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Discussion Starter #1
WWYD?<br><br>
My sister who I really love and want to support tends to be a yeller. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br>
She has four great kids, three boys ages 6, 3 1/2 and 2 and a baby girl aged 7 months.<br><br>
The kids are wonderful and we love playing with them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> (The 3 year old is a real challenge, he could be ADD/ADHD and is very intense. We never know when he's going to hit or mindlessly hurt or lash out at someone.)<br><br>
My sister's house is a breeding zone for stress! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: There is garbage on the floor, clothes on the floor, toys on the floor, dishes on the floor. The dishes are piled up and it feels like nothing is organized. It drives me crazy!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
I have tried to encourage her to declutter (as possible of course) because it would greatly help. There is just so much stuff at her house! Often you have to navigate a path carefully while walking at her house so you don't wipe out on an empty water bottle or toy.<br><br>
I try to encourage her and support her. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> She is often alone with all four kids and her dh isn't always around or supportive. Money is usually tight with them and yelling happens a lot. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
I try to bring a calming presence and yet sometimes I get stressed out from all the mess and stress (esp with the 3 year old) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: and end up yelling too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/guilty.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="guilty"> And sometimes it's not appropriate! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/guilty.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="guilty"><br><br>
This happened the other day and I felt so bad!!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/guilty.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="guilty"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br>
I totally lost it with Hope! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:<br><br>
It's so hard to support her when being at her house feels like Chaos Central!<br>
(She barely has the van so going to her house is usually the option we have.)<br><br>
I love my sister and her kids but AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! the chaos and yelling drives me crazy! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
WWYD?
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> to you mama! its tough dealing with someone else's clutter. thats how i feel at my mom's house sometimes. can you help her out when you're there? may just help pick up as you leave? even if all you do is get all the garnage in the garbage can i bet it would be a big motivator.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I do!!!<br><br>
I help her pick up garbage, throw dirty laundry down the chute, sweep, do dishes sometimes, wipe counters and watch as well as discipline kids. (The consistency isn't always there and having it really helps.)<br><br>
Perhaps I should see if she will plan a tidy-up time with me while the 2 oldest kids are at school.
 

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Mhhh, you really are sweet to help her out... it sounds so much clutter that it would be a good idea to stick all children in front of TV with a video and put the baby in a sling and clean in a frenzy for 2 hours.... but then wow, how can she survive with 4 small kids and so little support... does your mom live close by? Can she help too? Your poor sis, she must really be so stressed...
 

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another thing that may help is to get the older kids to pitch in. even the two year old can help say put blocks back into their container or whatever.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>gaialice</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7992384"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Mhhh, you really are sweet to help her out... it sounds so much clutter that it would be a good idea to stick all children in front of TV with a video and put the baby in a sling and clean in a frenzy for 2 hours.... but then wow, how can she survive with 4 small kids and so little support... does your mom live close by? Can she help too? Your poor sis, she must really be so stressed...</div>
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I try, I just want to help!<br><br>
I think so. I did talk to her about doing a cleaning frenzy while the two older boys are in school. She didn't quite take it the way I meant it. She gets defensive very easily. I tried to tell her that I want to help because I care which I think got through to her.<br><br>
My mom does live close by BUT she is no help at all. Having her over is like having another child to watch. She is manic-depressive. They fight all the time anyways.<br><br>
We've been talking on the phone a lot in the past few days (more than we have in ages) so I'm thinking that the cleaning frenzy thing could work out one of these days. If nothing else she has someone to talk to.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hellyaellen</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7994435"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">another thing that may help is to get the older kids to pitch in. even the two year old can help say put blocks back into their container or whatever.</div>
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Thanks. I've been thinking about that too. Getting them involved and making them responsible for the messes they make ought to help eventually.<br><br>
A lot of the problem is there is so much stuff and her dh just drops stuff wherever... basically she cleans up after 5 of them and there is only one of her. I'm encouraging her to make the kids clean up after themselves so they get the consequences. ie) One has been having accidents a lot so I encouraged her to have him put the laundry in so he gets the connection.
 

