Need Advice and Tips

Updated on May 31, 2008
A.W. asks from Tahlequah, OK
82 answers

I'm new to mamasource. I'm finding it difficult to maintain a clean, neat, organized home. Before I had my new son who is now 8 months old, I worked full-time. I am having difficulty adjusting to this new life. I love being able to stay home with my son. I've searched for helpful tips and advice online but nothing is really aimed at organizing and cleaning and how to mesh it all together while adjusting to a new lifestyle. My husband is great and helps all the time. I feel like I'm failing at being a stay at home Mom. I want things to be organized and I'm totally not good at that, I always get side-tracked, or distracted. If anyone has experienced similar problems please enlighten me as to how you were able to ''get it together''. I'm feeling overwhelmed and would appreciate any help.

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So What Happened?

Hello Ladies,
Each response was like a breath of fresh air! I'm going to try flylady! I really appreciate the sincerity in all the responses I received. It is very comforting and reassuring to know that many other Mom's have and are going through the exact same experiences. My husband realizes what a tough time I'm going through and supports me so much, for which I am very thankful. My teenage daughter has already started helping more - and more importantly, with a better attitude! I'll keep you all posted on how it's going in the coming weeks. For those who haven't yet asked for help, don't hesitate; I was in awe of all the kindness that came my way with just one request.
Looking forward to new "mamasource friends"
A.

More Answers

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M.C.

answers from Jackson on

Dear A.,
Sounds as though it has not been that long ago when you had your daughter? It just seems this way. Believe me, I'm a mother of 2 myself. Just when I got both of my children off and out on their own to college, thinking "OK now what do I do with my life?" Bam! My oldest, Has a car accident at 23 and we start all over again as well.(Brad's taken back to an infant) We never know what God has in store for us, only I have learned through my journey this time that I am so very blessed to be able to over look the small stuff and enjoy the special things He has gave us.
These wonderful children are our main projects in our lives. They will reflect you and your husband as they grow. They will mirror everything you and I do. Right now every morning while you have the chance make certain they see you pray and do your bible studies! Make certain they know to pray for those that are ugly to you and them. They can only learn these things from us.
Listen to me! Anyway remember even the small stuff will fall in place as you put you Maker first! As I know you most likely do. Look He's blessed you well with beautiful children!

How this help..
Just a Mom,
Mary

1 mom found this helpful
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J.P.

answers from Tulsa on

Hi A.,

I had six kids in ten years, talk about overwhelmed!!!!!!!

This worked(most of the time) for me.
Make a list and mark off as you go.
When doing errands, make another list so you won't backtrack.
Before going to bed, take a grocery sack and pick up all trash and papers so you don't have to do it the next day.
Keep a grocery list going at all times. Make out menus for a week and stick with it. I had about six weeks menus so I could choose and not get tired of cooking the same things.
I also bought what was on sale. We ate alot of fresh veggies in the summer.
Laundry on Monday, Clean on Thurs. or Fri., sneak in a nap when possible.
This didn't happen overnight, I found what worked for me.
Hope you can use some of it.

Don't forget to have time for Daddy, he is the reason you get to stay at home with the kids.
You are doing the most important job in the world and it's OK to be overwhelmed a bit.

Save for retirement.........it's great!!!!!!!!!!!

J.

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C.G.

answers from Huntsville on

A., I hope I can help you out. I am a stay at home mom too, and no matter what anybody thinks, you now have 2 full time jobs. First, take a deep breath, it is not as daunting as you have come to think. You have to approach this with the same mindset you have when you are working a 9 to 5 job, only now you have a co-worker with you 24/7. Set a schedule on paper if you have to so you can clearly see what you need to do on a weekly basis, then break it down to a daily schedule. Anything that is on the schedule that you can't accomplish with the baby at hand, save for when your husband is home and let that be their bonding time. If that's not always practical, ask grandma or grandpa if they could come over and play with the baby for an hour while you do it. If it is at all possible for them to come I assure you they will relish the time with the grandbaby. The schedule -- start it on Monday. That is usually the day that is the busiest as far as housework. Start as soon as you get up with a load of laundry. While it is in the washing machine you can get in the kitchen and do breakfast. If your laundry is not in the house, you will have to block times out on the day to go do this, this would be idea for grandparent time (or a special aunt whom you are close to). Any thing that you do in the house can be done with the baby. Put the walker or playpen close enough to you that the baby can see you or hear you. This is a way for the baby to learn that it is ok for mom to be in another room and they learn independence by entertaining themselves for a few minutes at a time. When you are cooking, put the baby in the high chair and give him some safe kitchen utensils, bowls, cups, etc. That will fascinate him to no end. Cheerios and juice snack will not ruin his appetite and he will learn that the kitchen is a warm and loving place to be with mom. When you are putting laundry in the machine, put him in the floor and let him crawl over the basket and the clothes. It's your dirt, it won't hurt him and he will learn to explore new things. If you have a yard, put him in a walker and do a few minutes outside sweeping the porch, pulling weeds from flowers, etc. Both of you need fresh air several times a day. If you don't have a clothes line, buy a folding rack and put it on the back porch to dry your t-shirts and let him watch the birds and listen to the sounds while you hang them up and take them off. You can do this, but it is going to take a few days of thinking it thru, writing it down and following thru. Buy a laundry basket for each load of clothes if you have the room, and sort them as you take them off --- whites, jeans, colored, baby. Then when the basket is full, wash the load, don't put it off. Some days you will not have anything to wash (hooray!) and some days you will have several, but do it then, don't let it pile up on you. Wash it, dry it, put it up as soon as it is done. On the days that you have little or no laundry, change the sheets on the beds. Other days you can do the mopping. That is a job best done when the baby is napping. Sweep every night when the dishes are done and your husband can play with the baby, or better yet, he can get the baby to sleep and you can do the kitchen and then all of you can go to bed. Again, you can do this. You just have to start with a schedule---example:
Monday--- laundry, vacumn, mop, sweep
Tues. --- dusting, clean bathrooms, clean laundry room, sweep
Wedn. --- change sheets on bed, work outside, sweep

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K.T.

answers from Tulsa on

I'm new to mamasource too. I know exactly what you mean about maintaining a neat home! I have the same problem. My mother never taught me how to clean anything. I wish she had instilled some more cleaning habits in me. I have a 16 month old and a 3 year old and it is very difficult to keep up with the messes they generate. On days I get behind I just try not to worry too much and remember that it is more important to spend quality time with my children than keep the house spotless. Organinzation is very helpful though and can save alot of time. I have placed the kids toys in clear bins with pictures of what belongs in them attached to the bins, so they can help me pick up and put away toys. Also, putting things near where you use them is helpful.
Here are a few websites I really like:

http://www.avirtuouswoman.org/
http://www.practicalhomemaking.com/
http://homeliving.blogspot.com/

Also, connecting with other moms helps alot!!
Here are some other websites I like:
http://www.mops.org/

Hope this helps!
Kristi T
Broken Arrow, OK

1 mom found this helpful

S.H.

answers from Fort Smith on

I have no advice and am interested to see what responses you get because I need major help too. After raising an 18 year old who is getting ready for college and will not be at home anymore and now a 7 year old, I have finally learned they are only here for a short while and I am more interested in enjoying them and playing with them then worrying about the house. I would LOVE a clean house, but now instead of saying lets clean up, I just say as long as we have a path from the front to back door and we have clean underwear lets play and have fun and enjoy every minute of it!

