Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Failure

I feel like such a failure lately. Not at life, just at the housekeeping part of my life. Oh how I try! I try so hard! At least it feels that way. But it seems like I'm never able to keep on top of everything! Or it seems like as soon as I get on top of things something comes up. Now I promise I'm not entirely lazy, I do have my lazy moments but I don't sit around all day on facebook, reading blogs, or watching tv. I work, I play with Croix, I fulfill church responsibilities, I bath Croix, I try and be crafty, I feed Croix, I try and play with/learn about photography, I change Croix's diapers, I cook good meals, I chase Croix, I grocery shop.........The list goes on and on. I know I'm not the only person who does all these things and yet I think my house is messier then the average home. I hate feeling embarrassed when a neighbor happens to just stop by. Or if a client schedules last minute and all I have time fore is to get ready for them, not clean my house. I feel jealous of all my friends who when I was a kid couldn't play because they had to do chores. They were learning, I was not! My Mother, bless her, has many wonderful qualities and skills. House keeping is not one of them. As a result I never learned to to keep a home clean, because my home never was. I know HOW to clean, I know how to scrub a shower. I struggle with knowing how to keep my home clean and tidy. So I'm asking,

How do you keep your house clean?
I'm not asking this as a rhetorical question. I really need to know! I want your tips. Do you do note cards, cleaning schedule, are you constantly cleaning, do you have a chore chart? How do you keep your home clean? I would also ask you, does it get any easier as the kids get older? I feel like so much of my time and day are devoted to chasing Croix making sure he's not trying to kill himself crawling on top of everything, eating everything etc. So I wonder if it ever gets easier or is this just what life is? Thank you in advance for any advice you may have!

12 comments:

Kendra said...

I struggle with keeping my house clean too but these are some things that help me sometimes. One thing I've tried to do lately is not sit down (like at the computer or for a snack). Unless of course it's to keep a child happy. Otherwise I try to figure something out that needs to be done like cleaning, laundry, etc. and do it. Another thing is to make a list. There have been many times that Jared will ask me what I want him to do and I can't think of anything but then I stay busy the rest of the night cleaning because I keep finding stuff that needs to be done. Sometimes when it seems like there's a lot to do I will write a bunch of things down that need to be done and that way I don't forget some of them and Jared will know what I need help with. Another thing that I know works for some people is to schedule certain chores for certain days. For example, every Monday clean your floors. On Tuesdays, clean the bathrooms, etc. You could write it down so that you and/or Brent will know what the plans are for that day and one or both of you can get it done. Also, always keep your dishes done. It feels good to have an empty sink all the time.
Hope this helps. Good luck with it!

Kalena and Justin said...

Ok I have to chime in here and not really give you advice on how to keep an super clean home, but a saying I have always loved. "Trying to keep a house clean while your kids are still growing, is like shoveling the walkway while its still snowing."

You are not a failer and it does get easyer as they get bigger and can help with chores. But when you look back at life you arent going to remember how clean your house was, you will remember all the times you player with your son. And spent time with your hubby.

Growing up we always did little matance durring the week and then did a family group major clean every saterday.

Melissa Nigh said...

Terina, you were at my house when my babies were little. You know that it was a major struggle for me too. For me it has not gotten any easier. Now that there aren't diapers to change or babies to nurse there are ball games, achievement days, scouts, band concerts, etc. I have found that we use a lot of www.flylady.net techiques but I have not mastered all of her techniques nor do I think I ever will. Here is what does work for me: 15 minutes of tidying before we go to bed, doing laundry everyday. If I really need some motivation I put on my lace up shoes and light a candle, turn some music. I use flylady's crisis cleaning technique a lot. It works well for me. Just don't ever give up! You are awesome!

Erin L said...

I have struggled with this too. I still struggle with it. Honestly I don't have any answers. I have asked this same question so many times and have found some things that work for me, so I'll pass them along since you asked, but first I have to say this: I have a meticulous mother-in-law and one of my best friends is as well and let me tell you something: they are always cleaning. I know for a fact that one of my Dave's brother is really bothered by the fact that my MIL doesn't just sit down to visit. She is always cleaning up after other people. I try to remember that people are more important than housework. My friend, also, spends all day cleaning and she does her "me" stuff (like sewing - she's fabulous at sewing) in the evening. But she doesn't really spend one-on-one time with her husband, which is a big deal for me. Try to keep perspective.

Another thing that has really helped me is to find something that makes me feel like your house is clean and do that every day. If my bed is made, my room feels much cleaner, even though there are stacks of papers and piles of laundry all over. So I make the bed every day. Dishes are another one. It doesn't matter if toys are scattered around the family room if my kitchen is clean, my house feels much cleaner. So dishes are a priority for me. Another thing that helps is to clear off my hot spots every day. Hot spots are places that collect clutter. My table is a major hot spot. I try to spend 10 minutes every few days clearing off my table.

Anyway, those help me keep things under control. I hope that helps.

