How do you get everything done?

Lexi - posted on 06/28/2010 ( 224 moms have responded )

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What is your routine for the day? Any tips for getting stuff done with a 1 year old running around? He's too big for a sling now and our only back pack is a big bulky camping one and my back is just not up to it.

I have never been the greatest housekeeper and am having an especially hard time now that I have my son and am staying home. When DH and I were kidless we both worked full time and split household stuff 50/50. It was always agreed that once we had a kid whoever stayed home with it would take on most of the household stuff as well. Boy it's harder than I thought tho!!

My husband doesn't put pressure on me but I know he's getting fed up with it and I feel a lot of pressure from myself to do a better job. We never have any clean dishes and the laundry is constantly a huge pile. I barely manage to keep to floors clean and vaccumed. I got on anti depressants for PPD and anxiety last week and there is already a huge improvement in what I am able to manage but I still need some ideas for how to make it all run smootly.

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Sarah - posted on 06/28/2010

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First of all, I know hubby is working, but it wouldn't kill him to help put folded laundry away or mop the floors once in a while... that being said do bits and pieces as you walk by. If you are passing the laundry room throw a load in the washer or switch to the dryer have munchkin help mommy put clothes in the dryer =) (folding is another matter entirely I usually save this for cartoon half- hour in the morning). I know it sucks but do dishes as they come and then you aren't looking at a scarry looking monster pile of dishes. umm paper plates when it is just you and little guy then have him throw them away- again helping mommy. Maybe limit the number of toys out at a time so they aren't all over all the time. He will be just as happy with one box of blocks- and he can help put them away when you are done playing (making up a "pick up your toys" song makes this more fun). And have things you only do a few times a week... unless there is a bag of chips strewn across the floor or milk spashed down the cabinet faces they don't need to be mopped vacuumed and sanitized every day that goes for toilets and windows too. Prioritize what you want to do in a day (maybe make an actual list and post it on the fridge) and do those things if you finish ahead of your schedule either do something on tomorrow's list or go for a walk to the playground.
Good luck

Sheena - posted on 06/29/2010

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I have a 2 year old and a 5 month baby and did find it really hard to get things done.

I now do the majority of my housework in the evenings while my husband is home so he can watch the kids or when they are in bed.
I start by filling the kitchen sick with hot water and dishes ,put a load of washing on then i put away bits and pieces around the house and vacuum, then wash the dishes. Normally when ive finished, the washing machine is beeping so i put the next load on then dry the dishes. Thats about all i do at night. My husband cleans the shower while he is in the shower and gives the toilet a wipe every second day. so all i have to do is wipe the sink and vacume. I only mop once a week unles thre is spills ect.

I wash clothes every night and hang it out during the day and fold them while my babies are asleep or in the arvoz when they watch t.v.

By doing my cleaning at night it has made it soo much easier, im normally just tidying up during the day instead of stressing cos theres soo much to get done but cant cos my children need attending to ect. Always putting things back where they belong straight after i used it has also made things easier.

My son has learnt to pick up his toys when he is finished and most of the time he plays in his room so the toys are not all over the house. He doesnt always pick up all his toys so while hes sleeping i give his room a quick tidy.

Hope this helps

Majaliwa - posted on 06/29/2010

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I DON'T!

1. quit kicking yourself for not being able to get it all done. being a stay at home mom is a full time job and a busy toddler who likes to bring a wrecking ball behind you everywhere you go doesn't help.

2. wait until the evening. i know sometimes you're too tired but when my little guy is finally asleep, that's when i can actually get stuff done. that's when i clean, fold clothes, vacuum, whatever.

3. get help. this was the hardest thing for me. i felt like because "all i did was stay at home" that i shouldn't need a maid, but my friend said to me one time - you wouldn't take your son to work with you would you? how much work would you get done? and i realized, that even though i'm at home, i'm still WORKING. there is no shame in getting some help around the house. sites like care.com have resources for finding maids and cleaning services. for your own sanity, look into one to help at least once a month.

Christy - posted on 06/28/2010

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I have managed to clone myself to get things done.

Really, don't stress over it all. Break up the tasks you have into smaller pieces and it won't seem as overwhelming. I am a good time manager b/c of this. Vacuum on a certain day of the week, make a point of cleaning the dishes each morning or evening, pick another day to catch up on laundry, like every other day, clean each part of the house/apartment choosing one day to do it (bathroom/s on say, Tuesday, living area Weds, bedrooms Thursdays, etc).

Nicole - posted on 06/28/2010

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Never have a perfect house! That is rule #1. Be a good mommy to your kid, and do what is essential to keep the house running. Don't fret that its not all done all the time. It'll be ok if the dishes aren't done right this second. Some days you will be superwoman and get a ton done, and the next day you wont get anything done. It happens.

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Dhea - posted on 03/04/2011

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Do you have pack n play ?



I remember when my kids younger for me to get my stuff to be done. I will put the baby in the pack and play with safe toy and place it next to me, so I can check him/her every minutes while I am finishing my household work.