1 mom found this helpful
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C.S.

answers from Fort Smith on

I'm not sure I can offer you any advice but just some support. I'm pretty much in the same boat with 2 small children, 3 & 1, and worked full time til about 8 months ago. Some days I just wonder where did the hours go and the house is still a mess! I sometimes feel I'm failing everyone too but I know that I'm getting to spend precious time with my little ones. I think part of it comes from not having the structure that going out to work brings. When I'm feeling stressed about it, I just tell myself to take care of the really important things and that we live in a "home" not a museum. Chin up:-)

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K.R.

answers from Lawton on

flylady.com
everything you are looking for (in keeping a clean home)
and all the info to do it, one step at a time.
FREE advice and daily emails. (start with baby steps!)

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M.S.

answers from Birmingham on

Try this website: www.flylady.net. Her web site is very positive and teaches you how to achieve organization in your home and your life. Not only is she very helpful, she is very positive. They FLY stands for finally loving yourself. Beacuse of this site, I am now finally able to enjoy time with my two year-old twins and I don't have to worry about what needs to be cleaned. It's already done!

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A.N.

answers from New Orleans on

First of all don't be so hard on yourself. I too am a stay at home Mom. I asked my husband one time why he helps me so much around the house when so many husbands don't. His response was that I work all day too only I do it at home and I he does not want me to be exausted!

As for help getting organized..... check out Fly Lady. It is a website for exactly what you are talking about. She teaches you how to break things down into small amounts of time and gives a system for maintaining. I found her emails to be a bit too much for me but the overall concept is great!

Blessings,

A.

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L.R.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I recommend going to www.flylady.net. It is a site for household organization. They break it down into baby steps for you. They are REALLY helpful!! They tackle certain areas each day, teach you how to declutter, and break your home down into zones to clean. It makes so much since on how they teach you to keep your home. Take your time and really go thru their site- because it is filled with a lot of helpful information. Good luck!

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A.S.

answers from Houma on

As a mom of 4 kids and a "SAHM" (that title is a joke)!! I have never gotten it totally together. My house is always in a state of flux. We run from one game to another. During the day I chase after my two that aren't in school and take care of errands and other things that need to get done. The best thing I did was to let the older ones and my little ones know that chores must be done because mom doesn't always have time because I give my time to them. I just gave up on the spotless house. If my floors have been swept and there are no dirty dishes in the sink, I'm doing great!!

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S.C.

answers from Birmingham on

I have been a SAHM for the past 1.5 years and my twin boys are now 2.5 years old. Knowing that I am taking full care of my boy's physical, emotional & intellectual needs, I am okay with a little lower level of 'cosmetic' cleanliness in our house, but my husband gets pretty frustrated. So we decided to hire a housekeeper to do our laundry, dishes, bathrooms and the general housekeeping. Although it eats up on our savings, we think it is the best investment into our daily happiness. You might want to look into some PT help that can help you with a few tasks that are a drain on your energy & time. Maybe start paying your teenage daughter some pocket money to do the dishes or something else.
Also, after having kids, I started forgeting a bit, so I started living by lists like: to-do at home (pending tasks), shopping list, activities to do with kids (craft, art, dance, reading, flash cards, bubbles, etc), focus for the month (potty training, new food introduction, etc), food options for kids, etc ... all these lists have made my life so much easier.
On weekends, I try to cook & freeze as much as possible.
Don't be a perfectionist and don't be too hard on yourself. Try to enjoy your child and your motherhood .... these are the beautiful memories you will want to retain for the rest of your life.

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M.L.

answers from Tulsa on

Part of the "getting side tracked" and "distracted" is due to your hormones but please remember that you are in the majority. Most of us cannot keep their houses clean, neat and organized after a baby is born. It was really embarassing for me because everyone wanted to come and see the baby. I wanted the house to be neat and clean but instead it looked like a bomb went off. It was a huge sorurce of stress for me at the time but the more I asked, the more I found out that that was normal. I laugh about it now even though my house is even worse! LOL.. Now they are 13 and 9 and I get nothing done. It is a never-ending battle. Don't worry about it- we have all been there.
Good luck!

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D.K.

answers from New Orleans on

Go to flylady.com and subscribe (free) to that and you will be amazed at what flylady has you doing. Before you know it your house is organized and you have time on your hands. Good luck. My friend swears by flylady. Keep us posted.

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T.M.

answers from Lake Charles on

A.,I am the mother of two married sons in their 20's so I've been where you are now. My advice is to not let things build up so that the task becomes overwhelming. Try to put the baby's toys and "things" away every night. Your 14 year old daughter should be responsible for keeping her room neat. It's not possible for your house to always be CLEAN but if it things are not scattered about, it will give the appearance of clean until you're able to actually do some cleaning. also, do not try to clean everything all at one time. It's too hard with a small child. I would do bathrooms one day, perhaps dust & vacuum one day, etc. Also, I don't recommend letting laundry build up to do one day a week. I found it better to do a load everyday if necessary. Again, piles & piles of laundry are overwhelming. If you can stay a little neat and organized each day, you will feel so much better. Feeling overwhelmed will zap your energy. If you and your husband can devote a few minutes each evening to just "picking things up" in your house, I will bet that this help you get on the right track and enable you to enjoy your time as a stay at home mom. Good luck, enjoy this time ... it passes quickly. As I'm sure you've heard before, your children will remember the happy times you had as a family, not the fact the house was not clean, clean, clean all the time.

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X.X.

answers from Dothan on

Try out the Flylady ... http://www.flylady.net. It's one of the most helpful and encouraging sites on the internet!

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L.L.

answers from Tulsa on

Please check out http://flylady.net for organizational and encouraging help. Try it! And stick with Flylady. You won't regret it.

K.C.

answers from Fayetteville on

Flylady it is!!! I'm also a SAHM and am trying to get things done during the week so I get weekends to relax, too!

