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How has having children impacted on the cleanliness in your home? Share your stories with Cif to win a £250 Love2Shop voucher NOW CLOSED

(171 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 02-Oct-13 11:40:24

Cif have asked us to find out whether having children has had an impact on your family's cleaning habits.

Here's what Cif have to say: "We all know that children see the home as a playground, and playgrounds get dirty. But we also understand how difficult it can be to clean up after your child, so we want to help make that process as easy as possible."

Do you and your DP/DH (if applicable) find yourselves doing more cleaning since you've had children? Or less? How have things changed post children in this regard? Do you find yourself looking for the anti-bac cleaning products now or were you always partial to this type of product? If your home gets cleaned more now, is it more likely to be a quick clean here and there to tidy up after teatime etc? Or is it do regular deep cleans as well/instead? Are you now more likely to look for quick convenience products like wipes? Or – has nothing changed?!

We'd love to hear your views. Everyone who adds their comments to this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £250 Love2Shop voucher.

Please note your comments may be used by CIF on their pages on MN and possibly elsewhere (anon of course) please only add your comment if you’re happy with this.

Thanks and good luck,


MadMonkeys Wed 02-Oct-13 14:05:09

The house is generally cleaner than it was pre children, but less tidy. The most important areas - kitchen and bathroom - get frequent quick cleans, but the rest of the house gets cleaned in fits and starts as the opportunity arises. Some places rarely get cleaned now - life is just to busy to clean the windows often or scrub the skirting boards. I do use short cuts sometimes - baby wipes to clean all manner of things, for example, and i have to confess i had my oven professionally cleaned for my birthday present from dh!

CheeryCherry Wed 02-Oct-13 14:10:15

It has change.... and we have a bigger house now plus I now work full time. Bathrooms and kitchen are top priority, I hoover every day but the floors don't get washed as often as I like. I do blitz the bedrooms every school holiday though.
Top tip is to regularly invite people over... it forces me to crack on and clean!
I have baby wipes in the car, and give it a wipe down and clear the rubbish when waiting for clubs to finish etc.

nextphase Wed 02-Oct-13 14:33:48

Much messier, but much cleaner, as I've bitten the bullet, and pay for a cleaner.
The house is properly clean once a week, and then I get time to do the extra bits like taking all the crap collected in the fan out.

DifferentNow Wed 02-Oct-13 14:51:14

We definitely need to clean more since having children - we have 5. I am (or used to be) very house proud but as time has gone on I've had to lower my standards because I just don't have the time or energy to clean as much as before. I'm big on hand washing and shoes off in the house to try and minimise the mess and we prioritise the cleaning, doing the important stuff regularly and deep cleans every now and then. The products I use haven't really changed other than I like to have anti-bac hand wash for the kids.

CMOTDibbler Wed 02-Oct-13 15:34:22

More cleaning - its amazing how much dirt one small boy creates. Especially round the toilet hmm

elizaco Wed 02-Oct-13 15:46:01

The house is certainly messier and more cluttered than in the pre-child days! When the children were very small and at the crawling stage, the floors were always kept clean - they're perhaps not cleaned as often as they should be these days, now that the children are older. I use anti-bacterial wipes much more than I used to (perhaps they weren't as available back then?) - I find them much easier to keep kitchen surfaces/the bathroom clean. Would love to employ a cleaner, but probably can't justify the expense :-(

EeTraceyluv Wed 02-Oct-13 15:48:32

er..was this done a week or two ago as well? I recall writing my hilarious top tips before..

Cherrygrape Wed 02-Oct-13 16:51:31

I do more cleaning now, but that's more because I am home more and people come over more. Ive always used anti bacterial products, sometimes wipes, depending on whats on offer. I do a quick clean and tidy daily then a more deep clean every so often.

jellyandcake Wed 02-Oct-13 16:58:13

Convenience is the big priority! It's harder to clean as the house is so messy and we do do much more laundry nowadays plus have less time to clean - haven't got the hang of getting toddler to 'help' with housework! When he was a crawling baby I was very interested in anti-bac type products but didn't want to use overly harsh chemicals so I looked out for gentle cleaning products. I hate cleaning so anything time-saving appeals to me.

In general, pregnancy and then having a baby did make me more rigourous about cleaning but I'm still reluctant!

MikeLitoris Wed 02-Oct-13 17:00:43

I clean more but it is soooo much messier here, especially since dc3. I have no idea how one tiny person can cause so much chaos.

I feel like I never stop cleaning, tidying or sorting something.

jellyandcake Wed 02-Oct-13 17:01:51

And DH and I definitely do quick cleans maybe when toddler is napping or just to clean up the immediate mess whereas pre-children we would take an afternoon here and there to do a proper deep clean - our house hasn't had one of those since my MIL came round whilst we were in hospital having DS (now nearly three...).

trikken Wed 02-Oct-13 17:04:54

Yes definitely, before children the tidying would be done in a couple of hours and then be able to sit down and relax but now with two I tidy one area go away to do another then come back to the first place and its a mess again. With children tidying is never ending.

Spirael Wed 02-Oct-13 17:06:56

I do more cleaning now than I did before DD (3 YO) came into our lives. In part because we live in a bigger, nicer house now so I have more to clean and feel it should be kept cleaner! But also because she creates mess in a way adults don't tend to.

I've spent years teaching DH to be clean and tidy, I think DD will take a bit more work yet. But she's coming along nicely!

We use disposable wipes a lot, normally bought in bulk from Costco. I keep a pot in every bathroom, the lounge and the kitchen so I can quickly wipe up if needed.

I think the wipes are anti-bac, but I don't use them specifically for that. I tend to go with the thinking that a bit of dirt is good for building up a robust immune system. After all, no-one is going to make sure the bus I ride every day is bacteria free!

Agree with the tip of inviting people over; Nothing motivates us to get the house clean like having the grandparents coming to stay. wink

trikken Wed 02-Oct-13 17:08:45

I do use more cleaning products as the kids seem to make everything dirty, walls, their toys, cupboards so I buy stuff that is a bit tougher and antibacterial. Also good if it can get out nasty smells in furniture too.

DoubleMum Wed 02-Oct-13 17:19:00

Definitely changed since we had children - the time you really notice is the odd nights when they are staying away, as if you've tidied it suddenly stays tidy! We always have wipes available but try not to use them for everything as it gets expensive. For stuff like cleaning the bathroom we use a bathroom cleaner and j-cloth.
I thought children were bad but actually having house rabbits is even messier ...

Aethelfleda Wed 02-Oct-13 18:24:53

Children are dirt multipliers. If it can become covered in jam/biscuits/mud/snot then it will be! So lots more cleaning to keep it clean (rather than tidy as another poster said!) The worst I remember was having all my windows professionally cleaned cleaned top to bottom and then the next day seeing two big greasy sets of children's hand marks right in the middle of my patio doors halfway up at five-year-old and one-year-old height!.....I almost cried.....

DP and I have always been clean but messy... Upon arrival of Dd it just went from bad to worse.

I felt like I spent all of my time cleaning so we capitulated and got a cleaner in a couple of hours a week.

It's such a load off my shoulders. I was obsessed with not wanting Dd to remember growing up in a messy home!

dahville Wed 02-Oct-13 22:37:17

Hmm, I clean more as more mess is made but the house looks dirtier and messier. I like when my husband takes the two boys with him for the day and I get to clean all day and then enjoy a neat, tidy, clean, & orderly home... until they come back and they give us that lived in look grin

RachelHRD Wed 02-Oct-13 23:02:58

I think I do clean more because the DC's (5 & 3) can be messy when eating but most of my time is spent tidying and washing endless loads of clothes and bedding!!!

The house generally looks at it's best when the kids are in bed!!

HoneyDragon Wed 02-Oct-13 23:05:42

I dust less, but surfaces like the floor and tables are always spotless, mainly because they get eaten off.

Theimpossiblegirl Wed 02-Oct-13 23:13:29

My house is cleaner and more organised now I have children because it has to be.

I used to do the bare minimum before kids but I had a small flat and the minimum was enough. Now I work really hard to keep what I consider a "nice home" but it's worth it when I can relax in a clean tidy space in the evenings.

DH is really good, does his fair share but doesn't see dust.

letsgetreadytoramble Wed 02-Oct-13 23:31:14

Ironically, before I had my first baby I I had loads of time to clean and enough money to fully equip myself with all the products I could want - but I wasn't interested and only did the basics with a deep clean maybe once a year. But ever since the nesting instinct kicked in at 8 and a half months pregnant, I haven't been able to put the antibacterial wipes down. I seem to spend every spare moment cleaning something, and even though I don't enjoy it, I find it hugely important to keep DS in a clean house. Except that it is never bl**dy properly clean because all the smaller everyday jobs take all my spare time (work full time) and the dust continues to accumulate on the skirting boards (except in the nursery.)

In terms of money, we are on a really tight budget so I usually wait till the products such as CIF are on special offer and then buy them. I love the wipes, my DP doesn't understand why I buy them instead of using the sprays (I have those too) but when you literally have 20 mins to clean everywhere before you have to go to work those things are a (very environmentally-unfriendly) godsend.

