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Working Moms Working Moms

Cleaning...How?????

Posted by on Oct. 10, 2013 at 9:23 AM
  • 14 Replies

 How do you working moms keep your house clean? Mine is driving me insane!!!

I have two kids, 7 weeks pregnant, with two jobs (one full-time Monday-Thursday, one part-time on the weekends but not necessarily every weekend...both 11-12 hour shifts). Live-in boyfriend works full-time, too. Live-in mother doesn't help with anything - she was watching my kids, but the house was continually destroyed, so they are both in daycare now. Our work schedules make it so bf and I wake up at 4-4:30 am, I have to get ready and get kids ready and to daycare by 5:30 to get to work on time. We don't get home until 6-6:30 in the evening. Which gives me about an hour and a half to make dinner, clean up, get kids ready for bed, etc.

I feel like I should have the time somewhere...like on my one or two days off...but I want to play with my kids those days, you know? 

So, how do y'all do it? Any suggestions, I have got to get this house under control (clean and de-cluttered) so I can do the fun things with my kids without feeling guilty for not getting the laundry and stuff done.

by on Oct. 10, 2013 at 9:23 AM
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Replies (1-10):
adamsmom0116
by Gold Member on Oct. 10, 2013 at 9:34 AM
1 mom liked this

First I would have a talk with my mother about pitching in somehow - whether it be helping with cooking a couple nights a week, cleaning, laundry......I believe that if you live in a house, you help with the necessities of said house. My kids have all helped with chores since they were toddlers (things like taking napkins off the table at dinner and throwing them away). No reason Mom can't help, is there?

Then, get your kids and BF to help. Use the crock pot for dinner. There are lots of recipes for meals in 20-30 minutes. Use the internet. Find those.

What's the clutter in your house? Is it toys and shoes and stuff like that? Or is it mail and stuff that no one knows what to do with? If it's toys and stuff, have the kids help you take 10 minutes before bed to put it all away. Take a few minutes as a family each night to clean. Find a way to make it a game for your kids, or use some sort of reward system. Is there money in the budget for a cleaning lady? If so, maybe utilize a cleaning service for help.

And, most importantly - cut yourself some slack. You are a very busy family. You're not going to have a perfectly clean house. Accept that. Enjoy your kids.

Hang in there! Everyone in this group feels the same pressure you just described!  :)

jessijames911
by Member on Oct. 10, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Mom was not used to cleaning - we grew up with a maid, and ever since that went away several years ago when she got divorced, she still has not gotten used to taking care of a house herself. She does have some trouble with joint pain, but she is mobile (and really, some activity would probably help her a lot). Her feelings the last time I asked her to help were that her watching my children was payment for living in my house (she does not help financially either and has no income) and it was not her job to clean up after them (or herself apparently).  

BF does help thankfully, he does dishes sometimes and takes out trash - he's generally a neat, clean type of person - so he helps out where he sees things need to be done. I am VERY thankful for that. I have trouble getting the kids to help - it seems like there's always one that wants to, and the other refuses to, so then neither of them do anything ("I don't want to clean when she's not"). Any suggestions on that one, like what kind of game or rewards?? I haven't found one that works well.

I have got to start using my crock pot. Getting on Pinterest now to find recipes LOL!

A lot of the clutter is just "stuff" - like I don't even know what it is .....which obviously means it needs to go. Hopefully I can get the house to something presentable, and then maybe get a cleaning service to come once every so often just to help...that would be nice, and we should be able to afford at least a monthly cleaning.

Thank you! Just having someone tell me to cut myself some slack makes me feel a little better - knowing that we're all dealing with the same kinda stress.


Quoting adamsmom0116:

First I would have a talk with my mother about pitching in somehow - whether it be helping with cooking a couple nights a week, cleaning, laundry......I believe that if you live in a house, you help with the necessities of said house. My kids have all helped with chores since they were toddlers (things like taking napkins off the table at dinner and throwing them away). No reason Mom can't help, is there?

Then, get your kids and BF to help. Use the crock pot for dinner. There are lots of recipes for meals in 20-30 minutes. Use the internet. Find those.

What's the clutter in your house? Is it toys and shoes and stuff like that? Or is it mail and stuff that no one knows what to do with? If it's toys and stuff, have the kids help you take 10 minutes before bed to put it all away. Take a few minutes as a family each night to clean. Find a way to make it a game for your kids, or use some sort of reward system. Is there money in the budget for a cleaning lady? If so, maybe utilize a cleaning service for help.

And, most importantly - cut yourself some slack. You are a very busy family. You're not going to have a perfectly clean house. Accept that. Enjoy your kids.