Amber - posted on 02/09/2011

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Im a stay at home mom with a 3 year old and a 21 month old, i was at your point once where everything just seemed like this never ending tornado , it was sooo overwhelming. and i was considering getting on medications because i was so stressed and overwhelmed with everything. so i sat down and just looked at everything and came up with a system, it diddnt all get better overnight but i have it down quite well now. i do laundry twice a month the second and fourth week with the exception of towels that need to be done inbetween. on those laundry days my hubby usually take the kids for a daddy kiddo day, and will be gone for about 6 hours. that gives me time to get laundry done and inbetween loads have time to myself to paint my nails or take a bath or just relax. on a day to day schedule i wake up before my kids usually a hour before i get the dishwasher loaded and i clean the downstairs and vacume and sweep. you will be surprised how quickly you can get everything done once you have no distractions. once my kids are awake i can spend time with them and feel less stressed because im not thinking about how im going to get everything acomplished with the little ones running around. and throughout the day i just pick up here and there and my kids like to help me make their meals i find they eat better if they are involved in the making process. and kids love to clean too. sometimes i put a box in the middle of the floor and i have the kids race to pick up all their things and put them inthe box and while they are running around picking things up i can reach in the box and put things away at my own pace. so my advice to you would just be to sit back and write down everything that needs to be done day to day and make a plan that will work for you. and dont be afraid to ask for help. my hubby loves his days with the kids and the kids appreciate their daddy time too, oh and it makes your man appreciate all that you do because when they take the kids for the day they see how much work it is. i hope that this helps. take care nad take a breather

Lysandra - posted on 02/09/2011

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The trick is to make the most of napping times! I don't nap when my son naps. I set tasks that need to be done in the day and go through them as my boy naps (he's 6 months old at the moment and going through a very clinging stage) so say first time he nods off, put wasing in machine and clean bathroom, second nap washing out and clean kitchen then once he has gone to bed I do the washing up sort bottles tidy mess from bath time then the rest of the evening is mine. I can hoover whilst he is awake as he finds it amusing. Don't get stressed out with it all if it doesn't get done it doesn't get done just fit it into the next days tasks. I have a three day rota one day I clean downstairs the next day upstairs day afterI take my son out for a walk or see friends. Only things that get done every day is washing and washing up but as I have a chilled routine anyways it's easy to fit in. hope you get it sorted, I know how it feels to get overwhelmed but just make it so it fits you.

Michelle - posted on 02/08/2011

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I don't get it all done. I just had my third. My house is a mess right now. I'm cleaning and taking care of kids from the time I get up until I go to bed. When I tell my husband I need more help with the cleaning etc he either starts on some lecture about how that would take away from his work time (and jeopardize our paycheck) or that "other" SAHM's do it without a problem. He's still a work in progress. But while I'm working on him, I'm also working on getting as much together as I can. I've been making and freezing meals once a month so dinner is now feasible. I have assigned days of the week that I do laundry and change the sheets etc. I have priority lists for things that have to be done every day (dishes, picking up the living room, etc) and lists of things that can wait if need be for another day. Just basically being organized. I'm just having trouble getting things worked around the newborns feeding schedule, and my sons preschool schedule. It helps a lot that I have gated off rooms where my kids can play without getting into too much trouble while I try to get stuff done nearby. There are good days and bad days on that one. The bottom line is that you can't get it all done. Watching kids is enough all on it's own sometimes. But sometimes you can get house keeping stuff done. I actually baked cookies today. Just do the best you can and you can probably make the house livable. If your husband doesn't like it then he can contribute a little more to getting it done.

Stifler's - posted on 02/08/2011

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I don't. I have a one year old and if something isn't done big deal. I'm not a 50s housewife lol. I put a load of washing on first thing in the morning, hang it out and get it off and stack the dishwasher between playing with Logan and eating sometimes that's all I do all day. I make sure i have dinner ready when Damian comes home at 6 so we can have Logan dinner, bath and bed before 7 and spend time together. Having fun is way more important. At 1 they are old enough to start learning to put toys away with your help too.

Suri - posted on 02/08/2011

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Hi Lexi,
I am new to this group but wow, we have a lot in common from what I read in your post. I had a really hard time after my first, my house was never clean, I was embarrassed to have people over. It is really hard to work around a 1 yr old, they are physically capable of making a mess and need so much attention, and do not understand that you need to get things done! I am much better now that I have 3, my house is not perfect but it is livable and I get my priorities done. I like to make a list of things I want to get done during the day, I even include things like eating lunch because sometimes I forget to do that! Don't even think about getting everything done everyday, it's not realistic or fun. I used to do housework on a two-week schedule, one or two tasks everyday (eg, vaccume two carpets one day, clean bathroom counters another day). Good luck to you and hang in there!!
~Suri:)

R - posted on 02/08/2011

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I go through cycles where I do well with house stuff and other times when I'm not doing so well. My children are 3 and 1. I have found that my children are very happy to play after breakfast with their toys while I do housework. Our breakfast starts at 7:30 and I clean until 9 or 9:30 in the morning. I spend the rest of the day I spend doing kid stuff. I do keep up with the kitchen and such as the day goes on, continuing to load the dishwasher, and wiping up the floor after every meal. We do fold the laundry together, sometimes they hide under the pile, or we play tug of war, and then it gets folded during the day. I used to get very overwhelmed with wanting everything to be spotless, I have found that this system keeps my house in order and I enjoy focusing on being a mom.
When the kids are resting I rest too, or do work for grad school. Knowing that I have that time for me, really helps me to quickly plug through things in the morning.

