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I've only got three, I don't even think that counts as a particularly large family, but I feel a lot of the time like I'm not coping. I feel really down, I never get enough done, I never get quality time with the kids, and especially not one on one time. We hardly ever do fun things anymore, and I don't know where to start fixing it all. I'm just too frazzled and down to sort it out.

On facebook I see other mums of three or more posting photos of their families in their beautifully tidy houses, or saying they're going to have a movie night with their kids, and I think "But what about the housework? how are you finished?" I'm never finished, it's always horrendous. I never ever get to the bottom of the washing, I have three big piles, bedroom, living room and kitchen laundry basket. I can't keep it all in the kitchen as the pile would fill the kitchen. Yes. I'm drowning in it. I don't know what to do.

Keep sticking my head in the sand (aka mumsnet) I just want to run away. How do you cope with all the housework?

Quitelikely Thu 18-Dec-14 10:49:16


My washing machine has a large drum so I get big loads in there.

A dishwasher helps.

A dryer.

Between 3.30 and 6 the dc help with chores. Eg tidying away their shoes and toys.

I don't bath them each nigh. Sometimes I put them in the shower.

Sometimes they go to bed 30 mins early.

Once no 3 arrived I lowered my standards. I simply couldn't keep to the previous ones. This means time to relax for me. And accepting in a year or two they will increase.

zeldapinwheel Thu 18-Dec-14 10:49:20

If it makes you feel any better, I've only got 2 and I often feel like that.

QuiteLIkely, I have a dishwasher and a dryer, my washer is a normal sized one. I find that I can put the washing in, but then when it's finished I forget to put it out/in the dryer (forget/get distracted/no time) then same thing happens after the dryer, it gets left in there, or dumped on the floor next to the dryer for the next load to be shoved in so someone's got a clean school jumper or work shirt. So we end up with massive piles of clean crumpled clothes (which I tell myself not to worry about because at least it's clean)

Then I try to do something, anything! else like finish unpacking the moving boxes, sort through a couple of cupboards, wrap the kids presents, wash the dirty carpets, anything, and suddenly it's school pickup time and the washing still hasn't been folded and put away. It's always at the bottom of the list of everything else I have to do SO the house is always covered in clean clothes. And currently dirty clothes. I'll get it them all washed by christmas (my present to myself, because I'm worth it) hmm but it means there will be even more clean clothes hanging about. We have far too many clothes.

aaargh, head exploding.

workingonitagain Thu 18-Dec-14 12:01:54

I think it is all down to what you prioritise what you need to feel ok about living in your house. Mine is the washing and i always make sure im up to date and put them away at the end of each day. But then my house lacks of cleanliness. Hovering and dusting i hardly do but somehow i can live with that as bad as it sounds. I have 3 too and you have to accept that it's not going to be perfect and try and relax and keep telling yourself that ultimately what we all want is for our kids to be happy and spending(wasting) your time with cleaning,won't achieve that. That's is just how i try and make myself feel better about the mess in the house smile but accept that there are just certain things that need to be done as basics. About the photos of people with lots of kids yet still clean house. It's only a momentarily thing im sure you had time when kids had fun and you took pic and it looked ok but agree that we just can't help but compare to ourselves to other mums. Sorry to ramble on but im having same issues on a daily basis and this how i deal with them but when all fails i have a good old moan and grump at dp and it always cheer me up smile

AgentAlice Thu 18-Dec-14 12:06:25

It sounds like you have just moved house? How old are your DC's?

Don't beat yourself up. Once I had DC3 I stopped bathing them every night and I haven't seen my ironing board since he was born...he is 3. Do you use Ocardo? I also don't go into supermarkets to do a big shop anymore.

It sounds pretty busy at your house, if you are trying to wash carpets that is pretty full on.

freelancegirl Thu 18-Dec-14 12:09:46

As you've just moved and this is a busier time than normal can you scrape the money together to out source just to get you up to speed? Ie send all washing off for a service wash so it comes back all neatly folded and clean and a similar thing with the dirty carpets.

moogalicious Thu 18-Dec-14 12:22:59

How old are your dc? I have three, aged between 7 and 12 plus a dog. Now they are older I work between 20-30 hours each week (self employed).

They are responsible for their rooms, but we have a 'cleaning' day each half term/holiday where they have a proper sort out.

I've lowered my standards. Alot. But I hoover every morning before we do the school run. Also, give the kitchen floor and sink a once over and the bathroom a quick wipe. That way the house looks ok-ish.

I get someone in to do the carpets once a year.

Bedding done every couple of week when I notice ditto towels

Smallest child does skirtings every so often.

Big washing machine, but I don't wash everything after one wear.

Dusting when I notice.

