How do you schedule your day to spend time with your kids and still get some housework done?

Elise - posted on 06/28/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Hi! I am a Mommy of 3 adorable kids, ages 3, 21 months and 2 months, and I am having a hard time "organizing my time" to get the house cleaned, laundry done, etc. and still be able to spen time with my kids, who need alot of attention lol! My daughter (21 months) and son (3) were a little jealous of the new baby, but they have adjusted well now, but need that time just for them. Lately I am finding that at the end of the day the house is a mess, the laundry is still in the dryer and the weeds are still in the flowerbeds haha. By the time the kids are ready for bed I'm too exhausted to do any of it and so is my hubby, who is a steel fabricator for the railroad and works hard all day as well!

So I would like to know if any of you other busy Mommy's out there have any tips on how to make a "schedule" for the day or plan ahead to be able to fit it all in?? Please help! Thanks! :)

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Sarah - posted on 07/04/2011

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Girl, I know how you feel! I have three kids of my own, aged 16 months, 34 months, and four (and a half!) years. I'm also expecting our fourth. My husband goes to work early and comes home late, so all the errands, housework, and childcare duties fall to me.

I finally learned to identify my problem areas and focus on the things that are most important. I sat down one night and made a list of things that I feel needs to be done daily (dishes, sweeping, vacuuming, washing diapers, picking up toys) every other day (laundry,) weekly (scrubbing the toilet, mopping, grocery shopping) etc. Then I made a schedule that would work well for the kids and worked those chores in where they wouldn't take time away from me and the kids.

For example, I wash dishes in the morning after breakfast. The kids are responsible for putting their uneaten food in the compost, their trash in the trash can, and their dishes in the sink. Then, they choose an activity that can be done in the kitchen such as coloring, play-doh, puzzles, etc. While they play, I wash dishes and chat with them. I'm close enough to interact, but don't have to be right there at the table with them. We put away the toys twice a day: before nap (computer time for the oldest) and before bedtime. This is on the kids entirely. I sit back with a timer and encourage them, helping the youngest when she needs it. I start the laundry when I first get up, put it in the dryer or hang it on the line during their nap, and fold it after they've gone to bed. I sweep and vacuum messes when they first occur or (if it's not terrible) sweep directly before I go to bed and vacuum each room once a week with the kids' "help." I agree with Becky, get them involved! Sit little bitty in a bouncer or put him/her in a sling and assign tasks like gathering clothes from the baskets, putting toys away (this is a great time to practice sorting; even kids who have known colors for a while and those who don't know them yet have fun finding all the blue toys or red toys and putting them away, then moving to a different color!)

I also made a chore chart that helps keep me accountable. I charged the boys with the job of making sure each task gets done on time, and it's a fun way for them to feel involved in daily chores. If you start early, they'll never see "chores" as dreadful things to be avoided, but as things that just have to get done. Start small, with one or two daily tasks, and add another one when you have it down to a science. You'll get there, don't worry!

Sarah - posted on 07/04/2011

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Oh, and I alternate cleaning the toilet, bathroom sink, counter, or bathroom floor while they bathe! Otherwise, I'd never think about it until it was nasty! My oldest loves to make it a competition. Can he finish cleaning his whole body before I'm done scrubbing the toilet??? ^_^

Becky - posted on 06/28/2011

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do a little everyday and have fun with 3 year old 21 month old they can help sort laundry pick up toys and other things make a game and a lesson in colors or what ever you have them help with.

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Elise - posted on 07/21/2011

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That is great advice! Thanks so much! I think I really need to sit down and make a schedule too, just lately I'm so overwhelmed with everything.. I've been so unorganized since my youngest was born and I need to snap out of it! I think the playdoh/coloring puzzles while I clean the kitchen will work great, it takes me so long right now cause they bug me for something everytime my hands are in soapy water haha. So keeping them busy in the same room should do the trick! :)

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