My "Not-So-Clean" Home

Amy - posted on 11/16/2008 ( 29 moms have responded )

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My 90-year-old Grandmother makes her bed EVERYDAY. When she was a child in New York, she overheard her scandalized mother gossipping with some other ladies about a woman up the block whose house had recently caught fire. They thought it was JUST TERRIBLE that when the firemen got there, the woman's bed was unmade. This made a lasting impression on my Grandma, to whom my brothers and I grew up referring as the "White Tornado" because of her impeccible cleanliness and organization. She did it all: two kids, full time job, spotless home. The daughter of a German immigrant, she refers to my style of "cleaning" as "American Cleaning." One should always move the furniture, and scrub on hands and knees with Bleach or Ammonia or something.



Then there's me. Not only do I have two kids under 2, but Luke's petrified of the vacuum (LOUD!), I'm drowning in a sea of laundry, have far less storage than I need, and a very hard-working, busy husband.



Any advice on how to get it all done and feel like you're not subjecting your children to a germ-infested, dust-covered home? If there's no advice, at least let me know that I'm not alone?

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Beverly - posted on 01/23/2010

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You are not alone, Amy. We are all facing the same dilemmas. How do we take care of the kids, husband, pets, laundry, and other household duties without driving ourselves crazy? I found FlyLady (aka Marla Cilley) on the internet and she has been a blessing. Her advice and ideas have made my home more liveable and loveable. My kids have noticed a difference in my attitude and my home. Please remember you are not alone, there are women all over the world trying to make it thru the day. Beverly

Kati - posted on 01/16/2010

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You are not alone. My son is 2 and he used to scream and completly freak out when I vacuumed. I finally came up with a solution. I put him upstair in his room and turned on a movie to vacuum and he did well with that. He would scream a little then peak around the corner and just watch me, and now he comes down when I vacuum and we have turned it into a game and he actually wants to help me and has his own little vacuum that he pushes around. As far as the rest of your house I know that it is really hard to keep up with everything and you feel like you just can not do it. I have came up with a solution that I pick one or two rooms a day to clean. My son is very clingy so it's hard usually I have to run crazy during his 30 min nap. But I found if I can make the extra effort to work fast and do one or two rooms a day that the house doesn't seem so out of control. I hope this helps

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YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!!!!!! LOL! I never make my bed, the laundry always needs to be folded and dusting happens rarely instead of regularly. I concentrate onthe important things, like a clean bathroom and floors. I have 4 kids (8,6,3, 2mos) and I homeschool. I have surrendered to the fact I am NOT perfect and I just simply no lnger care what others may think. As long as my house is acceptable I am happy :)

Robbie - posted on 01/01/2010

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Well, you are not alone first off! Try getting your husband, friend or someone to take Luke outside while you vacuum. I survived as have many before and after us will with germs. As far as the storage maybe you can get rid of somethings that you don't use that often if you can manabe without them. The sea of laundry, I used to have that problem, I decided the kids didn't need so many clothes and therefore I have to wash more often but, in all reality it is less work, less clothes, less stress, more money. Once you tackle the sea of laundry, try picking out a set number of outfits of each child and put the others in a box for a while. If you don't need them then you will realize that as American's we usually buy more than we actually need or that we are given too much from well meaning family and friends. If you don't need the clothes, then you can donate them to a charity, they are already clean, boxed up and just need to get them out of the house.

We adopted 3 of our grandchildren. I buy clothes that are interchangeable, that way they don't always look as though they are wearing the same thing. They are just swapped out the shirt or pants. When I wash their clothes, I hang most of them, I put a pair of pants on the hanger with a shirt, then when the selection is low I toss a load in and rematch the outfits differently. It made things easier for me. My oldest turned 30 on New Year's Eve and our youngest is now three. We would have had our youngest turn one on Dec 8th, but he was needed in Heaven and left on Feb 28th at almost three months old. Yes, it was SIDS, for a grandmother adopting her grandkids was already emotionally hard and then to go through the trauma with three children loosing their baby brother also, life is not easy. I can only suggest to not worry so much about the dust, minimize the stuff and enjoy your kids. Let the sea of laundry wash away with the tides. Image is more important to parents than to little kids, they don't care about the brands, styles or what anyones thinks about their outfit, as long as they are comfortable they will be happy.

I ws young once and wanted my kids to have the fashion style, I realized the clothes will be stained or out grown and the clothes will not change your love for your child.

