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Chores

Hi everyone, thanks for answering my last question - my SIL came over and we decided that the best course of action for my family and house was to keep a changing pad + box of supplies under the futon in the playroom and feed my newborn in there. Frees up space all over the place, and I can feed and change in the same place.

My new question is wondering how you keep up with chores with *two* kids. Especially those who stay at home and when one is a newborn. I struggle with chores with just the one kid, I'm daunted by the idea of two.

a) What chores do you do every single day and when?
b) What chores does your partner do every single day?
c) What chores are done weekly, and by whom?

I struggle with keeping my fridge clean, my bathroom clean and the floors clean. I've only started being on top of the laundry and the dishes these past few months. My husband does not do any cleaning indoors at all unless asked, but I do not touch any of the outdoor stuff.

Comments

( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
skittish_derby
Nov. 14th, 2012 03:26 am (UTC)
A. dishes and counter tops/stove top every day. general pick up of toys everyday. kitty litter every day too. I do laundry every three days.
B. depends on the day, but husband will help clean the floors: sweep/mop. I do that every three days or so. I usually don't push him to do too many chores, he does do all the outdoor stuff and the tool stuff inside.
C. bathroom is weekly, by him. oven is monthly or whenever I feel like it, same with the fridge.

I can't think of any other chores. but I probably do them whatever they are. lol. When the second baby was new, I thought it would be more than I could handle, but it was kinda natural and I went with the flow and things were easier than I expected. I did a lot while he was sleeping and I had methods to do things while he was awake, and I didn't fret over too many things. If I really needed to clean, I would find a way to clean, and if I really did NOT want to clean, I wouldn't. and husband was usually good for picking up slack when I was having one of those days. Now is a lot easier since both are older, but the messes are bigger. Now oldest can help and youngest is learning to help too.

oh! and I don't clean ALL day long. usually if I am going to clean it is somewhat early in the day and I spend a flurry of an hour or two making the house to my liking and then I just.. don't do anymore after the momentum is gone.
wickedcherub
Nov. 15th, 2012 11:50 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm a flurry person too, some people are really good at wiping and picking up as they go, and that's just not me. I have a friend who doesn't even have a bin inside her house at all, all rubbish goes outside immediately!
mydwelling
Nov. 14th, 2012 04:11 am (UTC)
My line of thinking, nobody grows up thinking they wished their parents were better at keeping up with the dishes (unless these hypothetical parents are hoarders, but that's a different story). I don't have a set schedule and routine. Snuggle those babies for as long as you can because some day you'll have a 10 year old who thinks it's strange to hug his mother in public. ;)
pinkgalagirl
Nov. 14th, 2012 05:08 pm (UTC)
I wish my parents had been better with keeping up with the dishes. Oh, wait, they ARE hoarders...
so_there
Nov. 14th, 2012 09:34 pm (UTC)
yeah, that's not true. although dishes were really the only thing my parents kept up on.. I think I live in such a crap hole now because I never saw an example of cleaning growing up. my mom claims she did it after I was in bed, but if that's true, it hasn't helped me any. I don't even know where to start.
wickedcherub
Nov. 15th, 2012 11:52 am (UTC)
No, but I've noticed my son is *much* happier when the house is clean. Plus my house was at the point where I couldn't have anyone over ever, unless they gave me at least a day's advance notice and it was making me miserable :(

kristi116
Nov. 14th, 2012 04:12 am (UTC)
We don't have set chores that get done daily. I just sort of do what needs to be done. The things I do daily are fill and run and empty the dishwasher and clean up after the kids (though they are pretty good about picking up their own toys). I don't clean anything other than our breakfast and lunch dishes daily. Oh, I cook daily. My main concern during the day is taking care of and playing with my kids.

I would say bathrooms get cleaned once every 2 weeks, usually by my husband because he can steal 15 minutes away to clean without a toddler following him wanting to splash in the toilet. I sweep the kitchen sometimes twice a day, but really just when I notice it's gross (so sometimes twice a day, sometimes every other day). It gets mopped when it needs it. I do laundry once a week. Diaper laundry gets done every 3rd day. The house gets vacuumed once a week. My husband and I generally alternate this chore.

