to think that a dirty/messy house does not mean you're a "Great Mum"?(234 Posts)
Aaaaaagh! All those stupid slogans. "My floors are sticky and my kitchen is messy because I'm a great mum!", etc.
No, it's because you're a slob.
As a slob, I agree. I parent just the same whether my floors sparkle or not.YANBU.
Now to me there is a difference between dirty and messy. My house isn't dirty but can be quite messy as I have 3 DC's and a part time mindee. Messy to me is toys on the floor, things waiting to be put away, things like that, basically everything that we get around to. But the floors are clean (at the end of the day anyway!), countertops are wiped etc.
I agree - nothing to do with being a great parent, but everyone to with having low standards.
My kitchen floor is dirty. I clean it every day and am the only bloody person in my house who bothers to clean it and today (I have decided) is my day off. I am not a 'greatmum' but I am a borderline average parent. You might possibly want to prepare yourself for a flaming.
though in some cases, the person has genuinly been too busy tending to their children to clean, I also know of several people who post tripe like this simply because they can't be arsed cleaning.
Not meaning to be judgy, but if you spend most of the day in front of the telly, your house is a mess because you spent most of the day in front of the telly. It's fuck all to do with being a mum.
<looks at messy floor>
Just five more minutes and I will mop..I promise!
Anyone who has 'Mum' slogans on display in their house should be put in the stocks and pelted with rotten fruit.
I can sort of see it. Hasn't everyone had the "shall I wash the kitchen floor or sit with the DDs and play a game" dilemma?
Oh this, definitely. And smugly declaring a parenting style of 'benign neglect'. Throwaway remarks like, 'oh, my kids are here somewhere...'
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Where are all these slogans OP? I've not seen any
Your just swapping one generalisation for another, surely?
It's that bloody poem about dirty windows.
This was on Facebook wasn't it OP?
I am a rubbish mum AND a slob then. Great
Us slatterns need to find something to make us feel better about living in a state of chaos, surely?
Not that I've seen it yet, but I know exactly which friend will be posting it on her wall as soon as she sees it
I just hate cleaning there is always better things to do!
And I've been to their house. It's spotless. Stop it.
When I was a girl our house was always spotless because of my mums endless cleaning, she never spent any time with her children and we couldn't have toys out because they were 'mess'. She was a bit of a rubbish mum to be honest.
My house is a bit of a mess but I do spend time with my children rather than tidy up. I wouldn't say I was a great mum though.
Which poem about windows? If we're judging parenting on the state of the windows then I am definitely a slob and possibly a bad Mum depending on which way you look at it...
Although looking at it through the window may be a bad idea...
Anyone who has 'Mum' slogans on display in their house should be put in the stocks and pelted with rotten fruit
Although I do have a "world's No.1 mum" trolley token that I found in a trolley in The supermarket.
The previous owner couldn't have been no.1 or she wouldn't have been so careless with it ;)
The two things aren't really related. You can have a messy or clean house and be a great or terrible mother. Any combination is possible. It makes a bit of a nonsense of those sayings.
So you are sort BU and NBU.
<<sits firmly on the fence.>>
No, you're not a great mum because your house is dirty. Same as you're not a great mum because your house is clean.
You can be a great mum or a crap one regardless the state of your house. If your home looks like something from how clean is your home and your kids stink to high heaven and they're ashamed to bring a mate round then no matter how long you spend doing sticky crafts - it could be better! If every surface shines and your kids quake if they drop a crumb, and their friends won't come round because you make them dress head to toe in coveralls before they set foot in the house then it's fairly crap too.
I don't know why people make it a 'thing', I really don't. Is it about judging people? defensiveness? guilt? I don't know.
I don't do any cleaning as we have a cleaner. Sometimes the house gets really messy and cluttered. It generally isn't me doing the messing up., and
frequently sometimes I don't feel like tidying it. However, my kids are happy, healthy, kind, confident and are doing well at school. I'd say I'm doing ok at parenting.
I just see it that you can't be good at all things all of the time.
This always depends on all of the circumstances so it's not really a YABU or YANBU situation.
Can be good or rubbish Mum either way I would say - not the determining factor!
House should probably be hygienic but it's better over all to spend time with kids than to ignore them because you are too busy cleaning.
However, I can't comment really because have a cleaner (I work full time), so would be unreasonable of me to criticise anyone. I know that when I am at home I spend time with dd rather than doing any housework (hence we have a cleaner, although some people would probably think it needs doing more than once a week!).
I do have a "thing" about making sure toys are accessible to dd and not always put away/thrown in a box so that she can't see what is what. But I wouldn't let whole place be a tip because then can't find anything either so it's worse.
I don't think that having a dirty house makes you a great mum.
But having said that I do know some people who are so obsessed with housework and the cleanliness of their house that their parenting suffers because they neglect their children in favour of cleaning.
The same people also seem to mainly interact with their children by shouting 'Wipe that up, don't put that there, clean that, that doesn't belong there, don't put your feet on that, take your shoes off' etc, etc, etc.
Yanbu but I do know a mum who genuinely cleans to the neglect of her kids. They are allowed very little and what they do have (expensive Christmas presents) gets thrown away after a few weeks.
There's a happy medium. When I look back at baby photos I think 'god what a shit hole' but I spent hours cleaning!
I think it's a bit pointless. Most people with small children hit some sort of balance. If you are tired after a day running around at work/with your children, and you don't feel like cleaning, then don't- but don't try and justify it with that sort of smuggery.
That 'dirty windows' poem- was it doing the rounds on FB a few weeks ago? It popped up on my newsfeed, posted by someone I know who really does have a spotless house, and whose 2 year old is made to sit on his chair with his mum's iPad, for hours, so he doesn't mess up the house. I was amused at the irony
my dd2 gave me a mum slogan board for mother days a year ago - what should I do put it in a cupboard as mn say so or put it on display somewhere to please my dd2 - I know I will be a good mum and put it on display and fuck what other think
I guess it depends.
If you are sticking your kids in front of CBeebies all day just so you can keep the stove immaculate and not letting the children play in case they make a mess then I would suggest that you are not being a Great Mum
If you have mice in the kitchen and are eating off dirty plates because you are playing wigwams with the children all day then again I suggest you are not being a Great Mum.
Out of the two above scenarios I suspect healthier children would be raised in scenario 2. However, with most things in life it's about achieving a happy medium.
Damnautocorrect I knew someone whose first child had a speech delay and the child had been in a playpen in another room for much of the day while the mum cleaned. The connection was made and second child got more attention. There is a balance to be struck!
YANBU. It is a mere coincidence.
oh, and what about the Dads ?
Surely for every dirty, slobby Not so Great Mum there is a dirty, slobby Not so Great Dad ? Or is keeping the house clean and tidy solely Mum's responsibilty ?
It probably means you are a brilliant mumsnetter, though.
I completely agree "Ignore the mess, the kid's are making memories" gives me a hint of The Rage.
Making memories of slovenly behaviour perhaps.
Houses don't need to be spotless or even particularly tidy but they should be clean
Well - prolific, anyhow.
my house is clean and tidy between 7.30pm and 7.30am, i do the housework after DS has gone to bed. the rest of the time it's relatively clean but usually looks untidy. it doesn't make a difference to my parenting, my house is acceptable, i'm happy for visitors to see it etc and i make time for my son. i'm not the worlds best mum because there are dishes in my sink and i've not made the beds, i'm a good mum because i make time for my son and make sure he isnt living in a disgusting pit of permanent mess. there's a balance.
i hate all those stupid poems anyway, always plastered on facebook "excuse the mess, my children are making memories", no your children are making a mess. clean it up.
Could be a slob and a great mum. There is no direct continuum between maternal ability and slobbishness.
If your toddler is eating off the messy floor then that's not being a great mother. I believe in the 5 second rule and it only works on a floor that is clean.
Good enough is what I aim for.
I have higher standards for my parenting than my housework.
So, IMHO, YABABU
I hate it too, OP.
But I also hate being deemed a "slob" as well because I get behind on my household chores.
I also hate the implication because I'm very clean and tidy that I spend no time with my child and we have no fun. But hey ho, people live how they live. I try not to judge.
I do have a clean house but I don't neglect DD she likes "helping" (chasing the dog with a duster). Pretty much whatever I'm doing has the potential to be some sort of game to a 2 year old so it's handy enough
I'm a lazy shit parent
I hate myself
well, if you have a CFS condition (like i do) and only so many spoons a day, then choosing between making sure the kids are fed or getting down on hands and knees and scrubbing the floor i'm going to feed the kids, aren't I?
just love the "I can do it so so should you" mentality
My friend keeps the downstairs of her house sparkling. The kids are not allowed to play downstairs or bring toys down. They are sent outside if at all possible. Its sad. I love the choas of my house. If floors a bit manky so what, life is too short.
