how do you manage child care and housework?

Nicole - posted on 12/27/2009 ( 20 moms have responded )




I was just wondering how other SAHMs handled the daily task of taking care of the kids and doing necessary housework. I just have a one year old little boy who's not even walking yet and I have a hard time keeping up with everything! And it doesn't help that he doesn't take naps like he used to! It's just me and him all day, so I feel a little guilty sometimes putting him in his playpen to play by himself while I try to get some housework done. My husband doesn't help either, his schedule is not insync with ours. He works 3-11, give or take an hour or two and sleeps in everyday till about noon. And by the time he gets up the baby's gone down for a nap so I can't do any noisy work (like vacuuming) till almost 3 and by then it's late and I'm tired, lol! And my son likes to "help" a lot, so a 10 minute chore ends up taking 30 minutes or more. My house isn't even dirty, it's just a cluttered nightmare. What do you do to keep the house somewhat clean and keep the kids entertained?


Michelle - posted on 12/29/2009




We settled on the room room a day and general pick up system and so far it has worked well. My home is never perfect but is relatively clean and neat. This is what I have done for several years and it is never to early for little ones to help.
Mon- Bedrooms
Tue -bathroom
Wed-living room
Thurs -dining room kitchen
Saterday-yard work
Sunday rest
along with the room of the day we do a general pick up of all other room picking up anything on the floor and wash dishes .

1 yr of age you can also teach your son to pick up his toys by providing baskets for him to put them in. When my guys were little I had one in every room so he can play as you work and then it only takes a minute to pick them up As for general clutter look at each thing and ask does it serve a purpose do I need it do I really want to clean it if the answer is no then throw it away.

[deleted account]

When I'm in the kitchen doing the dishes or making dinner, I bring my LO in the kitchen with me and put her in her high chair with some snacks and her sippy cup. When I have to do the bathroom I put her in her bumbo chair and set her outside. When I vacuum I wear her. I also put on a movie for her sometimes when I have to do things which take longer. I also have a toy box for her to help me put her toys in so they are not everywhere. She loves helping to put them away. After she puts one in the box she claps for herself. Make it fun for the both of you.

Patricia - posted on 12/31/2009




I do home daycare along with taking care of my own little baby. I have three babies a 4 mo., a 6mo. and an 8 mo. old. I find it really easy to do stuff with the Jumeroo from fisher price I bought. I researched alot on what type of bouncer to buy and this is by far the best. I can put one of the babies in there for about an hour or two. They love it! They cry when i take them out of it. Plus Baby Genius movies help.

Hdlb123 - posted on 12/28/2009




I make beds while my girls are eating breakfast, and I do the vaccuuming at the same time if it needs to be done (while popping my head in the kitchen to make sure they are okay) laundry gets folded on the floor so my toddler can help, or sit on my lap, or whatever she could want to do. I clean most of the bathroom while she is in the tub and clean the tub later in the day. Floors get washed after the kids are in bed, dishes get done through the day when I have a few extra minutes, usually after breakfast, while the kids are eating lunch and right after dinner. Laundry gets put in every day so it doesnt pile up. My toddler loves to sit at the table and play with stickers and color, or play playdoh, so if I need a few minutes to do something then I stick her there. Usually she just comes along with me and visits while I clean though. The baby likes his bouncy chair so he goes there.
The best thing I can suggest is to not let things pile up. Keep on top of everything and it will seem so much easier. Keep the laundry done, the dishes done, the bathroom tidy (counters wiped etc) pick up the toys repeatedly through out the day...

Alicia - posted on 06/08/2010




Sounds like a day in my house. I have 2 boys; 4 & 2. Every time I start putting stuff away they are behind me pulling it out again. They both leave a trail wherever they go. My husband says it's more important to play with the kids because they will not remember that our house was always clean when they grow up. My mom says I am not supposed to be their only source of entertainment.

When the secret is found, will someone please tell me too!

This conversation has been closed to further comments


View replies by

Olesya - posted on 03/16/2012




This is what I do with my kids (we have 4). It was quite a battle to get them to take a nap at the same time every day, I used to put my son down and just let him be until he felt asleep ( as long as the crib safe, and check on him, make sure he doesn’t see you), it took about a week. I did the same with my 3 girls. So now when they sleep I clean. I made a list of the things I need to get done and usually do 1 or 2 tasks a day. The best time to vacuum is right when you put him down for a nap (babies like vacuum noise) or right when he wakes up, and then get him out. Good luck, I hope this helps.

p.s. my son is now 5 so he doesn’t take naps , but we have rule he needs to stay in his room and play quietly ( or clean his room) while his sisters are sleeping.

