View Full Version : Housecleaning - chore or torture?


sgolden5374
05-29-05, 05:32 PM
Ok, I was over on the Non-ADD spouses threads you know just looking at them and seeing what the other side says. Anyway, there was a husband who was very frustrated with his wife's inability to get the house clean at all. And, her angry reactions when he tries to get the cleaning jobs done. I am in no way criticizing his feelings or accusing him of insensitivity towards his wife or her ADD. But, since I didn't feel like I had any right to post to that thread I thought I'd bring my response here.

I completely identify with his wife. In the logical part of my brain I KNOW that the housekeeping chores must be done. I have eyes and I can see the mess. I will tell my husband (this is my very typical response), "Oh, don't clean the bathroom (or dishes or living room or laundry, etc.) I'll do it tomorrow when you're at work." Well, tomorrow comes, it's 5 mins. before he walks in the door and still - bathroom disaster area. He'll come in, change his clothes, see it and start cleaning and then I begin to feel really guilty. I snap at him that I said I would do it and he replies that it apparently didn't get done. Then I get angry with him for MY GUILT. Ok, it's not logical, but it is my emotional response. I never mean to get angry with him, but that always seems to happen. We end up arguing and I end up crying. It's ugly.

I do understand that he works and I stay home. I understand his frustration when he comes home to a messy house and his frustration with me for my lack of follow through. But (here's the point of this) no matter that I really mean what I say when I say it or I try really hard to do what I need to do sometimes I just can't get it done. And, living in this perpetual state of one step forward two back is hard enough, when I add guilt to the mix I just blow up. I never mean for it to happen but it does. It is one of those idosyncrasies of living life with me. My husband knows this now & I have learned that when I really can't do something for whatever reason that I HAVE to ask him for his help. I know that life isn't going to get any easier but at least he and I have come to accept what is.

ProcrastN8R
05-29-05, 08:54 PM
I didn't read the other thread, but I can SO relate to this.

My husband and I both work full time, so it is not a matter of who is at home to do things, but he still does the lion's share of housecleaning and always has. Even before we got married, he would come over to my rental house and clean up. I did not know until recently I had ADD. All I knew is that I was completely unable to clean in any kind of consistent, organized, or efficient way, despite all efforts to the contrary.

I read umpteen books about how to clean, get organized, fight clutter, etc. such as Sidetracked Sisters. I tried Flylady for a while. I just told people I never really learned how to clean. I didn't know how else to explain it. Sure, I hate cleaning, but I enjoy a clean house, so shouldn't I be able to suck it up at least every other week or so to swab out the bathrooms?

My husband can clean the entire house, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, and change the cat litter in 2 hours flat on a Saturday morning. It takes me 8-10 hours JUST to clean one bathroom. By the time I am done with that bathroom, you could do surgery in there, so I get that one thing a LOT cleaner than he does, but in the meantime, the rest of the house is dirty, so what difference does it make?

The slightest word of criticism from my husband, or not even a word, just that he made a noise under his breath or had an annoyed expression on his face as he ran around cleaning would put me on the defensive, which quickly would erupt into full blown rage.

I hate rushing - being rushed or being around someone in a rush - anyway, it makes me very tense, and getting the house clean in 2 hours requires some rushing on his part. So, just the fact that he was rushing around would throw my stress levels into the upper range, plus the defensiveness and guilt I felt - it is a wonder we are still married!

Finally, a diagnosis. I described the cleaning situation to the psychiatrist and he said the problem is that I hyperfocus and can't move on from that bathroom. He pointed out that I describe doing the same thing in a lot of other areas. True, true, true.

Actually, for about a year now, we have had a weekly maid service which helps a lot. It relieves my guilt. But, with small kids in the house, we still get crumbs on the floor and messes made, which I would gladly leave until the maids come, but he wants things cleaned up promptly. So, I still get some rushing around, muttering under the breath, and frowns. In fact, it was one of those episodes that began with crumbs under the table between maid visits and ended with tears and yelling, that helped push me to make an appointment for an evaluation for ADD.

