I’ve been struggling with major depression for years now and my home is completely fucked. Mountains of laundry in the basement, disgusting kitchen, clothes covering every floor of every room. My marriage is on the rocks, and my 4 kids deserve better. My husband’s idea of motivation is verbal lashings and shaming me (telling me that I can’t possibly love my children), and it makes it even harder to overcome. Please help. I’d really love to have a normal life again. I’m so overwhelmed.
I’m anonymizing this for a few reasons, even though the asker did not request it.
First, I am not any kind of professional anything, so please keep that in mind. I am also not a marriage counselor, so any advice on your marriage itself is going to have to come from somewhere else, and I urge anyone who weighs in on this post to be sensitive to the asker’s situation, and to remember that things are rarely as cut-and-dried as they seem to outsiders.
As far as your home is concerned, the only motivation you should be listening to is your own. From what I can tell, you want to do this for your kids, and you want to do this for yourself. Focus on that.
You’re overwhelmed. I get that. When we look at the big picture, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Narrow your focus for a little while. Start with just one thing; I’m going to suggest the kitchen, for a number of reasons (it’ll be a dramatic improvement, there are associated health issues, and it’ll make mealtime less stressful, to name a few). Start with the dishes. Wash a sinkful (or fill the dishwasher, if you have one). While they’re drying or going through the wash cycle, start with one counter and clear it off. Move dirty dishes to the sink, trash to the trashcan, and put away anything else. Once the counter is clear, wipe it down. Take a ten minute break.
Put away the clean dishes, then do another sinkful or dishwasher load. Move on to another counter. Take a break. Repeat, and add in wiping down cabinets, cleaning out the fridge and pantry, mopping the floor, and any other tasks that are necessary. Take the trash out as needed. Take frequent breaks.
It may take you several days to get the kitchen under control. That’s OK. Progress is to be celebrated, no matter the pace.
When you’re done with the kitchen, we can move on to another room. Drop me another ask when it’s time, and we’ll come up with a game plan.
Two more things:
-Enlist your kids. Teaching them to be clean and self-sufficient is doing them a favor, and if they’re invested in picking up the mess, they’ll be invested in keeping it clean.
-This post might help in your situation.
Best of luck. Please keep me posted, and remember that YOU deserve better. You should be able to look around and love your home.