Have you heard of the broken window syndrome?
from an article titled "Broken Windows" by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling, which appeared in the March 1982 edition of The Atlantic Monthly (via wikipedia):
|Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it's unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside.|
Or consider a sidewalk. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of trash from take-out restaurants there or breaking into cars.
It sounds like some habits (some are from flylady.net) would be helpful for you:
- 15 minutes a day of decluttering
- having an adequate number of trash containers and emptying them promptly when needed
- doing and putting away laundry every day
- cleaning up dishes after every meal and snack
- picking up and putting away all toys 3 x per day
- establish a place to put every thing in your home
I know how frustrating it is to live with a messy dh, but it has helped me a lot to clean up my own act and get the home orderly and clean on a regular basis. Your dh's parents dropped the ball on teaching him orderliness, but IME it doesn't work too well when wives try to train their messy husbands -- it tends to lead to resentment on both sides, not improved habits. IME your best course of action is to do what you can to manage the situation and role model what you want your children to learn.
Probably not what you want to hear! Hope it helps though.
edited to add: if you can afford it, you could consider getting help from someone like a postpartum doula or a decluttering coach who could help you get on top of things in the short term. we want our husbands to help us, but when they can't or won't, it's reasonable to get support from outside. being pg in a chaotic home while caring for a little one is no picnic and you deserve some help. also, if you can get support from other local mothers it might be a good time to ask.