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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Andrea - posted on 07/07/2010

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I hate cleaning and laundry which probably isn't a good thing since I'm a SAHM and my boyfriend thinks it part of the my job and if I don't do something one day he say what you do all sit on your ass. Yes, honey because with 4 kids I'm able sit on my ass all day. I wish I had some OCD but I don't so I have to force myself to do it. As far as dishes and cleaning the kitchen I have found if I don't to them as I cook and right after we eat they will sit there in till I have to cook again. Then I get mad at myself because now I have to do dishes then cook and then dishes and clean all over again. My bathrooms is the only rooms that has to be clean no matter what. The living room I don't bother with in till the baby goes to bed because all the her toys are in it. She loves to tip her toy box over as soon as you pick them up. The bedrooms get it twice a week. As far laundry well I hate it really really do but If I don't do at least two loads a day it's all bad I won't get caught back up or a month.

Ellen - posted on 07/07/2010

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We don't get everything done...and you need to reeeelax and enjoy your little one :D

Candace - posted on 07/06/2010

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but for myself again, i only live in a 2bedroom apartment so it isnt really that big so it doesnt take long to get it all done, but tahn again it takes me up to 2-3days tops to get it all done

Candace - posted on 07/06/2010

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well, for me the first year i was still too tired to keep up with all the house hold chores so i didnt clean as much, but shortly after my daughter turned 1year old i started getting more energy and lately i have been keeping up with the cleaning and cooking, my routine for cleaning is if i sweep i sweep everything that needs to go in one area mainly the kitchen and than i pick all of it up and than mop and than move everything back and do teh other side of the living room and once that is done i start on the dishes and than once the dish rack is full i start drying them and putting them away and finish the rest adn than disinfect the stove and counters and thats basically what i do and with the laundry if theres a huge pile i sort them out like shirts in a shirts pile and pants in a pants pile and so on with the rest of the laundry and than work my way with each pile and putting them away, hope that helps and if not i hope you find somebody with some good advice =) and maybe when your son gets a lil older you can start asking him to help, thats what im doing with my daughter, shes going to be 2years old next month and i dont have to ask her for help anymore lol she just automatically helps me =) if she sees me changing the laundry i pass it to her so she can put them in the dryer and she waits until im done and she closes the dryer door for me =) and with the laundry if she helps than i get her to pass some clothes to me, if you have a highchair you can put your son in there with snacks and juice and that could keep him occupied until you are done and put on his favorite movie/cartoon show, or let him colour on some papers or let him play in a playpen =)

Teresa - posted on 07/06/2010

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I am glad you asked this question because I too have issues keeping up with everything. I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 3 month old, both boys, and they are my world. I would do anything for them but it gets so over whelming when you throw all of the household chores in the mix. I love my husband to death, but he is in the military and works long days and so his time off he spends relaxing. I encourage him to spend time playing with the kids instead of helping me as this is what is most important to me. I am glad to hear that most people agree that as long as things are not filthy and unsanitary for the children then a little clutter will not hurt them. I would rather my kids look back on their lives and remember playing and having fun with me and their daddy then remembering me getting upset or yelling because things were not perfectly picked up or having a stressed out mom trying to get everything done.... I really like the flylady.net site as well... thank you to who every posted that.

Donna - posted on 07/05/2010

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i know where you are coming from. I have been on anti depressants for a while now and i struggle to get anything done. My husband though is a great support and knows that i am suffering an illness and just getting out of bed is an achievemnt sometimes. Do what you can and dont put pressure on yourself and your husband will have to either accept it or help out more. I know you feel that you should be doing it all yourself i felt the same way but you need to get out of that mindset other wise it will bring you further down. Try and set yourself little goals and when you have achieved that stop. Eventually you will be able to increase it in time but dont force yourself. Remember your #1 priority is to have a happy and contented child and the rest will fall into place eventually. Keep your chin up.

Christina - posted on 07/05/2010

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I feel your pain. But I have a bit of OCD and can not have a mess anywhere, although I'm getting better. My daughter, 2yrs old, gets up at 530-6 am everyday, so that's when I start my day. Usually, I do at least one load of laundry everyday but it can get as many as 4 in one morning. Then I do dishes while Ms. L has breakfast, I then clean her up and we play for a bit. Then lunch, after that it's time for nap. Once she's down for her nap, I vacuum and dust. Once she's awake, she plays and has toys everywhere. Ms. L watches tv while I get dinner going. After dinner, we give her a bath and we both put her to bed. After she's in bed I put all the toys away and head to bed! I then start all over the next morning!