Jennifer Miller - posted on 12/04/2008

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Hey! I am so there! Welcome by the way! My mom me feel like I was living in a museum. I couldn't sit on the furniture, and watch out when company was coming!!! She lives nearby and would comment on how she would iron the lace on our clothing and keep everything spotless. I said, walk in my shoes for a week and then talk to me. She know, by babysitting frequently that its a horse of a completely different color.

As for advice? Gosh, I give my humble 2 cents. My house has 2 rooms that stay messy a lot of the time. the rest gets messy but I try to stay on it. Our OT and ST recommended putting all the toys into labled bins and the kids have to ask for the bin. When they are done, they put the toys in the bin to get the next one. Doesn't work all the time, but its getting better. If you live by an IKEA, I just got a kids storage system that ROCKS! My ST is really excited about it and wants to promote it to the other kids. If not, they do shipping. Here is the link http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/catego...

My daughter has always been completely freaked by the VAC, but would do ok as long as she was up on the couch. A parent or adult who could hold him is even better. Laundry should be listed as a dirty word (ha, that was funny) and I never seem to keep up, but I do have a basket for every family member and my goal is when its full, take it down that day and wash it. Or have one stay at home wash day. Hope that helps! But know I am struggling too with you!!

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Wendy - posted on 02/03/2010

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I'm new to this group and I'm so glad I'm not alone. My son, dumps out his toy box and crayons every chance he gets, just for fun. He laughs and giggles at it and though its a mess and he does it all the time, its so cute to hear that laugh. I had no idea that dumping out stuff was a part of SPD. Getting him to pack it all away at leat once for the day is an accomplishment. He's a good kid, just messy!

Andria - posted on 02/01/2010

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You are absolutely not alone! I feel like I can never keep up!! Between trying to give my daughter the attention she needs, her therapies (we have 6 in home), the paperwork, and all the things that come up everyday that need to be dealt with, it's impossible! My husband works crazy hours and I'm pretty much doing this on my own. My daughter had a stroke when she was 2.5 months old and has SPD, apraxia/dyspraxia, feeding issues, etc. I currently live across the country from our families (job transfer for my husband) and when my mom comes to visit, she spends the entire time trying to convince me that I will have a better day if I just take 5 minutes to make the bed! I keep trying to explain that there are more important things than making the bed :). We do have a cleaning service that comes every other week so the house truly gets clean, and I try my best to maintain between cleanings, but I get buried under the clutter. I just can't seem to stay on top of it! And, when I get a room completely organized & clean, something invariably happens within two weeks so you can't even tell all the work I just put into it!! It doesn't seem to be getting any easier as she gets older. Maybe once she's in school full days . . .

Jessica - posted on 01/30/2010

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Your post really hit home for me. I am a former neat freak. I have 2 toddlers, and one of them is disabled. My time is very short, so less important things get overlooked!

Shelly - posted on 01/26/2010

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That sounds like my house! Seriously though.... I have tried and tried and tried to "keep up" until i'm just worn out, and it's just not possible! Especially when we have children with special needs (I have three kids, my youngest with SPD).



As far as floors go... get hard woods if you can. Then you can just sweep -- no noise. :) If not, get one of those push sweepers for when your child is home. Whenever your child happens to be gone (which -- I know -- might not be very often) pull out the electric vacuum and go nuts! lol.



Laundry... I just try to do a little each day. It doesn't always happen, but I have to allow myself to leave it alone sometimes. Like Jennifer Showalter's comments, I use a sorting system that helps.... after the laundry is washed and dried, I sort it out into baskets labeled for each person. My older children help by folding, hanging, and putting away their own laundry. Everything's sorted, it makes for much easier and quicker putting away. Plus, in case of company, in a rush the baskets can be stacked and placed in the laundry room out of site.



Other times, I ask for help. My mom is more than willing to help, and there are friends, too that might be willing to lend a hand, or sit with the children while I clean. It's worth a try... and there's no shame in asking for help. :)



It's not the end of the world if the house is a mess. Your kids MIGHT grow up remembering the mess, but they're much more likely to have fond memories of how much time their mother spent taking care of and loving them.

Robbie - posted on 01/01/2010

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Quoting Kristy:

She turns the door nobs around so they lock & can only be opened from the outside.