Is my house perfect? Nope, but I'm not embarrassed when people stop by unannounced.

Ohh and my husband does the bathrooms, I have never done them, even before I stayed home. I don't know why, they gross me out.

It would probably be helpful to start by getting caught up, either have someone come clean or take the kids to a grandparents for a day and you and your hubby tackle it together. Starting when you are already buried is overwhelming.

I also think it is easier to keep things clean when everything has a home. Invest money in things that help with organization, for toys or your closets or kitchen cabinets.

Great flylady website, thanks for sharing!

Christina - posted on 02/08/2011

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I'm a stay home with three kids ages 5 1/2, 3 1/2& 2. When the kids are awake I clean the room that we are in, now I throw a load in every two days and try to put them away when my husband gets home. I usually tidy up the kitchen when my little one is eatin lunch in his high chair and the others are watching t.v. I do all my quiet cleaning while they sleep in the afternoon for two hours. Give your 1 year old a cloth or small dust buster... they'll follow you around the house and clean with you!! It's hard though...things like mopping never get done around here or dusting...

Heather - posted on 02/08/2011

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I think thebest thing i got to keep my kid busy was a ball pit… he goes in there and i tidy then pick up the few balls that end up on the floor . The laundry you can put it in and forget it till it beeps or try doing it every day to catch up or when you get a basket throw it in. Take one day at a time. Life gets more organized just breathe and take it one toy or mess or dish at a time. Hugs!

Melissa - posted on 02/08/2011

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OMG lexi Im as we speak in a debate about that with a "friend who is preggos and thinks its not that difficult and she will be doing way more than me cause she is going to be working 40 hours a week...I laugh at her she is soooo clueless..The fact is when you stay at home all day ther is more of a mess..espec with a toddler running around making 10 times more of a mess! I suffer from anxiety about it all as well...people who arent stay at home moms will NEVER get it! It is hard! I stay up at night but the fact is do what you can dont let it get to you!!!!!!!!!
Force yourself to start a routine...I had to force myself to do some dishes in the morning and my husband does them at night before bed...that has made all the differenc it the world..it's second nature now! Also i have started to do 1-2 loads of laundry daily and I fold them right out of the laundry ( well sometimes) that burns more calories so that a bonus! As for the sweeping and mopping and bathrooms...uugghh its so hard for me to keep up with! I try to do all that 2-3 times a week..if it doesnt get done oh well! The fact is you just have to do it...I tell myself that daily and I have it down now so it gets done quickly! Your Hubby HAS TO HAS TO help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lotty - posted on 02/08/2011

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Trying to keep a house together and take care of children at the same time is incredibly hard. No one tells you this. In other societies, it is unheard of to let one woman deal with it all, by herself. So, first of all, forgive yourself and be proud that you are trying. Second, there is know-how to EVERYTHING, including housekeeping! You don't have to figure it all out by yourself. I have three kids, I used to work in an office setting, I was lost in the house routine. After almost 8 years of trying to reinvent the wheel, I came across the flylady book. Someone has already suggested the site to you, for me the book was much easier to follow and later you can use the site. Within a few days, our lives have changed, I am not exaggerating. It is no different than learning to cook using recipes instead of your imagination. If you don't know how to cook and someone gives you flour, eggs, spinach and cream and asks you to put together dinner for your hungry family the best you will probably manage is a spinach omelet. If you are given a recipe, you can perhaps put together a big spinach souffle. Do not beat yourself up about not knowing how to do this, it is not something you are born with, it is just knowledge that you acquire, just like everything else in life! Please try the book, or the site. It is life-saver. The book is called "Sink Reflections" and gives you simple steps to follow from the first pages.Really simple! Really easy! You cannot imagine how easy it can become! Your home can slowly become what you want it to be with an hour a day work max. This is the best kept housekeeping secret! It is not a talent, it is just know-how.
Hang in ther.

Sew Choo - posted on 08/17/2010

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just get dinner ready and toilet cleaned daily, do laundry every second day, mop once a fortnight during the weekend, look after the baby and your job is done for the day. not every room needs to be tidy at the same time. spend more time on yourself and speak to your hubby about realistic expectations. good luck.

Ashley - posted on 07/19/2010

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I have a 3 yr old boy and a 15 month old daughter. My son is extremely busy and has a bit of a speech delay, my daughter is learning everything early(crawl at 5 months, walk at 10 months, talk at 11 month) and is also busy.
5 months ago I used to clean and behind me came along thing one and thing two, who would do the opposite to whatever I just did. Sometimes my husband would come home and wonder what i've done all day because there is toys everywhere, tupperware on the floor, clothes thrown everywhere, and supper not even thought of, and both kids are screaming.

I hit a wall,It was stressful on me and my husband, I couldn't seem to get much done and my husband would work all day and come home to a catastrophe. I discussed this with a group of moms with different ages of children, and some live that way all the time with older children, but they each had one or two things that were going to help me.
MY ROUTINE FOR THE DAY

Olivia - posted on 07/19/2010

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I completely understand how you feel. My bf works full time so I pretty much had to take on all the chores in the house. It's overwhelming but once you pick up a routine it becomes easier. I usually do chores as soon as my son wakes up for a bottle feeding I put on the baby channel for him and that gives me 30 mins so I do the little things; I wait till he goes down for a nap but since I'm drained by that time I usually use 30 mins as well so I could get some rest. It sucks when he decides not to take a nap though. And I also do chores when he goes down for the nap if I'm not that tired I could get an hour in. I don't know if this will be helpful to you but what I do with my son is put my cleaning into his routine so before bed he knows I vacuum and sweep so he tries to help. I also ask his grandparents to take him for an afternoon and I do heavy duty cleaning to make cleaning throughout the week easier. So basically if you do a little throughout the day you'll get things done.