In an alright mum. House is a mess though.
As long as it's hygienic, I'm not really bothered. I'm seriously lazy though. I could clean/tidy more if I wanted but I just can't be arsed.
I'm a slob and an average mum, I guess. I don't neglect the house because I'm constantly doing stuff with the dcs. Sometimes I'm just slobbing about. I know a couple of people with tidy houses who are not the kind of parents that I would want to be as the kids aren't just not allowed to do messy stuff like baking or painting but they aren't allowed to do anything that isn't very contained so they pretty much play on an iPad. I don't think most tidy people are like this though.
I have a clean house too. TBH, it takes no time at all to keep on top of the cleanliness. I clean the upstairs well one day, one week and the downstairs one day the following week. The rest of the time I just wipe what needs to be wiped and hoover what needs to be hoovered.
My house isn't tidy during the day though. When all the DC are home it look awful all day. However, a quick tidy round when they are all in bed keeps on top of it too.
The rest of the time I either work, go out with DC or play with them. I'm would say I'm a good mum (not the best in the world or anything).
So I think you can have a clean house and be a good mum. You can probably be a rubbish mum in a shit hole and all the other combinations too.
TBH, it takes no time at all to keep on top of the cleanliness
Well, that is all very nice for you.
I, however, live with a DD that will trail toys, clothes, shoes, crayons and anything else she gets her hands on in her wake. She has an incredible ability to drop things on the floor.
DH doesn't seem to be happy unless the house looks like the end 10 minutes of a church jumble sale.
I work full time, so does DH. We both run businesses from home as well. We also have hobbies and charity work.
So sometimes my house looks like a bomb has gone off in it. Soon it's going to get even worse as DBIL and his GF are moving in with us, neither of whom are Anthea Turner.
As I don't want to spend my whole existence tidying up the mess that other people have made during my absence I quite often just ignore it and choose to do something more interesting instead. And if that makes me a dirty slob and a shit Mum in your eyes OP, well that won't break my heart
I'm just picking up on the fact that it says 'great mum' because its obviously only the woman in a household who can possibly do any cleaning. We certainly can't expect a man to come home and clean up, can we? Not to mention the fact that there are loads of single dads out there...
I would go so far as to say children benefit from living in a reasonably clean and comfortable home, more than the extra 45 minutes a day or whatever it is playing with a parent. There should be some playing, and some cleaning!
How every I started a thread a few weeks ago along these lines and was told by multiple posters that the only reason I could keep a reasonably clean home was that I only had one child and only work part time. If you have more than one child or work more than part time, it's IMPOSSIBLE to keep your home reasonably clean, apparently.
I hate cleaning. With a passion. It doesn't take me 'no time at all' to get ontop of things.
I would much rather do something else. Be it play with the kids or watch TV.
There are other things that I like and am good at. Things that probably takes me 'no time at all to do' when it would take someone else who, say... don't like to do them, much longer.
I really wish people would stop being so judgemental. It is because of judgy pants that those slogans were invented in the first place. People try to make themselves feel better about their short comings because they get judged. It's sad actually.
My son is autistic....he is my only child and I don't work. I am also a single parent and usually sleep deprived.
I try to keep on top of the housework but I struggle and as I have a friend visiting at the moment who I am also caring for it has all gone to pot.
I hate myself enough for it and don't need to be judged by anyone else.
Quite, Wobbly. What difference does it make to the OP if people make themselves feel better by posting a "only boring women have immaculate homes" type comment ? Because that's what it's usually done for - to make yourself feel less shit.
I'm sure I could find plenty to judge the OP for if I wanted to. I wonder how much work she's done for charity this year or how skilled she is at making a wedding cake. Or if she grows her own vegetables (cos if she doesn't, well that's just lazy) or cooks everything from scratch. We all choose to live our lives differently, unless it directly impacts you then why the F do you care ????
I suppose it's whether you see doing the basics as an optional extra, or not. I don't particularly like cleaning either, but I do the basics because I feel it's one of those things that has to be done, like showering, keeping Ds clean, cooking decent meals most of the time, walking the dog even if it's raining etc.
I suppose I do judge, although it's more of a passing thought than an active judge, people who live in shitholes because they are not engaging with some basic task of life and if they have children, that is detrimental to their well being. Same as if they only fed them biscuits or never washed DCs hair.
Wedding cakes, growing veg etc aren't essential. Keeping a basic level of hygiene in your home is. Although that is a matter of opinion I suppose.
I'm not a slob, I'm a mother, I am doing a degree and I work full time.
I've got better fucking things to do than clean my oven.
at SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius. That's certainly true!
It's irrelevant. It also changes with the child. I could be in the house for a week with DS and never need to tidy. My DGD comes into the house and wrecks it from top to bottom in under two minutes, I don't know how she does it. No one could tidy quick enough to keep up with her.
I don't think anyone could suggest that having a "messy" kitchen was detrimental to a child's health. Things have to actually be pretty unsanitary for health to be affected.
Our society is unhealthily obsessed with sterilisation and cleaning IMO. I would also like those people who say it takes "5 minutes" to keep on top of the cleanliness in their house to disclose (a) how large their house is and (b) how old their house is, period houses are a lot harder to keep clean
And I would also like them to time how long it actually takes to do their "5 minutes of cleaning".
It takes me longer than 5 minutes to clean the downstairs loo (and I clean it every day)
Well, I do the bare minimum of cleaning. I do have a full time cleaner because we work full time. But I won't do cleaning on weekends.
That's what I pay my cleaner for. I have 2 days to enjoy, and by god I will. Some of that time will be spent with my kids but some of it will be spent on doing bugger-all too.
I take the line that if someone is judging me by the sate of my house (which is usually a tip by Saturday evening) then I would not want them as a friend anyway. Jeez... life is hard enough without having to worry if someone is going to notice a sticky floor or dust on the TV.
PS: Thanks HardFacedCareeristBitchNigel
The one thing that to me is a clear indication that someone is kidding themselves is the old faithful 'my house is messy but clean'
I beg to differ. If your house is cluttered with junk then under that junk it's not clean. I have a friend like this...very proud of the fact her house is 'spotless'...other than the untouched heaps of toys in the living room corners (which she hovers around) and the piles of papers and god knows what other crap on her surfaces (which she wipes around).
If your house is constantly messy and cluttered I don't see any way it can be 'clean'
There's better things to be worrying about.
We have three lively boys, who if left to their own devices would cause havoc very quickly. The simple answer is we don't let them. Mess is contained to one room and tidied away before they start the next game / go out / go to bed etc.
If the house is tidy it doesn't take long to clean and DS2 is a whizz with the steam mop!
'my house is messy but clean'
TBH my house is more likely to be the opposite. I am very good at keeping things tidy, but it's not spotlessly clean. My house gets dusty very quickly.
It depends what you see as a priority really. OK obviously some level of hygiene and order is required, but beyond that?
I won't go to my grave thinking "I wish I'd tidied the living room more often!" Unless I died by tripping over a Lego brick and bashing my head on a the coffee table, of course.
I'm a slattern and I don't care about what other people think. I tidy when I want to and we all much in and blitz tidy. Other people's opinions are just that.
These threads always get hoards of posters saying things like, wobbly... Ooh, if anyone is looking at the state of my baking trays then fuck em! Actually, who in their right mind would expect a sparkling clean show home in any domestic property, let alone one with kids in? Toys everywhere, bit of dust, today's dishes piled up, toddler chaos generally, recent spillage in kitchen, crumbs from lunch, teetering piles of paperwork, oven not seen mr muscle in a few months is all part and parcel of family life, isn't it? Is that is what is under discussion or a house much more neglected than that? I suppose we all have our own mental image of acceptable, or not acceptable, especially as relates to our own house.
I think there is a level, which I would set at "kids would be embarrassed to bring friends round" below which children do suffer, and at that point parents could do a bit more cleaning and a bit less playing.
Why do people get their knickers in a twist about other peoples houses? Worry about your own, if someone else is happy to live in a shit tip it is up to them, surely.
Sharing poems or pictures of twee sayings on facebook marks you out as a bigger twat in my book than anyone with a messy or obsessively tidy house.
