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If you were contemplating sending your toddler to a center, would you randomly just show up one day to see the place? Is that impolite?

 

I have the ongoing issue of not being able to manage my household and two kids. Dh wants me to get a FT job next school year and put both kids in school (which in his mind means paying tuition for two kids. The private school has a K3 class. Dd is 3). If my options are homeschool or pay tuition and deal with the headache of homework, transportation, and poor communication at the school, I might prefer to use a local daycare type option for dd.

 

The really good daycares/learning centers are out of town and cost a lot of money.

 

I'm just having the yearly, "oh crap, what do we do?" conversation with myself. Dh is sick of the house being a mess and said it's depressing him. Ironic because I was the one home all day suffering from depression and it seems like it took a while for it to kinda hit him. Now I'm on medication and I have been trying to declutter and I did buy a portable dishwasher, but it's still overwhelming and out of control. I've tried twice lately to take clothes to Once Upon a Child and they said it could take hours before they looked at them. I said I couldn't kill two hours waiting on that so I left with my stuff. The dishwasher doesn't allow the best loading and is small. Still better than nothing. Yes, we use paper plates for some stuff, but dd is obsessed with yogurt and I've been eating oatmeal daily lately so we go through bowls fast.

 

Dd is like a tornado and un-dos things I've just done so I get kinda "meh" about cleaning. Things do not all have a home which is a key problem to me. We just have too much stuff. Dh is taking on more and more at work lately (just got a promotion). I've started tutoring, but I don't know if it'll work out or not. I was hoping between his promotion and tutoring we could justify the child care. She is not 100% potty trained, so that also could be an issue with sending her somewhere. She wears pull-ups and goes in the potty a lot more lately, but sometimes still goes in her pull up. I have tried underwear and I don't want to deal with the accidents. I'm not really looking at suggestions for this, I've read a bunch. She's just stubborn.

 

I'm not opposed to working outside the house per se, but it's what would happen to the rest of the household that bothers me. Currently the kids do VT exercises with me daily. Ds needs a lot of scaffolding at times and last year was a nightmare with picking him up, homework, dinner, bathing and bedtime. He was so stressed and tired. Dd hated getting in the car 4 times a day for the travel. I just don't really want to repeat all that, but we can't keep going like this either. Dd is a huge distraction. She's also been messing with the cat constantly lately. I need to deal with the cat situation. I've decided it probably would be best to rehome her (ds' allergist suggested it).

 

How do you deal if you are in a similar boat? Did you make a chance? Did you regret it?

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Ok you have my issue, of letting perfect be the enemy of the good. You have to prioritize, and really what you do right now doesn't mean you have to do things that way forever.    So, my advice:  

OP, I am going to be very honest with you: it sounds like you and your husband are well on your way to being hoarders.   Hoarding is linked to anxiety, and your anxiety is coming through loud and cl

I'm remembering some past threads, and this thread also mentions how your husband treats you. Threatening to rip down curtains, and getting angry about shoes in the mudroom is a little over the top.

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I would just note that your house will stay neater if your kids are not there all day to mess it up.

 

What about trying daycare for your 3yo for a month or three while you get the house under control?

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I would just note that your house will stay neater if your kids are not there all day to mess it up.

 

What about trying daycare for your 3yo for a month or three while you get the house under control?

 

True!

 

Going out is hard on us with limited options and the concern of gas money but lately I've been going on walks with dd and ds can join us or stay in the library where dh works to read or do other independent work without distraction.

 

As for a trial thing, I do like that idea.

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This does sound like a temporary problem. Do you need the money of working? If not, can you stay home, do your tutoring, and use that money to pay for some cleaning help? Organizational help? A mother's helper?

 

I just put out the idea on my local mom's group I'm part of for us to rotate cleaning houses. No shame, no mess to big. A group of say 5-10 women (with their kids) cleaning, organizing, whatever is needed be that laundry, scrubbing floors, wiping fans, organizing closets or pantries, etc. The older kids can entertain the young ones or whatever. 

 

I'm looking forward to it. 

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For your first question:

 

Some daycares won't allow strangers to tour without a heads up.  Safety issues are part of that.  Disruption of the classroom without warning the teacher is another.  And so on.

 

I would call ahead.  Yes you want to see what is happening when they don't know a parent is coming but you don't know what their schedule is.  Call ahead and arrange an official tour.  Then once you have seen the facility you can decide if you got a good vibe or not.  If so, then maybe show up again later.  Show up with paperwork to drop off if you are thinking of a trial run and want to enroll her for a couple of months.  Then ask to look around again.

 

FWIW, my son thrived in our local day school.  It was run by a church we weren't members of at the time but it was a great experience for him.  He thrived.  He needed the structure and the interaction and the opportunity to play with lots of other kids and he truly THRIVED.  He is very verbal and was a very active child.  This gave me a break to work on the family business stuff and him a chance to get a lot of positive feedback and interaction from others.  I do not regret one iota enrolling him and am grateful he had that opportunity. 

 

But DD was also enrolled there and did not do as well.  Different child and different teachers.  DD didn't do well with all the stimulation and being separated from me.  She wasn't ready.  One set of her teachers were frankly not the best, either, and caused her to feel very insecure.  I had conferences with them.  I should have pulled her out but was a newbie parent and didn't listen to my gut.  

 

My point, I guess, is that you can try a day care or day school on a trial basis and see how she does.  If she thrives, great.  If not, then maybe that particular day care or school was a poor fit or maybe any of them would be but at least you have more solid information to go on instead of just guessing.

 

Hugs and good luck.

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My first thought is that if your DH finds the messy house so depressing, he should consider doing more cleaning himself.

 

That said, a half-day preschool would give you time to focus on cleaning. I would look for something in someone's home, rather than relying on not-so-great daycare centers.

 

We used one that was frankly fantastic--and subsidized for us as university students. We could not have afforded the tuition otherwise.

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Another thing you might consider is hiring someone to come in and help clean and declutter your house.  It can take time to find someone you are comfortable with and it can take even longer to develop a rapport but it can absolutely be a huge help.  It can help with depression as well.  I consider that a money saver.  Mental health is important.

 

I have a friend come in twice a month to help clean/declutter.  It is a real boost for us to be working together to get the house back in order.  She is awesome at cleaning and organizing and very easy to work with.  We do it as a team and it is amazing how much can get done with two people working as a team.  Well, 4 actually, since the kids pitch in, too.  Her being here helps us stay focused and get things done in an effective and timely manner.  It is well worth the money I spend because it keeps me feeling on top of things instead of overwhelmed, it keeps things manageable even on weeks she is not here, and it keeps the kids and DH feeling like they can pitch in and help without the task seeming insurmountable.  

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This does sound like a temporary problem. Do you need the money of working? If not, can you stay home, do your tutoring, and use that money to pay for some cleaning help? Organizational help? A mother's helper?

 

I just put out the idea on my local mom's group I'm part of for us to rotate cleaning houses. No shame, no mess to big. A group of say 5-10 women (with their kids) cleaning, organizing, whatever is needed be that laundry, scrubbing floors, wiping fans, organizing closets or pantries, etc. The older kids can entertain the young ones or whatever. 

 

I'm looking forward to it. 

 

In every scenario I have played out in my head in the past few years, no job would really warrant the cost and burden of enrolling the kids in school. So even if I could use the money, a huge chunk would go toward gas and tuition and it doesn't seem like it'd be worthwhile. If I worked, I would have to commute. I would spend money on gas. I would use the one car we have or a work vehicle, depending on the job (if I worked for dh's campus you can put in a vehicle request when they make you jump back and forth between campuses or whatnot). I did inherit a car, but it's not functioning and the one that does run is kinda due for a trade in. That has been suggested to us a couple of times.

