Working mom vs house work

Brittaney - posted on 03/21/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I'm a single mom, i recently started a new job, but its only part time. I'm also 4 1/2 months pregnant. I've been so exausted with being pregnant and taking care of my son,who is 15 months, and bills from being unemployed then starting this new job that I've been slacking on my house work. My grandmother (who has never had children) tells me that having a child and working is no excuse for my house being a mess, and laundry not being done, and dirty dishes in the sink. She makes me feel like a bad mom. Any advice on how to deal with this?

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Michelle - posted on 03/23/2012

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Ah the fun tangled webs of family relationships!



I too found it difficult while pregnant to get everything done (and I didn't have a 2nd to be caring for).



I second some of Kelly's suggestions. If you have a washer, when you get home, put a load of laundry in first thing. Then make dinner. Into dryer right after dinner and it is done. If you don't have laundry in your house, the money the laundromat charges can be worth it so you don't have to be there, just pick it up later/next day.



Dishes, I try not to leave them overnight, but it's been known to happen if we're out late for a school event or something. At that point I'm try to do them while the coffee's brewing in the AM.



If I section my mail over the recycling bin, junk right into recycle without looking. Some days I have nothing left after that! I set up everything I can on autopay via the bank so I don't have to deal with the paper bills.



As for the house being a mess, if it isn't dirty, just cluttered, and you're not tripping on clutter, you get to it when you get to it. Use the cleanup song (every day care seems to have one, or make one up) to get your son started cleaning up his toys. Kids that age often find it fun to help and it is a good habit for them.



And know I'm advocating things I'm not always good at doing myself! We're moms, we're not perfect, we try our best, and loving our kids and keeping them healthy is worth far more than an immaculate home.

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A little mess is not a problem, and it doesn't make you a bad mom. Dishes in the sink for a bit during the day is fine, but you don't want to leave them there for hours on end or overnight because that will attract bugs. It always took my son a little longer to eat than me, so I would wash up the dishes while he finished his meal, then when he was done, there was just his one dish and cup to wash, which only takes a few seconds. I also clean the kitchen while I'm cooking--even if you're just heating something in the microwave, 1 minute is enough time to wipe the counters down with disinfectant.



Do you have laundry washers, or do you have to go to a laundry center? If you do one load a day, you can fold right after you put your daughter down for the night--it only takes about 5 minutes, so it won't cut into your sleep (better than waiting till you have all day to spend on laundry, cause that never happens). If you go to a center, consider a service instead, it is only slightly more expensive, and they will pick up your laundry, wash, dry, press, and hang or fold it, than deliver it back to you.



Get a pretty tray to put your bills, checkbook, a pen, and some stamps in. Drop the mail and other papers in it whenever you come into the house, then take 10 minutes a day to go through it. That will keep the paper tornado from getting out of hand.



Get a big basket to put toys in the living area in. It only takes a minute to toss toys into a basket, and when it gets full, once a week or so, you can put them back in her room. Much faster than trying to run all the toys back to their proper place every single night--if she's like my kid, she probably plays with the same ones over and over again anyway.



Hope this helps. Don't beat yourself up--it takes a little time to get into the swing of working and find that good balance :)



Btw...how is your grandmother a grandmother if she never had kids?

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Emily - posted on 04/01/2012

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Nothing like judgemental family members. *eyeroll*

No offense, but your grandmother has no room to talk. She's not in your shoes every day. Sometimes it's all we can do to get by each day, let alone do things like dishes and laundry. You are a NORMAL mom, not a bad mom.

Rosa - posted on 04/01/2012

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Well, everyone has their way of living. I too have a hard time keeping up I work all crazy hours I have an 9month old and my 7 yr old comes over on the weekend. Unfortunately my boyfriend doesn't help much. I do my dishes by hand so it takes time to finish so after dinner I just make sure I clear the dishes than take a few extra mins in the morning and do the big stuff leave the rest for later in the day before cooking dinner. laundry gets done but stays in piles all over the bedrooms lol at least they are clean all you have to do is put it in the dryer if you don't want it wrinkled. It takes time to juggle especially being pregnant and taking care of a toddler. Just don't stress too much and do a little at a time as long as you are comfortable and your child is being taken care of. Those are the things that matter. Unless you live with your grandmother she shouldn't be hounding you on how you are living your life. Good luck and take care.

