Question for stay at home moms

Crystal - posted on 04/22/2011 ( 17 moms have responded )




Fist question. how do you find time to play with your kids when you have so much cleaning & cooking to do?

Second question. what do you do during the day to keep your kids having fun and not just laying around watched tv all day?

Third- how do you get all the enegery to do everything?


Sabra - posted on 04/22/2011




I pick up toys once my daughter goes to bed most of the time otherwise I would be picking them up all day long. I only do the major cleaning things (scrubbing tubs and floors etc) about once a week and daddy or grandma can occupy her for that time.
We have a local play center about a 10 minute walk from my house that I go to on most days. I find i have a hard time occupying my daughter at home but we play pretend and color and those kind of things.
I don't think I do have any energy during the day most of the time. My body kicks into survival mode which feels like I have energy but I find that once my daughter goes to bed or down for a nap it gone instantly. and as soon as she wakes back up again all my 'energy' comes back.

Kate CP - posted on 04/22/2011




Pretty much what Laura said. I also will happily leave the wash for a day to spend time with my kids. I want to look back at my life and know that I spent my time with my kids and not worrying about the condition of my home.

Is it clean? Yes. Is it spotless? Nope. And I'm perfectly fine with that. :)


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[deleted account]

ohh and my biggest tip BUY A SLOW COOKER! seriously best thing my mother ever gave me when i was pregnant put on whatever you want and set it on low and it cooks for 8 hours or set it to high and it cooks in 4 hours...mine even has a keep warm function in case the meal is ready and we're not ready...or just cant sit down to eat at that point in time

Jeniene_barone - posted on 04/23/2011




Well i have 3 children 11,9,and 4. When the two older kids r at school, its just me and my 4 yr old son, i let him watch tv when he wakes up for about an hour(u can set ur own time) then i say lets make ur bed, then after that i will start playing w him w his toys in his room( i have a rule that all toys stay in their rooms helps w less mess for me) then i will tell him that i am going to start cleaning up a little and get ready to fix his lunch tell him that he can either play in his room or color at the table, if u have a child around 4 give them alternatives so u dont have to fight w them, trust me it works ! a good web site to help w cleaning is this site has great tips on how to manage a daily cleaning schuele and it is easy. As far as the energy part i have no idea if u find an answer for that let me know lmao

[deleted account]

1. I let the cleaning and cooking WAIT. I multi-task. I make dishes that can sit on the stove or crockpot for hours on end with nothing more than an occasional stir.

1. & 2. My toddler helps me with the chores. He stands under me at the dryer and "folds clothes" He hands me dishes out of the dishwasher and I put them away. He stays under me and no matter what the chore may be, he's going to find a way to interject himself. That could be by stealing a handful of potting soil and then drawing pictures in it on the floor while I transplant tomatoes.

And if I feel the kids have been in front of the TV too long...I turn it off. I might switch it to something educational and boring...something about listening to the deep voices drone on about the ancient egyptian ruins seems to be enough incentive to get away from the TV on their own. If they happen to learn something productive before they can get out of the room...then just....too bad! ;)

3. I never have enough energy. I do what I can, as I can. If it's poop or fire..I tend to it immediately. Most everything else gets tossed in a pile we call "later".

I like busy toys too...playdough, beads, crayons, fingerpaint, stickers..most anything that will hold his attention in the highchair for me to accomplish things I do NOT need him getting into.

Our dog is the best babysitter in the WORLD. They play fetch, they play ride-the-horsie, Or he will be set up on the porch with playdough or anything else with Mama-dog nearby snapping at the bugs that get too close to him.

[deleted account]

Managing all this at one time is very hard! Especially if you have temperamental children and when they are of different age groups. So it is then hard to get them to be able to do one activity together.
If you look on line for small crafts, this can be really awesome. I try to find a craft or so a day... My SD is 4, my son is 4, and my baby boy is 1 1/2 years old... The older kids love the Color wonder books, they come with markers that ONLY draw on that certain paper! This is better then any other coloring item so you do not have to stress out about where they are coloring... I got each of them a leapster game system, and they will spend a lot of time sitting and playing them also. I am okay with this because everything they are playing is educational!
Keeping a clean house is important, but rather then doing everything in one day spread it out through a couple days... Get yourself on a cycle, write it down in a schedule if you have too!
I write myself and my husband notes all the time of things that we need to remember... This helps keep the stress down. Allow the kids some quiet time... not much but a little bit of alone time at a time will teach them independence. Good luck! Look around they have tons of cool activities... they even have really cool things you can come up with by yourself, and you can find some of these things at the dollar store!!!

