is it just me or is this absurd? i didn't sah just so i could clean the house every day. i stayed at home so i could take care of ds. why should i have to clean the freaking toilets just b/c i'm at home??
and although i know that babies are high maintenance (b/c they can't really do anything for themselves), if i stay home after for longer than a year (which i probably will) i still don't plan on cleaning the house while ds plays or naps or whatever. i plan on being with him, doing stuff with him, or heck, doing stuff for ME rather than cleaning the house.
part of it is that i HATE housework. just about the only thing i like to do is laundry (LOL great for us b/c we cd). and i'll clean up after ds has solids or i eat my meals. the rest of it? forget it.
i hope other mamas here with wrecked houses can back me up on this....
i do most of the cleaning, like ekblad on the wknds, b/c i'd rather clean than wrangle kids (not that i like cleaning, mind you, but trying to play w/ 2 kids at very different developmental stages gets exhausting by the end of the week and its nice to be off duty, even if i'm doing chores.)
i do do more housecleaning during my workday lately than i ever have before, and that's because i realized how much it got me down to live my days in the middle of constant chaos. so i started decluttering and trying to stay more on top of the messes, but i did it for me -- just to give myself a more pleasant environment to be in. i spend *so* much of my life at home or in the yard that i realized it was important to me to be uplifted by these surroundings. so, i also started using essential oils and a diffuser and i cut flowers from the gardens and bring them in and i try to remember to plug the fountain in on my little altar, all to improve the ambience. but i still blow off cleaning in those parts of the house that i don't spend much time in...
My feeling is that either A) housework is divided equally between me and DH as if I were WOH or B) a cleaning lady should come.
We fluctuate between having a cleaning lady or sharing the work (we move alot, lol).
Now that we're into cloth diapering, I'm actually enjoying doing laundry (I know...it's a sickness, lol).
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Mama to DD14 and DS12, both born on MDC.
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
On a side note (please note this is my personal belief), I do believe it is important for children to see us engaged in meaningful work. We tend to be more family centered, rather than child centered around here. I guess I don't feel comfortable just hanging out and playing all day. I get satisfaction from doing "chores" and it is a learning experience for the kiddos. We make chores fun! We do save the big stuff (cleaning the floors, bathroom, etc) for the weekend, when we can both blitz though it, but I would go crazy (and feel sooo overwhelmed) if I didn't do basic cleanup throughout the day.
That being said, QuinsMami, life with an infant is a whole different deal.
We sort of fell into our roles, but I don't expect him to do anything and he doesn't expect me to things. We just usually do them. If I need help with something, I ask and he'll help and vice versa. It always works itself out. I'm pretty fortunate that way.
I do try to straighten up every evening - just very quickly to get the big chunks and we do dishes every couple of days. The big things like scrubbing out the tub or washing the floor wait until he's home to watch DD and then I do it just because I care more than him if I bathe in a dirty tub not because either of us think it's my job.
DH does do the yard work (mowing weedwacking and edging but no trimming bushes). Trimming bushes is also my job. Washing the cars and keeping them clean inside is also my job.
Cooking is also my job!
I also can relax when things are put away and clean. Whenever that lady is on Oprah - the organization lady who says 'a place for everything and everything in it's place', I drool with attraction for that kind of life.
The problem is I need someone to overhaul my place first to get me started.
I've done a bunch of decluttering and that's gone a long way toward tidiness on a daily basis.
My DH doesn't say the housework is my job but if I suddenly stopped, he would protest. We are considering hiring cleaning once I'm too pregnant to bend over and the baby is born. The older DS gets, the less I accomplish. With a newborn, I would be an idiot not to surrender that last bit!
I don't like housework either, but having a messy house just adds to my stress - and I want to ingrain neat habits in my kids so they don't have to struggle with it as adults as I did.
DH works hard so we can afford to have me stay home and I try to think of it as a Thank You gift to him to come home to a relatively clean house (not that I always manage it - I have an infant too.)
As Flylady says, it's all about babysteps. I set aside little chunks of 5 minutes at a time (and literally set the timer on my stove so I am free to quit when those minutes are up). You might be amazed at what you can accomplish in 5 minutes.