 

Dh has offered to have someone clean, but honestly they couldn't clean because of all the clutter. I could fathom it if things were workable, but they aren't right now. I have tried dusting/wiping the ceiling fans before, but they are gunked on so badly (before we got here that's how they were). We did buy a new one for our bedroom after a freak accident where when dh was changing a box spring and trying to get the cat out of the room the thing fell and knocked off two blades (lol) but we haven't even installed it. I told him to take that class at Home Depot on ceiling fan installation. Someone at work told him it's super easy. We have a lot of things like that... projects that need addressed. Ds received a tv for Christmas 2 years ago. Dh decided to give ds our bedroom tv and installed the smaller one on our wall. But the larger one is still not mounted in ds' room and I don't know how to deal with that other than moving some furniture around and clearing the floor so he could work. I've asked dh to hang shelves for me. We have the wood and the brackets, but he hasn't done it yet. He even borrowed a circular saw that I drove around with in my trunk for weeks. If I knew how to do this stuff it would be done. It's also hard to do anything with dd home. She doesn't usually nap and I usually have to go to bed when she does and get up when she gets up unless I deprive myself of sleep. I got myself some command strips and hung up an old small Target shelf I had for ds to keep his pens/pencils on a few days ago. I was sick of waiting for a shelf and I know without a lot of weight the command strips will be sufficient.

 

I really just want to take a bunch of classes and become my own handyman lol.

 

I have laundry baskets of clean clothes and bedding and feel like I don't have the space for some of it. Our futon bit the dust. It was the only queen size item we still owned. I think I'm going to ask MIL if she wants the queen size sheets/comforter.

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My first thought is that if your DH finds the messy house so depressing, he should consider doing more cleaning himself.

 

That said, a half-day preschool would give you time to focus on cleaning. I would look for something in someone's home, rather than relying on not-so-great daycare centers.

 

We used one that was frankly fantastic--and subsidized for us as university students. We could not have afforded the tuition otherwise.

 

He tries to clean here and there, but some days he's so exhausted. One day his week he ended up having to work a double because his coworker was out. The other day he said he'd do some dishes and finish filling up the dishwasher. When I got up in the morning everything was how I'd left it the day before. I can't seem to keep dd occupied unless I turn on a TV show and I'm trying to get away from the screens. Yesterday I came home with the kids and threw together some dinner and dd grabbed a bunch of spices and spilled some black pepper. They were only there because the place where I keep the spices is overflowing and dh is going to install a shelf to help with the overflow. I just don't do well multi-tasking. Trying to do any chore, she seems to make a new mess. If she's playing play-doh she's instructed to leave it in a certain area and to clean it up. She refuses so I've thrown out almost all the play doh recently. I'm not going to buy more anytime soon. I can't leave her alone with any markers/pens because she will draw on furniture, herself or the wall. After repeatedly being told not to do that. I just picked up some magic erasers the other day to deal with that. Lately she runs into the mudroom and plays with the cat's food/water dishes and then denies it when we notice the mess. I just bought some hook/eye locks and plan to put them on some of the doors to keep her out.

 

 

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The other thing about decluttering is getting it from point A to B. For example, I have a friend willing to take the baby bathtub, but I have to find a time we can meet to get it out of here. No, people won't come to my house. I live in the boonies. So I try to combine trips. When I'm in the city I will drop off things here and there, but usually have kids with me so it's not ideal to make trips to places like Goodwill or the consignment store. I have dropped off items at a church before as well, but again, it's a hassle. Arrange it and have someone unlock parish hall.

 

Dh is much quicker to toss things in the garbage and I have a lot of guilt. I don't want to throw old toys in the garbage if they are perfectly good. I want to wipe them down and remove batteries and sell or donate. I just take forever to get things done. He did drag an old box spring and chair to the carport but it's been there for many months. Now what? I think that someone was supposed to haul it to a dump for us?? Now what to do with this busted futon? I don't think you can just throw in the garbage and frankly it wouldn't fit I don't think. It is a spring coiled futon. Cushion ripped, springs popped out, I tried to reseal it. Futon frame cracked (wood). What to do with all this??? We need a new couch but I'd like to just get rid of this and rehome the cat before bringing new furniture home.

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I made huge changes this fall. I spent more time being anxious about them than was warranted, iykwim.

 

1. Rehome the cat

2. Leave the clothes at Once Upon a Time while they sort through, pick them up later. Drop them off/pick up at times convenient to you.

3. Try daycare or preschool until May. Use the time to get life back in order. Re-evaluate then. You’ll have more data to decide what to do about fall.

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Honestly you sound rather depressed and overwhelmed. Instead of hiring a cleaner, see if you can find someone who specializes in de-cluttering and organizing. A lot of times they can hang shelves or they know someone they can contract out to get those tasks all finished up. Don't worry about someone 'seeing' your house in the state that it is in. These people see a lot of chaos and disorganization in all their jobs. That is how they have a niche business!

 

It's good that you are trying to get your depression under control, but my guess is the house is a symptom of it as well. You may need some professional help there so I would look around and see if you can find someone that specializes in decluttering. When it starts to feel overwhelming and debilitating and it causes problems in the household every day it is time to seek help.

 

As for the kids are there any school options that include transportation?

Edited by CaliforniaDreaming
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Is it possible to get one of those big garbage bins that they drop in your driveway and then come and pick up a week later?  IN the meantime you just chuck everything that is trash - like the mattresses and futon - into it.  You might also look and see if there is someone that will pick up large lots of stuff that might be usable and do the sorting themselves.  Usually you have to pay for this unless you have a lot of valuable stuff like scrap metal, but it isn't necessarily expensive.

 

That might give you a lot more room and make organizing easier.

 

I'd think about trying just the daycare and do some organizing then.  I'd also seriously consider learning to put up shelves or hiring someone to do that stuff for you.  If you had the space created you could probably fire a guy for half a day or a day and get a lot of those little jobs like tvs and spice racks done.  Though I'd be thinking seriously about things like - do you need tvs in bedrooms?  How many spices do you really need?  

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Ok you have my issue, of letting perfect be the enemy of the good. You have to prioritize, and really what you do right now doesn't mean you have to do things that way forever. 

 

So, my advice:

 

Spend 3 weeks trying to really declutter. Maybe even 2 weeks. 

 

During this time buy paper plates and paper bowls and plastic forks and spoons. That will help tremendously. It really does. Eat a lot of sandwiches, apples, etc, easy food. This is not forever. Your children will not develop rickets nor scurvy in two weeks. Your environment will not degrade from two weeks of paper/plastic nor will you go bankrupt. Shut that voice down. It's temporary. 

 

Get black garbage bags and fill them up with stuff you don't need or want. Do NOT try to sort. Do NOT try to sell. Just fill them up and then when full put them immediately in the car. Then drive them to Goodwill or whatever thrift store has a drive through drop off area, or one where they come out to the car. GET RID OF IT. You can sell stuff later, right now the bigger priority is gettin rid of stuff. You'll do better in the future. JUST GET RID OF IT.

 

Throw the rest away.

 

Then hire a cleaner to come do the actual cleaning. 

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I made huge changes this fall. I spent more time being anxious about them than was warranted, iykwim.

 

1. Rehome the cat

2. Leave the clothes at Once Upon a Time while they sort through, pick them up later. Drop them off/pick up at times convenient to you.

3. Try daycare or preschool until May. Use the time to get life back in order. Re-evaluate then. You’ll have more data to decide what to do about fall.

 

They would only let me leave and pick up the next day. But I'm not usually making two city trips back to back. I'll have to time it better. Like do it on a day where I know I'll be in town longer. At that point in time I had to go to the bank and head home to throw together dinner before going to tutor.