Autumn - posted on 07/16/2010

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Find toys that your child really shows intrest in and will keep them occupied for a little while, then have a specific toy for the one or two things you really have a hard time getting done and only let your child play with it while your doing your thing.
Play it up and make it special. You can also make the "toy" something similar to what you are doing, for instance while cooking dinner have a small basket of plastic fruits and veggies and a damp sponge and tell you toddler to "wash" them. For a younger child maybe just an empty milk jug and some closepins will provide plenty of entertainment if only offered durring a specific time. Hope this helps!

Roxi - posted on 07/15/2010

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Childproof your home and make a little fenced playground where you can leave your tot alone. Just make sure the toys you leave with him are safe. Make sure to also check on him every now and then to be sure he's doing good.

Kimberly - posted on 07/14/2010

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When my children were babies I could put them in their swing or bouncy seat or strap them to my body in a sling while I did things. As they got older I had to get used to the fact that everything was not going to get done to my satisfaction and maybe it wouldn't until all my kids are in school. There are not enough hours in the day to do everything you want to for yourself, your spouse, your kids, and keep the house immaculate. I just have to give myself grace and let some things go undone. There are days I can't even get a shower and I have to decide what things are really critical and what can wait for another day. It's tempting to let tv or video games babysit your kids so you can get something done. it's not wise in the long run.

Christina - posted on 07/14/2010

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I was the same way with my husband. Before our son came we both worked full time and split housework. Now I feel obligated to go above and beyond since he is the only one working. It's very hard to balance housework and a baby/toddler.I do my best to pick up throughout the day a little here and there. I use his nap time to really go to town. From day one with my son, I have not been good about taking naps. In order to have some sanity and feel like I accomplished something I feel the need to clean and do things around the house as much as I can. Therefore I can't sleep much lol. There are times where I don't do much and my husband actually likes when I relax because he understands the hard work with cleaning, cooking, raising a little one, etc. Just do your best and know your hubby appreciates everything you do:) Something that helps me feel like I did something is getting dressed and doing my hair/makeup but I don't always get around to it. I hope it helps:)

Stacy - posted on 07/14/2010

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Lexi my mom always says "dont sweat the small stuff." Before u know it ur little person is going to be 18. My house was never the cleanest house on the block. My 4 older kids are teenagers now. So the house was cleaner for awhile til I had another boy. He loves to tear the house apart. So I clean what I can when he is sleeping, taking naps, bedtime, or when one the family members take him. He is 4 now and it is still hard for me to clean when he is awake. If my hubby says something to me like " hunnie I thought u were gonna get this dont today." I tell him to do it. He says " I work 40 hours a week." Well if ur a mom u work 24/7 with no days off. So when he took a week vacation from work. I went and stayed with my mom and left him home alone with the 4 yr old. Just to see what he could get done. Lets put it this way he dont complain anymore.

Ur a mom first not a maid for ur hubby. So if he dont like something tell him to do. Or u can let him learn like my hubby did and leave him home alone with the baby for a day or two. If he really wants ur house clean that bad he can watch the baby while u clean up the house.

Dont put that much pressure on yourself. Do what u can when u can. Dont stress out to much. Your baby needs u. Trust me time flies with them one minute they r 1 gettting into everything the next their 18 and going off to college.

Just do what u can when u can. Dont let it get u down alot of moms out here feel the same way u do. Trust me when I say not alot of peoples houses r clean when they have a little one running around.

Tina - posted on 07/13/2010

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OMG You just described my life to a tea. I am so frustrated with trying to get everything done and still try to do a little something for me to keep my sanity. I have not had to go the medication route yet, but have trouble keeping my 1 yr old on her sleeping schedule and still get other things done. My husband got me a Wii Fit cuz the gym did not always have room for her, so I would miss out on that. But still, trying to keep up on fitness to look ok for him, keep the house clean, dishes done, dinner ready and put her to bed on time, .. how do some of you Moms do it?!>?

Lika - posted on 07/13/2010

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no disrespect but taking care of a child all day is job enough the split should still be 50 50 you work all day as well you just dont get to leave at 5 so theres no reason for anyone to get huff with you

think about it like this if your child were in daycare and you both worked your house would still need upkeep then whose job would it be

all im saying is thats not a fair trade he gets to leave his work enviornment you stay in yours 24 7 what you need is more help

Jennifer - posted on 07/13/2010

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You sound exactly like me and how I was!! Seriously to a T! I would do the majority of the things I needed to go like clean floors, do dishes, and sorts while my little man was napping. If I could some how put him in his bouncy seat I was able to get more things done. But the majority of my house work got accomplished either during nap time or after he went to bed. It is still that way and he just turned 2 years old.