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R.T.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Hi! I understand! I have two boys (16months apart) and chasing them around leaves very little time for housework. I've learned to include the kids, even the baby, in the housework! I have a notebook on my counter, and I try to write down a few tasks (no more than 4) to complete each day. Sometimes it's laundry, dishes, vacuum, and guest bathroom. Sometimes its my room, 1 boy room, 2 boy room, master bath. It just varies. I try to realize I don't have to clean and organize EVERY inch, EVERY day. I just do a few things. I try to vacuum everyday. and ways to include a baby? (mine is 9mo old) I give him some hangers while I'm hanging up laundry. I carry him in the laundry basket to the laundry room. I put him in his high chair close to me while I do dishes and we sing songs and I blow bubbles in the air. while vacuuming? once he's crawling, let him chase it LOL my sons both love to play chase with the vacuum! My house is never spotless, but my kids know I love them, and I recently learned from several visitors (family and friends) that THEY know I love my kids, and felt like they needed to slow down and worry less about the house, and more about their own kids! So...let it go somedays, your son will be grown before you know it, and there will be plenty of time each day to scrub the house! :)

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A.J.

answers from Tuscaloosa on

Hi A.,
Good luck with finding the answer to this:-). But seriously try setting a time limit on just a couple of tasks a day. It may not seem like you are accomplishing a lot, but you'll see in the end.

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J.S.

answers from Little Rock on

looks like you've had plenty of responses, but just wanted to say I've stayed at home with my 7, 3, and 16month old and I'm just starting to realize IT'S IMPOSSIBLE!! I make messes and clean them up ALL day, and it's still messy when my husband gets home! He helps clean too, and we might have it clean before we crash at night, but the next day...same thing. I just suggest having them help as much as possible, and keeping up, not try to get ahead or you'll feel like you've failed. I sometimes feel like I'm cleaning so much, I'm not spending the time with them and that's the WHOLE reason I'm staying home! So I try to play with them, and clean and shower when they nap, and then clean up before bed. Good luck!

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J.S.

answers from Tulsa on

Have you visited flylady.net? Her email reminders really help me to keep focused and organized.

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L.W.

answers from Biloxi on

www.flylady.com

I found I am more a hands on person and the book helped me the most. I bet you can find it used on Amazon or Barnes and Noble for 5-7 dollars. It is by Martha Cilley, the "flylady", and is titled "Sink Reflections". Not only will it tell you how to clean and organize, but it will motivate you as well. Have a great day! LW

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M.A.

answers from Lafayette on

I also recommend Flylady!!! I got the advice on here from other moms...and if you do what she says...big changes will follow.

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W.S.

answers from Dothan on

Dear A.,
I too am from Bonifay Fl, and I too new to mamasource and was once in your shoes I have a 23, 21,and 17 year old.I had my first one when I was only 15 years old not married ,scared to death not knowing what in the world I was going to do.But, lucky enough I had and still to this day have great parents .Either way I knew I was not going to have a abortion no matter what I had to sacrifice ,I was still in school at the time which after finally getting up the nerve to tell my parents with trembling knee's ,they handled it better than I did .With nothing but a heart full of love,my mom gave gave up her job to tend to me because I was so very very sick from all the changes my young body was going through and my dad took a second job to take care of all of us and our needs which they explained to me would be more with me pregnant .I got so sick that the stupid Doctor I had at the time did his best to make me get an abortion and I meant no matter what I had to give up or sacrifice I was going to have and keep this baby.I ended up having to quit school because of all the sickness I was having but, 23 years later I realize it was all worth it he graduated and went straight into the Air Force he has been in it for 4 years now and loves it.I met a wonderful man when he was 2 that I fell in love with and he with me and my son .He raised him like he was his very own and he had been married before and had a daughter and son of his own that he had full custody of so my family grew big fast .My son was born December 28th 1984 and we were married in the latter part on 1986 it was a huge responceability but to this day I don't regret it.We had our own baby together in June 25th 1987 which put alot more stress on my responcabilities ,it was really hard taking care of 4 kids ,and keeping the house clean and trying my best to have supper on the table when my husband got home which wasn't easy but ,I think my Heavenly Father above he was a good loving understanding man and helped me out without me ever having to ask him to.Then we had our last baby in April 7th of 1991 and we found out while I was pregnant that I had cancer and that I might not be able to carry the baby to full term and if I took the chance to try we both could die .But , there was no way in this world I was going to give up this baby even if it costed my life ,they thought the cancer was just in the lining of my cervice but I went into labor almost a month early gave birth to another healthy baby boy but my health was declining fast ,I got to see him for maybe 5 seconds and was rushed into major surgery turned out the the cancer was far worse than they thought when I awoke from surgery they said they had to remove everything ,my uterus ,overies,tubes it all they said the cancer had spread that fast and just to save my life they had no choice be to remove it all .I was shattered because I wanted more kids on downt the line ,but at the same time thankful to God I was still alive to be here to still care for the 5 I had at home now that I loved more than life itself and knew they loved me too and needed me as much as I needed them .Beleive me when I say it wasn't easy not by no means ,buying cloths for 5 ,groceries for 7 or especially keeping a clean house but ,I can tell you looking back now that they are all grown except one and he is 17 that it is all worth it .They lost their dad a few years back from a massive heart attack that about destroyed us all but God has blessed me with another good man that loves the kids as though they are his own and loves me just as much so,I have alot to be thankful for ,I hope and Pray that I have said something in this book I wrote you that might help you in some small way .
Your Friend W.

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C.F.

answers from Lawton on

"I want things to be organized and I'm totally not good at that, I always get side-tracked, or distracted."

I was diagnosed with adult ADD later in life. I've been treated for it now for the last 15 yrs. or so. Things are much better for me while I'm on my meds. What you've described sounds just like something I went through.

You didn't mention whether or not you do, but if not then start delegating responsibility to the older child. She's old enough to help you around the house *and* with the baby.

And also, don't be ashamed to reach out for help. So far I've enlisted two different people over the years who have come in and helped me out when I needed it. I don't know why it's so much easier to help someone else than it is to clean your own home, but it just seems to be. I guess it's because they don't have an emotional attachment to all of the stuff. They just see it for what it is and get it out of the way.

Also, stand back, take a deep breath and don't look at the big picture all at once 'cos it can be overwhelming. Just take everything one step at a time and you'll have a much easier time dealing with it.

You might find where you may need to de-stress and when this happens, take a car ride to your favorite destiantion (mine used to be a local beach) and leaving the cars windows rolled up, SCREAM!!! You'll feel much better!

