View Full Version : I'm just so amazed at how much mess two little children can create.

joyful mama
02-11-2009, 08:04 AM
Seriously. :ph :mutter

My whole upstairs of my home was CLEAN last Friday. Tidied, floors mopped, bathroom and kitchen scrubbed (I hired house help :shifty). So, I've been keeping up with it, which is hard w/three little ones. crayons, pencils, paper (they are obsessed w/drawing), toys, clothes, dishes... ALL THE TIME. I was commenting to dh how much mess they create the other night and he said, 'but the place doesnt look bad at all'. I asked him how much he think I cleaned throughout the day... swept countless times, vaccumed twice, ran the dishwasher , emptied, reloaded, cooked dinner, put laundry away... i work HARD to keep it looking decent. He sheepishly laughed.

HOW can I keep my home looking ok with their help? are my expectations too high? Toys arent' that much of an issue, we have it fairly organized and it doesn't take that long to pick up, and they do help with that. Its the food messes (my dining room gets GROSS after each meal), and paper messes from crafts/drawing. I already have to mop the dining room and kitchen again, and the rug and couch really need to be vacuumed again, and the entryway from mud. Its :crazy

02-11-2009, 08:48 AM

That is why I have a sign that says "My house was clean last week...sorry you missed it."

Do you want any advice? I am the last person to give it, but we have been trying a few things that are working a little.
I was at the point where I was melting on a weekly basis because I was working, working, working and no progress was being made. I realized that what was really bothering me was that I felt like I was working, working, working, and no one else was doing anything (DH helps a lot when he is home, but he does "DH-y" stuff that only he can do most of the time. ) I felt like no one cared how hard I was working.
I know that my children can't really be expected to keep everything tidy or really make that much of a real difference in the appearance of the house when they help, but I feel better about things when I am not in it all by myself. Getting them involved and having them do just one weekly chore a day has really helped my mindset. My 7 yo is capable of a lot because she is older, but my 5 and 2 yo do stuff, too. My 5 year old does stuff like spray and wipe things with safe cleaners. Even the just-turned-2 yo is expected to clear his place after meals and can wipe stuff up with a rag, and can take his clothes to his drawers. My 5 yo also vacuums, he loves it. And in order to do so, he knows he has to pick up the stuff off the floor first. Finding what the children like to do and then letting them do that makes me feel better, even if I do have to come along behind them and finish (or redo when they won't find out. :giggle) I also have assigned them daily duties that really are not much, but just knowing that they are part of the team helps me not feel so frustrated.

02-11-2009, 08:49 AM
Let me quote & suggest:
Toys arent' that much of an issue, we have it fairly organized and it doesn't take that long to pick up, and they do help with that.
Awesome! I try to look at homekeeping as two parts: tidying/organizing and cleaning. So, if the tidying situation is under control, then try to look beyond that at the actually cleaning that needs to be done...

Its the food messes (my dining room gets GROSS after each meal)
Okay, can you do anything to reduce the mess that's made in the first place? Maybe change something about the dining situation... closed cups vs. open cups, or only serve water to drink. Or maybe get a tray w/ a raised edge (placemat size) for each of the girls to use so the mess is physically contained in that tray & they can just be shaken in the sink & wiped down after mealtime. Do you need better tools for clean up? Maybe a broom/vac would be faster than a broom & a separate dust pan. Can you use a spray bottle of all-purpose cleaner & a cloth to clean up instead of mopping?

... and paper messes from crafts/drawing.
I would get a little plastic trash can (they're like $3 at walmart) for each of the girls to use whenever they're crafting. Let them decorate & personalize it. Then put it beside their chairs & encourage them to put their scraps directly into their trash can. Your 5yo certainly should be able to do this & if the 3yo gets it half of the time, that would be a big help!

02-12-2009, 02:51 PM
It is so so so hard :hugheart Daily I want to pull my hair out because I do so much work to keep this house up and then dh does the sheepish thing to when he says "but it's looking great" Although then he very quickly remembers the many months he's been laid off this year and how BOTH OF US can stay busy keeping the kids and house up in a day so he recovers from the :scratch quickly.

I too get my kids involved in everything as RealLifeMama said. I have them take care of themselves. Clean off their dishes and mess from dinner, etc. SOmetimes though that is MORE work and I am too tired to deal with it. I also have my dh work. He does dishes most nights and helps clean up the kitchen.

REmembering we are BLESSING our homes helps so metimes :yes but other times it's just plain HARD.

BOth Katie and AMy gave great advice :)