Hang in there! Everyone in this group feels the same pressure you just described!  :)



deccaf
by Platinum Member on Oct. 10, 2013 at 10:10 AM

In small bits.  Clean as you go.  DD is great about keeping her toys picked up.  She knows they need to get put away or the dog may get them.  I choose one room to deep clean every week.  The other rooms get a light cleaning.  DH helps a LOT!

adamsmom0116
by Gold Member on Oct. 10, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Honestly, I would have a sit-down with Mom. This would not fly with me AT ALL. If she isn't watching your kids anymore (didn't you say they're in daycare?), then what is she contributing besides more laundry and more mess for YOU to clean up? I know you don't want to, but I think you have to talk to her about this. She should at the very least clean up after herself. And if she doesn't work and is home alone all day, it wouldn't hurt her to help you out and do a load of laundry every day or cook a meal once in a while. If she can't help for 20 minutes a day in exchange for room and board, then there's a problem.

Rewarding the kids.......Make it a race. Whoever gets the most toys picked up when the timer goes off wins! Wins what? I don't know. Go to bed 10 minutes later? A star on the chart and after 10 stars you get an ice cream date with Mom or Dad? How old are your kids? That will make a difference.......Or, you could go the mean route. Any toys not picked up by bedtime I put in this box I keep for 2 days and then you have to earn it back. Earn it by doing a chore. There are a lot of ways. What have you tried? We have 5 kids. I am not above bribing them. HA! :)


Quoting jessijames911:

Mom was not used to cleaning - we grew up with a maid, and ever since that went away several years ago when she got divorced, she still has not gotten used to taking care of a house herself. She does have some trouble with joint pain, but she is mobile (and really, some activity would probably help her a lot). Her feelings the last time I asked her to help were that her watching my children was payment for living in my house (she does not help financially either and has no income) and it was not her job to clean up after them (or herself apparently).  

BF does help thankfully, he does dishes sometimes and takes out trash - he's generally a neat, clean type of person - so he helps out where he sees things need to be done. I am VERY thankful for that. I have trouble getting the kids to help - it seems like there's always one that wants to, and the other refuses to, so then neither of them do anything ("I don't want to clean when she's not"). Any suggestions on that one, like what kind of game or rewards?? I haven't found one that works well.

jessijames911
by Member on Oct. 10, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Yeah, the stuff with Mom is a problem. I love her more than anything...but this is extremely stressful.

As for the kids, they're 4 and 6 - the older one is in 1st grade, but is at daycare with her sister before and after school. I've tried making the chores a race, hasn't worked. Star chart didn't work. Being mean - they just say they don't want the toys anyway. Which maybe they don't....I have 3 boxes of toys that need to go to goodwill from the last time I thoroughly cleaned their playroom. Maybe I'm just not bribing them right - you'd think I'd know how by now...my little angels can be quite stubborn.  I wonder if it's just that they sense the stress...they used to help more than they do now.

Quoting adamsmom0116:

Honestly, I would have a sit-down with Mom. This would not fly with me AT ALL. If she isn't watching your kids anymore (didn't you say they're in daycare?), then what is she contributing besides more laundry and more mess for YOU to clean up? I know you don't want to, but I think you have to talk to her about this. She should at the very least clean up after herself. And if she doesn't work and is home alone all day, it wouldn't hurt her to help you out and do a load of laundry every day or cook a meal once in a while. If she can't help for 20 minutes a day in exchange for room and board, then there's a problem.

Rewarding the kids.......Make it a race. Whoever gets the most toys picked up when the timer goes off wins! Wins what? I don't know. Go to bed 10 minutes later? A star on the chart and after 10 stars you get an ice cream date with Mom or Dad? How old are your kids? That will make a difference.......Or, you could go the mean route. Any toys not picked up by bedtime I put in this box I keep for 2 days and then you have to earn it back. Earn it by doing a chore. There are a lot of ways. What have you tried? We have 5 kids. I am not above bribing them. HA! :)


Quoting jessijames911:

Mom was not used to cleaning - we grew up with a maid, and ever since that went away several years ago when she got divorced, she still has not gotten used to taking care of a house herself. She does have some trouble with joint pain, but she is mobile (and really, some activity would probably help her a lot). Her feelings the last time I asked her to help were that her watching my children was payment for living in my house (she does not help financially either and has no income) and it was not her job to clean up after them (or herself apparently).  