In conclusion, please make some environmentally friendly antibacterial / anti grease wipes that actually work for £1.50 and I'll be your loyal customer. Or, run a competition to have your house cleaned for a year and make me the winner, thank you.

AndHarry Thu 03-Oct-13 10:35:47

My house looks like an explosion at a toy factory but it is much cleaner now I have children. My DD is crawling and picks up any bit of grub she comes across so it's really important to keep the floors clean, while DS is 3 and very quick to tut at any dust or grubby marks (which he usually made!) and get out his toy brush or duster. I don't get away with anything.

Some things are cleaned as we go along, like high chairs, work surfaces and the floor after meals. Anything dangerous or spreadable - liquids on the floor, paint, glue, glitter - is cleaned up straightaway. More general household dirt and clutter waits until the children are in bed and DH and I tidy up and clean every evening. DH takes the children out on a Saturday morning so I have a few hours to do a deeper clean. We used to blitz the house together on a Saturday morning so this is a natural progression now we have the DC.

I used to be a big fan of antibacterial wipes but now cash is more limited and I'm more aware of environmental concerns I use antibacterial spray and a cloth instead. That combination seems good for all sorts of things. Other staples are spray polish, vinegar-based window cleaner, loo cleaner, tile spray and another sort of spray for the bathroom.

flamingtoaster Thu 03-Oct-13 11:13:31

The amount of cleaning varied with the ages of the DC - at the crawling stage I started hoovering every day, floors were washed more often, I used more anti-bac wipes for speed and hygiene. When they were small all the toys could be thrown into one large box at bedtime. As they grew tidying became more difficult with just the sheer amount of things so tidying took more time than the cleaning.

Having children meant that there was more clutter in the house and more stuff to clean round! I dont think i do more cleaning so to speak but i definatly do more picking up after people and general tidying.

littlemonkeychops Thu 03-Oct-13 16:32:33

I agree with lots of posters above, our house is definitely messier, but not necessarily dirtier. Pre DCs i worked full time whereas now i'm at home more it's easier to do cleaning up as i go along. Dear god the mess though!!

BellaVida Thu 03-Oct-13 17:05:42

I am in constant awe at the amount and sheer variation of mess and dirt my 4 children make! Scuffs on walls, grubby fingers around light switches and on doors, toothpaste drips on the floors and I even once found yoghurt on the stairs (how??).
I do whirlwind cleaning blitzes between school/ nursery runs, shopping, ferrying them all to and from their various activities etc etc. The house is clean and I pay particular attention to the bathrooms and kitchens, which tend to suffer the most.
I tend to use a few products which are multi-surface and always buy the family size versions when they are on offer. I don't buy special cleaning wipes as they are too expensive- baby wipes are great for a lot of things and much much cheaper! I use anti-bac surface sprays and hand soap, but I always have done.
So, in essence, I keep the house clean, mostly tidy, but if anyone were to come to do a close-up feature on my house, I would want a week's notice. Thanks!

BornToFolk Thu 03-Oct-13 17:06:09

I, too, agree with the "messier but cleaner" view. I clean more often now than I did pre-DS. We used to do a big clean at the weekend but I don't often have time for that now. Plus if I left it all to the weekend I'd be covered in a pile of laundry and the carpets would be lost under a sea of biscuit crumbs! So, little and often works best for now.

I don't so much look for convenience products as much as things that actually work! When I do a quick clean, I don't want to have to do it again tomorrow because the cleaning product is crap. Anti-bac wipes are my guilty pleasure. I know they are shocking for the environment but they really can't be beaten for a quick clean.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Thu 03-Oct-13 17:14:48

Since having children my home is much dirtier and more untidy, despite the fact that I do a lot more cleaning sad
I tend to be more of a little-and-often kind of cleaner, whereas DH tends to do fuck all very little until he reaches breaking point and does his own version of a deep clean. (he's not afraid of hard work or cleaning, but he's not exactly efficient).
I sometimes do buy wipes if they're on promotion, because it makes a quick clean so much easier. I find that since we've had to hide away the cleaning bottles a quick clean becomes a little bit more of a chore. That and the fact that DH has locked the mop and bucket in the shed and lost the key.
I've never specifically looked for antibacterial products. I'm not trying to create a sterile environment. (fairly obvious if you see my home).

The children don't make much mess aside from clothes (washing) and toys (tidying up). The main problem me have is from Old Dog who perpetually moults. We could vacuum twice a day and still be witness to doghair tumble weeds.

I'm much better at cleaning the kitchen etc now I have children. Our dishwasher means plates are clean (or if dirty, hiding in there!) and it's an essential for me now.

DH is addicted to antibacterial spray! That's his essential item.

My house is far messier than before children. I do more cleaning but there is still far more to do. Now that they are beginning to edge towards school I have a bit more time to dig down through the 8yrs of clutter. I don't tend to use wipes, just spray, cloth and elbow grease! I do sometimes let the dc loose with some baby wipes and get them to dust though. A cleaning product which is safe for delicate hands and which encourages them to clean up would be good - maybe with associated cbeebies programme!

MmeLindor Thu 03-Oct-13 17:41:39

Not really, but finding Mumsnet had a very definite negative impact on the cleanliness of my home.

bluebump Thu 03-Oct-13 17:59:43

Much messier but just as clean. I am better at getting more done in less time that's for sure!

smokinaces Thu 03-Oct-13 18:06:50

Having two boys who are now ks1/2 the house is a constant stream of toys, muddy footprints and crumbs. Hoovering has become a daily occurance, yet time to deep clean has disappeared. Baby wipes have become my closest friend - quick wipe round the bath, quick wipe of the table, quick dust of the tv. There's just too much stuff to clean properly nowadays!!

The only place to see bleach or proper cleaning stuff is the toilet and bathroom. And that's not nearly as often as it should be!

Theincidental Thu 03-Oct-13 18:11:08

The house is messier post children, but it's more the accumulation of stuff than dirt.

I cook more now, so the kitchen needs more attention with cleaning products. Anti bac spray is in regular use there.

The carpets also get more dirty, do need frequent cleaning up. Wipes are useful for minor spills.

VivaLeThrustBadger Thu 03-Oct-13 18:36:30

Having a child definitely made my house messier and dirtier. Crumbs, mud, grass, etc. I seem to have the vacuum out all the time, and the anti bacterial wipes. I blitz the bad spots as and when they look awful (every day somewhere) and then more thorough cleaning at the weekend.

I thought it was bad and then I got a dog! An unhouse trained dog at that! I've had to buy a carpet shampooer things are so bad!

ShebaQueen Thu 03-Oct-13 18:44:26

I definitely clean more now. I have two teenage boys and they are really untidy and they leave the kitchen and bathroom looking like a bombsite plus I know their rooms are bad when I can't get the doors open because there are so many clothes on the floor.

I work full time and commute so I tend to do lots of cleaning at the weekend and then a bit each evening to try and keep on top of things. I hate spending my time off cleaning and would love to have a cleaner but am trying to make sure DH and my boys share the load - easier said than done - I've had to lower my standards to accept their version of clean!

SalBeautyMoll Thu 03-Oct-13 18:54:12

Teenage dd's room is a tip but gets blitzed occasionally. When she was young and I didn't sleep well for nearly two years I'm afraid standards did slip pretty badly

I believe in having things like food prep really hygienic, and loos, but also believe a bit of dust and dirt elsewhere actually contribute to a healthy immune system wink

StainlessSteelCat Thu 03-Oct-13 18:56:31

definitely messier, but better organised and cleaned more regularly. floors especially getting more hoovered once first child arrived, upping to daily when crawling /toddling. youngest is now 2 and I'm finally able to ease off the daily Hoover. kitchen and bathroom both cleaned far more and better, but that's been helped by having both rooms ripped out and redone from plaster up. both designed with being able to clean quickly in mind.

also, I use less bleach and try to use fewer strong chemicals in general.

GaryBuseysTeeth Thu 03-Oct-13 19:03:21

Ds2 is 2 months, the kitchen floor has not been scrubbed (it's been sweeped) in two months! Tackling it this weekend.

We tend to do bare minimum cleaning (dishes, ironing) in the week & then one of us does a 'deep clean' on the weekend.

Never used antibac products, never will (that new Dettol antibac laundry detergent sounds ridiculous).

SmokedMackerel Thu 03-Oct-13 19:03:54

Untidier...though I try to put all the toys away every evening before relaxing.

Area under the table and high chair need sweeping and mopping after every meal.

I use baby wipes for quick wipe downs of everything.

BlackberrySeason Thu 03-Oct-13 19:04:18

Round the same smile

Sadly I am learning to live with the constant mess of having two children. The thing that gets me is that, because we are home all day, it's worst than it ever was.
But someone once told

Hmm cleaner I think. We moved into a much bigger house and because dd was crawling I banished the dogs to the kennels and the utility room. We also installed things like solid oak floors downstairs so carpets didn't get messy and spills can easily be mopped up.
So there is less cleaning to do and i love not having to hoover every half hour to get rid of dog hair but I am more conscious of making sure things are hygienic.
I too need to do my skirting boards and velux windows more often, but life gets in the way.
Baby wipes and cleaning the bathroom while the dc are in the bath is the way forward!