When we wake while he is eating breakfast I will put the dishes up and load the dishes from last night back in to wash. If I get a free second I will get the laundry out of the wash and put in the dryer. Today while he was napping I was able to vacuum and moop the floors and clean the rest of my house.

It does get better. It took me until now to really get into the groove of things. I also has PPD and so I know how overwhelming it gets. Sometimes I just make a list and get done what I can. I am lucky my mother-in-law keeps him one day a week so I am able to get everything done I need to.

You'll figure out the things you absolutely need to get done and the things that just aren't as important as you once thought they were. Raising a kid is a full time job and having to keep up with the house is another full time job. Stay at home moms are way overworked. I was like you, when I worked me and my husband split everything 50/50. Now I do everything! Its the hardest job I have ever had in my life!

Madilyn - posted on 07/12/2010

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Mai Tai Wrap :) you can carry him on you back in those.
I just dont worry much about getting things done. As long as my kid is clean and full I'm good. Its a good day when I am able to get his toys picked up by the end of the day

MELISSA - posted on 07/12/2010

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My plan:

B12, Celexa 20's, coffee, tea because I am still currently working on this problem as I have twin girls - age 3 and one is 90% deaf so we are doing a lot of speech therapy, learning sign language and fighting to get her in the appropriate school because our home school is fighting us...grr. then add in the normal stuff - potty training, ....and all that stuff plus running a household...and I have a 1 yr. old and still doing way, way too much..
I get up around 6:30 and do paperwork and quiet stuff, take my shower, then kids get up and we start our day. If I need to go to the basemen where our washer and dryer is, the girls and I go together and baby gets put in an exersaucer or high chair (I leave the basement door open or just hurry plus I can hear him..he's a loud one). Do dishes by hand after breakfast and before dinner and finish the last amount right after kids go to bed. Vacuuming, sweeping, sliding door, putting up laundry I do while they are awake. Mopping floors after they are in bed is best. Weeding...well, early in morning and evening if it's not too much. Have to work w/my husband also if it's too much to get done w/kids around. Oh, dry erase board -
Plan out week m-sun
at bottom or top of board put monthly items
I even plan my meals out
I feel better erasing things as I go so I feel more accomplished
I also put pertinent notes up there, doc. appts...whatever you are doing that day needs to be written down...ie...I even write fill soap, t.p. ...those little things add up very quickly....you'll see what you are doing all day plus your husband will see it..sometimes helps him see that you are overwhelmed and gives you leverage a bit to talk to hubby about it. Communication and taking time for yourself and marriage is the best advice. Do you know we get Netflix movies just so my husband and I can spend a little time together....I also get up a little early to get my head straight and coffee in me before my kids get up. Just makes you more organized. Good luck sweetie. I'm still learning and it's been 3 yrs....oh, I also organize my paperwork into 2 piles - to do and to file...mama also drowns in paperwork...just trying to keep my head afloat also....good luck Lexi! :):) Don't forget to give yourself a break and remind yourself that you are doing a great job...slowly but surely you'll see what works for you. I changed my procedures a few times before I settled into them...

Melissa

Michelle - posted on 07/12/2010

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Im a stay at home mom to my 3 month son.
I am also on Anti Depressants and have been battling to be the perfect house cleaning mom but some things have changed over the last few weeks.
I have put him in a baby harness on me and we clean bits of the house together. I have asked my bf to take C out for a walk on Sat or Sun and I can clean the rest or do some washing for the week or even catch up on some me time. BF wants the house 100% but he is just not going to get that because i found myself burning the candle at both ends and now compromise needs to happen for everyones peace of mind. After all, a stressed out and tiered mom makes a stressed out and tiered house!!
As for your husband seeming fed up, he might not be and it could just be a small feeling of guilt, try speak to him - you will be surprised that he is willing to help out a bit.
ps is it possible to get a dishwasher or even someone in once every 2 weeks to help do a clean?

Cari - posted on 07/12/2010

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I'm in the same boat here lexi! Going to read through your responses now, but wanted to give you very big {{{{{{HUGS}}}}}} and just tell you to take it one step at a time, even though you may feel it's all backed up and needs sorting now (that's how i'm feeling!) If you want someone to celebrate our own milestones as new SAHM's (my boy is coming up to 8 mos, but i still feel new at this!) drop me a line! At any rate, good luck with everything and just remember one small thing a day, it will get better!

Clara - posted on 07/11/2010

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Well, I know exactly how you feel. I have four kids and the oldest is only 5. Even if I do get a room clean, it's a mess again within the hour. I totally agree with the mindset that the kids are priority...true, but the house does need some attention. I used to tell myself that the kids needed my attention and the hosue can wait, then I would stress about the housework and what I wasn't getting done. I am just now getting to the point that I can put my kids first and not stress about the house in the mean time. A few tricks-- 1. I do laundry once a week. I have a laundry day and that's a designated week day (right now it's Thursday, but it changes as needed) that we don't have things scheduled regularly (practices, lessons, activities, etc) and I wash all the laundry and get it folded and put away. Sometimes I end up folding it at night while my hubs and I watch TV. It's a full day, but I know that it is done and I don't have to worry about it for six more days. 2. I have a toy room. The toys are all centrally located in their own space (this also helps to keep bedrooms tidy) and i know that this is not an option in every home, but if we don't get to the toy room that day...it's ok, I can shut the door. 3. I have had to force myself to prolong the dinner ritual, we all sit down to dinner and the ritual continues as hubs and older kids help clear the table and load the dishwasher. It is something that I am still in the process of making a habit of, but it helps tremendously. 4. I think it helps, as someone mentioned before, to schedule a few other things (like the laundry) I do bathrooms on one day and mop on another.

