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To want a clean house and a baby?

(138 Posts)
princesspineapple Fri 26-Feb-16 11:35:29

I'm almost 38 weeks pregnant with my first baby... And a bit houseproud. Is it possible to keep your house nice when you have a baby?
Our house was always a bombsite when I was growing up... My DM is one of these "love me, love my mess" types... And I've always hated that attitude.
I've spent the first week of my maternity leave nesting, and my house is sparkling (and a bit bleachy blush)... My friend came over yesterday and was laughing about how it will look like a Chinese laundry / graveyard for brightly coloured plastic crap within a fortnight, and I'll forget what flash wipes are even for.
My MIL and colleagues have a similar view and I even got a little "please excuse the mess, my children are making memories" sign when I left work. I hate it!
AIBU to think it's lazy? Or AIB a dreamer? Or what tips do people have for keeping a clean house and a baby?

Cric Fri 26-Feb-16 11:37:33

Whilst they are playing it is a mess with toys everywhere but when DD was a baby the house was tidy and I always (mostly) tidy before DD goes to bed so it is tidy in the evenings.

DonkeyOaty Fri 26-Feb-16 11:38:19

YABU for thinking it's lazy

YANBU for not wanting it for your own home

princesspineapple Fri 26-Feb-16 11:41:19

I probably should have said "lazy to start off with that attitude"... Obviously if someone has a needy baby then the housework is way down the list of priorities, and will be for us as well...
But it seems to be a foregone conclusion that baby = mess... That's what I think is lazy.

HTKB Fri 26-Feb-16 11:41:53

It's perfectly possible. I've no idea why for some people it's so hard.

Of course there will be times of every day where things are messy. But sitting down in the evening to a clean, tidy house.... Yes. No sweat.

SmallBee Fri 26-Feb-16 11:42:57

I think you might find it harder to keep the house tidy with a baby, but it doesn't mean you can't. I just used that rare time to myself to eat/get a cup of tea. My house is always clean but not necessarily tidy IYSWIM.
Everyone has different priorities so you might sacrifice something else to keep your house tidy, whereas other people sacrifice a tidy house for whatever their priorities are.

Philoslothy Fri 26-Feb-16 11:43:36

A baby does not mean an untidy house. In the first few weeks you will be doing little else but feeding and sleeping but others can help

Picnic2223 Fri 26-Feb-16 11:44:17

YANBU I have seen people manage it, my house is clean (but can be messy) although my bedroom is a hovel the rest is fine and my DS is 11 weeks although I'm alot less bothered about it.

Try not to let it take over enjoy your baby. I felt the need to have a sparkling host and be fully made up the first week for visitors and worry now that I missed just doing nothing as I was getting ready for visitors alot.

Thurlow Fri 26-Feb-16 11:45:45

YABU, a bit.

In the first few months it depends on your baby. If you have one that wants to be glued to you and even being in a sling doesn't help, you're not really going to get much done over all. Or if you're so sleep deprived you just spend every day sitting there staring at the telly trying to keep your eyes open. If you've got a chilled baby who will happily lie on a playmat for twenty minutes or naps anywhere but on you, you'll probably get quite a lot done.

Ditto when the kids get older. Some play by themselves, some want you around a lot. Some just trail chaos behind them whatever you try to do.

Nothing wrong with wanting a tidy home. But life is never that straightforward and some children just seem to make it virtually impossible.

YABU to say it's "lazy" though. People have different standards and priorities, you know that? So some days you and your OH might think, fuck it, I'm not tidying after the baby is in bed because we'd rather have a nice dinner and watch a film together. Or when the children are a bit older, you think fuck it, I'd rather have a good play with them tonight than tidy up.

glueandstick Fri 26-Feb-16 11:47:16

You are not unreasonable at all. A clean house is a wonderful thing (if that's your cup of tea) and don't let other people's ideas make you feel like you are wrong. They want a plastic tip of a house? That's fine, their choice. You want order and cleanliness? Go for it smile

LifeIsChaos Fri 26-Feb-16 11:47:37

I've got a 5 and 4 year old. At no stage was my house a mess. Plenty storage and toys put away when not being played with, sink of hot water - wash up as I used it. Did a load of washing a day. Baby in bouncy chair in bathroom as I got ready and spent loads of time out of the house.

Salzundessig Fri 26-Feb-16 11:47:50

With a baby it is easy. Strap them into a sling and off you go. With a toddler, especially one who loves emptying cupboards, not so much. It looks like a bomb has hit it until my 30min tidy up at 7 pm, then stays tidy until the next morning. Rinse and repeat.

tabulahrasa Fri 26-Feb-16 11:47:52

It's not laziness - it's a combination of things, but not laziness.

There's the exhaustion and sleep deprivation, that kind of kills some of your motivation for cleaning, then there's extra house work directly relating to the baby and that has a knock on effect to what you have time to do. Then as they get mobile they make mess as well and even if you could stop them, some of it is pretty important to their development...and there's time in general, when it's a straight up toss between hoovering and playing with a baby, really you should play with the baby, it's a much more valuable use of your time and the hoovering will still be there afterwards.