KeepTryin Thu 03-Oct-13 19:43:29

Definitely cleaner with more regular cleaning going on. Definitely less tidy!
I started using the cif antibacterial spray when I was pregnant as I tried it when it was on offer and changed from dettol to cif as I liked the smell it left. However, now I'm finding it catches in my throat at bit. I was wondering if the formula had changed. I now only use it for the final clean of the kitchen and highchair after DD is in bed.
I mop and Hoover downstairs daily now. DD is nearly crawling so I want to get into the habit of having clean floors. Was lucky if it was fortnightly before!

Iloveredvelvetcake Thu 03-Oct-13 20:16:02

Definitely do more cleaning now since I had DD who is now 3. I'm forever tidying up as there's so much toddler clutter everywhere! In the early days it did suffer as I was so tired and just couldn't find the motivation to do it and the worse it got, the less inclined I was to clean. I think it all changed when DD started crawling.

Snog Thu 03-Oct-13 20:16:27

Having kids doesn't make our house dirty, the real difference was getting one small cat. She sheds hair 365 days a year and cat litter sticks to her paws, plus she claws up the carpet to shreds.
Result: non stop hovering!

CheapBread Thu 03-Oct-13 21:48:13

I clean about the same, tidy a million times more but there tends to be a build up of dirt on chair backs and under the table and I seem to have a tide mark about 2 foot up along every wall! I try to make sure food is kept at the table and I use a bottle of 50p disinfectant diluted in a spray bottle, lasts ages, much cheaper than new ready made spray bottles. Yes to babywipes but I always get 'environmental guilt'...

CousinArnold Thu 03-Oct-13 21:59:32

My house is fairly tidy but is never as clean as I would like. It's tricky with a toddler! Difficult to fit cleaning in with everything else that needs doing - and no sooner is it clean than said toddler comes along and messes it up again! Use anti-bac stuff more now - particularly in the kitchen and bathroom (and especially since starting potty training!). Do more 'little and often' cleaning with a thorough 'spring clean' occasionally. Usually on a day off work when little one is in nursery.

mumsbe Thu 03-Oct-13 22:05:40

My home is less tidy and less organised now oits not dirty though. I clean the bathroom and kitchen more than the rest of the house. I used to get the whole house done in one day now i do one room a day and general tidy and clean. I try to sort through things that are out grown monthly to stop clutter you can only do your best playing with the kids is more important

sharond101 Thu 03-Oct-13 22:15:17

Everything is cleaned in small stages rather than in one go now. Eveything is cleaner I'd say but messier too if that makes sense. Finger prints are everywhere and DH is just as bad as DS!! We have a new bigger house so more storage space but DS takes up so much room you would never know it. I am very house proud and find it hard to lower my standards but I do little very often.

manfalou Thu 03-Oct-13 22:23:22

Definitly messier. Yano, the washing on EVERY radiator, the pile of clothes waiting to go on the radiators... then the pile of clothes waiting to go in the washer...and the pile of clothes waiting to be ironed..ARGHHH. I HATE WASHING! The clutter from the (what seems to be) endless amounts of toys from train tracks to chalk, dinosaurs, rattles and play mats.

We try and tidy at certain points throughout the day such a dinner and tea but sometimes it doesn't seem to make much difference.

I saw a thing on FB a while back saying 'I get more tidying up done in the 10 minutes before the inlaw visits than what I do all week' <---- So totally me.

I would tend to edge towards 'dirtier' too. I don't tend to get much time to actually CLEAN so do tend to use anti bacterial wipes (which we've always used) as a quick clean around and a quick hoover... so instead of doing the nooks and crannies of the house I will literally do the places people will see. The kitchen is kept cleanest and I do have other cleaners for in there too, as with the bathroom but tbh the bathroom really suffers. Its a room thats shut off from the rest of the house and I can't see the kids when cleaning there so have to wait until theres a good amount of time to do it when DP is here.

DP has got a new job since DS2 was born in April and works away all week which is the main reason for the 'dirtier' house. As much as I think 'I really should clean the bathroom this weekend' time spent with him as a family is much more important so a quick scoot around it is...before a trip to the park!

Yakky Thu 03-Oct-13 22:23:49

I used to be really houseproud but now share my house with dust & cobwebs.
Since having DCs I seem to spend all my time cleaning toilets so everything else gets left.
Must admit though that, when the DCs have played with toys in the bath and left scratch marks, the only thing that gets rid of them is cream cleaner.
Plus, can you please go back to JIF. Hate CIF as it just doesn't sound right!

theshooglypeg Thu 03-Oct-13 23:02:40

I find cleaning has to be fitted in between other things these days. So if I am in the bathroom, I'll give the sink a wipe before I leave. Or if my daughter is happily playing, I'll quickly get the hoover out. The days of major spring cleans are long gone!

My house is just as clean but far more messy! And the mess now reappears behind me when i tidy it.

kateandme Thu 03-Oct-13 23:30:02

i think its always more messy when there are kids around.but managing it is the key and also managing your expectations of how different life and your house will be now.accepting that and even getting joy from their clutter/your families soul is the key.
wipes are great to find.i have the biggest smile when i find a wipe or a spray that just lifts the worktops cleanliness.and a good floor wipe they seem so hard to find and when we find the brands that just lifts the dirt its great.

a good hoover make the place look much better.and just getting crumbs away can help.
i dont think there is ever going to be a clean house again.but its doing the bits you can.
getting the kids involved is a must,even if rewards have to be given.
"see how much we can clean in 10 mintues"is a ghreat way to have a spruce.
its about finding the proucts that make life eaiser.
anti bacterial is great but not as important as it used to.i think it becmae a bit of a fad,a buying/selling technique.
but clean is clean and thats what matters.

we keep wipes in every bathroom.its helps if they were flushable but not essential.

enviormoment friendly i think is beomcing more wanted or at least nice to see.

AGnu Thu 03-Oct-13 23:32:08

We've always been quite lax with the cleaning but I'm definitely having to do more now that I have 2 under 2! There was a time when we only hoovered if we were expecting visitors, now we I have to hoover several times a week just to stop DS1 constantly bringing me "leetle fluffing" little bits of fluff! I make everyone take off their shoes the minute we get through the door now to avoid too much dirt getting traipsed around!

I do find that I'm actually more motivated to clean now than I was pre-DC. I used to have one or 2 days a year when I'd actively want to clean the kitchen/bathroom but now it's more like once month! Still pretty lax by some people's standards, I'm sure... We'll just have to have a few more DC & I'll become a cleaning machine!

We encourage DS1 to tidy his own toys every night. Mostly this involves him running around the living room while we tidy up! He will put things away if we specify an object. Now I just need to train him to clean the oven... wink

My poor washing machine doesn't know what's hit it! Somehow we seem to need to run it about 5 times a week! None of us have very big wardrobes though!

Mamafratelli Thu 03-Oct-13 23:42:54

Cleaning has definitely changed. I used to be able to do a big clean and then just a quick wipe here and there and it would stay lovely. Now I still have to do a big clean but it only lasts a day and the picking up, tidying up, wiping off fingerprints etc is non stop.

I use a mix of products and a lot of floor wipes and bathroom wipes and dusting wipes but if anyone can tell me how to get rid of the mucky handprint that has somehow been branded onto my lovely fireplace I would be eternally grateful.

skyeskyeskye Fri 04-Oct-13 00:01:35

My house is very untidy now that I have a child. There are always toys, books and clothes everywhere.

The carpet needs a proper shampoo clean after the amount of spills on it

I use antibacterial wipes in the kitchen and bathroom

MMcanny Fri 04-Oct-13 00:08:24

With the kids at 6 and 9 it's prob the same as it was pre-kids. There was a time when they were younger, babies/toddlers, they were into everything and we got a bit paranoid and felt the need to clean like drones. Also switched from standard cleaners to more organic and less chemical - to hose down the highchair for example. Still use these as makes me sneeze less. Having two boys, I do find I'm cleaning the floor around the toilets more!

stephgr Fri 04-Oct-13 04:00:48

I do much more cleaning since I had children partly because I'm now really concerned about bacteria/germs - young immune systems aren't so strong. I tend to focus much more now on the bathroom and kitchen. I've been buying anti-bacterial products for many years so that hasn't really changed. I don't have much spare time nowadays so I always look out for products which I think can help me get the cleaning done faster and more easily.

ILoveAFullFridge Fri 04-Oct-13 07:21:23

To my surprise the change in my home has more tidyness and less cleanliness - quite the opposite of what I had expected it would be.

I have realised that children need dirt and germs, and that we, as privileged Westerners, have a much lower diet threshold than is good for us. OTOH a degree of order is necessary for a functioning household, and, as a naturally fairly messy person, I need to make a special effort to retain a sense of peace and order in our home.

I have only ever bought anti-bac products for hands after farm visits and for cleaning up after bowel/bladder incidents or after preparing raw fish/meat. I do not think that a 100% sanitised life is healthy.