Hubby takes out the trash, scoops and empties the cats' litterboxes, washes dinner dishes (I cook, he washes dishes), picks up the slack on things I haven't done, and does all outside things.
wickedcherub
Nov. 15th, 2012 11:54 am (UTC)
How do you manage to do laundry once a week?! Do you have a giant washing machine? I do laundry every single day, sometimes two loads :(

I don't have a dishwasher and no room for one. ONE DAY, I WILL AND IT WILL BE THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE.
kristi116
Nov. 15th, 2012 04:35 pm (UTC)
OMG, I don't know what I would do without a dishwasher! Dishes are my huge PITA as it always seems like the dishwasher is full and needs to be run or needs to be emptied.

I just let the laundry pile up! Usually Sundays is when I do laundry. I collect clothes from everyone and sort them all by color. Sure, it's an all day thing and the loads are pretty big, but I hate doing laundry so I only do it once a week. I usually have 4-5 large loads. Sometimes, I go even longer. My hint that I need to do laundry is when my 4 year old starts running out of panties!
operatic_diva
Nov. 14th, 2012 04:16 am (UTC)
A great way to clean (and keep your place clean) is to follow Unf*#k your habitat on tumblr (they also have an app). It's about spending as little as 10 minutes a day just getting one thing done at time- which is great if you're feeling overwhelmed.
teacentral
Nov. 14th, 2012 09:11 am (UTC)
This sounds like what I need! I will be looking it up. But I'm pretty ignorant... What do I do? Just sign up for tumblr and search for this?
operatic_diva
Nov. 14th, 2012 09:22 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure you can view it without needing a tumblr account, just if you want to follow it. Just use the tag search and search "ufyh". It's a great community which focuses on achievements- no matter how small- and getting things done at a pace that suits you. I'm a big fan.
wickedcherub
Nov. 15th, 2012 11:55 am (UTC)
I have started following it, thank you!

My house is spotless now, so it's just a matter of keeping up with it!
mist_stalker
Nov. 14th, 2012 04:25 am (UTC)
I had friends and family helping me out for the first six weeks or so (I was recovering from my second c-section)

a) dishes, counters and stove (if we used it)
b) hubby doesn't do much he works 50-60hrs a week and goes to school full time. When he does do chores it's generally taking out the trash and helping me fold Laundry.
c) vacuuming, sweeping, laundry etc...I do weekly
d) bathrooms are as needed ie I notice they look bad so I take 5 min to clean it. Windows/mirrors again as needed. Fridge is lucky to get done every other month.

Granted my house isn't the cleanest but it's livable
wickedcherub
Nov. 15th, 2012 11:56 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think if I can keep on top of the dishes and the laundry, everything else will be okay. It's just those two that seem to run away from me.
(Deleted comment)
wickedcherub
Nov. 15th, 2012 11:58 am (UTC)
I am amazed by people who work and do everything else. HATS OFF.

I think that I had been letting everything build up so much that everything was SUCH A CHORE, instead of just taking 10-15 minutes.
prophet_maid
Nov. 14th, 2012 05:20 am (UTC)
Me, daily: Laundry, toy pick up, sweep kitchen
Partner, daily: dishes
Weekly: cat litter (alternating)

We hired a cleaning lady in the middle of my last pregnancy, but I expect I won't need her after this summer.
sunshadow
Nov. 14th, 2012 05:28 am (UTC)
You get a free ticket to have a messy house when you have kids. Though, I say that yet I can't stand it when my house is too messy. There are slacker days when I am just too tired, but for the most part I try to keep it at a certain level of clean. What the best tip in the world, and not very practical now that you are about to have another kid, is to purge, purge, purge. Less stuff means less time dealing with it. I wouldn't even dream of doing that with little ones though. My kids needed to be 2 before really could sort and purge through our stuff.

