How do you balance cleaning the house and taking care of the needs of your children

Susanna M - posted on 03/05/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Well I want to get the house cleaned
But our daughter wants my time too. Like for instance I need to potty train. But I also have all the responsibilities being a stay home mom and a wife. How do you balance all of these and is it good to have a schedule and a routine

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I find that having a loose schedule helps--it MUST be very flexible because if it is too rigid or strict you'll never be able to stick to it with a toddler.

Here's what I do. I live in a small 9 room house--it has 3 bedrooms (one is an office), and 2 bathrooms, plus the other standard rooms. Each day I clean 5 rooms for 10 minutes each. I clean the bedroom every day, and alternate the other 8 rooms as needed. When J was little, I tried to do the bedrooms and bathrooms fairly early in the day, because they don't really get messy again, then save living room, dinning room, and kitchen for as late as possible before dh got home from work--that way he still gets to come home to a cleanish house.

Not sure how old your child is, but J was old enough to play by himself for 10 minutes by the time he was about 2 years old. I had conditioned him by playing with him for 10 minutes (set a timer so the "ding" dictates your leaving her to play on her own) then leaving him for 5 minutes, then gradually extending the time I was away from him until I had 10 minutes. By the time he was 2, he already knew that his "Independent time" would only last a little bit, so he didn't bother me. The trick is you MUST be consistent--when the timer dings again to bring you back to playing with your kid, you have to stop what you are doing and go directly too her. By the time J was 3 I could leave him for 20 minutes (I was right there with him, just not engaged with him), and by the time he was 4, I could easily have 30-45 minutes to myself for every 10 minutes I played with him. You also have to be 100% focused on your child during the "Play with Mom Time" So by doing this routine 5 times a day, I managed to free up enough time to clean at least 5 rooms--you will be amazed how much you can do in 10 minutes if you stay focused and in the same room.

A few pointers, once a room is clean, if you can close the door and stay out of there--do it! I don't go back into my bedroom after I clean it. I also limit us to one bathroom after dh leaves for work--sometimes I can skip cleaning the 2nd bath because it doesn't get used every day, or only gets used one time.

Keep a large, pretty basket in the living room to quickly toss her toys into. This is MUCH quicker than running everything back to her room, and she's mostly going to play in the main areas of the house, so it makes sense to store her toys there--but you don't want to be tripping over them all the time. Rotate the toys out as needed with new toys from her room.

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