21 May 2015

Working Mummy Struggles

The house is a mess. The laundry is piling up, the kids’ toys are scattered everywhere, especially outside of their playroom, there are heaps of dishes waiting to be put in the washer, the garden is overgrown and the bathroom sink needs a scrub. This is the weekly status quo of our home.

If I ever needed reminding that I’m not super woman, well, here it is, the daily proof. I used to take pride in my home and it used to be spick and span – hey, I’m German after all! – but since we had kids, I’ve had to accept that my house is no longer the tidy and tranquil oasis it once was. And that’s fine.

But even though I had to lower my standards, for a long time I still tried to keep the house a “15-minute-tidy” away from feeling comfortable enough to welcome spontaneous guests (not that that happens a lot). But lately, this has also gone out of the window, and I can honestly say, there are days, where I would NOT allow anyone to enter my home for fear of utter embarrassment.

Since I’ve gone back to work full time, I seem to struggle a lot to juggle everything. My job and the kids take up the biggest chunk of the day – between getting them ready for pre-school / nursery and picking them back up, play and cuddle time, dinner, bath, bedtime and story, plus my work, a big chunk of the day is already accounted for. And although I’m lucky enough to work from home on a day-to-day basis, I have to travel frequently, most regularly to meetings in London, which means irregular hours and often long days.

Add to this my – fairly disciplined – attempt at getting fit and cramming in an exercise routine, plus time to write and maintain this blog – which has quickly and surprisingly become a passion, if not an obsession – the household takes a back seat. There are just so many hours in the day.

I guess, something, somewhere has got to give, and the house and housework are it. I’m not much of a domestic goddess anyway (though I can rustle up a good enough meal and bake some nice treats), and quite the reluctant “Hausfrau”, so the bit that I enjoy the least is the bit that falls by the wayside. And I refuse to spend my weekends cleaning, when that’s the time we try to do nice things as a family or catch up with friends and play dates.

John and I try to share chores, especially when it comes to the kids, but still, somehow, a lot ends up on my shoulders, not helped by my stupid perfectionism and the fact that I like things “just so”, *read: the cutlery in the dishwasher that way, the bath cleaned that way* that I end up doing them myself. Oh the irony!

It’s not always and just messy in our house. We do clean and tidy – a lot! And when it’s clean, for a day or two I obsess with keeping it that way, constantly wiping things down and nagging everyone to pick up their bits, but it just gets messy again so quickly! And then, more often than not, I accept defeat until the next cleaning frenzy.

I have – on an off – considered getting a cleaner for a couple of hours a week or fortnight, but have so far always dismissed the thought based on the fact that I would probably clean for the cleaner, because – again – I’d be too embarrassed to let them see my house in such a state, defeating the point of a cleaner.

But after a recent conversation with a friend, who has one, I am seriously reconsidering this. Maybe it’s time to face facts and admit that we're struggling and get this aspect sorted.  Maybe when Becky goes to school and we no longer have to shell out double full time childcare costs, this could be a bit of a trade-off.

I wish I had the budget of someone like Beyonce though and could actually afford a whole entourage of cleaners, cooks and house keepers. Wouldn’t that be just ace? One can dream, right?

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com


  1. Oh, that would just be awesome! Bring on the Beyonce cleaning crew! Is it really bad of me to admit that I enjoyed this post and especially the pictures just so I know I'm not the only one? I often feel frustrated because every time I cleaned the whole house, and it took me hours to do so, it only takes a couple of minutes to make it look like it exploded, again. I'm letting go... I'm letting go....breathing deep...;-)

  2. No, it's not at all bad to admit that you enjoyed the pictures, Miepies! :-) In fact, it made me smile that you enjoyed it, as I'm so glad to know that I'm not the only one in this cycle of cleaning and chaos! I need to learn to let go, too. Good thinking! :-) xx


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