 

 

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Honestly, I've found Goodwill super easy to work with even with kids,  You just drive up, they come out and unload whatever you tell them and you are gone.  Like it's an under 3 minute stop and the kids don't even have to get out.  Also I've learned that the great majority of time it is not worth it to sell anything nor is it worth it to give it to friends.  Yes it's nice to help people with stuff they could use but when you are overwhelmed with stuff the #1 priority has to be to get stuff out as quickly as possible (because otherwise it grows legs and mixes back in with your other things).

 

I've worked on the decluttering thing for over 4 years because I could only find small bits of time but even though my house isn't great on a daily basis, we can have every room in the house company ready in an hour.  I never dreamed that it was possible but I just had to make decluttering a priority and work it in wherever possible (and then dump those items in whatever manner got it out of the house fastest).

 

I do think you could benefit from some help to get the ball rolling.  Even with the projects hanging over your head, surely there are other areas that a declutter/organizer could help you improve.  Once you get the ball rolling to make space, its easier to keep going.

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Do you have any relatives that could hep you by watching the dc as you get your spring cleaning done?

 

No. I tried doing something like this once. Last March dh went on spring break with the kids to my in-law's. I stayed here (no car) and worked on the house. I literally could not leave except for the ride I arranged to get to Mass. I made a lot of progress on the mudroom and did some organizing of the pile of DVDs by putting them in DVD containers (they are discontinued at Best Buy but still sell them at the container store. They look like mini hanging files). Within a short time of everyone returning home the mudroom was trashed again, etc.

 

I made huge changes this fall. I spent more time being anxious about them than was warranted, iykwim.

 

1. Rehome the cat

2. Leave the clothes at Once Upon a Time while they sort through, pick them up later. Drop them off/pick up at times convenient to you.

3. Try daycare or preschool until May. Use the time to get life back in order. Re-evaluate then. You’ll have more data to decide what to do about fall.

 

Thanks. I do need to follow a list like this.

 

Honestly you sound rather depressed and overwhelmed. Instead of hiring a cleaner, see if you can find someone who specializes in de-cluttering and organizing. A lot of times they can hang shelves or they know someone they can contract out to get those tasks all finished up. Don't worry about someone 'seeing' your house in the state that it is in. These people see a lot of chaos and disorganization in all their jobs. That is how they have a niche business!

 

It's good that you are trying to get your depression under control, but my guess is the house is a symptom of it as well. You may need some professional help there so I would look around and see if you can find someone that specializes in decluttering. When it starts to feel overwhelming and debilitating and it causes problems in the household every day it is time to seek help.

 

As for the kids are there any school options that include transportation?

 

Yes, I would like that, but I have no idea where to look?? Angie's list?? I mean I'm rural, so I don't know their radius.

 

Is it possible to get one of those big garbage bins that they drop in your driveway and then come and pick up a week later?  IN the meantime you just chuck everything that is trash - like the mattresses and futon - into it.  You might also look and see if there is someone that will pick up large lots of stuff that might be usable and do the sorting themselves.  Usually you have to pay for this unless you have a lot of valuable stuff like scrap metal, but it isn't necessarily expensive.

 

That might give you a lot more room and make organizing easier.

 

I'd think about trying just the daycare and do some organizing then.  I'd also seriously consider learning to put up shelves or hiring someone to do that stuff for you.  If you had the space created you could probably fire a guy for half a day or a day and get a lot of those little jobs like tvs and spice racks done.  Though I'd be thinking seriously about things like - do you need tvs in bedrooms?  How many spices do you really need?  

 

I'm not sure how that works with garbage. :/ We had the TV discussion before... we were not on the same page. At this point I'm like just hang it up so it's not on a TV stand. That takes up less room. We would enforce rules for the TV. It would only operate with the fire stick which would not be fair game all day.

 

Ok you have my issue, of letting perfect be the enemy of the good. You have to prioritize, and really what you do right now doesn't mean you have to do things that way forever. 

 

So, my advice:

 

Spend 3 weeks trying to really declutter. Maybe even 2 weeks. 

 

During this time buy paper plates and paper bowls and plastic forks and spoons. That will help tremendously. It really does. Eat a lot of sandwiches, apples, etc, easy food. This is not forever. Your children will not develop rickets nor scurvy in two weeks. Your environment will not degrade from two weeks of paper/plastic nor will you go bankrupt. Shut that voice down. It's temporary. 

 

Get black garbage bags and fill them up with stuff you don't need or want. Do NOT try to sort. Do NOT try to sell. Just fill them up and then when full put them immediately in the car. Then drive them to Goodwill or whatever thrift store has a drive through drop off area, or one where they come out to the car. GET RID OF IT. You can sell stuff later, right now the bigger priority is gettin rid of stuff. You'll do better in the future. JUST GET RID OF IT.

 

Throw the rest away.

 

Then hire a cleaner to come do the actual cleaning. 

 

What does Goodwill do if you drop off toys and they have batteries in them? Do they go through them? I just worry I'm doing it all wrong, like throwing shirts with stains in a bag.

 

At the same time this sounds LOVELY lol.

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Why did you want to homeschool? I mean, what are your values/priorities around the kids' education? I wouldn't be quick to drop it over temporary problems - next year the 3 year old will be 4 etc.

 

In fact, if you are supposed to work, have you discussed the logistics of that? If you're working 9-5 how will the kids get to/from school and be supervised? If you're working, you won't have time for cleaning and decluttering.

 

Is your mental health under control now? Does getting out of the house more often or going to work seem like something that would help your depression? (Some people just don't thrive at home!)

 

I wouldn't feel guilty about just chucking stuff. I know it's not the ideal, but you're running on survival mode right now. I would start keeping a box or two in the boot of my car and just fill them with junk during the week. Then they're already packed in the car the next time I go past the donation box or dump.

I call it 'find the bottlenecks' - where do things start falling apart and why? For example, books not getting put away? What do I need to make that happen? Maybe purge some books/buy new bookshelf/rearrange storage to be more efficient etc. When your house works then things will be easier to keep on top of. Walk around your house and make a list. Then take some time to think about solutions to the things on your list.

 

I would take a week or two from school and ask a friend to come and help me. I'd provide food as a thank you (something like delivered pizza that doesn't require re messing up anything) send all the kids outside to play (check outside for bottlenecks first!)

 

I'm not a naturally tidy or energetic or minimalist person. I have to deal with reality, if an item doesn't have an easily put away home then I just won't put it away.

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Reading your posts I keep thinking:

 

Just do one thing.

 

Then when you have energy again, do one more thing.

 

You are letting thoughts of "all the things" mess with your ability to just do one more thing.

 

It took time for your house to get like that.  It's gonna take time for it to get back to neat.

 

(I totally agree with getting cleaning help, but whether you do that or not, the above applies.  :) )

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If you were contemplating sending your toddler to a center, would you randomly just show up one day to see the place? Is that impolite?

 

 

 

I don't know if it is impolite, but when my oldest was about 3 years old, I contemplated preschool/daycare. I dropped by a neighborhood daycare just before lunch. The kids were in a circle on the floor, watching tv. That was the first red flag for me.

 

The second red flag was that there were two teachers in the room, but the second teacher was way in the back of the room, minding her own tiny baby while the kids were watching tv and the other teacher was setting up lunch.

 

ETA

 

I forgot one thing. My kid wasn't fully potty trained at the time, and the daycare said that they do potty training.

Edited by RosemaryAndThyme
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Ok you have my issue, of letting perfect be the enemy of the good. You have to prioritize, and really what you do right now doesn't mean you have to do things that way forever. 