Hot baths usually help, too, along with an evening out with your husband, a few friends, or even by yourself.

Life can be a bit much at times, but you'll see, after time, it all works out. Just give it time and lots of patience.

Good luck!

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S.S.

answers from Lawton on

Being a SAHM and being a house wife are not necessarily the same thing. It takes a lot of energy to take care of a little one and you don't always have the time or energy to pick up the house. I try to keep the house at a maintainable level so that all I have to do in the evenings is pick up. I fail often, but I do my best and my husband helps. Overall the wellbeing of my little girl is much more important than a neat and organized house.

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A.M.

answers from Montgomery on

I am experiencing the same thing, but it's getting easier. I have a 3 month old daughter, and I feel sometimes that it is impossible to keep my house in order. My husband is also wonderful at helping out...we've found that what works for us is to make sort of a loose chore chart...one week he has the kitchen, the next week I have it...it has really helped us to keep the place in order. It's not spotless by any means, but it's helping. :) And you aren't failing as a stay at home mom...it's so easy to get distracted! Don't worry! Hope this helps. :)

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L.P.

answers from Tulsa on

Try the advice from FlyLady - www.flylady.net. She is wonderful!

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J.H.

answers from Dothan on

I have donethis twice since becoming pg with our first who is now 5 1/2. From Busy career to home and time and a lot to do. It has been 1 1/2 yearssinceI beganthe whole SAHM routine. I have found thateverything doesnot get done everday. Somedays thehouse is worse thanwhenmy DH left for work. I do setup routines, like dishesare done before bed. Everyones laundry is washed on it's ownthroughout the week, sometimes it does all end up on one day...pure chaos. I do keep a date book so we don'trun ourselves to death. It is hardto adjust to being a SAHM you reallyhave to find what works foryou and your family. You also have to remember that just because you are a SAHM every minute ofthe day does not have to befilled with chores, but with love and attention to your child.

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W.F.

answers from Mobile on

i would say do one or two things a day like clean the bathroom one day and do laudry one day. that way it is not overwhelming. remember not to stress out take your time and enjoy your family. you can not be perfect all the time.

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L.H.

answers from Jonesboro on

I have five children and I homeschool - I've found flylady (www.flylady.com) to be a life-saver. There is a lot of emails, but I delete them, and just do the little jobs that she sends out. It really makes a difference in my house. Each week is a room (or two) and she will give jobs like "clean under the kitchen sink" or "scrub around the outside of the toilet" or "dust the cobwebs off the ceiling" or things like that.

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T.M.

answers from Little Rock on

I was the same way when mine was little! I stayed home the first several months.... looking back I think the biggest problem was that I got side tracked and because I didn't "work" there was always tomorrow, then the next day I would get distracted again... it was a cycle of never getting anything accomplished. Just remember that the only thing that matters is having family time and if the house interferes with that, then it becomes a problem. Otherwise, noone expects it to be perfect all the time.

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A.M.

answers from Fayetteville on

Hi A.,
I'm a SAHM with two girls- ages 4 and 7months. I struggle with this same issue, but for the last couple of months I seem to have found a solution that works for me. Each weekend I pick one BIG project (like organizing closets) and get those done then. During the week, while my husband is at work, I TRY to get the dishwasher loaded and unloaded, make all the beds, and MAYBE fold a load of laundry. I can usually entertain my daughter for short amounts of time with toys that she hasn't seen in a while (she loves playing in her exersaucer next to the refridgerator so she can play with the big magnets...this gives me just enough time to do the dishes and wipe down the counters.) Other than those simple tasks, I do not make myself do too much during the day because that is my time with my girls. We play games and go for walks. We clean up any messes that we make. Then, once my husband gets home, he is ready to play with the girls for a while and that is when I get the rest of my stuff done- while dinner is cooking I sweep, do laundry, vacuum, and wipe down the bathrooms. This really doesn't take too long since I'm not distracted with the girls. After dinner I load the dinner dishes into the dishwasher and run it. By then I'm usually done with the rest of the chores and can sit down and enjoy some family time. This routine took me a while to perfect. Staying on top of the housework daily takes a lot less time than scrambling one day a week to do it ALL. An addd bonus is that every day I KNOW I'm going to get some alone time in the evening while I do my housework. I hope this made sense, and I hope it helps!

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A.H.

answers from Baton Rouge on

Have you tried Flylady.net? It's a free site and Marla (the Flylady) knows just what you are going through. She will send you a million e-mail reminders, But this is just to help you establish habits. You don't need to read every one of them.

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A.M.

answers from Fort Smith on

Try checking out FlyLady.net It has worked wonders for me!

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C.D.

answers from Lafayette on

Hello A.,

I always start in one room, like the kitchen. I clean that room first then move to the next, like the living room. This assures me that I won't get side tracked. I also have to finish one room first before moving on! Hope this helps! Good luck!

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L.L.

answers from New Orleans on

I stayed home for three years and found www.flylady.net to be an invaluable resource. It's e-mail tips and reminders of how to keep a clean home amid the craziness of life.

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E.M.

answers from Birmingham on

I am a neat freak, but that does not mean my 2 little girls don't make some of the biggest messes in their playroom and that it doesn't stay a mess for days. Messes happen and having a new baby is a great accuse for not cleaning. But when you are finally ready to clean I love Big baskets and bins. It helps keep you organized and you can take the baskets around picking-up stuff. You can get really nice baskets and use them for toy storage. And if you have company coming over you just pick-up the basket and put it in a closet or just out of site. Hope this helps!

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E.W.

answers from Montgomery on

Are you being too hard on yourself. I am retired with no children at home most of the year. I have been retired for almost two years and my house is no where near as organized as I would like. Realize you have taken on another job--full time mother and homemaker. That will take some time to get adjusted.

Lighten up. We hav been disenfranchised with what we see on television. That is not real life to have a spotless house for everyone. The people I see with a spotless house have very little furniture and stuff and usually the wife tells me she "doesn't know how to cook". That makes keeping a spotless house easy.

We have two children who are out of the house now. My children are 30 and 20. Before the daughter (20 years old now) was born I could keep things really tidy (but not spotless). Then when she came I had to readjust and things were never as tidy. Now in retirement I am trying to get to that place where I get rid of junk I have been hoarding.

