SAHMs: Is your house a disaster at the end of the day?!? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 65 Old 10-19-2005, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Or is there something wrong with me?!? Honestly, I look around at the chaos and cannot fathom how to make it any better. The only way I can manage to keep the house clean is to eat out for lunch (and all snacks!) and basically stay out for the entire day. Only THEN can I face a clean kitchen when it's time to make dinner.

Is it me? Am I complete failure at household management? Or is this just part of the job?

And while I'm at it, toddlers just take the mess to a whole new level, don't they? There are bits and pieces of toys scattered EVERYWHERE, plus all the surfaces above 3 feet are COVERED with contraband items I've taken from said toddler and put out of his reach. There's no way Flylady has a toddler, cause if she did, she'd know that everywhere is a hot spot!

I know this is not unique to SAHMs, but I am just too darn tired to start housecleaning after bedtime. Or could it be that if you've been away from the house all day, the housework isn't as daunting? Not as much of it, and not as boring? I don't know . . . not trying to be competitive, just wondering if it's my JOB and not ME that's CRAZY!!!!
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#2 of 65 Old 10-19-2005, 08:24 PM
 
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I have two older children, so our situation isn't the norm and shouldn't be "expected" of you.

My house is the CLEANEST in the evening. After dinner, we all pitch in as a family to get the house tip-top. It can be cleaned up in 15 minutes flat easily, and it's nice to wind down and cuddle in bed knowing everything is done.
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#3 of 65 Old 10-19-2005, 08:37 PM
 
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yes and no. i was going to say, yes quite unequivically, but really only the the living room is a disaster because dd (11 mos) dumps as fast as i can clean if she's awake. and it doesn't take more than a few minutes each night to pick it up again. everything else i can keep up with during the day. but it's only 3 of us and dd isn't quite a year yet. right now the kitchen is a mess as i only do dishes once a day, usually right before dinner, but otherthan the dishes it's clean underneath. the bedrooms don't get very messy other than clothes on the floor. i wipe down the bathroom after my shower each morning and give a good scrub each month. i learned from my mother, a SAHM, to clean as i go. it doesn't mount up that way.
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#4 of 65 Old 10-19-2005, 08:49 PM
 
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I have 2 little whirlwinds (4.5 and 20 months) and no matter how much I clean, I can never keep up with it. By the time I get done picking up one room, the room I cleaned right before is dirty again. Neither of my boys are "bad", they are just typical kids. It just completly baffles me how I can have the house totally clean (like MIL coming to visit clean), and within a day, it looks like a bomb went off. And the mountains of laundry just overwhelm me, even though it seems like the washing machine is going 24 hours a day.
I am right with you on the kitchen. The only way it stays clean is if we eat out, and that kinda defeats the purpose...lol We have tried many things as a family to keep it picked up (everyone pitching in after dinner to get the kitchen cleaned up works REALLY well when we actually remember), but we just can't seem to stick to anything.
We also just plain have too much stuff and it makes keeping the house picked up way harder. I'm working on that right now. GoodWill is going to get a truck load pretty soon.
My older son will help me if I ask and if I keep on him about it (like we'll clean the living room and I'll tell him "pick up all your clothes/toys and put them in your room" and he'll happily do it, but gets distracted halfway through) and my younger son will take his toys or my shoes or whatever I give him to go put away, and put it in a strange place, like the fridge. I am big on getting them to help though, even if they don't do it "right".
I honestly don't have any advise, just wanted to let you know you're not alone. I have always been cleaning challenged, but it was a lot easier to keep the house up when I had a full time job. But then I also didn't have any kids and I got a full nights sleep every night....there's gotta be a conection there....
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#5 of 65 Old 10-19-2005, 11:53 PM
 
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umm...yes! and sometimes even in the mornings too : I try my best to clean when DS goes to bed or while he's napping during the day even, but sometimes I'm just too tired and need a break myself

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#6 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 12:18 AM
 
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I clean and straighten quite a bit throughout the day, and I only have one 4 year old. So, it stays pretty clean and straightened. I tend to clean up while my daughter is doing other things and I expect her to clean up as she goes along as well. It's really a priority for me, but I don't think it should be for everyone. I'd say, do the best you can and try not to worry too much about it.
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#7 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 02:45 AM
 