Now that he knows that there is a reason why I do some of these things, he is not taking it personally or thinking I am just being lazy or a slob. It is a relief to both of us. Now he will just ask if I have had my pill yet! And, Ritalin has helped a lot. Household chores don't seem so overwhelming.

I could go on and on about my house cleaning mistakes. There was the time we were having a dinner party, and I was home alone to clean for it. I got started cleaning the basement laundry room and spent the whole day on it - it was spotless - but since when do you take your dinner guests through your laundry room? The rest of the house was a mess, and I did not even prep any food! I got in a LOT of trouble that time, when honey came home and had to do everything himself in about 2 hours, including cook. Since then, when we have company, I mostly ask him what he wants me to do and he mostly just says stay out of the way.

ProcrastN8R
05-29-05, 08:57 PM
One other thing - though I cannot clean, I hate clutter and disorder. I am constantly organizing and sorting and arranging things. My books are in alphabetical order by author, fiction and non-fiction separated. Videos alpha by title, CD's by artist. Clothing by sleeve length then color. You'd be surprised how many people think that is odd.

But even that is inconsistent. Don't look in ALL the closets or drawers. Sometimes all the stuff jammed in them will fall out and hurt you.

exeter
05-29-05, 09:42 PM
I hate housework! You make the beds, you do the dishes -- and six months later you have to start all over again. -- Joan Rivers

sgolden5374
05-29-05, 09:49 PM
One other thing - though I cannot clean, I hate clutter and disorder. I am constantly organizing and sorting and arranging things. My books are in alphabetical order by author, fiction and non-fiction separated. Videos alpha by title, CD's by artist. Clothing by sleeve length then color. You'd be surprised how many people think that is odd.

But even that is inconsistent. Don't look in ALL the closets or drawers. Sometimes all the stuff jammed in them will fall out and hurt you.
Nope, I don't think it's the least bit odd. I love for things to be organized and prior to having children my house was absolutely spotless and I could put my hands on anything at any time. Ok, dishes and laundry were always hard for me to do, but otherwise everything else was neat. With 3 kids all under 10 my house in NEVER organized and it is just too much to keep up with for me. After reading Sari Solden's book I realized that when my house was so neat (ok, I was a bit of a Nazi about it) it was a coping method for me. Having kids was really the turning point. All my carefully laid plans were thrown to the wind and my ADD symptoms really started coming out about the time my 9 year old was about 16 months old and I was pregnant again, though at the time I didn't know they were ADD symptoms.

Anyway, it really is good to know there are others out there like me. I am so looking forward to my appointment on Wednesday, hopefully I can get on meds that will give me some focus and have a really good therapist to help me overcome my procrastination!

Nucking_Futs
05-30-05, 03:22 PM
I have a ton of suggestions for quick pick ups that won't take a lot of time. Let me get the baby down for a nap and I'll be back.

Hugs ladies and ummm ex the dishes...nasty you have to wash them at least every four months.

CAmom
06-14-05, 02:51 PM
I am soooo happy to hear that I'm not the only one with the guilt. I can absolutely relate to both of you. I'm just the same way. I, too, am a stay-at-home mom.

My husband always knew I had problems with cleaning. When we were going out I told him he couldn't come over because I had to clean my apartment. For a while he believed I was just saying that to keep him away. Of course, his place was always imaculate.

Now we've been 10 years married with an 8 year old. Before my diagnosis the house was clean only because my husband cleaned it. He said he felt like a slave. I felt awful.

I use to tell him he didn't have the right to expect me to be as imaculate as he is. The problem with that acusation was that I like things as clean as he does. He use to think I was lazy. The problem with that was that I tried sooo hard to do 'things', but I just didn't know how to get there. After my diagnosis we saw things much clearer.

I do not take any ADHD meds. I have not found any that have really helped me without the side effects. So, I'm still asking my husband NOT to do the cleaning or the laundry because (I promise...) I'll get to it. But, the difference is that now he doesn't do it.

