I have a fantastic guest post for you today from Jenni at Simply Prudent. Jenni’s blog is a great place for moms to read and chat about living life simply and happily. She has been so kind as to share a little taste of her blog with you today:
As a mother of a little one, it is easy to start dreading housework. Keeping a clean house can seem like an overwhelming task when you are exhausted from being up half the night or weary from chasing a toddler around.
I realized that I needed to change my attitude and actions when it came to household chores.
Re-define Clean. One of the most important things I’ve learned as a first-time mom is to modify the definition of a clean and organized house. I quickly realized that I needed to lower expectations of myself in the area of housework. I often have to remind myself that I can no longer expect myself to accomplish everything I could before having a baby. This isn’t to say that I allow my home to get to the point of being declared a disaster area (most days). I still have a standard that I strive for. However, if it isn’t met one day, I don’t allow myself to get discouraged. Sometimes you just have to declare your house clean enough.
Utilize a baby carrier. When my daughter was a newborn, the easiest way to clean was to wear her in a MobyWrap. She loved to snuggle and was happy if I held her all the time. Babywearing allowed me to meet her needs as well as accomplish the housework that needed to be done. There were many afternoons that she fell asleep to the sound of me unloading the dishwasher or vacuuming!
Use toys as a distraction. Now my little one is a older, I often utilize a bouncer or exersaucer or let the her play on the floor with toys while I wash the dishes, put away laundry or do some other job that can be accomplished quickly. This is a perfect time to use the timer challenge technique: set the timer for a short amount of time and get to work. If the baby gets a little fussy, I know that I will be done it a few short minutes and continue working until the timer goes off. Often she will stop crying (especially if I sing to her while working!) and watch the flurry of activity.
Let the baby help. Once babies are crawling and pulling up, they love to be involved in everything. Allowing the baby to help may cause the work to take a little longer to get done, but at least the chore will be completed. I often let my daughter “help” fold the laundry by pulling things out of the basket. I usually end up re-fold some items, but she stays entertained the entire time and I am able to cross laundry off my to-do list.
Work during nap time. If you are one of those lucky moms that has a baby that sleeps well, you can take advantage of nap time. Right now, my little one doesn’t take many naps. If she falls asleep while nursing, I have to hold her the entire time in order for her to stay asleep. I try to use this time to do a Bible study, write on my blog or read a book. :)
Clean Efficiently. There are several shortcuts I use to clean faster and more effectively. For example, I always dust and sweep before vacuuming. I sweep all the dust and crumbs onto the carpet and vacuum them up. This keeps me from having to get the dust pan out and sweep dirt up. Omitting this one step saves me time and simplifies my chore time.
Accept help. As women, we often try to do too much. Sometimes we just can’t do it all on our own. My husband has been especially helpful by cooking dinner, doing dishes and washing his own laundry. I had several people come over and help with light housework during my postpartum recovery period. It is perfectly okay to ask for and accept help when you need it.
I hope these ideas will aid you in keeping a clean and tidy (enough) house. If you have techniques that you use in your own home, I would love to read about them in a comment below!
About the Author
As a Christian homemaker, Jenni is happily married to her handsome husband and delights in being a stay-at-home mama to her adorable baby girl.
She enjoys deep conversations, decaf lattes, and diving into a good book. She is the author/editor of Simply Prudent where she hosts the Mommy Monday blog link-up and inspires women to cultivate prudent simplicity in the heart & home.