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THe only mess in the house is usually from DS1 and I have him clean up after himself. The dishes I do throught out the day as needed. So dinner time dishes are fairly quick as I clean as I go along as well. DS1 even vacuums now :LOL

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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#8 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 03:52 AM
 
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oh it's an ongoing source of frustration here. I'm not at all a clean-freak but, you know, it would be nice just to sit down and enjoy a clean home from time to time. Here's what I aim for; either Dh or I make the beds first thing in the morning; for some reason that makes me feel better. Dh washes any dishes in the a.m. so I have a clean start when he goes to work.

On good days I cook dinner in the a.m.; that's when I have more energy and DS is at knidergarten. then it's done and I can clean up knowing I won't need to use the kitchen after lunch besides to warm up the meal. When DS is around I engage him in cleaning up. He actually loves doing that, even if he usually says no to start with. We can make it a fun game. We have regular throwing out sessions; we live in a 3 room flat so can't accumulate much without things getting insane, and Ds loves passing stuff onto thrift stores.

Generally I try and have things in order by the time Dh gets home, not because I think I *should*, but because I know the evening goes so much better if I feel relaxed in my own home. Oh, and if I've cooked, Dh washes the dishes. Friday is usually a mellow day here and I use that day to try and make sure that things are pretty tidy so that we can have a weekend where we're not worrying about it. But, I have to sya, by Sunday evening things are usually crazy again and I'm pulling my hair out about it. And DD hasn't even started crawling yet; boy, then the fun will begin!
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#9 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 04:25 AM
 
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my house is a disaster, i have a high needs babe and 3 yr old, so i feel like there is never a moment to clean, and it all builds up and then there is no hope. kwim.

Kristin- Wife to J, Mommy to B (11), M-S (8), and little J (4) and J&J (7 months)
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#10 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 05:25 AM
 
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My house is mostly always a complete trashed mess. I spent two hours at the weekend doing the kitchen, hall and front room.....now however the kids have been playing and you can tell. Sometimes I give up on the tidying (for anything up to 2 weeks) then spend most of a weekend trying to put it right. I am too tired in the evening and have pots to do and stories to read. In the morning my energy doesn't kick in till after I've been up for 2 hours by which time the kids are up and the whole thing starts again.
I like to remind myslef this quote :
Tidying the house while my children are growing,
Is like shovelling snow while it's still snowing
. :LOL
Or to remind myself it was even messier when they were babies and they grow so quick. I'll have a tidy house when they have flown the nest!
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#11 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 05:55 AM
 
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There are times it is a total disaster especially when ds is uncooperative. :LOL:
Every time this happen I keep in mind that I have to do something about it or I won't be able to go to sleep at night.
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#12 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 07:17 AM
 
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I have given up having a tidy house for now :LOL:
I am living with 3 males and an 8mo and I can spend all day cleaning but by the time dinner is finished it looks like I haven't done anything, so I have finally learnt to stop worrying about it, I clean the floors as often as I can because dd is rolling around all over the place and try and keep up in the kitchen and laundry but as for tidying rooms forget it
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#13 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 08:09 AM
 
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Clean? You must be kidding!!!!! I have 2 under 2 and the place is a wreck. I even have someone come in and clean once a week because there is literally no time I can do it. DH helps out but sometimes we wake up to a mess. We try not to do that because it is too depressing, but there are those nights when we can't face cleaning.

I figure that eventually things will get easier in this respect and that having to babes 10 1/2 months apart means a messy, but joyful house. I have the rest of my life to worry about being "company ready", for now, I would rather live in a mess and play with my kids.

Cheers!
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#14 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 08:52 AM
 
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Is my house a [funky] disaster at the end of the day?