In additioin to the ADHD-friendly tips I've picked up here and there, what has helped us is my husband's understanding of ADHD. He knows how truly awful and guilty I feel when he does a task for me. For my self-esteem I simply asked him to allow me to get to it at my own time. If he feels he has to touch up the bathroom to keep the ants away, then he does. However, the major clean-up is left for me. He's also happy to take over all the task I absolutely hate to do.

Part of my problem, I think, was that I was worried that he would get to a task before I did. Now that I don't have to worry about that, I have found that I get to the task sooner. Funny, huh?

murried2
07-14-05, 12:25 PM
I know this thread is a little old but I just wanted to say how happy I was to realize that others are like me when it comes to cleaning the house.

Housework is torture for me. If theres one thing I can't stand it's cleaning the house. I will go on spells where I'll clean like one room and be totally hyperfocused on it but the rest of the house still looks like crap.

I also feel extremely guilty when my husband does the housework. I feel like I'm worthless and not doing my job. We both work full time, no kids, but 9 animals. It's not that I don't have time to clean, I just don't want to. I hate it. I don't think that he should have to do it all. Maybe I can talk him into a housekeeper:) . (unfortunately with all the recent impulse buying I've been doing we can't afford a housekeeper any time soon).

meadd823
07-15-05, 11:12 PM
OMG-----> and I thought I had it bad living with some one who is as cluttered as I am. We just maintain "special areas" of clutters.

Some times Gary's stuff gets out of hand. He had half of a 1949 Harry Fergerson tractor on our love seat for almost a year!!!! My limit was the tractor parts had to stay on his side of the living room if stuff flowed over to my side it went where I wanted. Did you know tractor parts can be stacked if placed just right to the ceiling but no further. After than they begin tumbling down. What to know how I know that!!!!


Tractor part collection has out grown livingroom!!!!!


I think if two people work two people can clean. Okay I am not a great house keeper. I don't like it "fithy" but cluttered as long as I can walk I can live with it!!!!!

I have always had a rule in my house. Should some thing dirty bother you the it becomes yours to clean!!!! I don't know if Gary cleans some thing I don't feel guilty however I work as well as he does!!!! I also know Gary shows his love by doing some thing he know I hate doing. I think understanding why he does chores that I usually do is one of the reason I do not feel guilty!!!!

LittleD1981
07-17-05, 01:51 PM
OMG, I can so relate to you all! Fortunately, for me, I'm single, so I don't have to worry about anybody else living in my dirty house. There's not so much clutter as it is just plain dirty. But house cleaning is TORTURE!!! I try SO hard to get started and I just can't. My most famous procrastination technique is to fill up the dish sink with scalding hot water and then wait for it to cool down to wash them. But, lo and behold, it cools down to the point where it's not even lukewarm anymore and the whole process starts again. I can do this for longer than a week.

Another downfall of mine is dusting...UGH! It's SO tedious and boring. I try to put music on and that sometimes helps, but it's the getting started that gets me. Often, once I start then I can do it okay, at least for a little while, but it's motivation that I lack. I always call myself lazy. I really DO want to clean the house, but I just can't seem to get there. It's soooo frustrating! Glad I'm not the only one!

Nucking_Futs
07-18-05, 07:32 AM
I sale Kirby's one of my favorite selling techniques is to show a woman how much time its going to save her. I ask her to dust a small room from ceiling to floor while I attack a much larger, more cluttered room. I have never had anyone get done before me simply because the Kirby turns into a two speed blower and I can cheat by blowing everything down from the ceiling to the floor; dust just flies off of pictures, walls and ceiling fans then I vacuum it up. In my own home I blow everything down once a week, dust the heavy furniture and then vacuum and I'm done within twenty minutes. :D :D

The one chore I hate is cleaning the fish tank if fish were as protected as dogs/cats by the human society I would be forbidden to own a fishtank. :rolleyes:

O' and cleaning the frig

and the stove

lmbo can you tell that I'm avoiding something right now? Like cleaning the fish tank. :p

sosninity
07-19-05, 12:31 AM
I lean more toward the not-clean-not-okay/clutter-okay.
I used to start in the morning, usually on a Saturday, and once I had cleaned one thing, I'd let my OCD take over until exhaustion set in. As I started to get worn out, I would push myself to do more while thinking that if I stopped now, it would never get done.

