Thursday, November 13, 2008

Diary of a Dirty Working Mom

I often struggle with the appearance of my home. I wish that I was the type of woman that could make her home sunny and warm. I feel that my house is utter chaos and I am missing that certain gene that makes me be able to put it back together again.

I am often jealous of even my husband and he has that gift of putting things together to give our home what it needs to make us feel safe and relaxed.

I should automatically have these instincts and just don't.

I come home at night and look around at all that needs to be done and I just want to cry, knowing, that I couldn't put it back together if I wanted to.

I feel like a bad wife..alot.

I am just curious how others run their homes. Is your home tidy enough to always invite visitors to at least your entry way?

If you are a double income family do you divide chores?

I need a system.


Morgan said...

Don't feel bad...I'm totally unorganized also. We both work but we don't really "split" the chores...we just both do things here and there that we see need done! And NO, my house is never visitor friendly and it's not perfect and tidy! I don't think anyone has time for that anymore...I'm sure you're a great wife!

Io said...

I will send you some pictures of my house if you want - it will make you feel much better about yours, I swear. I don't know who these tidy people are, but I think they are more rare than we are led to believe.

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Jen said...

I have to get it clean once and then not let it get bad again or I can't keep it nice. I try to clean up each room at least once a day. Or it just goes downhill too fast. Fifteen minutes before bed helps a lot and I always have enough energy for those fifteen minutes, even if I don't feel like I do.

Aunt Becky said...

Oh yes, I feel you. And I'm not even working right now (just gimpy), but it drives me bonkers.

To A T said...

Both DH and I are neat freaks so our house is almost always "ready for company" however there are times when we just say f**k it and let the house go to s**t for a few days. The way we combat all the crazy clutter is to pick up a few things before leaving in the morning, that way when we come home it's not an overwhelming mess, just a small mess to deal with. We also split up certain chores- he does dishes/ I cook meals- He cleans bathrooms/ I do laundry- he vacuums/ I dust. It helps cleaning not seems to overwheleming.

I am sure you are a great wife, clean house or not!

kate said...

If it weren't for H, our house would be a pit. Mostly, I couldn't care less about tidiness, but living with him has made me feel like I should care more. And honestly, I like having a clean home, but I dislike the cleaning process even more than I like that outcome.

I wouldn't feel like a bad wife, or a bad mom. When I look back on my childhood, I don't remember whether our house was clean or dirty, but I do remember when my mom would put aside chores and just hang out with me. I remember my mom being upset that the house wasn't cleaner, I remember her complaints and her chidings and her misery over the state of the house, but whether or not it was clean, I don't know. So I say that just to point out that your son and your husband will remember the fun and love you share more than they will your skills as a housekeeper.

And we are a single income family, and I should be the one shouldering most of the housework, but since I don't care about it, H generally does most of the day to day stuff. I take on larger projects (painting stuff, fixing stuff, basic car maintenance, lawn maintenance), I deal with the fix-it or pest control people, I do most of the laundry and I cook/plan meals/maintain lists for food supplies, but H does the actual food shopping, takes out all the trash, does the dishes, and vacuums/mops floors. We split bathroom duty. Other than that, it's a toss up between which one of us will do it. Actually, I'm totally lying, 'cos when it's a toss up, he's ALWAYS the one who takes care of it!

As a result of H's German-Tidyness-Disorder, yes, our house is always clean enough to have guests in pretty much any room, except the laundry room or maybe our bedroom. But like I said, I wouldn't care if it was really messy.

I wish I had a system for you. I could lend you my husband for a while, but he's kind of whiny and needy sometimes, so even though he'd be a big help with chores, he'd probably get on your nerves after a while! Ooh- actually, our "system" that satisfies my need to drop crap in whatever room I'm in, but also satisfies his need for everything to be put in whatever place he considers "away", is that we have bins- bins, bins, everywhere. One is for my textbooks and notebooks, and it stays by the front door so I can grab what I need each day on the way out of the house. We have a dish for keys and another for miscellaneous purse detrius that seems to gather on the hall table, another bin for "Kate needs to put this stuff in the REAL away place", a small bin for CDs/DVDs that are not in their home, one for coupons, one for his mail and one for mine, one for pens/pencils, one for my desk crap in the office, one for my toiletries on my dressing table, one for his books next to his nightstand for when he reads before bed. They're everywhere, in every room. That keeps things looking tidy, even if the contents of the bin are a hot mess. And we have trash cans everywhere, too. Having a can right next to where you are means that you're a bit more likely to use it, right?

Anyway... best of luck with working this out. Don't beat yourself up over it. The instincts aren't automatic, and love is what matters most in a family and a home, I think.

The Muser (aka Beautiful Mama) said...

Oh, my...a clean home. Not so much. Definitely not visitor-ready. we don't hve a good system here, either. However, when we had a babysitter who came to the house, I paid her a couple of dollars more per hour to do laundry and sweep and mop and put dishes away, and that did wonders to make life better. Sadly she went off and had her own baby so we don't have her anymore. :( Having a messy house definitely doesn't make you a bad person or wife or mom. Embrace the chaos! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh my god... remind me to tell you a story about "dishes in the closet" someday... ok? Then you won't feel so bad... I promise!

Anonymous said...

We divided chores a long time ago (he washes about 3 dishes a day and folds the mountains of laundry I do...everything else is all But now that I'm working 2 jobs and M. is there all afternoon alone, we seriously need to divide up again. He and the dog are 80% of the mess and everyday I come in and try to do one or two things (put on laundry and sweep). But, there's hardly any point. I'll just have to live with the mess until January I guess.

Most of it comes down to me taking a morning off and just cleaning as much as I can in those few hours. I'm going to be glad when I have every morning to work on a serious "fall cleaning" (same as Spring cleaning) because there's a layer of dustbunnies just waiting to revolt and take over! Or maybe they already have! I'm never there! How would I notice???

astral said...

I do stuff when I can. I had today off and I organized all the closets and washed clothes. My schedule is crazy and I fit things in when I can. I vacuumed on Friday night because I was home and I had the energy. Flylady is a good system. They send you emails. It got me started cleaning and getting organized.

Anonymous said...

There's your dirty dishes story!