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

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

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

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

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

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

morethanpotatoprints Mon 28-Jan-13 23:22:46

working parents still have to clean as much though, do meal planning, tidying up, organising other household needs. Maybe there isn't as much mess than would be if you and dc were home all day, but surely this is the same for sahp's. If we all go out to work, college, groups, shopping etc all day our house is tidier and I'm sahm. When dc are on school holiday if they are at home they make the same mess whether parents work or not. I also agree that small dc will make the same mess if they have a few hours or all day. The toy box is emptied and scattered in seconds, grin

Mine are older now though so have best of both worlds sahm and they clean up and manage stuff for themselves mostly. smile

redskyatnight Sun 27-Jan-13 11:45:37

I find when I'm at home during school holidays (so DC available for mess making) the house is much tidier. TBH I think this is just in the fact that I am around so much more. In an average working day, I'm just not at home for long enough to do more than stay on top of the washing up/clothes washing and cleaning anything really awful. Whereas when I'm at home I (e.g.) spend the odd 5 minutes doing something and more things get done almost without me realising it. It's stuff like, I'll wipe down the cupboard doors or put the dishes from the dishwasher away while i'm waiting for the kettle to boil.
And if you can do stuff as you go along it's much easier than trying to do it all at once.

ThreeTomatoes Sun 27-Jan-13 11:22:08

I have to say, that during term time when I work almost full time (4.5 days) I never feel quite on top of 'home' stuff. The house is more of a tip, I remember important things like cheque-writing by the skin of my teeth, and cooking and menu-planning feels like much more of a drag (i otherwise enjoy it). I am hoping to change my work pattern in a few months and only go in a couple of half days and work a few evenings and the odd weekend day from home instead, and I can't bloody wait. It'll free up 2 hours a day (that would otherwise have been spent commuting) and will give me that fresh daytime period for study and house-related stuff. Plus more social time, both for me & dd (after school). It'll be amazing. Best of both worlds.

missmapp Sun 27-Jan-13 09:47:13

backtobedlam- I work full time and there is no way I can pop out in my lunchtime, or even on my way home, I have to work through to ensure I can leave early to do pick up and have time to do tea, chat, homework, reading, bath bed!!

meadow2 Sun 27-Jan-13 09:12:19

Leprepon- I was in your position a couole of months ago and having 2 get two ready and out in morning.I was worried about it, but I think when your working and not at home you just start doing everything faster and more efficiently as you knw you have less time.

The kids get used to it quicker than you think as well.

atacareercrossroads Sun 27-Jan-13 09:07:20

Well, all I know is that the housework hasnt magically started doing itself since I started working ft, the only difference to me is I have 3 less plates to clean at lunch because the dc get dinner elsewhere.

Hoovering, tidying breakfast things, washing, ironing, putting clothes away, messy play, tidying bedrooms etc just gets done in one concentrated blitz rather than on/off throughout the day.

I'm out the house at 8.15 and back at 5 and the kids seem to save up their energy and mess for when I'm home, as at weekend and when I was a sahm the house doesn't need anything doing except a bit of friffing here and there. almost like they bloody know the little sh.......ugarmuffins

littleducks Sun 27-Jan-13 08:54:40

In response to backtobedlam- in the mornings I go to work, I have to be ready bag packed and dressed to leave either before or at the same time as kids.

If I am just leaving for school run which I do one day a week and its getting hectic or we are running late I just put a tracksuit or something over my pjamas blush. It removes all the pressure, I can come back home and have a shower/wash up cereal bowls/put the milk away if i need to.

My kids are both school age though, it would be different if i had a toddler.

Summerblaze Sun 27-Jan-13 01:26:33

Don't understand why everybody is so hung up on whose job is harder. If you are a SAHM, you have the housework plus the childcare during the day and during the night. SAHM's work usually from when they get up till they go to bed.

If you are a WOHM then you have the housework plus the childcare during the night and work. WOHM's work usually from when they get up till they go to bed.

Can't see what anyones problem is really.