Your house doesn't need to be a bombsite, but if you have a sterile show home with a baby/young child rather than clean but sometimes a bit untidy then I'd assume your priorities are wrong tbh. (When it's an actual child I mean, not now while it's still a bump)

merrygoround51 Fri 26-Feb-16 11:50:01

My home was always clean when I had a baby and I really could never understand people who couldn't get themselves dressed, or keep a home relatively clean at the small baby stage. I adored the fact that, with a new baby, I could spend so much time in my lovely home just pottering and cooing over the baby. I would have hated the house to be scruffy. For myself, I just had a shower and dressed in clean comfortable clothes. I never felt the effort to be particularly 'done up'

There is no shame in keeping yourself and your home put together when the baby arrives but equally there is no shame in not having things perfect

Thurlow Fri 26-Feb-16 11:50:29

lazy to start off with that attitude

Nope, now I'm going to say YA definitely BU.

Not putting away toys the moment they are finished with, or having drinks cups in every room, is not mess.

Oysterbabe Fri 26-Feb-16 11:50:51

My baby is 8 weeks. If I manage to get dressed before DH gets home from work I consider the day a success.

Solasum Fri 26-Feb-16 11:52:11

I managed it, and I was a single mum when I had a newborn.

My tips would be to tidy up as you go along, use wet wipes for everything including dusting (baby wipes not flash wipes), make sure you have enough of the right sort of storage for the neon plastic tat, and get out of the house as much as you can.

Also train your child to pick up after themselves, and get everyone into the habit of 'tidying up the toys at the end of the day' even when they are mini. Once they can toddle they can put things in the bin. DS loves putting everything back in its place, 'dusting' and sweeping which is setting good standards for later I think.

It can be done!

merrygoround51 Fri 26-Feb-16 11:53:16

Your house doesn't need to be a bombsite, but if you have a sterile show home with a baby/young child rather than clean but sometimes a bit untidy then I'd assume your priorities are wrong tbh. (When it's an actual child I mean, not now while it's still a bump)

This is utter rubbish. It probably just means that the mother in question potters around cleaning when others might be watching box sets. No harm in either.

Personally, I find that the 4+ years are the most difficult when trying to get things under control - the art table in our kitchen always seems to end up spread out everywhere and books multiply in every room, but hey ho, that is what having children does to a home.

Oysterbabe Fri 26-Feb-16 11:53:33

Merry my baby screams blue murder if I put her down for a second. It doesn't lend itself to pottering or showering

BreconBeBuggered Fri 26-Feb-16 11:53:54

It'll depend on your baby, honestly. My first was BFing constantly, but I still remember the first few months being up and dressed with everything clean and tidy by 9am. My idea of clean and tidy may not be the same as yours, however. I'm not hugely picky so once things like beds, dishes and laundry are sorted, I can overlook surfaces not actually sparkling 24/7. My best friend thinks I live in a show home. MIL thinks it's a hovel.
A mess certainly isn't compulsory, but what you see will depend on how your own standards evolve.

IggertyZiggertyZoom Fri 26-Feb-16 11:57:34

Agree that with a baby it's not so hard. As soon as they can walk it gets more tricky.
With a toddler you can spend 3 hours vacuuming, tidying, cleaning, plumping sofa..and your toddler will follow you round emptying out the toys (or screaming they need them as you try to put them away), spilling drinks/food and jumping on the bed/sofa.

tabulahrasa Fri 26-Feb-16 12:03:12

"This is utter rubbish. It probably just means that the mother in question potters around cleaning when others might be watching box sets. No harm in either."

hmm I didn't have time to do that when mine were young either, it depends on your baby really.

One of mine didn't sleep through till he was 3, the other slept through from 6 weeks, but only napped for 45 a day once she started doing that and they were crawling at 7 and 5 months respectively...that doesn't leave you a huge amount of either pottering or TV watching time.

Pottering about with a crawling baby following you will not, no matter how many hours you do that for result in a completely spotless house.

Katedotness1963 Fri 26-Feb-16 12:03:20

I couldn't put my first born down without him screaming the place down and still kept on top of the housework. I hate a messy house!

Beth2511 Fri 26-Feb-16 12:05:56

I tgink it mostly depends how much help your dp is or how much you valuejust needing to sit for half hour.

My 15 month old literally follows me around undoing everuthing i do so i spend half hour a night doing essentials whilst dp washes up. It could be cleaner and my washing more on top of but its a nice middlegrpund

bigredballoon Fri 26-Feb-16 12:06:03

It depends what sort of baby you get. I am massively house proud and ran myself ragged with baby 1 and kept the house immaculate, it was exhausting he was a very very hard work baby that never slept until he started school. I still look back at that period of my life and feel exhausted.

Baby two, piece of cake.

You will be able to do it, but do not think it is easy.

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