 

Jennifer - posted on 06/27/2009

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I agree with you all the way. The mess does drive me crazy some days but not to any extreme like that. I usually just wait until they are all in bed and then I go around and pick up as I have the energy for, it's sort of how I unwind from the craziness of the day! I know that 5 minutes into the morning it will be destroyed anyway! I feel sorry for that woman too though. She must have a clutter phobia. That's sad for all of them!

Kristy - posted on 06/26/2009

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So even if her house is clean n put together, her kids suffer. I'd pick livinig in happy, creative chaos over, allentaing or neglecting children.

Kristy - posted on 06/26/2009

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She turns the door nobs around so they lock & can only be opened from the outside.

Jennifer - posted on 06/26/2009

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Kristy, what you just wrote about people locking their kids in their rooms-- that has to be one of the saddest things I have read in a long time! I'm so sorry for them!

Kristy - posted on 06/25/2009

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Somtimes or almost all the time, somthing has to give. So if letting the house go keeps the minimal sanity in check and life goes on and the family functions, who cares if the house is a mess. A busy, happy and adjusted family lives there. I hate houses that are like musames and parents who relegate their children to a basement or the like. Let kids be kids and if you had to pick an area of your life to let the ball drop, isnt housekeeping the least critical?

I know of someone who locks their challenging children in their rooms, to get alone time or do chores.

Siobhan - posted on 06/18/2009

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What a relief to read everyone else's struggles. Laundry in our house is never done, dishes pile constantly and we cannot keep the toys under control. Plus, you add in the space required for an indoor swing, a trampoline, a crash pad, etc. and it just seems overwhelming. I am so thankful that there is a group like this that makes it clear we are not alone.

Jennifer - posted on 06/09/2009

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Our grandmothers come from another planet! :) JUST kidding! I am not at all by nature an "organized" person, but I sincerely try to be for my boys, it just doesn't get very far! My oldest is the one with SPD but I also have a 2 year old and a 1 year old. For me, part of the problem is that they are all so clingy! I can't go anywhere without them and when I even attempt to take 10 minutes to wash dishes or something around the house someone gets into something or they start fighting or they just plain want me to do nothing but be with them. I have no idea how to make them understand that while they are important, so is keeping things in order! My grandmother is 95, had 6 children, and to this day still works (she cleans homes and offices!), and still lives in her own home by herself!

Shawna - posted on 06/01/2009

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Oh my goodness!!! I'm so glad I found this group!! All I could do when I read all of your replies is cry. I'm just now starting on the path of looking at sensory disorder for my little guy. I myself have ADHD so I'm not the most organized to start off with, but then you add a little person with SPD and it's just chaos. I don't invite people over to my house because I'm afraid of what they will think or say. My mother in law is the worst one about judging my house and it's cleanliness. I hate it!! I'm so glad that I'm not alone.

Margaret - posted on 05/26/2009

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I, too am new to this group. It is 1:30 am and I just finished puting laundry away. It is good to know that I am not the only one with this issue. I have also eliminsted about half of my 6yo daughters toys. This seems to help a little. I am exhausted and gong to bed now.

Mary - posted on 04/07/2009

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I am new to this group too and can't tell you how relieved I am that I am not in this alone! I have the same issue with the messy house and have just about given up on ever having it clean again! I figure that as long as I have a path to walk through without breaking my neck or a toy, I am doing okay. My 4 1/2 year old son is constantly dumping out all the toys and we have made a deal: he can only have one or two tubs of toys in the living room at a time. The rest are delegated to the basement. It took a couple of months of "negotiating" this deal but he now knows he has to take something down to bring something up. Doesn't work all of the time but I am happy with it. His room, as small as it is, is a wreck too! I can barely get the clothes put in the dresser without a complete meltdown. On the good side, he will clean it up occasionally when he needs it straightened up.

Jessica - posted on 04/01/2009

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Wow yes I to have this same problem although I had no idea my 6 yr olds tornado had anything to do with SPD but definitely glad that I know now.....

Patty - posted on 03/29/2009

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Hello, I'm new to the group. oh my gosh! I'm so relieved to read it's not just me. My house is a wreck! I used to have it so together, before my littles one joined the family. Plus husband likes things neat and orderly and his mother is a NEAT FREAK! He grew up in an immaculate house. I always feel like a bad mother because I cannot keep my house clean. I have a panic attack every time is mother comes over.  I have Irish Twins and we're just learning that my son has SID. We thought he had high functioning autism, but we're being told at all of the evaluations we've had so far that he is not Autistic, but that he is sensory seeking. I always thought he had sensry issues.  In addition to his "quirks", the toys are all over and getting him dressed everyday is a nightmare. Only long sleeves and long pants. Not sure how we're going to handle it when it is 120 in July. We'll deal with it as it comes. Every morning we have to wrap him up like a burrito or he won't get out of bed.  To make things more strained, I'm still recovering from PPD four years after the birth of my first child. Oh well, it will get better. Glad to be part of the group and relieved to see that I'm not alone.

