Friday, October 21, 2005

Mess, Mess, Mess

I really wonder how people do it. How do you manage to take care of your kids AND keep your house clean??? I used to be so good, maybe even a little anal about the cleanliness of my house. I wouldn't have ANYONE over unless it was spotless. Now it's just a wreck. I can't seem to get it together. AND we have home visits from 2 physical therapists, as well as Eden's teacher, audiologist, and speech pathologist. They see my house in shambles.

I was watching The View yesterday, and there was this lady on who just had her 16TH KID! Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I admire this lady. I think she is crazy. But she did seem to have it together. I can't even imagine it. The two I have seem to occupy every moment of my time.

When I do have a second to relax, that's just what I want to do, relax. Sometimes I take a nap with them. Sometimes I just veg out and watch TV. The very last thing I want to do is clean house. Or make phone calls. Or do laundry. Or cook. Maybe it is possible, but you would have to be completely busy every second of the day. I just can't do that. I like to take it easy and enjoy my time with the babies when they are awake.

I want to kick back with a glass of wine, or a mug of mocha, and a good book or movie when they are asleep. I don't want to clean house. How do you mom's out there manage? Is there some secret I don't know about? Please let me in on it! I could use some pointers.


Kendra Lynn said...

Dear Billie:
I totally understand. I really feel your pain. I feel like I have twins as well, most of the time, and keeping the house up while taking care of the kiddos is TOUGH!!
I really think that its MORE important to spend time with your babies than to have a spotless house.
I have found that it is worth it to have a bit of a messy house so that I can spend more time playing with the girls.
If YOU find out a secret to this dilemma, let me know! I will let you know if I find out something as well.
I love ya.

Anonymous said...

I've decided that the sacrifice of cleanliness is necessary in order to retain your sanity. You've just got to let some stuff slide. Our house is far from spotless, but every now and then we pick up, so it doesn't look too bad. Besides, there's no real point in slaving away to make a room clean if the kids are just gonna tear it apart within the hour anyway! :P

Anonymous said...

I, too, let things slide. The dishes will be there tomorrow, the carpet will still have crumbs tomorrow and if I vacuum it, Destructobaby will just crumble something else onto it or spill something or sneeze food onto it. The mess never ends (okay, maybe when they're in college) and do you really want all their memories of you to be of you cleaning or yelling at them to stay in the kitchen with that food?!
I've made a pact with my hubby and my baby. I will clean whenever they go out for father/son bonding time. When my baby is home, with me, I'm on the floor, amid the goldfish and graham cracker crumbs, playing and dancing with him or reading a book. And when he's asleep (haha)? Sometimes I'll clean, sometimes I'll just catch some zzzs, and most of the time I'll veg out with a bowl of ice cream and my favorite movie. I feel bad for the kids whose parents spend so much time cleaning - they're not getting the good part of being a parent - all the snuggles and giggles and crazy songs and dances that basically let you relive your own childhood. Who wants to stick their kid in a playpen or in front of the TV to play alone? That's sad.

Anonymous said...

two words:
Love, Mamma Jules

Anonymous said...

Come now Billie, give yourself a break my dear. Last time I was at your house it was far from the disaster you are describing. Sure, there were toys and playthings everywhere and some bills in a pile, but who with kids DOESN'T have these things? Unless of course they are in a state of perpetual motion, which I know doesn't suit your taste. I can guarantee that when you are old and wrinkled, playing with your grandchildren, that the very last thing you will remember or care about is that your house was messy. And if it really, really bothers you all that much - then hire a "molly maid" to come do it for you, though I bet it still only stays clean for the day :)! From one messy house to another, much love to you all. Jess

MamaChristy said...

There is no secret. Either you work your tail off while they sleep, or the house is a mess. I'll take a happy kid and my sanity over a spotless house any day.

Then there is this beautiful thing that your darling girls will do one day - they'll put toys in a bucket as well as pull them out of a bucket. No! I'm serious! My boy (15 months tomorrow, I think just a week older than the girls) just started doing this. It is a JOY. Sure he pulls out more than he puts away, but at least he can help put a few things away sometimes these days.