 

So, my advice:

 

Spend 3 weeks trying to really declutter. Maybe even 2 weeks. 

 

During this time buy paper plates and paper bowls and plastic forks and spoons. That will help tremendously. It really does. Eat a lot of sandwiches, apples, etc, easy food. This is not forever. Your children will not develop rickets nor scurvy in two weeks. Your environment will not degrade from two weeks of paper/plastic nor will you go bankrupt. Shut that voice down. It's temporary. 

 

Get black garbage bags and fill them up with stuff you don't need or want. Do NOT try to sort. Do NOT try to sell. Just fill them up and then when full put them immediately in the car. Then drive them to Goodwill or whatever thrift store has a drive through drop off area, or one where they come out to the car. GET RID OF IT. You can sell stuff later, right now the bigger priority is gettin rid of stuff. You'll do better in the future. JUST GET RID OF IT.

 

Throw the rest away.

 

Then hire a cleaner to come do the actual cleaning. 

 

I agree with this.  When I was struggling early on, it was because I was letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.  

 

It wasn't until I embraced the "something done imperfectly is better than nothing done at all" that I really got a handle on things.

 

The only thing I would add is:

 

1.  See about renting a dumpster or similar while you declutter so you can ditch the huge stuff.

2.  See if you can hire a handyman to hang the shelves and install the fan and do any other little things you need around the house.

 

Don't worry about making the best choice for everything, just make the easiest right now.  It's okay.  It really, actually is.

 

ETA:  I also wanted to say that you can do this.  It seems insurmountable right now, but you can do it.  It's hard when you have a whirlwind, and you can feel like Sisyphus, but you can do it.  

 

 

Edited by JudoMom
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Goodwill takes everything, no questions.

 

Sounds like you could equally benefit from a handyman to do some of the jobs your dh can't get to (ceiling fan, t.v., spice shelf, etc) ask around asking your neighbors, there is always somebody, or somebody will know somebody. Our your church.

 

Figure out what the mess is in the mud room and address that by adapting to it. Is it a mess because coats are piled up? Add kid-height hooks. Shoes dumped? Maybe a door tray to contain them and the mess.

 

You sounds a bit underwater. ((Hugs))

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What does Goodwill do if you drop off toys and they have batteries in them? Do they go through them? I just worry I'm doing it all wrong, like throwing shirts with stains in a bag.

 

At the same time this sounds LOVELY lol.

I dropped off toys with batteries, I can't imagine why that would be a problem.  And yes they sort everything before it goes on the shelves. I won't send obviously broken toys but stained clothes they just sell as bulk fibers so you don't even have to sort clothes, just chuck it all in the bag and be done with it.

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What does Goodwill do if you drop off toys and they have batteries in them? Do they go through them? I just worry I'm doing it all wrong, like throwing shirts with stains in a bag.

 

At the same time this sounds LOVELY lol.

 

They go through it all. And stuff with stains gets turned into filling and such. Just DO IT. That voice that says you are doing it wrong, so you don't start? That's not the voice to listen to. Shut that voice down. 

 

I do NOT list things on facebook to give away, or sell, or whatever. Get rid of it. 

 

Those tv stands? Put that in your garage if you have one. Let DH get to it when he gets to it, in the meantime it is no longer cluttering up your house. 

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This sounds more like a temporary phase in life and you just aren't getting the support you need. Before you turn your whole life upside down to go back to work, you and your DH need to decide who is doing pickup and drop off, getting kids up in the morning, making lunches and dinners, etc. also, who is going to stay home with any sick children. Somehow I have a feeling that would all fall in your shoulders.

 

When my kids were that age, I hired a mothers helper to keep the kids occupied a couple hours a week so that I could just keep the house manageable. Is that a possibility? Otherwise, maybe you could hire a stay at home mom to come over with her kids to occupy yours so that you can regroup.

 

Honestly, it sounds like you just have too much stuff. First decide that you will not purchase anything else unless you desperately need the item. Then declutter. Start with clothes - dump a drawer, get rid of things you or the kids don't wear and put away the clean folded clothes. Then work through each room starting with the rooms you use most and do a quick first pass. Toss the easy stuff and make a list of things you need help with - long enough list, hire a handyman.

 

The reason your mudroom project failed is that unless it's easy for people to put things away, it's easier to throw items on the floor. Make a home for everything and require that the kids put everything away - I won't bring my kids to their afternoon activities until my house is decent. If that means they are a couple minutes late, so be it.

Edited by Jkacz
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In every scenario I have played out in my head in the past few years, no job would really warrant the cost and burden of enrolling the kids in school. So even if I could use the money, a huge chunk would go toward gas and tuition and it doesn't seem like it'd be worthwhile. If I worked, I would have to commute. I would spend money on gas. I would use the one car we have or a work vehicle, depending on the job (if I worked for dh's campus you can put in a vehicle request when they make you jump back and forth between campuses or whatnot). I did inherit a car, but it's not functioning and the one that does run is kinda due for a trade in. That has been suggested to us a couple of times.

 

Dh has offered to have someone clean, but honestly they couldn't clean because of all the clutter. I could fathom it if things were workable, but they aren't right now. I have tried dusting/wiping the ceiling fans before, but they are gunked on so badly (before we got here that's how they were). We did buy a new one for our bedroom after a freak accident where when dh was changing a box spring and trying to get the cat out of the room the thing fell and knocked off two blades (lol) but we haven't even installed it. I told him to take that class at Home Depot on ceiling fan installation. Someone at work told him it's super easy. We have a lot of things like that... projects that need addressed. Ds received a tv for Christmas 2 years ago. Dh decided to give ds our bedroom tv and installed the smaller one on our wall. But the larger one is still not mounted in ds' room and I don't know how to deal with that other than moving some furniture around and clearing the floor so he could work. I've asked dh to hang shelves for me. We have the wood and the brackets, but he hasn't done it yet. He even borrowed a circular saw that I drove around with in my trunk for weeks. If I knew how to do this stuff it would be done. It's also hard to do anything with dd home. She doesn't usually nap and I usually have to go to bed when she does and get up when she gets up unless I deprive myself of sleep. I got myself some command strips and hung up an old small Target shelf I had for ds to keep his pens/pencils on a few days ago. I was sick of waiting for a shelf and I know without a lot of weight the command strips will be sufficient.

 

I really just want to take a bunch of classes and become my own handyman lol.

 

I have laundry baskets of clean clothes and bedding and feel like I don't have the space for some of it. Our futon bit the dust. It was the only queen size item we still owned. I think I'm going to ask MIL if she wants the queen size sheets/comforter.

 

 

For gunked on stuff on ceiling fans, I spray liberally with whatever spray I have, let soak, scrub off with sponge, rinse sponge, spray again, etc. until it is gone.  It takes a while but then is easy to maintain.

 

For the ceiling fan, if it involves electricity I'd probably see what it costs to have someone come do it, but I might look it up on youtube and decide it's possible.  For hanging the TV and the shelves, you can totally do that by looking up how online or on youtube.  If your DH doesn't want to do it when he is home from work, and you must sleep as much as DD (do you sleep a lot or does she sleep a little?) and DS can't watch her for 15 minutes in a safe room with a tv show on, just do it when your DH is home.  Say, "Hey, glad you're home!  I looked up how to install the TV/hang the shelves/ clean the ceiling fan and I think I can do it in half an hour or so, just make sure DD doesn't destroy too many things." Done.

 

For Once Upon A Time, can you just drop it off and pick it up a different day?  Or give it all to Goodwill, or for free on craigslist?  If you're not using it anyway, you would do better to just get it out of the house, rather than waiting to make $10 in trade credit or whatever.