Mari - posted on 07/05/2010

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It is a very good question and I am sure everybody have their own routinve if they have. I don't really have one. I have a very active almost 3 year old little guy, so In order to get things done around the house I ask him to help me, like give him a duster and he can have fun with it dusting what ever or his little vacume and go vacume. I just keep him busy, so I can clean too and also I don't do everything on one day. Say I do laundry on Monday, dust the house on Tuesday, do the floors on Wednesday and so on, so I would not feel like a zombie one day of doing it all and also it seems like your house is clean all the time. Just take one day at a time and don't make plans ahead because with little one they never work. Wake up in the morning and see what needs to be done first. I also run B&B from home, so yeah, I do one or two things every day as for keeping the house in order. Good luck and don't stess out over it, it is not end of the world.

Lory - posted on 07/05/2010

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you wont get it all done! so cut yourself some slack, but for me i try to get the dishes after every meal while my little one is still finishing her breakfast and strapped into the high chair, i turn on the music so she'll sing along while i finish up. laundry gets done while she sleeps either naps in the winter, or i throw a load or 2 in every night in the summer, (make sure to check if its gonna rain the next day) after she falls asleep then we get some outside time in the am while i hang it out, let the sun do the work, i bring it in during naptime and if you fold it as you take it down that is one less step for later. if you really hustle you can get alot done during naps, but dont sweat the small stuff!!

Lindie - posted on 07/05/2010

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Honey you don't get everything done!!!

You have to be selective about what absolutley needs to be done i.e. dishes, laundry and food. The rest is as and when.

I do laundry every two days first thing in the morning and get hung out asap!

Hubby and take turns to either bath the twins or clean the kitchen in the evening.

If i feel up to it and have time, i will do some thing like dusting or hoovering or mowing the lawn when the gilrs have their nap, oh and while i wait for them to settle I make my and hubby's bed and tidy our room whilst listen on the baby monitor for when they have finished their milk.

When Dads home at the weekend I get to have a nice long hot bath after which I quickly blitz the most pressing areas of the bathroom.

Main priorities are keeping kitchen clean and tidy as we eat from there, and keeping ont op of the laundry because we need clean clothes to wear. The rest is not important, give yourself a break!

p.s. I havn't dusted above eye level since my girls where born 2yrs ago (don't tell!!)

Megan - posted on 07/05/2010

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I go with the flow.
I do laundry once a week (usually Monday) and try to do it during nap time.
I vacuum on Sundays as my fiancee works nights and is sleeping during the day.
We have a dishwasher so it doesn't take much to load that up and have it wash the dishes. I turn it on in the evening and empty it in the morning.
My daughter loves sweeping so she helps me out there. (She will be 2 in August)
I clean the bathroom while my little girl is getting a bath. I don't use chemicals so it won't hurt her. While she naps I clean the tub.
I can clean the kitchen whenever because I can still see my little girl playing while doing so.
My daughter also likes to dust and such so she helps me out!!!
I just don't try to do everything all at once in one day. I like to spend time with my daughter and she is only going to be young once. The cleaning will still be there the next day so there is no point to stress over it.

Edwina - posted on 07/05/2010

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i cannot help you with this as i am in same boat. i look forward to any ideas you find that work

Stephanie - posted on 07/05/2010

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The only thing that works for me is scheduling the day. I have had ADD my whole life and am definitely a messy person so housekeeping is about my greatest fight right now. I manage to get all my house work done with two toddlers under 5 running around though. I just set certain times of day for specific 'chores' that need doing. Like when the kids are eating I wash and/or fold laundry. When they're napping I pick up, vacuum, and do the dishes. After bed time I do the dishes and I either do a bit more laundry while watching tv with the hubby or just do another cursory pick up. I feed the kids and put them down for naps and bed time at the same times everyday that way my chore regiment is regular as well. I usually keep the television or some music on so I'm entertained while I work and that helps too. Toddlers thrive on routine anyways so it keeps the three of us happy and sane lol. (Hubby too!)

Kristel - posted on 07/05/2010

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There are mother's helpers and I've been having this problem with my daughter... Some times my husband will clean but only if I break down in tears telling him I need more help from him. Sometimes when he goes to get something from the store or run an errand I have him take our daughter and get some chores done.

Iris - posted on 07/04/2010

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Sorry I do not have a rountine with a 12 year old, 5 year old, and a 3 year old. (all girls) Just do your best and things will come to gather.

