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Anyone else feel useless at household stuff or is it just me?

(33 Posts)
Meandmygirls2009 Sat 04-Jul-15 21:10:03

I love being a sahm but I grew up never having cooked or cleaned until I moved out of home (the day I had my first child!) it was overwhelming being a mum without having to figure out how to cook and clean at the same time. I now have 2 dc and feel like I am still not getting anywhere with this. I tried making a list of meals I can cook that we all like but it was very short as most things I cook once and they do not turn out! And I have no idea what chores need doing daily/weekly etc. at the moment I wash up and clean the loos and put a wash load on, then end up having to blitz the house once a month which is not the way to go as it's hard doing that with two little ones and I so slow at cleaning. Is there anyone else out there as hopeless as me?? Or anyone who can help me?? My own mother never taught me how to look after myself let alone a family sad

victoryinthekitchen Sat 04-Jul-15 21:15:03

me too, but you kind of pick it up as you go along. As long as people are fed and reasonably clean I think it'll be ok smile

Hairylegs007 Sat 04-Jul-15 21:15:15

Yes me. I've had a mass declutter so the house is usually manageable and clean. It takes about two hours a day to clean/wash/hoover/meal planning/cook. The art is tidying up and cleaning immediately after making a mess. Meal planning is easier if there's a slow cooker involved.

AuntyMag10 Sat 04-Jul-15 21:19:45

A lot of people haven't learnt these basic skills at home but today there's so much information out there it would be hard to not know what to do. Practice and you will get better over time.

Meandmygirls2009 Sat 04-Jul-15 21:22:33

I can't even make an omlette that turns out. I would love to one day be able to teach my dds to look after themselves so they don't end up hopeless like me!! I guess practice is the key but i get bored and keep trying new recipes instead of learning basic cooking. And I am just so slow at cleaning so I keep avoiding it!

SchwarzwalderKirschtorte Sat 04-Jul-15 21:30:55

Clean bathroom and kitchen are essential to be done daily.

Bathroom - bloo block in loo, daily squirt with harpic or similar, quick daily wipe over seat and top of pan to remove spills and pubes.

Kitchen - wash up as you go. Wipe surfaces so you have somewhere to work. Wash up, stack to dry and go and do something else (not mumsnet) for 30 minutes - use this time to vacuum/sort laundry/put rubbish out. Go back and the washing up is nearly dry, give it a quick dry with a t towel and put it away.

Lounge/sitting room
remove papers once daily, vacuum, put toys back into boxes, keep it clearso you can always sit down

Once a week
full bathroom clean
clean cooker
change beds, tidy bedrooms
check fridge for food developing a beard

You'll get your own routine. We wash clothes overnight and hang them out first thing - you may find a better time. It's your home - whatever suits you. smile

TeacherKS1 Sat 04-Jul-15 21:33:37

At this time of year meals can be simple and easy to prepare. Cook some chicken and eat with salad. How old are your children? Chopped carrots, cucumber, cherry tomatoes etc with hummus, a few breadsticks to dip in? Protein from tuna/chicken/cheese etc.

Or bolognese - fry onion & garlic in oil, add mince, when it's cooked pour over a jar of Dolmio. Easy.

As for chores, make sure your kitchen is clean - surfaces wiped, sink cleaned - and your bathroom/toilet is regularly cleaned then just hoover round and mop floors. That's about my limit and it looks ok.

As a pp said, decluttering makes the house look loads better too.

Littlemissjt Sat 04-Jul-15 21:39:59

I'd recommend getting a slow cooker. They are amazing, you just throw everything in and leave it all day, let's you get on with doing other things. Once you've got a few meals you all like, make bigger portions and freeze them.

ActiviaYoghurt Sat 04-Jul-15 21:40:52

Totally get you op, I recently got depressed after viewing potential houses to buy as I would never be able to maintain the lovely houses like that.

I try really hard, in most other areas of my life I am high achieving. I have a cleaner for two hours a week.

My mum left home when I was 11 and I wasn't really given any instruction to be helpful in home care.

Just try your best and focus on bringing up happy children.

