A homemaker's daily chaos

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    is there any way i can avoid or change the habit my kids have of wreaking havoc every day. i mean i dont even get to open my eyes, and say modeh ani before i smell or hear the disaster. today my 4 year old put paprika and shampoo at the same time in the 2 yr olds hair, at 7 am, and the bathroom walls were decorated in shaving cream. the toilet brush was in 2 pieces, the shoe box of toiletry odds and ends and nail clippers were strewed across the bathroom, with peed underjams swimming in it, and the spices from the pantry all over the kitchen floor with tuna cans and loose crackers. they are out of control. if i leave my 4 year old alone at the table after school with her healthy snack i lovingly prepared , i come back in 4 mins to find she has applied the white sour cream like a facial night mask all over her face. and is laughing. today i was dressing as fast as i could in 90 sec be hind a closed dooor, so they wouldnt make a fire or something and i hear banging on the other side of my bdrm wall. she had found a hammer, and dont ask me where from, cause most times when i need it, i cannot even find it! but she was sledging away at the walls in the dining room making nice dents all over the dry wall. why ? yes she is in therapy. but its a lot of money just to have her smile nicely at the therapist and play in a sandbox or doll house. i dont get it. then she smiles at me sincerely, and says “emes mommy…you still love me even when i do bad things”. so of course, i nutured the moment and reassured her. but i also told her it makes mommy sad when she does those things, but i always love her. thank g-d i found out beating them doesnt work. lol (joking). but …

    2 days ago she just got up from preschool and walked home, down busy streets, asking strangers to cross her at the corners! the principal caught her, just as she was on her way into school.

    each day, after they all leave the house, i almost collapse in bed, wondering why i am daily enslaved to the turning over my house. i go to bed at 1 am finishing up the laundry, 2 sets of dishes, alone, picking up the floor, putting out garbage, recycling, hanging up wet laundry, lunches, ironing, treating stains, etc, and then i go back to it the min they leave the house, literally leaving me not a minute to get to extra activities like reupholstering that old chair, or sewing summer dresses for them, or even reading 1 article from mishpacha. i am like a hamster on a treadmill. i have to send them out sometiems away for a shabbos just so i can catch my breath. sometimes i am so exhausted and stressed i am shaking and feeling like throwing up. my decision making is often brittle and cognitition on the brink from the load.

    why me? and how can i change things to be more effective?



    re: why me? Please don’t think that way. Hashem is always good. Believe it.

    Regarding managing, kids behavior

    You need to find: A: whats in the environment that compels then to act that way, B: what kind of reward do they get for it.

    Remember, Bx gets MUCH worse before it gets better.


    I know that this isn’t going to be of much help but, as a parent, when my young kids would make a mess, make noise or otherwise just be children, I reminded myself that there people who would love to have such problems.

    It doesn’t actually solve your problem (Lord knows it didn’t get my house clean 🙂 ), but it always helped me to keep things in perspective.

    The Wolf


    I think a husband/father would help. Hashem Yaazor. May Hashem bring you a good zivug soon.


    Dear Always Runs Fast,

    I once read that children who act out have bodies that are too small to contain such great neshomos. May you have much yiddishe nachas from your children when they grow up. I guess mdg knows you are not married, because if you are, isn’t it more of a mitzvah for a father to have ahavas yisroel for his wife and stay home once in a while from shul and daven at home in order to help out his wife? Doesn’t it matter more that his wife stay sane? Is there any way you can get a high school or seminary girl or lonely bubby to help you for a while in the evenings so you can have at least a half hour to yourself? Wish you the best of luck (and a nearby Bubby – my grandchildren are just as active but we live in different cities)


    i think a life coach would be of great help


    Call a girls high school and ask for chesed hours. Less stress on you means you will be able to handle things better.


    Farming your kids out to high school girls isn’t a permanent solution.

    I’d suggest a therapist to help sort out these issues.

    If you are a single mother, may you find the right man, your bashert, who will love you and your kids, bimheira be yameniu.


    Chesed girls come to your house to assist you. I wouldn’t call that farming out your kids. If you find a capable girl, even if only to play with your kids and keep them occupied, it can be a real brocha. It might not be possible over the summer, but it’s definitely worth a shot. And it’s never a good idea for the “new husband” to be the disciplinarian in a family, eventually maybe. However, stability, more family down time, help with everyday tasks, and above all a happy mother can go a long way. A husband can help with these, but it’s best to have things a little under control before even contemplating marriage. Your goal now should be to try to get all the help you can, to get some sort of normalcy, and a smile on your face. Treat yourself often, and don’t be too demanding of yourself. Try to cut back on unnecessary chores.


    Always runs with scissors fast: The situation you described sounds exhausting! When i was pregnant with my firstborn, I was scared of such a scenario. A friend of mine sent me a DVD of a show called ‘Nanny 911’. Basically its a show about families in dire need of organization and control of their kids. A nanny would come for a week and teach those kids and teach the parent(s). There was a lot of positive reinforcement, strictness in following up on consenquences, and charts.