IT's a relief that my two older kids (4 and 5) are able to help a little more but a one year old can do a few things with some guidance. I hope these suggestions help. Enjoy your baby and try not to stress!!

Rachel - posted on 07/11/2010

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i have my daughter help me out. give them things they can do. a washcloth to wash the floor and windows. i take care of 20 three year olds at work and they love doing the same and surprisingly we get a lot done there as well... and the best time to get things done is during nap

Jenny - posted on 07/11/2010

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Good greif do I know how you feel, My son is almost 3 extremly active, my daughter was not as active she's 12 now, but I to am not a great house keeper. Good luck and in the end it's up to you what is important in life, my kids are so my house isn't as clean as it could be, my house will still be there my kids grow up to fast to have a spotless house.

Leanne - posted on 07/11/2010

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God love my slow cooker and breadmaker!!!! Dinner done by 10am! This makes arsenic hour SO much more bearable!!!!

Carlye - posted on 07/10/2010

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I heard a quote from a mother of 4 that has stuck with me on those overwhelming days. "If you want to visit me/kids come over anytime. If you are coming to see my house you must make an appt two weeks in advance."

My kids are barely a year apart and are now almost 2 and 3, my house is a disaster of toys and clutter and I do the best that I can. The highest priority in my day is caring for my children, anything else is just extra. Every couple weeks I will pay a sitter to come over to tackle larger projects.

I guess my suggestions is don't be too hard on yourself, there will be plenty of time to clean when our children are in school. This is precious time that I refuse to waste worrying about mopping the floors.

Vicki - posted on 07/10/2010

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Yes it is hard, I felt the same as you, hard to get used to the mess when it was always so clean before kids. My kids are teenagers now & I still struggle to keep up, my husband & I own a business together so we travel away a lot. I have learnt to put washing on first, then make bed, do washing up, then prioritize what needs doing next. I am on antidressants as well, they help keep me going too.

Sandy - posted on 07/10/2010

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On the light side, it never ends. (^_^)

I honestly accomplished very little during this time. I did one big chore (laundry, dishes, etc.) each day while baby napped except for vacuuming, which I did while baby was eating in the highchair. It does get easier, but the how much also increases over time. Just remember to take a few hours a week for yourself away from the house. :)

Brandy - posted on 07/10/2010

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Sit down and make a list of what needs to be done and how often, then get a calander and make a note on what days what needs to be done. Make sure not to overload yourself. Spread it out! You are a stay at home Mom, it is a lot of work. Don;t burn your self out. Take breaks with you child in between doing things. Andd a BIG suggestion to you would be to get a play pen. They are life savers. Your child will fuss, it is normal. Just reassure them that you are there, be in sight of them also.
I have a 6year old, a 2 year old, and an almost 1 month old, I am still perfecting the stay at home Mom thing. I have only been doing it for 2+ years.I have also had problems with depression with my 2nd and 3rd children. The medicine helps, but you shouldn't be so down on your self. My husband always tells me "You have the most important job in the world, you are raising the future."

Lisa - posted on 07/10/2010

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set your tot up with some lids and kitchen stuff that's not breakable, and do the dishes, then throw everything your tot got into into the bottom drawer in the kitchen and set him up in the living room on the couch or in his bouncy or swing or whatever, and vacuum, put him in an extra laundry basket and scoot him into the laundry room with you. etc. or you can try to get it all done in the 30 mins before husband comes home...or you can follow tot around cleaning up after him, while he's in the next room getting into stuff, you clean the one he just left, then follow him into next room and clean that one. OR do all your cleaning after he goes to bed. I did a mix of all them when I had two littles running around. Followed them around cleaning, at nap time I did dishes, and after bedtime I vacuumed. Now I have two more littles and I make the older kids help out, but I still vacuum and sweep with the baby in a walker. he just watches and laughs. and remember, some things aren't important or aren't more important than your baby. so if your baby fusses or needs you, drop the housework, it will still be there, your baby won't. cheers to us messy house moms! may we have homes that our children will remember were filled with love.

Kimberly - posted on 07/10/2010

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I have a 2 1/2 year old and an 11 month old! My motto is clean enough to healthy & dirty enough to be happy. Someday in a couple years when the kids are in school I'll worry about having the "perfect" clean house but until then I will just enjoy them for as long as I can because life is short and they don't stay little long!

Melanie - posted on 07/10/2010

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How do I get everything done??? simple....i don't. I have a 9 month old and a 3 year old and honestly my priority lies with them having a happy, interactive and safe environment. Every night after bed i vac the floors and tidy the play room and anywhere else that has got messy. I try to do most of my chores during sleep time through the day but if it doesn't get done 'so be it' it can get done tomorrow. Vac the floors - YES...needs to be done....clean the pantry...not essential to a clean house...it can wait, i want to play with my kids.

