I Bit More Off Than I Can Chew.

It’s week two of officially being a stay at home mom and I am a failure. Ok, so I have been doing this a lot longer than a week but now it’s official. I just can not get my act together. The house is a disaster {always is}, I feel like a hot mess, and I pray that the kids aren’t feeling any of that.

I am drowning. I really do not know how people do it.

I don’t know they can give all the attention to a three year old that he deserves.

I don’t know how they just don’t sit and stare and love on their three month old.

How do you do that AND keep the house clean {well, get it clean to begin with and keep it that way}, have dinner cooked, love the kids, and stay sane? How is it possible?

I look at sites like I Heart Organizing and I just stare in disbelief that someone’s house can look like that. And stay that way. Remember that three year old! I feel like the minute I put something away, the hurricane {I’m not talking about Irene} comes and throws out five more things, spills a drink, and drops cookie crumbs all over the floor.

Is my life supposed to be an endless cycle of rather, rinse, repeat? Vacuum, pick up, repeat. Dust, laundry, repeat. It’s good day in our house if we are all out of our PJs, dinner is on the stove, and the house looks semi-decent by the time the hubster comes home. Bonus if I took a shower that day.

I know the way things are going right now is not the best for our family. I am not 100% happy. I know the hubster isn’t 100% happy. Something has to change. I need to find my SAHM-groove. And I need to find it fast!

I am going to start with baby steps. If I dive in head first, I know I’ll end up drowning some more. I need to ease myself into the water.

What are your tips for staying sane and keeping up with the house and kids? I need all the help I can get!

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16 Comments

  1. Don't be so hard on yourself, you are going through a transitional period. It is hard to keep a house clean with wee little ones. Give yourself some time to adjust. You'll get there, you really will.

    When deciding what to tackle first, ask your husband what is most important to him. The things he notices might not be what you notice most. Is it most important to him to have dinner ready at a certain time? Or to have clean shirts? Or a showered wife? What bothers him the most? Tackle that first. Remove an irritation and you'll both feel better.

    Second, don't try to clean up after the kiddos constantly. Don't sweep or vacuum after each snack, do it 2 or 3 times a day.

    Recruit the 3-year-old to help.;0) He can learn to put away his toys, for instance. Rather than try to corral the toys constantly, consider having a couple of scheduled clean up times. 15 minutes in the morning. 15 minutes before Daddy comes home.

    You'll get there, just one foot in front of the other and remember that this is just a season, it's not forever. The children will get older and not need to be hosed down after every meal. And you will learn to appreciate those quiet (or not so quiet) times with them.

  2. Find a way to make sure you get showered every day. On the days that happens, I usually get a lot more done b/c I feel more motivated. Put E in front of the tv and B in a bouncer if you have to, but get showered.

    Make E have chores too. we do clean up before nap and before dinner. DS also likes to help with laundry, he sorts darks and lights.

    use your crock pot and find quick go to meals (ours is chicken quesadillas).

    Also consider daycare for E at least once a week so you can tackle bigger things on that day. I'm only home for disability but it's been 5 months now and these are the things that have helped me stay sane. good luck!

  3. Step #1 – TAKE A BREATH! You have a 3 year old and a baby. That means you have about 12 months of "I have a baby" excuse/explanations for things.

    Step #2 – Look around your house. Is it dirty or is it messy? There is a HUGE difference between the two. While messy can feel dirty it's not at all. Life, kids and business makes and allows for messy. It means love lives in your home when there are toys spread out because your sons have been playing. I highly doubt you are any where near dirty. In our house, I've been working on getting our 2 and 4 year olds to clean up half way through the day (with help). It makes things feel less chaotic for me and they can play easier without 4 million toys everywhere.

    Step #3 – Make a list of what matters to you, what matters to the the hubster and then look at them together. Figure out which ones are important and which ones can wait awhile. Maybe it'll help you both find what you need to do and what you can give yourself a break on.

    Step #4 – Call the hubster and recommend he bring home a Starbucks – they fix everything.

    Hang in there. You'll find your groove and no matter what you'll survive. It's way more important to be happy and survive than it is to have a dust free, clutterless home.

  4. I wish I had some advice for you, I really do. No kids here, though. But I agree with the crock pot idea in another comment – the crock pot can be a huge lifesaver. Otherwise? Keep open communication going with your husband and let him know that you're trying your best. That's all you can ask from yourself, and the most anyone can ask from you.

  5. First of all, stop and take a big breath. There's no way we can do it all.

    Have a talk with your husband about what you both think is important. Make a list of what to do first, with the most important on the top. You don't have to do it all in one day, but once things start getting crossed off, you will start to feel better.

    Definitely try to get E involved in cleaning. Make it into some kind of game, like a race.

    Like you said, start with baby steps. You will find your groove.

  6. Oh, your little one is so little! First, give yourself a little bit of a break and breathe, and realize that your main job is to be there for your kids.

    Mine are a little older, but I try to devote some time each day to a particular room in the house. What that means is that the entire house is rarely perfect (dusted, vacuumed, etc) all at the same time, but it's always generally ok.

