AIBU to ask for advice on how I can be more efficient at home?(18 Posts)
This isn't a real AIBU but I'm posting here as I know it's busy and I'm hoping for some advice on how I can learn or train myself to be more efficient at home.
I have DS 13 months and I'm currently working just three days a week so I have four days at home. But I feel I must be managing my time very badly as every evening when DS goes to bed, downstairs is a mess and it takes me ages to clean and tidy up and then cook dinner. I would love to be able to clean and tidy as I go and then be able to do other things or just sit down and relax earlier in the evening.
DH works quite long hours so I do the bedtime routine by myself and then try to have tidied up and cooked by the time he comes home so that doesn't help, but there's one day a week when he's at home and I'm at work; that was this evening, and when I got home he was upstairs putting DS to bed and the kitchen was already clean and tidy, and dinner was cooked. Why can't I ever manage that?!
You have described my life. DH comes home to a bomb site every night. Yet I seem to spend the day washing up and putting clothes away. So I've got no advice. Are you a naturally untidy person? I am, which is the root of the problem I think
Yes I am naturally untidy, in the past DH has described me as a Tasmanian devil, for my ability to create chaos. It's so frustrating when, like you, I feel like I spend so much time cleaning and tidying and coming up with organisational 'strategies' to get things done.
I also think I am very slow paced around the house and I'm such a daydreamer, I would probably be quicker if I could concentrate more on what I'm doing.
Could you get a cleaner?
I find it a lot easier to keep on top of things once everywhere is clean.
I tend to start something, then prioritize something else over it halfway through. So I usually end up with maybe five completed tasked, and a shit ton of half done ones.
And I don't know how but when I do the kitchen it looks passable, when DP does it, it looks like it came out of a freaking interior decorating magazine. Everything's so shiny. We use the same products!!
Does everything have a home to be put away into? Or are you just moving piles around? That helps a lot.
But mostly, with small children, this is your life now. And it gets worse before it gets better.
I have worked out (through watching my mother a lot!) that it literally is a case of being constantly on the lookout for things to tidy, put away, clean, wipe etc. I've gotten into a good habit now of doing as i go along and it really makes the difference between a bombsite in the evenings and an acceptable kitchen to cook and eat in.
Sorry there is no magic wand, its just a case of making yourself do it until it becomes habit. Its a way of life now.
I have a daily set routine of minor jobs (mostly upkeep) and I try to get one bigger cleaning job done every day too. First thing I do in the morning is empty the dishwasher and bung a load of clothes on. I have a little basket that I carry from upstairs to downstairs with stuff that needs to be put away. I have the kids toys sorted and they all have a box or drawer to be stored in. I get all of my cleaning done in the morning, then have a quick toy-tidy when the kids have gone for their nap. I do another quick tidy once they've gone to bed. Dinner stuff gets cleaned away straight away and kitchen wiped down. I always make sure that downstairs is tidy when I'm going to bed as I hate waking up to a mess.
All of thisight sound ott but it works for me. I'm the type of person who can't sit down and relax in a messy room. It sounds like I do a lot but tbh, I do most of it unconsciously as I have gotten into the habit of tidying ad I go.
I AM a naturally tidy person (ocd dx) and yet when my dd was this age place was mostly a bomb site it really stressed me out.
As long as the essentials are done my advice would be...enjoy your child, they're not little and at home for long. And don't be too hard on yourself.
You may find your husband is focussing on the obvious stuff but is he doing everything you would?
Did DH put DS in the shed for a couple of hours?
Sorry - just trying to highlight that what you describe is normal. A lot of this (or all of it!) comes down to where your priorities are. Your are probably DS and work. Both are full-on demands.
PPs have already offered some good tips about ... thinning your priorities out a bit, and I'm sure some more advice will come along tomorrow. Meanwhile I'll just offer the most basic of rules:
"Is everybody fed? Is anybody dead? OK, then!"
If you haven't already seen it, spend five minutes looking at these photos: Je suis Lorrain.
If you and DH can still laugh at them, you're good!
Yeah, normal. It's hard to keep on top of things. Some days the house looks like we've been broken in to other days are better days.
My DS is the same age as yours. If he's grumpy, I put him in the sling and we potter about the house together listening to a podcast and kind of aimlessly tidying things up. He likes the washing machine so lots of washing gets done, putting the clothes in is fun, banging the drum, poking the buttons (thank god for child lock), and then pulling out all the damp stuff. Harder to put away though.
I give him a snack in his highchair when I need to wash up/cook/mop etc and he's clingy. Sometimes he likes being swept up with the brush so we sometimes do sweeping together.
I found the only way to get him to kind of 'put his toys away' is to get an empty nappy box, tape it closed and cut a circular hole in one side. Then show him how he can post toys/blocks/duplo etc into it. That kept him busy for ages the first time we did it you can scoop them back out and start all over again.
I use some of FLY ladies methods To keep on top of things. Have a look at flylady.com. It's not everyone's cup of tea but I enjoy it.
I read this book called "All Joy and No Fun" about child rearing and how women are so stressd out by it now. The point was made that men see looking after the children as something to do alongside the other tasks, whereas women see it as a full time role and feel guilty if they dont give their child the full attention because, you know, judgement.
Men: By 6pm I need to make the beds, do the laundry, hoover upstairs, whilst looking after X
Women: I need to look after X, and there is a tonne of other stuff that needs doing but I can do that when X is in bed.
Be a man . Ignore the judgers.
I have improved no end what you describe, my tips (rules!):
1) tidy and clean as you go along, never leave anything for later. Eg... Spend five mins clearing up after breakfast immediately, put clothes straight into laundry not on floor, put a wash on first thing every morning, cleanup toys from one game before starting next, clean up cooking whilst DC eats. DC can wait ten mins for you to do this, esp if they have just fed
2) DC eat what you eat, cook earlier in the day and less often. For example, make one pot of pasta and bolognese for all of you... Reheat for dinner, makes for one less meal to make, one less set of washing up. If your DC don't eat what you do, make it a priority for them to do so. I use slow cooker at least three times a week
3) if you can, get a cleaner and dedicate one day to blitzing everything. Change all beds that day, everything tidied and away, once a week properly sitting everything will stop the buildup
4) always go to bed with house tidy so you're not starting tomorrow with yesterday's work (and so you can enlist help of DP after your nice relaxing evening eating dinner you made at lunchtime, surrounded by organised chaos not disorganised)
Its a mindset, good luck
Daily routines, eva, I think they are the answer. Planning in advance. Make it a rule, whatever works for you, but it has to be a routine.
Some good tips on here
I am in a similar position and struggle too
3DC here aged 3-8 and 22 weeks with DC4
I work 4 days , oh works 6. He isn't great at the domestic stuff either TBH
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.