Are mainstream SAHM more into cleaning? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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... or is it just the ones I know?

I can say without a doubt that I have the messiest house of all my mainstream friends. Cleaning and picking up is not a high priority -- okay we don't live in our own filth, but like right now I'm looking at a bunch of stuffed animals on the floor, some shoes, some books, a bathing suit, and a deck of cards has been spread out. And there is a giant pack of play dough sitting next to me, and a rolling pin. And it doesn't bother me. Doesn't really bother my dh either. Anyway, I had a mainstream friend come let out our dogs on Cmas because we weren't home and I left her a note like, "Yes, it always looks this way in here!" because I figured she'd be shocked, and she was.

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? :

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#2 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 02:56 PM
 
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I have definitely noticed this too! What gives? Then again, I always clean up my house if I know I am having company, so maybe they do the same?

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#3 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 02:56 PM
 
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I don't always do a good job of it, but I really try to keep the house tidy as much as I can. Being preggo with twins now kinda makes it a little harder, so I've had to relax my standards a bit, but as crunchy as I am, I do enjoy having a tidy house.

Perhaps I am more mainstream than you are? ;-)

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#4 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know ChristyC, based on your siggy, you seem pretty darn crunchy to me! :

However, I have twins who are almost 4yo now, and I was definitely more neat before I had them. So maybe your time will come!

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#5 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 03:04 PM
 
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Well, we co-sleep, ebf, cd, gd, and eat/use all organic/natural products. I am a neat freak. I think it's just personality type. I am one of those who can't sleep with a messy house. It just makes me crazy. That being said, I dont mind dd using paint or playdoh or helping me 'cook' in the kitchen. The house does get messy (after all I live with a toddler and have a home daycare) but I make sure to clean it right away. But it doesn't take priority over dd. In fact she helps me clean all the time. I am not the type to use tv to babysit in order to clean. I also dont use her nap time for that. I either lay down, read, or jump online. I just dont let the house get overwhelming. I do little clean ups all day long, so that at the end of the day, I only have a few things to do. Hope that makes sense!
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#6 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 03:15 PM
 
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Not me. Things are tidy around here but if its not done by the "grown-up" hour, I call it quits. Cultivating my marriage is way more important than a little mess.
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#7 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 03:44 PM
 
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I despise cleaning too. Right now I want to clean up the mess left behind from Christmas, but the garbage is running a day late and our can is full.

I used to be in awe of perfectly clean homes because we lived in a messy house growing up (4 kids and 2 parents that worked full time). Then I found out that most of them had maids, so my awe meter went way down.

It's easy to have a sparkling clean house when you hire someone else to do it. However, I know some people who clean like they're on speed and seem to enjoy doing so. Just not for me.
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#8 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 04:05 PM
 
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I was a sahm for 3 years. We're far from mainstream people, my house was cleaned every day. Dishes done after meals. Laundry done every other day (cloth diapers can STINK!).

I don't think it has anything to do w/ mainstream or not... it has to do w/ comfort levels! Also, I considered it part of my sah JOB to keep my house livable!
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#9 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 04:14 PM
 
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No imaculate house here.

Its clean but lived in. By that I mean there it stuff out wherever my kids have been playing

I am awful about clothes and need to put them away. If I did that this house would look a 50 times better :
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#10 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 04:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by philomom View Post
Not me. Things are tidy around here but if its not done by the "grown-up" hour, I call it quits.
Basically what I do also.

...I'm pretty crunchy (especially for a young mother I think) but my house is normally always picked up and clean-clean if you know what I mean (hey...I rhymed : ). But if it's not done in the time I have to myself, which isn't long, then screw it.
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#11 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 04:24 PM
 
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The only SAH mainstream mom I know is my SIL and she DEFINATLY is more into cleaning than I. She freaked out about my dd having a sippy cup of water on her carpet for pete's sake! She also has told me many times that back when ds4 was a baby, she used to put the tv on for him and then go upstairs to fold laundry in front of the tv. She's another one who can't sleep if there are dishes in the sink or if she hasn't vacuumed since the kids came home (knowing she had vacuumed when they were at school anyways.)

My house is realtivly clean. Yes the floors in the kitchen should probably be swept and mopped more, but other than that, we're doing well. She wouldn't be able to relax here no matter how hard she tried (good thing they never stay with us when they visit )

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#12 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 04:32 PM
 
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I'm not sure it matters, sure my mainstream Mom and my mainstream SIL are total clean freaks and I'm not but I have a mix of crunchy friends - some have a more lived in look going on and some are super neat.

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#13 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 04:54 PM
 
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I think it has to do with the child, too...if you have calm, content, self-entertaining little ones you can get an awful lot done in a short amount of time.

Mainstream moms might either force their child to do without mama (playpen, crib, high chair etc) so the child is just used to not being tended, or they may try to give baby alot of attention generally but ignore while cleaning.

