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Stay at Home Parents > Are mainstream SAHM more into cleaning?
SerafinasMommy's Avatar SerafinasMommy 01:39 AM 01-09-2007
I would call myself "medium crunchy" and I am one of the 'can't sleep with dishes in the sink' ladies (well, now that I don't have a newborn anyway ). I don't think theres anything wrong with keeping a clean house. I don't think its right to assume that house cleaning is done at the expense of the child. I do all my cleaning during nap time and after my daughter has gone to bed. How is my taking the time to keep my house clean any different than you (general you) finding time to get online???

Qalliope's Avatar Qalliope 12:24 PM 01-09-2007
Hi, My name is Rachele, and I am a dirty, dirty hippie.

My DH is too. We are just not that into cleaning. I've found that some of it has to do with a reaction to how we were raised. DH grew up in a family that was proud to be packrats, and he likes to feather his nest with collections of things he enjoys. Plus he always had someone to clean up after him, so as an adult he still doesn't always think about it. I was forced to be an adult before my time; my mother made me do all the cleaning/laundry/yardwork (and she was a total perfectionist about it) as a child. I've only been out of her house for ten years and I'm just starting to calm down and not feel like I have to rebel against that. My house has definitely gotten cleaner. But I just don't care about it being dirty all that much. My very mainstream SIL says her parents are total slobs, and it has turned her into a total neat freak. Makes me want to stay messy just to see if my kids will do the same.

I think our country as a whole tends to be awfully dirt/germ phobic. I don't feel like everything has to be sanitized for my protection.
FancyPants's Avatar FancyPants 06:39 PM 01-09-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qalliope View Post
Hi, My name is Rachele, and I am a dirty, dirty hippie.

My DH is too. We are just not that into cleaning. I've found that some of it has to do with a reaction to how we were raised. DH grew up in a family that was proud to be packrats, and he likes to feather his nest with collections of things he enjoys. Plus he always had someone to clean up after him, so as an adult he still doesn't always think about it. I was forced to be an adult before my time; my mother made me do all the cleaning/laundry/yardwork (and she was a total perfectionist about it) as a child. I've only been out of her house for ten years and I'm just starting to calm down and not feel like I have to rebel against that. My house has definitely gotten cleaner. But I just don't care about it being dirty all that much. My very mainstream SIL says her parents are total slobs, and it has turned her into a total neat freak. Makes me want to stay messy just to see if my kids will do the same.

I think our country as a whole tends to be awfully dirt/germ phobic. I don't feel like everything has to be sanitized for my protection.

My parents and in-laws are clean or even a little OCD. My kids put stuff "back" ("put back Mummy") and usually remember to clear their dinner places and throw their dirty clothes down the laundry shoot. They are not neat but they lean that way. My generation (sister's, steps, in-laws) are all messy.
wildtigercubs's Avatar wildtigercubs 06:58 PM 01-09-2007
I'm not real mainstream. I won't use chemical cleaners in my home, I have rather different beliefs from a lot of my friends (sorry I guess I'm not totally sure what is meant by mainstream) and I clean, clean, clean! I was a real mess pot growing up. Mum was ALWAYS on my back about my bedroom which no one saw the carpet of for about 8 years (I actually asked Mum after I moved out if she'd put new carpet in and she hadn't, it's just the first time I'd seen it ). I continued to be a messpot right up until a couple of years ago when all of a sudden it just started driving me insane and now I spend a lot of hours in my day cleaning and chasing up hubby and the kids to pick up after themselves.

That being said I have health issues which make me somewhat of a germaphobe and I do go through lazy phases where I just can't be bothered but I always come back to the cleaning for some reason.
bczmama's Avatar bczmama 02:24 AM 01-10-2007
I'm pretty mainstream, but was a total slob. What changed me was marrying DH who has 50/50 custody of his son. The first time DSS wanted to invite a friend over and the sole reason I said no was because I was embarrassed at the messy house cured me of it. Its a constant struggle against my nature, and things certainly aren't perfect, but I now manage to maintain the house pretty consistently above my own personal embarrassment level.
Taryn237's Avatar Taryn237 12:29 AM 01-11-2007
We're not big on cleaning either. I just hate clean cleaning. I do like the house to be tidy though with everything put away but it normally only happens for company. Which is probably once or twice a week. But cleaning the bathroom or mopping is probably bi-monthly. Is that gross? lol. Once DS starts crawling I guess I'll have to stay on top of it more.
wildmonkeys's Avatar wildmonkeys 12:20 PM 01-11-2007
I am fairly clean and VERY tidy, but pretty ap/crunchy. I just find it peaceful to have a neat house where we can easily find things (I tend to be a bit adhd and can't find anything or concentrate in a mess). Also, we aren't really "stuff" people --- we don't have a bunch of extra junk --- thus, our house tends to not have stuff all over the place.