I'm not sure, but I think somewhere along the way I must have stopped, and now I know it will never be "done."

Helpful psycho hint:
When my 3rd daughter was a baby, I would tell myself, "Okay, I'll just clean the toilet." And often that was all I could manage before my energies were needed elsewhere. Then, maybe during a trip to the bathroom during her nap, the bathtub would get to me, and I'd clean it. If everyone was napping, I might do the whole bathroom and then wake everyone up vacuuming.

takemeaway
07-19-05, 07:57 AM
I can so relate to this dilemna,

the problem I am having is we are moving into a rented house Saturday for only a year, and how in the world do I keep the tile clean, I can only imagine what it will look like in a year, I don't know if it is plastic or ceramic? It is pretty, a green color, but I have no idea how to do that, and just the thought of keeping everything clean all the time in case we have company scares me to death!!!

I sort of get acclamated to my surroundings and block everything out so I don't even see it, in our house, we have been here 10 years, I don't see the dirt or the no curtains on the windows, I don't know why-so it is hard to fix what you don't see as broken, that will be hard in the new house too. And for bathtubs, how do you clean those? Oh now I am really scared. LORI

sosninity
07-19-05, 11:19 AM
There's a Mr. Clean product called Magic Eraser. It works with just water and rubbing (and wiping with a clean cloth or paper towel).
It might be a good place to start.

roseanne
12-11-06, 12:22 PM
Hi I just joined the forum. I was searching for housecleaning tips for women and found this site. I didn't know it was here or I would have been here a lot sooner. All of these posts describe me except for the nazi-organizing one. I have always had a problem with organizing, consistency, and being a complete mess. My husband hates our house the way it looks. My children say they feel like a slave although they don't always do what I ask and when they do its the minimum amount. Im always telling them take pride in your appearance and our house but in reality Im not capable of doing what I ask of them. I have one daughter with diagnosed ADD and she takes ritalin. Her school grades have come up from failing. My other daughter has undiagnosed OCD and probably ADD also she is 15 the other one is 11. I am wondering if I need to get checked for ADD and get on medication or not? I am currently on depression medicine for 2 years. Sometimes I think I was just born a lazy person or became one. I see all these well put together women and mom's and wish I could be like that. They talk about their "messy" homes..oh I forgot to start the dishwasher this morning..." yeah well I forgot to do the dishes for the last 5 years...ok that's an exaggeration...the 15 yo did the dishes yesterday.

Anyway, I need to see about getting some tips here or else I just need to burn the house down..and with Christmas coming...I have a beautiful tree that I put up..that's all I got done and I had to go buy all new ornaments because I couldn't get past the door in the shed. But thats all I got done that day. So I have this beautiful tree and stuff everywhere else that needs to be cleaned up. Help!!!! I'm going nuts.

Love,
Roseanne

roseanne
12-11-06, 12:26 PM
PS...I tried Fly Lady and think she'd be great for others but the emails overwhelmed me. I have tried making lists and charts...but where did I put them?

I finally got automatic bill pay on the computer to help keep them paid on time. I have the rest of the day free b/c its my day off. I look at my house and it makes me want to go to bed and hide under the covers. I work nights so my days are free to sleep and clean. I barely get supper done but I manage to do it because I can't starve my family after all. The hubby is good about help with supper so I can sleep. Someone motivate me today plez...I'd love to surprise the family with a clean house.

Kiisethwa
12-11-06, 02:51 PM
I hate clutter.

I like my house to be clean - but to save my sanity, we hire a maid service.

Why do I hate clutter? Bec. I get overwhelmed.