Jennifer - posted on 06/09/2010




Playtime alone is good for him so don't worry about that. Play music and dance around a bit. You pick up the clutter, exercise and make him happy all at once.
TV can be a good distraction for 15 mins at a time. Which is enough time to clear clutter in one room. Noggin has the cutest little shows that last that long. Also it is ok to take extra time to let him "help" just think when he is 6 years old. You will get your reward for your extra time.

Julie - posted on 06/09/2010




It is really hard when you're trying to work around everyone's schedules. In my house we have "laundry folding parties" where my 4 year old step daughter and my 1 year old daughter "help" fold the laundry, although it can get messy with clothes going eveywhere thanks to my 1 year old. The laundry gets done faster. Work at your own pace and your childs own pace and things will get done.

Stephanie - posted on 06/08/2010




Unfortunately housework is never ending. No matter what you do, there will always be something else to do. Don't stress about it. You get done what gets done. Keep letting your son help. This will work to your advantage in the long run. Find activities- books, playing games, parks, dancing, etc- so your son will expend some of his energy and make sure there is a run down period before laying down for a nap. Also, my kids went through a period trying to work out their sleeping schedules. They used to take 2 short naps and day and then they went to one long nap in the middle of the day. He may just need time to adjust his nap times.

Rebecca (BECCY) - posted on 12/29/2009




Get a roomba vaccuum. It can run at night after everyone's gone to bed. Or while your making dinner, or doing dishes, or laundry. If you use that two times a week and a regular vaccuum once a week. you'll be great. Also it's important that the little one learns to play on his/her own. Put in pack n play with some toys, and get some activities done. If he/she isn't used to playing on their own, they may scream for the first week or so, while getting used to the new routine. This is perfectly normal. If you do a little everyday, then nothing piles up, and becomes out of control.

Tinna - posted on 12/29/2009




well rite now i do everything when my 2 year sleeping but when my man get how from iraq ill have to have the house clean befor he get home with i put my kid down for a nap and do all the big stuff then like a hour befor he get home ill put all her toy in her room and do any clean that need to be done then on sat he will take the kid out for few hour and let me really clean and have time to my self and then we all do the yard work i have a hard time keeping up with washing clothing

Robbi - posted on 12/29/2009




My husband has the same schedule but he is a clean freak who likes to help. Maybe you could ask your hubby to do one thing off of your list or just ask him to do things that would make it more simple for you. i.e. make sure he puts his dirty laundry in the correct pile so you don't have to sort. I am not saying to nag him about it but maybe if you ask and tell him how much it helps he won't mind. My son is an attention hog he usually just cries until I come back to play with him so I clean then play back and forth. Also buy a noisy fan and put one in your husbands room and one in your sons. I also bought my husband earplugs. This way I don't stress about waking anyone up.

[deleted account]

i play clean play clean everuyday untill my cleaning is done i dont think its very hard but i also have a system we wake up an play for awhile then then we pick up toys an then i vaccum an my son has his own vaccum so he will vaccum with me an then an then we [play again an then when its lunch time i clean the kitchen an then its nap time an i will not do anything when he is sleep because that is my time to relax an then when he wakes up its snack time an play time an then i head up stairs an while he plays in his room i clean the up stairs an then im done like i pick toys up all day long but my son also helps an it does not take long for me to do it because everything in my house has a place, an my b/f does not lift a finger neither but its ok an hoe you said your son likes to help so does mine he is my bestest helper but i got him alot of the things i have like a vaccum an a brume an ill give him a towel to go wipe stuff off. maybe you could try doing that everday for me is the same for me i do the same thing everyday up by by 8 30am an in bed by 11pm if you get yourself on a sceldule everything falls into place like i also work night everynight at 5 so everyhing has to be the same for me im not sure what i would do if something didnt get done that day an it probally does not sound like a great time but it is to me its my life

Renae - posted on 12/28/2009




I recently posted about being having a hard time keeping up with housework and someone was nice enough to tell me about Have a look, lots of good tips.

I have started making sure I get something - e.g. one room - done every day. I have also started "cheating". I used to clean and scrub absolutely spotless, now I sometimes go over things quickly just so it looks nice if that's all I have time for. I also clear away all mess before I go to bed and put everything in a home.

I leave my baby playing by himself for up to half an hour at a time while I get stuff done. Its the only way I can do it. Then I play with him for half an hour, then leave him again. I don't do that all day, just when I have to. I also can't do anything noisy while he's asleep, he used to sleep through anything and I could continue as normal but from 5 months he suddenly starting waking up very easily.