I have two close friends in the neighborhood with young children --- one is more ap/crunchy than me and the other is WAY more mainstream and it is hard for them to find common ground about much besides their amazement at my neat house. From my perspective, it doesn't really seem an ap/mainstream thing, but more of a personality type.

BJ
Barney, Ben & soon to be #3!!!
bec's Avatar bec 01:31 PM 01-11-2007
I'm not tidy by nature. It's a struggle for me. But, I have noticed that the three kids, myself, and my husband are less stressed, happier, and more content if the house is clean. I've been working on it, particularly since the holidays. And I'm finding, that, if I can keep up with the chaos throughout the day, it is actually easier to keep it clean, then it is to clean it once a day, or once a week, or even once a month! I enlist the big kids' help. They help to put things away (usually a couple things, take a break, a couple more things, etc.). The dishes and the laundry are the most time consuming and the hardest to fit in (as someone is almost always needing something after meals). What has made it all possible for me is to do things while the baby is asleep in the Ergo Carrier. She is on my back, and content because she's being held and tended to. I can usually engage the bigger kid(s) in some sort of activity (coloring, a craft, a pretend play, something), and I can get my chores done.

I'm not sure about it being a mainstream vs. crunchy kind of comparison. I belong to a pretty darned crunchy AP group, and most of them are pretty neat and tidy. I think what is different is the approach AP moms take to getting that house clean. I think it is clear among my group, that the kids' needs are not neglected in the face of the parent's needs to have order to their home. It's about family balance, and I think it is important for that need to be met if that is what the adult needs to feel in control of their environment. But, it can be done in a way that also honors the needs of the children.
BornInSeptember's Avatar BornInSeptember 08:10 PM 01-11-2007
I think it is a good thing to have balance. A parent who spends all their time looking after the house neglects the parenting of their child. A child who rarely spends time looking after the house also neglects the child. I think that if a child becomes comfortable in a messy house, they will take that with them into adulthood and become messy adults. It is good to have a generally tidy house, but it's also good to let things slide here and there to be able to spend the time with your children while they are young and need you the most.
2tadpoles's Avatar 2tadpoles 09:49 PM 01-11-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by BornInSeptember View Post
I think that if a child becomes comfortable in a messy house, they will take that with them into adulthood and become messy adults.
And.....?

I know plenty of messy adults who are perfectly happy.
wildmonkeys's Avatar wildmonkeys 06:12 PM 01-12-2007
I don't think growing-up in a messy house will make you a messy adult. My husband grew-up in a messy house and is a neatfreak because he was always too embarrased to have friends over. He says he can still remember never wanting any of his friends to see the inside of his house and as a result wants our house PERFECT if anyone is going to be in it. Not that all of his sibs had the same reaction, but that was his

BJ
Barney, Ben & soon to be #3!!!
Teakafrog's Avatar Teakafrog 09:57 PM 01-13-2007
My mom always points out how clean my apartment was when I was in college and single. This, of course, is in contrast to how messy my house has been since I got married (and almost immediately got pregnant). Both DH and I are pretty much slobs, although we like a tidy house, it doesn't usually happen. It's not filthy by any means, but it would drive a lot of folks crazy. It just really doesn't bother me. I wish it would! But I'd rather do other things than pick up things that the kids are just gonna immediately throw back on the floor. :
Sarahbunny's Avatar Sarahbunny 03:17 AM 01-15-2007
I'm probably half crunchy, half mainstream, but I have never been accused of being overly concerned with neatness. I'm just really laid back and sort of...in my own world, I guess. Stuff doesn't bother me usually, but I do like the house to be picked up. If it doesn't get vacuumed every week, I don't care really.
glorified_rice's Avatar glorified_rice 03:50 AM 01-15-2007
First of all, I wonder what is so "mainstream" about keeping a clean and organized home? I would add that I have a friend who is extremely mainstream in her parenting style and has an atrocious home which, in my opinion, borders on being unsafe and is physically repulsive. I have brought my 22 month old son to her home once, and never again. There are choking hazards all over the floor. Cleaning chemicals are easily accessible (why she even has any is beyond me, since they are never used), etc... We were asked to feed their cat while they were away and the cat's water dish had a layer of slime in it. I feel that it is really important to at least keep my home organized, as free of clutter as possible, and clean enough to be comfortable and not cause disease. Obviously we all have different thresholds as to what is acceptable. I don't buy into the whole conforming to society angle at all. I have no one to impress but my son and my husband and myself. I just feel more happy and content when I have a clean organized home. Maybe it has something to do with the feng shui or movement of energy or something.
Kajira's Avatar Kajira 03:59 AM 01-15-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by YumaDoula View Post