Allgunsblazing Sat 04-Jul-15 21:40:52

I couldn't boil an egg when I got married, and that was waaay before google and youtube. Also, I'm hardly Earth mother material.
So I've learnt the hard way (being swamped, spending the saturdays cleaning etc). I then discovered the Flylady. I did it religiously for a whole year and then adapted it to my own needs/likes etc.
Roughly, washing goes on Mon-Thurs (fed up with weekends spent in a chinese laundry).
Ironing is Friday evening in front of the tv.

Got a thing about the sink, it has to be empty and wiped clean before bed each evening. Wipe the kitchen counters and put everything back where it belongs.

I bleach the loo every night before bed. I keep wipes by the sink and give it a wipe after brushing teeth.

Change the bedding in Sundays. Bundle it in the machine and turn it on on Monday morning. Same with towels.

Wipe your dinning table after each use, chairs tucked under.

Before you sit down for the evening, tidy the livingroom for 5 minutes, really quickly. Also, get your clothes for the next day out. Make up off and cleanse nicely, hand cream and sit down for the evening.

Menu planning:
Choose 3-4 favourites. In my house it's pizza, eggs, stir fry and curry. Set a day for each of them. Always eggs (omelette, scramble egg, eggy bread, salade nicoise etc) on a monday, curry (whatever you fancy) on a wednesday and pizza saturdays. So you need to always have ingredients for these. The rest of the week, cook whatever's on season/offer/fancy. Once a month, cook a new recipe from a cook book/magazine. Never buy biscuits/snacks, instead, bake a cake on Saturdays with the kids.

Hoover 2 times a week. Well, I do, but I don't have toddlers or pets.

I deep clean the bath once a week on Sunday evening after DD's bath.

I dust on Saturday mornings. Including spiderwebs and shades.

The windows and curtains get washed on the last weekend of November, march and July. That's when I wash the doors and skirting boards.

The car gets cleaned, tidied, filled with petrol every Friday.

I sound like a freak, sorry. But it helps me.

listsandbudgets Sat 04-Jul-15 21:48:36

I'm not good at cleaning. If I feel overwhelmed I set a timer to 30 minutes then go round and do what I can in that time. Usually

Put kettle on.

Clean sink and draining board. Fill sink with hot soapy water then collect an y washing up and put it in to soak. Any greasy pots or pans fill with boiling water leave to soak.

Take carrier bag collect any rubbish I can find

Throw toys in a box

Squirt cleaner round bath, basin and shower and leave to work

Gather all the washing and throw in laundry basket

Rinse off all the things in sink and put to drain, scrub the things that have been soaking in hot water and leave to drain or resoak if necessary

Wipe kitchen surfaces and table which are usually a lot clearer once all of above is done

Return to bathroom and rinse cleaner off with shower. Scrub toilet and throw some cleaner down it

Timer usually goes at this point. Its amazing what you can do in 20 minutes and it does look a lot better smile

Later I do another 20 minute session which mainly involves hoovering and sweeping my now relatively clear floors

Easy recipie for you in this hot weather: Tin of mixed bean salad, tin of tuna, chopped tomotoes, cucumber and spring onion, boiled new potatoes. Mix everything up and leave in fridge to cool for later. Serve with some nice salad dressing

chewymeringue Sat 04-Jul-15 22:04:51

I totally understand how you feel op. I am only just getting to grips with it in my 40s! I feel so embarrassed that I'm so crap at it. However, as other posters have said you have to sort of break it down into individual tasks and then work through them.

Meandmygirls2009 Sat 04-Jul-15 22:07:15

Thank you all for being so kind, and for the advice, I am taking notes!!

chewymeringue Sat 04-Jul-15 22:08:46

I also used Flylady and found the timer technique incredibly helpful.

chewymeringue Sat 04-Jul-15 22:13:56

I literally said to my very domesticated wife (we're both women) "what do you do to make it look nice?" It came down to bleach and clean both loos, wipe round bathrooms, brush sofa, Hoover carpets, wipe kitchen surfaces and mop floors. Takes me about an hour or so to do it all now so I am definitely improving!

Meandmygirls2009 Sat 04-Jul-15 22:17:33

I think that's what puts me off cleaning it takes me so bloody long to do anything. I guess if I practised more I would get quicker??

