Keeping a clean house?

As the mother of a ten week old, and a not quite four-year old, I am busy!  I love being a parent, I love my kids but I do not love the mess my house constantly gets into.

I used to have a routine for keeping my home clean and tidy. It helped that my daughter is a neat freak, and always cleans up after herself, usually without being asked. But since the baby came along, it’s all fallen to pieces.

There are days where I wonder if I even have carpet anymore, days where the washing pile is so high that I worry that the kitten is lost inside it. There have been days where people drop by, and I pretend to not be home because I am so mortified that people might see that massive pile of dirty dishes that I just have not had time to get to yet.

When you have a baby, you’ll be told by just about everyone that you should “sleep when the baby sleeps”, and “ignore the housework, it can wait”. Which is nice, for the people saying it. Reality isn’t so lovely.

Sleeping when the baby sleeps is a lovely theory, but I have Two children. And even when the eldest is at preschool, I just know that as soon as I fall asleep, the baby will wake. Which leaves me feeling like I’ve been hit by a bus. It’s far better for me, to stay awake while he naps. As for the housework can wait, well mine doesn’t. Just because I’ve had a baby the washing doesn’t stop piling up (in fact, there is more!), the dishes won’t wash themselves, bathrooms still get gross, bottles still need sterilizing and the older kid will still have accidents in the night that require the full bed-stripping and washing exercise.

I think that the problem had been my own fault. I was trying to do everything AND look after a newborn in the same time I used to have just to clean. It’s impossible! I have started to find though, that “cleaning as I go” is by far the best way to manage my house. If I happen to be in the bathroom putting away the towels, why not wipe over the hand basin with a disinfectant wipe (White King Wipes are marvellous, by the way.), If I’m in the Kitchen getting a drink, will it kill me to stick the dry dishes in the cupboards, and re-load the dishwasher? If I’m opening windows in the kids rooms, I can make their beds at the same time.

I’m slowly finding, by tidying just little bits as I walk into different rooms, I don’t get bored with the task. I also don’t feel overwhelmed, because hey! The playroom is trashed but today I made all the beds, cleaned the toilet and bathroom, and managed to get dinner on.

Of course I still haven’t had any sleep!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. caspette
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 18:18:19

    I think the advice of “sleep when baby sleeps” only works when you have your first child.

    Only having one I have no idea how you cope with lack of sleep when you have an older child. I can only assume you rely heavily on family to baby sit so you can sleep.

    I spose like you said, the main advice is dont do EVERYTHING. Do only what is necessary.

    Or hire a nanny and cleaner. Hmm I like plan b where do I sign up for one?


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