Concentrate on clean. Everyone should play apart in chores. Your 14 year old should definitely have some respnsibilities. But don;t be too ard on yourself. Things will get better with time. Raising an infant is work. So be sure to not feel guilty about taking some time out of the day for just you. God bless you

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L.H.

answers from Enid on

You sound just like me! My son is 14 months old and I'm still struggling sometimes with the adjustment from working to being a SAHM. Many people have told me to stop worrying about how clean my house is and to spend time with my baby. I know they are right but I still want a clean house! Part of it was just accepting that I no longer had "important" projects to complete, but instead felt like I was constantly doing laundry and dishes every day. Some of what has helped me is just knowing that in a few months, it will be better. I can promise you when your son starts walking, it will get easier. He can entertain himself better and you will have a little more free time. 6-9 months was the hardest time for me to keep my house clean. If he isn't on a sleeping schedule, try to get him on one. I do alot of cleaning at night after my son goes to bed at 7:00. Maybe these ideas will help, too... If you can, wear your son in a carrier while you dust & vaccuum. I give my son a broom to play with while I'm mopping- he loves it. Some other helpful hints are to keep cleaning supplies in each bathroom, especially wipes. If you have a minute while you are in there, wipe up the sink and outside of the toilet. I keep a hand-held broom and dustpan under the sink to sweep up messes each time my son is done eating. Fold clothes while you are watching TV. Tackle small tasks throughout the day instead of trying to get things all clean at once. Go through your mail and toss what you don't need as soon as it comes in the door. I know its hard, but your standard of clean might change slightly now that you are taking care of a little one. Don't be hard on yourself- you are definitely not failing!! I'm working on becoming a professional organizer so feel free to write me back if I can help with more tips. :)
L.

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D.H.

answers from Fayetteville on

Hi A., I have the same problem myself. Between trying to get things done and trying to stay sane, it is a big adjustment. Flylady.com has lots of good suggestions, although they are a little extreem. BUt I do take the small goals (Ie: clean the bathroom today) to heart, becasue it seems like all I can do to get one thing done each day. I have a list (flylady has tons of lists) and I ke3p it in my bathroom (the only place I have any peace and quiet or can read something) and pick something each day, bathroom, living room, kitchen, laundry...etc. Then I set out to accomplish THAT ONE THING.Yesterday it was all I could do to get 3 loads washed and partially put away. Today I am cleaning the bathroom while my daughter takes an extended splash bath. I will have everything wiped and scrubbed but the tub, which will already be wet and ready for spray cleaner as soon as she is out.

I also take 5 minute 'cleaning breaks' when I find my child occupied for 5 minutes (sometimes they are 1 min 32 second breaks) and I put something away, or clean a drawer or something like that. The little things add up.

Finally, don't try to do it all. It ain't gonna happen and there will be a new mess tomorrow and you will feel like you didn't meet your goal. Your family will remember the time they share with you more than the clean floors. Chances are you are ding a terrific job and are your harshest critic. Also, if you evr do 'Get it all together' will you let me know how it is done? Ha ha. I am learning to find pleasure and pride in the little things, like clean bathroom Tuesdays! Hooray! Good luck!

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C.G.

answers from Huntsville on

Dear A.,
I was in the Same boat and a friend turned me on to FlyLady.net. They teach you Babysteps (kind of like on-the-job-training :-) to set up routines to get done what you need to!
Best of all (when you have a new baby you ARE overwhelmed) they don't beat you up if you "fall off the wagon" they just tell you to get up the next day and let that be a new start. I love how affirming it is!
My little one is 2 now and I decided to SAH after working my ENTIRE Adult life!! We have a friend who's a therapist and we were told SAH is HARDEST on women who had worked full time for an extended period. Apparently-when you have a "job" (like raising a child Isn't Full Time!:-D) you have an enforced schedule-when that schedule is removed it is Very difficult to become motivated!
Don't despair!! Look at FlyLady and see what you think. Also, if you have a church family/friends, ask them to help you out! See if you can have someone you know/trust come over when your boy is asleep and help you clean up (at least make a start of it)-maybe that would give you a little gentle nudge to get you going!
I would Love to email you if you would like to Vent b/c i am still there myself-just with a toddler, not a sweet baby boy.
Just let me know if I can help further.
Best Wishes!
C.

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M.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

A.

Here's a good list.

1. Hold my baby,
2. play with my baby
3. hold my baby
4. smile at baby, coo at baby , rock baby
5. take nap fix sandwich, coffee throw away paper plate cup and napkin.
6. hold my baby.
7. you get my point.
just relax and enjoy
8. call mom, friend and talk about baby.
9. get dressed go to dinner with kids, hubby,
10 shower go to bed.

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M.F.

answers from Huntsville on

Hi A.!! Welcome to reality sweetie. I know you are feeling frustrated. I went from an immaculate house to a messy home when my children were born. Key word is "home". If you can afford it, the easiest solution is to hire a service or maid to come in once every two weeks or so to do the heavy duty cleaning, which will make it easier for you to take care of the rest. If you can't, put cleaning supplies in a basket and keep one basket in each bathroom. Clean the bathrooms when you are there for another reason, same goes for kitchen. But most of all, don't worry about it so much. Your friends won't judge and if your hubby doesn't complain, just do the best you can. If you start to feel overwhelmed, go for a walk with you little one - meet up with other moms who, believe me, have the same problem. Best of luck hon.

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A.B.

answers from Texarkana on

Hey!!! Don't stress out. Enjoy the family and pace yourself. I found that I just couldn't stand the mess any longer and got into a cleaning mode (didn't last long--a day or two, but it would come every month). I eventually organized one room or portion of a room at a time (cabinets, pantries or closets). I would put my son in his bouncy chair or activity saucer where he could see me and I would talk to him while I worked and got things done that way. I'd just get a wild hair that would bug me to get it done. OR you could always make a schedule and do things slowly, one at a time. Good luck and don' sweat the small stuff!

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K.H.

answers from Tulsa on

Hi A.,
Check out www.flylady.net She gives step by step advice on how to get organized and stay that way, good luck.
~K. H

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D.D.

answers from Dothan on

Hi A.!
Don't feel bad - being a stay-at-home Mom is a HUGE challenge! You are not alone in how you feel, I promise!
There is a website, www.flylady.net, that is an absolute miracle! I am horribly unorganized by nature, and really challenged when it comes to housework, etc. I found this site and it has really worked for me. The idea is to get things under control by taking the baby steps, which is a process of building habits/ routines one day at a time. The biggest things that worked for me were getting my morning and evening routines down, so things run more smoothly. They also do what is called the Weekly Home Blessing Hour, where you spend 15 minutes in each room doing basic cleaning. You can also subscribe by email after you get your routines down and they will send you little reminders and missions to help clear out your clutter, etc.
It can be soooo overwhelming - just take it one step at a time and do the baby steps, then move on. It worked for me and has improved everything in my home. My daughter now gets up and we get her dressed, make her bed and do her hair before she eats breakfast and we're actually arriving to school on time (and not running like mad). I get up, make my bed, grab coffee that's waiting, hit the shower, wipe down my bathroom (which has never looked better), throw in one load of laundry, etc. all before we leave. The little things only take a few extra minutes and I don't have to do them when I get home.
And I did it by building a routine one habit at a time.
My husband has never been happier with our home or me, b/c while it's not perfect, there is so much improvement and he can really see me trying. He even does it himself now. At first, he teased me about it, and now he loves it.
Ok, enough! I sound like a fanatic! I just cannot say enough how much this has helped me.
Check it out at www.flylady.net. I would read the intro and then try the baby steps.
Good luck and if you have any questions, please feel free to email me. I feel your pain!!