Anonymous said...

I've never yet heard someone say "I wish I would have spent more time doing dishes and less time with my kids" but I have heard people say "I wish I would have spent more time with my kids and less time doing laundry."

Kate Giovinco Photography said...

I posted about that woman that has the 16 kids. IF you look into it she doesnt have it all together she has all those kids doing everything for her. You would not want it. IF you ever get some time check out my posts about her they are over the last two weeks.

I also wanted to say we have this cross stitch hanging in the nursery at my moms that my mom got when my oldest brother was born and she makes one for every baby shower:

Babies Don't Keep
Cleaning and scrubbing
Can wait till timorrow,
For babies grow up
We've learned to our sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs,
Dust go to sleep,
I'm rocking my baby,
And babies don't keep.

And it is so true, enjoy the girls and who cares how clean your house is if someone would ever judge you why would you want to be around them.

Anonymous said...

When your girls get just a little bit older cleaning will become a fun game, they will love to "help" you. My kids (18 months and 3 years) love when I vacuum. I go first, then it is their "turn". We have one of those small rechargable vacuums. Laundry is also very exciting for them, I let them throw the dirty clothes in the washer, and then put the wet clothes in the drier. Folding laudry and changing the sheets on the bed are fun chores too.

My kids also like to help empty the dishwasher, I make sure all the sharp knives are already out and then they hand me the clean stuff ... we have had one broken plate.

A word of warning, with their "help" these chores will take a lot longer than doing yourself, but they will get done.

But even with all their help my house is often still a mess, with piles and pile of stuff everywhere. Taking care of the kids is alot more important than a clean house!

-one of John's co-workers-

Anonymous said...

Always remember that the sign of a good mommy is dishes in the sink and crumbs on the floor!

Linda said...

You asked: How do you manage to take care of your kids AND keep your house clean???

Easy answer: I don't! Next question.

Anonymous said...

uuum, in response to jess's "who with kids doesn't have these things": i don't have kids, and yet i still manage to have these things. so there! my mom was a bit of a neurotic cleaner and it made me a little crazy sometimes :) listen to everyone...your house is FINE. love you!

Anonymous said...

My dear Lisa IS a testament to having had a neurotic cleaning mom as she was growing up. Forget the mess or if you can't, let someone clean around you and the girls having fun....they will never be young again..I wish I had all those years back I wasted on chasing dustballs and perfecting the spotless kitchen floor!
Love, Mamma Jules

Anonymous said...

Before kids "you can eat off the floor" meant they were spotless - AFTER kids "you can eat off the floor" means, yep you can find a whole meal down there:)

Anonymous said...

I have found that I make one specific distinction now that I have children (3 children under the age of 5) and that house is not dirty; it may be messy, but not dirty. Having children means there will be messiness (toys on the floor, books and clothes places) but there is no need for things to be dirty. So, I prioritize. Cleaning the kitchen is a priority. Making sure I sweep the floors so my 11-month old son doesn't eat off them is a priority. Picking up toys and books...not a priority. Making sure everything is in it's place...not a priority.

So...Messy, not Dirty.

Stephie said...

I've been pondering this issue a lot since leaving the NICU. I now dinguish between "neatness" and "air cleanliness." Unless the lack of neatness is getting in the way of dusting and vacuuming I try not to worry about it.

From what I understand of lung health - dust, mites, and fur do matter. So, I've been getting rid of furniture and carpets that hold dust or get in the way while vacuuming. Goodbye boxspring, hello swank platform bed. :)

"Home Comforts" by Cheryl Mendelson has chapters on dusting and vacuuming BUT just take the facts of the situation and don't let the tone of the book get you down.

Also - had a show on "speed cleaning." Basically, get all your supplies on an apron and just work around a room clockwise, top to bottom. Oh, and the would insist that you wear sneakers during all this to give you traction. Anyway, I hate cleaning and found that speeding up helps.