Sarah - posted on 07/10/2010

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the hardest part for me seems to be just starting. Just start wherever you are, with one small thing. Then the next thing, and the next thing. The other thing I do (with a 3.5 yo and a 2 yo) is to start in the toughest area first. Out of curiosity, can your 1 yo 'help' you?

Jessica - posted on 07/10/2010

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I have a one year old at home with me, and the routine is tough to get down, but you'll get there. I find that doing little pieces of things everyday helps me out a lot. I do one load of laundry a day, and make a game with my little guy( I give him the socks and the basket to play with) while I put the laundry away. As far as dishes, I just try to wash up what I used preparing a meal while he's in his high chair snacking. When its broken up like this, it seems a little more manageable...at least for me.

Good luck finding a routine that works for you, and I have no doubt you'll find it. Just make sure to stay flexible, and cut yourself some slack.

Courtney - posted on 07/10/2010

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Well I have 4 running around at any given time (my two oldest go to their dad's every other week and then I only have 2) and I keep the house clean by doing little bits at a time. I wash the breakfast dishes right after breakfast (we dont have a dishwashe), the lunch dishes after lunch, etc. I vacuum our rugs every day and sweep every day. A lot of times I put my 2 yr old up in his room to play with his trains and send the girls to play outside and I just work around my 10 month old. I also am on an anti depressant and have found that I am a calmer, happier mommy when my home is clean. Just do little bits at a time. Pick a room, get it clean and then (and only then) move on to the next room. Get caught up on the laundry and then stay caught up by doing a load every day. I throw a load in the washer every night after the kids are in bed because I can wash the towels from baths, the clothes that were worn, etc all at once. Good luck, may the God of your choosing bless and keep you and your family.

[deleted account]

You don't. You do the most important things by priority. :Seek first the kingdom of God and all these (other) things will be added to you." Seek God (pray unceasingly-not on your knees you dolt, on the move), read Scripture-short and meaningful is OK. If you don't take care of Mom, no one else will get taken care of: rest, eat,etc. The smaller the child the more urgent hands-on care required-be patient, they won't be newborns very long. Don't forget their father-admiration, food, and SEX are very important to them. You may not feel romantic, but he needs sex like you need sleep so be a good wife and God will reward you-He promised. Life comes in seasons-go with the flow. With a newborn if you and the baby eat sleep and get clean it's a good day. You'll never regret (or forget) those wee morning hours spent nursing them. But before you know it, they will need you less and less and your house can be cleaner and cleaner. For now do the basics-plan food, rest and love and enjoy every day to the maximum-it won't come again.

Erin - posted on 07/10/2010

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While he naps, or put him in his highchair with a snack and a video or something to entertain him for about an hour! Getting motivated can be a struggle sometimes, especially when you feel like all you ever do is wash dishes and laundry, etc. But, remember what a blessing you are being to your husband and your family by getting it done before he gets home, so that when he is home, you can all enjoy each other and family time!

Melissa - posted on 07/10/2010

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I think most of us can relate & feel your pain/ frusturation! I know that I have a weekly schedule ie) Mondays - Laundry & Bathroom, Tuesday- Bedrooms, Wedbesday- Kitchen.... etc I find that as long as I maintain the cleaning, even the mopping & vacuming, It goes WAY quicker than only doing a major clean once a month. I am really lucky because my daughter is really awesome at playing by herself, but I will often stop as I am doing stuff and play with her, or have her close by and we sing and dance as I clean. Find something that works for you. I also have a meal 'schedule' that helps making mealtime decisions as I am AWFUL at that. I would much rather my husband tell me what he would like to eat. Mondays are pork night tuesday beef and so on. I have found it is all about finding a rythm and if you can maintain it somewhat than when you miss a day of chores, it isn't as big of a deal, because everything is still fairly tidy, and it is only 1 week that you are missing mopping the floor! I hopethat helps some!

Marly - posted on 07/10/2010

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My kids have always done well in the pack-n-play. When ever I had something to do/clean; including taking a shower; I would just pop in a "Baby Einstein" video. And plop 'em in the pack'n'play. That's what worked for me, anyway.