I can walk to the other end of the house to get some soap & see 2,375,233,098 things out of place.
Everyone else I live with can walk to the other end of the house & get the soap.

Thing is: I get soooooooo terribly stressed when I see all the little messes of clutter, things out of place, beds unmade, 2 or 3 dishes in the sink, etc etc etc.

I lash out at whoever's standing or sitting within earshot, then I go plop down on my bed (out of complete stress).

WHY do I do this???



PS: If I KNOW I need to clean the house of clutter, etc. I list each room on a piece of paper & TRY NOT TO LEAVE THAT ROOM until it's clean. That's the tough part bec. if I take a coat out of THAT room & take it to the coat closet, I see a toy in the kitchen, go put it in Aimee's room where I see dirty clothes on the floor, take them to the hamper in Alli's room where I see scotch tape on the floor, which I take to the kitchen trash, where I see a ruler on the counter, which I take to my office...what was it I was doing????? Oh YES!! Back to the room I was cleaning in the first place!

Get the picture?

roseanne
12-11-06, 03:25 PM
yes i do get the picture and im the same way except for the 2 or 3 dish thing. In the beginning it bothers me but then it get so out of hand i am able to tune it out and before i know it i have a mountainous amount of work that needs to be done. I don't do it because its overwhelming. it took me all day to clean the front entry way because i kept getting sidetracked..should have taken 30 minutes.

Kiisethwa
12-11-06, 03:40 PM
Sometimes I think that if I keep down the clutter - put things away as they come up - then the clutter-mountains won't happen & I won't get overwhelmed.

That's my THINKING anyway.

THEN, I bark at my husband saying, "AM I the ONLY one around here who sees this stuff?? Y'all walk by stuff all day long? DO you not SEE IT??" :( Poor hubby.

charonshanti
12-11-06, 04:48 PM
One suggestion... put on some music you love, set your kitchen timer for 10 minutes, dive in and make as much of a difference as you can in that 10 minutes. When that 10 minutes is done set it again.... when the timer goes off again, pat yourself on the back and decide if you want to do it again. If all you can handle is 1 minute, settle for that. It always amazes me how much I can do with just a few minutes and it usually inspires me to keep going.

The thing about the timer is that the work doesn't stretch endlessly forever on and on and on before you..... it's only 10 minutes. Or 20 minutes, or whatever interval you like best. And since you're trying to sprint thru that 20 minutes, it keeps you from getting distracted on detail work or organizing a closet or sitting down to read thru a mag before you throw it away....

It also helps to set aside a space for stuff you don't know what to do with. For me, a 'homeless' basket in each room and an 'aging' box for stuff I need more time to deal with works great, because it has a place to go til I'm ready to deal with it... I used to have a room for stuff I didn't know what else to do with. Then I had a closet. Now I have a few boxes..... but you can't expect to sort thru all of it now, and it will just get in your way and take up your energy if you don't have a temporary place to put it.

Kiisethwa
12-11-06, 06:12 PM
Wow - that's great info, Charon!!

EYEFORGOT
12-11-06, 06:19 PM
if I take a coat out of THAT room & take it to the coat closet, I see a toy in the kitchen, go put it in Aimee's room where I see dirty clothes on the floor, take them to the hamper in Alli's room where I see scotch tape on the floor, which I take to the kitchen trash, where I see a ruler on the counter, which I take to my office...what was it I was doing????? Oh YES!! Back to the room I was cleaning in the first place!

That's MY cleaning method. If I can't have the room clean at least I can have a little bit from every room that adds up to a whole room cleaned. Makes sense to me! lol

roseanne
12-11-06, 06:26 PM
Thanks Charon that is good. Will get a timer as soon as I remember to get one LOL!

Roseanne

charonshanti
12-11-06, 07:50 PM
That one is out of "ADD-friendly ways to organize your life" by Kolberg and Nadeau. That book completely changed the way I think about my organization / time management challenges, and helped me figure out all the ways ADD was sabotaging my best intentions.. really enlightening and practical, besides entertaining.

