Housework issue... how clean are everyone's homes??

(26 Posts)
Feellikerubbish Wed 18-Dec-13 11:04:41

My eldest is 6 and youngest 20 months. I work part-time 3 days a week, do the school run morning and afternoon everyday and the kids are in bed asleep by about 9.30pm. I admit our home is quite messy with toys etc everywhere, shower area have limescale build up in some areas and kitchen oven and hob will have some grease on it sometimes.

How clean/tidy are your homes?

I am asking because me and other half have been bickering and arguing for the past 6 years regarding keeping the house clean and tidy. He cannot see the difficulty in keeping the house clean and tidy while looking after 2 young children. By the time they are asleep, i don't have enough time or energy to cook and clean, ready for the next day so i tend to do what i have to do, as and when needed. Foil should be laid on the bottom of the oven tray to avoid cleaning heavily later when the foil can be replaced when dirty. But i don't always remember to or i will have a screaming child and will deal with him first and tell myself i will go back to the foil changing later but then forget. Is this normal?

I have friends with children and their houses are messy. His closest friends have no children so their house is always clean and tidy.

While stressed with the daily routine of housework, work and childcare, i have to find time to keep the children entertained and happy. There has to be a balance.

I am just very curious of how other peoples homes are like and how easy/hard do other mums find balancing everything? This will hopefully clarify what we have been arguing about all these years and put a stop it so feedback will be much appreciated!!

tootiredtothinkofanickname Wed 18-Dec-13 12:54:12

I only have one DS, almost 4. My house is messy and cluttered. The toilets are clean and so are the worktops, as I use the kitchen a lot, and most of the time the dishes are washed, but the rest of the house is quite messy. Not dirty, but not immaculate either, and yes we have toys everywhere, and I really mean everywhere. If your children are clean, fed good food (most of the time) and given plenty of attention, then this is the most important thing and you are doing a brilliant job IMO.

Does your DH help, if he is not happy with the state of the house? Dealing with a screaming child before cleaning the bloody oven is the right thing to do.

tootiredtothinkofanickname Wed 18-Dec-13 12:54:26

One DS, almost 3, that should read.

DottiestDoris Wed 18-Dec-13 12:57:08

OP is 9:30 the bedtime you aim for, or do you have trouble getting the kids to go to sleep? Just thinking that this is late for bedtime and doesn't leave you much time to do housework or have an evening for yourselves. Not saying your house sounds any worse than anybody else's, just that you would have more time if time is the main issue.

MPB Wed 18-Dec-13 13:03:55

Mine is clean but a bit messy at the mo. Got Xmas presents in the boiler cupboard where I store the linens, and they are stood in big plastic tubs in my room. The clutter seems to have a knock on effect! We moved in in August so there is a mirror, a large picture frame, some shelves and a bathroom cabinet that all need attention from DH.

My dining room is full of my mindees craft projects and my kitchen has salt dough decorations all over one side along with Xmas presents for people. It's just Xmas clutter.

I think it can be hard to keep a really tidy house with children. But even as a CM I find the time to vacuum and tidy round. I've hoovered and mopped the downstairs and the stairs the mindees just watched. Can you not get it done whilst they ate there?

My kids go to bed at 8, so I have more time to do stuff (they are 8&4.10). Could you put them to bed earlier?
Can you say the DH you bath them and I'll wash up/ vice versa?

Littlefish Wed 18-Dec-13 13:07:44

I agree with Doris. 9.30 bedtime is late for both children if you are in the uk. No wonder you are exhausted by the end of the day. In our house, that would only give me an hour before I go to bed myself!

tootiredtothinkofanickname Wed 18-Dec-13 13:19:08

I think the children's late bedtime is only part of the problem though. True, OP would have more time to do stuff in the evenings if they went to bed earlier, but from what she is saying it is the opposite attitudes to housework of OP and her DH which are the real issue.

If he cannot appreciate how hard it is to keep a house clean and tidy when little children are around then I am actually wondering if he spent a whole day, morning till night, looking after them. And by "looking after" I mean engaging with them, feeding them good food, messy play, etc.

We only have the OP to go by. IMO a tidy house is never more important than making sure your children are well looked after, fed well, etc. (--but this is because I am lazy and need an excuse--)

wintersdawn Wed 18-Dec-13 13:19:29

9.30 is my bedtime smile I've a nearly 3yo and a 8mo, the house is mainly clean, Hoover daily as dog is in full molt and little one has just started crawling but oven needs a good clean, really need to get a duster on certain parts of the house and the play room just gets the door shut on it each night.

tootiredtothinkofanickname Wed 18-Dec-13 13:19:56

Strikethrough fail...

Littlefish Wed 18-Dec-13 13:26:31

Tootired - I'm absolutely not suggesting that the OP should use the evenings for more housework - quite the opposite in fact! I'm suggesting that she needs more time to herself in the evening to sit down and relax as she must be shattered after looking after the children for such long days.