Tonya - posted on 07/10/2010

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Dear Lexi, I am a proud mother of 4 beautiful boys they range from 13 to 4 I have been blessed to be able to be a stay at home mother and trust me i know where you are and how you feel. But you need to relax and remember that you are only one person and quit expecting perfection from urself. When i just had my oldest i would get up when he did and get his needs met and then he would go watch tv and my day of cleaning would start or sometimes it didnt!!!
On the days that i did the most i would clean the floors the toilet and the bath; wipe down the kitchen counter tops and the stove, basically all i was doin was keepin stuff as germ free as possible and then when nite time came all i had to do was cook supper and clean up from that and then i would sweep and mop the floors again before bed, depending on how much dirt comes in or ppl bring in ur house. But i never allowed ppl to wear shoes in my house for any reason that helped alot. And if you have been depressed make sure that you take help if its offered and if you dont have any offers just do what you feel like you need to do and dont stress over the rest cuz you wont be like this for long. And as far as having a 1 year old enjoy him everyday becuz the years go so fast and they grow up before you know it!!! I know how they can frustrate you and wear you down and make you feel like you will never get nuthin done ever again but you have to take his daily routine and yours and combine them to make yalls schedule that accomidates you and him( your son). Then the impossibale dont seem so impossibale!!!! I Always do laundry from the time I get up til I either run out of clothes or time for bed... at one point i was taking our stuff to the laundry mat once a week and doing them all at once it helped out a lot and made that chore seem easier....
On your bad days i would say the 15 min. clean up is the greatest..... this is on the days you dont feel gud and you just cant make urself do much of anything but you feel that you need to becuz ur husband works everyday then about 15 min before he comes in you get up and quickly tidy up if you think the house needs it... and do somethin quick and easy maybe even takeout for supper and just dont worry about it becuz bad days happen and when they do you rest becuz that is wat ur body is telling you!!! Took me a long time to learn that i needed to remember myself!!!
Remember that the job of raising children is by far the hardest thing you will ever do but it is the best thing you will ever do also...you are doing great just quit expecting so many things from urself....and always make time for urself everyday or nite after all you are still the same person you was except now you have a new name..... MOMMY!!!!!!!And a new life!!!!
Try to get up everyday with a positive attitude and a smile on ur face....i said try and dont worry if ur smile dont stay on for long or ur positivity leaves faster then it took you to think it.... that is called life....and before the day ends the smile will be back and your mood will be good....if it is a bad day dont be upset see that as a day to spend with ur son and him havin one more day with all of mommy to himself!!!!! I wish you the best!!!God bless you and yours!!!!!

Emily - posted on 07/10/2010

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As a mother of two year old twins, I have to have a routine. I always start my day in the kitchen by putting away the dishes from the previous day. (this means I have to run the dishwasher the night before) and it also means that the dishwasher is empty for all the dirty dishes on that day. (as a family five, we have a lot of dishes!) While this is happening the kids are playing or watching t.v. (not everyone subscribes to this method but with twins, I have too!) I then make coffee and breakfast and when that's done everyone gets dressed. Sometimes I even get the kids dresses right as they get out of bed. This helps saves time later, because for some reason, it takes me an hour to get them dressed later on. ;)

Another thing that saves me time is preparing meals/snacks for outings the night before.

I do a load (or two) of laundry a day. And when the kids go down at night I fold the clothes or make my partner do it. There is no shame in asking for help. Or, since your husband works all day and doesn't get to see/spend time with the kids, have him give the kids a bath while you finish cleaning up.

If I am bathing the kids than while they play in the tub, I clean the bathroom...sweep the floor, wipe the counters and clean the toilet.

As for other household duties like mopping the floor (which I loath by the way) I do also do that while the kids are in the tub and hubby is bathing them. And no, I don't mop and clean the bathroom on the same day. Chores get split up. One week kitchen floor, next bathroom, vacuuming etc.

And for kids toys... I just make sure everything has a home. Finding a toy box and/or baskets to store everything is highly essential.

Anyway, this is what works for me. I hope some of it is useful. Good luck!

Chasity - posted on 07/10/2010

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When my girls r in school I wait till I get back from taking them and then I start my routine.. I make there beds and pick up toys. then I get on fb for awhile then dust or sweep then get back on fb and ect.... I find taking breaks for myself inbetween helps alot!

Tracey - posted on 07/10/2010

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Hi Lexi,

I'm a mother to 3 grown kids and a grandmother to 2 small children who keep me quite busy at times. I have had an uncontrolled seizure disorder for just over 15 years so I really do understand what difficulty it can be to try to cope with everyday things - I might have a couple of suggestions for you.

First -always, always try to keep your frame of mind on what you are doing in the moment and don't overwhelm yourself with everything that needs to be done - this only gives yourself added anxiety that you don't need.

Lists are often helpful - this way you can plan out a routine with a time allowed for each of the daily things that you need to do, and this will allow you to figure out where time can be allowed for extras - possibly a weekly chore or leisure time for you once in awhile.

Having a routine definitely helps for both you and your baby. If you stick to specific times that you get your baby up everyday & bath & put them to bed at the same time at night they will get to learn these routines - then they will get tired by bedtime, sleep better through the night and will still take a decent nap for you in the afternoon - this will allow you to organize your time better for household chores, allowing you to do some when baby's down for a nap or in the evenings after your baby has gone to bed. When you need your hands free for making meals, answering a phone, or quick tidy ups; keep a playpen handy. This is the safest place for a busy baby when you aren't available to keep your full attention on your child.

And remember, don't sweat the small stuff, you'll do just fine.

Hope this helps. Good luck & take care!

Tracey Alderson
Administrator, Epilepsy Awareness 2009

Amy - posted on 07/10/2010

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I stay home with a one year old as well. We see it as my job to do all the housework, grocery shopping, cooking, childcare. (all the domestic duties) To get my cleaning done I make it fun..my son loves to copy me so I gave him my old broke kitchen vaccum and he pretends to vaccum with me, while I cook he plays with pots and pans, when I dust he pretends to "dust" with me. However, any cleaning that needs to be done like bathrooms, I do those during nap time or bedtime. He has now gotten to where I can put a gate on his bedroom door for those 20 mins of bathroom cleaning, and let him play with his cars, etc. (its cute to hear him in there playing by himself and all the talking he does) Basically, anything you can do around the house to make it "fun" for them, it will make it easier for you and you can get it done quick. The key is to pick up as you go, if you try to do that then it won't be as bad when it is time to do heavy-duty cleaning.

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