Re: Mental illness and housework
The short answer to your question: we don't stay on top of it.
Believe me, you are not alone. Your post almost could have been written by my wife. She is currently in the hospital for bipolar disorder. Before that, it was postpartum depression. Before that, hyperemesis throughout an entire pregnancy. Before that, grief from 2 miscarriages. Before that, respiratory difficulties. It has been over 2 years since my wife has really lifted a finger around the house. I do all of the cooking and cleaning and at least half of the parenting. She stays home, and I work full-time. And if you took one step inside my home, it would show. We've hired cleaning help in the past, but we just can't afford it these days.
Here are my tips:
1) Don't feel guilty. Just don't. If you are keeping up to the best of your abilities, it is not a reflection of your character if your abilities are not the same as someone else's. So just don't let yourself think like that.
2) Cherish your time with your little one. It may not feel like it now, but you will look back at these years for the rest of your life as the "golden years" when little feet pranced around on your floors each day. You will inevitably have regrets, but keeping a cleaner house during these years will be low on the list.
3) Be sure to express your gratitude to your husband when he ends up picking up some slack. I can't speak for him, but it is likely that you are more critical of yourself for the state of your house than he is of you. However, it is still important to reassure him that housework you leave undone is not a reflection of the expectations you have of him.
4) This is more of a practical tip. Instead of focusing on what your house should look like, focus on what you'd like to do be able to do in your house. For instance, when our kitchen looks like a bomb exploded in it, instead of focusing on what it should look like, I remind myself that what is important is that I have enough clean surfaces and dishes to prepare meals the next day. And instead of focusing on the clutter that covers every floor in this house, I focus on making sure that there is at least one uncluttered floor available for our youngest to crawl around on. This mindset helps to keep me from getting overwhelmed. Like your husband, I have my own mental health issues too.