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Does both parents working full time always equal chaos at home?

(60 Posts)
HankyScore Sun 08-Dec-13 10:18:43

We never seem to get on top of anything.

There is a constant pile of laundry waiting to be put away. We are eating mainly freezer food. No one hoovered for two weeks until I did it on Friday when I was off work feeling ill.

There are piles and piles of stuff waiting to be sorted through. Everyone is exhausted all the time.

Neither of us have any more to give, and there is no money for a cleaner.

Is this just how it is?

I've been working FT out of the house for four months now, DH changed his hours to accommodate school pick up so works from 7am, I get in at 6pm, then we have Cubs, Scouts, music, riding. We are usually asleep on the sofa by 9pm.

We try to keep on top of the house at the weekends but if we go off routine (I was away last weekend for eg) , it all goes to shit.

How do other people do it? We just seem to be exhausted and messy and blah.

Help me.

Monetbyhimself Sun 08-Dec-13 18:37:06

Lone parent here and prioritising is my saviour. I use a dlow cooker a lot, I have massively reduced my laundry mountain by making jeans, fleeces etc have 2 or 3 wears before washing. Decluttering toys/paperwork etc helps massively. I have my own routine in the evenings so I have a list of things in my head.
Could you perhaps dedicate 2 hours on a Saturday morning when you all focus on housework ? I find that if Ido s big clean every week, it's easier then to give bathrooms a quick wipe every other day or whizz a mop around reslly quickly. I iron virtuallynothing apart from school shirts.

Philoslothy Sun 08-Dec-13 18:38:37

Add message | Report | Message poster usuallyright Sun 08-Dec-13 15:57:23
fucking hell, working 13-16 hours a day? So you're basically working and sleeping, surely there's no time for anything else after a 13-16 hour working day?!!!

It should have been 15 not 16 . That is also just weekdays, weekends I have mostly free apart from about 5 hours.

At the moment I am pregnant so am not doing anything other than working and an hour or so with the children, I just don't have the energy and am feeling quite frustrated at not really pulling my weight.

I start work at 7am, sometimes at 6am at home and leave at 6pm. I will them do a few hours at home, that is fairly standard.

When not pregnant I manage to do some housework during the the day as well as time with the children.

Philoslothy Sun 08-Dec-13 18:39:21

One day a week I will leave work at 4pm, that day I have the luxury of just working about a 12 hour day.

nulgirl Sun 08-Dec-13 18:50:05

We both work full time and our house is lovely. This is entirely due to my dh rather than me though. He starts work early so is home by 4pm. He does an hour of housework, prepares dinner and gets the kids to do their homework before I arrive home at 6. He will then do a couple of hours of housework/ DIY at the weekend. I think we would struggle if we both worked conventional office hours or if he had my work ethic as I hate housework and loathe cooking from scratch.

Bumblequeen Sun 08-Dec-13 19:20:40

Dh and I work full time although I am on ML with dc2.

When I worked we only had 1 dc and we were able to keep on top of housework as well as engage in outside activities including voluntary work and mentoring.

Being outside the house for 10 hours a day meant no constant tidying up.

Dd does not attend after school club yet.

Bulk cook
Take out yours and dcs clothes/bags the night before
Do a big clean on a Saturday morning
Make daily 'to do' lists
Do not allow washing to pile up-put on a load daily
Do not sit down for the evening (unless to eat) until you have done all you need to do. I stick by this rule however tired. dh is convinced I am a machine.

trinitybleu Mon 09-Dec-13 08:23:02

am smiling at how many of us are getting the kids to do chores, batch cooking, etc.

We have a cleaner (£20 a week) which means I know the bathrooms and kitchen have been properly done at least once in the last 7 days and weekends are freer for fun stuff. Plus a good tidy weekly is easier than missing a week cos you're away one weekend and then trying to catch up ...

OH is resigning today and hoping to be on garden leave for 3 months, mainly to catch up on DIY grin

redskyatnight Mon 09-Dec-13 08:50:12

Both work full time albeit close to home so little commuting time, and we stagger our hours so that one of us is always home with the DC.

We’ve found the key is getting ultra organised.
So every night the kitchen is cleaned and wiped down, all dirty dishes away etc and prep done for next day if necessary. The lounge is left tidy (the DC do this).
Every Friday night we do a more thorough clean of the kitchen. Then Saturday morning, one of us takes the DC swimming and the other blitzes the house as much as possible. The DC come home and tidy their own rooms. Means by Saturday lunch we’ve “done” housework so can enjoy the rest of the weekend. Because we’re keeping on top of it it doesn’t seem too bad.

We also menu plan each week and shop for what we need. Have a stock of meals that take a max of half an hour (or preprepare). Every night we put in a load of washing, hang it to dry in the morning, then put away at night. Only takes a few minutes each time so doesn’t seem so bad.

We also make the DC (10 and 8) responsible for as much as they can be – so they sort their own rooms, bags for school, tidy up after themselves, organise their own homework (we will help if necessary).
We also have after school clubs 3 nights a week so there is a lot of logistics round working out who gets where when.

FobblyWoof Mon 09-Dec-13 09:06:14

My friend works, I don't, and her house is bloody immaculate. I honestly have no idea how they do it. I know that in part it's down to them generally being tidier and more organised than we are- like taking cups to the kitchen after use, not leaving things on the stairs to take up etc- but I still don't understand how there are enough hours in the day for her to look after a toddler, go to work, come home, look after toddler, clean, tidy, get dinner ready, put toddler to bed and still have a little time to herself.

monicalewinski Mon 09-Dec-13 09:48:35


When my 2 were younger it seemed I was living in a constant state of chaos - I get anxious when things like housework start to slide, and once I've lost the edge it seems to spiral so for me it was non-negotiable to keep on top of things (my husband would be quite happy to live in a shit pit).

For me, the compromise was 'public rooms tidy at all times' and this is still the rule now - so at the end of every day the living room/kitchen would be tidy so that I could actually sit down with a coffee when the kids had gone to bed without furtively looking round at stuff and shit and getting edgy.

Now the boys are 8 & 11 they are responsible for their own stuff (rooms/school bags etc) and this is done every day, and we still have a tidy round every night. Every Saturday morning was my 'cleaning day' and because I didn't let clutter accumulate over the week it only took an hour or so for a clean - however, it would only take 2 days of letting the odd thing slide for everything to be chaos so it felt like a constant losing battle!

Now I'm lucky to be able to afford a cleaner on a Friday morning, so we still keep things tidy every day but when I get home from work on a Friday, the weekend is ours with no housework - this has been bliss!

I think if you both work FT, then you can never have the perfect house unless you are prepared to sacrifice everything else at the altar of clean - which would be rubbish!

You cannot win, unfortunately fsad

monicalewinski Mon 09-Dec-13 09:54:57

Oh, and washing - NEVER let it build up.

I recently got so hacked off with great piles of washing and ironing I got rid of everyone's washing baskets and got one for all of us (with the lights/darks divider in it). This means it gets fuller quicker and it is one load when it is full, so the washing doesn't get 'overlooked' anymore - this has been a revelation for me and I should have done it years ago!!

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