With my first and third babies, they were happy to play on the floor or ride in the sling while I cleaned. With my second and fourth babies, I was chained to the rocking chair and when I got to get up I wouldn't be cleaning! I'd be peeing or showering or eating or cooking...Dh did most of the cleaning then.

But high-needs or not, by the time my youngest child is 3 or 4 I can keep a clean house again LOL Toby's 'very' high-needs and he's only 2, so I have awhile to go before we're consistently clean.

I can get the place ready for company in about 30 minutes and I think that's good enough.
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#14 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 05:20 PM
 
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I just hate cleaning. And I'm not really good about organizing everything and keeping it clean. Part of this is a bit of rebellion. My dad was a neat freak and insisted on everything being totally clean all the time. I hated it. So I don't do it.

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.

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#15 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 05:28 PM
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I'm somewhere in the middle, I guess. Not overly crunchy but pretty far from the mainstream. Right now I'm not overly concerned about cleaning because I'm 36 weeks pregnant, take online college courses, and have 2 kids. Basically, I'm exhausted so DH has been handling the cleaning duties. When I'm not pregnant and SAH (I usually have at least a PT job, though), my house is cleaned every day. I don't like dirt, clutter, or the weird smells that tend to go along with having small children.
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#16 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 05:42 PM
 
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I am a clean FREAK. NOTHING can be on the floors or any flat surface. (desks, tables, counters, etc) Floors mopped daily, bathrooms scrubbed daily, daily vacumming, and weekly dusting. But I never make beds. I think I am a neat/clean freak since my parents house is/was always such a disaster. Their bathroom is/was so bad, I feel the need to lay TP on the toilet seat before going. And I hold off going as long as possible. Not just a messy house, but DIRTY. I guess being a neat/clean freak is my rebellion. I am only moderatly crunchy, though. I am very AP, but only moderatly NFL. I only have one child (14 months old) so I am sure things would be different around here if I had more.
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#17 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 05:52 PM
 
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nak

Interesting theory _ im pretty mainstream - especially compared here @ mdc & my house is very clean & I cant go to bed with dishes in the sink. No pnp or anything - I wore dd when she was little & I cleaned & now she likes to help so we do it together. (Give my dd a rag & she will wipe a surface. Its really cute!) I also only have 1 & things slip more than before I had a baby so Im sure it will get even messier when #2 gets there this summer!

My sister is very mainstream & more of a neat freak than me & my closest crunchy friend is not a neat freak (tho I would never be shocked at her house). So in my little world - you theory holds very true. I wonder if its cuz us mainstream girls internalize societys standards more & feel internal pressure to clean & crunchy moms are used to bucking the system? - tho I dont clean for other people but I feel happy & satisfied when all the chores are done but who knows how I got this way!
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#18 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 05:54 PM
 
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Some of my crunchier friends seem more about the cleaning. Fly Lady and all that.
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#19 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 06:02 PM
 
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I think there are two catagories, one the people that have the "clean" personality and can't stand the mess, and the people who are more concerned with appearances.

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#20 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 06:04 PM
 
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I think it has to do with keeping up appearances.

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#21 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 06:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by townmouse View Post
I think it has to do with the child, too...if you have calm, content, self-entertaining little ones you can get an awful lot done in a short amount of time.

Mainstream moms might either force their child to do without mama (playpen, crib, high chair etc) so the child is just used to not being tended, or they may try to give baby alot of attention generally but ignore while cleaning.

With my first and third babies, they were happy to play on the floor or ride in the sling while I cleaned. With my second and fourth babies, I was chained to the rocking chair and when I got to get up I wouldn't be cleaning! I'd be peeing or showering or eating or cooking...Dh did most of the cleaning then.

But high-needs or not, by the time my youngest child is 3 or 4 I can keep a clean house again LOL Toby's 'very' high-needs and he's only 2, so I have awhile to go before we're consistently clean.

I can get the place ready for company in about 30 minutes and I think that's good enough.

There is nothing wrong with using a high chair if used moderately. My toddler LOVES his high chair. When I am doing dishes, he sits right by me and I give him dishes to "wash". He also likes it when we have dinner, because he can sit right there at our level and eat and be with the family.
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#22 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 06:45 PM
 
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oh, and I could not STAND to see my ds w/ dog hair all over him as an infant... and if you don't do your floors DAILY and you have dogs or cats (or rabbits---- or all of the above!!!!!!!!) your child will be ingesting and wearing animal hair (or people hair too!)!!!
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#23 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 06:46 PM
 
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I think it has to do with keeping up appearances.
Maybe for SOME people, but not all. Some people truly cannot stand filth. I am one of those people. I clean my house for me. Its not for the people that come to my house. It gets messy, heck yeah. Toys, papers, etc. And I LOATHE laundry.....but it is CLEAN. I hate a dirty bathroom, I vacuum daily, mop twice a week. I'm not obsessive at all, I think I'm pretty middle of the road.