Hell yes.
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#15 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sounds like I should have asked: SAHMs of more than one child under the age of 5 (who are home all day with you), is YOUR house a disaster at the end of the "workday". Seems like a resounding YES! You others with older children give me hope that we'll grow out of this chaos one day!
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#16 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 09:00 AM
 
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Yep, I'm a SAHM, and since becoming that, my house is MESSIER than when I worked outside the home, because more people are using it more of the day!
Friends in and out, neighborhood kids in and out, family that live close, etc.
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#17 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 09:31 AM
 
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I run a home daycare, so my situation is a bit different. At any given time between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. there are 18 children here, and only three adults. So order is a must because chaos is BEYOND chaos with that many kids around. We try to make tidying up a part of every segment of our day -- the day is divided up into idividual segments of time, each with a specific activity planned (breakfast, music time, story time, crafts time, nap, lunch, outdoor time, etc.) -- and we try to make it fun, as that is better for the kids AND for us! We make up silly songs about cleaning up (similar to the Barney clean up song ... know that one?) and we have races to see who can put the most toys in the storage shed in their proper places in a certain amount of time and in a respectful manner. We even play games that are based on the concept of making our environment pleasant for everyone.

With my two helpers, I do dishes after every meal and snack. (I don't have a dishwasher, which is the one thing I'd just about die for in regards to the daycare and cleaning up.) Actually, we do them as we go along during the meal -- I run a sink of water before we start the meal and clean each prep dish as I go along, then each of the kids puts his or her dishes in the sink when they finish and are excused from the table. Again, they are part of the clean up.

After everyone goes home for the day, I do laundry (at least one load just of towels and such from the daycare) and the major cleaning (like dusting, windows, bathroom, etc.). If I do just a bit every night it doesn't get so out of control, and then I have my weekends to spend with my family.

On the weekends, I pretty much follow the same set up of clean as you go. My kids are both old enough, in my opinion, to help out in some way. DD, for example, loves putting shoes away on the shoe tree -- she thinks it's a blast hanging them up in mismatched pairs, and I don't care as long as they are put away. DS will tell me exactly which basket specific toys go in, in case I happen to get it wrong. :LOL He also really loves helping me with laundry, which is the chore I hate most, so it works out. He can actually wash a load of his own laundry -- we have a chart with pictures that shows him which pieces to put in together, and then he knows to squirt one pump of detergent in there, too. I let them both help with the dishes, believe it or not -- they rinse and *dry* any non-breakable stuff.

Honestly, I've just learned to let them do what they can, whether or not it is exactly up to my standards, kwim? I'm saner when things are done than when they aren't, even if *done* means done to four-year-old standards.

Having said all that, my house is cleaner at night now than it was when I wasn't working or when I was WOH. I think because I know it absolutely won't work (it being my life, everything) if things get out of control.
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#18 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 09:47 AM
 
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You'd think after almost 18 yrs of mothering I'd have gotten this down pat, but my house is a disaster a good bit of the time. It's especially disastrous when people decide to drop in, and when I manage to have it clean and neat, you can be sure no one will drop by (until it's a disaster again, of course). It doesn't help that we live in a tiny house.

I have never been good at making toddlers help clean up. I always just let them play with stuff, enjoy wrecking it all, and then did it myself later. Now that I've just got one small one, I have older ones who do some of the work. The problem is that they often have lots of homework, and just don't have the time to do much. It's funny to hear them say, "why don't you make her clean up her own mess?". And I say, "yeah, I should, but I never made you guys do it at this age, either". Rainbowmum, I like the little poem about snow. So true.

Liz
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#19 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 09:49 AM
 
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Uh, that would be a big fat yes ... often in the morning too . I go on cleaning rampages but I'm not so good at day to day upkeep. I'm over it. I'd love it if my house was clean all the time but I mean, really, there's tons of other stuff I'd rather be doing . We just sort of shove the toddler carnage out of the way with our feet.
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#20 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 11:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breathe
Or is there something wrong with me?!? Honestly, I look around at the chaos and cannot fathom how to make it any better. The only way I can manage to keep the house clean is to eat out for lunch (and all snacks!) and basically stay out for the entire day. Only THEN can I face a clean kitchen when it's time to make dinner.

Is it me? Am I complete failure at household management? Or is this just part of the job?