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I realized afterwards that the fact that I didn't eat lunch didn't help the other day. Ugh. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/duh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="duh"><br><br>
Part of the problem is whenever I hear my sister yelling at the kids my heart cries out and I just want to go and protect them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> Not that they are angels who never do wrong but a lot of the time the yelling is due to excess stress.<br><br>
After my sister telling me she's nuts for having 4 kids in 6 years over and over again lately suddenly it clicked and I realized she was likely nutrient deficient! I suggested she try some Floravit (iron) tablets and some Avon Stress vitamins (Vitamins B & C with some minerals) in addition to her multi vitamin.<br><br>
Guess what? It worked!!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> She went from being ultra snappy and angry <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/af.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="aunt flo"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/FIREdevil.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="devil"> to very happy and super chatty <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blahblah.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blah blah"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blahblah.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blah blah"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blahblah.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blah blah"> with lots of extra energy! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/banana.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="banana"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/broc1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Broccoli">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/carrot.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="carrot"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
She says she feels like she did when she was 19! Now I have my sister back and the kids have a much happier mom! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/coolshine.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="sunshine"><br><br>
I just wish I thought of it earlier!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/duh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="duh"> Although I have to remind myself that no one else did either. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> Crazy, huh?
 

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About your sister's house<br><br>
I can relate. Sigh. My house used to be like that. I did have cleaning frenzies once in a while (when expecting company) but it always reverted to messiness.<br><br>
It was a long process for me to become cleaner. I'm still not 100% there yet and I'll probably never be like Martha Stewart but it's much, much better.<br><br>
The biggest thing I had to do is -get rid of stuff. A lot of stuff. If there's too much clutter, it's very hard to clean. It's hard though. It's hard to let go of stuff but once you start, it becomes addictive.<br><br>
The other big thing is to establish a routine. Start small. 15 minutes at a time and focus on one are. FE I've been working on keeping one room clean-it's still not spotless but it could be with some work. Then I keep adding more spaces. I also get rid of stuff every day.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hellyaellen</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8029605"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">so glad you found something that works! (hmmm maybe i need to start taking vitamins again!)</div>
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You know I find whenever I stop taking vitamins I realize how much they help me! I'm usually pretty good, I make a real point of taking them everyday, I just don't want to feel crappy!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>marybethorama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8031355"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">About your sister's house<br>
I can relate. Sigh. My house used to be like that.<br>
It was a long process for me to become cleaner. I'm still not 100% there yet and I'll probably never be like Martha Stewart but it's much, much better.<br><br>
The biggest thing I had to do is -get rid of stuff. A lot of stuff. If there's too much clutter, it's very hard to clean. It's hard though. It's hard to let go of stuff but once you start, it becomes addictive.<br><br>
The other big thing is to establish a routine. Start small. 15 minutes at a time and focus on one. I also get rid of stuff every day.</div>
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Thanks for sharing.<br><br>
I keep encouraging her to declutter..and she does, it just that she has so much stuff!!! Also that her dh is sooo messy and drops garbage everywhere. I will keep encouraging her. It can only get better.<br><br>
I don't think anyone is actually like Martha Stewart unless they have OCD.<br>
Reality is there will probably always be some amount of mess. The problem is when it starts to take over your life as it does at my sister's house.
 

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OK, as someone with only 2 kids, but a house that was in chaos for 2 years (before and after dd was born - I had some wicked PPD with ds and then depression during pregnancy with dd), what would help the most is to HAVE HELP.<br><br>
Keep doing what you are doing: every time you go over, pick up 20 things. Fold a load of laundry. My sister does this when she comes, and it's helpful. She's my sister, so I don't mind. Heck, my FRIENDS declutter my counters for me!<br><br>
I love the cleaning day idea. It does work. Something that works well is a 3 bin (or pile) system: bin 1: things that belong in that room that will stay there. bin 2: things that belong somewhere else. Bin 3: things to be recycled/given away. Add to that a large trash bag and you'll be doing well. Choose one or two rooms to get clean and that will make the house feel better. She might want to designate some rooms as "don't bother" (i.e. bedrooms that no one spends time in!)<br><br>
In addition, maybe you can watch her kids for an hour so she can get out and clear her head. I'm glad the vitamins helped, but that doesn't remove the stress of having so many kids so close together!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I talked to my sister about the cleaning day. She didn't go for it. Well I'm going to keep talking about it. And of course I'll keep helping her.<br><br>
The other day we were over there playing outside in the backyard that is an accident waiting to happen. Suddenly I found myself getting the kids picking up garbage and broken toys and raking up all the pine cones, pine needles and dead grass. I was out there for about an hour and a half and what a difference it made!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/coolshine.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="sunshine"><br><br>
Now she just has to fill in the 'pot holes' in the backyard so the kids don't twist their ankles!!!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LynnS6</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8045761"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">In addition, maybe you can watch her kids for an hour so she can get out and clear her head. I'm glad the vitamins helped, but that doesn't remove the stress of having so many kids so close together!</div>
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I could offer but I know she'd refuse. The second one can be a terror and will act up if he knows it's just me.<br><br>
It doesn't remove the stress but it does help her to function well and cope!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/coolshine.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="sunshine"><br><br>
I've talked to her about giving her a pedicure for her birthday and she looooves the idea of it. Her dh could watch the kids and the salon is around the corner.
 

