Mothering Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Am I the only one? Surely, I'm not. I feel like b/c of the roller coaster that is ds1....and really, he's a great kid, delays/disablilties and all....and I feel really guilty to even complain, b/c some parents have it soo much harder dealing w/intensely special needs....but I can't keep up.

I can't stay on top of the bills, even when we have the money.. I can't keep up the dishes. I can't keep the house even reasonably clean (and I'm not a neat freak--I just want to be able to vacuum and mop once a week and change our sheets and towels!). I can barely manage to make sure our pets and us get fed on a daily basis. I rarely get to wash my hair more than 3 times a week. I'm lucky if I get to shower 4-5 days a week. I'm not getting enough sleep (and here I am on the computer when I should be asleep!).

My family is harshly critical when given the opportunity, so they aren't really that much help.

Others have all kinds of suggestions, but I don't think anyone gets it unless they have a child w/special needs...I'm too tired to give a **it, yet I do care immensely. I don't want to live like this, and I know that ds could/would do better if our home was better.

So, what are you secrets to keeping your home sane? I'm desperate and depressed at this point!

Thank you!

mrsfru
 

· Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
Same issue here. I always feel that I have to be "on" for my SN kiddo at all times. And he also is mild compared to what other parents have to deal with. I feel so guilty if I am doing things for myself instead of spending all of his awake time getting language into him and working on his fine and gross motor delays(due to low tone). However, in the last few months I have made a point to do things for myself. I'll clean the house as well as I can with 3 little ones but I make it quality time with the kids instead of them sitting and watching the tv. Of course they don't get it quite right, but at least we are together lol. Making things a game seems to help--putting toys away gets turned into basketball, or a race to see who can finish first, things like that seem to help here.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,916 Posts
I go through phases...sometimes I'm pretty on top of things, feeling good, house is looking good, everything is accomplished...sometimes I'm falling short on housework/cooking and don't care...sometimes I'm falling short and it drives me batty!!

Schedule and routine always help me, if I focus hard on sticking to a routine, more gets done.

Lists help me.

"Rules" help me...like "no eating out this month". Or "no going to bed until dishes are done" or "no computer time until living room is decluttered and swept"
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,828 Posts
Oh, yeah.
Again, mild special needs, but I feel like I can never get ahead....can't vacuum (too loud), can't throw away/recycle things within DD's sight or she freaks. Forget about purging even rotating toys. Plus, DD has very little independent play, so I can only do short bursts of cleaning/organizing.

Only suggestion is maybe getting a young teen or someone from the neighborhood as a mothers-helper for a couple hours. If your DS would be comfortable with something like that. They could play within earshot of you, but you could take the time to clean uninterrupted.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,031 Posts
I am SOOO with you on this one. I am depressed, therefore I don't do what needs to be done, so my house is a wreck, which I find depressing! And yes, special needs kids are part of it - see my other post I came here to write tonight. I need sleep, but here is is, almost 5 AM...

Lists help me - I write down everything that needs to be done, no matter how trivial or how overwhelming. Then I use a red marker to check off things as I do them. To make myself feel better, I put stupid stuff on the list, like Brush My Teeth (as if the camel-breath wouldn't remind me!
). Then I get to cross it off. I put the list in the fridge, so I can see all the little red marks. I doubt I really get much more done (perhaps I stay focused so I can finish & cross it off more often), but it feels good, and when I feel overwhelmed, I can add more to the list, and still see that the list is finite.

My current list has impossible things on it (buy 4 Rosetta Stone sets - Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, and Russian because everyone in the house wants to learn a different language) that's about $1000!, simple things (return library books) and 24 items in between. The point is less to get the things done, than to get them out of my head.

When they are in my head, I picture it like the "twister" in the Wizard of Oz - a cyclone spinning, filled with all this unrelated junk. I picture reaching up, from the roof of Dorothy's house in Kansas, and plucking one item at a time, to put on my list. Eventually, I run out of things to pluck, and the sky is clear.

I think I could only have written that publicly at 5 AM.

All the best,

Rhubarb
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,202 Posts
I've written similar posts many times over the years! I feel like I'm always losing the threads of our lives - we run out of clean underwear, or dinner doesn't even cross my mind until everyone is screaming for food (and of course I've got nothing but cereal and ketchup), on and on. It's so frustrating! My stress is SO high from caring for Carter and getting him to all his appts and therapies that I feel like I have no room for anything else. (The ONLY reason I never miss appts is that I use my smart phone as my back-up brain; it shrieks at me like some kind of pissed off bird to tell me it's time to gather up and head out.)