Jodi - posted on 12/27/2009




Hate to say it, but I'm usually up until about 2 am with housework. I am currently waiting on a load of laundry to finish drying...perhaps it will fold itself? lol. I try to make sure the dishes make it into the dishwasher during the day and that toys don't get totally out of control, but for the most part, all of my cleaning gets done after everyone else is asleep! As for vacuuming, my solution was to buy a carpet sweeper, they are very quiet and do the job. I still do regular vacuuming once a week, but the sweeper is a life saver for keeping the carpet under control.

Nikki - posted on 12/27/2009




Don't overwhelm yourself with trying to do to much in one day. Each day give yourself one chore (sweeping/mopping, one bathroom, dusting, etc..) that you want to complete outside everyday things (which includes for me vacumming, pet chores, dishes and laundry). I do dishes while my son is eating breakfast in the morning in his high chair, he is also 1 year old. I start a load after dinner so they are ready in the morning. I do laundry in the floor with my son (another reason I vacuum daily) and yes it takes way longer but make it into a learning process. what color is the sock? :D I rotate toys out in the living room from his room to keep him occupied. I keep magnets on the fridge when I need to be in the kitchen. He has his own cabinets he can get into. Liam has been walking since 10 months so I've learned to let things go. If hubby doesn't like it (he doesn't complain much if at all) then he can do it while baby underfoot to see what it is like :D. Before Liam came, I was a little OCD.....okay a lot OCD but that has changed. I still have things I want done everyday but don't kick myself if they don't get done. If all else fails, they will be there tomorrow for me to do. No harm done. Enjoy the precious time with your LO because they grow up to fast, change so much but the house will be just like you left it!

Racheal - posted on 12/27/2009




my fiance works alot and sometime he works really late i get my household chores done when my 8 month old daughter takes her naps sometimes i sit her in the kitchen with me when i clean or i sit her in the living room surrounded by toys to keep her busy. shes not mobile yet so i dont have to much to worry about. my living room is full of her toys and all her other crap so i try to keep everything to one side so she has half of the living room. my living room is the other place that is cluddered with her toys besides her room. i do my big cleaning on the weekends when her father is home so he can keep her busy while i do my thing.

ShyAnn - posted on 12/27/2009




I have three boys and the youngest is 1mnth and he love to be held so I found it is easy if I put him in his pouch and either let the older boys help by making it a game to pick up the living area or thier rooms and whom ever gets done the fastest gets to choose snack or dinner! Then that way I get my work done and they get to help me

Amythyst - posted on 12/27/2009




My daughter is 11 months and doesn;t really take naps so she 'helps' me a lot. Like following behind me with a damp cloth washing the floor and her high chair, chasing the vacuum and sitting in the laundry basket passing me everything. She's also recently started putting clothes into the dryer. It takes a little longer to get things done but she's happy and eventually it does get done. We got some fridge phonics magnets for the fridge for while I do dishes and cook dinner...

Brandi - posted on 12/27/2009




I totally understand all of this. My husband used to work the later shift as well and it was nearly impossible to get anything done and he never saw the kids. Fortunately now he works a reg. 8-5 M-F job so he does get to see the kids. My house is also a nightmare though. LOL. I find it really hard to get motivated to get anything done as it takes the kids (i have 2) less than 5 mins. to mess up anything I've just cleaned and once the dishes are done (AGAIN) i have to make a meal, so dishes dirty in the sink again (SOOO FRUSTRATING). I have, however, managed to find a few little tricks. One, if I'm cleaning in the kitchen, I sit my son at the table (you might put yours in a high chair) and give him something to do (clean the table for example) he's "helping" mommy and I'm getting my dishes done or supper cooked, whatever. I don't know if you have a playroom that you are comfortable letting your child play in (with a baby monitor probably since he's only 1) while you do some vacuuming or like that. If all else fails, I put my son in his crib for a half hour or so (even if he's not tired) with a few safe toys to keep him occupied. This gives me some time to do something quickly (brush out the toilet or sweep the floor, pick up some toys, etc.) I think the key is to not expect to get to focus all of your attention on ANY given task, if you can get it half done now and a little more later, then that's all you can do. My best time to get anything done is around 4 in the afternoon. My kids have had breakfast, lunch, and a snack, so I have an hour before dinner and they are well rested (my kids still take naps) so they are less likely to want me for something or to be cranky. It's hard and like I said, if you can get ANYTHING done, that's great lol

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms