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Do you want to figure out how to manage housework with a toddler or baby? Are you already overwhelmed by household chores? Don't worry! These tips for balancing household chores with parenting are just what you need.
1. Be realistic in your cleaning goals
The first step is to put housework in perspective. Be aware that a perfectly clean house as per your pre-baby days may simply not be possible now, or not without sacrificing attention away from your child. But rest assured that it is quite possible to have a healthy, hygienic, clean home that still looks great, even though it may not be 100% "perfect".
You can definitely mange housework while still delivering proper care for your baby or toddler! Just don't make more work for yourself than necessary.
2. Spread your household chores out over 3 to 5 days of the week
Pre-kids you may have been able to get away with one main cleaning day (or evening). This is not realistic now that you are parenting young kids who need your attention.
Instead, expect that you will have to spread out your work in smaller chunks over 3 – 5 days (or evenings), not one big chunk. It’s essential to have some housework-free days of the week pre-designated so you can feel like you’re getting a break. Ideally, designate the weekends as days you won’t be doing household chores.
3. Never do household chores when your child is napping (that’s YOUR time to take a break!)
If you do housework when your baby or toddler is napping, it will feel like you’re doing a lot more cleaning in your week than you actually are. Do yourself a favor and never do your house chores when the baby or toddler is napping; take a break then instead.
4. Do little bits of housework here and there during the course of your day
Get in the habit of doing a 1 to 5 minute cleaning task when possible. For example, dust the furniture in the family room while baby is laying there in the same room looking at you. Then return to baby.
Or if you have a toddler who can self-feed, supervise his or her snack while you clean the kitchen sink. Then sit down again with your toddler.
This way things get done but you are in eyesight of the kids and it’s just for short periods of time, so no-one loses out. Break up tasks into little bits and you will be surprised at how much you can get done during the normal course of your day!
5. Pick an easier option than a mop and bucket for cleaning the floors
Not only is the mop and bucket time consuming to set up and clean up afterward, it’s not all that safe for the inquisitive toddler. Instead use a spray mop - it doesn’t rely on a large bucket of liquid.
Your kitchen and bathroom will look great, and you’ll save lots of time and have a more kid-friendly mopping setup.
6. Get safe and convenient cleaning products
A crawling baby or toddler is likely to lick the floor at some point or to pick up food off the floor and eat it. So make sure you are picking human-safe and eco-friendly cleaning products, even if you didn't do this before having kids.
If a cleaning product you need isn’t available at your normal supermarket, buy it online, don't make a special trip to a different store. It’s way more convenient to get things delivered than having to pack everyone up and drive to a store and hunt down the product while keeping baby or toddler happy in the store.
You can find organic cleaning products at Amazon.com - or go for one of the specialty organic stores so you can rest assured it's safe without having to read all the fine print on the products. I recommend The Honest Company and Blueland for this.
7. Bathroom cleaning is easy with these fast techniques!
Cleaning the toilet and shower is never fun, and even less so when you have to deal with the needs of a baby or toddler at the same time. But rest assured we’ve got you covered. Simply use these fast bathroom cleaning techniques to attain a super-clean bathroom, super-fast.
8. Decide on your household cleaning strategy depending on your personality
Pick one of this article’s approaches to housework for busy people. Anyone with a baby or toddler is a busy person! Anything you can do to save time on your household chores is going to make for a better balance with parenting.
Simply keep your home clean enough and don’t sweat the small stuff. Looking back later, which will you regret more: not having a perfectly pristine home or not spending as much time with the kids when they were young?
How many hours of housework per week is necessary? While there is no hard-and-fast rule (it depends on things like how many people live there, how big is your home, and so on), the answer is "less hours than you used to do pre-kid". Yes, I know you have more laundry and more dishes now that you have a baby, but the idea is to do those essential things and let go of the idea of having perfectly clean windows, for example.
Balancing household chores with parenting is not easy, but it is possible.