    After my children were born, I realize that following up on what you say is really important. If a child is told that they wont get a treat if they dont finish eating and putting their dishes in teh sink, dont give in no matter what method of emotion they use.

    Charts work very well with children too.

    Wishing you much hatzlacha…


    yeah, i have been learning under Sarah Chana Radcliffe, and that is helping a lot! i dont have a lot of money as a single mom, so i could use more goyter help. but the chart thing really saved me over the past week a half. they had to fill 28 squares on their chart with checkmarks for having done a good behavior and now they have earned their prize. but the middle child still gets her free kicks from shmeering my makeup all over her face and doing weird stuff.

    i dont get it. but farming them out to friends to save my sanity works wonders here and there, once a week. although i never get back any meat or produce from the agricultural side of it. LOL


    All us mothers can relate to the chaos and exhaustion.

    One suggestion I have – small children can help. Get them involved in helping, even if their help isn’t very effective or helpful – and eventually it will be.

    Ask them to throw away something, put something in the hamper. Go to the washing machine together, let them put laundry in and make it fun.

    Try to keep certain things organized – ie where you keep their shoes, so they will learn that, and enjoy finding the shoes where they should be, so they will start to learn to want to put them back in their place.

    It will be very slow, but make it fun and reward them. Do some of your work jointly with them – nothing too messy, but clearing the table, sorting laundry.

    Soon they will learn these routines. And yes, be very strict about not allowing the messy activities. Mommy does not let smearing that, spilling on purpose, make a very sad face. Mommy just washed the floor, now there’s lemonaid all over …

    What should we do next time…

    Hashem should give you a lot of koach and yes chessed girls is a great thing too.

    Much Hatzlocho.


    Not to belittle your trials, try to reflect that you are raising Jews, and that mischief is a predictor of creativity, intelligence and great character. I can almost love them from afar. Also know that they will grow up, and you will then miss their antics. May you have nachas from your children, and also other people should have nachas from your children.


    always runs with scissors fast: As a mother of 3yr old and 1yr old I can understand how frustrating it is when children get into things they shouldn’t and make big messes. I just finished taking a parenting course from Simi Yellen who was AMAZING!!! So I’ll offer you some suggestions I learned from the course which I hope can help you a little. Firstly, you should always put away or lock up anything you do not want your kids getting into. That means getting cabinet locks for your kitchen, bathroom, etc. You can also see about locking up the kitchen for the night as I do, and maybe even the bathroom too. Secondly, you should teach your child that what she did was not right, and she should apologize to you for it. She should also help you clean up the mess to teach her that messes need to be cleaned up. You can try to make it fun by making it fun, either with a race against you, or the timer. You sing her a song, be silly with her while cleaning up etc. If she is not willing to help you clean up, then you need to give her a consequence by taking something away from her that she really likes. You should also teach her not to bother the baby, and give her consequences if she does.

    Another suggestion is try to have more positive experiences with your children, by constantly finding things to elaborately praise them for. Spending quality time with each child every day (at least 10min) I know this can be very difficult if you are a single mom.) Do something with them just because you love them etc.

    Lastly, I know this costs money, and I know you are financially tight right now, but I think it will be very worth while for you and your kids to take a 6 week parenting course for ages 2-5 by Simi Yellen. The next course is starting in early July.

    Hatzlocho Rabba with everything. I hope you get some household help, and I hope your situation with your children improves very quickly.


    Wow that sounds pretty insane i’m surprised u havent farmed them out for good 😀 just kidding but firstly a parenting course really really helps!! seriously..i’m not saying at all that this happens because ur not a good parent, this happens to many people, but in parenting courses (if it’s a good one of course) they give really useful tips on how to get kids to listen to you..there really is a way…and charts, routines, prizes etc all work very well to getting kids to calm down a little bit.

    There’s no reason why u should spend hours tidying up every night when u have kids who are old enough to tidy up after themselves. yes the kitchen etc is your duty, but all their toys etc they can do themselves. They can be taught when tehy get undressed where teh laundry hamper is. Kids are very easy to teach and they actually really love feeling useful if you give them enough attention for doing their jobs right.

    There’s much more to say but i think you’d get a lot out of hearing a parenting course as mra suggested – i’m saying that because i just started a parenting course myself a month ago and i’m absolutely loving it, it’s so useful and it really works 🙂

    Good luck!


    I can second the Simi Yellin idea!! My 8 year old was the same way when he was younger, and I must say he’s my easiest kid now – always helpful, cleans up after himself, etc. Don’t know how it happened, maybe starting school full-time? It seemed like overnight, but I hope it works for you too hopefully soon.

    Don’t underestimate the power of Tefillah! Even while you are cleaning, talk to Hashem – it helps!

    Now my 2 year old is following the same path and I pray every day that he find the right things to keep himself busy… Hatzlacha!

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