I've had two friends tell me that they literally CAN'T SLEEP AT NIGHT if they have dishes in the sink or a dirty floor. Huh? :
I used to be like that, but that was because I was ocd
but my home tends to be fairly tidy, so it's not the realm of the main stream mom alone
TinkerBelle's Avatar TinkerBelle 12:49 PM 01-15-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by bevo12 View Post
First of all, I wonder what is so "mainstream" about keeping a clean and organized home? I would add that I have a friend who is extremely mainstream in her parenting style and has an atrocious home which, in my opinion, borders on being unsafe and is physically repulsive. I have brought my 22 month old son to her home once, and never again. There are choking hazards all over the floor. Cleaning chemicals are easily accessible (why she even has any is beyond me, since they are never used), etc... We were asked to feed their cat while they were away and the cat's water dish had a layer of slime in it. I feel that it is really important to at least keep my home organized, as free of clutter as possible, and clean enough to be comfortable and not cause disease. Obviously we all have different thresholds as to what is acceptable. I don't buy into the whole conforming to society angle at all. I have no one to impress but my son and my husband and myself. I just feel more happy and content when I have a clean organized home. Maybe it has something to do with the feng shui or movement of energy or something.

I am with you on this. I swear people will just pick anything to feel superior over others, won't they? To some, if you have a clean home, you are not paying attention to your kids and let your baby scream while you scrub floors. If you have a messy house, you are this great mother who never takes her attention from her kids.

On the flip side, some people think messy home= bad/clean home=good.

I guess you cannot win.

My house is not the cleanest or the messiest. But, I have a thing about dishes. I don't like to let them sit. That, to me, is not only unsanitary, but it draws bugs. I live in FL and bugs come no matter how clean you are, but let's not tempt them, okay? LOL!
momuveight2B's Avatar momuveight2B 12:51 PM 01-15-2007
I don't think I am more into it but I have to do it more because my kids are home all day. When they have been at daycare they are too tired to come home and make a mess. More fun to be at home though for me.
Severine's Avatar Severine 03:54 PM 01-15-2007
I seriously wish I had the energy and time to devote to a cleaner home (and the space to put everything away). We're not dangerous, but it's very cluttered because we live in a small apartment. And I was also a full-time WOHM up until about a week ago, so I'm trying to catch up while learning how to be a SAHM and spend the whole day with my DD instead of just a small portion of it. It's a huge adjustment.

I don't see myself every being a Donna Reed though. As I told DH when we came to this arrangement, his full-time job is X and my full-time job is to take care of DD. Anything else that gets done is a bonus, and he agreed. I think it's more important to spend my time with DD than scrubbing the house spic-and-span clean.
JJsMomma's Avatar JJsMomma 11:08 PM 01-15-2007
I don't really know what "label" I fall under but I am definitely one that can't stand a messy house. However, I won't choose cleaning over playing. I usually stay up and clean the house at the end of the day when the kids have gone to bed. I'm a SAHM during the day, not a housekeeper.
stacey2061's Avatar stacey2061 05:38 PM 01-16-2007
hm...i'm medium-well crunchy and not a neat-freak...i never have been though. growing up i resented cleaning because my step-dad was incredibly anal about it, bordering on abusive, and now i rarely even notice the little messes around the house. dh is really awesome about teaming up with me to do a good clean once a week, but our house is still pretty bad. i guess i just value my me-time too much to make the effort, although i have been improving a great deal.

another big hinderance though is DS...he's our only child so far and isn't the greatest at entertaining himself...when he does find something to do on his own, it's usually messy! he'll dump cereal boxes while i wash dishes! lol it's pretty frustrating. or he decides that now that mommy's busy, it's a good time to chase the dog...lol
siobhang's Avatar siobhang 05:45 PM 01-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by stacey2061 View Post
another big hinderance though is DS...he's our only child so far and isn't the greatest at entertaining himself...when he does find something to do on his own, it's usually messy! he'll dump cereal boxes while i wash dishes! lol it's pretty frustrating. or he decides that now that mommy's busy, it's a good time to chase the dog...lol
my 3 year old has been playing "garbage truck" where he takes (full) trashcans and empties them onto the stairs (which he calls his truck).