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He tries to clean here and there, but some days he's so exhausted. One day his week he ended up having to work a double because his coworker was out. The other day he said he'd do some dishes and finish filling up the dishwasher. When I got up in the morning everything was how I'd left it the day before. I can't seem to keep dd occupied unless I turn on a TV show and I'm trying to get away from the screens. Yesterday I came home with the kids and threw together some dinner and dd grabbed a bunch of spices and spilled some black pepper. They were only there because the place where I keep the spices is overflowing and dh is going to install a shelf to help with the overflow. I just don't do well multi-tasking. Trying to do any chore, she seems to make a new mess. If she's playing play-doh she's instructed to leave it in a certain area and to clean it up. She refuses so I've thrown out almost all the play doh recently. I'm not going to buy more anytime soon. I can't leave her alone with any markers/pens because she will draw on furniture, herself or the wall. After repeatedly being told not to do that. I just picked up some magic erasers the other day to deal with that. Lately she runs into the mudroom and plays with the cat's food/water dishes and then denies it when we notice the mess. I just bought some hook/eye locks and plan to put them on some of the doors to keep her out.

 

We don't own play-dough, or markers, or pens.  We hook-eye a lot of doors.  All spices are on the very top shelves.

 

Sounds like you have one of those kids who requires a lot of child-proofing and will for some time.  I have a couple of those and so we have a very baby-proofed house.  We don't own much because clutter x 6 kids is not happy, and I don't have a lot of time for cleaning; we don't own many things that they could make messes with or that are dangerous if they should happen to find them.  In return for this sparseness of possessions, they have a lot of freedom.

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A few thoughts, now that I have re-read through:

 

1. Organizing your stuff doesn't solve the problem of having too much stuff.  My house is much tidier because I purged out half of the stuff I owned in 2015, and I just got done doing another serious purge again.  A certain family member made growly noises when I began the purge in 2015 but felt much better after realizing how much more open our house felt.  Our house became much easier to clean.  

 

Begin with one bag. Fill it.  Put it in the back of your vehicle.  Start another bag. Fill it. Put it in the back of your vehicle. Don't let your stuff pile up in the house.  Every time you go to town, dump out the back of your van.  I did this, week after week after week. It took most of 2015.  

 

2. When you dirty a dish, put it in the dishwasher.  If it doesn't fit, run the dishwasher then, rinse it out, and stack it in the sink.  Empty the dishwasher when it finishes, and load the dirty dishes directly in afterwards.  We run our dishwasher 3x a day....which makes sense because I cook and feed 5-6 people 3x a day.  I've never understood the use disposable dishes issue---it just fills the trashcan and then I run out of room in the trashcan before trash day. If you burn your trash or have unlimited can pickup, that's a different scenario.  

 

3. Make a list of your handyman projects. Tape it to the fridge.  When dh is in a good mood, ask when he has two hours to take care of the first one on the list. Put that on the calendar. Hold to that scheduled time. Repeat.  My current list is about 34 items long, because we just moved. Dh knocked out 4 things on my list in a few hours last Saturday: hanging a permanent drying rack above my washer, repositioning curtain rods, assembling a mirror on a dresser, and finding an adapter to put a computer onto our wifi system.  This Saturday's list has about four things also, that I think will take about 2 hours. (This reminds me, I need to buy some hand towel holders so that we can move forward.)  If you find that he never finds time to do things, mention that it doesn't seem like a priority for him, and ask him what he thinks about how to handle the situation. 

 

I have some high maintenance children in the mix.  It's very easy to get caught in their whirlwind and just trying to survive the day.    I suspect that moving forward on SOMETHING (pick a thing that drives you the most crazy!) will help breakup the logjam and get you into moving forward again.

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In every scenario I have played out in my head in the past few years, no job would really warrant the cost and burden of enrolling the kids in school. So even if I could use the money, a huge chunk would go toward gas and tuition and it doesn't seem like it'd be worthwhile. If I worked, I would have to commute. I would spend money on gas. I would use the one car we have or a work vehicle, depending on the job (if I worked for dh's campus you can put in a vehicle request when they make you jump back and forth between campuses or whatnot). I did inherit a car, but it's not functioning and the one that does run is kinda due for a trade in. That has been suggested to us a couple of times.

 

Dh has offered to have someone clean, but honestly they couldn't clean because of all the clutter. I could fathom it if things were workable, but they aren't right now. I have tried dusting/wiping the ceiling fans before, but they are gunked on so badly (before we got here that's how they were). We did buy a new one for our bedroom after a freak accident where when dh was changing a box spring and trying to get the cat out of the room the thing fell and knocked off two blades (lol) but we haven't even installed it. I told him to take that class at Home Depot on ceiling fan installation. Someone at work told him it's super easy. We have a lot of things like that... projects that need addressed. Ds received a tv for Christmas 2 years ago. Dh decided to give ds our bedroom tv and installed the smaller one on our wall. But the larger one is still not mounted in ds' room and I don't know how to deal with that other than moving some furniture around and clearing the floor so he could work. I've asked dh to hang shelves for me. We have the wood and the brackets, but he hasn't done it yet. He even borrowed a circular saw that I drove around with in my trunk for weeks. If I knew how to do this stuff it would be done. It's also hard to do anything with dd home. She doesn't usually nap and I usually have to go to bed when she does and get up when she gets up unless I deprive myself of sleep. I got myself some command strips and hung up an old small Target shelf I had for ds to keep his pens/pencils on a few days ago. I was sick of waiting for a shelf and I know without a lot of weight the command strips will be sufficient.

 

I really just want to take a bunch of classes and become my own handyman lol.

 

I have laundry baskets of clean clothes and bedding and feel like I don't have the space for some of it. Our futon bit the dust. It was the only queen size item we still owned. I think I'm going to ask MIL if she wants the queen size sheets/comforter.

You need to get rid of some stuff. Go through the clothes first and give most of them away. Give the queen bedding away. You don't want to have to send your kid to preschool because of stuff. It's just things. Get rid of big toys and toys with lots of parts. Be brutal. And if I read that dh is working from home, he can help with his children during his breaks.
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FWIW, I've totally seen mental illness "spread" within a family, as one partner helps the hurting partner and then finally collapses under the strain. So I do think you need to take your husband's depression seriously.

 

Secondly, I had a friend in a similar situation who got cockroaches and realized that they were likely to be evicted if they didn't deal with their clutter. She ended up throwing away about 3/4 of a dumpster full of stuff. She later told me, "I never realized how easy vacuuming is if you don't have a mountain of stuff you have to move first." She said she only managed her clutter (she called it a "hoarder's intervention") because she realized how big the consequences were. Her thought processes were very similar to yours, letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. 

 

Do you have a friend who could help you stay on task? A family member? Can you set a timer and deal with stuff? Tell yourself, "No one really wants this" and then throw it away. It's like throwing food away: I can eat it (and store it as fat, which isn't good for me) or toss it (which is less bad). Both are wasteful, but one harms me more.

 

Emily

 

 

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No. I tried doing something like this once. Last March dh went on spring break with the kids to my in-law's. I stayed here (no car) and worked on the house. I literally could not leave except for the ride I arranged to get to Mass. I made a lot of progress on the mudroom and did some organizing of the pile of DVDs by putting them in DVD containers (they are discontinued at Best Buy but still sell them at the container store. They look like mini hanging files). Within a short time of everyone returning home the mudroom was trashed again, etc.

 

 

Thanks. I do need to follow a list like this.

 

 

Yes, I would like that, but I have no idea where to look?? Angie's list?? I mean I'm rural, so I don't know their radius.