Stacy said...

I think it is always a struggle for anyone with small children. Maybe older children too, but since I'm not there yet I don't know.

Lists are always helpful for me. Every Sunday I make a list of things I hope to get accomplished throughout the rest of the week. Housecleaning, work, Church calling, etc. Then anytime I have "free time" (time not spent being needed by a child) I look to my list and work on something. This is what I have found to be of the most help.

Also, I have vinyl lettering in my kitchen that says "There will be years for cleaning and cooking...for children grow up while we're not looking." I think most important of all is spending time enjoying our little ones while we can. The time goes by way too fast with the first and even faster as others come. You are not a failure for enjoying your life and your child!

therealmccoy said...

Oh Terina, Please don't call yourself a failure. You are so good at so many things and if housekeeping isn't at the top of your talent list, being a good friend and a sweet person is.
The only thing I can say about keeping a clean house is that it is constant. Once you eat a meal, you rinse your dish and put it in the dishwasher and wash the dishes. Once a load of laundry is done, you fold and put it away. When I get the mail, I go through it that minute and throw the junk out and file the rest. This is the only way I have been able to "keep-up". Oh, and it is 100% harder now that Hudson is here and is rarely done to my pre-baby standards.
Also, I think the more you bring into your home, the more there is to take care of. So, now when I see those nice clearance sections at target, I have to remind myself that this means I will have less space in my home and one more thing to watch over. Sometimes space and organization is worth more than a good deal or saving something I haven't used in a while.
Please don't be hard on yourself!

(V.Kerr) School Time Adventures said...

Ok here is goes...
I sometimes think I have ADD because it's really hard for me to focus while I am cleaning. I walk into the kitchen, MESS, I walk into the front room MESS, then I try to feel calm in my bedroom but MESS.

So recently like as of 3 months ago I have discovered something. If my mind is feeling cluttered than my house is reflecting that, however I begin to feel soooo overwhelmed that I don't know where to start.
The answer a TIMER. You put the timer in the area you are trying to clean and set it for 10-15 mins. The key is you must stay in that area for the whole time. You can hold your child while you are trying to clean but do NOT go into another area, if you by chance do and wonder off don't worry, as soon as the timer goes off you will remember. If you weren't able to get it done in that time try another 5-10mins. It kind of becomes a game to finish what you want to do before the timer dings.

I have learned that when there are a lot of messes I get so overwhelmed I don't know where to start, by putting my timer in the spot I need to be, it really helps me to focus. And we all need a lot of help focusing when there are children making more messes!!

Arizona Dunbars said...

Cleaning your house is a constant battle that become greater with more kids. One thing I have learned lately is that somethings are more important than having an immaculate house. I still try to keep it clean and straight but letting a few things go isn't the worst thing. Shannon has a schedule where she does one thing everyday so it is less time but by the end of the week is all clean. I usually have to take two days right now and I do have a schedule. Mondays - clean, Tues and Fri - laundry. You will find your way. Just don't get frustrated with yourself. (easier said than done)

Artsy Aut said...

I know how you feel! But you are not a failure! There are two things I try to do. First I try to make sure the kitchen is clean before I go to bed. It usually doesnt take too long to clean it up, but it makes the next morning so much better and it helps to try to clean as you go during the day in the kitchen. At least organize the mess (stack dirty dishes neatly etc.) the second is at around 4:30, I do a whirlwind clean up job. Im practically running around crazy cleaning and putting things away. I can usually get a good 20 minutes in but 20 min is better than 0 right?
Lastly, I just make peace with the fact that my house will never be as clean as I would like it to be. But my kids are happy and that is what matters. Dont beat yourself up!

Shalyce said...

I think you are asking the choir:) I imagine anyone with healthy, normal kids has a hard time, or spends a lot of time cleaning. Seriously, my house can stay completly clean for about 5 seconds, unless my children are sleeping. It doesn't matter how hard I try, something is always out of place.

Some things I do that help maintain my sanity are cleaning the house after the kids are in bed, not cleaning as in dusting, but just picking everything up, cleaning up dinner (and sometimes breakfast and lunch). At least that way the mess is not piling on top of a mess the next morning. It's freshly discouraging:) Sometimes I do this while they are still up, but inevitably, by the time they go to bed it is no longer clean. Both ways have their advantages, but at least it's not piling up.

Have a place for everything so that there is somewhere to put it away. I love organized cupboards and cabinets. We even have areas where we put things we don't want to clean up everyday, a desk draw for papers, a kitchen cupboard for Josh's junk he would leave on the counter, a decorative bin for stuff I don't know what to do with or want to deal with etc. It may still not be organized, but no one knows except us.

I used to do a full deep clean on my whole house once a week. With more kids and more space that's impossible, so now I clean when areas need it and I don't clean something that's not dirty even if it has been a month (like my mirrors although them staying clean for a month would never happen). If you can do a once a week deep clean, it feels great and prevents the build up. If not, hit the problem spots when they are problems.

