Does anyone have advice on how to balance life and a baby . .

Sharon - posted on 08/03/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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I am a new mother to a baby girl who will be 5 months old on the 15th of August. Lately, I have been feeling overwhelmed between work, cleaning the house, and taking care of our daughter. I do not neglect our daughter as I spend my evenings with her, but I do neglect the deep cleaning of the house (dusting etc...) I will pick up the toys and such after Fiona goes to bed, but not before then.



My husband helps out when he is at home and not busy doing some work so I am lucky in that aspect to have someone else. Does anyone have an advice on how to handle it all without feeling too worn out?

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Shannon - posted on 08/03/2010

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Pick a day, one day a week to deep clean the house... If it doesn't get done, no big deal wait til next week. Get a baby sitter (if possible) for a few hours that day to make it easier. try just doing one load of laundry a day that way it doesn't build up and also you're not over doing it. make a schedule and try to stick with it, and give you hubby some chores too or let him pick his... hope these suggestions help.

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Dawn - posted on 08/05/2010

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I finally dust mopped behind a table in the LR the other day.....my 17 month old, who is learning to throw, managed to lose every ball to his ball maze, and a handful of Daddy's golf balls back there!! I do the basics every day: dishes, clean tables/floor after meals, and put away toys (and I sometimes let this one go too...my son doesn't care if his toys are still scattered the next morning!). I then try to get these few things done throughout the week; laundry, bathroom, vaccum, mop and maybe the front window and TV wiped of sticky hand grim!! I forget about things like, sweeping the front porch, dusting surfaces and under things, or washing curtains until I can no longer ignore it!! I am much bigger on taking care of myself; I use my husbands babytime to have lunch alone with my girlfriends or do some thrift-store shopping!! After my son is asleep I use that time to watch a movie or take a long bath/shower. Naps are usually spent reading or on the computer or napping myself!! I agree with those that have said your little one is only little for a short time...soon we can enlist their help with the chores, so I would rather relax now!! That said, I find it is easy to get overwhelmed when you start thinking about what isn't being done...I am not always happy to have my floors dirty or laundry piling up or not being able to finish a movie because my son chose to stay up at bedtime and now I need to get to sleep or be a zombie in the morning. As they say: "This too shall pass" and that makes me sad to think about :( Good luck and stay positive!!!



PS: I just re-read that you work...I stay at home for now and have a problem keeping up, so I feel for you. :)

Marcy - posted on 08/05/2010

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Sharon the only thing I can tell you (and I am OCD about my house) is to pick you battles. As a mom its impossible to get it all done all the time. I do have a cleaning lady who comes to my house every other Saturday. It costs $75 and its so worth it. We actually budget her in monthly and skip 2-3 meals out to be able to afford her. She does everything....I do still have to surface clean and organize though so I pick 1 thing to do per day. Even if its cleaning out one drawer or going through my sons clothes to see what doesn't fit anymore...it may seem like nothing but it does add up. My hubby does the laundry...he's much better at it and it gives him an excuse to watch tv--since he folding.

Good luck!

Kyla - posted on 08/05/2010

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It gets easier, as your baby gets older and is able to sit and play independently, while you are doing a little cleaning the room she is in. But never do too much that you feel worn out, you are a new mom and not everything needs to be perfect all the time. Also an exersaucer or jumper can help a lot, i put my son in his jumper in the kitchen while I do dishes so we can still interact. But just remember it does get easier, just takes time to get into a routine that works for all of you.

Alison - posted on 08/05/2010

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I agree, you need to loosen your standards a little, but three cats can be a lot.

If you can afford a cleaning lady for 3 hours every other week, do that. Otherwise, try to make an agreement with a friend or family member to help out once a week or every two weeks. A lot of people LOVE spending time with babies.

Good luck!

Kathy - posted on 08/05/2010

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Pick a day when your husband is home and have a clean the house party. We usually do Sundays. We team up and attack. It is great to have a clean house for the week. All we have to do is maintenance cleaning: dishes, a quick sweep, load of laundry, keeping things picked up. Now that the kids are older-they have the pleasure of joining the party with us. I learned this from my Mom who was a single divorced woman with 2 kids and a full-time job. With a team, you can knock out cleaning the house in a couple of hours and finish laundry throughout the day. Good luck!

Sharon - posted on 08/05/2010

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Thank you all for your advice. I have been trying to let it go more and more lately. Since I am OCD and feel as though everything has to be neat and orderly, it was hard at first. I think another part about the cleaning is that I have 3 cats to care for and also clean up after, so between my family and the allergies I have, it can be hard to maintain a balance where everyone is healthy.

My husband helps out around the house more and more each day and we both spend time with our daughter. I am just feeling a bit overwhelmed at the whole life change, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Everything is slowly falling into place, which seems normal for first time parents. But, I have been taking the advice above and doing work an hour or so after Fiona goes to bed to get ready for the next day and then take time for myself.

Melissa - posted on 08/04/2010

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Just enjoy your time with your daughter, and set a me day. Talk to your husband and choose a day of the week where you can have the day for cleaning the house, and the evening of that same day to do something for yourself. Your husband will hopefully understand and take your daughter on that day.Good luck.

Nete - posted on 08/04/2010

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lol that's what I was thinking ..Amy... dust? yeea right, every week with two thursdays... get to the big surfaces, vacuum --mop, the never ending dishes and laundry ...I try to take 1 hour after bedtime every night to get everything ready and clean for the next day... but dust... well .... I don't want to miss a minute with my kids if I can avoid it and certainly not to dusting ... one day they will be all grown up and gone .. dust I'm pretty confident will always be there ...I say get it when you can... and devote your time to your little girl

Iridescent - posted on 08/04/2010

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You dust? Lmao! I broom the corners every few months when I start to notice cobwebs. I dust...yearly? We clean AC filters weekly and change furnace filters every few months during the winter for health reasons. We steam clean the carpet 1-2x/year. Let some things go.

Michelle - posted on 08/04/2010

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When I was a new single mom I was given one bit of advice that I still remember to this day. It came from an older woman who had 10 children and 25 grandchildren. She told me that my baby would only be a baby once, to enjoy the time I had with her, deep cleaning house work could wait. Well imo she was right, who cares that I hadn't dusted in a few weeks?? I spent every waking minute with my baby girl and all the house work in the world can't take away the bond that I have with her. She didn't notice that I hadn't dusted and she didn't care, she had her mommy. When they get older and can entertain themselves, you will find more time for house work. Until then do what you have to do ie dishes, laundry, picking up toys, the rest really isn't as important as spending time with your daughter.

Bernadette - posted on 08/03/2010

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I agree with Shannon, i'm a single parent with 3 lively boys. I have to juggle things and like Shannon suggested if it just doesn't happen that day (as you will find some days just do not go to plan) it will get done the following week. Don't beat yrself up about it. Enjoy being mum and everyone will enjoy you....x

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