 

 

I'm not sure how that works with garbage. :/ We had the TV discussion before... we were not on the same page. At this point I'm like just hang it up so it's not on a TV stand. That takes up less room. We would enforce rules for the TV. It would only operate with the fire stick which would not be fair game all day.

 

 

What does Goodwill do if you drop off toys and they have batteries in them? Do they go through them? I just worry I'm doing it all wrong, like throwing shirts with stains in a bag.

 

At the same time this sounds LOVELY lol.

They have workers who take care of sorting and cleaning. Put it all in big black bags and drop.it.off. It's like a weight off.
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Gently OP, you are letting self imposed rules hamstring you. Start putting stuff in bags for donation and stiff in bags for trash. You can just drop donation bags off at the Goodwill. They sort the stuff. Fill your car. Make a trip on the weekend.

 

I highly recommend the 40 bags in 40 days Facebook group. You can start anytime. 

 

I also think some part time care for your daughter (preschool, daycare, whatever) will help you gain some peace of mind and give you time to start filling bags.

 

Just start. Pick one room and dig in.

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For the spices -- yes we have too much stuff probably but mostly it's because dh purchased it. I'm the guilty party of the section of items that are baking (gels, sprinkles) near the spices, but most of that stuff he bought. I am not the real cook here, but I've been doing a lot more meals lately. He did toss some stuff from the fridge lately and I was super grateful. Our fridge is way more manageable now. I just don't always feel confident to go through those things because it's stuff he bought or canned. I do need to make a list and when he's home address stuff on the list. "ie. do we need all these spices? Can I toss this thing in the fridge I've never opened?"

 

We do need to get rid of stuff. Definitely. The mudroom clutter is so random but takes up space. He tossed several baby gates in there. A metal one, a couple pressure mounted ones, and a big plastic play enclosure. There's also a baby swing that has a loud motor. I know if someone got a new motor it would be fine. But maybe I should just put it out at the curb??

 

The DVDs... those are almost all entirely dh's. We've had talks about them. We still have some VHS tapes here. Also mostly his. A few that belong to the kids. We used to have a VHS player set up. Still have the player in a closet. I wasn't sure if we were ever going to let dd operate it or not. We mostly watch digital film and we stopped buying hard copies. Everything is rented from the library or comes from Amazon, Netflix, etc. I think dh has a hard time letting them go... his collection is massive. His parents have a bin in their attic of the cardboard cases for some of his box sets. He's a movie buff.

 

The kitchen stuff - a lot of that is also dh's. I asked him if we could get rid of stuff and he boxed some up and moved it or intended to move it to the carport workshop. Well, right now we have a couple bins sitting in the hallway that came down from the attic. Would be really hard to get back up there. Christmas bin or two, end table we're not using. Magazine racks from the broken futon that I asked dh to hang as bookbins on the walls. I'm not even sure what you would need to hang it, as it was not built for that.

 

As for trash pick up, I have two cans (long story). So at least we can use the second when we need it. Trash pick up is weekly.

 

I do like to think this is a temporary phase and I worry that I'd regret putting them in school. Dd is an eager learner and at some point she will probably calm down and be a great student. Right now she does some "school" with me and has picked up a lot.

 

Dh believes we could get ds on a school bus (we did our own transportation because the school offered a van which was unsafe given the issues with seatbelts and number of passengers). They did offer a yellow school bus to some of the upper grades shortly after I complained... (coincidence?). But yeah, I don't know and don't want to hold my breath. Ds doesn't really want to go to b&m school but can be difficult to work with at home. He's much better now than he used to be. The school doesn't offer any support for attention issues and such, which he may have. I've been going back and forth with the school for some time trying to sort out some stuff so I can meet with the psychologist to review the teacher feedback form. Chances are it won't shed much light on how he was in class, but it may. He was very disorganized and I guess I worry he'd flounder back at the private school with paperwork etc. And I'm not driving to the school to pick up missing books! I used to sit outside and say, "do you have such n such?? Ok go back inside and get it." He'd say he always felt rushed to pack up his stuff when school was over. If he has to catch a bus I'm sure it'd be extra stressful.

 

I don't feel very depressed now... I'm on the highest dose of my medication and I have found some things to look forward to IRL. I've been working on making connections with other moms. I do have limited friends but I'm not sure having a job would change any of that. I have plans with another mom and her son to meet up with my son for Black Panther next weekend. Yes, we live far apart so it's not the closest but sometimes I'm willing to drive a bit out of the way. Maybe between now and then I could load up the trunk as suggested so I can make a Goodwill drop off. That would be a good goal.

 

As for batteries -- they don't keep batteries in toys at places like OUAC because of battery corrosion. I don't know if Goodwill looks at the compartment or if it's up to the parents to look at it and clean it out if it's bad? Personally, I try to avoid toys with batteries. Most of the toys we have are gifts. In the past couple years we have asked the grandparents not to give certain things because of the clutter/space issues.

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I would separate the school choice from the home management issues. Wherever they go to school, the house will still need dealing with, but the school choice will effect how the home is used. So I'd make the school choice first, then find applicable solutions.

 

Stop dealing with his stuff. Like the dvds. If they're in your way just put them in a box on his side of the master bedroom. When he asks about it, just say they were in the way and you didn't know where he planned to store them. Go and get a bunch of clear plastic boxes with lids and just start putting things out of sight until they have a storage place.

If a box hasn't been opened or needed for a few weeks, add it to the stuff to donate/chuck in your car. Seriously, rebuying a $5 spice is cheaper than this mental anguish.

 

I feel like it's mean of him to value his stuff too much to get rid of, but he won't put in the work to store it properly and then blames you for not keeping things clean...

Are you maybe hyper focusing on his stuff as an avoidance technique, or hamstringing him from a good-enough solution?

I don't mean to be unkind - all of the above are factors in my life/marriage/housekeeping too...

 

Eta - I wanted to commend you for taking steps to get yourself mentally healthy! That's brave and kickass.

Edited by LMD
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Yes, I do sometimes hyper fixate on his stuff rather than what I can control more easily/what is mine. When we first moved here, though, I wanted to feel like I moved in. I have never felt like we fully moved in. He admitted to me years later that he didn't want to do certain things because he saw this place as temporary. Now that he got a promotion he feels like he can put down roots. In the beginning I harped on him to hang up curtain rods/curtains for me and he didn't. I said I'd hire someone and he said he'd tear them down. He was very controlling and rude about it. Now the state of the house is affecting him to the point where he's more on the same page. I said what if I found someone to help me like a professional? He said it would be fine. I said maybe even have someone else hang up things or do things like that? He said if the house was clean he'd happily do some of those projects. I said that makes me lose motivation when you need the house super clean to do that. I already cleaned up the space in the kids' room for you to mount the tv but you didn't do it. He seemed to begrudgingly agree. So I think we're going to come to some compromise where he works on the list and I continue to try to make progress on the house. We'll see.

 

I asked dh about the baby gates... the ones we wanted to sell but never got around to it because we know the consignment store would give us very little and it's a pain to haul it there. He said there's a place on campus he can donate it. Hopefully it will go to someone that actually needs it, rather than someone that resells it. But we need it gone.

 

 

Why did you want to homeschool? I mean, what are your values/priorities around the kids' education?

 

We're accidental homeschoolers. Dh got a job here. It's the middle of no where. I was working at a big box store before the move and couldn't even justify a transfer because the nearest one is 45 min. away (and it didn't pay much). I did try to find jobs in my field, but nothing panned out. We became aware of the school situation here -- public schools aren't performing well in this area. I don't know how much it's done anymore, but at first they were sending Teach for America teachers here if that paints a better picture.

