When you and your kiddos spend this much time at home, messes are bound to happen. Nothing is more depressing then spending your time in a complete disaster zone---am I right?? ( I may or may not know from experience...) It's important to stay on top of it so that the mess doesn't get out of hand.Back before I had kids, I liked to get all my cleaning done in one fell swoop. I could wake up on my day off, make everything spotless, and get on with my day. By the time I had two kids, that just wasn't realistic anymore. My kids needed my attention before I could finish cleaning and the mess was a revolving thing. I was getting kinda bummed that I couldn't get everything done first thing in the morning so I decided I needed to change my strategy. Here's my new strategy:
Don't go to bed with a mess.I know you're tired at the end of the day, but using this precious time wisely will make for a great start to the next day.
Do 3 quick clean-up sessions throughout the day instead of 1 big one.Your kids won't feel neglected because you'll have time to dedicate to them in between. When my toddler feels neglected, I've noticed she actually makes naughty messes (like getting into my make up) to get attention. This way, I prevent those messes and keep the other messes from getting too overwhelming.
Involve your kids.When my babies are small, I wear them in a carrier as I clean. As soon as my kids are old enough to put things in a bucket, I start teaching them to clean up their toys. By the time they are two, they can be decent little helpers (at least with toys).
Don't succumb to "I can just do it faster/better myself" syndrome.I know it's tempting to skip the power struggle and just let your kids out of cleaning. But unless you want them to grow up with the mentality that mom will just do it for me, then it's important to to stick to your guns.
Distract young kids.If the little ones have finished picking up their toys, but you're not quite done cleaning yet, try to distract them with another task. One of my favorite ways is to give my toddler a Swiffer mop and let her "mop" the floor while I get something else done. She thinks she's being a big helper and it keeps her from making more messes while I'm busy.
Utilize nap time/quiet time.When the kids are in their rooms, use this time to do the things that are difficult to do with kids around. For me that's sweeping---trying to sweep with my toddler walking through my dust piles is a nightmare.
Don't sweat it if you can't get everything done.
While having a spotless house is satisfying, being able to enjoy my babies is far more satisfying. I didn't choose to be a stay-at-home mom so I could be a professional cleaner.
Written by: Natalie Gubler