ILoveAFullFridge Fri 04-Oct-13 07:23:45

dirt threshold, not diet threshold.

Salbertina Fri 04-Oct-13 07:24:47

Oh not at all... wink

DontmindifIdo Fri 04-Oct-13 08:06:53

The house needs cleaning so much more, but then before dcs dh and I would leave before 8, return after 8 most nights, often just met in town and ate out - we weren't here enough to mess it up. (as breakfast was often bought on the way to the station, I'd go days without going in the kitchen at all) Now, I'm at home and dh comes home earlier and works from home in the evenings (so he can spend time with the dcs), so the place gets much messier.

We do have a cleaner now too, best money ever spent!

finzean Fri 04-Oct-13 08:27:09

having had triplets , being a bit more organised is a must, top priority are kitchen and bathroom areas , a steamer is invaluable , ciff has always been used in our house no other product compares. a house with kids is a home ....not a show house!

gazzalw Fri 04-Oct-13 09:35:15

To our shame I would say that ours is much more of a tip then it ever was. DW is keen on decluttering but not so keen on the thankless, endless round of housework only to have the DCs make a mess as soon as everything is sparkling.

ouryve Fri 04-Oct-13 10:07:17

I do a lot more cleaning, since having kids. It's disputable whether the house is cleaner, as a result, and it's certainly a lot untidier!

pussinwellyboots Fri 04-Oct-13 10:16:57

I definitely spend more time cleaning because kids do create mess eg I clean windows more as children looking out of a window/patio doors leave finger print marks etc. I spend more time putting away as there's more to put away. So I agree with those who've said that the house is cleaner but more messy.

gamerchick Fri 04-Oct-13 10:19:02

Well you're going to do more cleaning when you have kids. Mine are left home/at school. My youngest is autistic and likes things tidy or he gets stressed. I only work weekends so have the time to keep on top of the house.

Not a fan of anti bacterial stuff really when soap and water do the job just as well. I only use cif in the bathroom though I find the smell a bit overpowering for anywhere else.

Happiestinwellybobs Fri 04-Oct-13 10:26:17

I definitely clean more now we have a child. There is more 'stuff' around, although I make sure we tidy everything away at the end of each day. As we have a dog too, I have been a bit more fastidious about cleaning dog hair up, so it doesn't get in her toys too much.

I use antibacterial products as much as I did pre-child. But I do often find myself using baby wipes to clear up spills, high high chair etc. as they are always to hand and therefore more convenient. Anything which is easy and quick to use is great.

I try and get most of the big jobs done (bathroom, dusting, hoovering, mopping, windows) on my afternoon off and then keep on top of things like a quick hoover round, kitchen worktops, loos) on a more frequent basis. Difficult on the days I work full days, but easier when I'm home with my daughter.

Happiestinwellybobs Fri 04-Oct-13 10:26:47

I definitely clean more now we have a child. There is more 'stuff' around, although I make sure we tidy everything away at the end of each day. As we have a dog too, I have been a bit more fastidious about cleaning dog hair up, so it doesn't get in her toys too much.

I use antibacterial products as much as I did pre-child. But I do often find myself using baby wipes to clear up spills, high high chair etc. as they are always to hand and therefore more convenient. Anything which is easy and quick to use is great.

I try and get most of the big jobs done (bathroom, dusting, hoovering, mopping, windows) on my afternoon off and then keep on top of things like a quick hoover round, kitchen worktops, loos) on a more frequent basis. Difficult on the days I work full days, but easier when I'm home with my daughter.

Happiestinwellybobs Fri 04-Oct-13 10:27:28

I definitely clean more now we have a child. There is more 'stuff' around, although I make sure we tidy everything away at the end of each day. As we have a dog too, I have been a bit more fastidious about cleaning dog hair up, so it doesn't get in her toys too much.

I use antibacterial products as much as I did pre-child. But I do often find myself using baby wipes to clear up spills, high high chair etc. as they are always to hand and therefore more convenient. Anything which is easy and quick to use is great.

I try and get most of the big jobs done (bathroom, dusting, hoovering, mopping, windows) on my afternoon off and then keep on top of things like a quick hoover round, kitchen worktops, loos) on a more frequent basis. Difficult on the days I work full days, but easier when I'm home with my daughter.

MinesAPintOfTea Fri 04-Oct-13 10:45:04

More cleaning is done, and its about the same once ds is in bed. Whilst he's awake there are always toys everywhere.

Since having my DS, who is very active and I can't leave him alone at all as he gets into so much mischief, I just cannot maintain the standards I had before.

I tend to get the bare minimum done during the week and DH and I get a proper clean done on the weekends when one of us can keep an eye on DS.

Some things just don't get done now, like washing windows, cleaning paintwork and radiators.

I've accepted now that this is the case and make sure the home is hygienic if not tidy. I don't go mad with anti-bac products, except on the change mat and high chair.

Convenience cleaning products are by far the best, but only if affordable as being on maternity leave means we have less money available for expensive products.

MaddAddam Fri 04-Oct-13 12:11:26

Yes, it's dirtier, messier, and we spend a LOT more time clearing and cleaning up. All the many pets don't help either.

No we don't like convenience products, we go for the eco products which are perhaps less effective but we're used to them.

We all have terribly good immune systems!

I fantasise of a clean tidy minimalist house once the dc have left home...

asuwere Fri 04-Oct-13 12:30:08

I can't really say my house is messier - it's just now got more kids stuff rather than my own stuff. I do different cleaning now - I clean the floor more often than I used but then that's just because there are more people. I think it's just that everything is different. DH tends to use wipes more as he finds the convenience easier.

StickyFloor Fri 04-Oct-13 12:55:23

We definitely do more cleaning as DD has SN and crawls, so I clean floors / hoover everyday.

Generally I don't think the house is dirtier as we have no shoes in the house, and food eaten at kitchen table only, messy crafts in kitchen only too. Kitchen table gets cleaned with an anti-bac wipe after every meal. I didn't do that before having kids.

Toilet gets cleaned with bleach at least once a day as I am paranoid about little fingers touching the loo and not necessarily washing properly after use.

I am definitely more one for quick regular wipes and wash-downs as opposed to deep cleans.

Worst thing for me is in their rooms where there are lots of dust-gatherers on shelves, window ledges etc, that is definitely extra work to try and keep on top of now.

NorkyButNice Fri 04-Oct-13 12:55:30

As with other people, the house can be pretty messy by the end of the day, but I try to keep on top of the dirt!

Once DS2 came along we decided to get a cleaner once a week so we didn't end up spending our weekends cleaning rather than enjoying our time with the children.

The house is definitely messier and at times dirtier. I found it wasn't too bad with a baby, but from 6 months old with weaning,the potential for dirt increased massively.
Now DD is a toddler it feels like a constant uphill slog to tidy before she makes the next mess, so products that save time and are easy to grab for 2 minutes here and there. I'd rather play with her than spend an hour scrubbing.

Steffanoid Fri 04-Oct-13 15:27:33

I have learnt that our dog is a hairy malting machine, I feel like im following him around with the hoover or brush especially as I spend a lot of time on the floor with my 4 month old, I dont think im as precious about other things though as I would rather play with the baby smile

Despite constantly cleaning and tidying AND getting a cleaner to come in weekly since having DC, I find my house always dirty - crumbs everywhere, surfaces smeary, grotty stovetop. Makes me quite depressed really.

Kveta Fri 04-Oct-13 16:37:57

I hoover more since the children became mobile! there's nothing like a pair of filthy knees on a newly crawling baby to motivate me to hoover!

the house is probably messier but a bit cleaner since I became a SAHM though, as I'm home more to clean it - but then so are the children home more to untidy it!

luckily I had pretty low standards before having DC though, otherwise I'd spend my life weeping at the state of the place sad

sammyc69 Fri 04-Oct-13 16:44:45

I think i have less time now than i used to,i dont think your house should be too clean as that stops children building up a good immune system! As long as been hoovered n bleached down the toilet n surface clean i'd rather be having fun with my lovely children.

FourHorseShoesoftheApocalypse Fri 04-Oct-13 18:05:08

My house is less tidy and less clean! When I clean I look for products that I think are safe for my children. I don't like spraying chemicals everywhere.

bluebunny Fri 04-Oct-13 18:15:50

I would say my house is less clean since having children simply as I have less time. The time I have is more spent on tidying up rather then cleaning as I often need to tidy to actually get to floors and surfaces!
I also hate the constant monotony of tidying/cleaning so sometimes put it off. Generally my house looks a bit grubby but acceptable! I clean everywhere atleast once a week and the kitchen every day and sittingroom prob every 2-3 days. I only use natural based cleaners and add tee tree to disinfect surfaces/toilet seat etc. I have always used these products so nothing has changed there. My place prior to children was definately a bit cleaner and tidyer due to more time less mess generated.