 

I started homeschooling because it just seemed like the most practical solution. And then dd came around and we did try one year of private school, but weren't particularly happy with it. Dh is willing to try again since the staff is not all the same anymore, but I'm kinda over it. I want to be able to give ds the one-on-one time, but it's hard with dd. He does several independent things. I assign math pages and check in with him. He does some of his language arts online and I make him re-do lessons/review stuff if I see poor grades or if he tells me he doesn't understand. I have dropped some things I'd like to add back, but it's just been hard to make the time. So mostly he's doing reading (which is sometimes a history book), T4L language, and math. He does some Mystery Science sometimes and I want to get us back to the writing curriculum I bought this semester. The plan was I do it one on one with him on the mornings dh goes into work at noon, but lately dh has to go into work earlier than expected or there's some other issue. It's really messed up my goals. I feel like no matter what job I do his schedule with ultimately interfere. It did when I worked as a temp in the campus bookstore and at the local newspaper and now it is with the tutoring.

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There is no reason you can't do the things your DH can do re: putting up a TV and curtain rods.  This is something you can do.  It is not hard.  I would just stop waiting on him to do it and do it yourself.  For the things like a baby swing and baby gates, you can take one photo of all of it, put a listing on craigslist that says free: might need batteries (or whatever), put it on the curb and be done.  Someone will likely come get it.  For broken furniture and things no one will take even for free on craigslist, I second Bluegoat's rec to rent a dumpster for a week, or whatever. 

 

How closely have you investigated the local public schools?  I know they're bad in terms of average performance, or maybe aggregate performance, but how would they be for your kid(s)?  If your DS needs help for executive function issues, public schools, even "bad" ones, often help with that a lot more than privates, just because they have to and are used to serving the whole population of kids in the area.  A "good" school (high-performing) may not have the kind of support or culture that would be best for your particular kids anyway, esp if one or both have special needs.

 

And if he's not learning a ton a home, and it's making you crazy trying to HS him with your younger around, it might be easier to just send him to school next year and see how they do.

 

Now if the school has crime problems, or drug problems, or something like that, that's different.  Elementary schools are often not as bad as the stats make them seem, though.  

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There is no reason you can't do the things your DH can do re: putting up a TV and curtain rods.  This is something you can do.  It is not hard.  I would just stop waiting on him to do it and do it yourself.  For the things like a baby swing and baby gates, you can take one photo of all of it, put a listing on craigslist that says free: might need batteries (or whatever), put it on the curb and be done.  Someone will likely come get it.  For broken furniture and things no one will take even for free on craigslist, I second Bluegoat's rec to rent a dumpster for a week, or whatever. 

 

How closely have you investigated the local public schools?  I know they're bad in terms of average performance, or maybe aggregate performance, but how would they be for your kid(s)?  If your DS needs help for executive function issues, public schools, even "bad" ones, often help with that a lot more than privates, just because they have to and are used to serving the whole population of kids in the area.  A "good" school (high-performing) may not have the kind of support or culture that would be best for your particular kids anyway, esp if one or both have special needs.

 

And if he's not learning a ton a home, and it's making you crazy trying to HS him with your younger around, it might be easier to just send him to school next year and see how they do.

 

Now if the school has crime problems, or drug problems, or something like that, that's different.  Elementary schools are often not as bad as the stats make them seem, though.  

 

I did briefly tour the school once when I went to drop off books. I went there today to drop off books but the principal just met me at the door. Ds was not with me. I asked if he was curious about the school and ever wanted to go look at it. He said no. He really doesn't want to do brick and mortar again and dh is dead set against the public school. Of course, he hears more than me through the grapevine as he works with locals. I know discipline was an issue that a Teach for America teacher told me about. So I don't know how out of control the classes are. I also know that a huge percentage of students there receive free/reduced lunch. This is a high poverty area so I suspect the parents may not be equipped to teach their own kids.

 

We have been in touch with the school district. Ds does not qualify for any services, but it doesn't mean they woudln't help him with organization (the principal told me someone there helps with that... but I don't know if you have to have like an IEP or 504 plan to qualify). Dd qualifies for speech was denied for OT, etc. Both kids were advised to get OT by our developmental optometrist. The school isn't going to help with that, so if I pursue it I will have to go through private. I mean private practice, not private school if that sounded funny.

 

Compared to his peers? Ds might be learning a whole lot. It's hard to say. Honestly. I have no idea. But I am a tutor for comm. college students, some of which went to the local schools. Lots of these students are in lower level classes because they didn't make it to the level they should be in. That to me is an indication of a problem with the local schools.

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Spices: put them upside down. In a few weeks put all the ones he's used and turned upside right in one bin and trash the rest or put them somewhere out of sight. 

 

DVDs. Do you have a shed/garage/storage area? Box them up and put them there. Or ask him flat out why you can't donate them. 

 

Clothes: figure out how many outfits they need, and keep those. Get rid of the rest. 

 

Anything you want to get rid of but he is hesitant about put in bins where they are out of your way but in his way, lol. So by his side of the bed or whatever. Offer to take them to good will if he would like, but don't accept them making your life harder on a daily basis just because he is hoarding things he won't ever use. 

 

 

 

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And seriously, stop worrying about what happens to the stuff after you get rid of it. The batteries are NOT your responsibility. Just get rid of it. 

 

All is fair in love, war, and decluttering. 

 

Also, maybe read the Screwtape Letters when you get a chance....lots in there about good intentions being used against us. 

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That all sounds difficult and I relate to a lot of it. *hugs*

If you can't rely on dh's schedule then that makes things tougher, it's like setting yourself up to fail. My dh's schedule is such that me getting a job is really almost impossible - we planned and decided together though so I didn't feel railroaded or stuck. But that means that I choose what I want knowing that it's up to me to implement.

 

What do you want to do? Do you want to homeschool? How do you want to spend your hours every day?

Eta- you don't have to tell me the answers. But this is your life, you can choose and own your choices. Waiting for everyone else to change (fix stuff, schools get better, kids grow up) is literally just your life today ticking past. What do you want to do? What can you do?

 

I also agree with eternalsummer, you can put up those curtain rods - watch a YouTube video. Outside but where you can see, put down a tarp, put out some paper and water washable paint and let your 3 year old get her sensory, fine motor and creative outlet - and get those rods up!

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Maids are WAYYYYY cheaper than daycare, so there's that. If you leave for three hours twice a week and drop the kids at an indoor play place or a park, and let someone else clean, it would cost you so much less.

 

 

 

 Lots of these students are in lower level classes because they didn't make it to the level they should be in. That to me is an indication of a problem with the local schools.

 

This is a much more complex situation. Test anxiety, the racket of developmental courses, the fact that of course you're seeing the ones who didn't get it but what about all those who did... food for thought:

 

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/02/community-colleges-remedial-classes/471192/

 

NO public school system will EVER get 100% of people at a grade-level normed to average. That is ridiculously improbable, given that the distribution is normed to a bell curve on purpose. So it's literally impossible for the slowest 10% of the population to hit the target in many cases. And even when test performance isn't normalized to a bell curve, the requirements for starting college math are based on what students are expected to complete in high school, which are based on what students can complete in high school (by age 18 or thereabouts).

 

So naturally, you will expect between 5 - 20% of any population in a public school not to make it. Because if those people could make it, the higher 80% could do more, and the cutoff would be higher.

 

Therefore I believe you should not consider the presence of students who are behind, in your CC, as an indication of poor schools. They are just an indication that some people take longer than others to learn things which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.

 

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Totally agree to not worry about what happens to things after you dispose of them.  If people want to replace the batteries, or need to, they'll replace the batteries.  If Goodwill decides these clothes will resell in your area but these other ones won't, well, they've got a budget for that and they'll separate them out as they see fit.  

