or is it actually impossible to keep a tidy house

(131 Posts)

and get food on the table and do anything fucking at all if you a 1 and a 2 year old child? I wanted to stay home with I love them but if I were at work my house would be clean right? it's fucking pig style, by the dh gets home and we get them to bed and do the dishes there's no time to do anything else. then we just go to bed. sad

notso Wed 20-Mar-13 09:46:46

chiggers how do you get a 2yo and an 11mo to accept there a times when you have to do housework? confused
If I leave my two little ones to play by themselves or with each other while I attempt anything more than a 10 second swipe around with a duster DS3 won't see his first birthday.
As I've been typing this he has tried to eat a crayon sideways and DS2 has tried to stand on him and sitting I'm next to them.
The one and only time I took them upstairs with me to clean DS3 fell down the stairs and DS2 emtied all of DD's make up onto her clean white sheets.

this country is so entitled.... because we don't make our toddlers do housework grin

valiumredhead Wed 20-Mar-13 16:02:18

My house was never tidier than when ds was tiny, I hated mess and dirt.

Wicker baskets in each room help so you can scoop everything up.

Get rid of any clutter - makes keeping clean easier.

Invest in a slow cooker!

Chiggers Wed 20-Mar-13 18:30:00

You just make sure that anything you don't want the DC to get a hold of goes higher than they can reach. We used to put an extendable fireguard around the telly so that the DC couldn't get to it, although we put the fireguard away when we were in the room with the DC, so we were able to intervene if necessary.

Everything we didn't want the DC to touch or break went up higer then they could reach. We figured that by the time they could get their hands on the stuff, the would know that they weren't allowed to touch the things unless either DH or I were with them.

We also started teaching them right from wrong when they were about a year old. It only took a firm "NO" and a steely glare for both DC to keep in line. DS ans DD were always taken upstairs with me if I was cleaning the upstairs rooms, and the stair gate was closed so neither of them could go for a tumble. I just left them to wander in and out of the rooms exploring and playing with the toys in the upstairs hall. Bad behaviour was punished accordingly, and good behaviour was praised and treated.

Keeping a house clean is mainly about seeing what time I have and making use of it. DD cried every time I put her down, so I just stuck her in a sling and got on with it.

motherinferior Wed 20-Mar-13 18:33:44

The thing is, housework is so...well, housework-y. It is impossible to feel a consuming passion for it, whereas sitting around with a gripping novel and possibly a glass of wine always fills that elusive spare moment so satisfyingly.

LillianGish Wed 20-Mar-13 18:48:42

My house is tidy with minimum effort. Lots of storage so I can put things away, no hoarding tendencies so I throw things away and with everything away it's easy-peasy to have a quick whizz round with the hoover and a quick wipe of surfaces as and when required. I don't dedicate my life to it, but I would find it completely depressing to live in a tip. I've got two dcs, two years apart, and I can honestly say my house has never been a tip.

Chiggers Wed 20-Mar-13 19:00:23

Yes, housework is boring, but no matter how long you leave it, it still has to be done and the more you leave it, the more that has to be done, because it piles up. So therefore, I feel it's better to do a big clean, once a week, and then do little bits throughout the week to keep on top of it. That way, IME, you get to spend more time with the DC and less time cleaning up because there's the small bits of housework that take minutes to do in between big cleans.

MamaBear17 Wed 20-Mar-13 19:05:17

I have one child - 19 months old. I work 4 days split over 5 - my house always seems to be in a mess! Hubby has been away on a school trip this week though and the house has actually stayed tidier!

JammyDodger1 Wed 20-Mar-13 19:06:44

my wonderful neighbour sadly passed away and her dd gave us a sign which dh and I always loved and it says
"This house is clean enough to be healthy
and dirty enough to be happy"

Chiggers Wed 20-Mar-13 19:09:06

My DC were 12 months and 2 weeks apart, so there was moree to do, but it had to be done and I would rather have had a few little chores to do rather than leaving housework to pile up and need a day to get things done. Thing that would take about 5-10mins to do.

I also had severe PND, so the PND made it even harder, but again, it had to be done and I just cracked on without thinking about it too much. Initially I started making a list of what had to be done. On one side of the page, there was a list of what had to be done every week, and the other side had the daily tasks.

Samu2 Wed 20-Mar-13 19:25:50

I have five children and 8 pets.
Mine is reasonably tidy. It is always clean and I never have to spend a long time cleaning as I am into a good routine of cleaning and tidying as I go along so it never takes ages to get it looking decent.

I am very strict about food only being allowed up tables, toys put away once they have done playing, shoes off in the house, no food or drink upstairs. I wash the floors daily and hoover/sweep a couple of times a day and wash the dishes and kitchen every time we eat. My children's rooms are messy but that is their space so I don't mind that.

It is no show home, I have a few things lying about that shouldn't be but my house is always company ready and I am never embarrassed by it as I make sure it is always at a certain standard.

It can be done if you have a good routine.