Rachel - posted on 07/04/2010

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Well, you may be getting depressed from being so overwhelmed! At least that diagnosis is helping. And it will continue to get better.
But realize you are sooo not alone! I was and am just like you. And my hubby and I agreed to the same SAHM ideals. But I personally had a rough time with both recovery and then finding my place in the home. It proved to be a whole different world for me. And it was odd not having my "own" thing, "own" desk, and "own" money. I put alot of my personal identity in that. Now I was Mom, which I loved...but it was so different. And I was really self-doubtful. I thought how horrible am I that I can't wash the dishes or scrub the floor regularly. But just because we do an "easy" task doesn't mean they don't add up and become overwhelming.
I had worked full-time and home has always been a place for relaxing, putting stuff off, your used to home being a 50-50 chore world and now its not. And even tho I was at home 24/7, it didn't change the way I felt there, viewed tasks, or how the home was still running. Think about it, just because you eat 7-course meals doesn't mean that you could walk into the kitchen and make one. Same principle. Just because its your home, doesn't mean you can just make it your job overnight.
On that note, and it sounds stupid but I had to literally treat my home like a job. Mon-Fri, I set the clock and get up to "go to work". Its merely the frame of mind that your working with. And its what you would have to do if you were working. So in doing so, its made me really grateful everyday that I am there. I was always thankful, but this provided a difference and a definate initiative to get moving and own my new surroundings.
Your son can sleep in while you get up, and give you a few "me" hours. Or you can do most of the busy work until he wakes. I can still opt to snooze with her on a nap or do some more house-work. Hello job perks! If your both awake at the same time, let him do things with you. Find the schedule and routine that works, just like you would if you were at a desk all day.
If you have an iPhone, or iTouch ck out "Home Routines". Its a great app that you can customize to help you target each area of your house to clean each week. But I'm sure there are computer sites that may do the same. Its common sense stuff but the hardest part is getting started. So in that aspect it really helps. Come up with a good plan and try it out. You'll find something that works. :-) Good Luck!

Lyndsey - posted on 07/04/2010

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My son is ten months and starting to walk and im 4 months pregnant so i completely understand. my advice is first take a deep breathe and realize that it doesnt all need to get done in one day. i have a small white board on my fridge with a list of what i want to get done in a day. Our routine is pretty much wake up have breakfast, play than nap around 10 am. at this time now that im pregnant i nap but before i would commit to one or two tasks. Throw in a load of laundry and do the dishes. if it feels overwhelming, take a breathe and sit down until the next commercial on your favorite show or just a quick break than get up and finish your task.

After nap we have lunch and carter gets down and plays while I vacuum, switch laundry to dryer and than we just hang out and play again for alittle while. I have baby gates and doors closed so i know he cant get into something he shouldnt but he usually follows me around when i vaccum anyway.

He does take an afternoon nap and i usually use this time for myself. I get on the computer or curl up and watch a movie or do bills etc. when he wakes up we have a snack and i plan dinner as best i can for my husband when he gets home. after dinner is bath and bed and that is when i sweep and or mop if needed.

This is a fairly new routine for us seeing as i am just now feeling better from my pregnancy. My biggest battle is laundry i hate puting it away so it can pile up fast if i dont keep up. this is why i commit to one load a day and if i feel ambitious i will do two just so i dont get behind.

Take it all one step at a time try just getting down the dishes and once you have a good routine on keeping that under control, move to dishes and laundry, than add vaccuming etc. in whatever order you feel is most important in your household. Once you get into the perfect routine for YOU, it will be just a matter of motivation. I too am lucky to have a husband who is patient and doesnt get frustrated about undone housework so i had plenty of time to get into this routine. Life is so much easier now. I hope my long ramble of a message made sense and could be of some help! Good luck and have fun with it.

P.S. one good tip for watching kids and doing dishes is make a cabinet a "safe" cabinet where maybe you keep tupperware and pots and lids and things that your baby wont get hurt so when you are in there that is where they can play. it works wonders in my house.

Rachel - posted on 07/04/2010

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It is hard I have a little bit of OCD in that everything has to be tidy and in it's right place so having children and accepting your house will and isn't as clean as you would like it to be was hard but am definatly chilling out more now!
Just do as much as you can I always make sure the kitchen is clean and downstairs in general but i tend to let upstairs go a bit. When i am getting the boys ready for baths they mess about upstairs whilst i blitz the bedrooms, sorting laundry giving the bathroom quick clean etc. Also tv is good put something on they like and let them sit there whilst you get your housework done, nothing wrong with this and nothing to feel guilty about, means you can blitz the house and then spend time playing with your little one and can relax in the knowledge your house is a bit tidier and accept that your house is always going to be a little bit messy! If i feel the house needs a really deep clean then i tend to get the hubby to take the boys out for a while, so i can turn the music up loud and have some real fun doing the housework!!! :)

Jackie - posted on 07/04/2010

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I'm a mum to 4 kids(8months, 2,4,6yrs). try a roster deviding up all chores, even a full day's roster with nap times, meals etc. helps me get through the day. some days everything wont get done depending of coarse on the babies. night times are good for catching up on the floors etc. if you are finding it hard talk to your husband to help out, get him to take the kids outside (or even a room they can have a play in) while you get some chores that your havn't had time to do. kids love helping out at 1 year old let them, trust me the older they get the harder it is to get them to clean.