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J.T.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I made a chart.. similar to one that I used for different purposes when I was working full time.

First, I made a list of all the chores/ things to do in a week's time frame. Next, I noted how many x per week these needed to get done.

Then I started my excel sheet (lol).. at the top horizonally list the days of the week. Vertically ( top to bottom) list the chores. Then mark an x, on the days that you intend to get those chores accomplished.

The goal is to have a visual schedule of daily chores to be accomplished within a week's time.

It really helped me organize, because I felt like you.. completely overwhelmed..

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A.A.

answers from Lafayette on

I am a mother of a 2 1/2 year old and a 15 month year old. By the time one finishes something, they other is into something else. Or by the time one grows out of something, the other fits into it. What has helped me is not putting anything off. The minute the dryer goes off, i go get the clothes and put them out where i can see them. Even if i can't get to them right away. That way they are in front of me as a reminder. Closets and drawers have been a work in progress. But i now keep storage containers at the bottom of their closets. When i have a few minutes, i rush through the drawers and closets and drop them in the storage containers. When they are full, i fold them and either put them in storage or pass them down. As far as toys, I keep all similar toy in baskets and boxes. This way it is easy cleanup, throw everything in basket. I always go to bed with the dishwasher running and i never go to bed with laundry in the dryer. We have to multi- task if we want to survive as well as give our children the attention they need.
good luck ..

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S.P.

answers from Dothan on

Good morning! I know what you mean when you feel overwhelmed, and all you see is an uphill battle. I have found a website flylady.com very helpful. I'm a parent of a 15 yr old and 10 yr old, work fulltime, and at this point am a geographical single parent (husband in the military). I also am severe OCD, so I am working on how "perfect" things have to be....luckily I am coming to the conclusion that the house doesn't have to be ready for the President to come to dinner, just picked up so that it is atleast presentable if someone should just pop up. Go to the store and pick up a piece of poster board, and come up with a routine that is do-able...For me Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are laundry days. I pick up the kitchen and do a sweep (pick up) of the house every evening at the max it takes 10 minutes. I vacuum on the same days I do laundry, which as soon as I start the first load of laundy the vacuum gets to going. Bathrooms can be done in less then 5 minutes. Keep a squirt bottle and a roll of papertowels in the cabinet and every evening once everyone has finished their shower/bath squirt the tub, toilet, and sink then wipe over it with a papertowel. There is more detail to this on the flylady website, but if you have any questions....just email. Have a blessed day.

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A.B.

answers from Shreveport on

Well, the truth is it is really hard to be a stay at home mom. On top of that you have all of these things going on inside that you may not even know about. You may have post pregnancy depression. I had it for two years and did not even know it until I had my second child and my doc prescribed me a low dose of paxil. It totally changed my world. I had the energy that I had lacked for so long. I thought the person I once was had disappeared and that it was normal because I had children. After I had my third child I also got diagnosed with a low thyroid which is common to show up after pregnancy. I am a stay at home mom of three and even when everything is working right it is still the hardest job I have ever had but the most rewarding. Check out this site for help on getting organized it is really helpful. www.flylady.com
If I can help in anyway just email me. I remember how it felt at first when I started staying home. Mainly very lonely and isolated from the world.

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D.W.

answers from Shreveport on

Have you tried Flylady.com. I was doing it for a while and it worked really great. I stopped because I got pregnant, sick and lazy. But I plan on starting back after the baby is born. It's a great plan. They even have a plan for pregnant women. I don't know what my problem is. LOL

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D.D.

answers from Birmingham on

Hi A.,
Since you are already internet ready, please visit FLYlady.com. They have been up and running and changing lives for years. The testimonials and very practical advice is so simple I kind of have 'duh, why didn't I think of that?' moments. And the best thing is it's FREE! Don't make a decision with just one look. Sign up to receive the emails & after a week or so of reading the testimonials from around the world, you'll be ready to FLY! You've already used one of their favorite terms - sidetracked. In Flylady language you are a SHE (Sidetracked Home Executive)! This sounds tailor-made for you.
Blessings to you and your young family, from a senior who wishes she found this site out years and years ago.
D.

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A.M.

answers from Oklahoma City on

A.:

Every SAHM I know has this problem! For me I found that determining what things HAVE to be done in a day to keep me sane, and those were my priorities. For me that was, dishes, laundry, sweep floors and tidy. I tidy right before my husband gets home, and I only do that because he is grumpy if it is messy when he gets here. I like to keep it tidy during the day in case someone comes over, but then I think, if they are coming over they are SAHM too, so they understand. I also tried to make sure the dishes were done at night, and right after every meal. One load a day of laundry was doable, with more done on weekends, when my husband is here.

Also look at your finances and consider hiring a housekeeper. We had one who came once every two weeks and did the floors and bathrooms; this was expensive and those type of ladies tend to charge alot, and the work is not as good as it could be. The thing I found which saved my life was to ask my teenage babysitter to come in every MWF from 3:30 to 5 and she did a little every day of the deep cleaning. This helped things stay good every day and got me motivated too. We clean together while the little one is sleeping. I pay her minimum wage, which she is happy to get, and give her little perks like (store bought) cookies, and let her bring her little brother. Sometimes she will stay late and babysit too. If you can find a good helper like this and can spend the $35 or less a week for it, it is a GIANT help, mentally and for cleanliness too.

Hope this helps.

A.

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J.H.

answers from Tulsa on

One day, sooner than you think, your baby will be grown and gone, and your house will stay neat and tidy. You will remember with fondness the time you are in now.
You are mother first, housekeeper last. Do what you can and don't stress out about what you can't do.
Take advantage of naptime, and every little moment you can, and get the most urgent thing done as fast as you can. Let your daughter give the baby attention, while you get something done. See if there are some things that can be changed, to make things easier for you. Pray. I don't know why that is last, because it makes problems a lot smaller. Thank God for a helpful husband.