Uzma01 Fri 04-Oct-13 18:26:23

I found it was ok to keep on too of the cleaning after one child but after two - the mess was massively increased. I don't mind a bit more clutter but not happy to live in a messy home. So I do get the kids to help me tidy up and clean wherever possible. Not a massive fan of convenience cleaning products as a lot of the tend to have dozens of chemicals. Microfibre cloths are good (used wet or dry)

Uzma01 Fri 04-Oct-13 18:30:19

* top (not too)

Grey24 Fri 04-Oct-13 20:26:53

At the moment, I seem to be cleaning the toilet(s) at least once every day, whereas before DD was toilet trained, it was just once every few days (hope that doesn't sound too unclean... I like to think I'm hygienic..). I also clean floors - using floor wipes - all the time, particularly in the hall and front room. I did this every day when my DD was crawling/learning to walk.

I use antibacterial cleaning sprays several times a day (do you really want to know this?) and also antibac wipes for tables.

Unfortunately, my house is much less tidy now than before I had my DD. I wish it were ultra tidy, but I can't seem to keep all rooms tidy at the same time.
I certainly vacuum less than I used to, unfortunately, and the windows haven't been cleaned for about 6 months...

Sorry I haven't got a witty or fascinating thing to tell you - my life is just very child-and-cleaning-centred, but only in a mundane and repetitive way.

hanbee Fri 04-Oct-13 20:37:58

It's not children that have altered the cleanliness of my house for the worse, it's sharing a house with my parents! Honestly I must have blanked out how much clutter they kept lying around and how generally messy they were. Instead of cleaning up after two boys and a husband I'm now cleaning up after two children, my husband and two oldies. It's driving me crazy!!

GetKnitted Fri 04-Oct-13 21:00:21

cleaning jobs have increased 100 fold since we started potty training, pun not intended blush

ladygoingGaga Fri 04-Oct-13 21:18:18

I clean more now I have a DC, especially round the toilet, he generally sits down, but even then there seems to be sprinkles everywhere, and don't even go there with the other!

I Hoover everyday now, biscuit crumbs, peas, shreddies, lego men heads, you name it I Hoover it up daily.

CatHackney Fri 04-Oct-13 21:26:18

With the arrival of our baby, we have just given up and hired a cleaner as we now have more mess, less time, and a greater sense of the importance of keeping the house clean. So, we buy the products our cleaner says are best. She likes Cif.

mum2eci Fri 04-Oct-13 22:54:29

Would say I'm less house proud since having children! Used to love a tidy house and initially used to get stressed when couldn't keep on top of housework etc but now I appreciate that my children are only young once and the tidying will still be there tomorrow!!

helcrai Sat 05-Oct-13 09:23:05

I have less time to clean since I had children but the house definitely is more hygienic. I've had to be creative about when I do tasks: cleaning the loo while supervising them in the bath, sorting the dishwasher and washing out while juggling making dinner. The products I use have changed a little- I tend to buy only bathroom cleaner/kitchen cleaners which have bleach in and/or anti bacterial. I am conscious that with kids there are a lot more bugs and illness brought into the house now!
I also like products which save me time and reflect the lesser amount of time I have to clean, eg I will buy floor cleaning wipes as I find it quicker to deal with numerous spills and sticky food marks in the kitchen than having to get the mop and bucket out each time. General purpose anti bac wipes are strategically placed around the house for the same reason!
It is sad, but if I have a day in the house I will usually spend it doing a thorough blitz of each room, concentrating on kitchen, bathrooms & kids bedrooms. That's when I tend to do a deep clean using every product I can lay my hands on! It gives me peace of mind for a bit!

Patchouli Sat 05-Oct-13 09:56:28

Before children we used to do big 'blitzs' where the whole day could be dedicated to cleaning. Now I'm trying to do it little and often and do reach for anti-bac wipes etc for convenience.

duchesse Sat 05-Oct-13 10:23:52

Our house is definitely much less clean than pre-children! We have 4 children, two large and hairy dogs, one cat and we live in the countryside, whereas we used to live in town. This house is 140 years old and appears to exude its own filth. The window sills are littered with fresh insect corpses every day. I sweep the floor every single day, sometimes several times, yet it is always floating in dust and fur bunnies. So I am doing far more cleaning than pre-children, but the house is always dirtier than pre-children. I must be doing something wrong...

hunhun007 Sat 05-Oct-13 18:02:30

I would say it is much more clean then it used to be but more messy... I hope this makes sense...
We clean more often and use much more disinfecting products then we use to but our house change from "law and order" to "free form"...
I am not able to make it perfect and keep all things where they should be at all times so it might look as disorganized mess at times but it is very clean mess :-)

Reastie Sat 05-Oct-13 18:32:05

Erm, my standards have lowered since having DD! I clean and tidy more but it looks messier than it ever did before I had her <glares at DD>. I try to get DD to 'help' me. She loves squeegying the shower when I've finished (she's 2 so the bits she can reach) and she cleans the bath taps for me whilst I clean the bath. Other than that it's very hard to do much cleaning when looking after her as I have to play with her all the time

ChocolateMama Sat 05-Oct-13 19:21:50

Saw this thread and had to comment. It is a subject close to my heart. I remember (pre-children) reading a newspaper article saying that a women with a family did an average of - cannot quite remember - but must have been about 12 hours of actual housework each work. I remember laughing out loud and thinking that couldn't be possible as it was way to much. shock

Roll on a few years and way hey - 12 hours of housework doesn't even tough the sides of our house. confused

I live in a male household, and the amount of general mess and dirt is incredible. I used to be very houseproud, but have had to lower my standards a little - but not on cleanilenss I hasten to add, just the mess bit! Kitchen and bathroom's get once over daily. It is things like fingerprints on the walls that really irks me. Went to a single friends house the other day, and it was as if I had stepped back in time. That was how I used to live with everthing immaculate. On the plus side, I am very happy with my lot and wouldn't change it for the world!

Meglet Sat 05-Oct-13 19:27:41

My house is basically trashed now. It was lovely before I had DC's and when they were small. As soon as they stopped having naps I couldn't get on top of it again.

I last used the dyson 2/3 weeks ago as I simply can't get to the floor. We're moving to a bigger house soon so I can get organised again.

Puppypoppet Sat 05-Oct-13 19:59:30

Think we clean less since DD was born - just don't have the time or energy. However we find we're doing more tidying up of toys etc. I have always liked anti bacterial products - like things to be really clean not just superficially. Still do both quick clean ups and the occasional deep clean. Do look for more convenient products such as wipes etc.

ShatnersBassoon Sat 05-Oct-13 20:03:19

I used to have an immaculate house. It's still as clean, but I don't worry about things being out of place as much as I used to. I have Nerf bullets on my bedside table, for example.

greathat Sun 06-Oct-13 20:24:44

I need to clean a lot more, but never find the time. I try to focus on things like kitchen and bathroom. I tend to grab an antibacterial wipe and try and give the bathroom a once over while the kids are in the bath. I really need to be better but what I want to do is train the 4 year old to do it for me while she actually wants to smile

wibblyjelly Sun 06-Oct-13 21:54:37

I make sure ds's room and the kitchen is clear when I get home from work. The problem is this needs doing every day, as we are so tried once we finish eating dinner, that it all just gets shoved on the surface to deal with it the next day.
I keep meaning to have a good sort out in the dining room, and our room, but an overly curious 1 year old stops me...

LentilAsAnything Sun 06-Oct-13 21:55:13

I clean about the same as before child. I think a few germs are good for them, and I certainly don't go crazy bleaching everything. Child is three and never had a cold, so maybe there is something to it! Life is too short for too much cleaning!

adelinehillman Mon 07-Oct-13 09:09:16

Having kids means to keep some sense of cleanliness and hygiene in your home you need to clean on an hourly basis, whether its wiping surface, sweeping/cleaning the floors or giving the bathroom a much needed 'once over'. This was not the case prior to having kids, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!

FlatsInDagenham Mon 07-Oct-13 12:44:46

Do you and your DP/DH (if applicable) find yourselves doing more cleaning since you've had children? Much much more. In fact our standards were pretty low before we had the DC but the responsibility of creating a family home for them has made us me step up to the mark.

How have things changed post children in this regard? Do you find yourself looking for the anti-bac cleaning products now or were you always partial to this type of product? I look for cheap but effective products. Our budget is much tighter than before so I'll choose cleaning products on special offer. if it's antibac too, so much the better but it's not essential.

If your home gets cleaned more now, is it more likely to be a quick clean here and there to tidy up after teatime etc? Or is it do regular deep cleans as well/instead? Quick regular cleans. We deep clean maybe once every couple of months.

Are you now more likely to look for quick convenience products like wipes? No because they are too expensive compared to bottles and reusable cloths.

Probably about the same. Hard to gauge accurately as we moved into our first house from student digs 6 weeks before DS was born.

Do you and your DP/DH (if applicable) find yourselves doing more cleaning since you've had children?
Definitely! Far more tidying up, and there are always fingerprint marks to wipe, spilled/dropped food or drinks, as well as the mess toys and activities such as baking and craft stuff create. When she was a baby (pre-crawling) it was great, everything stayed clean, then she began to move about by herself grin

How have things changed post children in this regard? Do you find yourself looking for the anti-bac cleaning products now or were you always partial to this type of product? I have always been partial to anti-bac cleaning products, particular floor cleaners.