Annery - posted on 07/04/2010

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I have 4 kids and I'm a stay @ home mom 2. everytime I get a chance. u can do it while he's watching tv or u can set a little play area where ur gonna be cleaning so u can keep an eye on him while u either clean da kitchen, bathroom, ur room. Set sum toys on da floor for his entertainment. Does he take naps during da day? Take dat moment 2 do it. It's not hard at all u just have 2 know wat keeps him da most entertained long enough 4 u 2 do wat u need 2 do...i mostly like 2 clean @ nite when dey r in bed n i have no interruptions. in da morning da house is clean n all u worry about is spending time wit da kids instead of having 2 clean up b4 hubby comes home..train urself da less mess U make, da less u have 2 clean up...GOOD LUCK!!

Stephanie - posted on 07/04/2010

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I have the same problem! My daughter is 17 months. I keep the kitchen clean, but my bathrooms, ugh - I'm usually wiping the rims of toilet quickly with toilet paper when I visit. When I do laundry, I have to take it down the hall (I live in apt building) to the laundry room, I have a pushcart to carry the laundry and I wear my daughter in the sling, but she sits in it around my back, and I let her hold the container of quarters. When I am at home doing dishes, she has a "special" cabinet filled with plastic containers she can pull out and play with. I just toss them back in when we're done. It's not perfect, sometimes she gets bored with the same plastic containers and tries to crawl into the dishwasher, or pulls the dishes out- and then throws a fit when I close it. I just do the best I can, that's all you can do! I have a cousin who works as a school teacher and has FOUR kids! Her house is far from tidy, but she manages to keep it clean but cluttered. Hang in there, how did women manage before microwaves, prepared foods, dishwashers, clothes washers and vacuum cleaners!? Did they sleep?

Darylann - posted on 07/04/2010

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I have a some great educational dvd's for my son that he absolutely loves! Now I am definitely not for sitting him in front of the tv all day, but it at least gives me 30 mins. or so do get some dishes done or fold some clothes. The dvd's I have for him are Sparkabilities, and Signing Time (although I am not that impressed with Baby Einstein, but wouldn't completely rule it out). We are also getting one of those octagon shaped gates that he will be able to walk around and play in but should also allow me to get some things done.
I think Dads just need to accept the fact that it is a lot harder than it may seem, and it is more important to spend quality time with your little one than have a spotless house all the time.

www.happymommyathome.com

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The short answer is: I don't get everything done. It still bothers me, but that's just the way it is with 2 little ones.

However, I totally agree with Celia! My boys (3 & 19 mos) are my helpers. As soon as they were old enough to take a toy out to play with, they were putting it back. My eldest loves to help mummy and does all the things that Celia's son does, but he also makes his bed, helps cook meals, sets/clears the table and loads the dishwasher. One of his favourite things to do is sweep (I have an electric sweeper), so he'll happily do the entire house. My 19 mo has been picking up his toys since he started walking at 10 months of age. He will fight with his brother to put dishes away!

Kids love doing things that adults do and if you ask for their help they'll do anything for you. If they don't, no sweat try another day. My boys will sometimes not want to help me with certain tasks and that's fine, however they always pick up their toys at the end of the day automatically... because it's something they've always done so it's just become a part of their bedtime routine.

But overall, try not to stress about keeping a spotless house. I've come to find out that a house will never be spotless with kids in it... and that's okay. As long as it's clean, I can deal with a bit of mess.

Celia - posted on 07/04/2010

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Get your children involved with cleaning now! He is one you said, my one year old helps put dishes away, helps sweep, picks up his own toys. Now when i say helps put dishes away I mean he hands them to me. And sweeping he actually just thinks he is helping. But he really does pick up his toys with some encourgaement and clapping! I decided to get him involved now because when he gets to be school age I will probably go back to work and I will need help around the house. I believe that I am guiding him in the right path also to be a cleaner person in the future. He sees that our house is clean and sees me cleaning and he helps out too. Just the other day he wanted to push the high chair back into its spot. So I let him. Letting your kids help may take more patience and time on your part. Thats ok by me, because I'm guiding him to be my little helper.
Good luck!

