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Housework really getting on top of me

(47 Posts)
Jemster Sat 02-Feb-13 20:11:46

How does everyone cope with running an efficient home with 2 small kids? I am just crap at it and try so hard to keep on top of things but I can never ever keep up and its starting to get me down.
I'm on maternity leave until mid March and feel like I've spent most of it trying to sort out our overcrowded tip of a house, getting kids stuff ready, doing dishwasher and washing endless times a day and the rest. Sometimes I don't even find time for a shower or to put my clothes in wash as baby's stuff is constantly going in there.
Some days we have no food in for tea so I ring dh to get it on way home but I am rubbish at meal planning and even when I do a big shop I haven't got enough or the right things.
I am always late for everything, rushing around and stressing at my 5 yr old ds to get him to school on time.
Everyone says enjoy your time off with baby but I feel like all I do is stay in the house trying to get on top of things. I'm upset I haven't taken her to more groups etc but there's just so much to do here always.
I am dreading going back to work and how I will cope as I can't seem to cope now! At least I will only be working mornings but the early starts are going to be stressful I can see.

Please please help me with any organisational tips as I am becoming very down and irritable with my dh and dc's. Thanks.

HollyBollyBooBoo Mon 04-Feb-13 14:45:11

i'm so glad you said that peachy i was beginning to feel guilty for taking my make up off in the same bathroom as DD (2.5) whilst she's in the bath!

TheMaskedHorror Sun 03-Feb-13 17:27:36

And cook one pot or one tray meals most of the time.
There are some good ones on bbcgoodfood

Dirtymistress Sun 03-Feb-13 14:28:56

well said peachy. I read her comment and thought 'she's in the bathroom you nut'. Sigh. Little and often OP. Though I might add I am obsessively clean and tidy and wish I was more like your DH. I think it's great that he wants to play with the kids on the weekend. My DP is very similarly minded and I would far rather be like that.

peachypips Sun 03-Feb-13 13:55:42

Anyway, back to the OP- I meal plan on Sun eve then shop with DS2 on Mon morn. I find shopping with the kids can be stressful but have no choice!! Apologies btw for last post, but I just couldn't let that go!

peachypips Sun 03-Feb-13 13:50:36

Thanks for the 'parenting advice' Bertie - nice to have a bit of snap judgement and utter superiority hijacking a thread. Are you always that patronising?
I don't have to justify myself to you but I will for the OPs sake. I don't go to Majorca whilst they are in the bath- I clean the bathroom THAT THEY ARE IN, and tidy the bedrooms next door while popping in and out every 30 secs. You don't know me or my children so burn ur judgypants. FFS.

HellesBelles396 Sun 03-Feb-13 12:32:09

flylady says that any housework is better than no housework. you don't need to catch up all at once.

BrianButterfield Sun 03-Feb-13 12:19:22

When I was doing my resolution, my motto was 'there's no such thing as failure'. Any step was a success - after all, even if you organise one stack of paper, it's better than doing nothing.

HellesBelles396 Sun 03-Feb-13 12:16:33

the fifteen minute limit is a seriously top tip. you'll be amazed how much you can get done in hat time.

VerySmallSqueak Sun 03-Feb-13 12:16:03

Lower your standards.Do the essentials to ensure that things are hygienic,but forget the aesthetics of it all for a bit.

Enjoy the weekend with your family. Refuse to be the one slaving away while everyone else is having fun. Go out - that way you're not tidying up all day in ever decreasing circles.

Set a time at night where you sit down for a bit.

De-cluttering takes ages when you're so busy - could some stuff just be re-located? For example,could summer clothes go in the loft.Could family members with more space take on storing stuff you only need occasionally?

BrianButterfield Sun 03-Feb-13 12:11:04

Trying again (damn tablet!):

BrianButterfield Sun 03-Feb-13 12:10:14


BrianButterfield Sun 03-Feb-13 12:09:20

DH and I both work full-time with an 18mo in nursery. I realised we were spending too much time looking for things, basically wading through stuff that didn't get used properly or appreciated. so as a new year's resolution I decided to sort out one thing a day and it's made a big difference to us! is my blog of my journey - actually I wish I'd done it when I was on ML, it would have been easier going back to work afterwards.

pumpkinsweetie Sun 03-Feb-13 12:05:00

Oh and put a wash on before you go to bed everynight, dry in the morning and then another wash on in the morning.