And while I'm at it, toddlers just take the mess to a whole new level, don't they? There are bits and pieces of toys scattered EVERYWHERE, plus all the surfaces above 3 feet are COVERED with contraband items I've taken from said toddler and put out of his reach. There's no way Flylady has a toddler, cause if she did, she'd know that everywhere is a hot spot!

I know this is not unique to SAHMs, but I am just too darn tired to start housecleaning after bedtime. Or could it be that if you've been away from the house all day, the housework isn't as daunting? Not as much of it, and not as boring? I don't know . . . not trying to be competitive, just wondering if it's my JOB and not ME that's CRAZY!!!!
:

Mama I am in your shoes too. I could have written your ENTIRE post
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#21 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 03:54 PM
 
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Come on...I'm a stay at home MOM not a stay at home HOUSEKEEPER!!! :LOL My husband and I "let it go" until we've reached "explosion" stage ("honey, the kitchen exploded...we're out of dishes...I'm going to clean now...you have baby duty.")
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#22 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 04:04 PM
 
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OH YES! I start off the day by running the dishwasher and putting laundry in and folding the load that is sitting in the dryer. I get the baby down for a nap, get the kids up and brush teeth and get dressed. Then I make breakfast. I usually have time during the day to put the clean dishes away, keep the laundry going, do a craft or two with the kids and then I make a quick lunch like quesadillas or sandwiches and we high tail it out of the house.
So of course, we come back and dump everything on the floor by the door. The kids play and run hog wild while I cook dinner. I attempt to curtail their wildest mess efforts while I'm cooking and taking care of everyone but that also means I certainly can't clean as I go while I'm in the kitchen. So then the kitchen looks ilke it puked and we have a rowdy dinner with me hopping up and down dealing with this or that. We all pitch in to clear the table when we're done and I load a few dishes into the dishwasher before it starts to feel like chaos. So I take a break and load the kids into the tub to wash them and finish eating MY dinner while they're at it.
After flax oil massage, jammies, a quick toy pick up that they help me with, we all settle down. I usually try to get the baby to sleep but if the big kids aren't settled, they end up waking her up repeatedly.

Once the baby is asleep and the kids are mellow, I might have some energy to do about 20 minutes of toy pickup, laundry folding or kitchen tidying. I usually get around to sweeping the living room floor at some point and loading the dishwasher but not running it. If they are all asleep by 10 and the baby hasn't woken up to nurse yet, I can get the house looking pretty good with just an hour or wiping and sweeping and mopping. That only happens about once or twice a week.
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#23 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 04:27 PM
 
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Yes, my house is frequently a disaster. When my dd was younger and actually held still at times besides when she was sleeping ( :LOL ) my house looked really nice. Now, it is pretty bad but I've frankly just given up which was really hard for me to do. I'm a clean freak at heart, but spending time with my dd is much more important to me. I don't really entertain anyone besides close family so it really isn't that big of a deal right now.

Anna is like this most of the day: and I end up like this: if I try to clean while she is awake and playing. I do let her have about 20 min of Sesame Street, etc in the am so I can empty the dishwasher or start laundry, and then I try to do other cleaning stuff while she is napping or my DH is home. Since we are in the middle of a huge remodel (where currently nothing is getting done : ) it makes it much harder to get things organized, so I just focus on the main living areas and making sure things aren't NASTY. I try to keep meals simple and my DH helps out if I start going a little crazy trying to keep up. I can't imagine anyone else with a dc the same age as Anna get much done either.

P.S. Yes, she is asleep right now, otherwise she'd be helping me type or unplugging the computer

~Rebecca~
mama to a sweet girl , & 4 silly boys

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#24 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 06:56 PM
 
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i can't even remember the last time my house was spotless. i hardly have a time to shower let alone clean! i trip over toys at least 5 times a day. it's really no use putting them all back in the toybox because 10 minutes later my toddler has them strung all over the floor again.

Alia + Brian proud parents to Rowan (9/8/04) Lila (9/3/07) and Rhys (6/11/10)
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#25 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 08:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alkenny
I have two older children, so our situation isn't the norm and shouldn't be "expected" of you.