Backtobedlam Sun 27-Jan-13 01:04:43

As a SAHM I do like to be polished and groomed for the school run, as otherwise id be permanently in track suit bottoms and t.shirts, so for my own self esteem I like to make an effort weekdays. Maybe it depends what line of work you are in as even when I worked FT I'd do everything the night before rather than on the morning, and would always quickly make beds on the way out.

I do agree its easier to run a home-I can put a roast chicken in for a couple of hours in the afternoon so its ready for dinner, not possible if you're out at work, or I can go and visit elderly relatives or meet friends in the day rather than cramming it into an evening. I just don't agree that the house gets as untidy in a couple of hours as it does in the whole day. I also miss popping out in my lunch hour to do a bit of child free shopping, or stopping for bread and milk without having to drag the dc's in with me. Pros and cons to both.

KhallDrogo Sun 27-Jan-13 00:55:00

lepreporn it takes a while to settle into a workable routine/ adjustments etc. Good luck! smile

KhallDrogo Sun 27-Jan-13 00:50:33

For work I and the kids leave the house at 740am. If its a non work day we don't leave for school run until 830am. Also if you aren't heading from school run to work, the mornings aren't half consumed by work related preperations. I don't get groomed and polished before leaving in the morning I'd u aren't going to work. If I am going to work, there is no time in the morning for bed making/ pyjama folding/pit washing etc

Permanentlyexhausted Sun 27-Jan-13 00:47:38


I find your last comment completely bizarre. At no point have I suggested that my life is any busier than yours or anyone else's. I simply stated what I do and what I found to be the case in my experience. My username, if you care to double check, says that I am permanently exhausted. It does not say I am permanently more busy than anyone else.

Despite what you say, you clearly are determined to turn this into a 'busier-than-thou' contest. Unfortunately for you, I'm just not interested.

Lepreporn Sun 27-Jan-13 00:45:37

I was only thinking about this today. I have def seen it said on a few threads. I will put it to the test next week as returning to full time work after mat leave. I think the fact that you can't see the mess really helps. I just worry that I will manage to get my 2 dcs out the door in time . Once I'm in work all should be fine. smile
It seems to me that everyone is horrified I'm returning full time.
I've lost count of people saying you're not going back full time though ?
Sorry for mini rant.

Arisbottle Sun 27-Jan-13 00:45:20

I think it is much easier to run a home when you don't work because as the previous poster said you have more time. I work in excess of 80 hours a week, running a home, even with a DH who pulls his weight and a little help is very tough. I get about five hours sleep a night. As a SAHM and during the school holidays I get much more than that.

That is not a criticism of SAHM , I would like to be one rather than criticize them. They seem to have got much more right than me.

louisianablue2000 Sun 27-Jan-13 00:40:51

1) It partly depends on the children. Currently on maternity leave and when at home with just DS (4months) and DD2 (3 years) the house is generally cleaner by 3pm than 9am. DD2 is the kind of child who will play with e.g. the trainset all morning. Then DD1 comes home and it's a bomb site within minutes, she likes to play mplicated games involving dens and toys dressed in jewellery and setting out picnics etc etc.

2) Don't think being out of the house at work reduces the work that much, just the amount of time you have to do everything in. I currently have the luxury of doing the weekly shop during the day, when I go back to work it will be back to trailing round the supermarket at 9pm after the kids are in bed and dinner is cleared away.

3) Maternity leave is giving me the chance to catch up on the big housework jobs. Yesterday I cleaned and tidied the bathroom cabinets, hey I even cleaned the squirty bath toys. No way would i have time to do that while at work.

4) Of course, if you are a SAHM then life slows down so you probably feel as busy. You have more time to cook (I'm making more complicated meals during the week now because I have plenty of time) and bake and shop. You have time to walk the kids to school and back (currently spending 2h a day doing that, when I go back to work that will change to a 5 min car trip much later in the day). The SAHM I know have time to sew or knit or do whatever crafty thing they want, when I'm working my sewing is reduced to essential buttons being replaced.

Arisbottle Sun 27-Jan-13 00:32:52

No, my husband leaves for work just after 8am and as do the older children. I then have someone who comes in to give our youngest breakfast and take him to school. She often does fill the dishwasher for me which is a godsend.

