Thursday, 6 November 2014

Housework After Children

Opening the cupboard where I keep all our household cleaning stuff the other day, and watching as half of it tumbled out in a disorganised mess, I wondered where on earth it had come from.  I'm sure my house wasn't always this disorganised, in fact, I'm sure when we moved here, with just one child, we had oodles of space in the cupboards.  Where has it all gone?  Well, I concluded that there can only be one culprit (or five).  The children.

Children have made my housework routine far more complicated than I ever thought it could be.  I need more products to get rid of their traces, more cloths, more equipment.  Hence the messy cupboard.

I reckon that I used to be able to clean our whole house much quicker before children were ever involved.  But, these days I have so much more to consider, it's no wonder it slows me down.

1.  Vacuuming

When I was first married I had just any old vacuum cleaner.  Didn't matter what sort.  Mine was actually pink and purple and sparkly.  I bought it because I liked the colour.  Now though?  Now I need a super duper, all types of floor, all types of fluff,  extra sucky everything uppy whizzy vacuum cleaner.  Or two.  I have two.  Why do I need them?

Well, anyone who has ever had to negotiate loom bands and Lego will tell you that if you manage to somehow suck any of that stuff up inside the vacuum then you need a back up.  My machines also break down into about a million parts for cleaning and man, I am good at that.  Rather like a soldier dismantling a rifle I can break those babies down and reassemble in two minutes flat.

Of course there's the other aspect of vacuuming the house.  I don't know a single mother who, when they hear the ominous clatter of a rogue Lego brick inside their Dyson, doesn't think "Shiiiiiittttt, I haven't just hoovered up Steve from Lego Minecraft, have I?

Hello Steve, are you in there?

2.  Laundry

Before I had children I used to buy washing powder and fabric softener in regular sized containers.   I couldn't understand why anybody would need a box of Persil with enough powder for 72,000 washes.  But now when I go shopping?  I buy the biggest box I can find, actually I buy three at a time.  Why?  Well, not only is there always mountains of washing with a family, as you'd expect, but children have that uncanny knack of being able to catch every bug and virus known to man.  Have you ever tried to wash a load or two of bed sheets sodden with vomit at midnight when you have run out of washing powder?  It is not pretty.

Other aspects of washing are equally as complicated.  The extra products for example.  Products for whitening and freshening (most useful when you have teens TBH) and all the special stain removers.  Because, it is entirely normal for five year olds to practice their handwriting at school with whiteboard pens.  On each others' backs.

I have had conversations with other mothers in the school playground about stain removal, which sounds completely dull to anyone on the outside but seems entirely reasonable to us.

3.  Dusting

Yeah, just furniture polish and a yellow duster right?  Wrong.  Sure that's how it used to be when I was dusting a house for two but now I'm dusting a family home there is loads more to it than that.  Cloths for polishing furniture, cloths for cleaning the floors and most importantly cloths for all the gadgets they all own.  I am overrun with cloths.  I may in fact, be Lakeland's best customer.  The thrill I get from entering one of their stores to browse the E-Cloth range is unparalleled I tell you.  The last time that I went there I ended up with three separate mop heads for just the floors.  About which I was ECSTATIC.

How on earth did things come to this????

So, if you stumbled across this blog thinking I might be about to tell you all about how to set up a cleaning routine for your home post-partum then forget it sister.  The truth is it just gets worse.

Mind you, I have all that free labour now in the form of the kids.  If anyone has any ideas on how I can easily harness that, then I'm all ears...


  1. I am with you! And do not get me started on those whiteboard pens - ah, the stains!

    1. Ah, glad I'm not the only one! What ever happened to using a pencil for writing?

  2. Ha ha, I am so with you! I fill a whole load with my Eco-cloths. Love a colour coded cloth drawer! Good luck with getting the elves to help you...!

    1. Thanks! I'd love a cloth drawer, unfortunately they live in a bag in the cupboard of doom with all the rest of the paraphernalia! Don't really fancy my chances of getting the kids to help me either *sigh*


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