Truthful Tuesday: I Keep a Messy House

Holden... and a background of toy-littered floor and a basket of unfolded laundry

I have never been a good cleaner. I just always feel like there is something else I need to be doing: going on a walk, making cookies, researching something online, writing… anything except laundry or scrubbing toilets. But, when I got pregnant and I imagined my life, I imagined it in a spotless house. You know, clutter cleared away, fans dusted, floor freshly vacuumed, kitchen scrubbed and swept each night.

Keeping the house clean is one thing I really struggle with as a mother. Because, I really WANT the house to be tidy… and it’s not that I don’t want to do it (I mean, I don’t, but that’s not it entirely), it’s that I don’t really understand HOW to do it and take care of Holden. I still breastfeed on demand, and I love it. But… it takes a lot of time. We wake up in the morning and nurse in bed. Then we go downstairs and nurse for breakfast. Then we nurse before and during nap 1. Then we nurse for lunch. Then we nurse during nap 2. Then we nurse before dinner, after dinner, during bath time and at bedtime. And it takes up a lot of time. Also, he will only nap on me. I’ve tried transferring him, he wakes up. I’ve tried nursing him lying down in bed… maybe 4 times out of 10 he’ll actually lay there and go to sleep, not worth it to me to keep trying. And really, I love it. I love to sit there with him snuggled up on my lap, nipple fully ensconced in his mouth and veg and watch some crappy television or read. But it makes it hard to clean the house, which is what I feel most people use those 2-4 hours for.

So, I try to clean while he’s awake and playing by himself, but he cries usually. And by the time he’s sobbed while I made breakfast, whined during breakfast, and screamed while I washed the frying pan, spatula, and plate I just don’t have the will to go upstairs and switch over and fold the laundry. So I play with him and then it’s nap time! And it’s really fine for the downstairs, because I can clean it after he goes to bed. But, our bedroom and bathroom get the shaft a lot. And really, at the end of the day, I just want to sit on the sofa with Rob and watch some lost, drink some hot tea, relax, and not be needed for an hour.

And a lot of it I know has to do with that it doesn’t really bother me. Leave the dishes for tomorrow, I don’t care! But, it bothers me if other people come over and see it. Because, I don’t want them to think that I’m lazy or messy. I don’t want them judging me. And, I know that’s dumb. I know that nursing Holden ten times a day and snuggling him and letting him nap on my lap are waay more important than letting dishes sit in the sink for three days, but it still bothers me. And it’s not really that I want to be perfect, exactly… I guess it’s more that I don’t want to be a bad mom and wife.

So, I’ve made a list of most of the chores for the house, and assigned a chore or two to each day. And I’m really going to start trying really hard to just finish those chores if I can, even if it means doing them in 10 minute bursts while H is occupied. Or, even letting him cry for 10 minutes (I don’t know if I’m strong enough for that one though). And I’m going to work on telling myself that if I don’t get it done that it’s okay! It’s okay that my floor is covered in dog fur and crushed puffs and smashed peas. It’s okay that I never folded the baskets of laundry until they were used up. It’s okay that dishes sat in the sink until we ran out of cups/spoons/bowls. Because I’m spending that time with my kid, and that’s way more important than a spotless house. And, if people want to think I’m lazy for having a messy house, well, fuck them. They probably should be worrying about the foul language I can’t seem to reign in around H and how his first phrase is gonna be something along the lines of: “Are you fucking blind, ref?!?” anyway…

But, I’m really going to try. And that there is what makes me a perfect mom.

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4 thoughts on “Truthful Tuesday: I Keep a Messy House

  1. It’s hard to find balance, mama, i know that firsthand. Before i had a baby, my house was SPOTLESS all of the time. Me and my OCD would clean the entire house every single day. Vacuum 2x a day, even. After baby? Of course it was a lot harder! And now, with a TODDLER (and being pregnant, too, YIKES!)?! It’s near impossible. You have to find the balance that works for YOU. I’m managing well now that i have help (in the form of 16 year old girls) that comes over almost every single day.

    These girls come over and i was lucky enough that they are family friends, so i’m not paying for babysitters or help. Plus, they’re not “babysitters”. They just help me out. Yesterday, one of them cleaned my kitchen for me. I loaded up the dishwasher, and then she washed the rest of the few things, bleached my counters, wiped down my cabinets, and swept/wet swiffered my floor! Some days they help me do things like fold a few loads of laundry, or just play with the baby all day.

    I finally feel like i’m finding some balance. The house is (relatively) clean. The baby is well taken care of, always being played with and happy. I’m not nursing as much as you are (and i’m jealous about that!) so i have more time. I’m also getting some mama time now, which i so desperately NEED. Being able to shower or take a bath, paint my nails, or just do something for myself to make myself feel better.

    Babies are not easy. You’re an amazing mom. You’re struggling with something that we’re ALL struggling with. But as long as you AND baby are happy, then you’re doing FABULOUS. *hugs* 🙂

    • I wish I had a mother’s helper. My neighbor’s 14yo comes and helps me out if I really need it… And charges me $7 an hour 😉

      But, if I HAVE to do something, my neighbors/friends will watch him for me, or my mom or MIL. Just not daily for things like cleaning. But Rob & I do get to go out a lot. So I guess I can’t complain too much!

  2. I’ll tell you a secret. I hired someone. She comes for two hours once a week, and she fixed my life. $60 for a sparkling, spotless, vacuumed house. It was worth it. And we are NOT rich (far from it). But I have piece of mind, and can focus on parenting the way I know is best. As long as you can feed him liquid gold, you should. He’ll grow up far too fast anyway, and then you’ll miss your time in your messy house with your breastfed baby. I already do, and mine are 3 and 1!

    • I wish we could afford $60 a week! But, we’re pretty poor. Like, barely pay our bills poor. But, it’s ok! I’ve actually contemplated getting a PT job to pay for a cleaning person, but my husband’s hours are sometimes erratic, so it would be hard.

      I really just need my hubs to come home early one day & take H for a few hours & then I can clean the house top to bottom! Or, you know… Take a nap. 😉

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