I have no idea what the solution might be. For me, the issue isn't exactly time. I mean, time can be a factor at times, but usually, when I DO have time, I'm so emotionally and mentally strung out, I just want to stare at the box. Lately, it's been so bad I haven't even been on the web or posting to my blog or here, which is very unlike me. I just want to sit and not think.

Thinking "out loud" here, but what has worked for me in the past was a system of daily minimums - a routine of things I had to do everyday, but stripped down to things that absolutely have to be done to keep us functioning. For us, that's clean dishes and a clean kitchen, grocery shopping, clean clothes, clutter control, and trash taken out regularly. For a long time, I was really careful about keeping up with that and it worked great. Since I wasn't overwhelmed by heaps of laundry or a filthy kitchen, I would usually find myself willing to clean a bathroom or run the vacuum when I needed to. But on the hard days, I had given myself permission to do just those essentials and no more. Sometimes the house got pretty dirty, but never non-functional and never overwhelming. I fell off the wagon a little less than a year ago when Carter became acutely symptomatic and now that he's finally more stable, I definitely need to pull us all together some more.

But it's so hard! Oh, and my family is AWFUL about judgment, too. Even before I had a child with SN, I got some of that. My mom and sister keep extremely clean houses (really, really clean!), and I was always more laid back about it. Drove my mom nuts that I washed the dishes once a day instead of after every meal, or that I only mopped the kitchen when it looked dirty and not twice a week, if that gives you an idea. So now? I try to only have them over on holidays or special occasions so I can get everything clean before they come because I can't stand to see them looking at stuff and tightening their lips.


Sheesh. Ramble much? Like I said, this post was timely for me.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
11,576 Posts
I have a cleaning service that comes in every other week. If there's anyway you can afford this, I highly recommend it. It is a total sanity saver.

What happens for me is that I find the situation with my DD overwhelming, and I get depressed, and then things fall apart around the house. The house being a mess is overwhelming and the situation with my DD means that I can't dig it back out anyway (maintaince is hard enough), so it just spirals around.

The cleaners come every two weeks and I pick up before they come. It's easier to pick up for them because I know I have a deadline, so I just get it done. What I don't get done is OK, too. They are nice people who understand my situation. They do their magic thing and the whole house is just shiney! And then it gradually falls apart over the next two weeks.

I also force myself to load and run the dishwasher before I go to bed at night. My DH does the bills and accounts.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,982 Posts
Me too. Our house is a wreck. DH gets home every evening and wonders what I've done today...but it's in and out of appointments, and everything else that goes along with special needs babes.

We *finally* have the disability paperwork going through so now I'm hoping to hire a housecleaner every 2 weeks, but even then, they usually don't do dishes and laundry and our laundry pile is taking over the bedroom. It's terrible.

My biggest struggle though is how to find time to enjoy life anymore. The stress of going to all these places and making all these appointments, working evening, and finding time for my family *and* some me time...it just seems impossible right now.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,318 Posts
I can so relate to this, it is not even funny. It has been a constant struggle for years in my house.

I am a work at home mom. I have my own small law office/practice, but cannot get my billing done on court appointed cases because I can never find the papers I need to do it.

DH also works from home, and I end up managing his business as well.

I also am a Full Time mom to three kids, one with special needs - mild like many of the others here express. My daily schedule looks like this:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday:
8:30 leave home
8:45 drop off DS1 at school
9:00 drop off DS2 at private preschool
9:30 get home
11:15 leave home
11:30 pick up DS2 from private preschool
11:50 get home
11:50-12:20 give DS2 a snack and get him change into school clothes for where he goes for IEP services; Lunch for DD2
12:20-12:25 wait with DS2 for bus to pick him up
12:30 - 1:00 nurse or snuggle with DD2 to get her down for her afternoon nap
2:45 leave home
3:00 pick up DS1 from school
3:20 - 3:30 get home (depends upon how far back in car line I am)
3:40-4:00 bus drop off time for DS2
4:00 afternoon snack for all three kids
5:00 cook dinner and set table
5:30 - 6:00 dinner

Monday evenings - family time
Tuesday evenings - every other week DS1 has Counseling
Wednesday evenings - DS1 has Karate

Thursday:
8:30 leave home
8:45 drop off DS1 at school
9:00 get home
11:30 leave home
12:00-12:30 Speech Therapy
12:30 - 1:00 leave ST and head to IEP school program
1:10 drop DS2 off at IEP school services
1:15 - 1:30 nurse or snuggle with DD2 to get her down for her afternoon
2:45 leave home
3:00 pick up DS1 from school
3:20 - 3:30 get home (depends upon how far back in car line I am)
3:40-4:00 bus drop off time for DS2
4:00 afternoon snack for all three kids
4:45 cook dinner and set table
5:00 - 5:30 dinner
6:00 leave for Karate (same for Tuesday night as well)

Friday:
Just have to deal with dropping off and Picking up DS1 from school, plus meals.