Kiisethwa
12-11-06, 09:51 PM
That's MY cleaning method. If I can't have the room clean at least I can have a little bit from every room that adds up to a whole room cleaned. Makes sense to me! lol
Cool!! Works for me, too, then!! LOL

roseanne
12-19-06, 08:25 AM
Hi just wanted to let you know I finally bit the bullet and came out of my fear of talking to the dr about my ADD. I was afraid she wouldn't believe me but I guess having an ADD daughter was good proof plus I was armed with a list of symptoms a mile long. She said she was proud of me because it looked like I thought this out a lot and was ready for a change. AMEN to that!! So...I am now on Ritalin (generic form) I started taking it yesterday afternoon because I had a party to go to and I was nervous as a cat about it. So between 3:30 and almost 7, I got two of my crochet projects finished that I had been putting off, I wrapped 4 presents and got ready for the party. All without freaking out or panicking about the time. I looked great, everyone at the party was nice and my husband had a great time.

Today will be my first full day with my medicine. I'm taking 10 mg. 1-2 pills 3Xday. She said if I didn't need the third dose I could skip it. I have it bad. My 11 yo daughter is mad at me because I told her that I passed it down to her. So I see some hope ahead.

Kiisethwa- I couldn't believe the difference. Especially when my medicine started wearing off towards the end of the company Christmas party and after I got home. I started fidgeting at the party and by the time I got home I was completely hyper and giggling with my teenage daughter. She said the times I'm going to be off my medicine I'm going to be worse than I was lol...oh well at least I feel in control now.

Maybe I can get this house cleaned up now! Wish me luck!!!!! And good luck to you with your dr. appt.

Love,
Roseanne

Jett
07-21-07, 11:13 PM
I hate clutter.

I like my house to be clean - but to save my sanity, we hire a maid service.

Why do I hate clutter? Bec. I get overwhelmed.

I can walk to the other end of the house to get some soap & see 2,375,233,098 things out of place.
Everyone else I live with can walk to the other end of the house & get the soap.

Thing is: I get soooooooo terribly stressed when I see all the little messes of clutter, things out of place, beds unmade, 2 or 3 dishes in the sink, etc etc etc.

I lash out at whoever's standing or sitting within earshot, then I go plop down on my bed (out of complete stress).

WHY do I do this???



PS: If I KNOW I need to clean the house of clutter, etc. I list each room on a piece of paper & TRY NOT TO LEAVE THAT ROOM until it's clean. That's the tough part bec. if I take a coat out of THAT room & take it to the coat closet, I see a toy in the kitchen, go put it in Aimee's room where I see dirty clothes on the floor, take them to the hamper in Alli's room where I see scotch tape on the floor, which I take to the kitchen trash, where I see a ruler on the counter, which I take to my office...what was it I was doing????? Oh YES!! Back to the room I was cleaning in the first place!

Get the picture?

Yea, I hear you loud and clear! I do that stuff too. It helps to get a piece of colorful paper, write down what you are supposed to be doing and hang it somewhere you know you will see it. A good place for me is the fridge because I go there often.

Jett
07-21-07, 11:18 PM
I hate housework! You make the beds, you do the dishes -- and six months later you have to start all over again. -- Joan Rivers







:D


Here is another joke.

This young woman just got married and one day she called her mother.
" James has started using these awful four letter words, the most awful words you could imagine." the young woman sobs.

" Oh, you poor dear, " the mother says. " What terrible four letter words is he using?"

" Words like wash, dust, and iron", she replied.

Guest1
09-03-07, 09:24 PM
its torture but is the only way you can keep your house cleaned is torture when my dad wakes me up early to clean it

piglet
09-11-07, 01:29 PM
I can be upbeat and feeling good about housework when -
1) someone is helping me and we're getting along and the hosuework becomes a bonding activity

or
2) I am alone in the house and I can turn the stereo up and that kicks me in the asters with some adrenaline.

I didn't find typeset large enough to really portray how much "up" I turn the stereo.:D