Julie - posted on 07/04/2010

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Hi Lexi, I have been in the same place that you are now, but I have 2boys, it can be hard to take on everything without spouse support, you have the hardest job and when you need help you need to ask him to, even if he says no, ask. Also check out the flylady on the internet she has wonderful advice. what I can tell you that I have learned from her is to set a timer for 30mins or an 1hr and clean thru the house as fast as you can and take 15min breaks. Do this when he is sleeping or you can put him in the highchair and move it to where you are cleaning and see if he will play for awhile in the chair, then he will be safe and you can watch him. It is soooo hard when you are feeling depressed and having anxiety, know that you are not alone, take the meds and surrroud yourself with postive people. You can do this and you can get your house undercontrol. Check out the fly lady she has sooo many helpful things! I will keep you in my prayers, don't give up, it will get better.:) If you need encouragement I am here for you! Julie

Jennifer - posted on 07/04/2010

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I am totally all for flylady.net...it works! Organization, daily tasks, 15 minutes at a time...she is the best. I am not strong in any of the "housewife areas", I do great with our two girls, but cleaning and organization not-so-much. Check it out, it is so worth it!

Nancy - posted on 07/04/2010

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I had to get on anti depressants too for the same reason. My house by no means is in order, but I do what matters to me and leave the rest. Being a SAHM, to me, means spending quality time with my (very active son--now 2) more so than cleaning. So, I vacuum a couple days/week, use the dishwasher, which we never did before, and do a load of wash, or two, usually in the evening. Although, you can ask your son to help w/ the laundry and some other things. (ie: carry something to the washer). The house can be spic and span clean when he goes to pre? school...and believe me, that will happen sooner than you think (another reason for the anti-depressants!)

Danyele - posted on 07/04/2010

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i dont get it all done i just have to prioritise jobs that need doing now and jobs that can just wait an extra day u just have to be carefull not to get swamped and keep on top of it all that all.as for laundry i just try do as much when weathers dry and when its warm i put a line of washing out last thing too but i clear basket and its full within day my basket is never empty either also just ask hubby to do a little even if its just giving baby a bath to give u a break or hubby to take him to bed when hubby comes in it all helps little is better than nothing just keep trying

Kamilya - posted on 07/03/2010

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I feel your pain. The things I use to do was while doing laundry have my son help me put the clothes in the washer and dryer. While cleaning the dishes he would be either eating or watching his favorite cartoon. You can't stress yourself over keeping the whole house clean u gotta do 1 room a day. And the only time you can mop is when the kids is sleeping.
If this don't help you can always go out and buy the children size broom and make a fun game out of cleaning and have your child help you clean.

Amy - posted on 07/03/2010

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I forgot to tell you how I operate at home. I wash dishes and cook (main priority) but I cook enough 1 day to last for several days. If you are hungry, eat it, if not, go to McDonalds! is what I tell him! I do keep up on dishes. Floors were only done on a I can't stand the sight of the filth any more babsis until baby started geting around. Now those are done quite often. Laundry is every 10-14 days because we have tons of clothes to keep us going that long and longer if needed but I do it 10-14 days so it doesn't get too overhelming. Baby is kept clean, dressed and fed, bed is straighted out daily and everything else gets done every now and then as needed. My main task is my daughter and that is just how it is gonna be! I don't need company, I prefer to pack up baby and meet outside. Less work for me that way and I can get out of the house. HUsband is a slob so it doesn't bother him. Most of the mess, he made it himself!

Amy - posted on 07/03/2010

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Your husbannd should not be getting fed up, he should be heelping you! Your job constantly surrounds you and there is no escape! He leaves his job and isnt there 24/7. He SHOULD be helping you a lot more than he probably is. You carried and birthed him a child and he owes you a lot for that! And your kid is running around which means he ust be watched constantly. I don't think you are the one being lazy. I think it's old hubbs that is being lazy thinking he doesn't have to pitch in more than he is because he has an "outside" job. When you are a mom, especially 1st time, you really aren't prepared for the physical and mental/emotional way you feel after being pregnant for 9 months and giving birth. That in itself takes a huge toll out on a woman. I should know, it took me 8 months to nearly recooperate after my daughter and now I'm pregnant again! Nothing is perfect here either. I always have something to do. Truth is, that there is no way you could have everything done by yourself unless every able bodied person in the house pitches in. I have a friend who is a drill sergeant when it comes to that. You don't do your share, you can't live there! Everyone has jobs, everyone gets a list. No one's house runsa as smoothly as hers, that is for sure. She is more authoritative than most however. I can't seem to get my husband to do anything and I pay more bills than he does and I am the SAHM!!!!! It is the male mentality that they don't have to do anything if they go to work outside. But how is it fair that all the REAL work is thrust upon the SAHM when her body has taken a beating by having children and never gets to leave work ever?! I know how you feel, I work 24/7/365 here. I have a lucky Aunt who only cooks and cleans the days my uncle goes to work and his days off are her days off and he takes her out to eat for dinner on friday and all 3 meals on saturdays and sundays. He doesn't let her lift a finger! We all need that kind of husband!!!!!