a) After breakfast I unload and load the dishes. I now have the luxury of taking a shower everyday, and I get a load of laundry together after I get dressed and do one load a day. When the kids are playing I spend a few minutes here and there doing what I can, dust, wipe down bathroom, sweep, those sorts of things. We all pick up as a family after dinner. This is sometimes pretty fun, put on music, my husband sometimes gets into it and does a lot (ftw!) The rest of it I try to do on the weekend when my husband is home.
b) My husband likes to cook, so he makes dinner most nights. He takes out the garbage. He also maintains the yard and garden and fixes stuff, but that's not daily.
c) See above

For the fridge I found some cool organizational ideas on pintrest that makes life so much easier. Our floors are usually a mess honestly, until company comes. I try to mop at least once every couple of weeks. Meh. I do vacuum the area rug and sweep a lot though.

My husband helped out a lot more when the kids were new though. You will find your routine eventually. My kids actually liked it when I was up and cleaning or cooking when they just starting to be mobile. They'd follow me around and mess with whatever was near me. Before that, not much got done honestly!

sambeth
Nov. 14th, 2012 10:35 am (UTC)
Now my children are older, and also I have a cleaner now. So these answers are based on when my sons were little, and I didn't have a cleaner.

A. Dishes, counter tops, picking up 870000 toys again and again and again, bathroom (superficially - getting toothpaste off the sink).
B. No partner.
C. Laundry and bathroom (properly, like scrubbing the tub and shower) twice a week, also sweeping floors.

I never did any gardening (only had a tiny concrete yard then), DIY, and only tidied bedrooms once a fortnight or so. I cleaned my fridge when it got messy, and I don't think I've ever cleaned an oven. I pressed the self-clean button once, and it started to smell really weird, so I gave up on that.

Edited at 2012-11-14 10:37 am (UTC)
perfectinpart
Nov. 14th, 2012 12:25 pm (UTC)
I do chores when I can. I put the baby in the Beco and the toddler helps me to dishes. Or I do it all during nap time if I get a tandem nap. It's not a set schedule, but I use my free time as wisely as possible, without making myself feel burned out. Our home is not pristine, but it is clean.

A) daily I do dishes, Sweeping main rooms, wiping down all counters, tidy
B) I am the only one who does chores unless I ask my husband. Daily, though, I do everything
C) weekly I clean the fridge and bathroom and sweep and mop bedroom floors. Bi-weekly I mop. I do laundry three times a week. </p>

I live in a three bedroom apartment so I don't have a ton of space to clean, which I think benefits me a lot, lol.

blue_stealth
Nov. 14th, 2012 02:32 pm (UTC)
My husband works hideous hours and a lot of time we do not even see him for more than a "hi, love you, bye" throughout the days of our busy season. During this time, I am in charge of everything from repairing crap that has broken in the house to cutting the lawn, to hauling the trash to the curb, to ensuring the toilet is clean and animals are taken care of. He does literally nothing during this time... But he makes up for it on his off time and does anything I ask him for help with.

A. Everyday I: empty the dishwasher (runs at around 2am, so I empty it in the morning so I don't have to refill it immediately), ensure all laundry has made it to the basket, wipe down the counters/table/chairs, empty cat litter boxes, walk the dog, give the animals new food/water bowls, get the mail, take the kid to school, pick the kid up from school, vacuum the upstairs (main living area, bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen - all carpet, lino and wood), and do multiple clean-ups throughout the day. There is also meal prep and clean-up, and I work full-time from home doing two different jobs. In the winter, this is compounded by me having to shovel or snowblow the driveway and walkway regularly, as well as constant mess of snow trying to enter the house and leaving puddles of water throughout the mudroom. In the fall and spring, it's MUD season and trying to keep that OUT of the house with dog + kid + husband isn't entirely easy.

A2. I do laundry every other night usually. Here, electricity is cheaper at night, so I just throw a load on every other night (I have a massive washer, otherwise it would be every night). I wash and dry it at night, fold and put away first thing in the morning.

B. Everyday he does: Nothing. He works incredibly hard. My only rules for him are to ensure his dirty laundry hits the basket (or it won't get washed), and put any of his dirty dishes in the dishwasher. During our slow season, he makes a lot of meals, does the dishwasher, cleans the bathrooms, takes the garbage to the curb, snowblows the driveway/walkway, drops our daughter off at school, etc. The main bulk of the cleaning, I do.