My house is the CLEANEST in the evening. After dinner, we all pitch in as a family to get the house tip-top. It can be cleaned up in 15 minutes flat easily, and it's nice to wind down and cuddle in bed knowing everything is done.
I agree to that! After dinner my husband cleans the dinner dishes and I take the kids downstairs and we clean the playroom. We also clean it before eating lunch or leaving to go anywhere. I got rid of ALOT of toys and that really helped with the cleanup. We have a system I am very anal about! At night is also when I vacuum the playroom a couple times a week and once a week I drag it upstairs in the evening to vacuum.

I do the dishes after breakfast and after lunch and try to clean as I go along when making dinner. The kids help me unload the dishwasher sometimes or they load their dishes into it. I vacuum the carpet under the kitchen table after almost every meal because they make a mess!

My house isn't gorgeous- we still have hotspots on bookshelves that collect mail. Sometimes the upstairs bathroom trashcan overflows and the toilet needs cleaning badly. But the places that friends see looks fine! heehee.

Married, part time work from home mom to DS (13 and homeschooling), DD1 (11) and DD2 (9) and a giant dopey newfoundland, a crazy border collie mix, 3 black cats and a cute rat.
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#26 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 10:19 PM
 
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I, too, love to go on cleaning rampages, but suck at regular maintenance.

I love the term "toddler carnage" from the earlier post!

:LOL :LOL :LOL :LOL
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#27 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 10:50 PM
 
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Oh, thank goddess I'm not the only SAHM with a wreck of a house... I have a much higher mess tolerance thresh-hold than DH, so when he complains about the toys/books/toddler contraband, etc, constantly being all over the place, I remind him that it'll get worse before it gets better...

We had the biggest fight in our entire relationship over the state of mess in the house-- he didn't understand why I couldn't keep the house clean while chasing an active almost 2yo and constantly nursing the newborn... I told him that if he wanted things as clean as he expected them to be, I could take the kids and find somewhere else to live and he could stay behind to live in his spotless house and play with his fish tanks... That was a mean thing to say, but he's been much less neat-freak about things lately...

Growing babies, fruits, veges, and chickens on our little urban homestead in the frozen north
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#28 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 10:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beansmommy
We had the biggest fight in our entire relationship over the state of mess in the house-- he didn't understand why I couldn't keep the house clean while chasing an active almost 2yo and constantly nursing the newborn... I told him that if he wanted things as clean as he expected them to be, I could take the kids and find somewhere else to live and he could stay behind to live in his spotless house and play with his fish tanks... That was a mean thing to say, but he's been much less neat-freak about things lately...
: Wow, I could have wrote that post, down to the fish tanks even. In fact when I read it to dh he thought I wrote it! :LOL

Alicia mama to 3 boys 6 and under.
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#29 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 11:07 PM
 
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I do quick maintenance during the day, an laundry in the mornign, try to do some dishes after/during preparing breakfast, luch, dinner. Either that or I will rinse and stack in sink until after dinner to load. I usually fold laundry at night or a small load during the day.It's easiest to fold diapers wwhen dh is playing with kids at night. I learned quickly with my two, that I only vacumm at night unless it is a quick vaccum or sweep after a meal. I have to vacum EVERY DAY. SO, after dinner, I clean some, do nbathrooms, floors once a week. only do major cleanign right before the kids go to bed. Because it will just be out again. So I don't bother til night. Except for occasiopnal 5 minute straightening of pillows, organizing, etc.

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
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#30 of 65 Old 10-20-2005, 11:15 PM
 
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Our house has been a disaster. Partly because I was the only one cleaning but not the only one making messes.

It is better now that dd is getting older (5 years now) and has a play area in the basement and I instituted a rule that food stays in the kitchen. The kitchen is tiny and not for playing in anymore. Still an hour after I have cleaned the mess starts creeping back. I think I'm getting smarter about cleaning. I do it more often but for a shorter time each session.
I have my dd help sometimes. She can pick up toys and take them to her room.

There is nothing out of my dd's reach now. I put stuff on the top shelf of our very tallest cabinet. She moves a chair and climbs to reach it.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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