In response to the OPs original question - my house is generally clean, but not always completely tidy. There are often a couple of piles of papers and things waited to be sorted on the kitchen table, and usually bits waiting to go into the dishwasher. I have a cleaner for 2 hours a week to do the kitchen, bathrooms and hoovering, but do very little in between apart from wiping down the hob, sweeping the kitchen floor while dh is in charge of the washing up.

I think your dh has an unrealistic expectation of what you are able to achieve in 2 days (I'm discounting your working days), with a 20 month old in tow.

stubbs0412 Wed 18-Dec-13 14:46:27

I have 5 children youngest is 9 months almost, other children at 14, 12, 7 & 5 so at school all day. I do have a tidy house and all children in bed by 9. However I do not go out to work so have the day to do "my work". It's my job as I see it since my husband works hard to support us all. In your case however you work outside the house so really domestic issues should be a joint effort. When I worked, (3 children) the house was a big mess most of the time. You can't do everything. If it bothers him, it's seems fair and reasonable he deal with it. I read somewhere that a mother with a part time job does the equivalent of one and half full
time jobs. Nothing changes over night, and I'm sorry to join in with everyone else so far but 930 is too late. My fourteen year old is in bed by 9.

Fairylea Wed 18-Dec-13 14:51:25

My house is clean ish (I have a dd aged 10 and a ds 18 months). I tend to let ds potter around the kitchen after me while I clean and tidy up - I have moved everything so drawers are safe for him to rummage through etc. I clean the bathroom when he has his nap and tidy up as I go.

However - I think it's unfair that your dh is having a go at you. If it bothers him that much he should help out! You are both working full time - you're looking after dc and working so those combined is equivalent to him working full time. He needs to do more.

Dh helps out at home despite working 50 hours a week. I do as much as I can.

somersethouse Wed 18-Dec-13 14:58:21

OP might be in Europe but outside the UK.
Here in Spain, 9pm is very early for a six year old. (Not mine I hasten to add... bed by 8, but still, I am criticised for putting my child to bed too early)

My house is quite tidy and relatively clean. Bathrooms always clean, kitchen, surface clean but oven etc need a scrub before Christmas. But I only have one well behaved DD.

Get your DH to help out OP, this is not all down to you, working, school run AND doing all the day to day house management.

mousmous Wed 18-Dec-13 15:03:26

clean and tidy enough for us.
I'm lazy, avoidance is my tactic.
I don't iron.
the dc have a playroom, so most toys live there (and we can shut the door so that we don't see it). they tidy once in a while when I threat to hoover anything up that's not cleared away after 20min
kitchen is tidied and wiped down every evening (dh's job).
washing is put away as soon as it's dry, the dc put their own stuff away.

BotBotticelli Wed 18-Dec-13 19:02:48

I only have one dc, a little boy 12mo. He is very demanding of my attention at the moment and literally wont let me do anything for more than 5mins without moaning and climbing up my legs! He is a very spirited curious little boy who needs lots of interaction and playing - he reall isnt often happy to just chill out by himself.

He also only has 2 x 45 min naps per day (if I am lucky - today it was just one). I know this is much less than recommended but unfortunately he seems to be thriving on it - sleeps through from 1830-0630 and is happy and full of beans all day whilst i am on my knees

Consequently our flat is a fucking mess little untidy! I wash up after each meal and wipe the sides down with antibac spray. I manage to do and hang up a load of washing each day. And that's about it. Hoovering is done once a week at the weekend when DH is home and one of us can distract DS whilst the other one hoovers. Ditto the toilet and bathroom.

Dusting gets done once every month or two when it gets noticeable!. Oven has not been cleaned since we bought it a year ago blush

I have just started back at work 3 days per week and DS goes to nursery...this hasnt really had much of an impact on our housework as yet (given that I didn't really do any anyway)....but I am very much enjoying the rest and nice long sit-down at my desk every day grin

OP, you're ceertainly not the only one with a messy house...as long as food prep areas are wiped down after use and bathroom cleaned with bleach once a week I don't think there's really a problem. If your DH is annoyed by toys and mess everywhere tell him to pick them up!!

piggybank Wed 18-Dec-13 20:41:35

Read this from the Huffington Post m.huffpost.com/us/entry/4170622

Seriously, you are not alone. At least this might make you chuckle :-)

Feellikerubbish Thu 19-Dec-13 11:36:27

Thanks for all the responses! Other half works long hours, self-employed so sometimes spends more time at home than me, other times will be away for long periods and housework will be left to me. He does clean, cook and tidy up and has no issues doing it but gets frustrated and annoyed that the house gets messy or dirty shortly after he has spent time cleaning. My argument is that while he cooks and cleans, i have the children or they are at school or i am out with them. While i cook and clean, i have the kids with me which makes the job a lot harder.