C. Weekly: Vacuum the basement and stairs, bring the garbage to the curb, cut the grass in the summer, scrub the bathroom, dust/swiffer the house, clean out the fridge (the night before garbage day) and scrub it, go get groceries (sometimes this is biweekly), mealplan if I feel up to it, etc.

We no longer have delegated tasks. It's just, I do it all, and when he's around, he helps out as best as he can. I realize it's a unique situation. I'm perfectly fine with the way our arrangement works.
holy_cats
Nov. 14th, 2012 02:51 pm (UTC)
this is similar to our situation - husband works 70+ hours a week so I don't expect him to do too much around the house. If he's home, the kids are all over him and I'd rather he spent his time playing with the kids than cleaning, anyway.
I'm jealous that your husband cooks, though!
I wish we had a slow season, too! :/
sandokai
Nov. 14th, 2012 02:39 pm (UTC)
People scrub their fridges???

:-0

We attempt to cook dinner and do dishes. But we both work full time.

On the weekends we catch up on laundry. We hire someone to do floors/lawns.

holy_cats
Nov. 14th, 2012 02:47 pm (UTC)
haha I clean my fridge allll the time. It takes me about 2 hours to take out all the shelves and clean them and scrub the inside!
it's one of my least favorite chores! (tied with bathroom cleaning!)
mist_stalker
Nov. 14th, 2012 09:34 pm (UTC)
I don't scrub unless I notice something sticking to the shelves, I just go through and toss out anything growing mold/past it's expiration date, etc...
holy_cats
Nov. 14th, 2012 02:45 pm (UTC)
I have two kids and it is a feat to keep the house clean. But I stay at home with them while my husband works his butt off so it's part of my job, I guess.
Everyday I do laundry, dishes, and make sure the kitchen and living room are clean at least, every week I do the bathrooms and I alternate cleaning the other rooms of the house.
I just make it so when my husband gets home there are no dishes in the sink, no overflowing trash, and made beds. Oh and toys off the floor.
We've generally agreed that the play room and kids shared bedroom are going to be the messiest, so I don't worry about those too much.
I'd say I spend the majority of my time cleaning. It's not easy with the kiddos stuck to me like glue but I've gotten them involved and now at 4 and 2 they are both really good at helping put dishes in the sink when they are done and garbage in the trash can; they know the difference between recyclables and regular trash. And they love to help me mop and sweep (read: make a bigger mess haha)
cessyangel
Nov. 14th, 2012 04:05 pm (UTC)
I was scared when the second kid came around, but honestly, I didn't realize how much they sleep :P A few months before she was born I also started my daughter with a cleaning routine for her bedroom (she just turned 3). After breakfast she has to go to her room and clean the toys from the floor, I make her bed and put on her clothes. Before we start any big activity, or before we leave the house, she has to clean up her toys. It's easier when there's something she's looking forward to "Want to go outside? Ok let's clean up the mess first!" that type deal. But as for the rest...

a) I sweep usually twice a day. Do dishes at lunch and after supper. Tidy the bedrooms and living room. I usually clean the bathroom counter and mirror daily. Before I go to bed I make sure everything is clean. I hate waking up to a mess. If I wake up and there's a mess I honestly cannot concentrate for the rest of the day.
b) Ahahaha. Um. Well, he works so he entertains the kids while I clean.
c) My husband takes out the garbage and in the summer takes care of outside. I usually do the laundry twice a week or so (but that's usually three loads or more). I clean the bathroom every second night when my toddler is taking a bath. I mop the floors weekly. I usually go around with a rag and clean windows/dressers/whatever three times a week I guess.
ba1126
Nov. 14th, 2012 04:10 pm (UTC)
It's been awhile since I had little ones, but my MIL taught me to do "little swipes' that are not full-out CLEANING but do help. For example, after I use the toilet I take a few minutes with a piece of toilet paper and wipe the rim, swish the brush and then take another piece of tissue and wipe down the mirror and swab out the sink. Takes only a few minutes and makes it look a LOT better!