Somewhere in all this I throw in Court appearances, telephone calls with clients, opposing counseling and other interested persons. Then in addition, maintain and ensuring that all kids get to doctors appointments, ensuring DH gets to his job sites, ensuring DH gets his billing done or do it myself...plus normal house duties.

Well, house duties have gone by the way side...I hate my house, it makes me depressed to look at it, and most of the occupants don't want to help me clean it up...so I have given up.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,340 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by mamarhu View Post

I think I could only have written that publicly at 5 AM.

Haha! You are awesome!

The sun is finally coming out here which is making a huge difference in my mood. My start of getting out of the funk consists of cleaning the kitchen really well. I brought in some branches from outside to force bloom on the table ( some cheap fresh flowers like tulips or daffodils would be nice!). Open the window, put on some music. Then I get something going in the kitchen ... my thing is good ferments, or sourdough starter, or something fresh and alive and good for my family and I. ( cookies, or bread or just a nice storebought dip transferred to a good bowl)
Then I have this one healthy fresh alive room in the house and it slowly rejuvinates me enough to tackle little bits of our other space.( even if it takes a month! It rarely does though, because the energy just seems to spread out from the initial space) The kitchen is " my " thing though. It could be any room at all, but pick your favourite one that you really enjoy when it is clean. A refuge of sorts.
For me it is psychological. When I was a kid and I wasn't feeling well, my mom always told me to get out of bed and put on something nice and do my hair ( if you knew her , she is the most practical and non froofy lady you could meet!) . For some reason it always made me feel just a little bit better.

For me this means I rent movies and make popcorn for my AS kiddos ( luckily I can do this at the age they are at) and have a non guilty day for " not doing enough". I can then get into my own mental space without having thier constant noise and demands... even if it is just for 20 min bursts at a time.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9,015 Posts
Quote:
I can't stay on top of the bills, even when we have the money.. I can't keep up the dishes. I can't keep the house even reasonably clean (and I'm not a neat freak--I just want to be able to vacuum and mop once a week and change our sheets and towels!). I can barely manage to make sure our pets and us get fed on a daily basis. I rarely get to wash my hair more than 3 times a week. I'm lucky if I get to shower 4-5 days a week. I'm not getting enough sleep (and here I am on the computer when I should be asleep!).
Unless you have urine/feces issues it's okay to let the floor get vacuumed less often than once a week & mopped even less.

Same with the sheets. Towels get changed here as they get dirty(which is usually from the girls wiping their toothpasted faces off on them,lol).

Your hair will be healtheir if it's only washed 3 times a week, even less than that.

Do you pay your bills in person, mail or online? If it's in person or by mail, get it changed to online.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,205 Posts
There are people who get to bathe daily with special needs kids?

I am so in the same boat, I just decided what was most important. DH takes care of the bills, works, and tries to help around the house. I get most everything else. Here are some of my things to help:
Kids get baths every other day (alternating, so I only have one kid bath a day).
I do dishes every night right after DS goes to bed while DH takes care of DD. I try for 1 load of laundry a day.

Everything else is hit or miss. I clean as much as I can when I have time, focusing on one key area. Everyone bathes in the master bath, so I only have to clean one bathtub.

I would love to have a perfectly clean house and everything in order, but I settle for anything better than total disaster area.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
What happens for me is that I find the situation with my DD overwhelming, and I get depressed, and then things fall apart around the house. The house being a mess is overwhelming and the situation with my DD means that I can't dig it back out anyway (maintaince is hard enough), so it just spirals around.
This is sooo exactly how it goes!!!! I was brainstorming last night...if we could afford this...but there's no way at this time. Maybe in a few months--we are beyond broke--pretty much at poverty level already, w/dh in school and working and family helping.

But this really is the way it is...

mrsfru
 

· Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, thank gosh I'm not the only one. Thanks, Mamas, for making me feel better about this situation. It stinks.

So many good ideas.

Yes, we are getting the bills on line--my mil taught me how last summer! LOL
I have a few more that I need to get resolved.

