Wanted to check in and see how you are doing?
Anyone else looking at a terribly messy house...(23 posts) (14 voices)
I'm not an expert in this area but two things popped out at me...
One - put a lock on your fridge. I'm sure there are childproof locks out there. You have little kids right now and there is nothing wrong with doing something so simple to save your sanity. Then when there is food on the carpet, it's either your or dh's fault and the responsible party can clean it up. Doing that will probably also make it easier to get in better habits/routines about meal and snack times.
Two - They have too much stuff. Any time our house gets chaotic as far as toys, clothes, books or craft stuff that isn't being picked up, it means we have more that can easily fit on the shelves or in the closets and I will bring out the garbage bags and donation tubs. I can be ruthless about this but it helps so much. If they only have x amount of toys, that is the maximum amount that can be on the floor at once. If you can't bring yourself to throw or give stuff away, box it up, label it, and put it in an inconvenient storage place. Try leaving them with less than you think they need and see if you go back into those storage boxes even once. Christmas will be around before you know it.
I am doing better. I seem to just have these periods of time where I feel like I just want to run away from the chaos. But then I get over it and move on.
eawerner, the fridge lock I have used, and the kids figured it out within a day. It was pretty good teamwork actually. I made them show me how they opened it - the 3yo would reach up and press the lock release hard with both hands and the 2yo would pull-pull-pull on the door and POP. they got it! I was actually impressed with their problem solving and working together. LOL.
Having too much stuff - yes, you are right. Many of the things that we have, toys and kits from the school supply store, should really be put up and only gotten out by me on request. I did buy a couple pad locks for the 2 cabinets I have with school supply stuff in them.
I realized that I need to not depend on my husband for helping keep the house clean. He won't do it and all that results is arguments and resentment. If I just learn to accept that it is all my responsibility then there will be more peace.
I found http://accountablekids.com/ its a chore system, and it seems to really help...Im planning on purchasing them for Christmas for my kiddos, 5 and 3 and a baby on the way. As far as your husband goes, with being on the computer and not helping, not sure what to say about that...my husband is a clean freak and hates being on the computer. I would think he would care about your feelings and help you out. Im so sorry you are going through this by yourself.
I dont think you should need to put locks on the fridge, they just need to be disciplined when they are not doing what they are told. They should only be allowed to get food out during snack time or when helping out with meals and eat only at the kitchen table. Thats just my opinion and what we do in our house.
sowinglittleseeds, glad you are doing better.
I wanted to say that I am impressed with your children's teamwork. No, they shouldn't go against your authority, BUT wow, that they worked together to figure it out.
I wanted to also say that we adopted our youngest son at 5 years old, and he and DD1 are just 4 months apart, so virutal twins. Since he has been home, they can be the sweetest together and also find so much mischief together. Sigh. I think you are in a season, but I do think you need to set some real boundaires.
If they continue to get into the fridge w/out your permission or worse, against your wishes, could you just take the food away and tell them they won't get a snack that morning (or afternoon)?
I also think they definitely need to eat only in designated places. One thing I'll do is allow ours to eat in the bonus room (which is carpeted) on occasion when it rains all day and we watch a movie/show in the afternoon (instead of going outside). BUT I first put down a quilt that I can easily wash or shake off outside. Also, only water up there so no worries on spilling a drink. Worst case, it will dry and won't stain/be sticky.
With our 2YO, sometimes when we do this, I''ll bring her little booster seat up and keep the tray on. That way, it is very easy to contain her and to keep the crumbs at bay.
Get your little ones involved in cleaning up too. My littles love to vacuum/swiffer/wipe down cabinets and/or counters. Sometimes I just give DD, 2, a damp papertowel but this gets up some of the dust LOL! A feather duster is a good choice for little ones too.
Hang in there and I agree that you are right to try and accept what is rather than try to change what you cannot. You are not the only person who has a DH who doesn't see eye-to-eye with you on matters. You are wise to accept it as is, especially since to me it is a "negotiable" (cleaning house).
I think you've gotten great advice above, and I second the post saying they need disciplined for the food issues (or whatever else you decide your house rules are going to be). With my first two I got so tired of the toilet being messed with and toilet paper being unrolled the length of the house down the hallway:) So then we got locks on doors, but then my older two were old enough to go to the bathroom themselves, but couldn't open any bathroom doors. So then I decided I just needed to train the little ones to stay out of the bathroom. It has gone well, it is a lot of work, but worth it so everyone can use the bathroom:) The next little one coming will have to go through the same training. I think it helps to pick one thing per week to start enforcing and be consistent with, more than that can be overwhelming.
I think your perspective about your husband is wise as well, resentment and arguments don't make for a happy marriage, a happy mom or happy kiddos either.
There is some wonderful advice here!
I agree with the post suggesting a quiet time every day. We almost always have an afternoon quiet time, and it is a lifesaver for me! My children are all out of the napping stage, but they are good about reading, sewing, or just playing quietly and by themselves for 1hour.
For the food, it is only allowed in the kitchen unless we are having a movie night. Even then, we spread a picnic blanket on the floor.
When I had my first child, my mother gave me some really wise advice. She told me that training a child up correctly is a lot of work at first, but it makes things MUCH easier in the long run. Instilling a good habit in a 6 year old will not be easy, but it is a lot easier then trying to train a 13 year old!! :)
May God bless you as you try to change things around your home!
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