BF does help thankfully, he does dishes sometimes and takes out trash - he's generally a neat, clean type of person - so he helps out where he sees things need to be done. I am VERY thankful for that. I have trouble getting the kids to help - it seems like there's always one that wants to, and the other refuses to, so then neither of them do anything ("I don't want to clean when she's not"). Any suggestions on that one, like what kind of game or rewards?? I haven't found one that works well.



adamsmom0116
by Gold Member on Oct. 10, 2013 at 12:19 PM

 I don't know. Every kid responds differently. My youngest "didn't care" if I threw away the toys. Didn't phase him a bit. What he DID care about though, was having to sit in a chair and watch while everyone else picked up. He couldn't sleep, couldn't talk to anyone, couldn't play, couldn't read.....It was boring and it pained him to have to do it. He would rather help clean than have to just sit there. Keep trying different things. You'll eventually stumble upon something that works. I read a book once that referred to this as "finding the currency" that works for each kid. With one it was guitar playing, with one it was his basketball.....You'll find it :)


Quoting jessijames911:

Yeah, the stuff with Mom is a problem. I love her more than anything...but this is extremely stressful.

As for the kids, they're 4 and 6 - the older one is in 1st grade, but is at daycare with her sister before and after school. I've tried making the chores a race, hasn't worked. Star chart didn't work. Being mean - they just say they don't want the toys anyway. Which maybe they don't....I have 3 boxes of toys that need to go to goodwill from the last time I thoroughly cleaned their playroom. Maybe I'm just not bribing them right - you'd think I'd know how by now...my little angels can be quite stubborn.  I wonder if it's just that they sense the stress...they used to help more than they do now.

Marti123
by Platinum Member on Oct. 10, 2013 at 2:25 PM
We have a bi-weekly house cleaner.

Have you looked at FLYLADY? It's a little overwhelming, but I found some suggestions helpful. For example, throw or give away 10 things everyday for a week to tackle clutter. Or just set a timer for 5 minutes and everyone cleans for that time. Then stops, when the timer is done.

I think for me, the clutter is the hardest. If everything has a place, cleaning is soooo much easier. Good luck.
jessijames911
by Member on Oct. 10, 2013 at 2:27 PM

I might have to try that one...thanks!

Quoting adamsmom0116:

 I don't know. Every kid responds differently. My youngest "didn't care" if I threw away the toys. Didn't phase him a bit. What he DID care about though, was having to sit in a chair and watch while everyone else picked up. He couldn't sleep, couldn't talk to anyone, couldn't play, couldn't read.....It was boring and it pained him to have to do it. He would rather help clean than have to just sit there. Keep trying different things. You'll eventually stumble upon something that works. I read a book once that referred to this as "finding the currency" that works for each kid. With one it was guitar playing, with one it was his basketball.....You'll find it :)


Quoting jessijames911:

Yeah, the stuff with Mom is a problem. I love her more than anything...but this is extremely stressful.

As for the kids, they're 4 and 6 - the older one is in 1st grade, but is at daycare with her sister before and after school. I've tried making the chores a race, hasn't worked. Star chart didn't work. Being mean - they just say they don't want the toys anyway. Which maybe they don't....I have 3 boxes of toys that need to go to goodwill from the last time I thoroughly cleaned their playroom. Maybe I'm just not bribing them right - you'd think I'd know how by now...my little angels can be quite stubborn.  I wonder if it's just that they sense the stress...they used to help more than they do now.



jessijames911
by Member on Oct. 10, 2013 at 2:29 PM


Never even heard of Flylady....I will have to check it out. Thanks!

And yeah, I think it's the clutter that bothers me the most....it's like there's all this "stuff" and I can't even figure out where half of it came from, much less where it goes. 

How much does bi-weekly cleaning cost where you are?

Quoting Marti123:

We have a bi-weekly house cleaner.

Have you looked at FLYLADY? It's a little overwhelming, but I found some suggestions helpful. For example, throw or give away 10 things everyday for a week to tackle clutter. Or just set a timer for 5 minutes and everyone cleans for that time. Then stops, when the timer is done.

I think for me, the clutter is the hardest. If everything has a place, cleaning is soooo much easier. Good luck.



Marti123
by Platinum Member on Oct. 10, 2013 at 2:31 PM
We pay $100 each time, through a private business. Commercial, national companies ran me about $160 bi-weekly.


Quoting jessijames911:


Never even heard of Flylady....I will have to check it out. Thanks!

And yeah, I think it's the clutter that bothers me the most....it's like there's all this "stuff" and I can't even figure out where half of it came from, much less where it goes. 

How much does bi-weekly cleaning cost where you are?


Quoting Marti123:

We have a bi-weekly house cleaner.



Have you looked at FLYLADY? It's a little overwhelming, but I found some suggestions helpful. For example, throw or give away 10 things everyday for a week to tackle clutter. Or just set a timer for 5 minutes and everyone cleans for that time. Then stops, when the timer is done.



I think for me, the clutter is the hardest. If everything has a place, cleaning is soooo much easier. Good luck.





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