Wish I was comfy letting the mopping/vacuuming go...but we have 5 dogs and 2 cats. My dogs are elderly and arthritic (15.5, 11, 11, 10, and 6!!!) So are our cats (probably around 16 and 11!) So, poop and pee from *them* can be an issue. Obviously, I clean well when needed for that, but aside from that, they can track a lot of yuck in from the yard.

When I'm on a schedule it really helps. I'm just soo run down now--before my kids, I had already been caring for elderly and infirm dogs for several years, w/rarely a full night's sleep b/c of them. When ds1 was born (at 29 wks) , we had *10* dogs--one who had regular grand mal seizures (now cured, thank you!) and one who was seriously elderly, incontinent, and had cancer. As they died, the younger ones just aged into their places-LOL. Some of that has settled down naturally, w/less pets, but then you add my two boys...and dh working full time and in school...yikes...and my family wonders why I'm half insane!!!

Hugs wonderful Mamas! Thanks for your insights. Keep posting-I think this thread can help us all!

henrietta
 

· Registered
Joined
·
361 Posts
I totally understand, my DS isn't little but doctor's appointments, and his needs including only haf days at school, and trying to figure out what is best for him is overwhelming me. I WOHM but fewer hours because of FMLA and a great boss. DH does some - bills, dishes, laundry, takes care of DS sometimes. DH is resentfull about DS' needs because they have changed our lives so much which takes energy from me. Managing it is all on me and I am not keeping up. We have a monthly cleaner otherwise our house would be a pit.

I wouldn't be able to get done what I do without lists and without making a decision about what gets done now. I missed a deadline for the school we are looking at for DS but he was hospitalized again this week and I couldn't do it all. So I am going to ask for an extension and hope it works out
.

I keep thinking there must be a secret to managing this that I haven't learned yet. The only way to get more time that I know of is to not watch TV, stop reading books and stay off the computer
. As these are my main stress relievers that doesn't seem like the best idea but the nights I stay away from all those things I am more productive.

I feel so guilty about not making us all exercise and have perfect meals and really engaging activities with DS. The doctors all say we should do it in our meetings but in my head I am saying 'How? When would we do that?'. I try to forgive myself for not being perfect and listen to my family who tell me I am doing a good job.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
I keep thinking there must be a secret to managing this that I haven't learned yet. The only way to get more time that I know of is to not watch TV, stop reading books and stay off the computer . As these are my main stress relievers that doesn't seem like the best idea but the nights I stay away from all those things I am more productive.
I could have written this, too! LOL

Yeah...it's dawning on me now that there is NO SECRET. It just isn't possible. I think that's why I'm depressed!

mrsfru
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,378 Posts
I'm crashing your forum to say that there are many, many, many of us who feel this way who don't have special needs children or any other excuse. So don't feel alone. I don't have any solutions though -- I can't even keep up the house with 2 school-aged children and no pets! I hope that makes you feel better.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
I was going to say that this is a common issue among my friends without sn kids to take care of also, so I think it is partly a parent thing! My sn son is in school all day, so he really isn't the daily challenge until after school, therapy appts and homework!!. But my other little ones at home make it impossible to make impt phone calls. I have a list of 3 specialist appts for my son I need to schedule, but never seem to be able to get on the phone!

I also have cleaning service that comes in 2x a month, it is heaven! It's taken so much pressure off keeping the house clean, I only do maintenance. I know this isn't an option for everyone, but if you can swing it, it is a huge help. Even if it is a short term thing. I also have a sitter come once a week so I can run a bazillion errands without dragging my kids. It is much easier to have my list of things to do out of the house once a week, then here and there througout the week.

The one thing I do for myself while everyone is at preschool or my son at school, is go to the gym. I feel so much better if I get to exercize. I am willing to give up that otherwise free time b/c just can't manage getting up early or staying up super late. That also means that the breakfast dishes don't get done until just before dinner and I shower just before the bus drops off my son. Oh well, I can live with that for now.

I also live by lists. I like to check off, but it also takes the pressure off my memory, so everything gets written down. I also only do laundry 2x's a week. I have a laundry days. Sometimes it is done at night after the kids are in bed, sometimes during the day. And it's a lot of loads, but point is, then I don't feel like I am constantly doing laundry!

I don't think these are answers, just some things that have helped keep me a little more sane. I like consistency and routine, so this helps me.

Hugs to all of us, it's a crazy world out there, a lot to keep up with. And adding in the all the complications of raising sn kiddos just adds to the chaos!

Mom to 6yr old w/Charge Syndrome, 4yr old and 2yr old
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top