Wendy - posted on 03/27/2009

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OMG you are not alone!! I feel EXACTLY the same way!! I am looking forward to seeing if anyone has advise!!

Wendy - posted on 03/27/2009

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OMG you are not alone!! I feel EXACTLY the same way!! I am looking forward to seeing if anyone has advise!!

Sarah - posted on 03/27/2009

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You are so not alone.  I have never been the worlds greatest housekeeper and in our old apartment I had a cleaning lady that came in every other week so I got worse.  But, we moved and anyone else I meet is tooooooo expensive.  So, here I am in my dusty house with furries that "fly" accross the floor while my SPD two year old screams "bug bug bug" and freezes in fear.  Oh, and I have a step-mother who tells me my house is dirty.  Sigh...  So, you clean the best you can and repeat this mantra "this too shall pass".  Good luck. 

Robin - posted on 03/22/2009

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I am sooo glad I'm not alone in this!!!  I have two little girls, age 2 and 4.  My two yo has been diagnosed through the schools with SPD, and I think my 4 yo has SPD issues as well, but I haven't had her tested as she's always been the easier going one.  The house is in constant disarray. 

Crystal - posted on 11/17/2008

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yes,

my house is a wreck about 5 min after he is home from school. we have really started making him go outside and play, that way all the built up energy ( or the let down) of school is taken out , outside. he is getting better with the vacuum but he does still put his hands on his ears. also understand about the hardworking husband, mine is a pastor, and he is a very hard worker.

you are doing great. don't worry about your house.

Sarah - posted on 11/17/2008

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Amy, you are definitely not alone! Although, my house is generally not too bad, I do know how you feel. Because one of the behaviors of SPD is emptying toy boxes completely just for the sake of doing so, I have started to really downsize on the toys. When the house is messy, it just seems to overstimulate Owen and he spirals out of control. So, it seems like I'm constantly following him around picking up after him. I have eliminated about 3/4 of his toys. I put them in storage crates and sent them to the basement, the plan is to rotate them every few months. However, I'm not sure he'll be able to handle this change and he hasn't seemed to miss them so perhaps we'll just give them away. I have to do all other things...dishes, laundry, etc when they are eating meals. Of course this means that I have to either eat at the sink or forfeit lunch all together. Vacuuming in our house also has to be done at nap time. Fortunately, because Owen is so energetic, he's exhausted by noon and ready for a nap. I usually have to wake him up after 3 hours. Don't be too envious, Greta (my 14 month old) does not nap at all, not even 10 minutes.

Laundry has to happen after the kids are asleep at night - if at all.

I tell myself that by exposing them to these germs, I'm helping to build a healthy immune system :-)

I think any mother with a child with SPD will agree, our focus needs to be on our children and not our house. When we're old will we look back with regrets about the dishes we left in the sink all day or the time we didn't spend with our children because we were too busy cleaning our homes? I think you're doing an amazing job! Keep up the good work.

Jaime - posted on 11/16/2008

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You are not alone!!!!! I have 4 kids ages 6 yr, 3 1/2 yr, 22 month, and 6 month. My two middle children both boys have SPD and like you my house is a wreck. I feel guilty and horrible sometimes but I have to remember that right now my kids need my attention and love more than a clean house. I have laundry piling up and dust too but I figure as long as I do all I can do to help my boys get the sensory imput they need I am doing my job. My doctor told me that do what you can but the most important thing is to get through the day and to love your kids. People often judge us because they think we are lazy and dirty but what they don't understand is that we have to watch our kids all the time, that we don't get a break, and when we finally do get a break we are so tired and emotionally drained that all we want to do is to sit down and try to relax. My boys rip paper all the time, crush food into my carpet and floor, dump drinks on the floor, eat everything whether ediable or not, so i don't have time to scrub my floor or do laundry all the time. they hate it when i run the vacuum so i usually have to do it during nap time if they both are asleep. I know I probably seem just like i am rambling but just know that i think you are doing ok. you have a special needs child which also means your house has special needs. You are not alone!!! Hope this helps!

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