Melanie - posted on 07/03/2010

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At our house Dad works at night. So pretty much everything is up to Mom. I spent 2 years playing catch up. As soon as I'd take a break everything would be a mess again.
Finally, I made a list. Everyday has dishes, vacuum the main living areas and the baby's bath on it. Every other task is broken up to 1 day a week. I have 1 scheduled day off, and one for grocery shopping. Or I'll get worn out.
Here's an example of a typical Monday for me.
Laundry (wash, or fold what's left over from the days prior)
clean the downstairs bathroom
vacuum living room and dining room
wash dishes
Give the baby a bath
Clean and refill the kitty bowls
That's it. If it's on the list, only do those things. Conserve your energy for playing with your little one and don't stress about the little things.
Also, I take my daughter to play outside a lot. They can't make a mess of your freshly picked up and vacuumed living room if they're not in it. :)
Hope this helps. Good luck :)

Emilie - posted on 07/03/2010

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Lexi, remember this job totally different from working outside the home. There you leave your work and come home to relax, when you are a stay at home mom you are always where you work and can't leave to relax. I set goals, small ones for the day and when I have done it, I try to spend a few minutes rewarding myself by reading a bit of a magazine or going on the computer or sitting outside on the porch. I am a mother of 4 girls, ages 10, 8, 4, and 5months. You have to have a stopping point, like you did at your job or you will always feel your work is not enough. Blessings on you and your sweet family.

Summer - posted on 07/03/2010

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One room a day. Thats my secret. And then just tidy up as you go through the day and things aren't so bad. Its easy to do one room while the little one is napping. And if you just keep things picked up (other than the toys because obviously this is NOT possible) then you'll feel a lot better and a lot less stressed at the end of the day. Nothing is ever going to be perfect ever again and it shouldn't be. Also, I always say there is a difference in "messy" and dirty. Messy is fine with me. Dirty is not.

Lindy - posted on 07/03/2010

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I keep 6 children at the house during the day. Two of those are my own. A 4 year old and a 13 month old. My tip for keeping things organized and everything in order is to prioritize. I usually spend time with the kids sitting down playing games, one on one time. Whether thats reading books or playing dolls... you get the idea. THEN as their still playing and into that game get something done. When they get bored move on to the next thing. Finger paint, puzzles, a cute movie. The trick is to keep them busy and keep their minds preoccupied.

Jessie - posted on 07/03/2010

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I have a rather loose routine, I get the dishes done and the laundry at least started first thing in the morning, then I pick up and vacuum, I do the bathrooms as needed, I also have a 6 y/o who loves to help he will even ask if he can wash the floors if I am cleaning them, I have a 9 month old and am 27 weeks pregnant so the way I look at it I get the main things done dishes (we need to eat) and laundry (because I like having clean panties) and do the rest along the way DH helps out when he can and when he see's that I am just too tired like the other day he cleaned the up stairs for me but try making a check list with the most important things or the things you want to get done for that day at the top and do it that way

CARRIE - posted on 07/03/2010

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I use the playpen when I can but, he is getting too tall for it. When Daddy is home I leave him in charge of our son while I try and get some stuff done. I also do as much as I can while he is taking a nap and after he goes to bed at night. If you have a high chair you could put him in it with a snack while you do the dishes or fold some laundry. I just try and get one thing knocked out at a time. If you get one whole thing done instead of just some of several things you feel better.

Dawn - posted on 07/03/2010

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I don't have a solid routine, but a loose one. I have a very active 20 month old girl and a boy in school. My day starts with getting up and getting myself ready before I get my daughter ready. My son is self efficient and gets his own breakfast and dressed. I drop him off at school and do any errands I have to first thing in the morning. It's still pretty quiet in my town then and get lots done. Then it's home and play time. I have gates to keep her corralled in the kitchen, diningroom and livingroom area. We play and somethimes I also do chores at the same time. She even helps. When she gets too much under my feet and wanting to help, I plop her in her highchair and give her some fish crackers and she watches me putter around and we chat.
As for laundry, don't try and do it all in one day. You'd go mad! lol Everyone has a laundry basket in their room and when it's full, I do that load.(on express wash) It doesn't matter what day it is. I tried to pick one laundry day and it was insane what with all the clothes and towels.
When my daughter naps is when I get my computer work done. And sometimes if I have to work in the office when she's up, like now, I throw her into her playpen. It's okay to do that. Right now she's playing with a musical toy and is very happy.
As for your husband, mine is in the navy and away for a few months right now. But when he is home, we have an agreement. After dinner cuz I cook, he tidies up the kitchen while I get kids bathed and ready for bed. While I put my daughter down, he and my son have a wild game of Wii. He also takes out the garbage and his one major chore is cleaning the bathrooms...I hate that job! lol
My golden rule, I don't do any housework after the kids go to bed. That's my adult time with my hubby.
Hope this helps and reassures you that it's ok to let the house go and it doesn't have to look like a show home. My philosophy, if friends are coming over to visit my house and not me, they don't need to come over at all.
Another trick I use sometimes, I hire my babysitter to come over and keep my kids busy while I do a major clean...usually in spring and fall. She's awesome and it's a great help.
Good luck!

