I think we see most people's good side, and we all need to give ourselves a break.
let me reassure you that not everyone is sparkly and shiny and as put together as they seem or their houses appear to be. for some, it comes naturally, being organized and outwardly cucumber cool with all that life entails... for some it's a struggle. don't compare yourself to others, but only to your own standards that are important to you.
my house isn't clean by any means, but it's filled with laughter and mischief of teen boys all the time. I'll take pizza roll bags on the counter over clean counters for that. I'm constantly running late or a day behind, but my family is healthy enough to jump out of bed to me screaming "LATE FOR SCHOOL!!!". I'll take that over waking up at 5am to do laundry. My floor right now seems like it has enough cat hair on it to make another couple cats.. but my kitties make me laugh when they skid across it. I'll take that over not having them have a forever home with me..
if it's overwhelming you, then make a plan. take small steps to organize and plan in order to have some time for yourself. one thing at a time. enlist help from your H and teen. don't sweat the small stuff and don't pet the sweaty stuff.. or something like that .
We live in a small place with barely any storage or closets. If I don't clear the table every day (and I don't, because it stresses me out), it becomes covered in mail, drawings, books, etc.
The kids have so many toys and clothes that I feel like we're drowning in them. I know I need to de-clutter, but even the thought overwhelms me.
And today I almost ran out of gas. I actually planned my commute home based upon the most convenient place to get gas (maybe not cheapest, but easiest to pull into and pull out of).
Please give yourself a break. There is only so much time in a day. Let some things slide and do not feel guilty about it. If anyone in your family complains, politely explain that they are more than welcome to take over doing that task since they think you are doing a lousy job. Give them a choice: STFU or do it themselves.
It is an illusion. It is true, the bathroom/kitchen/laundry IS needy of attention the minute you finish it. That's because real people live there. They are the ones that count, not the dust bunny police.
That being said, it is hard to function without some sense of organization, without reasonable cleanliness, without being able to find the things you need to do a job. But you aren't the only one who should be responsible for that household. Others should step up. No one person can do it all.
On a practical level, the first thing to do is simplify. For instance, if paper is a problem, don't bring junk mail into the house. Sort it at the door, relegating most of it to the recycle can immediately. Sign up online to cut down the amount you get. If people leave stuff around the house, get each of them a SMALL basket. Their debris goes into it as you come across it. Set a system. It gets put away properly in a set amount of time or it's donated to charity or discarded.
There are lots of ways, small steps to help you out. But you don't have to be perfect...
Life is too short.
When my kids were younger, I had to give up a lot of control. I worked full time, went to school full time, and was also raising young kiddos.
Some stuff just simply did not get done.
When we moved into our house 5 years ago, I was overwhelmed (big house, yard, etc) and had to do something to get my sanity back. Initially I had a list with the days of the week and each day had a room/area of the house that was to be cleaned. I made EVERYONE stop and help or face the Wrath of Mom (and while I'm normally very mild mannered, you do NOT want to piss me off).
That worked reasonably well to get everyone in the "we all live here, so we all have to contribute" mindset.
Now, I no longer have any minor kids, so there are only adults in my home. Add to that, we have 4 dogs and 2 cats. I DEFINITELY do not like coming home to a mess that I'm "expected" to clean up. I don't expect (and will likely never have) perfect neatness, but clutter drives me batty.
Mail gets sorted once. Like a previous poster said, most of it goes into the trash/recycle bins outside and never make it into the house. For bills, I have them sent to me via email or I simply login to their site and pay as needed.
I'm do 95% of the cooking in my household. If I come home to a sinkful of dirty dishes and/or a dirty kitchen, I will not start cooking until it has been cleaned up. My family knows this (and I've only been "tested" once ). When I walk in the door most evenings after work, the kids are either just finishing up putting away clean dishes or the dishwasher is running. Either way, the counters, etc are clean and I can jump in and cook.
With the number of animals in our home, if we don't vacuum at least every other day, my carpets would resemble the snow banks currently seen on the East Coast. I usually do this chore myself since I am a stickler for certain things.
Bathrooms stuff you can try cleaning as you go.
Sometimes, I'll clean the sink as I'm brushing my teeth. If you have to wait for the shower to warm up, take that minute to scrub the toilet.
I've cleaned the shower while I'm in it getting ready for the day. (Multi-tasking at its best, my husband usually jokes).
My husband does car maintenance, handyman stuff around the house, and the yard work that our lawn service does not take care of.
Every evening before we go to bed, I (or hubby) do the rounds to lock up and turn off lights. That's a great time to do quick tidying up (5-10 minutes tops). I haven't done my teens (now adults) laundry since they were around 10-11yrs old when they were taught how to do it. At this point, if they want clean clothes, they wash their own. Likewise with "their" bathroom and bedrooms. If they complain that something is dirty, I hand them a broom. We don't allow food in the bedrooms, so the risk of pests due to food crumbs isn't an issue.
I don't stress over putting laundry away. We have enough baskets that I sometimes live out of the laundry basket for a week before it all gets put away.
Based on my "hate" of clutter, I just try to head off the usual sources of instant clutter before they become bigger issues.
It ISN'T easy, but you just need to choose your battles (or learn to love messy)!
[This message edited by GabyBaby at 5:51 PM, April 2nd (Wednesday)]
DD(21), DS(18, PDD-NOS)
5 Furkids (3 Dogs, 2 Cats)
WXH (serial cheater, 12+ OW)
Legally married 18yrs, together 16.5yrs
Note: I edit often for typos/clarity.
What I really don't get is that I was more on top of things before the D. When I had 5 loads of laundry a week instead of two, and way more dishes, messes and general household stuff to do. No one was helping- I was doing it all. Now there is less to do, so why am I more behind??
Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. ~ JK Rowling
I feel so much better reading everyone's responses! My biggest problem is I don't know how to 'start' I take on problems and tasks when there is no other choice! My husband works alot of hours, so I never suggest he do to much. I got to work on delegating to my teen better, because she is a social butterfly and I do enjoy seeing her enjoy her life. Also, I have a desk job that I'm far from crazy about, it's pretty boring and I really think my brain is turning to mud. When I get off work all I feel like doing is coming home and collapsing in front of the tv-numb and overwhelmed all at the same time! I need to exercise more, but...again..no motivation at all!!! So glad to hear I am not alone!!!
Oh my goodness, I could have written this... My kids are very extroverted, so I spend a big chunk taking them places, playdates, activities, etc... Then my WH works a ton, so I feel bad asking for his help with house suff
At the end of the day, I get the kids to bed, and after stories, tuck ins, reassurance that there are no monsters under their beds, listening to what their favorite color is and why Yep, I go downstairs and fall on the couch with the remote. Wake up at 2 am, in my jeans, teeth not brushed, dinner dishes in the sink...
But when people come over, my house is clean (I stress clean it for a few days ahead of company!) And on facebook, my life is great!
I am consistently 15-20 minutes late everywhere (school, a job interview once... EVERYWHERE)
we are right there with you, sister!!
[This message edited by Gottagetthrough at 7:18 AM, April 3rd (Thursday)]