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I have a cluttered/messy house <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: .<br><br>
I actually feel more in control this way. I find when I am spending all of my energy picking up I turn into the wicked witch of the house and yell more at DD and DH. I mean it is so frustrating to spend time everyday cleaning the ______ (insert any room in the house here) and then find that it is trashed again in 2 seconds.<br><br>
But by tolerating the clutter I am focusing more on the people in my house and I am a happier person.<br><br>
But, I also know I am in a minority in the world so I just don't invite people over when things are messy.<br><br>
I miss my momma friends from Indiana. We all had little people and had the same attitude about clutter/messes. I can't tell you how nice it was to walk into another mom's house and actually see evidence of kids living and playing there. Some dishes in the sink, toys all over the living room, and a basket of unfolded laundry meant that it was OK to let our hair down around each other and be "real".
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>AbbieB</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8070301"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Some dishes in the sink, toys all over the living room, and a basket of unfolded laundry meant that it was OK to let our hair down around each other and be "real".</div>
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That describes my house when it's (what I consider) clean.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
for me the trick is not to let it get too out of control.
 

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I have a cluttered house too and it mostly works for me. Every once in a while it bugs me, but mostly I'd rather be doing something else like playing with my daughter. My home is safe for her though and it sounds like you feel some of the clutter is a safety hazard.<br><br>
I'm glad to hear the vitamins seem to be helping her. I also wanted to suggest the idea of your sister being slightly depressed. With your mom's medical history and your sister having all of the children so closely together she may be dealing with a little bit of underlying depression which can sometimes manifest in not keeping the house clean (certainly not always the case, but something to think about).<br><br>
I agree with the other posters to try to give her as much help as you can, but also don't impose your standards on her house. Frankly, my sister's house is extremely clean and I'm sure my house doesn't meet her standards. She would tick me off to know end if she kept coming over to visit and insulting me by cleaning my house.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>AbbieB</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8070301"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have a cluttered/messy house <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: .<br><br>
I actually feel more in control this way. I find when I am spending all of my energy picking up I turn into the wicked witch of the house and yell more at DD and DH. I mean it is so frustrating to spend time everyday cleaning the ______ (insert any room in the house here) and then find that it is trashed again in 2 seconds.<br><br>
But by tolerating the clutter I am focusing more on the people in my house and I am a happier person.<br><br>
But, I also know I am in a minority in the world so I just don't invite people over when things are messy.<br><br>
I miss my momma friends from Indiana. We all had little people and had the same attitude about clutter/messes. I can't tell you how nice it was to walk into another mom's house and actually see evidence of kids living and playing there. Some dishes in the sink, toys all over the living room, and a basket of unfolded laundry meant that it was OK to let our hair down around each other and be "real".</div>
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My house isn't perfect either. The point wasn't to place judgment on those who have cluttered/messy houses, it was to try to find solutions to make my sister's life less insane.<br><br>
Her house is (well was now) out of control. That was my point.<br><br>
And I *totally* get what you mean about cleaning up and then rooms getting trashed very quickly and the frustration that can and will ensue.<br><br>
For me, I am a very visual person and just looking at the mess (whether it's mine or someone else's) drives me crazy. It bothers me before I have time to think about it.<br><br>
And believe me, I *totally* appreciate friends you can be real with! Definitely! The more real friends I have the happier I am!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
I am big on being real with my friends (that I can trust of course).<br>
I love being with people that I can totally be myself with.<br><br>
I'm glad you've found a way to make yourself happy by focusing on the people in the house. For me I am happy when there are some chaos-free spots (bedroom, kitchen and living room at least).
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>marybethorama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8070455"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That describes my house when it's (what I consider) clean.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
for me the trick is not to let it get too out of control.</div>
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Exactly!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
That's what my goal is and the best way for me to live in my house! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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