I have a SAHM for 8.5 years. I am so done with the stuff.....picking stuff up, the dishes, meals, laundry....it wouldn't be as big of a deal if I got help, or if it stayed clean for more than ten minutes......how does eveyone deal with cleaning up etc, only to turn around and start again?
This is the hardest part of being a sahm. Doing so much cleaning that the family does not notice or appreciate. The house is a complete disaster if I do not keep things up. I have stopped taking care of many of my husbands messes. I just leave them and some of the time he gets the hint. I have tried to more evenly distribute chores countless times, and each time everyone stops doing their share. With my children, of course, it is our responsibility to teach and help them to learn how to manage a house. But to have to 'remind' another grown up is just infuriating!
All of the more traditional cultures have good systems for dealing with housework. Having a plan can help. For instance, only clean certain rooms on certain days. Or doing an hour of chores each morning.
I try to make everyone play outside when I am going to lose it from the inside mess.
Leaving the house is the surest way to keep it clean! After morning chores get the hell out of there and don't return until the afternoon.
First things, i don't have it all figured out so take my words with a grain of salt. It IS something we just have to do over and over. I also have to remind myself (and sometimes DH) that we LIVE here, it's not a museum. I don't keep a perfect home and while I am always looking for ways to get better at it, I don't expect perfection.
I think sometimes it's a matter of finding a system that works. My kids are younger that yours but it seems to help a lot if I set clear expectations. And yes, a lot of it is repetitive.
For instance, whenever we are pulling in the garage I tell them what their "job" is when we walk in the door. e.i Take off AND put away your shoes in the cubby hole, hang your jacket ON the hook and wash your hands. We are working on them clearing their dishes and I have plans to buy a hand held vacuum (dust buster type thing) so they can clean the floor under their seat after each meal. Do a good purge! If you have less stuff, there is less stuff to be out and then clean up. If you can't find I can't figure out a good way to store something, it needs to go.
Laundry, oh laundry----I keep trying to convince DH to move somewhere warmer so we could join a nudist colony. I tell ya, those folks seems less and less crazy with every load of laundry I do!
::Sigh:: and sometimes I just have to stop and count my blessings to remind myself: My kids are dirty because they were happy playing. They tracked the dirt inside because they were outside on a sunny, lovely day. The sink (and counter and table sometimes) is full of dirty dishes because we have plenty of food to feed our family. I have piles of laundry because we have been blessed with more than enough clothes to wear. There is paint on the chair because the kids are full of life and love to be creative. And so on.
Becky- Wife to DH, Mama to "Nani" (July '08) "Coco" (July '10) and Decker the Wrecker (May'13)
Lol. The rule in my home is unless something is dirty, it doesn't get washed. And wearing it one or two days doesn't mean it is actually dirty. It is a very developed country (USA) thing to change everyday. It really helps with the laundry pile to focus on clothes that are actually dirty.
I didn't do any more cleaning, or change the way I clean. I started volunteering at a local non-profit. Having people outside the home who appreciate what I do, and seeing the difference I make in my community gave me renewed energy for the sometime drudgery of housework. Also, it gets me out of the house and away from the husband and kids a few hours every week and no one can complain, 'cause I'm doing charity work!
I viewed it as a spiritual discipline of service to others. Feeling grateful for laundry to wash, a house to clean, etc., building my stamina, patience, and spiritual growth.
Part of my mindfulness in the work was to improve efficiency and minimize my impact on the environment.
I have three kids - 18 mos, 5 and 7. I'll share what we do as far as keeping the house picked up so I don't spend my whole day moving stuff from one place to another. When I am feeling overwhelmed by things needing to be picked up, I set a timer on the oven for 5 minutes and all of us do a '5 minute cleanup'. Sometimes I have to work to get some bodies moving but they always get into it and in 5 minutes' time our whole downstairs is picked up. Also every morning we do 'rooms' where the kids and I go one bedroom at a time and we all help to check sheets, get dirty laundry going/clean laundry put away and the rooms picked up. Since we do this every day they know the drill and they get a little more independent with it as time goes on. Something that helps with rooms is that we put music on while we're doing it, and we do something fun once we're done. I probably don't do as much 'deep cleaning' as I should but oh, well. :)
As far as the deeper stuff - mental outlook, etc. I agree whole heartedly that practicing an attitude of gratitude is the most effective way to feel happier and more optimistic.
DH(9/04) DS(12/08) and DD(5/11)
yes cooking and cleaning all the time can get really tedious! I try to find my balance with it- I like a clean house but sometimes I just have to let it go for a day so I can rest or do other things. I find that when dh and I are in a good loving space- which is often but not always- it is easier for me to see the cooking and cleaning as a loving act for my family. DH does not clean much but he does TONS of ds care and works out of the house while I stay home- so I do feel that as a family unit we are balanced. That helps me to resent it less. I is tiring though- I find it hard to figure out what to cook for my family and feed them and then to clean up later and all that- over and over- I just have to accept it as part of life and a loving act for myself and my family.