Well as long as the children aren't having their dinner served up on the floor I can't really see why having some dusty toys in the corner of the room is such a traumatic issue.
My best friend has always lived in a complete chaos tip. I have no doubt whatsoever that her children are fed and cleaned in perfectly sanitary conditions.
I've tried living in an Ideal Home level of cleanliness and order. I spent my whole time tidying up after the other residents, cleaning, fluffing, preening and organising. It got to the point where I wouldn't let anyone clean their teeth in the basin as they would make it dirty. I cleaned my teeth in the bath as I didn't want to ruin my hard work polishing the basin to a mirror shine. It was exhausting. I made an active decision that when we moved house I would spend less time cleaning and more time doing the things I wanted to spend time doing.
The house is messier and the bathrooms don't look like they belong in a five star hotel but I am 100% happier and more fulfilled.
I grew up in a chronically messy home. Not filth or neglect...but piles of stuff here and there, and always looking like it could do with a dust and Hoover.
From the age of about 10 I was embarrassed to bring anyone home because I realised how messy my home was compared to my friends lovely houses.
I will never put my children in that position. Being a 'slattern' or 'slob' is nothing to feel proud of. Young children don't notice. Older ones do. THEY will mind.
There was a sad story a few years ago about a Dad that tripped on his child's toys and fell on the child who died. I imagine that is rare, but did worry me a bit. So I guess some degree of tidiness is desirable as well as basic cleanliness.
If the children are old enough to be embarressed then they are old enough to sort stuff out. Really....
These threads always get hoards of posters saying things like, wobbly... Ooh, if anyone is looking at the state of my baking trays then fuck em! Actually, who in their right mind would expect a sparkling clean show home in any domestic property, let alone one with kids in? Toys everywhere, bit of dust, today's dishes piled up, toddler chaos generally, recent spillage in kitchen, crumbs from lunch, teetering piles of paperwork, oven not seen mr muscle in a few months is all part and parcel of family life, isn't it?
Actually my house is pretty much the way you've described. I guess I get defensive because people judge if it is not spotless. Should practice what I preach and not let it get to me. Thanks for that.
If the children are old enough to be embarressed then they are old enough to sort stuff out. Really....
I disagree. Why should a child be responsible for keeping the level of tidiness/cleanliness in the home up just because the parents are lazy?
That's not to say children should not help out...but the buck stops with the parent.
I think most children would be a bit terrified of sorting through piles of their parents clutter, too. My mum would have seen it as a slight, although we had a very clean home, and I would have bee frightened to mention it.
I think I would take age of children into account. You'd expect a pile of plastic tat strewn everywhere and jam smearings on the cupboards with toddlers, Lego models, marbles, littlest pet shop pieces every where with a primary school kid.
But I agree with the statement further down that kids do become self aware and embarrassed if their house is dirty. But at this age they should be helping with some chores and keeping their bedrooms clean shouldn't they? DS is 9 and tidies his bedroom once a week, takes his plates to the kitchen and puts them inthe dishwasher, and takes a box of toys and bits and bobs upstairs once a week.
I can live with dirty windows, but clutter does my head in. And it ruins the quality of life for me. DH shoving bills back into envelopes and leaving them in various haversacks, drawers and jacket pockets has led to us receiving fines for late payments and missing some important letters. To me outward organizational skills reflect an inward state of mind. When I look at the state of my husbands side of the cellar it makes me want to weep - he can't possibly know what is there exactly, but insists on keeping it. Another of his "essential" boxes that had to share the baby's room in our first tiny house actually contained a used dirty toilet seat!!
And I dread the question - have you seen my passport? Usually the night before we want to fly anywhere!
A messy house is not something to be proud of, I work full time, have an 8 year old and have a very tidy house.
I manage to spend loads of time with my daughter because I tidy and clean when she has gone to bed.
Mumsnet is the only place I have ever seen people be proud of having a dirty house/unwashed children /un ironed clothes.
If you want to live in a dirty house that's up to you, but I get annoyed at being judged as a parent because I can be bothered to keep the house tidy
Considering the Future - er, maybe because it's their mess ?
When I bring the clean washing upstairs, I sort it out and everyone gets their pile of clothes at their door. I choose to put mine away straight away. If my teens choose to leave their clothes lying on the floor, how, in any way is that the parents' responsibility ? If having a pile of clothes on the floor embarrasses them, then they can easily put them away as they come into their room next, rather than letting it build up into a 'job', but if they don't, that's not my responsibility, it's theirs.
That's one very specific example...not really what I was referring to.
Should a child be responsible for maintaining the level of cleanliness in the house because they are embarrassed by it? No IMO. If it gets to the stage where your child is embarrassed by the state of their home overall, that IS 'shit' parenting.
That is completely different to asking a teenager to put a few clothes away.
Nancy - how would you feel if someone started judging you because your accepted level of clean and tidy wasn't theirs ? Not very happy I suspect. I have a crazy, anal obsession with cleaning out my fridge - you would think it over the top but conversely I would think that yours was filthy (unless you clean it every other day). I also have a fixation with putting the contents of cupboards in neat little baskets. I hope the inside of your cupboards are as neat as mine. One person's basket of toys is another person's festering pile of dusty crap.
I doubt there are many Mumsnetters living in How Clean Is Your House levels of filth. We all just accept different levels of cleanliness.
Agree with nancy.
Df and I both work full time, have a 5 and 3 year old. We are both studying professional qualifications too. There is no excuse to live in a shit pit.
Having a spotless house does not make you a good parent.
Having a spotless house does not make you in any way superior...
It just means you prioritise that over somehting else. Or you pay a housekeeper .
Hard faced - believe me you wouldn't think my fridge was dirty!
Like I said if people want to live in a dirty house that's up to them - but don't make out I'm a bad mum because I keep my house clean.
I don't judge when I go to other peoples houses - I judge when people come online and show off about just how untidy their house is.
Who's talking about 'spotless'.
No ones talking about show home standards. Not causing your kids embarrassment and not living in constant mess, clutter and dirt does not equal spotless.
I just means you have some standards and standards for your children.
word - I'm not talking spotless, far from it (although I do have a cleaner).
Just that the whole 'oh I'm far too busy being a super-fun mum to worry about hoovering' thing really pisses me off.
our kitchen floors and cupboards are usually pretty clean but only because DS (2) gets given a wipe and he thinks its an amazing game to do a bit cleaning with me! I don't expect that to last however. Maybe that makes me a bad parent - getting a 2 year old to do cleaning for me.....
Hardfaced I actually meant that I don't find it hard to keep on top of the cleanliness. Obviously other people have other things they do or see as priority that I don't and vice versa.
However, my post was answering the OP which stated that those with clean/tidy houses were crap parents as they only spent time cleaning the house and not with their DC. I was showing that this isn't always true. I clean and tidy to a certain level which I find easy so have time to spend with the DC. Others may have a house just like mine but take days to do it and spend no time with the DC. The same works for those who don't clean. Some may use their free time to spend with the DC others may use it to watch tv.
And you were judging too. I assume you think as I have a clean/tidy house, I must have no job, 1 easy child and do nothing else. In fact I have 3 DC, 1 who has SN and 1 is an 18 month old. Both my boys make more mess especially with their eating than most and I also do things for charity, am an active member of my PTA and have 2 jobs.
I couldn't give a shite what other people do but dislike the notion that I just leave my DC in a corner just because I don't have dirty [insert what you like].
My house isn't like a show house either. The DC's drag out more toys in a toy than there is in a toy shop but I tidy it. I don't like to be sat on a night but can appreciate that others don't feel the same way.
A house doesn't have to be spotless, but IMO, it should be a reasonably clean, comfortable place to be.
It doesn't matter whether someone has a particular thing about a spotless toilet or fridge, or if someone else feels that certain ornaments are a bit naff and unnecessary - that is just personal taste, and nothing to do with a house being so neglected that it is an unpleasant place to be, for both inhabitants and visitors.
but don't make out I'm a bad mum because I keep my house clean
I seem to have missed the post where someone said that. On the flip side, having a dirty floor does not a bad parent make.
You think your fridge is clean. I may have a different viewpoint. DH (and everyone else) thinks DMs fridge is perfectly clean. I think it's minging.