Peita - posted on 04/23/2011




I don't live to clean, if I wanted a perfect house and things clean ALL the time then I wouldn't of had 3 children... I do an hours housework early in the morning, dishes, washing, vacuum, general tidy up, I then do another tidy after lunch when it is 'rest time' and then another tidy straight after dinner and then I do some more dishes, vacuum, fold washing etc.. Once or twice a week, I clean the bathrooms and mop the floor, and once a fortnight I change bed sheets... I do childcare in my home and do programed activities, we do stories, craft, block construction, gardening, outside play, go to play group, go to parks, cooking, going for walks, if you get stuck for activities, there are heaps of books you can buy that have lots of idea's in them.. I have no idea where I get the energy to do everything, I guess I am just organised and keep things moving, I have 5 children here under 5yrs old during school hours ( one is my 5yo and another is my 18 month old) and then my 7yo gets home from school and is thrown in the mix.... I love being busy though, it keeps my mind active and I know my kids are stimulated and well cared for :-)

[deleted account]

1) i clean when he goes to bed of a night and i do my meals in bulk so i do a fortnight's worth of meals and freeze them when he's at his dad's 2) we play outside paint read books sing nursery rhymes go for walks around where we live visit elderly relatives and neighbours. 3) i get the energy by buying a good quality coffee and having two cups in the morning and a siesta when my son goes down for his sleep during the day :)

Sal - posted on 04/22/2011




ohh i'm with you loreen i don;t know how i would of survived the last couple of years with out coffee and berocca....(and many a trip home from town was fuled as much by the packet of snakes and a coffee as the petrol in the car)

and how to get the house work done, do it, it is that simple, it won't do itself, it won;t improve without you doing it, and if you don;t so it i doubt anyone else will, and do it often, i really does take far less time to vaccume every day (or twice a day) than try and remove stains from the carpet because you didn't, one days washing at a time can be done and hung out with very little effort but a weeks worth is a mamoth task, breakfast dishes take 5 mins, breakfast lunch afternoon tea and dinner takes forever, i try and get as much as i can done while the kids are watching their morning tv shows, i have the girls bed room or the varandah set up for playing with playdough block or dolls house out so they are inspired striaght away, then bath or shower them and i clean the bathroom when they are in the shower , and once they are into their game i clean the lounge, get out what ever i am having for dinner (if possible i even put it in the slow cooker) then we have the whole day free to do as we please, so by 9 or 10am i am free to do what ever i please,
we do loads, my girls love craft so that means just about anything, cutting old mags, things with egg cartons, as a treat when we go shopping i usually let them pick a craft thing from the two dollar shop, we go to play groups picnics the park, playdough, gardeing, going to the nursary is a great outing, and doesn't need to cost a lot, cooking, if the weather is nice i let the have water play, a big tub outside and they wash all their toys......and just general free play (i have 2 close in age so that is easy for me now) go to the libray and get new book, we never run out of things to do in nice weather but during winter i do find us watching more tv than i like....

Charlie - posted on 04/22/2011




1 .I can have my cleaning done pretty quickly and my fiance always helps when he is home so there is plenty of time for play , usually I do the big clean when the kids are asleep .

2.we play outside , plant veggies in our garden , go to the park or the beach , or invite one of my two year olds friends over so they can play trucks or in his cubby house , i'm taking him fishing this afternoon or he helps cook and he loves drawing .

3. coffee , good breakfast , helpful fiance , vitamin B (berrocca ) and just do fun things so it isnt boring and just getting me time to relax when Daddy is home.

Shannon - posted on 04/22/2011




1. my house is rarely messed up, i have a system, i get up in the am before the kids, vaccum the living room and dining room if needed, fix breakfast get the midgets up set them at the table clean the kitchen up after breakfast is done. then the kids get dressed and we start in with out day.

