3 under 4 and overwhelmed
Answered 1 year ago
Hi everyone! I have 3 kids: 3.5, about to turn 2, and 12 weeks. I know I need to lower my expectations some days for what I can get done, but my house is constantly in a mess and I can barely stay on top of the daily chores that actually *need* to be done (dishes, cooking, cleaning the bathrooms, that kind of stuff). I'm very fortunate in that I don't need to return to work and my husband puts no pressure on me to get these things done, but I cannot help but think myself lazy or incompetent for not being able to keep these things under control.
I actually dread birthdays and Christmas because the extended family is very generous, and it's lovely of course but we have so many toys already...
I feel like all of these are deeply first world problems, but I'm going a bit spare. I don't know if I have a question (recommendations of realistic schedules to try to tick off some cleaning things, maybe?), I'm just feeling like I'm not coping as well as I should.
Have an answer?
My day goes like:
Vaccum & dust
Wipe down kitchen benches
Hang out washing or put in dryer if you have one ( I dont so on rainy days I hang in front of heater, well n o t right in front obviously fire hazard but enough to be safe)
Then its bathroom and toilet.
Not always in that order but I do this daily or if Im super busy I atleast ensure the kitchen and main areas are done. Always vacuum daily in my house. I like a clean tidy home or I feel stressed out. Thats just me. You need to work out what is best for you.
Windows and outside monthly, who has time or energy?!
Start with a list and tick it off. It soon becomes a habit but with three wee ones maybe you can space it out in lots. Or maybe hire help one day a week for main things you just cant get done eg bathroom toilet kitchen or washing etc.
Make sure you get as much sleep as possible.Wake up, have a shower, get dressed, make your bed, put washing on. Break up jobs into smaller jobs and tick them off, less overwhelming.
I set up portable dryer in the spare room, so there was no preassure to collect the washing as soon as it was dry from outside and didnt matter if it rained.
SI did lots of cleaning at night, non noisy jobs like putting washing away, moping, cleaning bathrooms, etc. I try to have kitchen cleaned before bed time. We rotate with husband, one of us cleans the kitchen and the other one does baths with the kids. Meal planning is a must. I was flustered and disorganised. Meal planning saved us heaps of monies and time. I didn’t have to think every night what to cook. Up until now I make huge pot of Bolognese sauce every 2-3 weeks and freeze portions for when I couldnt be bother with cooking. Meal planning so you cook once and eat twice. We do big grocery shop once a week and one or two small ones to top up fresh fruit, veg and bread.
Be ruthless with the toys. Donate or pack away. Rotate them. Make sure each toy has a home and teach kids to put them away. Easier to find toys if there is a storage system and some kind of organisation. My family struggled to understand the concept of “too many toys”. They are getting better now with amount of toys they gift. I have noticed my kids play better if they have less toys around them. Teach them to play with toys in allocated places.We have toys free zones in the house. They can bring couple toys in there, but they take them with them once done playing.
Before we had third child we weren’t very strict with routines. We have pretty strict morning and evening routine now. We have worked on it over time and it has changed depending on situation and kids ages. They know the routine and it makes life easier at those busy times. I fuction better in clean and organised environment.
Obviously sometimes we slip and get busy and its a chaotic mess. We start over.
I get it’s frustrating looking at the mess all the time, I find it stresses me out if I concentrate on trying to clean all day. So if just do a bit each day and try to be with the kids. Make them happy....one less stress!!
Good luck. It’s tiring.
Keep everyone alive
clean warm beds for everyone
Dirty Washing in basket every time
Aim for one load of washing everyday
Clean kitchen before bed (can your husband take on this job?)
BASIC meals, nothing too complex, stuff you dont have to think about.
Shower for Mum everyday - kids can be more flexible, dont stress yourself out trying to bath them everyday
Chuck some bleach in the toilet
Add one other thing/job you think you need to do (could just be, walk to the park)
Consider yourself an amazing goddess of awesomeness if you achieve all that in a day, otherwise just aim to do three of those things and feel like an amazing goddess of awesomeness then too.
About the unwanted toys and stuff from the family (i have also been there) get brutal, throw everything out you dont want, even if great aunt betty bought it for babies birth.. And start telling people you dont want anything else, like ripping a band aid off it’ll be a bit hard, but you have to do it, that being said i still have a Granny who keeps buying stuff (crap :/) so i often just throw it out or donate it the next day. No guilt.
Good luck, im sure you are doing great anyway, just keeping those kids alive everyday, fed, cuddled, cleanish and providing them with a clean cosy bed is plenty! ❤️
If you can afford it, consider a cleaner to help ease the stress.
If you can't, be kind to yourself! Husband is great - he doesn't mind.
Regarding toys, our families love giving my daughter money. I didnt ask but they give money and say let her buy what she wants. So I ask them if it can go towards extra curriculum and toys? They say yea.
So I take my daughter out and give her 50% to spend. Take a pic of it with her for them. The rest goes into a bank account. I tell them thanks for the swimming lessons! But in reality we gave put it aside for her. She has more than $4.5k now.
My daughter knows when it's birthday and Christmas time, we sit together to donate toys to charity too.
My family knows this happens and they don't mind.
Sorry I just blabbed on. You get the gist haha
But please, take some time off (if you can). Have a coffee by yourself and work out your list(as people suggested).
Ill just say enjoy the chaos. Kids are kids xx
My kids are a bit more spaced apart in age than OP and I can see how it could be hard going if she has issues with her baby like reflux or soemtihng. Just because other people have it harder doesnt mean she isnt going to find it tough. She was merely asking for suggestions how to organise.
Also, donate unwanted toys to those in need or ask family to make a donation to a charity instead of giving toys.
None of what you are describing sounds difficult. If you are struggling, and money isn’t an issue maybe you need to hire a nanny or similar.