My eldest use to be asleep by 7.30, this was before i had my second. Now that my youngest is 20 months old and who seems to need less sleep, she keeps her brother awake. They sleep in the same room and both require me to stay with them until they fall asleep. I take them up to bed between 7.30 and 8 and it takes sometimes up to an hour for them to settle and fall asleep. I have tried wearing them out and going to bed earlier but it makes no difference!

Tambaboy Thu 19-Dec-13 13:24:42

OP, sorry I haven't read all the replies so apologies if this has already been said. I have just one DS but he has Asd so I can't really do much housework when he's awake really and until last week I worked 30 hours a week (I'm taking a sabbatical) and DH works full time. We used to argue about housework constantly until I decided to get a cleaner once a week just to do the main stuff. We tidy up before she comes and we have to make sure the house is decluttered so the cleaning is more efficient. I don't drink, smoke , wear makeup or hardly eat out with friends and my hobbies are really cheap so those £20 a week I spent on the cleaner are my weekly treat.
HTH

Twattergy Thu 19-Dec-13 17:53:32

I'd also advocate spending £20 a week on a cleaner. I work four days a week and just two hours of cleaning keeps the kitchen and bathroom un gunky plus the floors clean. Husband is tidy which helps, coz I'm not naturally that tidy. Kids toys have not taken over but we only have the one ds.

lill72 Thu 19-Dec-13 18:59:51

Oh gosh OP your post sounds like how I am feeling! I too don't know how to get the balance right - I often spend much of the day out with my DD who is 3, entertaining her or taking her to various events, seeing friends etc, often at the expense of the housework. I just feel it is more important to take care of her - but I despair when I come back to a messy house. I feel inferior to my other mummy friends, some of whom work full time and seem to be on top of things. I have one perfect mummy friend who always has a perfect house but then I have to remember she has a nanny, grandparents who help and she does not work. I am at home and have a cleaner once a fortnight but still cant seem to keep on top of clutter. The house isn't dirty - just full of lots of clothes washing to do and sort. We dont have a dishwasher which I hate - so much harder to get the kitchen clean.

Any tips from domestic goddesses on achieving this balance? I cannot seem to do it, no matter how hard I try

Pitmountainpony Tue 24-Dec-13 02:50:47

I don't work and my house is a mess witha. 4 year old and. A 20 month...it is hard tidying with the 20 months s they get up to stuff that is unsafe...I tried to clean the big window today, getting them to help but it ended in tantrums...fighting over cleaning implements....
Honestly I just try and keep kitchen clean enough and living space reasonable but no our house is never straight.
It will just be your personality too....it is not enough priority for me to do it at the end of the day, when like you I have barely an hour to myself.

But my husband knows better to ever complain, and he does little too , even washing dishes seems to be a challenge for him.
It does get you down.

Our new idea is it out in the calendar a housekeeping day once a month....one person takes the kids out for four hours whilst the other stays in and cleans. I will let you know how that goes!

RalphRecklessCardew Tue 24-Dec-13 12:50:09

hahahahaha

Jaffakake Tue 24-Dec-13 17:19:59

I work compressed hours, so 4.5 days over 4 days. This has its good & bad points - good cos we're not in for 36 hrs a week, so that's 36 hours of little (& big people not making a mess, but bad cos then we have sort everything out over 3 days.

I'm not a clean freak by any stretch. The bathroom gets a clean once a week, the kitchen gets a thorough clean once a week & tops/hob etc gets wiped down every night. The place gets hoovered about once a week. Oh does his own ironing. I do my own. Ds doesn't get anything ironed. I also don't do bedding (after 1 year of me ironing it & oh not, I decided he didn't find it important & stopped!) We're very dust tolerant & I regularly feel ashamed by cobwebs! We tend to have boys & girls jobs, bins & bathroom for example.

I occasionally let the washing basket overflow & my oh run out of pants, just so he can't remember where it is. Whenever I find myself scrubbing /cleaning something & feeling resentful, I go and see oh & tell him that as I'm cleaning I'm feeling he doesn't respect me as a woman & feel I should tell him so! Tbh though oh is pretty good & pulls his weight.

Ds is a pretty good kid & you can get him involved in what your doing. He's very good at cleaning things with a cloth.

Maybe between you, you need to have a discussion about the bits you think are must-dos every week & work together to mind the kids & get it done. Sounds like you need to factor in some me-time & some family-time too. There's no point in being unhappy in a sparklingly clean house!

notadoctor Tue 24-Dec-13 22:46:39

Our house is very messy. And we have a cleaner once a week. Without her, I shudder to think!! Me and my DH are both very messy people - and we don't seem to see the clutter until we imagine seeing the house through someone else's eyes... It's generally mess not dirt but still am about to go on Mat leave with DC2 and am hoping to use this as an opportunity to improve. Any tips welcome!!!

ouryve Tue 24-Dec-13 22:52:27

Clean enough for us not to get ill by just trying to cook a meal and tidy enough that we don't break our necks, walking from one end of the house to the other and so we can find somewhere to sit.

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