I only have one kid and an only moderately messy dh- and a pretty small house- if I had two dogs and more kids and a bigger house I would absolutely budget in a cleaning person to come once a week! I think it is great to get help in that way. Or if I was a work out of the house mom I would get a cleaner too-! even being a sahm of one kid and a very helpful husband and no pets I still clean TONS. If I let it go a day the house looks awful-! I am the only one who cleans so if I don't do it is just gets grosser and grosser-!
It is just so hard. I still spend a fair amount of time cleaning and just plain old chucking stuff out that accumulates in god awful piles.
Compounding the issue is I like a bearish house. I sometimes den up in my bedroom over the weekends when it gets bad!
ha ha! I like a very clean house and I am constantly getting rid of stuff! And sometimes it feels like constantly cleaning. the cooking part of being a wife and mom is a real challenge for me. I love to cook but it always feels so rushed- cooking good food takes a lo of time and we have minimal childcare help with my three yr old so he is usually underfoot trying to "help aka make a mess--- and when he is napping I don't often want to spend the whole time cooking and cleaning--- I am learning as I go but it is work to make a whole meal every day a few times a day- you have to really love your family (lol) to find the motivation I think!! Sometimes I get burned out by cooking a nother meal and cleaning up but then again I am so happy to have the chance to feed my family good food- I think when ds starts school it will be much easier for me to have time to cook in advance. Plus ds is a picky 3 yr old eater so it is extra hard to figure out what to even cook!
But the leisurely hours cooking never happened. And now we both work full time. So .... We eat lots of semi prepared foods.
Yes!! For me, it seems to be all about attitude. Like you said Snapdragon, when DH and I are in a good place, I cook and clean out of love-- and I feel grateful that I'm able to stay home and do so. When we're dot doing so well, I tend to feel unappreciated and resentful.
The kitchen work is what I find the hardest to deal with-- I feel like I spend the majority of my day cooking and then doing dishes and cleaning up. I love to cook but 3 meals a day ends up being a loooot of time in the kitchen.
I'm trying to find a better system-- making large batches of meals ahead of time, tackling big cleaning tasks all on one day, etc., so that I don't feel like ALL I do is cook and clean.
Good post!! I'm right there with ya! I have 3 kids 8 (9 in Aug.), 5, 3 and prego with #4. I've always been a SAHM too. Lately I'm feeling the same. I'm done. I'm just done. There is no way to keep up with the house, no way! Add my DH works 80 hours a week/6 days and I homeschool. I don't have family here, I don't have close friends and I don't do babysitters! I'm drowning!!! I hate to cook, I hate laundry, I hate to clean! I once read that if you spend all your time doing something you hate you will be miserable. Yes! I love my kids! I love staying home with them and would never trade it. Unfortunately the rest comes along with it. I would love to have a live in nanny/maid to cook and clean for me so I could focus on my kids ALL the time. That is the only solution I have come up with. Well that's not going to happen anytime soon.
I don't have any solutions for you, just to offer I'm in the same boat. It takes me 2-3 days to clean the whole house (this is cleaning most of the day besides to cook). By the time I finish, where I started is already a mess. I wash about 35 loads (maybe less now without diapers, but that will change very soon) a week. It never gets put away. I joke people call us the wrinkle family. If I dedicate the time I should to school work then there is NO time for anything else. Add all the errands, shopping, library, school activities, then things like paying the bills, trying to plan out meals to cook for my super picky kids, oh the cooking and clean up. UGH!!!! I've come a long way though. It seems with each kid I have to let go of more things I do. I have OCD and love an immaculate house. I like to make all our food from scratch. I would love to have the kids in tons of activities. BUT the house is filthy, I buy bread and yogurt and no longer cook elaborate meals. I limit our activities. I've had to do all this just to survive. I don't like it, it drives me crazy, but what else can I do?
I don't know how old your kids are but I've been making my 8 yo take on a lot more responsibly since #4 is on the way. She has to load and unload the dishwasher and hand wash the pots and pans. She can wipe down the table for me. Sometimes put away clothes (if all 9 baskets are full and even more still is coming out of the dryer). I make the other 2 pick up their toys but they just throw everything anywhere. I have bins with pictures of what should be in them...OCD. They are just not old enough/ready for other tasks. I'm sure they could do things their own way (not mine and not right) so I choose not to make them do other tasks. It's too stressful for me.
On the days your feeling like you were in the original post, get out of the house. Do something you like or that makes you happy. Or just try to take the kids somewhere easy for you.
who iswith #4 has . Believe in ,,,,,,.