Creameggkr Wed 20-Mar-13 20:12:09

chiggers did your husband not help?
Many of us also work outside the home and housework isn't just a woman's responsibility.
As yours are older now you must also see how quickly it goes and how you should make the most of it. I'd far rather be feeding the ducks than polishing the house.

threebats Wed 20-Mar-13 20:35:05

You lot just wait till your little ones get bigger and into late teenage years... Debauchery in the bathroom - it like the shampoo, conditioner, bodywash and toothpaste just explodes all over the walls and mirrors and taps... I can't even get their bedroom doors open without a jack hammer thanks to all the mess building up behind them... Half my kitchen plates/mugs/forks and spoons are up there somewhere... Too scared to go look, last time I did it was like a science experiment at the bottom of mug. I left them for a weekend once - came home and I swear the microwave needed condemning.
'I am late for college' is the phrase of the year around here - Last week I refused to cook dinner until somebody washed up - three days later I cooked dinner - My living room is tidy - my dining room is immaculate on account of the fact they rather sit in the kitchen and practically eat right out of the fridge. You all wait... grin I miss my little children and all those lego blocks and toy cars to trip over and finding colouring pens stuffed down the side of the couch and marshmallows in strange places...

funkybuddah Wed 20-Mar-13 20:48:08

I have a 5 & 11 yr old...its even worse than when they were younger.

One day I will live on my own...yes on my own that includes DP, just me, in a tidy flat lol

Cocodale Wed 20-Mar-13 20:58:26

18, 13 and 10 and yes the house is a mess most of the time. Really struggle keeping on top of everything.
Have to accept this is the way life is at the moment and until its less busy I just need to not worry so much, having said that think my house was on a par with the Australian lady on OCC on channel 4 tonight which is a bit hmm

Chiggers Thu 21-Mar-13 08:00:02

What spurred me on to keep a tidy house (and make sure that things were stored so they couldn't fall over) was reading about a new mum whose MW came to visit to check on mum and baby. The MW went to the toilet, came back down the stairs and was clobbered by a pram that had fallen over as she passed. The husband asked the MW if she was OK or needed anything and the MW insisted that she was fine.

A few days later the couple received a solicitors letter informing them that the MW was suing them. That's why I keep my house tidy and things stored well.

Hoovering was easy because we had an upright hoover and the kids used to hold on to it and have a ride while I whizzed round the house grin, so I killed 2 birds with one stone by entertaining the DC and getting some jobs done.

JammyDodger1 Thu 21-Mar-13 08:09:25

Threebats grin I know exactly what you mean, and I only have 1 teen and an 8 year old shock
dd1 is always asking where things are and my usual reply is
"try your bedroom floor" shock

lotsofcheese Thu 21-Mar-13 08:22:57

Mine is tidy for 20 minutes, once a fortnight. After the cleaner has been.

I do spend a fair amount of time tidying up & doing dishwasher/laundry/kitchen etc. It's not easy when you have a toddler, work & have a DP who works long hours. Add being 7 months pregnant into the mix & it's hard work.

Semi-presentable is my aim.

Crawling Thu 21-Mar-13 09:13:40

Mine is tidy from 12-5 other times its a pig sty I refuse to spend all day running round picking up bits. So at 5 I stop cleaning and tidying. I clean from 9:30 to 12 and between 12-5 I pick up bits I can see that are messy I have 3dc aged 1 3 and 7.

Im ashamed to admit I let the dc watch tv while I clean. But my wooden floor is constantly sticky unless I mop every day so I put up with a sticky floor. I also have a pile of clean washing in the living room which gets put away once a week.

Mrsrobertduvall Thu 21-Mar-13 09:59:02

threebats you are so right about teenagers and bathrooms.
Luckily they share their own bathroom otherwise I would cry every day.

Mind you, dh splatters toothpaste everywhere.

My house is always tidy .....dcs bedrooms aren't. I just shut the door.
I hate clutter and unnecessary things...am planning a morning next week of clearing out kitchen cupboards, starting with the tupperware box drawer. What happens to the lids?????

GrendelsMum Thu 21-Mar-13 10:19:40

My mum always said that the house was messy because they had 4 children. We believed her.

Then we grew up and moved away...

Turns out that the 4 children now live in clean and tidy houses and my parents' house is still a mess.

AmberSocks Thu 21-Mar-13 10:45:58

not so-put the 11 mothin a highchair in the same room as you?put them in a sling on your back?do it when they are asleep?

OhLori Thu 21-Mar-13 14:02:49

Agree, there will be plenty of time to have an immaculate house. Try enjoying the random mess of it of it all?!! The mess didn't bother me that much, as I was engrossed and busy with childcare etc ... That said, it did help me to have a cleaner 2 hours once a week. For half a day anyway the place was clean and tidy...

I also think it's possible.

The key is prevention. Food and drink only at the table. Cull toys and clothes that never get used. Big boxes to chuck everything into. Keep anything destructive like crayons and paint out of reach.

Those are pretty much my only rules and it means no matter how messy things get, it's never really that bad and can be tidied up in minutes. And none of this interferes with having fun!

I agree it depends on how important it is to you -- I cannot abide crumbs and stickiness everywhere, and we rent so we have to keep destruction to a minimum.

5madthings Thu 21-Mar-13 14:23:45

Depends how tidy you want it to be, I can keep mine relatively tidy and clean and I do little and often as I go along and a blitz once they are in bed. But its tedious and never ending, like groundhog day and all it takes is me or the little ones to be Ill for everything to go to pot....

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