Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cleaning house and mom guilt, just say no

My dear sweet newbie mom sister calls me up and asks me if I have a schedule for cleaning my house. Cleaning you say? What is that about? When I think of cleaning house, I think about mopping floors and scrubbing bathrooms two things that I have very little time for.

I am lucky if I can get the clean dishes emptied from the dishwasher and keep up with loading it back up with dirty dishes from the day. Lil' B makes both of these tasks a big challenge as she likes to pull knives out of the dishwasher. On an excellent day I am able to actually sweep my kitchen floor, as opposed to simply picking up the dropped food with a paper towel. I try to tidy and wipe down the bathroom during bathtime. We use the weekends for hard core cleaning and general straightening up.

After explaining all this to her she says, "But don't you feel guilty? I feel guilty when my husband comes home and the house isn't clean." My answer to her is no. My job all day long is taking care of my kids - feeding them, getting them dressed, changing the diapers, breaking up fights, taking them to playdates or outings. They occupy nearly all my time during the 13 hours a day that I am "at work." Anything else that I can actually get done around the house is gravy.

Her husband works from home, so I asked her when she worked before the baby was born and came home to find his lunch dishes all around the kitchen, did she think he felt guilty? NO, because he was WORKING and that is exactly what she is doing.

So what do you think? If you are a stay at home Mom, do you feel guilty if your husband comes home and the house isn't spic and span? If you work outside the home, do you think you would clean more than you do now?

If you are interested in following someone who is way funnier than I am, go check out my sister's blog  Yellow Brick Road Mama and/or follow her on Twitter @emacmorton


EMM said...

You are too kind and kinda insane if you think I'm funnier than you-you've got some major giggle skills!! Thanks for the plug and advice!! xo

snipcrank1 said...

I have a ton of guilt that the house IMO is not spotless when my husband gets home from work. I spend hours a day cleaning it (gotta love OCD), but one can never tell because right behind me is a toddler (aka Hurricane), making yet another mess...oye! I have to tell myself constantly each day "it is what it is" and I have to accept that as well as the mess that is sure to follow...

The Muehli's said...

I do feel guilty that I don't have the house spotless and that I don't get more things done during the day in general. But my job description is very, very long and involves a couple companies as well as taking care of my 2 yo, a dog which is walked at once daily and so on. I try to at least keep the floors free of debris but sometimes not even that happens if I'm in a working haze. And my husband totally understands that. Not that it makes me feel less guilty though. lol
I think sometimes we feel like it's never quite enough. We just have to do what we can and be happy with what we accomplish! We're still mothers first :)


Liz said...

First, I love your shuffling around of your blog! Looks great!

Second, I feel no guilt nor pressure from Craig. Granted, he's around the house a lot and adds to the daily mess, so he really can't complain.

blueviolet said...

I never got hassled like that at all, except from my own conscience, and I knew that playing with and caring for my kids was my number one priority. I wouldn't change a thing.

KLZ said...


Don't be mad.

But when I work from home, I get more cleaning done. So I think emac's husband should TOTALLY have been putting his dishes in the sink. It's not like he had a kid to take care of while he was working.

So, I think if I were a SAHM I'd get slightly more done than I do now. Because now the only chance I have is when I'm out of the house. If I were a SAHM I might get 3-5% more time for cleaning. If I were lucky. So, maybe. But I'd probably use that time to read a book instead.

EMM said...

It sounds like I'm not alone with my mommy guilt! I do try to keep the general chaos at a minimum, but I feel guilt weighing down on me if I can't scrub the bathroom and floors down every week. Bleh! I guess I still need to work on this guilt thing..

Jess said...

I never feel guilty for not being able to clean something. But, I don't like a messy house (slight OCD) either. I DO, however, feel guilty when Lea naps and I'd rather watch tv than do something "productive". I try to remind myself that when Lea naps is pretty much the only "lunch break" I get so it's ok to relax then.