find out they have a cleaning service, helpful nearby family, babysitters, etc. It's tough, if not impossible to do it all yourself and have it be blog-worthy 24/7.
This is a great thread. I was just sitting here, pinned to the couch (as usual) with a baby sleep-nursing on my lap. I have a 5 month old who will only sleep if I am with her. This means I am unable to use her naps to be productive around the house and instead spend the time mentally cleaning and organizing. From my perch I can see the top of our refrigerator (covered in stuff), the stove that needs wiping down, and the living room surfaces that need a good dusting. As other posters have stated, motherhood is a series of moments, at any given time we may be on top of it all or sadly behind the ball. If you are happy with the average, you're doing just fine.
On a less philosophical note, I think a lot of success boils down to planning and how much help you have. My DH travels for work. When he is out of town (for several days at a time) I am responsible for the baby and a high maintenance dog by myself. During these periods I simply get less done. To keep from going crazy I also lower my expectations. I cook big batches of things before he leaves or get takeout because 3 homecooked meals is not going to happen. I do extra chores before and after his trip to allow myself some breathing room. I also always try to take the afternoon nap with the baby when she goes down in case we have a terrible night and I need the extra boost. If you are going through particularly difficult or trying patches with your toddler, set the bar at a realistic height and know that this too shall pass.
Some things that have helped me to be a bit more productive are:
- I get up when DH gets up for work every single day and take a shower, get dressed, and deal with my hair. I like feeling that I can quickly leave the house if we all need a break. If I don't put myself together in the morning it most likely isn't going to happen at all.
- I made myself a chore chart. Nothing special, just a whiteboard in the refrigerator that lists the days' activities, chores, and our meal for the evening. I wrote a blog post about it here if anyone is curious. Someone upthread mentioned the book Simplicity Parenting and I will second the motion. One of the most helpful things I took away from reading it was to establish a daily rhythm rather than "routine". I have a general outline for everyday and the order in which the activities make the most sense. However, rather than get super hung up on the exact time at which each activity takes place, I just keep putting one foot in front of the other and we get to as many things as we can. I like knowing what comes next and taking the guesswork out of planning each day without the clock ticking in my head.
- Make your DH and children part of the team. In my house mom is not synonymous with maid. Everyone has chores (although the baby mostly just plunks toys back into her little toy box) and they are all spelled out on a chart. I really used to dread the weekends because it meant that we would be spending the entire time cleaning and getting everything back in order after the week. Now we do a little bit each day and and couple of larger jobs on Sat and Sun and that's that. One big planning session, a chore chart, and some organizing has saved me a lot of time in the long run.
Being a SAHM is a job. I am not superwoman, I am doing my best. If you are not "outsourcing" (cleaning service, nanny, dog walker, gardener, cook etc...) it's more than a full time job. If you're working as hard as you can, you're doing enough.
Mama~Blogger~Artist~Homemaker. Family = DH (married 6 years), baby Elinor, and our puppy Frances.
I was online yesterday trying to get technical help so i could finally order dh's father's day present, and since it was only going to 'take a sec' my 10 mo old did not have a diaper on because i was too lazy to go downstairs and get one, and when i turned around, there she was in a pile of pee and poo, playing with one of her little pieces of poo.
You are not alone!!
Please do not be so hard on yourself! I beat up on myself for stuff and it's NOT HELPFUL!
also, those people probably have nannies and housekeepers, are you kidding?!
hang in there. i agree that it is discouraging, and i don't know if it will ever end, but be kind to yourself. our children need to be loved, and have sane, mostly-happy parents - that's it!
Been thinking a lot about this thread lately. I think if you're doing all you can do that's enough. Some days the house is clean, some days it's chaos. I may have a crap morning dealing with our barking dog, a baby poo explosion, and ridiculous amounts of laundry and then manage to pull it all together in time to make a beautiful dinner and have a nice bath with DD in the evening.
If you can point to little accomplishments (and really try to remember them) when the proverbial poo hits the fan it may help keep you from going crazy and getting super discouraged. I know it helps me. One small clean area, a single craft project completed, something nutritious to eat. Does it mean everything is prefect? NO, but it's proof that I'm doing my best.
Mama~Blogger~Artist~Homemaker. Family = DH (married 6 years), baby Elinor, and our puppy Frances.
I have a feeling that things like Facebook etc., make it even worse. A lot of people show only the good parts of their life (baking cookies with the kids, kids playing wonderfully together). Which makes you feel that you have things much less well organized.
Our home is also quite messy. I second the advice, that when you do your best it is enough. You can try to think of smart shortcuts (not folding the socks etc.), cleaning the bathroom quickly when you go to the bathroom. Also what helps me, is to try to make less mess when I cook for example, already put used stuff in the dishwasher (I still have to teach that one to my DH). I try to do one laundryload a day. A lot of times we have lot's of laundry in the house, but at least it is clean laundry.