Boy, I'm just full of advice tonight.... Better quit rambling and go to bed.
When the kids weaned, and got older, DH's views on housework seemed to change. "Well, you're home all day- you have time to do the housework" is what he would say. And he began to expect a meal to be cooked. ("Well, you have to make something for yourself and the kids anyway") As first I was very rebellious and bitter about this change in attitude. Having a messy house didn't seem to bother him much, whereas it really bothered me a lot. I started doing the flylady thing to help me keep up with things, and gradually got myself into a cleaning routine. Now I realize that there are only 24 hours in the day- most of those my husband spends either at work, or sleeping. Keeping the house clean does take a certain amout of time each, and since I am here, it does naturally fall to me. Woudl I really want my husband to spend valuable family time or time for us as a couple scrubbing toilets? No way! I also want my children to learn what it takes to keep a house clean, and over time I expect to teach them exactly to do each chore, at an age appropriate time. As someone else mentioned, this is a more family centered approach. I too believe that it is important for the kids to see me engaged not only in things that I enjoy, but things that need to be done.
I also think that cleaning the house is not my job as the SAHM, but one of my jobs as a parent and a person in this house. I think everyone should be part of taking care of their house and that includes me, the SAHM. Since I am physically IN the house more than my dh, then I naturally do more than he does but he cleans a lot too when he is here. Ok, the baby is a little young (though he did help clean up blocks tonight ), but the 4 year old helps out in 4 year old appropriate ways. I also think it's my job as parent to model the behavior and show my kids how to do these things so they don't end up as clueless, floundering messes when they are adults with their own houses (like I was!!!).
I also get a bit put off when people imply that cleaning means you are neglecting your kids. How about involving your kids in the cleaning? The baby is with me 24/7. He's not in arms all the time anymore, but he's at least exploring in the same room as me and whatever I'm doing. The 4 year old comes and goes. She helps me clean or she sits and talks with me or plays near me while I clean, or she ignores me and goes in the other room, it's up to her. But they are involved in meaningful work as opposed to us just playing aaaaaaaaalllllll day long.
And yet we play a lot! And they get read to and we go places, but they are involved in the real work of life too. Yes, that means scrubbing toilets too (which, by the way, my four year old thinks is fun! ) I use homemade cleansers too (or even just water) so they can help without problems. Bridget loves to dust and "polish" and for some reason is just thrilled with the swiffer (as soon as the cleanser ran out, I refilled it with vinegar, water and mint oil).
I will also put in a plug for Flylady. It's helped me tremendously. I do not do her full tilt program but since I'm by nature a slob, her ideas and methods have really helped me out.
And of course, the definition of the word "clean" is relative : Maybe some of you would come over here and say "THIS is what she calls clean?" But I'm happy I grew up not inviting friends over because I was too embarrassed to have them see my house. I am happy to say I now live in a house that can accept guests without a panicked days long clean-up beforehand It's a wonderful feeling
And now that I've been home for awhile the cleaning and cooking IS my job (without kids, if I'm not working, I don't think he should have to clean or cook). All I ask him to do is pick up his own messes (papers, garbage, things he drags out of the drawers and such), rinse his dishes and leave them in the sink, and take the garbage out for me when I leave it by the front door. Its still a hassle to get him to do all of that very reliably (unless I block the front door with the garbage bag) so I think once the kiddo arrives, its still going to fall on my shoulders, regardless.
I'm just glad he doesn't care if our house is spotless or a trashed out mess. Because once this baby arrives I highly doubt I'll be doing much besides taking care of them while we figure out breastfeeding and such.
That being said I like my house clean I hate watching my kids have to step over toys to play, I don't like making them meals in a dirty kitchen so I do keep my house clean. Except on the weekends we have a no house cleaning rule on the weekends, I let it go I do not want the two days my family is together to be spent cleaning I start on Sunday night when the kids are in bed and spend about an hour on monday finishing. I have a small house I keep it very simple and do not have any knickknacks to dust, only one bathroom. It does not take me long to clean it I have a good routine. We ALL work to keep it kept up during the week every night we have a 5 minute clean-up race and spend that 5 minutes picking up the house, we put some fast music on and then slow it down when it is time for night time routines.