If your home gets cleaned more now, is it more likely to be a quick clean here and there to tidy up after teatime etc? Or is it do regular deep cleans as well/instead? I have stuff to tidy and clean every night,but these are quick 'once overs' of the kitchen sides, the hob etc. Deep cleans happen once a week, the bath and toilet are properly scurbbed, floors all cleaned and disinfected etc.

Are you now more likely to look for quick convenience products like wipes? I take effectiveness and speed into account, if something works well and is pretty quick, I am much more inclined to use it! However if it is something quick and gimmicky but isn't actually that great, and has received rubbish reviews (like the Vanish carpet cleaning powder packs) then I am unlikely to bother.

In a nutshell, the house is now a shit tip.

Akray Mon 07-Oct-13 15:14:21

Clean much more nowsad

Pre DC would do thorough clean every weekend and it would stay clean and tidy all week cos me and DH out at work all day.

Now SAHM with 5DC and just clean and tidy constantly! Hoover and wash floors downstairs, go upstairs to clean, come back down and mess again ~ aaaarrrrrggg.........

I am a clean freak but don't get the time to clean like I used to ~ very rarely get the opportunity to do skirting boards, inside windows etc. Always looking for new products that might make cleaning quickergrin

TheFabulousIdiot Mon 07-Oct-13 15:28:02

I clean about the same as I used to but I am much more careful with what I use. I don't want my DS sniffing loads of chemical cleaners so try to clean when he's not there. We tend to do a big clean up every week, I've never gotten into the whole cleaning routine thing and don't do regular sweeps of the house.

Generally though our house is dirty compared to other people who are fanatical, people would be horrified to see what we let DS eat from the floor considering that we rarely clean it. We have more children's stuff lying all over the place, drops of yoghurt, paint, snot and wee. This morning DS pooed on the rug, DH picked it up with a wet-wipe and that was it as it was solid.

I joked to DH this weekend that it was nice to have a clean room in the house but such a shame that we could only seem to have one clean one at a time.

Fumnudge Mon 07-Oct-13 16:50:04

Don't mind a messy house after school but it all gets put away each night. Anti bac sprays are used but didn't think of wipes, always think they're a bit environmentally unnecessary.

BananaPie Mon 07-Oct-13 16:56:23

I think I clean more now, and the house is probably cleaner than it was pre children - life has moved on from student style living!

Don't use anti-bac products apart from the loo and kitchen work surfaces - I'm a bit sceptical about the need for them to be honest, and think they 're overused.

jojane Mon 07-Oct-13 18:03:31

Before children I would clean the house once a week, couple o hours max.. It would then stay fairly clean and tidy until the following week. Now I have 3 children it's in a constant state of mess, toys, discarded clothes, sticky finger marks on the walls, illicit biscuit crumbs on the sofa, no matter how much cleaning I do!

TheFutureMrsB Mon 07-Oct-13 18:08:36

The amount of cleaning we do is huge! I find myself having to clean up pretty much constantly, the washing machine is always on the go and then there's the cleaning of the rooms to just to keep on top of things! We have four children and they do make a mess, I wash the floors every night, I polish every other day, the kitchen is cleaned around three times a day, it's a never ending cycle.

I do opt for anti-bac sprays for the cleaning of the little one's high chair and to wipe over the work tops inbetween cleans. In the living room area I clean this on a daily basis but then do a deep clean once a week to get anything that's been brought from upstairs down to back up!

The passage is a dumping ground for the kids school bags/coats/shoes so whilst it's clean all day when they are in school, come 3.30 it's a mess so that get's done every evening too.

The bathroom get's cleaned everyday, with three of the children using the loo, all boys they like to aim anywhere but the actual toilet so I clean in there a few times a day but once a week it gets a deep clean where I bleach the floors rather than spray and wipe.

I find myself buying cleaning products every week and we do get through them all.

My house has always been this way, I had my son young and moved into my house just before having him, I like to think it would have once been effortlessly clean and maybe when they are all grown up it will be smile

I'd like to say it's easy but it's not really, it get's done but it does seem like a repetitive waste of my time ... Imagine the mess if I didn't do it all though! shock

Dylanlovesbaez Mon 07-Oct-13 18:43:30

The kitchen surfaces, floor and highchair are cleaner than before dd came along and we both tend to clean more but it never feels quite tidy! I love the lived in look though!

StarsAboveYou Mon 07-Oct-13 20:00:06

My house is cleaner than its ever been since having DS, not what I expected!

I clean floors & bathroom properly twice a week and in between times I do quick cleans to keep on top of them. Kitchen is done daily.

I'm not fussed by anti bac sprays as I think some germs are good for building resistance. I Sometimes use wipes, it depends whether I have any handy, but only for a quick blitz and not a proper clean.

The house is clean & tidy at 6am everyday and looks like a hurricane has gone through it by 6pm!

I tidy it again once DS has gone to bed so its ready for a fresh start the next day.

Dolallytats Mon 07-Oct-13 20:34:53

Since having children I tend to look for antibacterial products. I'm actually horrendously messy and am the least house proud person, but I like things clean if not tidy. Although, I have found that the older I get the more tidy I am becoming!!

I love antibac wipes as they can be used for so many things.

rowrowrowtheboat Mon 07-Oct-13 20:56:19

Do you and your DP/DH (if applicable) find yourselves doing more cleaning since you've had children?
Oh yes! Dirt gets carried in and spread around all the time, crumbs and food get spilt constantly. I would love to deep clean regularly but rarely do it, I often settle for a quick once round in most rooms, with a better clean in bathrooms and kitchens. Having been both a working mum and SAHM, more mess and muck is created the more the children are in the house. It never ends!

How have things changed post children in this regard? Do you find yourself looking for the anti-bac cleaning products now or were you always partial to this type of product? I don't buy different things, just more of them. in fact, I go down the cleaning aisle less as my husband does the weekly shop. I find out about new products by word of mouth or advertising. What I have to buy more of, is carpet cleaner. Something quick, easy and effective is always welcome.

If your home gets cleaned more now, is it more likely to be a quick clean here and there to tidy up after teatime etc? Or is it do regular deep cleans as well/instead Definately a quick clean here and there. I used to be able to do 30-40 mins every day before the school run but now school has started, I seem to not have a set time to clean, and when I do, I focus on the kitchen and bathroom. I desperately want to deep clean.

Are you now more likely to look for quick convenience products like wipes? If I use a wipe, it will be a baby wipe, and for wiping marks on walls and skirting boards. I don't like the idea of using wipes and throwing them away. If they are easily degradable and environmentally friendly, I would use wipes every day on taps and toilets.

LaTrucha Mon 07-Oct-13 21:23:10

How have things changed post children in this regard? I definitely hoover more but that's life with a 3 year old. I think I clean in general about the same as I did, but I do much, much more tidying.

Do you find yourself looking for the anti-bac cleaning products now or were you always partial to this type of product? I'm not an anti-bacterial cleaner kind of person. I try and use products that are non-toxic to children, as DS often likes to take his deaner and eat it, well, elsewhere (carpet? windowsill?)

If your home gets cleaned more now, is it more likely to be a quick clean here and there to tidy up after teatime etc? Or is it do regular deep cleans as well/instead? The constant little jobs do get int he way of deeper cleaning. This does get done, but not as frequently as perhaps it should. It tends to get pushed to the weekend.

Are you now more likely to look for quick convenience products like wipes? I do use wipes for the toilet, but nothing else. I tend to look, as I said, for non-toxic products. I probably wouldn't have bothered before.

threefeethighandrising Mon 07-Oct-13 21:27:37

My house is much cleaner and tidier since I had kids. Both DP and I are pretty messy people. But I grew up in a clean, tidy house (with a healthy amount of clutter IMO). I think the DC deserve a nice house (of course!) so its way tidier & cleaner now.

YonilyDevotedToYou Mon 07-Oct-13 21:36:26

I agree with the previous poster: actually since DSD went to uni, our house has become less clean. Not because DSD did loads of cleaning (we wish!) but because when it's just the two of us, DP and I bother less with cleaning!

Ikeameatballs Mon 07-Oct-13 22:00:39

I clean more often but probably less effectively. I try to tidy as I go and then clean afterwards.

Alanna1 Mon 07-Oct-13 22:10:46

I have a cleaner who recommends cif! She cleans. I just try to cope in between.

cherrylola Mon 07-Oct-13 22:47:31

We defiantly deep clean in fits and starts, but I think we always did this anyway even before DS came along! We are however VERY tidy, always have been which has been hard with a small LO to get used to! Always have a tidy round before bed, before leaving the house for the day etc, and always clean and tidy the house, do washing etc before going away from home for the weekend or a holiday (HATE coming come to piles of washing and dirty bathroom or kitchen). We have a small 3 storey house so keep a cleaning kit on each floor for convenience. LOVE wipes- soooo convenient! Wipes, bleach and anti-bac surface spray are the main components of my cleaning arsenal!