But, like I said: For some it is about keeping up appearances, for others its just how they like to live.
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#24 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 06:46 PM
 
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oh, and I could not STAND to see my ds w/ dog hair all over him as an infant... and if you don't do your floors DAILY and you have dogs or cats (or rabbits---- or all of the above!!!!!!!!) your child will be ingesting and wearing animal hair (or people hair too!)!!!
That too! I have to vacuum often or the dog hair piles up!
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#25 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 06:49 PM
 
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For me the cleaning aspect helps us to have a peaceful, comfortable home. It is not about being mainstream or you being more crunchy than me because I like a clean house. I do work hard to clean my home, but my priority is always my kids. I don't go to sleep with dirty dishes in the sink, because I would rather clean the kitchen before bed (which only takes about 10-15 minutes with a well-maintained kitchen) so I don't have to wake up to a gross kitchen with old, food filled dished in the morning. It is more a feng shui way of living--everything in it's place and clean, simple living.

I am the last person to throw a fit over something spilled on the carpet or floor--I let my kids eat in livingroom, and am very easy going. But I always clean up after, and am a very hard worker. Even if I am sick I still get up to maintain the house, because it makes the whole family run more smoothly and comfortably.

There is nothing more cozy than a happy, well loved family in a clean house. I can go into my bathroom and take a bath in our clean tub, walk into my kitchen in the morning, walking around in my slippers and drinking my tea and enjoying it without tripping over yesterday's toys or looking a disgusting old dirty dishes. This is a nice way to live--not something "mainstream". Being a SAHM I am able to do both--have my home comfortably clean and have enough time with my children.
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#26 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 06:50 PM
 
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Dunno. I'm moderately far along the crunchy spectrum, and I think this theory is a bit simplistic. My house is N E A T. But it's not spotlessly clean. We simply don't have a lot of stuff, and that includes toys. We're not luddites or anything, it's just that you don't see a lot of plastic in my house, and we have some awesome storage, so everything has a home. Add to that that my kids are mostly in school these days, we're outdoors a LOT, so it's easy to keep it tidy when you're simply not there. It's pretty easy to fool people into thinking your house is clean when you just don't have a lot of stuff to clutter it
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#27 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 07:09 PM
 
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I'm not a SAHM but I like to read posts in this forum for time to time. This thread was amusing me and I just wanted to pipe in.

Two of my SAHM friends who are completely mainstream have the most disgustingly dirty houses I've ever ever ever seen in my entire life. It's uncomfortable to be in their homes. Food, clothes, toys, animals are everywhere. Then there's my middle of the road SAHM friend (SIL actually) and her house is always clean. I can't think of any other SAHMs, except for my MIL, and from what I understand-no one can compare to her.

I agree-I think it's personality type. I WOH and my house is somewhere in between, depending on the week/day/hour.
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#28 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 07:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LisainCalifornia View Post
For me the cleaning aspect helps us to have a peaceful, comfortable home. It is not about being mainstream or you being more crunchy than me because I like a clean house. I do work hard to clean my home, but my priority is always my kids. I don't go to sleep with dirty dishes in the sink, because I would rather clean the kitchen before bed (which only takes about 10-15 minutes with a well-maintained kitchen) so I don't have to wake up to a gross kitchen with old, food filled dished in the morning. It is more a feng shui way of living--everything in it's place and clean, simple living.

I am the last person to throw a fit over something spilled on the carpet or floor--I let my kids eat in livingroom, and am very easy going. But I always clean up after, and am a very hard worker. Even if I am sick I still get up to maintain the house, because it makes the whole family run more smoothly and comfortably.

There is nothing more cozy than a happy, well loved family in a clean house. I can go into my bathroom and take a bath in our clean tub, walk into my kitchen in the morning, walking around in my slippers and drinking my tea and enjoying it without tripping over yesterday's toys or looking a disgusting old dirty dishes. This is a nice way to live--not something "mainstream". Being a SAHM I am able to do both--have my home comfortably clean and have enough time with my children.
:
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#29 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well this thread proves it is more about personality than crunchy-ness. I WANT to say that if I spent less time with the kids, I'd spend more time cleaning -- but maybe I'd just spend more time on the internet, watching TV, or something!

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#30 of 157 Old 12-28-2006, 08:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by USAmma View Post
I think it has to do with keeping up appearances.
Not for me. I find a messy house disorienting. I have the power to make my surroundings a pleasant place to be, and I use it.

I don't have time to wade through clutter every day, and I would find it disgusting to wake up to dirty dishes in the sink.

However, my DDs and my DH are with the program, we all work together to Keep our home like this. Not letting it get into a mess in the first place is the key.
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