I had a few mommy tantrums over that one, I am sure you can believe.

My 1 year old regularly goes into the recycling bags and pulls out every single newspaper and throws them on the floor. Or pulls stuff out of the garbage can.

This morning he attacked and pulled out all of my nicely folded laundry, which was waiting for dh to take upstairs (too heavy for me to carry with my bad back).

*sigh*

Siobhan
stacey2061's Avatar stacey2061 06:20 PM 01-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by siobhang View Post

This morning he attacked and pulled out all of my nicely folded laundry, which was waiting for dh to take upstairs (too heavy for me to carry with my bad back).

*sigh*

Siobhan
ah yes...the laudry...it's never safe
bec's Avatar bec 06:59 PM 01-17-2007
DH and I used to joke that our first's indian name was "Dumps-It-All-Out"
velveeta's Avatar velveeta 08:35 PM 01-17-2007
I keep the house really clean, and it gets messy during the day with all of DS crazy stuff. I just have DS "help" me pick up before daddy gets home, and we mainly keep it under control. Before yesterday, I would have said I don't ever leave dishes in the sink... We are expecting a baby any day now and DS has a 3 hour meltdown last night. We didn't even brush our teeth... Whew!

I never really have people come over, so I definitely keep it clean for us. I have that personality, and so does DH! DS, on the other hand...

Oh, and I would say we are pretty crunchy -- homebirth, lotsa BF, NFL, well, everything else I guess.
Crunchier's Avatar Crunchier 08:46 PM 01-17-2007
Nope. I haven't really noticed a correlation. We all seem to be at the same level of clean vs dirty.
JamesMama's Avatar JamesMama 09:57 PM 01-17-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
I have had days where I've really tried to get some little bit of something done, and I turn into a screeching monster. I'm so stressed about trying to get whatever task I've chosen done, that I end up neglecting/ignoring/yelling at ds1. So it just doesn't seem worth it.
Thats EXACTLY me!

What I end up doing is 1) Doing as much as possible when James is napping and 2) when he's distracted happily playing I set the timer on the stove for 20 minutes and speed clean. If I don't get it done in 20 minutes too darn bad. Right now there are water bottles on the coffee table and matchbox cars as far as the eye can see. Oh, and I haven't folded laundry in like a week. O'well.

Re the childhood thing. My growing up home was always 'lived in' dishes in the sink. Toys on the floor. I think my mom vacuumed like twice a month. She did the kitchen floor even less often than that! LOL. I vacuum two or three times a week, I vacuum the kitchen (one of those tile floor vacuums) like every day or every other day. Counters get wiped down every day, dishwasher loaded every day.

My house is lived in. But if I have company coming over I'll speed clean. LOL...having a playdate tomorrow. gotta get the toy room organized so that James and his 2 friends don't kill themselves trying to navigate it.
vxclayborn's Avatar vxclayborn 10:04 PM 01-17-2007
I am a reformed slob! I keep a pretty clean house now, I make sure dishes are put and and floors are clear for bed- simply because I've noticed everyone's moods are lifted when things are somewhat neat (I believe in some homey cluter) and we can find our stuff. I focus on one room a day for about 20 min and then just control clutter and dishes. It's way easier than I imagined keeping a semi-clean house would be.
KayasMama04's Avatar KayasMama04 06:32 AM 01-21-2007
I don't think it matters if your crunchy or mainstream its about who you are as a person. I am fairly mainstream and so is one of my best friends and man she is a neat freak and well im not. I keep all the places were people can be clean, and my bedroom well yeah its messy as can be. I leave dishes in my sink some nights but I don't like toys in any room but dds.
Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 06:27 PM 01-21-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by siobhang View Post
my 3 year old has been playing "garbage truck" where he takes (full) trashcans and empties them onto the stairs (which he calls his truck).

we moved several times when my kids were little and they liked to play "moving." They would use whatever they could find (bags, baskets, boxes, etc.) to *pack* their toys (or lower cabnets in the kitchen or whatever) and *move* it to another place in the house to play with it. They could *move* incrediable amounts of stuff in a very short time -- such as the amount of time it took to me take a shower.

This was big when they were 2-5. It drove me : :
CaraNicole's Avatar CaraNicole 03:35 AM 03-22-2007
i'm very AP and NFL but also a neat FREAK! i guess i'm just not as crunchy as i like to think i am!
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