Overloaded kitchen sides and a living room brimming with new toys are prerequisites for the first days and months of life with a newborn. Cleaning naturally slides as you spend every waking minute either sleeping with, feeding, or just staring at your new bundle of joy. Nothing beats it but, if you’re a naturally clean person, it’s surprising how stressful a messy house can become quite quickly.
Yes, you’re lost in your happy newborn bubble and the house doesn’t really matter, but before you know it, you might start feeling a little claustrophobic amongst the mess. And that’s not to mention all the visitors who are likely to be in and out! But, how exactly do you manage to juggle cleaning when you’re already so busy with your baby?
The good news is that, as many moms will tell you, there is such a thing as a clean house with a newborn in tow. All you need to do is change your approach in the following ways.
# 1 – Find ways to keep your baby distracted
Cleaning is never going to happen if you have a baby in one hand and a brush in the other. Trust us; that’s a juggling act that will only end badly. That said, most moms find that they’re only able to put their baby’s down during nap time which, as we all know, should always be reserved for catching up on your own precious sleep.
With that in mind, you need to turn to solutions that allow you to put your baby somewhere that they’re happily distracted while you tackle whatever needs doing around the house. There are a few options that can make a huge difference here, with playmats proving fantastic at keeping even tiny babies distracted while you get on. Buying a baby bouncer could also allow you to go hands-free while your baby entertains itself. Do note that these options do still require a watchful eye, but taking these items around the house with you as you clean can be a fun way to keep your baby close, while also tackling that growing pile of laundry, washing up or whatever else.
# 2 – Make sure to clean as you go
While you will likely have a large pile of cleaning to tackle as you first leave that newborn haze, it is possible to tackle cleaning as you go when the initial onslaught is behind you. After all, you have limited time on your hands now, so cleaning for a few minutes at a time here or there is guaranteed to work best.
Get into the habit of unloading the dishwasher every morning so that you can put plates and dishes straight in as they get dirty, or wipe down the side while you’re waiting for baby’s bottle to reach drinking temperature. Even just wiping down the bathroom after you’ve had a shower saves you from ever having to take longer than ten minutes or so away from the all-important task of playing with your baby.
# 3 – Develop a rota
Unfortunately, some cleaning chores, like making the bed and vacuuming, don’t exactly arise on an ‘as-you-go’ basis, making them easy to overlook with your attention so occupied.
To overcome this, develop a rota that helps you to keep on top of these tasks too. Something as simple as a list of to-dos that you roll from one week to the next is all it takes. That way, you can refer back whenever you find yourself with a spare moment, and ensure that you get straight on with whatever task comes next on that list.
# 4 – Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Even if you have the best of intentions, there are going to be days where your baby doesn’t want to be put down, or where you’re just too tired from the night before to even think about the house. In this instance, asking for help with your chores is the best possible thing you can do. After all, you might as well make the most of those visitors!
Even if you’re embarrassed to breach the topic, those guests are there to help you as much as they can. By simply asking if they would mind putting a load of laundry on or running a wet cloth around the kitchen, you can take a great weight off your shoulders. And, given that it frees you to focus on your baby 100%, that’s got to be a good thing.
Isn’t this what every person wants? To come home and have a clean (and presentable house)? Now in my fantasy, I would have the little cleaning fairies come in and clean my house for me. That way I don’t have to do any actual cleaning. Cause lets be honest who likes doing that? But alas, the fairies have lost my address and don’t visit me. This forced me to come up with a system to keep my house acceptable, without it being all that I do.
There are two ways to tackling cleaning your house. First, you can pick a day and have a once a week cleaning day. This is what we did growing up, and it was always Saturday morning. Trust me it stunk to waste my Saturday scrubbing bathrooms. The second, is what I prefer now and what I will be showing you, break it out into little bits every day.
I am a HUGE fan of breaking things up. As you could tell from my post How To Prepare For Overnight Guests, which you can find here. It makes it easy to check it off your list and move on. Plus, your house will always be ready for people to pop by. Well in theory, it will always be ready.
There is my break out. I have a few items to do every morning, and a few items to do every night. Easy, quick, little things that make life a little easier and prettier.
My daily chores are the bigger items, the ones that you don’t really want to do but have to do. The breakout is:
- Meal Plan
- Grocery Shop
- Dust (including blinds, shutters and so on)
- Vacuum or Mop
- Scrub Kitchen (including cleaning out the fridge)
And you can see that I am boycotting cleaning on the weekends all together now as an adult. There is no need to waste your precious downtime scrubbing the floor. My girls have to take care of their own bedrooms and the school room.
That is my plan, how do you tackling cleaning your house? Did I miss any big chores that need to be done? Let me know.
This House Needs A Mouse has to be one of the cutest books out there. It starts:
“This is the story of a house. An ordinary house with ordinary windows and ordinary doors. Ordinary ceilings and ordinary floors…. and three families.”