    I read one time that if something takes under a minute, do it then. Your kids will be fine for that minute (like throwing the dishes in the dishwasher or wiping down the counter.) Those things don't seem like a big deal, but if they pile up, they can be overwhelming.

    I always shower at some point during the day and try to do a quick "neat sweep" of the house before Ryan gets home at night. He doesn't notice if I skip a week of dusting in the bedrooms, but he notices if it looks like a Toys R Us threw up in the house 🙂

    I also find my Bissel stick vacuum to be a lifesaver. I keep it plugged in and propped in the corner for most of the day. Plus it's light enough that my kids can push it around and "help" while I tackle something bigger.

    The most important thing to remember is to cut yourself some slack. You don't need a "perfect" house, just a perfect home for you guys!!

  7. Oh honey!! Are your kids alive at the end of the day? Fed? Is your house in one piece? Then you are doing great! There will be days when you feel like you could conquer the world. Then there will be days where you want to sell your kids (for $1) on Craigslist, move out, and live in an RV.all.by.yourself.

    There is no right answer. One thing is, give it time. Yout are not a failure. This is a huge life change! And all the sudden being a SAHM, with 2 kids, that is even bigger. One kid is hard, 2 kids is, well, harder.

    No matter what, the first year with a baby is super hard and stressful. You never feel like you can get it all done. And you can't. Unless you neglect your kid all day every day. And that is just not gonna happen! And then add in a needy 3 year old, believe me, I know how it is. I never feel like I can be it "all" for both kids. And you can't.

    One day a week I leave either one or both kids with a sitter. I will go out alone, or with just my 3 year old. When I come home, I have missed them. And I feel like a normal person again. I highly recommend it.

    I am trying to implement a dinner planning portion of my afternoon. When they both are down for nap, I try to spend 15 minutes doing dinner prep. Then when the 3 year old wakes up, she is usually excited to help me finish up preparations.

    And honestly, I have had to concede about 30 minutes after they both are in bed to do a few things to catch up from the day. It doesn't take long, and I like waking up to a straightened up house.

    That got long…. and I could go on!

    Olivia is 3, Ava is 7 months

    http://littlepiecesofthereeses.blogspot.com/

  8. baby steps, accepting of where you are, and having people who care about you and encourage you to do what YOU can do, and keep up with, while taking time for you to be re-energized and mentally and emotionally rested. Who dont let you beat up on yourself.. thats how you start. Writing transparently like you have is helpful too! Great to meet you!

  9. Nobody's perfect and if you think they are you are (most likely) wrong… I always wonder how you find the time to do the photos (at home), for work, and the blogging (lets just say I'm ubber jealous) and then when I saw you were going to be a SAHM, even more (not in bad way- in an I wish way)

    Lexie has been a destroyer since day 1, and as she's more active it's only gotten worse!

    I used to break down and cry that; I could never get enough done, my house was never clean (to my standards) I never had time to go for a walk, read, take a shower (for more than 2mins) ect.

    I work PT, and I have found a system, quick clean up everyday and then focus on a diff room/task each day.

    I take a little more time on my day off when DH is off (usually Sun) and figure out my tasks for the week (grocery shoping/lists/meal plan etc).

    I now make sure to find time for me (even if its 5min everyday) maybe the house isn't as clean as it could be (who knows the last time I really dusted).

    But as always, clean house or not… life goes on! 🙂

  10. Oh, that's so tough. I honestly don't know how people do it. I think, like everything, it's a transition and you will slowly find your way.

    That said, in terms of keeping the house from being a total disaster, I think doing a blitz at the end of the day works best. Have fun during the day and then clean up enough to stay sane for the next day.

  11. I've been a stay at home mom now for 8 years, and it is just flat out hard to do it all in a day.

    As for getting the house clean? I have a magnet on my fridge that says "Cleaning the home while kids are growing is like shoveling snow when its still snowing" I look at that and it somehow makes me feel better.

    Don't try to do it all in one day. It's just not going to happen. Set a goal of getting 2-3 housecleaning items done a day.

    ((HUGS)) give yourself some time to adjust! You'll get there!

  12. Oh my gosh—you have to give yourself some time to adjust. Baby steps are right. It will happen, slowly,and in whatever way works for you! Thank you so much for linking up!

  13. I know 100% how you feel. I have a 2 1/2 yr old and a 7 month old. Things do get better. Even in a few months they will be better. Now that the little one is more stable (ie: sits up, crawls) I can leave him in his pack'n'play or his room with a gate up for a few minutes and do things. Also, big brother knows to be careful and gentle.

    It is definitely overwhelming. I have said that we might just have to run around naked and eat off of paper plates for a few days so I can catch up.

    I agree with other comments. If everyone is alive, fed, and the house is in one piece you are doing just fine.

    I feel things have gotten easier as each month passes by. Its still tough, no doubt, but more manageable.

  14. Stay calm. Recognize you can't do it all. Make a schedule maybe, but also recognize that that can get thrown out the window at a moment's notice.

    Life is a balance and you aren't expected to do all of it. Really. Promise. 🙂

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