My last tactic is to make cleaning as enjoyable and seemingly meaningful as possible. I fold my laundry while I watch tv (I hate it and TV makes it bearable) and listen to conference talks off the internet while I'm cleaning the kitchen (so I feel like I am doing something more meaningful than washing a plate for the 100th time).

Sometimes you just can't worry about it and have to have faith that it will get cleaned at some point.

Not to make you lose hope, but I think it gets worst before it gets better. Wait until Criox is 5 and then he can really start helping clean up all the messes he makes.

Good luck! I'm afraid it's a neverending battle... at least at our house.

Soul said...

Terina i know some people that keeps their house inmaculate clean to "SHOW" people and gives them a Tour around their museum house, And I always think,... do you want a house like a museum tO Show, and impress people? or you want a house where you son is happy and he can play and he feels like home?
of couse taking some cautions that is not to germy or smell or have some harms... (clutter)... but when croix grows up he will be your helper, Kurtis and kevin vacuums and dust even laundry pick their shoes dishes some time.
so don't worry riht now.plus i Tptaly understand what you passing trhu. YOU ARE A NURSING MOM!!! YOU HAVE TO REALIZE THAT, NURSINGS MOM EXPEND MORE OF THE TIME SITTING FEEDIING THEIR KIDS... JUST COUNT THE TIME CROIX NURSE IN ONE DAY PUT IT TOGETHER! PLUS BATHING, AND OTHER THINGS. WHILE BOTTLE BABYS THEY EVEN HOLD THEIR BOTTLE BY THEM SELFS.. AND I AM TALKING ON MY OWN EXPERIENCE I 100% BREASTFEED MY FIRST 2 KIDS , AND MY HOUSE WAS OH MY! BUT WITH KALEB WE R DOING BOTH AND SOME TIMES KURT OR SHANE FEED HIM OR LATELY HE IS EVEN HOLDING THE BOTTLE BY HIMSELF WHILE I COOK OR CLEAN.
bUT YOU KNOW WHAT YOU BABY IS GOING TO LOVE YOU NO MATTER WHAT AND THE BEST GIF YOU CAN GIVE HIM IS NURSING HIM! HE WILL LOVE YOU IF YOUR HOUSE IS A MASS OR NOT.
YOU PROBABLY WANTS SOME TIPS. A TIP THAT BEEN WORKING FOR ME IS. CLEAN AT NIGHT. CLEAN THE KITCHEN SWEEP AND MOP AND VACUUM. BATHROOMS WHILE YOU R IN THE SHOWER IT TAKES LIKE 5 MIN.LAUNDRY WHILE YOU ARE ON FACEBOOK OR BLOGGING, AND LABEL 3 BASKETS ONE FOR YOU ONE FOR BRENT AND ONE FOR CROIX.AS THE CLOTHES COME OUT OF THE DRYER PUT EACH CLOTHES ON EACH BASKET BRENTS ON BRENTS BASKET CROIX ON CROIX BASKET AND TERINAS ON TERINAS BASKET. BRENT CAN DO HIS!!! REMEMBER YOU FAMILY IS GROWING.. YOU CAN TAKE CARE OF YOUR AND CROIX. BUT AT LEAST IS NOT ON A BIG PILE OR MIXED UP TOGETHER.. SO IS EASY TO PUT IT AWAY. AND GET RID OF THE CLUTTER AND TRUST ME NOW THAT I DONT; HAVE THE DOG MY HOUSE IS MORE CLEAN!!!!!!YOU ARE A WONDERFUL MOM AND I WANT TO YOUR HOUSE AND I DID NOT SEE IT DIRTY OR MASSY YOU ARE SILLY!!!!

Morgan said...

I am not going to disagree with everyone that says that it is typical with a little one. It is typical. The problem though is that it bugs you. Don't accept your house to be messy if you don't like it. Don't wait until Croix is older. Develop habits now that will make things easier in the long run.

This is what I do that has worked for me since Gracey was a baby. We (me and my kids) do 2 clean ups a day. One is right before lunch and the other is before dinner or bedtime. This is not a white glove clean up, this is a "put things away clean up". When things are tidy, it makes the eventual cleaning part easy. When things are put away in my living room and kitchen, I can dust it once a week in 10 minutes or less. Same applies for for other rooms, but I focus on those rooms because that is what people see that just drop in.

Sometimes though when the house seems overwhelmingly messy, I set the timer for 15 minutes on my mircrowave. I try to stay focused for those 15 minutes and am always shocked at what I accomplished. I feel I did a day's worth of chores in that short time.

I am not perfect at this....but I am sort of OCD. :) I don't keep a clean house to show off, I keep it tidy because I like it. I feel organized and accomplished when it is, but that is just me. At the same time, days that keep me out of the house or unable to keep it clean, I still feel accomplished. I just know i have to do the chores the next day.

Good luck! You will get it down!! :)