BlackeyedSusan Mon 07-Oct-13 22:50:55

since having children.... oh my. so much more cleaning to do, much less time to do it in.

i used to buy jif [old gimmer] but had to swap to supermarket own brand...

am i allowed to lie on the floor and tantrum about the name change from jif?

ohforfoxsake Mon 07-Oct-13 22:53:52

I never had to clean the walls before kids. Why the chuff do they have to drag their grubby hands along the walls? Up and down the bloody stairs.

And sticky door handles. Have to clean/disinfect door handles now.

rockybalBOOOOa Mon 07-Oct-13 23:21:41

I'm not even remotely bothered about anti bac products (esp as my DH has a massive conspiracy theory about excessive use of anti bac products being the reason there are so many children with allergies these days) but the major post children difference is how often I have to sweep the kitchen floor. I feel like bloody Cinderella some times. Oh and using baby wipes to clean all manner of marks off the sofa. Baby wipes are amazing. As long as you try not to think about what they are doing to your baby's skin if they have that effect on the furniture...

firawla Mon 07-Oct-13 23:35:52

it needs a lot more cleaning now as the kids make so much mess, so before once throughly cleaned it would stay nice for few days, now it needs doing more than once a day

VestaCurry Mon 07-Oct-13 23:56:35

Having children means loos need cleaning much more often. I do keep an anti-bacterial spray handy next to the loos. Bath, shower all need cleaning more often too because we're a larger family unit and both my dc's play football most weekends and get v muddy.
Untidiness can become overwhelming unless good habits are re-inforced (everyone puts dirty clothes in washbasket, shoes put in one place, coats/jacket hung up etc).

Patilla Tue 08-Oct-13 06:27:06

The house as a whole is not cleaner due to the time pressures that children bring.

The kitchen, however, is much cleaner after DS had campylobacter last year even though it was almost impossible to have come from our home.

Especially now DC2 is weaning I've been scrupulous about keeping work tops clean, fridge shelves clean and tidying visible mess away to facilitate that. It does mean some late night cleaning but I'd hate to give either child food poisoning.

GiraffesAndButterflies Tue 08-Oct-13 06:31:01

With a baby who takes tiny naps I am definitely more likely to reach for the wipes. I would say I am more likely to clean now, although it's harder. Particularly vacuuming- trying to find that magic window when baby is awake, not hungry and someone else is free to watch her while I do it, is no easy thing!

NK5BM3 Tue 08-Oct-13 07:06:58

Having children has led to a bigger messier house. It has also led to hiring a cleaner once a week. It just helps us get on top of things like the kitchen, loo, vacuuming and that sort of thing. I don't vacuum otherwise unless there's a giant mess as we both work full time.

NK5BM3 Tue 08-Oct-13 07:07:47

Oh and I use the antibacterial wipes to clean tables, floors etcetc where necessary. Not the cheapest perhaps but the easiest.

FreakoidOrganisoid Tue 08-Oct-13 07:10:52

The handprints. The crumbs. The dinner smeared over table and chair. The extra washing. The bits all over floor. The stuff left lying everywhere. ..children definitely mean more mess and dirt.

My boyfriend doesn't understand why I spend so much time cleaning. He will once we live together!

I use cif cream cleaner to clean bathroom and the kitchen sink. Also on window frames and some of the handprints

jellyfl00d Tue 08-Oct-13 07:18:02

Baby wipes, useful for all manner of cleaning jobs, not just for wiping babies!
Cleaning tends to be quick 5 minute jobs that are fit in around things, laundry is done when toddler on the loo, bathroom gets cleaned whilst kids are in the bath etc.
some things are done more frequently like vacuuming, more crumbs trailing around, bath cleaning as it gets used more than the shower. Some things are more neglected since having kids like windows, oven, dusting, ironing.
Time for just the essentials really!

themummyonthebus Tue 08-Oct-13 09:02:43

Before DC2 arrived DH would do a clean on Saturday morning and i would do small maintenance cleans as and when. Now DC2 is here we've decided to get a cleaner so we can have more family time together at the weekend as well as more "own" time in the evenings as DH felt he never had time to relax. W both work ft out of the house though so time is precious. We get a deep clean once a week, use a roomba to maintain the floors several times a week and just do maintenance cleans of the bathroom/kitchen if really needed. It's so much cleaner, and easier to keep clean now.

The house is not only cleaner but also tidier since having children, strangely enough. Luckily DS1 takes after DH so is happy to tidy his toys away, and having two small children encourages me to tidy my stuff away more to avoid it being fiddled with.

We use the same cleaning materials that we've always used though, and don't bother with anti-bacterial stuff. I'm of the opinion that a bit of grubbiness is good for your immune system grin

SidandAndyssextoy Tue 08-Oct-13 09:26:35

Yes, nothing on earth would get me to use the antibacterial stuff. I'm seriously worried about the effect the use of it is having. Our house is messier and dirtier since having kids. I haven't started using any new products though-same stuff as before, barring some heavy duty clothes cleaning routines.

Willemdefoeismine Tue 08-Oct-13 10:12:51

We are not an entirely house-proud family although the bathroom and kitchen are cleaned daily. It's just difficult finding the time and motivation for major cleaning when it's all undone in a trice....

We have two cats and I do find that now that the children are getting older and less messy (in some ways), the cats have just stepped into the mess-making void. For a start there's always loads of fur/fluff floating around on the wooden floors. Our 'toddler' cat is also a climber so there's always surfaces to clean.

I never use antibacterial stuff - it will cause the demise of the effectiveness of antibiotics for sure.

Our DCs are very healthy without ever having had to resort to such measures (and I've never discouraged them from picking up dropped food from the floor!). I'm pretty sure it's because I've never resorted to over-fastidiousness that they are so robust.

As an aside, I'm sure I've read somewhere that researchers consider that one of the reasons for the rise in childhood leukemia is correlated with over-clean household growing-up environments.

IncaAztec Tue 08-Oct-13 10:36:00

Do you and your DP/DH (if applicable) find yourselves doing more cleaning since you've had children? Or less? How have things changed post children in this regard?

Even less cleaning I am afraid. In between nappy changes/milk feeds/winding/nursery pick ups there isn't much time left for cleaning. Its more fire-fighting the ever increasing tide of untidyness/cleaning..

Do you find yourself looking for the anti-bac cleaning products now or were you always partial to this type of product?

I'm always partial to anti-bacterial products. 2 for the price of 1 really..

If your home gets cleaned more now, is it more likely to be a quick clean here and there to tidy up after teatime etc? Or is it do regular deep cleans as well/instead?

Less, quick cleans these days.

Are you now more likely to look for quick convenience products like wipes? Or – has nothing changed?!

I use more wipes in the kitchen but still use CIF cream for the bathrooms as they need a more intensive clean.

Lent1l Tue 08-Oct-13 11:38:01

I've been thinking about this since having seen the start of the thread. There I was thinking, wow I'm a bad Mum who actually cleans less than before I was a Mum. But do I? Having thought about it and watched my habits over the last week I think actually it is jsut the way i clean that has changed. Previously I was able to spend a couple of hours every weekend cleaning the house top to bottom, dusting, vacuuming, cleaning windows etc but this is jsut not possible with an 18 month old when you work full time as weekends are precious. So when do I clean now?

I started to notice I do little cleans. Whislt DD is eating I buzz around the kitchen and clear the dishes, clean the sink, oven hob etc. I'll quickly brush the floor of the kitchen whilst she's busy with a satsuma. Whilst she's splashing in the bath I quickly grab a bathroom wipe and do the floor or around the toilet. DH will lend a hand and quickly run a vacuum round bits whilst I am playing with DD or vice versa.

So no perhaps my house is perhaps not as sparkly clean on a permanent basis as my cleaning obsessed pre-Mum self liked to achieve but the main bits are kept tidy and cleaned more frequently probably. I also try and remember the words from the poem "Dust if you must". A little dust here and there hurts no-one but not spending the precious minutes I have with DD after work and at weekends I can't get back if I spend them doing housework instead.

BadlyWrittenPoem Tue 08-Oct-13 12:56:04

I would say that the house gets dirty more quickly because there are more of us and obviously there are specific things (like the high chair or the bathroom stool) to clean which weren't there before but I wouldn't say that I am more concerned about cleanliness or choose different products to before just because of having children.

MissRee Tue 08-Oct-13 13:56:46

Definitely more cleaning - sticky fingers prints on the TV/tables/mirrors/everywhere.

Food in the carpet/on the floor.

I tend to use anti-bacterial wipes for everything now as everything goes in her mouth or gets fiddled with!

Cambam2010 Tue 08-Oct-13 15:24:27

When my son was a baby I was very much into all the antibac products that you can buy but as he has got older and more disgusting with his habits (3.5yo) I have become a bit more relaxed! I still clean as well as I ever did but I am not so over the top about germs.

I care much more about the state of my house since becoming a step-mother. It's partly a hygiene thing - it's easier for me to feel assured that I can get rid of D&V bugs if I can sterlize the house quickly. It's also easier for me to say I did everything I could to prevent asthma/hayfever in children if the house is relatively dust- and damp-free. DH and I are a lot more relaxed about day-to-day tidying during the weeks DSD is away with her own mom. Our tidiness has been picking up again the closer I get to my due date.

