to say its rubbish, that WOHMs dont have so much tidying to do...'leave a tidy house, come home to a tidy house'?

(155 Posts)
KhallDrogo Fri 25-Jan-13 22:19:05

I've read it on many a thread now....WOHM don't have so much to do, because kids are in childcare setting all day, get picked up, brought home-dinner, bath bed- no mess confused

I reckon mess-made can be plotted against time, and there is a maximum mess, where no more mess is possible, when everything is out of the cupboards and on the floor already and covered in crumbs and spilt juice. Here the graph plateaus

My kids can reach 'maximum mess' in approximately an hour. Mess saturation point

On the days I work, I definitely have as much/more to do than the days I am at home, and less time to do it in

nailak Fri 25-Jan-13 23:27:10

maximum mess can be created in an hour, and it is a mess before leaving in the morning, but you only have to deal with it once not multiple times.

for example i would get my oldest ready and in morning she would chuck clothes off, have breakfast things etc, so then i have to tidy that up

then younger two would have breakfast and get changed creating another maximum mess so i have to clear that up, then they will play, again mess to tidy up, lunch to cook, lunch to tidy up, hoover to be done, get ready to go to nursery which would be same sort of mess as in morning, then come back tidy up, then after two hours start school run at 3, be back by 4 from 2 mile walk with crying hungry cold 3 under fives, who come home take off all their stuff which makes a mess demand food so again cook, clean, washing up, hoover, etc, and then we have dinner, and again washing, cooking, hoover etc.

so compared to if i got them ready dropped them at childminders then came home and had to cook once and tidy up only breakfast things and morning mess is definitely less housework!

KhallDrogo Sat 26-Jan-13 06:40:24

Ah bumble my kids are never so tired, that they don't play! (unless they are asleep of course)

summer is probably right, in that children's temprement is a determining factor

SaraBellumHertz Sat 26-Jan-13 06:57:33

The thing with being at home is that you at least feel obliged to start the day tidying as you go: DC pulls out jigsaw plays for thirty seconds grabs happy land box, I feel obliged to put away jigsaw.

This is then repeated 500 times and towards end of day I start to give up, house looks a mess but I have put 20 toys away approximately 76,000 times.

ThreeTomatoes Sat 26-Jan-13 07:08:19

It really depends on how you feel and what you're doing when you're off work.
In general for us, during the working week, our house definitely becomes messy, because those odd bits that end up lying around you just can't be bothered to tidy, esp if all you're gonna do is get up next morning & go to work so the mess doesn't really bother you. Everything gets blitzed at the weekend. Even if dd has a particularly active day on a weekend making a mess of the living room & her bedroom, there's still time to tidy it all up, or to do it as you go along, and you have the energy for it.

BUT if there's a weekend where either we're not very well or particularly tired/lazy - or we spend half the time out & about with not enough time (or energy) to tidy up the mess - then weekends are messier...

Iggly Sat 26-Jan-13 07:18:28

Sounds like us ThreeTomatoes! Our house is constantly on the verge of chaos.... And we've just got rid of the cleaner which was the only reason we tidied up once a week shock

Dozer Sat 26-Jan-13 07:30:33

My DC (2 and 4) used to have tea at home but now have cooked tea at our CM's house. Have a cleaner who comes at start ofworking week. House stays OK all week as it's straight upstairs for bath and bed when we get back. House gets messiest when they have friends round to play, which obviously doesn't happen on work days!

The washing/dishwasher/admin/helping DC with school stuff is a different story!

MammaTJ Sat 26-Jan-13 07:33:44

My working out of the home makes no difference whatsoever to the mess made by my DC.

I work night, so they are in bed when I am working. They get up, have their breakfast, go to school. I take them to school, go to bed.

In the holidays, I go to bed and leave them downstairs. Then the mess takes over to a degree that I cannot deal with.