I don't iron

Online grocery shop

If your dc's are young, don't bath every night.

KIds are 1,4,7. They don't help with cleaning, eldest has mild sn, can't really follow instructions or see for himself what needs picking up and where it goes, so needs direct supervision whilst cleaning/tidying or he makes even more mess and chaos than was there before, all whilst whining and yowling. Middle child whines and yowls too but she's just lazy and stubborn. "It's not my mess"

Toddler is causing chaos, it does my head in, I finish picking up one mess and she's off doing another. No time to play with her because I'm cleaning up her mess. All I've managed to do today is dishwasher, washing on, phoned the gas company, change her bum and give her lunch, and tidy up the multiple messes she's made (50 pencils stuck in the bin and all around the kitchen, everything out of the drawers. books off the shelf, toys everywhere). Haven't had any lunch myself, ate winegums. I needed to get meat out to defrost and make some tea, that hasn't happened, haven't even washed the pan I need. She's got the pencils out again. It keeps her quiet, I just feel defeated at the moment.

We moved before summer. It's taken us months of very slow unpacking (there's no storage, nowhere to put the stuff we unpack so been trying to get rid instead) no time for anything. I need a break.

AgentAlice Thu 18-Dec-14 13:44:49

That is a LOT going on...Could you keep the meat in the freezer and get them ready meals tonight instead? Then perhaps see if you can go out for a few hours at the weekend, it can be hard to see the wood for the trees when you are in the thick of it.

I think you probably need to take small steps at the moment.
Start with having a decent lunch everyday. Then easy dinners for the DC's. Do you have stair gates on your doors? I put stair gates across the door ways to contain them in a child proof room when they are small, it contains the mess and at least I can tidy the bit that they are not in. My friend has the ultimate set up which is a playroom so it really doesn't matter too much how messy it is in there.

I have given up cooking after school now, I either cook in the morning and re-heat and/or batch cook at the same time. I also make sure that I have a quick meal in the freezer at all times (fish fingers chips and frozen veg or frozen bolognaise to go with pasta.

Thanks for replying. We have a playroom, and stairgates. But she just stands crying at the gate if I close it. If it's open she often stays in the playroom and plays anyway. I can't be bothered with the crying, in some ways its easier on my nerves to just let her play with things as long as they're safe, and clean up after.

I just had lunch (couscous) she's asleep, I'm having an asthma attack and can't find my inhaler anywhere, which is typical, can't find anything here, ever. (I'll be ok, just sitting quietly til it eases off) School run soon and it's raining. My shoes leak, my coat isn't waterproof, can't afford new ones. Just had bill for £57 worth of bank charges through (can't get them cancelled) I'm fed up. Don't know what to do for tea, we've had a chippy tea and pizza already this week to try and ease the pressure, can't avoid cooking today too. Thank god it's the end of term tomorrow, I badly need to get sorted out.

imip Thu 18-Dec-14 19:08:02

Tbh, I think while you've got young ones at home, it just isn't going to really happen (without a huge, paid entourage to help!).

I have a 8, 6, 4 and 2 yo. Dc3 started school this year and my 2yo starts 15 hours nursery a week in Jan and I'm expecting that my house will begin to look ok most of the time, rather than ok occasionally! (Ok, not whole house, just the ground floor!).

The youngest turning 2 was a bit of a turning point, where I could keep the sink generally clean etc. I also live close to the school, so am likely to have spontaneous cuppas at my house. Thank god I have more kids than most and can use that as an excuse.

I try to stick to simple rules though: washing on and dishwasher stacked in morning, Hoover at night - at least food scraps. I wasn't achieving this before dc4 turned 2. Even if toys are scattered over the floor, the floor looks better for being hoovered!

And find some easy meals. Mine is chicken drumsticks and frozen veg, bulk cook spag bog.

8,6,4 and 2. "I bet you've got your hands full" as I'm sure you're you're told frequently! I could not have any more children, I'm at my coping limit, I think any more would send me over the edge into despair (even though my children and lovely, and beautiful, and it isn't any of their individual faults, just the cumulative effect of all the work it takes to keep them - they're so worth it, I'm just not very good at it!)

Thanks for that, so there's light at the end of the tunnel for when the smallest is over 2. That's good. We have a nice safe garden (mostly just grass, patio, trampoline, toys) these days so I'm hoping this summer she can play out with the other two while I can watch from the kitchen window and get my cleaning/cooking done.

I'm feeling a bit more positive today, dp is off for three days, at work for two then finished for christmas, so it'll ease the pressure off me. He's just done the school run, I'm so glad of the help.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Fri 19-Dec-14 23:26:58

Can DH take over looking after the kids when he is off, so you can focus on going through some boxes etc? It might help you to feel in control?

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