Thing being, Considering that is just one example yes, but my hallway is cluttered because they have left the walking boots (dd1) and football boots (dd2) they took off there last weekend, there all week, and dh hasn't done anything about the carboot cover that is waiting for him to fix. The conservatory is full of 2 trolleys (for 2 of the dcs paper rounds) 2 bikes (because it's easier to access them from there than the 'proper' shed), bags and bags of cans (that we are collecting for something my dd1 is involved in), 3 sleeping bags and 3 roll mats (airing from camp) and I could go on and on, room by room throughout the house. Personally, I'm a very organised person, and get quite depressed living in clutter, but I live with 4 other people who think it's perfectly acceptable. If any of them were embarrassed to bring friends home, it is within their remit to do something about it.
Also, although I would prefer to live in a much tidier house, I'd still forgo it to have children who are all happily involved in things (which often mean the equipment is lying about the house) than have the house looking pristine and nobody allowed to have their own 'stuff' about.
YABU. Perhaps some people can manage to keep the house sparkling and still spend enough time with their children, but I can't. I'm with them 24/7 and as fast as I can tidy up they make more mess. They are 6, 4 and 1 and do lots of creative activities etc. I'd rather be engaged in playing with them than tidying up after them and getting stressed about a bit of clutter, which would just make me and them miserable. I don't think I'm a good mum because my house is messy. I think my house is messy because I'm a good mum. There will be good mums out there with tidy houses; I'm not one of them.
Having a gleaming show home doesn't make you a great parent either. Ditch the hoiked up judgeypants and live your own life.
Well, our house is often a bit of a tip. I don't feel smug about it at all. In fact I can't stand it. I'd love a clean and tidy house 99% of the time, instead of 10%. But I really do spend hours of free time doing stuff with DC that makes a horrendous mess.
We get out chemistry sets, we grow herbs and tomatoes and cacti and bonsais in pots on every window sill, we cook and bake, we do loads of painting, we go out cycling or on nature walks and come back with muddy shoes and baskets of blackberries, we have several pets who shed fur, we play board games and read stacks of books together and then realise we're late for the cinema or theatre and rush out, leaving them lying around. And when they were small I used to make them dressing up clothes on the sewing machine very often, so there were always fabric scraps around.
So, the justification for an untidy house is that I am busy having fun with my DC. But they have a bath every night, and clean clothes every day. I can't stand seeing children in scruffy, torn or grubby clothes.
They also have fresh food cooked from scratch at every meal (porridge, scrambled eggs etc rather than just toast and cereal.) That takes time and makes mess, too.
I hope I am a good mum. I put far more effort into being one than I put into anything else in life. But my energy is finite and once we're done playing I really am too knackered to mop the floor, so it gets left for one more day, then one more...
In an ideal world, the house would be immaculate too, but I'm too knackered and other stuff, lots of it, has priority over housework.
Those saying -my house is spotless , I work full time... that probably helps a bit though!
I work part time and the days that I am at work and the children are at school and childminders, I too leave and come back to a spotless house -when I am at home and have time during the day to do cleaning and washing etc so is my 2 year old who empties toys, makes crumbs , leaves a trail behind her, older children bring kids back in to play after school, and dishes are dirtied and used through out the day. I seem to have much less productive days on my days at home rather than the ones that I am working. I just seem to tidy up the same things all the time when we are in !
This is why open plan is the devil. We have a playroom which is a tip. I close the door voila
So therefore notagiraffe. You are exactly the person that OP is talking about apart from you do not say just think it.
Those people who don't spend every waking moment taking DC's blackberry picking or the cinema is a too busy cleaning to even notice their DC's are there.
If that is what you want to do then go for it but I prefer to strike a happy medium.
Ha Kerala , I like your thinking. Dc3 put paid to our toy room -I do miss it!
Those saying -my house is spotless , I work full time... that probably helps a bit though!
Both df and I work full time. There is someone in our house EVERY day from at least 11.30am. The childminder minds from ours...and she doesn't clean/tidy much.
Working full time does not mean your house is empty every day from 8-6.
Being dirty is nothing to be proud about.
Being obsessive about anything to the detriment of looking after your kid's basic needs isn't anything to be proud about either.
I think the decision to display these rather 'defiant' slogans makes more of a statement that the owner of said kitchen inwardly feels that it's probably not quite up to scratch, but can't muster the inclination to sort it out.
My floors are covered in glue and glitter because I' am a fun mum.
and because I keep forgetting to close and hide the fuckin glitter bottles, you just can't get rid of glitter can you?
I have to agree.
To have fairly clean floors doesn't take that much work.
and mine could be better
Nota giraffe-your post is a classic case of what the OP is describing, I think. Justifying mess with an 'I'm a much better mum than a tidy mum' attitude.
But to be honest you could achieve all of that and still have a tidy house. I am a SAHM living in a small house with a messy DH and three young children. It's not spotless, but it's clean and tidy. And I also bake, cook from scratch, and we paint and do playdoh and play board games and go on muddy walks and lots of the other stuff you described. But as soon as I've baked or cooked, I wash up and put everything away; once they've painted, the paints are cleared away and we tidy up; when we've finished a board game we put it away. And so on, and so on.
At the end of the day you will have a tidy house if you're an instinctively tidy person, and if you're not an instinctively tidy person then you won't have a tidy house! But none of this has anything to do with how good a mum you are.
But dietcoke (and Summerblaze) I'm not suggesting I'm a better mum than anyone with a tidy house. I'm not judging them/you. And I certainly don't have naff little posters around taking pride in the fact my house isn't perfect.
I do have a full time job though, and we do have a big house, so there's lot to keep on top of. Being a SAHM with a small house is easier to manage - I've been in that situation in the past.
Also I'm the only female in the house, and boys and men just do seem to trail dirt in and out of everywhere, even though they have to take their shoes off in the hall. If I mop a floor, within seconds, DH has stomped in from the garden with size 11s covered in mud and leaves, the cat has come in with muddy paws, the kids have run through and spilt a drink, and it looks as if I haven't cleaned the floor in months.
So instead of running around after them all day long with mops and pursed lips, I join them. And we have fun. As I said, there's nothing smug about my post - I take no pride in having a pickle of a house. But I refuse to get too brow-beaten by it. We have a great life. We do get out more and do more than most people I know. That's just how we choose to live, and the down side is that our house is less orderly.
Tidiness is just a habit you have to work at, constantly. But the moment-by-moment effort is fairly minimal.
I freely admit that my major motivation for imposing little systems like 'take your shoes off and put them away immediately' is because I am fundamentally lazy. It takes less effort to remind/nag DD to do this sort of thing than it does to first clear the floor, and then clean it. And the cleaning is easier because we haven't walked dirt in. It's a simple cost-benefit thing for me.
Plus I think it is good for children to learn how to keep things from running out of control and reaching Trebus-levels of chaos where you simply don't know where to start. They are going to have to look after themselves one day and this is part of it.
i'm a better parent when my house is clean. the worse it gets, the worse my frame of mind gets, the less motivated I am to do anything with the dcs because in the back of my mind I have to sort the house. when I have it clean my mind is clear for all the good parenting decisions I should always be making.
I'm really, seriously not having a go here giraffe. But in that situation, what happens if you bring down the wrath of mummy and make them clear up the mess they made on your freshly washed floor, immediately?
I don't like logo t-shirts.
I am a natural slob. But my house is tidy. I don't play with ds's much, barely at all. I eat any bits I find on the floor all the time.
consider - Df and I both work full time, have a 5 and 3 year old. We are both studying professional qualifications too. There is no excuse to live in a shit pit.
Not sure there is no excuse, that seems a tad OTT.
For eg, CFS has been mentioned upthread, is that not a good enough excuse?
Any illness in fact? Physical or mental.
DH is suffering from long term depression and works ft shifts, I have, well, a long list of problems, we have two toddlers. Feeding people and making sure they are clean with clean clothes is certainly a higher priority than dusting, mopping floors or hoovering the stairs.
I don't give a shit how clean your houses are. I certainly wouldn't decide that you were a good, bad or indifferent parent based on that.
Be a fanatical cleaner if you want to. You must get something from keeping things spotless, so if that's what floats your boat, good for you.
If you and your family don't care, where's the harm?
I like a clean, tidy home with everything in order. I have always lived like this. However, it does not make me a better parent than someone who lives in a messy home.
I know people who live in chaos and it is just not for me. Having a constant clean and tidy home takes effort and I appreciate that not everyone is willing to/can make the time for it.
moderation in all things!
I dont get all this "i wouldnt say im a great mum" why not?why is it bad to say your a great mum?people arent ashamed to say theyre great at other things so why is it bad to say they are a great mum?