NannyPlumIsMyMum Sat 26-Jan-13 07:35:24

Mm don't agree on this one sorry ... I find it much easier on the days when I work ...
The house is lovely and tidy to come home to and it literally is just bath reading and bed. Bliss.

redskyatnight Sat 26-Jan-13 09:28:27

I never understand that either. OK so we use the bathroom slightly less than someone at home, but don't believe it is enough to mean it needs cleaning less. Still prepare all the same meals as someone at home (breakfast, packed lunches and tea) so same amount of mess in the kitchen.

Children make plenty of mess with toys etc before school and when they get home. I accept that if you're at home all day you may do more general tidying up as you go along, but SAHM don't actually stay at home all day every day grin. Plus if they have smaller children they are quite likely to spend some time napping, therefore not making more mess.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 26-Jan-13 09:42:51

When I'm at home with DS I just accept that during the day the house will be a mess and try to only tidy it up once in the evening, otherwise I would spend the day chasing my tail.

I work 4 days a week and the house is always a mess when we leave, with breakfast dishes lying around, pyjamas, bundles of things strewn around to find a critical piece of paper. I guess the difference is I don't need to look at it all day.

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sat 26-Jan-13 09:48:41

my house is much cleaner on my days off
on the mornings I work we need to be out of the house earlier, so the DC and i all leave a trail of destruction, which is still there waiting for me when we get back.

on non-working days, I usually get the odd 10 minutes between eg school run and toddler group, between group and lunch to do a bit of crisis management.

KhallDrogo Sat 26-Jan-13 09:55:09

Yes charlotte mine too. If I'm not at work then there is not so much to do in the evening. When I'm working, by the evening the cleaning/rusting has become a huge insurmountable task

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 26-Jan-13 09:55:55

YANBU OP

Going out to lunch and toddler groups is not the same as being out working all day. It does not tire you out where you are a zombie by 5oclock.

Working parents do all what SAHP's do with working added on top.

cory Sat 26-Jan-13 10:14:44

No doubt it will differ from family to family. I found there was less mess when activities such as playdoh and biscuit making started happening at the childminder's and playschool instead. And I could afford to be a little more lax about standards when I was no longer hosting NCT coffee mornings. And I have more energy now that I get my batteries recharged by my (admittedly interesting) job.

The house didn't suddenly get miraculously tidy- but it wasn't covered in paint and hama beads to quite the same extent.

"Working parents do all what SAHP's do with working added on top"

It depends - if your kids are using the house all day then you are always going to have more cleaning and tidying to do from the extra activity going on in the house. This can be either SAHP or WOHP situations. For example, I used to have a family member take care of my 2 DCs (At the time a baby and a preschool child) in my home hen I went to work and boy did they make a mess! So when that was happening it was almost the worst of both worlds. I felt the need to spend most of the day before work tidying and cleaning and then came back to a mess too. At the moment I am a SAHM (mostly) and there is lots more tidying to do in the day but at least I am around more to do it. If a family have both parents working and then coming home to look after DC while clearing up the morning and evening mess and trying to get some semblance of leisure time then I can totally see how offended they would be at the suggestion that they have it easier. However, the above quote also irks me a little because working parents do not have the act that they have spent all day clearing up, wiping up spills, sweeping the same floor and dealing with 2 rounds of the dishwasher, and so don't do all the things SAHPs do really do they? And some WOHPs where both parents work may well have a nanny clean up after their kids or occasionally a couple of hours of cleaner.

flow4 Sat 26-Jan-13 10:25:28

It takes about 20 minutes for my two teenage boys to trash the place. It happens most mornings...

While I'm getting ready for work, they... have one or more showers and leave towels, boxers and water on the bathroom floor; dump clothes in the middle of the sitting room floor and over all chairs and sofa; set up the ironing board and leave it in the middle of the doorway; spill cereal and milk, and leave crumbs and spreads from packed-lunch making, all over the kitchen work tops; sometimes also fry bacon and/or eggs and leave pans; leave plates, bowls, cutlery everywhere; and bring the dog back from a walk and trek mud across floors...