But even before we started to read it, they loved it. When I got it out of the mail I placed it on our coffee table, before I could go get my cup of tea, the girls were fascinated with the illustrations. Every page was full of color, and more then that… life. There is not an inch ANYWHERE in this book that is dull, or not filled with amazing drawings of what is going on. It immediately sparked the interest and imagination of my little girls. They were making up stories to go along with each page before I was back with my cup of tea.
Then once we started into actually reading this book, they were hooked. They simply fell in love with this little mouse. (They were very upset though, no where in the story did he get a name. So we named him Pip) They were happy when we found a house, they boo-ed when the family was mean, and cheered at the end.
It was wonderful to see my girls so excited about a book. And even last night, when we went to read a bed time story, they didn’t want the princess books, they didn’t want to re-read Frozen.. They wanted to read……. This House Needs A Mouse.. WIN!!
What are your kids favorite books? What kinds of things do they like to read?
Four Things To Remember When You’re In The Market For A New Home
If you are in the market for a new home, there are some things that you should make sure to keep in mind. Many people think that they can find any old house and be happy with it, but this is not always true. Here are four factors to consider when looking for your new home.
As a parent, it’s your prerogative to be involved in your child’s education. But for a lot of parents, that can feel very hard to do. Even when you’re home schooling, you can often feel like there’s a disconnect with your children’s studies and your role as both their loving parent and their responsible teacher.
It can be hard to get the kids engaged after the ‘school day’ is officially over, and you can often wonder if you’re making the right amount of progress with their education. And we want to squash these kinds of worries before they really take over! So what should you do?
Have a Daily Catch Up
When your children have finished up in the home school classroom for the day, make sure to sit down with them for about 20 minutes afterwards and talk about how it all went. But remember, you’re no longer teacher in this moment!
Now you’re a parent again, and your children should be able to notice that. As such, they’ll be more likely to open up and be honest! And you’ll be able to have a constructive conversation about how your efforts are taking off.
Use At-Home Online Access Tools
Why not allow a bit more crossover within your home school environment? Sure, you’ve got a ‘classroom’ somewhere in your house where the bulk of learning takes place, but being more flexible with your learning tools is never a bad thing. And one of the best areas for fostering this attitude is the online world.
Of course, it’s a good idea to limit your kids’ screen time. But if you also teach them that the online world can be both an educational AND fun place, you may find both you and your kids becoming more engaged.
Indeed, programs like ABCmouse are a great jumping off point for families to get involved as one, thanks to just how accessible the online tasks, games, and reports are for both adults and kids alike. And it’s just nice to be able to crowd around something together, like you would a film or a good book!
Don’t Let the School Day End
Of course, the school day needs to end at some point! It’s not fair to keep your kids locked inside the classroom all day long, but it is fair to allow educational activities to cross over into normal family life.
This is especially true of the weekend; don’t let your kids spend 48 hours without thinking about school. Instead, introduce them to some fun yet educational activities that make total sense within the home.
Healthy baking, for example. Or PE lessons outside that aren’t structured, but your children get taught about their body limits and how to keep fit. And hey, a simple kick about in the garden can accomplish that!
If you don’t feel involved in your child’s education, take some time to think about why. Then, try some new activities that get the whole family involved.
Helping your kids learn to be independent is so important. As they get older, you need to give them more freedom to make their own decisions so they can develop their own personality and become independent. Unfortunately, a lot of parents struggle with this and it’s a difficult balance to strike. Obviously, you can’t just let your kids do whatever they like but you also can’t make all of their decisions for them. So, what can you do?
The trick is to let them make decisions that don’t have too much impact but still feel important to them. These are some of the decisions you should always let your child make on their own.
At some point in your family’s life, you’ll consider relocating to a new area. Job prospects or being closer to family are both common reasons people cite.
However, moving to a new location isn’t as simple as you might think. There are a lot of things that you need to mull over before moving to the other side of the country.
As you grow older, you begin to realize that your parents may need more support to get on with their day-to-day lives. Do you remember your favorite self-help book that got you through pregnancy and the start of motherhood? There are plenty of similar books to help you understand your elders’ needs. While it might not have the solution to everything, it can give you enough to start addressing the important questions with your parents. Growing old requires planning as your parents’ health becomes weaker. Not everyone gets old in the same way. So, a guidebook can make sense of the situation for you. Is it safe to let your parents live in their old home in their silver years? The answer is more complex than you think.
Summer vacation is here again which means that the kids need to be entertained. As much as we would all love to provide personal entertainment for our children 24/7, sometimes we need to keep them amused so we can do something. Many people are still working from home, which means finding a balance between parenting and working. Here are some activities to help keep the kids busy while you get some work done.
As a stay-at-home mum, it means that you have little interaction with the outside world, and it can quickly turn out to be tedious. Mums have a lot to handle, from making meals, keeping the house clean, and taking care of kids and everyone else in the house.
It involves repetitive tasks, and this can quickly turn out to be boring but adding some fun and me time to the schedule can spruce up things. Here are tips to make your days more enjoyable