I,personally am a GREAT mum,i am not perfect,but great,yes.
sorry that was a bit off topic,but tbh,if i walked into someones house who had as many children as i do,and it was spotless,and i mean spotless with no toys out or anything,i would wonder how much time they actually spent with their kids,as i know how hard it is to keep it half decent let alone immaculate.
In the dr sears books it says you sohuld put people before things,which i agree with,so the baby needs feeding,your kids need your attention,you need to rest/eat etc,you all need clean clothes and something for dinner,the housework should come after all that.
silverten, because in my heart of hearts, maybe I'm just not that bothered. If they come charging in from rugby or gardening or waterfights, I care far more about how their day has been and what they want to drink etc. It just isn't the first thought in my head, that they should keep the floor clean. It's only after the melee has died down and they've pottered off to watch tv or do homework that I look around and see that an hour's work has been undone in five minutes.
I do get frustrated a bit, and do occasionally have a go, and then they are very sweet and scurry round and clean up the mess (well DH isn't, he gets very uppity if I treat him as less than perfect).
But the truth is, me having a go wouldn't help them remember next time. They don't really have the tidy gene. My mum didn't. I grew up in utter chaos. Far worse than my own home. Lots of love and fun and creative play but no order anywhere, so I didn't learn a thing about housekeeping until I found Flylady. Literally, I was clueless until I discovered her site when DC were small. Using her tips, I'm just about on the right side of chaos. But none of it comes naturally. It takes a lot of mental effort to remember to put things away and remind people to pick up after themselves. I often just forget. There's something (imho) pleasanter on my mind.
Sorry for the essay. I just wanted to point out that not every untidy house has a slob watching Jeremy Kyle as its cause. Some of us are out there, doing stuff with our kids, just as that smug slogan suggests, which the OP disliked.
I think the point is that some parents fail to give thiner kids attention/creative opportunities because they spend all their time cleaning. My mum was like this. I'm more balanced in my approach.
Isn't it funny how different people see things differently notagiraffe? The way I would look at it is, if you have a bigger house you have more rooms, bigger rooms, more storage options and more space generally and therefore easier to make it appear tidy!
I do take the point about the mopped floors and cleaning though. I am also the only female in the house, DH is instinctively messy and we have three boys, the older two of whom are relentless collectors of sticks and stones and all things muddy and (allegedly) 'precious'. I suppose I am thinking more in terms of tidiness than cleaning, granted a huge house is of course harder to stay on top of cleaning wise but in our little three bed terrace where we have just one small living space and a kitchen downstairs it would become chaotic very quickly if it wasn't kept tidy. You can't leave painting and playdoh out all over the table if that then leaves you no room to eat dinner! Same goes for the science and art projects too.
At the end of the day, as others have said it doesn't matter how anyone lives as long as they and others in the house are cared for and happy. But I still think that we all essentially live in a state we are comfortable with - so by definition a messy house is predominantly because the inhabitants are comfy with that level of mess.
No way could i live in a dirty house. i can cope with a bit of untidyness but dirt needs cleaning.
A few toys left out, the odd coat on the back of a chair and school bag on the floor is normal but a loo that is shit stained, basins with black around the edges, floors that you stick to and enough crumbs on the sofa to make a loaf of hovis is just lazy and gross.
And i dont see how you can blame crumbs and drink marks on having children as it is not unreasonable not to allow children to eat on the go. Maybe i am just old but children should sit at a table to eat and not be left to wander around with a jam sandwich and beaker of juice.
I agree with Bumblebeequeen - I like tidy, I like order and I like clean - I am not better a mum than anyone else and maybe a little worse!
I just don't like clutter, mess and untidy - I have loads of storage and make my kids tidy their shit up - always have
I work and am a single mum to 3 - I think I would drown under the sheer weight of crap if I didn't keep on top of it
notagiraffe you are doing your children no favours by not expecting them to clear up their own mess. Hope you are not raising boys who are then going to expect any woman who marries them it is their job to tidy up after them, just like you do for your husband.
Giraffe's posts are exactly the sort of thing I meant in the OP. All this 'I prioritise playing with my children and feeding them, over cleaning'.
Bollocks. So does everybody. Just so happens that some of us are not unorganised slobs.
But there you are again notagiraffe, making assumptions.
You take aversion to people thinking that just because your house is untidy then you must be a slob who watches tv, not as a mum out having fun with her dc.
I take aversion to people thinking that just because my house is tidy that I must not pay any attention or go anywhere with my dc.
What does happen is that I also do lots with my dc. As I said before, I joined my dc's school PTA so that I could be more involved and therefore see my dc's more. We go places on a weekend etc, baby goes swimming and playgroups.
However, the baby naps while dc are at school which gives me free time or dh takes them out to the park/walk etc at the weekend giving me a couple of hours. Other stuff gets done when they are in bed.
If you don't have the inclination to do these things then fine but I want to do that.
If you walked into my house during the day, you wouldn't think it was tidy as it would have toys strewn from one corner to the next and that I was a bit of a slob, but if you turned up at 8.00 pm you would think that I did nothing but tidy all day and kept the dc's in a cupboard.
Living in a scruffy, grubby house sets a bad example to DC.
who says it does?
its not something i have heard
personally i like a clean tidy house and can't relax if its not, but i would parent the same if i was messy i would imagine
See trilogy I don't buy that.
Everyone only has twenty four hours in a day. Everyone can only live in one dimension at a time. Sow whilst cleaning/tidying/domestic chores take place, other things don't.
I am a spoiled princess who until recently had a housekeeper. When she left after many years, I suddenly got a first hand taste of how much time domesticity takes up. A lot more than you think! Especially in a big house, with pets and children who are sporty (heaven save me from all that bloody kit!) and creative (heaven save me from all those bloody projects ).
If noble would rather not spend her time cleaning (and who wouldn't?) and would rather spend it hanging with her DC, then that's fine isn't it? She's not claiming higher status.
But the claim that posters do everything is just bloody silly. Why are we claiming to be super-women? Who does that help?
People (without OCD) who have non school age but live in a show home has their priorities wrong but that's not to say you should life in a shithole either
I live in a big house, full of children and hairy animals. It doesn't take longer than I imagine. DH and DC aren't interested in living in grubby, stinky house, so it's not just up to me to keep the place clean and tidy.
Someone should most definitely take my kids off me then - lazy fucker mum who doesnt work, nor clean, hell some days she doesnt even shower and dress. All purely because I'm lazy and not at all for the reasons I've given upthread. Must be sat around all day watching jeremy kyle. Ffs.
Gawd, what with the 'Parents who don't go to phonics meeting don't care about their DCs' thread and this I feel well judged this week...
Of course no child should live in a house that puts them at risk. Most people I know live somewhere in the middle between shit hole and show home. It's not one or the other for most of the population.
As someone said earlier it really depends on priorities.
I find housework horrendously dull and tedious and there are many more interesting things to do. So I do minimal.
However I cook loads and so does DH. I have realised that any friends I have who have spotless kitchens do not cook. They may heat things or add a jarred sauce to things but they do NOT do what I would call cooking.
I have also started being more sociable lately and I've been in a lot more houses and I have realised that most people do not live in houses which are immaculate. They live in houses like mines. Which are clean enough, but most definitely lived in.
There really isn't any correlation between parenting skills and enthusiasm for cleaning... but my home is the most expensive thing I've ever bought so I want to look after it and keep it clean. Things feel more organized in a home that is clean/tidy.
That said going to people's houses which are really dirty is just plain grim and it's no fun living in a house that stinks or that you can't invite people to. Also fairly important to set a tone/expectation for DC re: level of cleanliness to live in.
Only on MN do you get competitions for slatternliness by women who say they are too busy doing creative play or picking mushrooms with their precious DCs to clean. It is a really odd thing to be competitive over!
So what is it you want trilogy?
A huge gold medal for being super-mum and super-housewife?
Or do you just want to slag off anyone who can't meet your wonderfullness?
Um, I want to point out that my house is not a stinky heap. It is definitely a bit scruffy and scuffed around the edges, and it has very evident signs of life in every room - one room with instruments all out and music spread about, another with desks spread with books and papers etc. Maybe it's because we live in a big house that we don't clear up. We leave stuff out too much. But I'm a bit amused by the aggression and assumptions. I haven't made any assumptions or judgements about tidy people but some of them are getting very zealously judgemental about me.
Yes, I admit, I'd prefer a tidier house. As it happens it reached my tolerance level today so I scrubbed the whole place top to bottom this morning, so throughout this thread, I've been in a clean, hovered tidy-ish house. But it isn't always that nice. It often isn't, and though it would be good if it were, I know that we wouldn't have done half the stuff we've done as a family together this year if we'd all kept nicely on top of the cleaning several hours a week.