My Hubby was great about helping, also great about not complaining!! He was aware that I needed extra sleep in order to care for the kids with patience, so if I napped when they did, instead of cleaning the house, he didn't have a problem. On the weekends he would pitch in to either take them for a walk so I could get a few things done, or to do stuff like the bathtub and toilet that might need more time and energy.

They're only little for such a short while and the love,time and patience you give them then will stand you in good stead later. As Hubby used to say "The dishes, sink, etc. will always be there, the kids won't."
mrsgirlyduck
Nov. 14th, 2012 05:35 pm (UTC)
I work full time, husband works part time on the weekends (Fri-Sun)

Daily I do: A load of laundry, cook dinner. pickup whatever is all over the floor.
Every other day I: sweep/mop/clean counters/stove Kitchen. Alternating every other day with bathrooms.
Weekends: I sweep/mop/vacuum the house, change sheets clean bedrooms.

Husband: Does the dishes from the day before each morning. He's not "good" at the actual cleaning of the kitchen, he thinks if there's no dishes then it's clean. He also usually vacuums the area rugs in the living/dinning rooms each day.
All outside stuff. taking out the garbage, lawns, gutters, that kind of thing.
countessof_roth
Nov. 14th, 2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
I put the littest in a sling, and have the older one help. Stuff doesn't always get done. Hence why I cancelled the cable bill and hired.... cleaning ladies for once a month.

we try really hard to get the dishes done as my husban'ds folks ARE hoarders and we do not want to fall into their pattern.

There's a website that's better than flylady, its called "unfuck your habitat" and its all about doing things in TINY spurts. - ie that 10 blessed minutes when both kids are napping. or one is napping and the other is engrossed in Elmo. :)

unfuckyourhabitat.tumblr.com/
so_there
Nov. 14th, 2012 09:28 pm (UTC)
a) no
b) no
c) laundry?
jintana
Nov. 15th, 2012 07:35 am (UTC)
a) What chores do you do every single day and when?
- Keep the kids alive, clean enough, toileted/changed, fed/watered.


b) What chores does your partner do every single day?
- Turns the TV off, lets the dog out, reports to work and earns money.


c) What chores are done weekly, and by whom?
- Dishes when we run out of cups, by whichever one of us freaking can with these kids around.
- Laundry by me, whenever I can sneak out to the garage without one kid following me and the other screaming for me.
- Yardwork, by whichever one is home while the other takes the kids out.
- Make sure the toilets aren't visibly shitted up, usually by me

So, yeah. #1 was really clingy, still is, shit did not get done. #2 is REALLY clingy, shit does not get done. They both want active engagement and to literally climb on me for hours on end. We need to get the maids in here again once we put away enough shit from our recent move that it's not Clutter Central in here.
dreamriver
Nov. 16th, 2012 03:38 am (UTC)
When I was pregnant or had a newborn at home (I have two kids, youngest is now 16 months)

1. Dinner, dishes, and bottles daily.

2. Pick up the toys on the living room floor at least every other day (daily was ideal, but sometimes we were just too tired).

3. Bathroom (toilet and shower) when it looks icky.

4. Floors when they become intolerable.

5. Laundry when I ran out of underwear or the kids ran out of clothes. Hubby was responsible for his own laundry during the first few weeks.

Note: I did NOT do this all myself. My husband did most of the housework for the first 3 months of each child's life. My main priorities were to keep the kids alive, fed, and relatively clean without going totally insane myself. Cooking is an important creative outlet for me, so I usually took care of dinner, but everything else DH mostly did himself until we got to a point where I wasn't totally sleep-deprived.
dreamriver
Nov. 16th, 2012 03:41 am (UTC)
A note on the indoor vs. outdoor - indoor cleaning is far more important to a newborn's early life, so I would say when #2 comes along, your husband gets "assigned" a few indoor chores to be responsible for, like emptying the dishwasher every morning and picking up the toys on the living room floor every night. Things like that are far more likely to set you up for success in keeping the household running while dealing with a newborn.
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