2.We have outings at least once a week where we go somewhere fun otherwise we stay at home and entertain each other lol we play alot of i spy and sometimes we will make a "fort" in the basement in the game room and spend the day using our imaginations :-) I am super excited because our outing this week is to see Sesame Street Live and i am taking my 2 younger and 2 other LO's :-) I also need to mention that at the beginning of the school year i give each of my kids 6 "tickets" they can cash in these tickets anytime for a "mommy and me" day where they get the whole day to spend some one on one time. Of course every day during the summer is spent doing some family activity. we have membership to the zoo and visit various museums across the state.

3. Rest when i can, lots of water, make sure i get "me" time and i also do play dates with other moms to "recharge"

Amber - posted on 04/22/2011




1. I do a little bit every day so that nothing piles up and gets overwhelming. This way it doesn't take long. When I get behind, Chad (my SO) picks up the slack; he lives here too :)

And our son picks up his own toys; he has since he was 2. If he doesn't want to pick it up, he shouldn't make the mess. At 4 yrs old, he's pretty much got that down now. He doesn't make huge messes often.

2. We play games, go outside, have friends over, visit friends/family, go to the park, find a craft, read a book...depends on the day. And if I'm feeling like he's had too much TV time, I just turn it off and tell him it's time to find a toy to play with or get a book and we'll have story time.

He's in preschool now and I'm finishing my second college degree this month. So he goes to school/daycare a few hours a week while I'm at school and gets to socialize and run around like crazy.

3. Get plenty of sleep at night, exercise regularly, eat a good breakfast, and enlist the help of dad/family/friends when I need it.

Jenn - posted on 04/22/2011




1) Play is what you do when you aren't cooking and cleaning, and I also try to involve them as much as possible on those as well.
2) Play games, read books, play with toys, play pretend (they LOVE playing house), go outside to play, go out to run errands, go on play dates, etc.
3) You just do it. Some days I don't feel like I have a lot of energy, so I just let it go and rest if I need to - it's not the end of the world if the house isn't spotless sometimes.

Sherri - posted on 04/22/2011




Cleaning a day takes an hour or two. Cooking takes about an hour. The rest of the day is for them. They watch some TV, color, play outside, play playdough, we play with there toys.

When they nap I nap and then I am a better mommy when they need me.

[deleted account]

1. I keep a flexible schedule. There are 4 things I do everyday: dishwasher, laundry, bathroom, cook. I do these things at the same time everyday. Each day during naptime I do one major chore: vacuum, scrub the floors, clean the car, dust, organize something. I also have set times when my daughter and I do crafts or play outside.

2. I allow either one tv show or one movie each day. TV is okay and I do take advantage of tv time to get stuff done. I also have a "craft corner" in the kitchen that my daughter can get to easily and be creative. It's stocked with paper, glue, safety scissors, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, stickers and whatever else we find at the dollar store. Toys like paper dolls, blocks, puzzles and books keep kids busy and develop their brains. I have a few "go-to" websites that offer ideas to help kids learn. My favorite is


Merry - posted on 04/22/2011




Exactly, Kate! My house is far from perfect. And I don't mind a little clutter. I'd rather spend time with Eric then leave him on his own for me to clean religiously. But I've found keeping it up is easier then letting it get bad and having to do a big clean. So I wipe counters off every morning and vacuum when it starts getting full of cat hair. I'm not super picky about cleanliness, but I want to be able to enjoy our house, not be so pissy at it being all dirty!

Merry - posted on 04/22/2011




1 I clean with my son, he loves doing the dishes with me and the laundry and he has a toy vacuum he uses while I vacuum. I don't cook much fancy so it's usually quick stuff and again, he helps or I should say 'helps' he is 2 so not really helping!

2 he's at a great age now where he has alot of interests. We color, paint, play with his trains, or cars, or puzzles, books, wrestle, play with the cats, go outside for a walk, go to the park, library, grandmas house, museum, zoo, playdates. Etc. And of course we snuggle up on the couch and watch tv sometimes too.

3 no energy these days, I'm due in 9 days to have a baby girl, but when Eric looks at me and says mommy play? I couldn't ignore him! He demands my attention and I could never refuse him such sweet demands as just to play together. I also make sure I sleep 8 hours a night and eat good healthy diet cuz that really helps me to be more active and alert all day.

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