^All this 'I prioritise playing with my children and feeding them, over cleaning'.
Bollocks. So does everybody. Just so happens that some of us are not unorganised slobs.^
and you say the facebook posts are judgemental, trilogy. Bloody hell. My house is untidy, sometimes not as clean as I'd like, and I only have one (teenage) DD. I work full time teaching, so I spend time every day working at home too. I amnot disorganised, or a slob. Bloody hell (again). Why do women have to spend so much time trying to prove they are better than other women based on how well they do tasks men would never be judged over?
italics fail. I can do it really, see
It could mean you are a slob but it could also mean you are suffering from depression or something. My house is a mess as have worked from 8:30am and an currently spending a bit of time with my babies before they go to bed then it shall be tidy and clean again :D
Not everyone prioritises playing with their children, Trilogy. Lots of mums admit they keep busy with housework because they find play boring or difficult to get enthusiastic about.
I think I am a good mum and my house is clean and tidy. It doesn't take me long - toys are always tidied away with my children and I clean in dribs and drabs when they are playing nicely or asleep.
I hate mess and clutter so endeavour to keep a clean and tidy house. I do some jobs in the morning before work when DS is in bed and a little at night whilst he has friends round etc. Big jobs i save for days off but try to start as early as possible as i volunteer as well.
DS doesnt miss out on anything when im cleaning, why would he? Daft to say you dont clean as children will miss out.
my house is dirty/messy because I am a teacher. Nothing to do with being a mum.
You're a teacher so you have a messy house? Wtf??
Excellent posts by NotaGiraffe
Also Cardibach ^
all the sensible most posters on here have said, how much housework you do does not correlate to how good you are at parenting. They are different things. Unless you go to the extreme of the people they find for progs such as hoarder, or the people with OCD who go to clean someone else's house (can't remember it's name) - where clearly obsessive cleaning is related to a mental health condition just as much as excessive hoarding and/or not cleaning at all, is, then we all mostly live with a level of tidiness / untidiness we can cope with. Absolutely nothing to do with how good your parenting skills are.
trilogy I have no time to clean the house because I am always at school or marking books. I have just returned from a five day school trip, husband has been in charge, house is not sparkling to be honest. However it is now half term, so house will get cleaned. It's OK in the holidays!
To be honest though sometimes I think it is not so much about priorities and letting-other-things-slip to ensure tidiness, and more about the way you actually do them.
For example, when DH (messy) makes up a bottle of formula, he'll measure out the boiled water, add powder from the dispenser and shake to mix. He does this at the work surface, generally spilling flecks of formula powder and drops of water all over the place and getting stuff on the floor as well.
When I (tidy) make up a bottle of formula, I'll measure out the boiled water, add powder from the dispenser and shake to mix. But I'll do this over the sink, so any flecks of powder and drops of water fall into said sink and are easily washed away.
Now, each method takes the same amount of time, and the end result is the same (bottle made up safely, baby cuddled and fed). But my method involves no mess and DH's involves lots!
So by the same token I am not sure I agree that a spotless kitchen = no real cooking. Rather like Summerblaze and her toy-tidy room, if you walked into my kitchen tonight you might think I never cook a thing. In fact the DC had beef casserole (made from scratch, i.e. I chopped carrots, potatoes, butternut squash, diced the beef, used home-made stock because the baby can't have stock cubes yet etc) - but I tend to be quite tidy and wash-up-as-I-go along about it, so by the end of the meal the kitchen wasn't too hard to clear up.
Needless to say, had DH made said beef casserole, kitchen would look like a bomb site, peelings and wrappings and dirty utensils everywhere
That's so true dietcoke - I thought very similar when someone upthread posted something about it being easy to keep your kitchen floor clean. Yup, it is on the days when I'm the only one in the house, but she's clearly never been in a kitchen after my ds has cooked the meal!
diet that is true.
Some people naturally tidy as they go alongand theat reduces the amount of mess, for sure.
But there are still lots and lots of time consuming chores, however efficient one is. Food planning, shopping , prep, cooking, clearing up. Washing, drying, ironing, putting away. Cleaning loos, sinks, baths. Sweeping, mopping. Gardening. Waling dogs...
It's all incredibly time consuming.
And time consumed doing one thing, is time not spent doing soneting else. How this is controversial, I can't understand.
Exactly dietcoke. I also clean up as I go along or make a mess and clean up straight after.
Thats just how I do it but its not how everyone works. Some people are clean, some aren't, some are tidy, some aren't. None of this has anything to do with how good a mum you are.
My house isn't the cleanest or the tidiest.
I used to have a smallish house and liked to keep it fairly clean and tidy. I now have a big house and I still like to keep it fairly clean and tidy and don't feel the need to spread my stuff out.
I cannot be a "great mum" unless my house is tidy. I cannot focus well if there are thing scattered everywhere. I do not have OCD about cleanliness, but I do like things to have their place. This does not mean that it is clean however, just tidy.
For example, my bathroom. Loo cleaned sometime last week, I run a wipe around the surfaces and taps every couple of days, full proper clean with spray and stuff maybe once a month. It is Tidy though - clean towels folded nicely, all bottles in the correct place, all bath toys in their toy storage thingy, loo roll on huge holder and bath mat hung up. It's about order, about everything having a place to live. I tend to tidy as I go, and certainly have a wee look around the bathroom as I'm sitting on the loo, to make sure everything is in the right place. Don't look too close though, or you'll see the ring of grime on the bathtub!!
We do get out more and do more than most people I know. That's just how we choose to live, and the down side is that our house is less orderly.
Why are the two mutually exclusive though? We get out and do lots. We are a very active family. I too live in a house full of men and boys, boys who roll in the mud and get filthy.
But we're not out every second of every day. There are 'pottering' times - when the children are having lunch for instance and I can whiz the kitchen. I give the bathroom a wipe over when I'm supervising tooth brushing. I put clothes away or have a quick dust upstairs when they're in the bath or shove the Hoover around as they're dressing.
I don't spend hours cleaning every day. My house is lived in but it is clean, neat and has minimal clutter. The children know to put their shoes and coat in the correct places when they come in and when they undress they put their clothes in the laundry basket. If they use a cup or plate they put it in the sink.
It is possible to have a clean and tidy house whilst not spending hours on it. I can't say that cleaning or tidying has ever impacted on things I do with the kids or activities we do as a family.
The more I read the more I think that largely, the only difference between clean/messy folk is a bit of organisation and discipline. (Obv. some people have real problems at either end of the spectrum.) Some of this is down to habit, some down to motivation. Not a lot to do with whether you're lazy it not- like I said, the reason I have rules about shoes and tidying is because I want to minimise the amount of work done to achieve what I want. If you're cool with the general state of your house, giraffe, then provided it isn't a health hazard to your kids, I don't really have any place to have an opinion on the state of it.
I still see no reason why children can't muck in with this stuff- the faster the clearing up gets done, the more fun time for everyone. I think that you could make your life easier by stopping the mess-makers from creating more work for you.
I admire mums who reign in their urge to do interesting things like reading and spend the time cleaning their kitchen floor instead.
My kitchen floor is unspeakable, but I've read 4 novels in the last 3 weeks and I'm struggling to feel bad about my poor cleaning standards.
But how is that relevant to the mothering question?
Ooh what did you read yermina?
Yermina I think we could be friends!
I don't understand though why there are never a y links made in a y way to housekeeping and fathering abilities? Anyone care to enlighten me??
Here's what this DM does instead of cleaning while her baby is asleep!
I like this.
(Sorry for the thread jack. As you were).
I can Rhonda - my DH is a SAHD.
You don't see many slogans along the lines of "my house smells and the oven's filthy because I'm a brilliant dad", which is why I haven't mentioned men.
Wow that's amazing! Wish I was creative like that.
Trilogy, you don't see many posts about men worrying about the state of the house in general.
No one surely thinks a smelly house means a good parent (male or female). I just don't think a show home does either and it's not something I want to spend time striving for.
To paraphrase, I don't think many people think damn I wish I had spent more time hoovering on their death beds...
I have to say I am loads tidier now than when I was younger, I do struggle though it does not come easily to me. I am not organised. We are more of a use everything then put it away the next day, clean every few days.
Our floors are not sticky, I hoover our main area rug probably a few times a day, in fact I leave the hoover out by it now.