Cleo - posted on 07/03/2010

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I have a 2 1/2 year old and 4 month old and i must tell you that I've yet to get EVERYTHING done in one day but I do come partially close. I just do the best that I can and continue finshing whatever I didn't the very next day. It'll be easier once the kids are in school because then we can solely concentrate on house work. Good luck.

Corinne - posted on 07/03/2010

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Make every job you do a game. Get the little one to put clothes in the machine, or pass you the pegs, or give him a dry duster and let him help you. I did it with both of mine (2yrs and 4yrs now) and my little boy is heartbroken if I do the washing without him. That said, it is damned hard work and you do have a little person to play with and feed and change etc. Don't be too hard on yourself! x

Tina - posted on 07/03/2010

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does he still nap, clean when he naps, have him help you its never to early to start teaching how to clean up and at these young ages they love helping mommy, of course only what he maybe able to do, make a game out of it, like the vacuum, does he have a play pin, put him in it to clean up some let him play while you clean, you just have to figure out what works best for you and him and always remember the mess can be cleaned up when ever your kids are only little for so long, don't stress the little stuff enjoy your child, and hubby can help, just because they work all day doesn't mean there job is done when they get home...best of luck and enjoy your little one.

Reiko - posted on 07/03/2010

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I think it depends on your kid's nature. With my first, I literally could not get much done, he was a pretty high maintenance baby, and would get into everything I tried to do. Naps were the only time I could do any housekeeping. Now he is 2.5 yrs old, and can entertain himself for fairly long periods, and is not always interested in what I am doing - or he can actually "help" me a little. My younger one has always been pretty laid back, and is a great solo player already. So I get about 30-40 min of housekeeping in every morning, this usually keeps the smaller tasks at bay - I keep big jobs for when there is another parent around. IMHO staying at home with a child IS a full time job - so it does not make sense to me that that person also takes on all the household work as well. If not 50/50, maybe like 75/25?? I know my husband and I went through an adjustment period, worse yet since I used to do all the household stuff even when I worked full time. It took a full day alone with the kids for him to understand how demanding parenting at home can be - physically, emotionally, etc. So now he helps out a bit more at home, and we have pretty good teamwork going. GL!

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First of all, realize your baby will enjoy "working" along side you. Let him play in the same room where you're working. If you're folding laundry, give him some to "fold," too....

Also, break up your work so that you're not tackling a lot at once. We all know that 1-year-olds don't have the patience to be "ignored" for long! So get your work done in small doses.

The first thing I do when I get up is make my bed.

I feed the children when they wake up - while they're eating I empty the dishwasher quickly. Then I eat. When they're done eating, I let them play while I clean up the dishes from breakfast. Your 1-year-old should be able to play in the kitchen beside you while you work. Give him his own drawer in the kitchen with toys in it so he can feel like he's "working" beside you.

After breakfast I make the children's beds.

As for laundry, the folding is the part that takes the longest. I bring the basket into my son's room and fold while he plays. I put away items in his room while I'm there and then do the rest bit by bit throughout the day.

Before bedtime, I clean up all the toys lying around. (This is something may older child now does for herself.)

Cleaning bathrooms I leave until my husband is home on weekends - the caustic fumes are something I don't care to share with my baby!

I must admit that floors are more neglected than they should be. (No one's perfect, right?) And my husband helps with that. (He's also responsible for trash and lawncare/gardening.)

[deleted account]

I write a to do list every day and tick them off as I do them. I don't have a routine, I just have my list. I have a 2 and a 3 year old so it can be quite difficult to get things done with them running around me all the time. The list definitely helps me. If I didn't manage to get what I wanted done that day, I just carry it over to the next day. For me the key is to do one room a day otherwise I feel overwhelmed and get nothing done. Also I've found if I wash the dishes as we use them it doesn't seem as daunting as a huge pile at the end of the day. Hope this can help. Good luck.

