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Should a Stay at Home Mom Keep the House Clean?

Should a stay at home mom keep the house clean? I saw this question posed online and, as a stay at home, homeschooling mom of 5, I knew I had to tackle this one. Whether a stay-at-home mom (or dad) should keep the house clean largely depends on individual circumstances, family dynamics, and personal preferences. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.

Related:  My House is a Disgusting Mess; Cleaning Tips

To start, I’ll say that unless you’re living alone and are solely responsible for the mess, no you should absolutely not be the only one cleaning up.

There are lots of other factors to consider here and I think one of the most important things to realize is nothing will ever be truly 50/50.

For example, I am nursing our 5th baby much of the time.

While I cook almost all of our meals, my husband does most of the meal clean up while I’m nursing.

I do the lion’s share of the homeschooling, but it usually falls on my husband to help declutter our projects when we’re through with them.

Some more factors to consider:

Family Expectations: 

It’s essential to communicate with your partner and establish mutual expectations regarding household chores.

Every family has different dynamics, and what works for one may not work for another.

Does your spouse want a spotless house?

Or are you happy living with some clutter?

Having a clear understanding of realistic expectations is important.

Personal Preferences and Abilities: 

Some individuals enjoy and excel at maintaining a clean and organized home, while others may find it challenging or less of a priority.

It’s crucial to consider your own preferences, abilities, and mental well-being when deciding how to manage household chores.

I am absolutely terrible at house keeping.

I’ve learned out of necessity, but I didn’t see a clean, organized house growing up and had no idea how to accomplish providing one for my own family.

When I suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of our 2nd baby, I couldn’t take care of our house.

It was all I could do to take care of our kids all day. My husband did absolutely everything after work.

He did the laundry, the dishes, made most of the meals and was generally a rock star.

Do you know what happened next?

He got so burnt out that he needed to be treated for depression just like I was.

My point in opening up and telling strangers on the internet about this hard time in our lives is that mental well-being is hugely important in all things.

Tend to it as priority number one so you can take care of everything else more easily.

Time and Energy: 

Parenting, especially if there are young children involved, can be physically and emotionally demanding.

It’s essential to prioritize tasks based on available time and energy levels.

Support System: 

If possible, leverage support from family members or consider hiring outside help if keeping up with household chores becomes overwhelming.

I never did this and we don’t have any family nearby.

We never have throughout our 9 years of raising our kids.

We’ve made it through with just each other.

I’m not saying I recommend having no support system.

It’s definitely not for the faint of heart.

But if you absolutely have to make it without one, you can do it.

Modeling Behavior: 

For some families, maintaining a clean and organized home may be important for instilling discipline and responsibility in children.

In such cases, involving children in age-appropriate chores can be beneficial.

This is the case in our home.

As I said before, I never learned how to keep a clean house.

It didn’t occur to me to wipe down counters or even vacuum.

This was an embarrassing thing to have to learn as an adult.

Thank you Do It on a Dime on Youtube for having house cleaning for dummies videos that inspired me and started me down the right path!

I now include my kids in everything.

They help do the dishes, loading and unloading the dishwasher and washer and dryer.

They start our iRobot because we’re lucky enough to own one.

They wipe down windows.

They set the table and help clear it.

They sometimes get annoyed like everyone does, but learning to take care of your home is such an important part of growing up and entering adulthood.

One thing I’d like to point out here is something I learned in my own marriage.

We have actually had fights about the state of our house where my husband was frustrated that everything was so messy.

Once we both dug deeper into it, it ended up not being about the state of the house at all.

When things feel out of control, my husband’s way of feeling in control is to clean, declutter, and organize. (I know, I know. Sorry ladies, he’s all mine.)

This has, on more than one hilarious occasion, resulted in him over-decluttering his own clothes in trying to cope with how out of control our laundry situation is with 7 people living under one roof.

As in, we had to actually go buy him more clothes because he realized he’d donated things he 100% should have kept.

Ultimately, the division of household chores should be based on mutual respect, understanding, and consideration for each family member’s needs and capabilities. There’s no right or wrong way to manage household responsibilities, as long as it works for the individuals involved and promotes a healthy family dynamic. If you’re fighting about this in your own home, I encourage you to really figure out what the deeper issue is. Then, if your spouse has unrealistic expectations, address them with a firm grip on what you’re actually capable of. Keeping a spotless house with kids at home all day is simply not possible. Discuss this openly, keeping your side of the street clean. Meaning you don’t go slinging insults even if your spouse is being unrealistic.

mom cleaning the house