We are on most days drowning in clothes every where and it amazes me when I do feel almost depressed if the house isn't looking tidy - er. I do not mean spotless I mean dusted on main areas, toys tidied, floor clean.
However I do notice that when DH is off and we go for lots of days out, and do more activities, I don't notice or twitch or care about the house, we are out living more.
The more I am in the house the more I care about it. I think this is what has happened to my MIL, she treats her house like a hallowed Church. She is part of it, its part of her.
I do not want to be like that.
I would prefer more dis order, better social life all with basic cleaning.
As an aside, the family members and people I have met who are obsessed with cleaning and do use it as a thing to be so proud of, and so disgusted of those who do not, are usually less cultured.
thats just my observation
Personally yermina I admire anyone who manages to maintain a basic level of cleanliness and read Proust more.
I've yet to see anyone here describe cleaning as 'interesting'.
Mmm well my friend is a great mum and her house is pretty clean and tidy. However she never washes her hands after being in the loo so she has wiped everything down with her mucky "given herself a quick wipe afterwards" hands.
What does that say...
IME people with very low domestic standards don't have super high parenting standards.
People with a huge inner drive to take great care of their family tend to think that living in a clean and ordered home is part and parcel of that care.
wordfactory - while I agree that time spent doing one thing is time not spent doing another, I do think that some domestic and parenting tasks are best done simultaneously. For example, I like to be at home while my DC are doing homework as experience tells me it gets done a lot faster and earlier than if no adult with authority is around. And it's also good to be to hand to answer questions, test verbs and poems and dates etc.
But that sort of supervision is better done at a slight distance and is entirely compatible with ironing, folding, prepping dinner and other light domestic tasks.
I used to get so hung up on this it made the atmosphere so stressy. I think its partly because my parents house is insanely clean and I felt I had to emulate that, I also thought it showed I was 'coping' I had an epiphany one day that although our house was clean and we always had what we needed as kids and were expected to treat our home with respect, it was nothing like my parents house is NOW as they are in a completely different place re lifestyle and finances.
I have relaxed and am much happier now! (Especially on the odd day I do get to move all the furniture to hoover, wet wipe paintwork, hoover ceilings/couches/curtains/put shower curtain in a bleach bath... Ahh bliss!)
Learnt to love the chaos of a child's home now tho, as long as its clean underneath I love seeing their contribution to the household (I'm awful with regards to drawings on walls, furniture etc, I quite like them!)
So yeah, I do think I'm a better mum now for not stressing over it so much. So there!
bonsoir what are your experiences to make that judgement?
Yes sometimes people have problems they find it difficult to cope with and personal/home cleanliness and childcare suffer, but you can't seriously think people who perhaps don't have the same organisational skills as you, or different priorities or constraints on their time as you are not doing just as good a job at parenting as you, just in a different way. That would be terribly ignorant.
I don't care what state someone else's home is in, unless it puts their child at risk.
I value myself more than I value clean floors and windows. So, I do the basic level of cleaning necessary (clear and wipe down table, wash up and wipe down surfaces, squirt bleach in the loo and flick it about with the loo brush), I make sure my children have meals prepared from scratch, are clean, wear clean and ironed clothes, do their homework, have friends round to play, attend hobbies/clubs, visit their extended family and have one to one time with me.
I work full time to support my DC, 9-3 outside the home and a further 2 hours at home either before they get up or when they've gone to bed. Then at 10, when I finish work, I read a book, watch tv , maybe knit or sew or have a bath. If spending that spare hour scrubbing the kitchen floor, or cleaning the oven, would make me a better parent I'd be stunned tbh. I think a Mum who is sane (just!) and has a clear belief in her own worth is much more valuable to my DC than sparkling windows and gleaming, dust free bookshelves.
I am pleased it doesn't count for me, as I am a MAM, not a mum lol
When my ds goes round to his friend's house the mum warns him straightaway, 'don't make a mess'. I think this is really poor. My flat is pretty clean, I have to tidy it to clean it so pretty clean and tidy, but if five year old boys want to play they can bring their toys out. I'd never tell a guest not to make a mess. I know it can be a grind to tidy up after other people. My ds' friend comes here more because they don't get told off for playing here.
I have higher domestic standards than my house looks like I do
I really do
As long as the state of the house isn't putting anybody at risk, what the hell does it matter? The state of someone else's house is none of my business, and vice versa.
I am a great believer in 80% clean, 80% good parenting.
I am amazed by the truly dirty things that some "obsessively clean" people do.
My bleurgh example is an older lady I know who is always going on about how clean she is and always cleaning her house. It does sparkle in fairness.
Then one day when I was visiting she was making soup and sweating (quite heavily and visibly) in the warm kitchen, and as she was wiping up the work surfaces she used the cloth to wipe her own brow then continued with the surfaces.
Appearance, people, is not all!
Our home,which is full of sporty boys and girls and animals, with parents with two full on careers is mostly spotless. DH and I grew up in shit tip houses that were enbaressing when our friends came back. We both were permanently unable to find everything, mornings were stressful. When I go home to visit family , most of whom are untidy, I feel my stress levels rising. I suspect for both of us mess becomes associated with very painful childhood memories so we remove the mess and can block out the memory.
I am not giving to pretend that I am some kind of superwoman who can do everything and find it a breeze and whilst I am pregnant I am struggling and we have had to get some help. I do manage to work at least 12 hour days, usually longer, run a small holding, raise four children and a stepson and keep a very large house spotless because our family works as a team to keep it running. I do see that as family time, just as valuable as playing scrabbled going to the cinema. This morning my daughters and I cleaned out the horse and had a good chat and a bit of a laugh as we did so. We then went out for a ride together, all of that counts as family time to me, there is not one or the other.
I am not a superwoman but we are a " go go go" family, and I suspect we drive others mad. DH and I get up at 5 am on a weekday and 6am on the weekend to fit everything in and we rarely stop until we go to bed which is rarely before midnight. I admit that I do find it hard to understand when people just can't fit everything in which I admit says more about me an my intolerances than anyone else.
ballstoit you can be same with high self esteem and have sparkling window and clean bookshelves. It takes a few minutes every now and again to clean the bookshelves. Infact this evening we are all going to have a clean and sort of the room where we keep games and books. Done as a team, it is not about valuing one person more or less than another.
I also live audio books, can " read " something that does not require serous concentration and still get other things done.i often shovel shit whilst listening to a book.
My DH and I are not naturally tidy people, and now we have a 2 year old it's even harder. I've found, as someone mentioned upthread, that it's easier to do things as I go along than in one big tidy up when DS is in bed. I feel a lot happier to get up and find a clean and tidy kitchen than mess on the surfaces and washing up in the sink. I've been guilty of those sort of Facebook posts in the past though, and they stemmed from my insecurity and guilt that the house wasn't tidier. I'm not saying that's the case for everyone, but I hear enough smuggery about perfectly clean houses that it makes me feel self conscious about my imperfect one!
Best comment of the thread:
It probably means you are a brilliant mumsnetter, though.
They annoy me too, because I know many people who AREN'T great Mums' whose houses are a mess.
I've also known Mums whose children aren't allowed to play with certain things, have friends round, do certain activities etc 'Because it makes a mess'.That's not right either IMO.
There's a balance-being messy doesn't make you a great Mum and neither does being over tidy.
YY, impossible - I concur
Some (most ?) of us are just doing more or less the best we can - most speculation on what would make the perfect mother is pretty pointless.
You just do it the way that you can really ?!
If you can't have someone around for a cuppa without cleaning up and making space for them to sit down, it's probably too messy at home.
If you resent people coming around for a cuppa in case they mess things up, you've probably taken the cleaning thing too far.
If your kids can't make a cuppa willingly for other people, without leaving it reasonably tidy, then that's being a crap parent. IMO.
i think its slightly OTT to call someone a CRAP PARENT because their kids make a bit of a mess when making a cup of tea.ffs.
I think this whole subject and thread is a bit OTT.
I mean ultimately upon them flying the nest you hope they can do a simple thing like that without turning the kitchen upside down IYSWIM.
No Aristotle, you can, but I can't. You may be able to get by on 5 hours sleep, I can't. You may enjoy listening to an audio book as much as reading a book, I don't.
I don't care if your bookshelves are dust free, and your windows gleam, any more than I care whether mine are.
I enjoy spending time with my children and occasionally we may cook, or tidy together, but mostly we don't. Because we enjoy playing board games, doing jigsaws, dancing, walking, visiting museums and galleries, reading, knitting, sewing, paintings, watching films. playing football and cricket...the list goes on.
