How do you COPE with all this??

I had a reader send me an email.   Here’s the gist of her concerns….

She is a married mother of 2 young school age children.  She works full time out of the home.  Her previous job left her plenty of time to do all her household chores, but now, working 8-5 M-F she can’t seem to get anything done.   She finds herself overwhelmed and exhausted.    She and her hubby fall asleep exhausted at night, but he wakes her up for middle of the night lovin’.   How do other women cope?

Okay….confession time here.   My house is overwhelmingly in disarray.  If this woman were to walk into my house, I am afraid I would have to call EMS.   I work a 40+ hour work week, have 2 kids (one in HS and one in elementary) and a husband who is a great help.  BUT our house will never be spotlessly clean.  If it were, I would think that the Second Coming of Christ had come and that in heaven or on the New Earth, no matter how hard you tried to mess it up, you just can’t.   We are not neat people.   Now, we can clean it well for guests, and our dogs know someone is coming over if they see us feverishly cleaning, but I have come to the following conclusion…. and this is for me only and not everyone…. it is literally impossible to keep a house immaculately clean.  There will always be laundry to wash, dishes needing cleaned, carpets needing vacuuming…and as soon as I do it, there will be more a few minutes later.

I sure hope I haven’t offended her because I have friends who are extremely neat and really enjoy keeping an immaculate house.   If that is what they want to do, that is wonderful for them.   For me, I have to wait for the weekend.

My house does overwhelm me.   I have to pick and choose my battles during the week.  Two days a week, I only get a load of laundry done, so I don’t have 15 loads on Sunday.   One day a week, I will work on one load of dishes.   (We don’t always need it daily since we use a lot of paper plates and plastic silverware during the week)   I can’t possibly do it all every day, so I delegate duties for different days, and I put most of my housework on the weekend.

Now recently, my DH and I have wised up as parents.   We were very lax about our kids and chores.  Each week, now, our two children have to plan and prepare dinner.  Our son does Tuesday and our daughter does one other non-busy evening.   We help them where needed, but for the most part, they do most of the work.   I have also showed them both how to do their own laundry, so starting on Saturday, my daughter does her laundry and on Sunday, my son does his.   Wash, dry and put away.   It has made my life SO MUCH EASIER.

To the OP, I know your children are too young to do this, but start giving them specific chores.  The older can vacuum your carpet or help sort and fold laundry.  My youngest and your oldest are almost the same age, and I showed her how to do her own laundry.  She does a great job!   Pick a chore that you know your youngest can do…. maybe sort the colors of your laundry (whites in one basket, etc)   Give both kids an old sock, and let them dust till there little hearts content.  My DH and I both agreed on one thing right off the bat when we first got married…. we both will do ONE chore that the other one despises…. for me, I don’t like dirty dishes.  My DH doesn’t like laundry.  So I do all the laundry and he does all the dishes.    Split or share the other chores around your house.  If everyone does a little bit during the week, then much more deep cleaning on the weekend, you won’t feel as stressed out or tired.

As for the middle of the night lovin’, you really didn’t say how often, but I will tell you this.  If it is a night that you are really tired and really need your sleep, don’t be afraid to give him a rain check.  He won’t feel rejected and you won’t be refusing him if you say, “Honey, I am really tired tonight, but how about I set my alarm 15 minutes early and we can ML then?  Would that be okay?”   Another confession time here…. I am REALLY BAD about just falling asleep as soon as I hit the pillow and my poor DH has learned over the years not to wake me.   It kind of saddens me sometimes that I have trained him this way.  I need to do a better job of this.  But there have been occasions that I have set my alarm 15 minutes earlier for just this purpose….to snuggle up really close to him for some first thing in the morning loving.   I feel much better if I have a full night sleep, then if I am interrupted in the middle of my REM sleep.   You might want to try that and see if that helps.

I hope that there are other readers who will chime in and tell us about their experiences and how you handle all the stress of day to day life.   I would love to hear it!

3 thoughts on “How do you COPE with all this??

  1. Hi, thanks for your posts. They have been very helpful. I have a 12 and 15 year old. The older does the dirty dishes and the younger puts away the clean each night. The older takes out the garbage and scoops our cats litter. The younger feeds the cat and takes out recyclables & compost. They both do their own laundry. The older cleans their bathroom and the younger will dust or clean windows when needed (but it’s often all she can do to keep her room clean!). I think it’s great to give kids chores. Teaches responsibility & what it is 2 belong 2 a family, plus helps mom & dad! Have a blessed day!

  2. As a married mother of FOUR, I learned a long time ago to teach my kids to do their own laundry. They started at about 9 or 10 years old, and it was up to them from that point on to make sure they had clean clothes. I get them to help up clean up some (dry mop the wooden floors or even just move chairs out of the way for me), but you’re right: my house will NEVER be immaculate! And that’s OK – dusting is a semi-annual event for me, but my kids are healthy, happy, and well-read.

    As for the M-O-T-N fun, I’m now at an age where I take melatonin to help me sleep, along with Benadryl to make sure I stay asleep. So, when my hubby wakes up “in the mood,” he has total permission to have his way with me. Really, ladies, it doesn’t take too much time, and he isn’t looking for a marathon, “everybody wins” session. He just needs release. Sometimes I’m barely awake, but it’s ok – I keep thinking that one of these times, I’ll have an orgasm in my sleep, but not so far….

    So remember not to sweat the small stuff, and don’t worry about the house – eventually the kids will be gone & you can take a fire hose to the corners (not really, but wouldn’t it be nice?). And when THEY’RE gone, guess who has LOTS more time for each other????

  3. Depending on the age of her children, they can be very helpful in relieving some of the stress about the house. I recommend using “Manager of Their Chores”. It can be extremely helpful for those of us who aren’t naturally organized :

    Or you can use the ideas to make your own chore system.

    As far as the hubby wanting some loving at night, I really struggled with this when my kids were younger! But, in the long run, what worked for us, was to compromise. He needed me, and I needed sleep. So, using the spooning position for middle-of-the-night sex was our answer. I didn’t have to be too involved, yet he was still able to be close and have needs met. Their our times in our lives when having the perfect sex life just isn’t possible. We don’t need to do that anymore, and looking back, I know it sounds horrible, but it was really a marriage saver at the time 🙂

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