Backtobedlam Sun 27-Jan-13 00:08:38

Do you drop your kids off at 6.45am Arisbottle or does someone else get them ready? Only that if its someone else they could also move the breakfast dishes, wipe round etc.

Arisbottle Sat 26-Jan-13 23:54:36

I leave for work at 6:45 if I could wander down the road two hours later there would be no rushing !

Backtobedlam Sat 26-Jan-13 23:52:52

House stays waaaay tidier when we're out all day. I don't see how rushing to get out for work is any different to rushing to do school run (we leave home at 8am) and its so easy to keep the house tidy in that short space of time as long as you clear up as you go. Get up and ready, then wake kids, straight down to breakfast, send kids up to start to get dressed (uniform laid out) while clearing table and wiping round, help kids to finish off, brush teeth and wash, send them to get shoes on while fold pj's and make beds (quickly), out the door and no mess! It's only on days we're in that they manage to mess up every room.

Wallison Sat 26-Jan-13 23:52:45

I think if you are getting to the stage of wanting to win an argument by citing the difference between the woman-hours taken cleaning dried-on food vs fresh food, you're probably getting a bit desperate. So, because it's obviously very important to you that your life is so much more difficult than anybody else's (as evidenced by your user-name) then you are absolutely right.

Permanentlyexhausted Sat 26-Jan-13 23:46:27

IME it ultimately results in less work if you are able to clear away immediately after every meal or after each activity your children have done. If you are in the position of having to clear everything in one huge session at the end of the day then the total amount of work is greater. Dried-on food is more difficult to remove than fresh scraps. It is more time-consuming to separate out and tidy up 8 different lots of toys and crafts than to do each as soon as it is finished with. Of course, I am looking at this through the eyes of someone whose children are at home for a full 5 hours before I am and whose DH, hardworking and helpful though he is, does not understand the concept of tidying up! Other people may have different situations and therefore different experiences.

littleducks Sat 26-Jan-13 23:01:23

Well this got heated.

When I first was working, dd was at school and ds at nursery. DH worked longer hours and did no pick ups or drop offs, so kids would sometimes eat breakfast in childcare (though i still got the boxes back to wash up). It was tidier then as once home they would get changed and chill in front of the TV while dinner was cooked, eat then sleep. Having been playing all day (EYFS) and tired this suited them. The house stayed tidier.

They are now bigger and both go to school and being on the same site and dh changing hours means on of us drops them to school daily. Leaving with dh to drop off seems to increase the mess, not because he does less, in fact he is tidier than me but he prioritises differently and wont have done the little things that grate on me.The mess they make with cereal is unbelievable, always dried cheerios or worse weetabix on the placemats. They no longer go straight to bed but want to play and their toys are the irritating kind, lego models,beads etc. They have masses of stuff, bookbags, football kits, swimming kits etc. It is no longer tidy.

At the weekends it is tidy, as there is more time and so they have to tidy up their own stuff. If I was a SAHM I would enforce this rule every day but I have to allow mess to stand so they have time to eat/do homework etc.

Wallison Sat 26-Jan-13 22:54:43

I don't really want to get into a "busier-than-thou" argument because I don't see a virtue in being busy and don't really have an axe to grind (unlike it would seem some on this thread who are desperate to assure us that it's all so hard for them compared to everyone else), but it stands to reason that if a house is occupied you generate more mess than a house that is empty. If you're at home, you still have to sort the pyjamas and breakfast stuff. Also, unlike if you're not at home, you also have to sort the craft/dressing-up/baking/lego/board games/train track/snacks/drinks etc stuff, multiple times a day, usually.

Permanentlyexhausted Sat 26-Jan-13 22:44:39

Wallison was that to me? If so, how many times do you really have to make beds and put away pyjamas and breakfast stuff in any day? Surely only once?

We may be out all day, but we still prepare (packed) lunches which creates washing up and still have to wah up lunch boxes when we get home. And we still prepare and eat dinner and supper. Same amount of washing up, just needing to be done at a different time.

flow4 Sat 26-Jan-13 22:32:55

I think what we're discovering is that it doesn't matter how much you are at home; it matters how much your kids are at home... And anything more that about 15 minutes per day is unmanageable! wink

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