Don't iron, get a decent tumble driersmile

pumpkinsweetie Sun 03-Feb-13 12:03:09

I second never going to bed with a dirty house. Get all washing up done and living room tidy before bedsmile

Clean the bathroom eachtime you have a bath, then it's always fresh and clean.

Bath kids every few days, wash them inbetween baths- they don't need baths daily, its not nesessary and drys the skin! Do not leave them unattended obviously!

Do a bit of tidying/decluttering/cleaning or have a shower/bath every time baby naps.

Everytime you wash-up, tidy & clean kitchen.

Each night stick bleach down the loo and clean the following morning, your loo will sparkle.

Throw away everything you do not need and shred paperwork every 6 months.

Thankyou pp i could do with some Fly Lady tips as my childrens rooms needs an overhaul aswell as a de-clutter!smile

Parsnipcake Sun 03-Feb-13 11:55:23

I am a flylady devotee, and now do a minimalists version. The key thing is to be on top of the laundry and have an evening meal planned, everything else is a bonus. I bring a big bag of laundry down before the baby and get that on and I do a 5 min laundry check every hour, untying stuff on aired etc. I have my ironing board up and ready in my bedroom 2 days a week and when I get a few mins just iron what I can and finish when kids are in bed. If everyone has clean clothes, half of life's panic is over! I concentrate on 1 room per week for decluttering and housework, and try to do 1 job per day in that room. My 15 month old is a nutter so I put him in his high hair for a few mins with some raisins etc while I do small jobs and also while I make dinner - I do it on the morning do it just needs bunging in the oven at teatime. I always have filled pasta in the freezer for emergencies.

Viviennemary Sun 03-Feb-13 11:49:56

I struggle with housework even though I've no excuses these days. But too much stuff is certainly a huge problem. And toys everywhere I used to find a nightmare. Somebody told me small box in lounge with a few toys and no other toys to be brought in lounge. That really helped things.

retrocutie Sun 03-Feb-13 11:46:47

Check out Fly Lady. Following her system turned our house from a tip into a palace. And it has stayed that way. Her system is truly wonderful. I cannot recommend it highly enough, especially if you feel things are getting on top of you.

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 03-Feb-13 11:42:10

Organised mum life book is only a fiver ATM google it sorry can't link on iPod.

I prefer drunk cleaning on my own as I end up dancing on the coffee table blush

MN044 Sun 03-Feb-13 11:41:34

Do you know the jumperoo is adjustable? I didn't blush but now at on its highest setting and ds can actually bounce again, and he loves it! I'm a firm believer that 'food is fun until they're one' so I tend not to stress about how much he eats. He still has plenty of breastfeeds so I know he's getting enough. Ill tend to give him some toast or a teacake to munch on in the morning, and then some fruit sometime before lunch- mango has been a (very expensive) hit. Banana and apple go down well too. Then I might make him a potato or lunch, or often it'll e leftovers I just zap in the microwave from the night before. Then he'll either have what we're all having for dinner, or ill make him some veggies seperately. One thing he loves is couscous, I buy the ainsley Harriot packets, they're often about 2 for a pound, you just mix it with hot water, couldn't be easier. Then ill share that with him. Means we both get something warm and yummy.

Jemster Sun 03-Feb-13 10:44:01

Inneedofbrandy I'm laughing so much at your drink cleaning idea, it sounds like fun! Definitely think I could do with a glass or two more often than I do just to relax and have some fun. I hardly ever seem to have fun with dh anymore. Perhaps I should get him drink cleaning too!

What is the organised mum diary?

AnnIonicIsoTronic Sun 03-Feb-13 10:37:35

Has anyone mentioned FLYlady?

I had to go pretty low before I was receptive to it - but I can honestly say that FLYlady & my slowcooker changed my life.