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C.A.

answers from Little Rock on

I have found a really great website at www.livingonadime.com. They have really great advice on how to keep things neat & organized. Also about recipes, etc. Check it out. I get their newsletter & have found wonderful tips (even though it's just common sense stuff). It's done by mothers, so hopefully you'll find it helpful.

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R.C.

answers from Oklahoma City on

After working many years, I was able to quit and stay at home and take care of 2 of my grandchildren, my house was a real mess, someone told me about the web site flylady.com, it saved my life. Try it can't hurt.
Good Luck.

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K.R.

answers from Little Rock on

I found a great book called "Sidetracked Home Executives" by Pam Young and Peggy Jones. It was a lifesaver to me while my children were small, and even now that they are teenagers. Basically, you make index cards for tasks that you need to do daily, weekly, monthly, semi-annually etc. Each card is a different color. Then you use card dividers numbered 1-31 for each day of the month. You put the cards behind each daily divider. For example, things that need to be done daily are taken out each day and as you do them, file them behind the next day. Weekly tasks can be spread out to do a couple of tasks each day and then file them behind the next week after they are done etc. That way, you are not overwhelmed but still get all your tasks accomplished. The book will explain more fully. You may have to order it off Amazon as I have had mine for about 20 years! It was published by Warner Publishing. Hope this will help.

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J.C.

answers from Tuscaloosa on

You sound like me. I am very neat and organized at work, but at home it is a disaster. I was a SAHM for 4 years and hated it, I had depression and it was just bad for everyone. I am back working full time (waited until my youngest were 2 to go back) and it is hectic, but I am a much happier person.

Try flylady.net, I used that approach and still use some of the techniques to keep the house tidy. They may not all work for you but you can adapt them to your needs.

Take comfort in knowing you are not alone, when one person is cleaning up and multiple people are getting things dirty, it is hard to keep it all done.

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J.M.

answers from Tulsa on

www.flylady.com

She saved my sanity many many times!!! Let us know if she helps you...I have a yahoo group tulsalovesflylady :)

J.

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G.M.

answers from Jackson on

If you haven't already, check out www.flylady.net. I have been at home for three years and still don't have it all down. I have three kids: 10, 3, and 3 months. I can offer you spport, encouragement, and the very basic following idea: Write down your goals, prioritize them, break them down into small steps, and tackle each one in order of importance. Recognize that it will take time to accomplish many goals, but you will see progress--let that encourage you to keep going. Remember though the reason you are at home is because you love your children and want to be with them as they grow--more important than a completely ordered and appointed home. (of course, we want it all!)

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B.G.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Try www.flylady.com she has some good advice... But remember a Happy Baby and a Happy Momma is what is most important! Always take time for you and your son the house work can wait! Babies grow way to fast don't let house work take to much of your time. AND ask for help from your husband remember you are not home to keep house you are staying home to raise up a great child who will become a great adult! B.

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R.R.

answers from Tulsa on

I am a mother of 4, 2 already married in their mid twenties and 2 preschool age. Like you, I'm not longer working full time but now I'm a SAHM. When I had my now 5 years old daughter, I was able to keep our home fairly clean and organize. Once our little one started to move around the house (about the same age of your baby now), it became difficult to keep up with everything like before! I try to do laundry often, to dedicate one day to the bath, another to fold and put away laundry, etc. But it is hard! Sometimes after I finished organizing books, for example, our youngest comes around and takes some books off of the shelves!
So hang in there, you are not alone, try to enjoy your baby, since you have a teenager, she can give you a hand (ohh I know teens don't like that very much!), and take some time to share with your oldest too! Time passes by in a blink of an eye (like the song goes). Kids grow fast and material things become less important as we mature (at least that is my experience...). Take one day at the time and do your best but don't overwhelm yourself with strict expectations!

hugs, God bless you,
R.

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C.P.

answers from Tulsa on

Flylady.com is the best thing. You know the 14 yr old can help too. I have a 14yr, 9yrold and a 3 yr old. They can all help you do this. You need to keep a fly book when you are at that step. That way eveyone will know your scedule and help you keep it. What a wonderful this. Sink Reflections is the book. It's Pink. LOVE IT. Good Luck, it will get there.

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S.W.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Hey A.! I'm new to mamasource as well and this is actually the first time I've really read or posted anything. But, I read your post and it just made my heart heavy to try to help you out! It sounds like you have one thing on your side, that your husband helps you out; but as all of us women know, we want it done "our" way when it comes to cleaning/organizing the house and no one can do it like "us".

So, saying that, first of all let me tell you that you are blessed to be in a situation that you can be a stay at home mom! I was only afforded that privilege for a short amount of time when my babies were little because of my financial situation. But, for the short time I was a stay at home mom, I encountered the same problems you are! And, looking back, I honestly wish that I would not have worried so much about my house being cluttered. And you are getting this advice from a "neat freak".....the house always had to be clean and everything in the exact spot it was supposed to be in! Now, I realize that having to have a clean & neat house took time away from spending quality time with my children.

So, my advice to you is enjoy, enjoy your kids while they are little! If you can afford it, have someone come in once a month and do a deep cleaning (dusting (ugghhh), scrubbing toilets & bathtubs, mopping, etc.....You keep the house picked up as much as possible throughout the day, maybe while the baby is sleeping, or if it is really, really an issue for you, do your cleaning at night after the baby has went to sleep. Even though you may be tired, press through, because you will reap the benefits when you wake up in the morning to a sparkling clean house! Along with your husband's help, get your 14-year-old to help! Give him/her a weekly chore list & maybe an allowance for helping!!!

But, I have to tell you, most of all, enjoy being home with your small children while you can!!!!!!! Trust me, they grow up sooooooooooo fast! Just yesterday mine were 1 & 3 and now they are 18 & 15 and I truly regret worrying so much about my house being clean, rather than just enjoying them as babies while I could!!! Granted, I was only a stay at home mom for about 2 years. And, as it sounds like in your situation, was accustomed to working, not staying at home. This, in itself will make you have that feeling of "failure" because you are not financially contributing to the household. But, all of us moms out there know that being a stay at home mom is a much harder job than any job that pays. So, look at it this way; your children are actually the ones "getting paid"! They are getting the wonderful time they get to spend with their mom! Years that you will never get to "do over"! The house cleaning can wait.

You sound like a wonderful mother--SO ENJOY IT!!!!! I hope this helps put things in perspective for you and reassures you that the most important thing you can do while staying home with your children is spend time with them and begin installing their morals and values! God Bless you--and one more little tip; talk to God about your feelings and ask Him to guide and direct you!! I promise, it works!

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J.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Have you looked at flylady.com? her advise has helped me a lot!