 

It's one of those things where you can't have everything.  You can't have clutter AND not be a naturally tidy and organized person AND keep your house clean AND not get around to projects that you know DH will not do himself AND hope DD doesn't make messes AND have things around everywhere that she can make messes with.

 

For me, I know my limitations: I do not have great executive function, I'm naturally kind of messy, I work from home, and some of my kids are unruly.  So I know that I can either make myself crazy cleaning all day and watching/controlling their unruly behavior, in which case I'd have to give up the job, OR I can get rid of the things that they use to make the worst messes or that are dangerous (or put them waaaaay up, like spices).  I choose the latter.  Many many people choose the former, and there's nothing wrong with that.  But you can't do both, kwim?  You can't let them run wild in a cluttered environment full of things they might make messes with and then be surprised that they've made messes; you can't leave projects for DH to do that you could do and know he won't do and then be irritated that he's not doing them.  I mean, you can do these things, but it's pointless.

 

Is moving not a possibility?  I seem to remember that your housing is somewhat subsidized, but would it make more sense to move to an area with better public schools and get a job to pay for the difference in housing (instead of paying for private school in your current home)?  It seems like even $1000/month more in rent is probably a lot cheaper than private school for soon-to-be-two kids (once DD is K age).  Is there an area within say half an hour or 45 minutes that would work, so that your DH's commute isn't too bad?

 

Moving also really helps me declutter.

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Thanks, everyone. I need to hear some of this. The DVDs are not as bad since dd lost some interest in them, but she used to constantly pull them down from the shelves. Some are in boxes right now on the shelf and some are stacked and some are in those DVD cases. And there's a case of them on the shelf that is like a silver briefcase looking thing. I don't know where my zumba Xbox game went and it's really irritating me because I got new workout shoes finally and I'm ready to do it LOL

 

That all sounds difficult and I relate to a lot of it. *hugs*
If you can't rely on dh's schedule then that makes things tougher, it's like setting yourself up to fail. My dh's schedule is such that me getting a job is really almost impossible - we planned and decided together though so I didn't feel railroaded or stuck. But that means that I choose what I want knowing that it's up to me to implement.

What do you want to do? Do you want to homeschool? How do you want to spend your hours every day?
Eta- you don't have to tell me the answers. But this is your life, you can choose and own your choices. Waiting for everyone else to change (fix stuff, schools get better, kids grow up) is literally just your life today ticking past. What do you want to do? What can you do?

I also agree with eternalsummer, you can put up those curtain rods - watch a YouTube video. Outside but where you can see, put down a tarp, put out some paper and water washable paint and let your 3 year old get her sensory, fine motor and creative outlet - and get those rods up!

 

I guess the problem with the curtains and tv stuff... I'm scared. I don't want to screw it up. I don't even know where to locate the right tools. The tool box is a disaster right now. I don't know what I'd be looking for. Even to hang the hook/eye screws I bought the other day I don't know what to look for to make the pilot hole. I did watch a youtube video on it. I just feel lost. And we rent and I'm scared to make holes or hit something electrical.

 

What do I want to do? I'm fine with homeschooling, but I would also be fine with working with adults all day. I get limited adult interaction. That is a lot of what led to my depression I think. When I do see moms now it's like 5 min. and a kid interrupts us. I tried reaching out a couple times to get a mom to do something sans kids, but they always wanted to include the kids or weren't interested. Dh has outlets I do not and I get jealous. He eats out with coworkers at least once a week. He is in walking distance. Someone asked if he worked from home. He doesn't technically work from home, but when he is here, he's often doing work. He'll answer emails, update social media for other role he has, etc. I see adults at church but the only one I talk to usually is my coteacher for our Sunday school class. We don't talk much. Dh tried to get me to look into a PT position that came open recently but I said no thanks. At this point the idea of working FT sounds more stressful than not working outside the home. If there's any issue, more than likely I'll have to be the one to deal with it (like kids get sick, etc.). Someone asked about childcare if they went to school. Well, I guess dh was thinking dd and/or ds would attend the after school program. But then who's going to pick them up from that? lol. Ds could technically get dropped off at dh's work by our home and start homework there, but dd would be another story.
 

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Totally agree to not worry about what happens to things after you dispose of them.  If people want to replace the batteries, or need to, they'll replace the batteries.  If Goodwill decides these clothes will resell in your area but these other ones won't, well, they've got a budget for that and they'll separate them out as they see fit.  

 

It's one of those things where you can't have everything.  You can't have clutter AND not be a naturally tidy and organized person AND keep your house clean AND not get around to projects that you know DH will not do himself AND hope DD doesn't make messes AND have things around everywhere that she can make messes with.

 

For me, I know my limitations: I do not have great executive function, I'm naturally kind of messy, I work from home, and some of my kids are unruly.  So I know that I can either make myself crazy cleaning all day and watching/controlling their unruly behavior, in which case I'd have to give up the job, OR I can get rid of the things that they use to make the worst messes or that are dangerous (or put them waaaaay up, like spices).  I choose the latter.  Many many people choose the former, and there's nothing wrong with that.  But you can't do both, kwim?  You can't let them run wild in a cluttered environment full of things they might make messes with and then be surprised that they've made messes; you can't leave projects for DH to do that you could do and know he won't do and then be irritated that he's not doing them.  I mean, you can do these things, but it's pointless.

 

Is moving not a possibility?  I seem to remember that your housing is somewhat subsidized, but would it make more sense to move to an area with better public schools and get a job to pay for the difference in housing (instead of paying for private school in your current home)?  It seems like even $1000/month more in rent is probably a lot cheaper than private school for soon-to-be-two kids (once DD is K age).  Is there an area within say half an hour or 45 minutes that would work, so that your DH's commute isn't too bad?

 

Moving also really helps me declutter.

 

I've had that talk with dh a bunch of times, but I'd have to make more money than I'd likely make. Most places here are for sale, not rent. We don't exactly want to buy a home. We're living in faculty housing. We'd not only get higher rent to live in a good school district, we'd get a significantly smaller home. Currently we live in a house (small house, but a house). My biggest gripe is that there's only one bathroom here. If I worked I'd have to pay high daycare fees as the ones in the city are high. At least the really good ones.

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Maids are WAYYYYY cheaper than daycare, so there's that. If you leave for three hours twice a week and drop the kids at an indoor play place or a park, and let someone else clean, it would cost you so much less.

 

 

This is a much more complex situation. Test anxiety, the racket of developmental courses, the fact that of course you're seeing the ones who didn't get it but what about all those who did... food for thought:

 

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/02/community-colleges-remedial-classes/471192/

 

NO public school system will EVER get 100% of people at a grade-level normed to average. That is ridiculously improbable, given that the distribution is normed to a bell curve on purpose. So it's literally impossible for the slowest 10% of the population to hit the target in many cases. And even when test performance isn't normalized to a bell curve, the requirements for starting college math are based on what students are expected to complete in high school, which are based on what students can complete in high school (by age 18 or thereabouts).

 

So naturally, you will expect between 5 - 20% of any population in a public school not to make it. Because if those people could make it, the higher 80% could do more, and the cutoff would be higher.

 

Therefore I believe you should not consider the presence of students who are behind, in your CC, as an indication of poor schools. They are just an indication that some people take longer than others to learn things which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.

 

Ehh I'm going to send you a PM because I'm not sure if we're talking about the same type of thing.

 

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Got the PM, but I'm serious about the maid thing. I know someone who does it because they just can't clean... it just doesn't go. They want to but they got stuck for many, many reasons.

 

So if that helps, again, it's much cheaper than daycare.

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