Then I come downstairs, and don't have time to deal with more than a tiny fraction of it before I have to leave the house, so I come back to this every day... My housework standards are low but it does still get a bit demoralising. And it's harder to tackle because as they get older, we spend less and less time together, so it's possible for almost all of the little time we are together in the same room to be spent nagging... sad

marriedinwhite Sat 26-Jan-13 10:28:23

Just wait until you have teenagers who get home two hours before you. Then come back and tell me that being a wohm means coming home to a tidy house grin

flow4 Sat 26-Jan-13 10:31:36

And as for "leave a tidy house, come home to a tidy house"... hmm hmm One or both of them are almost always home before me, so they add to the morning's chaos before I get back! hmm

flow4 Sat 26-Jan-13 10:32:17

Ha! Snap, married! grin

Meglet Sat 26-Jan-13 10:35:00

I don't leave a tidy house, I'd never get to school or work on time. I think I'm a stepford wife if I manage to clear the cereal bowls off the table!

My house was tidier when the dc's had daytime naps, I'd have a couple of hours on sat / sun to potter and get organised.

flow4 Sat 26-Jan-13 10:40:36

Ah yes, NAPS! > looks wistful < I remember those, and the control they gave you over mess! grin

Teenagers also have a habit of getting up and creating chaos in the middle of the night... Just imagine the fall-out from bacon sandwiches, beans on toast and cereal at midnight "And I didn't wash up mum cos I didn't want to wake you" hmm grin

zlist Sat 26-Jan-13 10:40:48

I enjoyed DS going to nursery so that I didn't feel obliged to get out the 'messy stuff' too often. However, I don't think it takes that long to clear it up it's more the mental effort with me!

When DS was very small MIL (we did pay her) used to come round to our house to look after him (max 3 hrs at a time - I was very part-time) and I would come home to loads of toys being out, things not cleared up (fine but I would have done it if I were there looking after him). So that didn't really work out for me in that respect and I also had to fit in more work at home whilst he napped/in the evening.

I work the whole time DS is at school now (I am also a teacher but part-time so I don't have to work in the evening very often) but DH often works from home so I get in to a load of washing up and often a load of packaging all over the dining room table. He will do it later (if I leave it) but I definitely don't come home to a house as clean and tidy as I left it!

I don't mind any of this - I think I have the balance about right and I love my job - but it does make me smile when, on the rare occasion I have a day off and DS is at school, that a couple of my SAHM friends (also with all children at school) make a big deal of me having a 'day off' and ask me what I will be doing (they clearly think I have a self-cleaning house - MIL thinks this as well!). One even said last time she wishes she could have a day off...confused. We did have to pick her up on that one and have a little chuckle!

marriedinwhite Sat 26-Jan-13 10:50:55

Oh yes - Flow4 - the cereal and milk all over the work-tops when you get up in the morning. Have you come down to find enough trainers/docs etc. for at least 7 strapping lads in your hall only to wonder how you didn't hear them trail through your house on their way in?

ediblewoman Sat 26-Jan-13 11:32:34

I think it depends, I work three days and am at home with a 2 year old two days, 5 year old at school. I am crazy organised and on work days leave the house with laundry on, dishwasher on and tidy. I also bulk cook at weekends. Days at work mean I get home to a clean house, with just laundry to hang out and a dishwasher to unload with a supper in the freezer.

Days I am at home; a groundhog day of tidying up after play and loading and unloading a dishwasher, waaay harder. I also find work less exhausting than being at home, and I work in a frontline homelessness service!

flow4 Sat 26-Jan-13 11:38:18

Ha! Well I would married, but I currently have a three-visiting-lads maximum limit in place! (And we still get through one loaf of bread, 4 pints of milk, one box of cereal, 4-8 packets of noodles and as many crisps as we have in the house per day as well as meals! shock )

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