Kagisho - posted on 03/27/2012

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Hi Brittaney.

Your granny comes from a generation where being a good mom meant keeping the house clean and the kids disciplined and polite (kids were seen and not heard). Being a good mom today is different; because we have to work and don’t always have the baby’s father next to us to take care of the finances we can’t be our granny’s ideal ‘good mom’. With the pregnancy you will be fatigued so you need your rest. You don’t say how old the other kid/kids are but if they’re of primary school age you can give them a task or to and have them help out with cleaning on weekends. If they’re very little maybe get someone over once or twice a week to help out. It’s important to keep the dishes clean, and the bathroom area; thus avoid bacterial infection which can make the kids ill. You also didn’t mention the kids’ dad. Being a single mom could mean you’re in a relationship but not married and so not living together; but it could also mean he’s not in the picture completely. I don’t mean to pry and I don’t expect you to give details if you don’t want to. My advice is if it’s the former case ask him to help where he can; maybe come over occasionally and literally help with the cleaning, or help foot the bill for a cleaner. If it’s the latter case then go through the legal way of making him at least help you financially; I know money doesn’t buy happiness but it can get you a lot of other things like hired help and kid’s expenses so that you can get up to date with your bills. If you can achieve this then you will be less stressed and more settled emotionally and so you can then be the best mom you can me to your babies.

Being a good mom to me is to know my kids and have a good relationship with them with rules and boundaries set and understood for both the kid and the parent. It means wanting what’s best for my kids and striving to make it happen no matter the circumstances. you must also make time to sit with them and have abit of fun.



PS. it may also help to cook once a week. maybe Saturday or Sunday afternoon, and freeze everything so you just have to warm up in the evenings. this way you get to use the time for other things.

Amanda - posted on 03/26/2012

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Im a new single mom with twin 3 year old girls. I understand where you are coming from trying to get the housework done after working and cooking dinner and putting the kids to bed. Here's some tips. Try to do one or two things a night. I know you are probably tired and just want to rest or sleep, but if you do one big chore or a few smaller chores a night that will help. Depending on how many dishes you dirty, its a quicker job to do them nightly before food sticks than waiting until they pile up with stuck on food that takes forever to clean off.



When you get home if laundry needs to be done do one load. Throw it in the washer when you get home, then into the dryer before heading to bed. If you dont have time to fold before bed dont worry about it. Do it in the morning while having your morning coffee. It doesn't take long to fold.



Other chores like sweeping / mopping / vaccuuming.....those should be done on a need to be basis. I dont sweep every night, but when its needed. Also a time saver for sweeping is if its really messy under the table from crumbs and dropped food, just sweep under the table and leave the rest of the floor if it doesn't need to be done. It will save you some time and energy.



As far as cleaning up and your house being a mess. If its a mess from toys that your son has gotten out, have him help clean up some of the mess he made. Also, pick toys up, but dont organize them everynight. They wont stay that way long. pick them up so they are out of the way in a toybox or bookshelf.



I hope this helps. Dont let it discourage you, a "messy" house is a lived in house with happy kids. My house in only really clean after the kids go to bed at night.

Brittaney - posted on 03/22/2012

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I do use cooking as a time to clean the kitchen so that helps, and i have a laundry basket in the living room with all his toys because his room is upstairs, he doesn't play in his room usually. I'm moving in a few weeks, so i'm hoping that getting moved and starting over that i'll be a little more organized. As for ur question about my grandmother, my grandpa adopted my mom when she was 7 then he married my grandma the year before i was born. It's a really complicated story lol.

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