I am always looking for cleaning shortcuts and have a bunch of tips saved to a Pinterest page. My latest experiment is using a Dishmatic sponge in the shower with a mixture of washing up liquid and white vinegar. I buy vinegar by the jarful to use for cleaning - I'm under the impression that it's much safer to use in pregnancy than a lot of chemicals and bleach. I also buy a lot of "plant-based" cleaners, like Method, which probably have just as many chemicals as the standard stuff, tbh, but they smell nice and the Squirt and Mop floor cleaner is really easy to use.

We use stuff like Cif cream for really heavy-duty jobs - the last one was sterilizing the kitchen sink - but we try not to use stuff like that on a regular basis. I've had asthma since childhood, so minimizing asthmagens in the air is always on my mind a bit. There is a bit of a balancing act between combating germs/damp/mildew and keeping the air relatively free of harsh chemicals.

Since having children, our house is now alot cleaner as I am more organised and have a good routine, although it is untidier than it was before as it is now a family home smile smile

SaltySeaBird Tue 08-Oct-13 20:07:36

I've become more immune to mess.

Actually, the house is messier, but cleaner. When DD started to crawl we invested in a fancy mop. Now we have sticky fingers exploring we tend to wipe down all surfaces including cupboard doors with anti-bacterial. The bathroom is a lot cleaner as we are more thorough with deep cleaning.

Yet there is more clutter and stuff everywhere!

Hopezibah Tue 08-Oct-13 20:24:04

we do SO much more laundry (used to do one whites and one darks wash a week - now we do two washes a day!). Some things take less priority these days like dusting and vacuuming, whilst other things are higher priority like keeping toilets, sinks, kitchen, highchairs etc really clean and germ free!

I worry less about how messy the house looks as long as the key areas are hygienically clean.

spicers1976 Tue 08-Oct-13 21:57:47

The house is a lot more cluttered than it was pre children. It is a lot cleaner than it was before, mainly because my daughter likes to investigate everything around and she collects bugs from the garden, so I'm always on top of cleaning for her.

Doubtfuldaphne Tue 08-Oct-13 22:30:16

Having kids means being organised and clean and tidy
When the children were born I stocked up on cleaning products and got in to the habit of cleaning everything much more thoroughly.
I do wonder if I clean a little too much now but I love the satisfaction of a nice orderly home!

lews Wed 09-Oct-13 09:57:31

It's probably cleaner - but definitely messier!

missorinoco Wed 09-Oct-13 10:02:53

Children 1- house 0.

My house is cleaned far more often than pre children, but as said, it is far messier. We do a weekly clean, and extras as needed. So the kitchen table is wiped and floor swept after every meal, and often the surfaces are wiped. It depends on the age of the children though. When I was weaning we had to mop after every meal.

I also do more deep cleans now, probably once a month.

I bulk buy cleaning products, and opt for disposable products like wipes more than previous. They are very handy for quick spillages throughout the house.

janajos Wed 09-Oct-13 10:18:48

I do clean more but try to use products with few harmful chemicals in them. Kitchen is cleaned daily and loos are checked (all three!) for unsightly stains. We do a deep clean once a week with a cleaner and then the floors are washed, hoovering is done and all window sills etc are wiped and furniture dusted.

I do not like antibacterial products as I feel they disturb our natural ability to build up immunity.

beeelaine Wed 09-Oct-13 11:08:22

well no surprise its a lot cleaner before you have children!!! anything that saves time and makes cleaning easier gets tried out!!!! the most recent product was a spray foam from a well advertised brand which cost me £3.50 and did the shower cubical twice - yep twice so i wont be buying that anymore! (and neither will my friends). I think the reason mums dont have enough time is that once kids can walk and pick things up the place turns into a mess if you dont constantly keep on top of it! We have antibacterial soap in a dispenser but i dont tend to use much antibacterial sprays as i feel if you use very hot water and cloth with your cleaner it should clean away the dirt which is where the bacteria multiplies so as long as you keep on top of the cleaning it will be ok - i think sometimes we can be a bit over the top on the antibacterial stuff - no point if you then leave your house and mingle with everyone else and go in shops etc cos they are not 99.9% germ free! I dont tend to like wipes as they end up in landfill (or even worse blocking the drains). can cif please invent a special jet sprayer that i can use in my overflows? im using an old hair dye bottle to squirt cleaner down them now to clean them!

SpecialJK Wed 09-Oct-13 15:53:16

Wow. I used to be the most house-proud person before children, and now I'm usually pretty despondent at trying to keep on top of it all. There just never seem to be enough hours in the day, and working FT, the last thing I want to do, but seem to end up doing, is cleaning all weekend. I definitely clean less, but when I do, I focus more on specific areas since I've had children, so less dusting, and more kitchen worktop and table wiping!

I have to say I loved the new product from Mr Muscle, the click top thing where you could use your own kitchen roll/cloths to spray the cleaner into. I usually use wipes for convenience, but felt that using a cloth with the anti-bac spray is more eco friendly

OanaChi Thu 10-Oct-13 07:39:11

I clean less as I have less time to do it! I used to be a cleanliness freak, cleaned my house top to bottom at least twice a week. Now I'm much more relaxed and clean every other week or if we have visitors :-)

madamweasel Thu 10-Oct-13 17:17:17

I have to clean up every day now! I get through so many cleaning wipes on the hard floors under the highchair. I also have to regularly sweep and mop areas such as hallways and the kitchen floor because I'm conscious that my son crawls and sits on those floors and then puts his hands in his mouth - it's a whole new level of cleanliness compared to when you don't have kids. Essentially your floors have to be clean enough for little people to lick!!! I look for products that clean well and are antibacterial but try to avoid them if they're very strong chemicals, like neat bleach as I wouldn't want DS to come into contact with anything dangerous.

NicNak71 Thu 10-Oct-13 22:21:59

Cleaning my house now I’ve children
Has become an incessant chore
From dawn until dusk I am scrubbing
And tomorrow I’ll do it some more

Sticky hands, crumbs and spilled juice
Are all part of the daily grime battle
I’m going around here in circles; my nerves are beginning to rattle

My gleaming shiny surfaces are now just a little bit dull
When I step inside of the playroom, I’m thinking we need a toy cull.
My house is no longer spotless; some cupboards hide all the sins
But my anguish at mess is soon put to rest by my daughter’s mischievous grins.

threefeethighandrising Thu 10-Oct-13 23:11:36

So children are a great leveller where cleaning is concerned then grin

The clean freaks just don't have the time to do it any more, whereas us messy ones finally have a reason which motivates us enough to keep it tidy.

Are we meeting in the middle somewhere?

Bubbles85 Fri 11-Oct-13 07:53:59

More cleaning, definitely! I like to wipe down the surfaces more regularly too.

BruthasTortoise Fri 11-Oct-13 08:18:48

My house is cleaner but much more cluttered. I think the children make more obvious mess that adults so it takes more frequent but much quicker cleaning.

Gerty1002 Fri 11-Oct-13 08:22:37

My first child, DS, is four weeks old and it is driving me mad how messy the house is... antibacterial wipes have been a godsend for keeping kitchen and bathrooms hygienic. I'm usually very house proud but at the moment any free time I get is spent sorting out DS' bottles and clothes, or sleeping if I'm lucky smile.

CheekyChimpsMummy Fri 11-Oct-13 09:36:40

From o.c.d to NO.c.d !!!

I'd love a clean tidy immaculate house, I really would. I remember those days so well

Since having ds I have learnt to do my cleaning little and often. Dh helps too... but between him & the furry dirty dog he bought (not my first choice in pets!!!!) They create the majority of the mess anyway!

My view point now is to clean as I go but not to the point where I'm missing out on precious time with my baby, I won't get that time back - there will always be dirt to clean, no matter how many hours I spend scrubbing.

sallyc06 Fri 11-Oct-13 12:45:37

I think having children forced me to be much more aware of germs and cleanliness, but nothing like a bit of CIF or old fashioned Vim on a dishcloth to wipe around everything and get those little sticky finger marks off. You feel like you are always cleaning but it's worth it to have peace of mind and see everything sparkling.

aaaaagh Fri 11-Oct-13 21:15:19

My house is as dirty as it ever was - but now there is more mess and stuff so you can't see the dirt. wink

clubnail Sun 13-Oct-13 12:50:05

Probably less clean at times, more clean at other times. Depends how busy we are and what's been happening. Also it has varied according to the child's age. When crawling, the floor was spotless. Now, not always. We aren't uptight about a few germs, we think it's ok to build up their immune system a little. There is worse outside. Kitchen is always clean though.

kilcrea Mon 14-Oct-13 16:25:14

I clean the house a lot more frequently now as the kids seem to spill something almost every day so the hoover is always out. It's probably more a question of frequent quick cleans rather than weekly intensive cleans now though, so products like bathroom wipes come in really handy.

malachite Mon 14-Oct-13 19:10:58

Our house is much cleaner since having children, because we gave up and got a cleaner! We also do have much more routine to keep the kitchen clean and stay on top of laundry and vacuuming through the week too. Since I have a toddler in the eat things they find on the floor stage I've been much more careful about cleaning up!

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