ProcrastinatorGeneral Sat 04-Jul-15 22:22:06

I'm a slattern. I'm improving slowly. I find a variation on the timer technique works for me. I load a cd or playlist into the music player and get on for the duration of it, usually about 45 minutes. Then I have a break, maybe sit with a drink but I'll be making a to-do list/shopping list/meal plan while I drink it. Or I'll do the online shopping. Then a fresh cd and another bout.

Bonus if my method is there's vast scope for badly out of tune singing.

Chin up. Us useless people are many.

BeaufortBelle Sat 04-Jul-15 22:31:56

I never cooked or cleaned (well I did cook a bit) when I lived at home. I never had a problem with cleaning though and thought it was because I had always lived in an immaculate home so that's what I expected. But I am wrong my older teenagers would happily live in pig sties even though they've been brought up in an immaculate home.

When they were little I got up with DH and got showered and dressed early. They went into their cot/bedroom while I did that and it was non negotiable.

When they were in the bath I could clean the bathroom around them.
We always had tidy up time after tea and before their baths.
Kitchen always kept clean and tidy as I go along; washing up always done.
When they were little I used to launder and iron every day. What's washed gets ironed and put away the same day (tumbler of course)
Nowadays I have a chargeable easy hoover thingy for day to day crumbs/bits and a steam mop.

The cooking just needs organising - say:

Monday: chicken thighs marinaded with garlic, lemon and herbs (or buy the Barbeque stuff from the supermarket) with cous cous salad (mint, cucumber, lemon juice, crumbled feta), and a green salad.

Tuesday: Mum's carbonara thing: chopped ham (from a small joint cooked and sliced for sarnies/picking, etc), chopped shallot, glass wine, good dollop of crème fraiche, bit of cheese and parmesan with pasta.

Wednesday: Small roast chicken with new potatoes, coleslaw, green salad

Thursday: Ham, egg and chips (yum - my lot love this)

Friday: salmon fillets, pasta with pesto and a green veg or salad (or fishcakes, chips and peas).

Some really quick and easy dinners in there as I work full-time.

Now the children are older teenagers I usually do about an hour in the morning and an hour when I get home from work. Mornings are: dishwasher empty and reload, wipe kitchen worktops, give a loo a once over, fold laundry in tumbler and sort ironing and putting away stuff, put wet load from machine into tumbler and put another load on.

Evenings are tidy kitchen, try to either get out hoover, or mop, tidy hall and sitting areas. Have a good moan about shoes and bags and jackets going in the shoe, bag or hanging up place. Deal with post and file it. Cook and serve dinner, load up dishwasher again and iron for about 20-30 minutes.

I have a cleaner as well but work full-time and have quite a lot of space to keep tidy.

echt Sat 04-Jul-15 22:34:14

Never go upstairs without taking something with you that needs to be there. Vice versa. If you're not going upstairs, leave that thing - book, whatever on a step to collect next time.

In the kitchen, keep a broom handy and sweep the floor several times a day, pushing all the crap to a corner. In this way, food bits don't get tracked into the rest of the house. At the end of the day, sweep up all the bits and put in the bin.

lem73 Sat 04-Jul-15 22:36:43

Love your meal ideas Beaufort

blueshoes Sat 04-Jul-15 22:41:32

Cleaning always gets faster with routine and practice. That is what I tell all my aupairs. Some people are better at cleaning than others. There is a certain personality type that goes with it. But I don't think it is difficult.

Your 2 children are probably slowing you down if they interrupt you constantly.

Hairylegs007 Sat 04-Jul-15 22:50:11

You don't need to keep practicing the same meals, you are learning so much by experimenting with different recipes and very importantly your DC will have a more mature and varied food palette

MrsBobDylan Sat 04-Jul-15 23:16:26

I got round my shit domestic skills by marrying a man who is clean, tidy and cooks.

I am the envy of all my female friends and family.grin

That said, DH doesn't know the make of our car, has never filled it with petrol or oil etc, has never opened any of his mail, has no idea on our financial set up and doesn't empty rubbish bins. So we kind of balence out the work between us.

BeaufortBelle Sat 04-Jul-15 23:18:27

You could get Delia's complete cookery course. It literally covers everything including the basics like boiling an egg, making an omolette, cooking rice, etc.

I'm hopeless too. Loving all the routine tips.

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