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C.P.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Try www.flylady.net

She sends out daily reminders of things we can do to keep our lives in order, set routines to get things done... and most of all she has this amazingly positive attitude about life. Your question sounds exactly like who she is reaching out to. It's free!

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M.S.

answers from Auburn on

Try Flylady.com Pretty neat set up

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M.M.

answers from Shreveport on

Go on line and find the old book Sidetracked Home Executives. It will be a wealth of help. The humor will help too. Their system is simple. Make 3x5 cards with the jobs to do. Organize them by frequency and remember to do the most important thing first. I had 5 all under the age of 8 and was lost in a sea of house and kids. It helped. No, fixed me right up.

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A.G.

answers from Jonesboro on

There is a website that helps with organization and stuff. It's called flylady.com. It helps you to get organized through babysteps.

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C.D.

answers from New Orleans on

Check out www.flylady.net. It's a whole system that's easy to do with cleaning zones in your house. I haven't been successful with it but you might.

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S.J.

answers from Tulsa on

Try visiting www.flylady.com. Also, it is very helpful to make lists and then mark each item off once it is finished. This helps you see at the end of the day what you have accomplished. Make your list very detailed.

example...
Clean the kitchen:
1. Unload / Load the dishwasher
2. Clean off the countertops
3. Clean out the refrigerator
4. Clean out the oven
5. Dust the ceiling fan
6. Sweep / Mop

Hope this helps.

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K.P.

answers from Tulsa on

Don't feel overwhelmed. I am an older first time mom (39) and have learned to spend that time with my son and let the rest work itself out. They grow up so fast and you will miss the time you have now. My mom talks about how she tried to be the perfect mom, homemaker, etc. and missed out on just enjoying the time with us.

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S.B.

answers from Texarkana on

Hi, I wanted to address your issue but will have to continue more later as I am pressed for time at the moment. However, if I don't send a response, I'll forget!
So, first of all, since you're a new mom, I advise not to put too much pressure on yourself right now with the housecleaning and organizing. Having a new baby can be overwhelming. It is possible to improve, but you shouldn't expect miracles overnight. Take small steps, work on one area at a time, then move to another. Baby steps. Make a list of your objectives and cross off each one as you accomplish it. That will give you the visual benefit of the fact that you are making an effort and progress. One thing I've noticed with people who feel overwhelmed by organization is that they try to do too much all at once and give up because they've set their expectations too high.
It shows great courage that you are reaching out and asking for help. Feel free to email me anytime.
I can remember being a new mom and feeling like everything had to be perfect for me to be a good mom and wife and housecleaner.

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J.R.

answers from Tulsa on

A.,

Go to www.flylady.net - This website will get you back to doing routines without getting over whelmed. Give it a shot!

J.

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M.M.

answers from Huntsville on

You will never fail at being a stay at home mom if your child is loved, cared for, happy, content -- and so are you! I've never heard a child say, "My house was really, really clean." I have heard a child say, "My mom and I went to the zoo today (or a walk, or she read me a story, or.....).

There is a big difference in a home that is filthy (the health department will come) and a house that is cluttered (as long as you don't lose important things).

Your 14-year old is old enough to do some things around the home too -- especially keep her bedroom neat. But be very careful with how much you do -- I used to "organize" my son's room over many tears. If I had to do that part over, I'd change exactly how much I'd do -- no health department visits and some sort of organization (he has ADD) but not the sterile environment I created. Now he comes home and organizes my study (he's 25) and I'm still looking for stuff!

M.

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C.C.

answers from Birmingham on

A., I work part time and stay at home with my 2 year old as well. You said you are "not good" at organizing. If you feel like you need work in this area, don't beat yourself up about not being organized! There isn't a magic SAHM wand that you wave and become a perfect housekeeper. I had to learn that myself because I had some of the same frustrations. Now I make goals. I say, Wednesday when i'm off, I'll blah blah blah. Thursday I'll... One of my friends who is a full time SAHM literally has the week broken down into what type of cleaning she will do which day. I think that is healthy because the whole point of staying at home is to do things with your child. Its hard for me sometimes because I want everything to be neat and perfect AND I want to spend time with my daughter. Try breaking down your housework into days. Good luck, you sound like a great mom!

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B.L.

answers from New Orleans on

Let me know if you find anything that works. I have four children and struggle with the same issue. My mother and grandmother has always said as long as the children are happy then everything else can wait. One day the kids will be grown and my house will be quiet and organizied, but I will miss the mess than. As long as dishes are washed and clothes are clean, then don't worry about the rest.

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S.P.

answers from Birmingham on

Just having a baby in the house can make you feel overwhelmed with the adjustments in everyone's schedule. I am able to keep our house organized by always taking care of the dishes immediately after using, don't let things sit out, put everything in it's place as soon as you are finished with it. This helps things to not accumulate and "junk" up the appearance. Pick a day to do certain things - Thursday, bathrooms; Friday - sweep/mop; Wed. - Dust. Sometimes if you try to do everything in one day and the baby just doesn't want to let you go, nothing gets done. By only trying to do one project a day, it will work out and you've got a set plan of what needs to get done and a schedule. Also, by doing it during the week, you aren't stuck on a weekend day doing housework while the school age child and husband are home to enjoy. Hope this helps.

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K.F.

answers from Huntsville on

I understand how you feel - I felt the same way after my son was born. It took me a good year to fall into a decent routine just because there was so much going on with him in that first year! I also used some tips from flylady to help me get more organized and it was very helpful. Now I just try to do simple quick things - if I go from one room to another I make sure I take something that doesn't belong to the room it does, do just one load of laundry every day (load it in the washer before bed, and dry and fold in the am) run the dishwasher every night (hubby unloads in the am) so I can just throw things in all day. Larger things like dusting, mopping, vacuuming each have their own 'day' so it breaks up the cleaning - I usually do those while my son naps. I do make sure to take the first 15-30 minutes of his naptime to rest for myself! I've learned that my house will never look as perfect as it did before I had my son (and the next is arriving verrrry soon!) but I wouldn't trade a clean house for my babies any day - someday they'll be old enough to help.

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C.L.

answers from Montgomery on

I hate this common misconception. Just because you stay at home does not mean you can keep a spotless home. You and your kids are there 24/7 and it is much more work. You are cooking and preparing 3 meals a day, you have children constantly playing with every toy that they own, and you have a young child that is probably in the phase where you can't put them down. Mom's who send there kids to daycare have it easy. Most can clean with the assistance of a husband keeping the kids occupied. Train kids to only keep a few toys out at a time and just learn that though you may be able to do light cleaning like sweeping or a quick brush of the toilet you will not have a spotless home until the kids are out of the house.

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