I feel like my job is staying home is to raise our children. To play with them, take them fun places, educate them , feed them, potty teach them, clean them, read to them, etc etc etc etc. My dh never said that he expected me to keep the house clean. However, he also never came home from work and cleaned a bathroom or threw in a load of laundry.
So, after me feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated for a while, we decided to do all of the house cleaning on Saturday or Sunday morning. It doesn't take too long working together, and our 3 yr old helps too. I agree that children should learn to clean up after themselves, but I also don't want my daughter growing up with a cut and dry idea of gender roles....mommies clean the house and do the laundry and daddies go to work all day. I want my children seeing that all of us take on many roles and that we work together as a team.
Why is this?
Many reasons, first and foremost, I don't currently have a nursing baby, I have 2 toddlers who play really well together.
I also think that kids should be a part of cleaning, and both my kids enjoy cleaning, so I am spending all my time with them, and still getting housework done.
When I have a newborn, probably for the first 3-4 months, I don't do much housework at all, dh does it all. Also, if I am pregnant and have morning sickness, or am huge, he does it all.
I don't think it's "my job", but I do prefer to have the house clean, as I also grew up in a house I was embarrassed to bring friends home to.
I use to dread the doorbell ringing at my house (as an adult) b/c it was such a mess, now, I have the time/energy/will to keep it clean, so, I do. I did start out w/ flylady, and she helped a lot, I don't use her whole system, but she got me started.
I think that even if you hate housework, I don't really love it, it should be something you work on throughout the day with your kids, to teach them how to be a part of a family. We have certain cleaning things we do throughout the day, and when dh is home in the evening, we all do things. I'd say about 30-45 minutes spread out throughout the day, keeps our home acceptable.
Also, I never sit down to the computer that the house isn't tidy, it's a self-discipline thing for me.
My baby did not like to be put down, and I didn't like putting her down. I was not going to do that all day so I could get household chores done. I strongly believe that these precious months of babyhood are a fleeting treasure that should be savoured. I have the rest of my life to clean the toilet, but my baby will only be a baby once.
And from a practical POV, doing most housework with a baby was physically impossible. Wearing her in my sling, I found there was no way to do laundry. We had a top loader and all that bending in and out was really disturbing to her. She'd cry whenever I tried to do laundry. Doing dishes was also next to impossible. And in those early months she often napped in my lap. If she wasn't, I was loathe to be far from her side.
Once my baby was able to sit up on her own, and amuse herself playing with her toys, it became easier. I can see as a toddler I will be able to do stuff with her around. I like the idea of CC very much, but for me personally, it is something to apply to older children. Right now she is cruising everywhere and getting into everything and my day is hardly spent "playing all day".
[i realize this sounds a bit defensive, sorry!]
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Mama to DD14 and DS12, both born on MDC.
BABIES DON'T KEEP
Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
For babies grow up, we have learned to our sorrow
So, quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep
I'm rocking my baby cause babies don't keep.
As the wage-earner in my family, I must admit that I seethe with resentment when I come home and discover that dh has not lifted a finger towards any chores because he was busy playing with the baby. I'd like time to play with the baby myself instead of spending all my free time trying to control dirt. My part-time job keeps us in food and shelter but I really can't support the extra expense of paying someone else to do housework.
Anyhow, raising a child ought to be shared between parents, not designated as the sole responsibility of one SAH parent. The wage-earner is almost certainly contributing to the child-raising job, but a SAH who neglects housework is unfairly plopping an extra burden on the wage-earner job who helps with child-raising, goes to work and does chores.
I'm not saying that housekeeping has to be immacculate, but in my opinion, yes, housework is part of the SAHM or SAHD job description.
i think that children will be less sick in a clean environment and i also think that keeping things clean teaches them to be orgainized. i also don't see why someoen that works full time should come home to a mess.
NOT that I think it should be the main focus! but , i try to put a lot of housework into "teaching" category...teach him to sort...teach him to like things in order.
But, I guess if your partner doesn't mind...and you don't mind....it really isnt' anyone's business to tell you how to run your house.
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