When you're a SAHM you know that your house can become a disaster in a quick minute. Little kids have a way of making messes in milliseconds, that somehow take hours to clean up. Some sort of dark magic at work here.
It is nearly impossible to keep your home spotless when you're letting your babes do their thing during the day. Between food being thrown on the floor by the baby, toys being tossed around by the toddler, and both of them playing with the toilet paper in every bathroom, you will be picking up messes all. the. time.
It's sometimes pretty depressing to see the state of my house once I put the kids to bed. So normally I just close my eyes as I tiptoe to my room and shut the door. Out of sight out of mind?
Yeah, that really only works for so long until your husband asks when the last time you ate spaghetti was. Kill joy.
So if you're dealing with the mama struggle of ending up at the end of the night/week/month with a situation on your hands that you're not sure you can handle without a blowtorch, remember you're not alone. I've put together a couple of tips that I think every mama can do to make sure you're not overwhelmed with cleaning up monumental messes!
Okay this is a tough one, for the simple fact that I don't know a single human being on the planet who likes washing dishes. I mean even on my best day, when my kids have been angels and my skin is clear, and I've had enough sleep I don't have a good time standing in front of the sink scrubbing plates. But it's gotta get done mama, and if you've got toddlers you're probably going to want to do it yourself if you value your sanity.
One piece of advice that I have is that you will never be happy in the morning if you see a pile full of dishes in your sink, so do it before going to bed. If it's easier to put the kids down first (usually what I do) or right after dinner, but try your best to get them done before turning in for the night.
Something you can do to cut back on the number of dishes is to have one plate/bowl/cup/set of utensils for yourself and each of your kids for the day. That way you're not ending the night with 8 of everything in the sink. Just wash them off quick after each meal, and that way you're only putting a few things in the dishwasher every day. Another thing that will help when you're in a pinch is paper plates-- probably not ideal for long term, but they really make your life easier on those nights when you're stressed and you know you're going to have to sacrifice on cleaning time.
This is a big one in our house, because we've got a little girl who is working on her motor skills and that means 90% of what is placed on her highchair ends up on the floor.
Sigh. Chubby little fingers do not make for the cleanest homes. And we have the dual problem of that same little chick eating everything that she sees on the floor. So if it's not picked up we end up with crusty noodles or scrambled eggs shoved in her mouth. Yuck.
Something we've found helpful is placing a mat under her highchair so that after eating I can pick it up and most everything slides off into the trash can, or wipes off with a wet paper towel and it's ready for the next round of snacks. Investing in a good vacuum is another thing that will make cleaning your floors quick and painless, and is an extra 5 minutes each night to quickly pick up little messes so they don't make your life harder tomorrow.
If your family is anything like ours, you have somehow accumulated enough toys to stock a small store, and at certain points during the week they are covering every square inch of your home. How? When? Why?
It can be hard to control when you're letting your little ones play and learn and do their thing, but sometimes you let it go too far and you've got a full blown toy disaster on your hands. I'm pretty convinced our baby put off crawling for so long so she didn't have to try and navigate through the lego minefield that is our house. Poor thing.
One thing that we've started doing is one bin at a time. If you're playing with the puzzles you can have the entire bin upturned and having fun, but can't move on to another bin (cars, legos, etc.) until the puzzles are put back. You can invest in as many bins as you want/need and get them at the dollar store to keep the cost down. This also helps keep things organized if you're a freak like me and gets unsettled when I see stuffed animals mingling with the trains in the same place. *shivers*
I also have certain toys that we store in our main living space and some toys that stay in the kids room to keep things from getting super out of control in just one room. We also decided to get a storage ottoman that we store those toys in so that when we clean up at the end of the night I'm not tripping over every member of the Paw Patrol in my family room.
How do we have so much dirty clothing after like one day. The bins fill up far too quickly. And then all of a sudden you're searching through your drawers for a clean pair of underwear and coming up blank. The worst feeling in the world.
Not to mention when you finally get up the courage to take a day and do your laundry you have to fold it and then you have to put it where it belongs? This is a lot of work. But our society has decided that we have to be clothed (usually in different things) every day, so I guess we're gonna have to deal with it.
You do you, but one thing that has helped our fam is doing a few loads every week instead of spending an entire day trying to get it all done, because that's just a full day of bad feels. Make the loads small enough that you're not going to dread taking them out and getting them folded/sorted once they're dry. By doing a few loads every week you ensure that you're going to have enough jammies for the kids, work shirts for daddy, and yoga pants for mama to stretch, and you won't feel like you're digging into the depths of your wardrobe and NEED to do laundry or all is lost.
Also don't stress when your kids want to help. And by help I mean completely dismantle the laundry basket and throw clothes and towels and socks all over the room. Hand them things that they can do-- something that we've started doing with our toddler is handing him all the socks and having him match them up. Keeps him occupied and he feels good about helping mama!