I grew up in a spotless house. I have no recollection of doing anything with my Mum, other than tidying up.
I'm also a lone parent, which means that everything is down to me...paperwork, diy, gardening, car stuff, dropping/picking up from activities on top of the housework.
I'm not complaining about that, but I do resent people like yourself who have a partner to share the load that dusting my bookshelves will only take a couple of minutes.
If dust in MY house bothers YOU that much, please feel free to pay for a cleaner for me.
I have not said your dust bothers me, I have said that I struggle to see why other people don"t things in. I then acknowledged that said more about me than anyone else.
I would prefer to read a book tbh, but I don't have time to do everything I want to do during term time .
Obviously it makes a difference if there are two if you, that goes without saying.
I do all of those things with my children too, apart from cricket - I fucking hate cricket.
Well, my congratulations to you.
The only way I could have an immaculate house would be to reduce the sleep I get, or never spend time doing things I enjoy. Either of those options would result in screwing up either my physical or mental health. So, I guess I'll carry on ignoring both the dust and other
martyrs people's opinions.
I am not a martyr DH has just roared at the idea of me being a martyr . I just need less sleep than others and I paid a bloody fortune for this house, I want to enjoy it.
I certainly don't need congratulating even when it's meant with sarcasm.
I paid a bloody fortune for my house too, I also want to enjoy it, not be a slave to cleaning it.
I'd rather play, get messy and have fun than worry about crumbs on the floor.
the Hoover comes out after bedtime.
this will be the way until they are older- they are growing up too fast
But I am not a slave to cleaning it, I tend to be awake for about 18-19 hours a day. I spend no more than 2 of those hours cleaning and that is a maximum. So about 10% of my time.
In fact I spend an equivalent if not more time with my horses than I do cleaning.
I don't need someone who has never met me telling me how to maintain my self esteem, but that didn't seem to prevent you doing it.
There are lots of reasons suggested on the thread why people can't have a house as immaculate as yours...CFS, mental health issues, physical health issues, children with special needs, being a skint lone parent of 3 who works full time , etc, etc.
Your responses to that was to 'not see why someone else can't manage something I can'...which is why I offered my sarcastic congratulations.
IMO order of priority is children, me, dust free shelves. I'm not a perfect parent, but I'm definitely not a crap one.
But I then said that my inability to understand said more about me than anyone else. I was criticizing myself not you.
When have I called you a crap parent?
Of course though I put my book shelves before my children.
In fact if you read my post, I actually say that because I am pregnant and struggling we are having to get help in
Although why I am having another child is a mystery, I clearly love my shelves more.
Ok, I'm going to make you all gak with a syrupy, saccharine bit of doggerel, but I first read it aged 9ish and it's stayed with me ever since. It's my excuse for being an utter slattern.
And it brings a few tears to my eyes, though that may just be the gin.
I hope that my child, looking back on today
Remembers a mother who had time to play
Children grow up when you are not looking
There are long years ahead for cleaning and cooking
So cobwebs, be quiet now, dust go to sleep
I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep.
Yes, I clearly ignored my screaming child to clean my house.
I can't see how it as anything to do with parenting skills. To me it's normal that a family house looks 'lived in' but not dirty IYSWIM. I wouldn't make any assumptions about parenting from the state of someone's house, other than a. if it was filthy and unhygienic, or b. there was evidence of play which showed that children had been engaged in something, eg crafts. I think when people are houseproud it has nothing to do with children - they made time to clean a lot before they had children, and continue to do so.
Oh gawd arisbottle, you're one of those who can get by on 5 hours' sleep? You lucky, lucky fecker.
Think of all the things you could do with that time - find a cure for cancer, negotiate world peace, create amazing art, or even just learn about other people.
Although aris I don't count shovelling horse poo as housework. That's a basic of making sure your horse is cared for. It's not up there with ironing tea towels.
Maybe you're a single mum working several jobs to make ends meet and getting bugger all from your children's father and your house is a mess because you can't afford a cleaner and you are too knackered to spend every hour of the weekend cleaning. Just maybe. There are so many permutations to this one.
Bloody hard to be a great mum in ^ these circumstances but at least the kids are housed and fed.
I think that is the reality when you have a demanding career, a large family, big house and a menagerie of animals at the bottom of the garden. I could sleep more and have less. I want more and therefore sleep less.
I don't think I have even claimed to be a great mother, I aim for good enough. This site is full of parents who quite frankly make me feel a rather inadequate. The fact that my bathroom is shiny does not make me any better than an adequate parent and has nothing to do with anyone else's parent. I have not criticized anyone on this thread, other than myself. I have said I get a lot done, because I have issues and don't sleep a lot. I acknowledged that made me rather annoying. I explicitly said that I might struggle to understand why people did less but that was my failing not theirs.
Aside from scrubbing myself with a scouring pad or beating myself with my mop, wat else do you want me to do.
I also never said that looking after my horses was housework, I said I gave my horses more time than I did my house.
Do you know what, fuck it.
yes I am a shit mother because I like a clean house, I clearly have no right to be on a board called mumsnet because I am such a shit mother.
I may as well find someone with an untidy house and offer them by unborn child.
I am over reacting and that is pissing me off that I have allowed someone to wind me up. I am de registering , maybe I will find a cure for cancer in the time I spend posting on here.
But aris, you can cope with less sleep. I can't; I've tried (and occasionally I've had to - especially when DD was tiny) and it just sends my mental health totally down the cludgie. I'd rather be slightly grubby/untidy and not googling painless ways to top myself.
So I guess I don't understand why you can't understand how other people don't do things the way you do
FFS I said I was wrong to not understand, " that says more about me than anyone else " was what I typed.
I can't fucking see how to de register. [[ grin]]
You were using shovelling horse shit while listening to audio books as an example of how you "get things done" I do believe.
You havent been at all judgemental that I can see - just a little smug. Explaining you have issues makes sense - I have found in general people who are obsessed with the presentation of their homes do have issues and I would love to do some research into that.
Conversely I think living in unhygienic surroundings has long been a symptom of mental health issues too.
As with all things it's about balance. Learning to smell the roses - or the horse shit.
aris, believe me, I aspire to a spotless house, and I am fearsomely jealous of yours. But I just can't achieve one, cos I'm a lazy sod who detests housework, and there don't seem to be enough hours in the day for me. I am, however, a rampant declutterer
And my garden is Chelsea standard (not really, but it's better than some tufty grass and an overgrown forsythia). Because I really like gardening! I'll kvetch like mad at hoovering, but happily mow the lawn.
I think the elephant in the room is that I honestly don't know any bloke who devotes this level of introspection to whether the house is spotless/presentable/Life of Grimetastic.
& as for giving headspace to balancing having a clean house with, oh, we are a bit messy, but then there's a wormery on top of the piano & the little tinkers do tend to leave their Greek lexicons lying about...it's competitive smugging, & I do it myself on occasion I'm sure, but it's not actually particularly big or clever.
There are five people in my household, so I aim to have a reasonably clean & tidy house, & to do no more than 20% of the work which this generates.
Obviously this is unrealistic at the moment as 3/5 of the workforce are under 10, but I'm bloody well working on it .
One thing that I'm quite sure of is that the housework can't be allowed to become my responsibility, or a reflection on me as a good/bad/adequate mum, when dh would find it highly amusing if anyone suggested that our mucky kitchen floor made him a Bad Dad. Apart from my own sanity, there's a lesson to be taught to ds, dd1 & dd2 - looking after our home is not Mumwork, it's a shared family responsibility.
Yep raven I made that point about men upthread.
I bet they don't have forums where they are debating how their housekeeping skills affects their parenting ability
This was commented on up-thread, raven.
By the way, a widowed male friend of mine, who has as two children, does talk housework!
Hey Aris, don't take it all to heart so.
This thread is interesting in showing me that it's not just those of us with messy houses that can feel criticised, doubt our parenting abilities, and be defensive.
Seems like it's something all Mums do! And as raven says few men are so self-critical?
I was criticised a few times for having too clean a house. Apparently I wasn't playing with my baby enough and her speech was behind. Turns out she was deaf, and the fact was that she spoke at all was because of all the attention she did get.
As a parent, especially of the at home variety, the blame and criticism will always be laid at your door. Best to ignore.
could someone link me to the slogans or quote them please?
I'm not saying my house is dirty btw.
I get compliments all the time but but the time 3pm come and I've Hoover twice (breakfast and lunch) then the dinner crumbs can wait until after bed (6:30)
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
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