To be honest, I am a WOHM, and I often have the same feeling at work. That I don't get enough done, wasting time on the internet. I think it is just very draining to have small kids (not enough sleep, not much time for yourself). I don't want my kids to grow up quickly, but I am looking forward to them being more self sufficient and sleeping though the night :)
There have been lots of recommendations for Flylady, but I have been using Motivated Moms- http://motivatedmoms.com/. It has really helped me maintain my house. Sure, there are usually toys all over the living room floor, and I don't clean my bathroom sinks every day like I'm supposed to, but my house has never stayed this clean for this long. Having those little things done really improves my mood and motivates me to take care of bigger stuff. I've turned the checklists into routines. Like I make sure the dishwasher is loaded every night, and I run it overnight, so I wake up to a clean kitchen every morning. I don't get that overwhelmed feeling first thing. I also started making my bed as soon as I get up. The only time I used to make my bed was when I changed the sheets! Having a made bed and a clean sink really makes everything better!
One way that I've really been able to make this happen has been to walk away from the computer. After I make my bed, I have a cup or two of coffee and check Google Reader, Facebook, and Mothering. When I'm done my coffee, I close the laptop and start doing something.
Before I settled into this routine, I did a big purge/decluttering. I read Organized Simplicity ( http://www.amazon.com/Organized-Simplicity-Clutter-Free-Approach-Intentional/dp/1440302634 ), and it really helped me.
This all has taken me about 4 months to get to this point. It doesn't happen overnight. I also rely on the TV to keep my son occupied while I get certain things done, too. I felt awful about it for a while, but sometimes we just gotta do what we gotta do.
I just thought of something else. I made myself some cleaning wipes out of old coffee containers and paper towels. Here's the instructions: http://organizedhome.com/clean-house/make-your-own-cleaning-wipes . One of the biggest size Folgers containers fits a half rolls of paper towels perfectly and has a handle built in the side to make it easy to carry. I have one in my kitchen and one in my bathroom. It makes it so easy to wipe down countertops/toilet seats/whatever. It may not be the greenest option, since it still uses paper towels, but it really works for me.
I think it was Mark Twain that said life is what happens when you are busy making other plans. Whoever said, it's just too true! Goals are good, but not if you feel more defeated than successful. I have found that focusing on one thing that is most important to YOU (such as getting dressed before 12pm) really helps. Even if it's small, it seems like when you meet one goal, it snowballs. JM2C
Here are some things that helped me with housekeeping:
1. Do it now -- It's not always possible with little ones, but it makes such a huge difference. Do your best to do it as soon as possible. In our house, if something sits for 24 hours (and it still often does), it could easily be there for the next month or lots longer
2. Night-time routine -- Get the house to as good or better than it was when you woke up. You may not be as baseline yet, but if it doens't continue to get worse, you can still manage it.
I also have a weekly chore list with about one rotating chore a day, meal planning, etc. It helps me a lot to keep on track. When I get too far off it, things fall apart and I feel like I don't know where to start. I schedule "special time" with my kids on here. It doesn't have to be lot or doing something special. You could also use this to organize a routine. It doesn't have to be time-specific, just an order for the day.
Scheduling things for the morning helps us.
I usually don't get to the computer till they're in bed for the evening. It just works better that way.
My big eye-opener was last thanksgiving when we spent a weekend at SIL's house who has no kids. I had been really struggling with a messy house that I didn't have time to clean and being exhausted because my kids weren't sleeping. I really believe in SAH, but was definately struggling with it. I realized:
1. Kids really are that much work. I have a spirited 4yo and a 20 mo, so it'd been awhile since I've really seen what life looks like without kids. Taking care of kids IS a full time job. End of story.
2. I attempt to do a lot. It's normal to me, but really SIL and lots of the mainstream don't CD, EC, make their own yogurt, cook from scratch, AP, compost, fruit and veggie garden.... I believe in this stuff and don't want to give it up, but it somehow helped to know that I really am doing/trying to do a lot.
I quit my very well paying corporate job to stay home with my son thinking that I would have dinner ready for my husband every day and that I would play with the baby and he would take naps when he needed to. Then I would get laundry done and folded and put away. Oh, and then I thought that FINALLY now that I was staying home my house would FINALLY be sparkling clean... well, reality set in quickly. My son is 7 months old now and just the other day I vacuumed the second floor after about two month of not vacuuming upstairs. It was 10pm at night and I just took out the vacuum and off I went. It seems like the only thing that ever gets done is diaper laundry and I'm FOREVER cleaning our tiny living room and dining room. I swear I clean these two rooms every day... <sigh>... it *will* get better right?