Some key things for me:
- timer. I housework in chunks of 15 minutes, rather than 'until the job is done'. So when I finish eating, I immediately put on the timer for 15 minutes & do nothing but kitchen until it rings. (dd finishing finger food in her high chair). If there is less work that 15 minutes worth then I make up the balance with eg decluttering or prepping the next meal. If I don't finish in 15 minutes - I walk away.

- FLYlady is big on finishing the day with a shiny sink. I delegated final kitchen clean to DH. It is a regular job (so no nagging involved) - and it really helps my sanity to 'clock off' from housework at 8 pm, and to start the following day with a (literally) clean slate.

- at my lowest, it really helped to wake up first & eg set off supper in the slow cooker.

Jemster Sun 03-Feb-13 10:32:20

Thank you all so much, your tips are great and I'm making a list of them all.

MN044 I admire you doing everything you do on your own with 3 dc's and thank you for your kind words. I do have a jumperoo but she won't stay in it long! My dd likes similar things to your ds, carrots, brocolli etc. Do you tend to give the baby one bigger hot meal a day and then a lighter meal say for lunch? Sometimes I've given two ellas pouches a day which I think is too much and very expensive! I'm thinking of trying more finger foods for lunch and a proper meal for tea.

I like the idea of the oilcloth under the highchair, that will definitely cut down on cleaning the floor.

For those of you who meal plan, which day do you do this on and which day do you then do your shop?

forevergreek Sun 03-Feb-13 10:27:57

Try buy things like chopped onions/ peppers etc frozen. Then you can just grab a handful when needed.

I use those little metal disposable cooking trays with kids. One small one is enough for 2 little ones with side veg ( fine without for little ones). It means if I make say lasagne, I will make enough for 8 meals and freeze so it means not having to prep that again for weeks

We do a tidy up of toys every day before dinner ( 1 and 3 year old), obviously at this age The adults are doing most, but I think starting young helps make it normal. And I set specific things ie: 3 year old to tidy all the Duplo, 18 month old finds say the dinosaurs and puts in box, and either me or dh will tidy the rest. It means they contribute at their level, and we don't have toys everywhere in the evening.

Def get 5 year old involved. They can help lay out school clothes the night before, can help entertain baby whilst you heat food, lay the table for dinner ( just mat/ cutlery).

Whilst baby is still small now, as they grow gradually get them 'helping' also. 18month here likes getting his bowl for breakfast and puts his rubbish in the bin ( banana peels etc), he has also started wanting to load his things in the dishwasher ( doesn't save time as obv I help but I see it as progress for later). They also always both take shoes off at door and hang coat on low down pegs.

Maybe get one eve a week when you and dh do majority I cleaning together. 45mins of both doing it will get floors done/ bath room clean/ washing folded and kitchen done

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 03-Feb-13 09:49:22

Every night get everything you need the next day ready.

Get an organised mum diary and look at it

Drink wine. A lot! Seriously drink cleaning is the way to go, I blitzed the house last night think skirting boards, windowsills kitchen sides and cupboards. Drunk cleaning with music is one of my favourite things.

Also when your on the phone don't sit down do things, fold your washing, do your dishes wipe down the doors.

HellesBelles396 Sun 03-Feb-13 09:44:00

I chuck meat and some veg into the slow cooker and, with some frozen yorkshires or chips or crusty bread or - well you get the picture - we have a cooked meal every night. I also use frozen chopped onions, garlic, etc to save time.

wash stuff up as soon as you're finished eating. it is easier and then not hanging over you.

use bath towels a couple of times before washing (you're clean for goodness sake).

use a towel that's ready for wash to wipe over sink, bath and bathroom floor.

make sure you wash towels at 60c!

know where things belong and put them straight back there - then the clutter won't build back up.

get a large square of oil cloth or similar for under high chair.

it can be taken outdoors and hosed off at the end of each day - should reduce need for floor washing.

tell ds you'd like to have fun with kids so he has to do half the housework on weekends so you can enjoy family time as a family!

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