[deleted account]

Hi all - what a great topic. I'm in the same boat as almost everyone else. I have a lot of trouble keeping the house clean. Not so much the picking up, but the deep cleaning, toilets, bathtub, sweeping, mopping. It doesn't help having animals and babies of course!!! :) I have also used flylady.net with varying degrees of success. But, one thing that really helped me was the chapter in the book The Happiness Project about organizing. Since organizing the house - it has been a bit easier to pick up - knowing that everything has a place. This has also helped my son to keep his room a BIT cleaner (not much!! LOL!). Also, I began to keep laundry baskets in most of the rooms in my house. I thelps keep down the clutter, and is a great way to pick up a room fast and stuff it in the closet for company! :) I did have a once a week cleaning service for about a month. It was very nice for the kitchen, floors and the bathrooms. It was great! But it is a little bit too expensive for us at the moment. I've tried to get a bit more relaxed about it nowadays and just try to go with the flow. I was told just putting in one load of laundry per day and creating a weekly meal plan can save you the stress of a weekend full of chores. I also agree that partners need to pitch in. My hubby loads and unloads the dishwasher, feeds my kiddo breakfast and gets him dressed in the morning, makes dinners quite often, and puts our son to bed after some much needed physical activity. Now, if only he wouldn't leave the toilet seat up!!! :)

Krystie - posted on 07/03/2010

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see if you can invest in a Mei Tei to use as a back carrier, there are some pretty affordable ones, or an Ergo 2nd hand ones on eBay run about £30ish, yeah its a lot, but it can make all the differance.

i would never of managed when i had 4 kids with out my Ergo. my 4th child was carried in it from 8am to 4pm every day for 6 months. sheonly came out to feed and for nappy changes, but it allowed me to do school runds, make lunch, clean and tidy with out a screaming baby side tracking me, i didi similar with my 5th baby, but she was much more happy to be down, and now she is crawling i find my Mei Tei so helpfull, she loves being in it and it means i can get dishes done, floors swept, the kids tidy up the living room and hubby does laundry (he is ill so doest work at the moment) ad the all that hime schooling work and dyeing fibre for sale and its a hectic ol' time in Casa Del Kiz, but is fun and we love it.

Robin - posted on 07/02/2010

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It may sound "old fashioned" or "old school" but have you thought about a big play pen? Not the pack n' play but a big square play pen? You can train you child to stay in there and entertain himself while you have moment throughtout the day to do those things that need to get done. When my son was little I would put him in for short 5-10 minutes a few times a day and each week add some more time. Eventually he is in there 30-45 minutes as happy as can be playing with a few toys. You then have time to do a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher. Its amazing what you can do in 10 minutes! You could even use this time for mommy time...read a magazine, cook a yummy dinner, etc. I believe as much as we mommies need a break and alone time (because we are with our lil ones all day and night) our babies need time away from us. Good luck!

Jannine - posted on 07/02/2010

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i do all my floors when i get my 4 to bed at night and that way it leaves me time to relax with the kids plus when i put the youngest 1 whos 13mth down for a morning nap i put the dvd player on wth my twins favourate cartoon and do dinner prep. or we have started to colect happy land which the twins and my son love they can play for hours on it its firestation police ambulance for boys and houses coffee shops churches ect. they all make noises. i hope that helps a bit. i also have pnd and anxiety. and my parents are over 100miles away from me

Liz - posted on 07/02/2010

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I have a set of two year old b/g twins and I will be 38 weeks pregnant this coming tuesday with their little brother. It's been a bit if a difficulty cleaning while being pregnant and trying to take care of the kids, especially the farther along I get, but my general routine before I got far along was while the kids were napping, or playing nicely, do the dishes, or pick something that had to absolutely be done. Weather it was fold the clothes, dishes, straitening
the living room, whatever. then if the kids were still sleeping I'd give myself some time to relax too. My husband has been really good at helping though, especally getting so close to my due date now.

[deleted account]

I haven't had a chance to read the other replies, but I totally feel for you! I've been there, done that! I currently have an almost 3 year old and a 10 month old. As my children have grown (and I went from 1 to 2 kids) my ability to keep up with the cleaning has ebbed and flowed. Sometimes I was able to keep it up, other times the house was a disaster. My husband and I have had countless fights over cleaning. In the end at times when it was just impossible to get the cleaning done with the kids (when they are at that age when they climb in the dishwasher every time you open it, or they scream if you leave the room, etc.) my husband had to help pick up some of the slack. It helps more than anything if you try to not let things get out of control. Insist that dishes get put IN the dishwasher, not left out in the living room or wherever, or even unrinsed on the counter. Every time one of us leaves the living room we are required to bring trash into the kitchen and toss it. It's amazing how fast it can get out of control. Stuff like dusting, floors (mopping mostly), etc. take a backseat to the kitchen and laundry.

Good luck! Sooner or later, you will find that you are again able to get it all done. Your son will start playing more independently and you'll be able to actually get some stuff done!

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