Or maybe I should title this, “How do you get housework done with kids!?”
I’ve seen the meme, “Doing housework with kids in the house is like brushing your teeth while eating oreo’s.”
Over the past 3 years I’ve come up with a few things that work that I hope can be a help to you but I also hope you can share with me how you get the chores done while caring for small children at the same time.
- Set a timer and choose a reward to have when you’re done. Example, “We’re going to pick up for 15 minutes and then you can help me make lunch.”
- If your kids are young enough and you put the word “party” in front of anything, they will think it’s fun. At our house I yell with enthusiasm, “Laundry party!” I put on some music and we groove while we put away laundry. At 3 my daughters not old enough to actually be a help but we’re spending time together, I’m getting the laundry done and she’s learning. (And rolling around in the laundry pile..at least she’s not making more of a mess while I’m doing laundry!)
- I use a baby carrier that can be worn in different ways. For some jobs it’s easier to have a baby up from and for other jobs like dishes where I need to get close to the sink carrying on the back works better.
- This one doesn’t necessarily involve the kids but it does encourage me as a mother. I like to listen to podcasts from speakers who encourage mom’s such as power of mom’s radio. Listening keeps my mind busy as I do a boring job and when I’m done I feel reenergized in my calling as a mom.
- Let them make more of a mess. Sounds counterproductive right? Let me explain. Today I needed something to occupy an energetic preschooler indoors because it is so hot outside and my kitchen floor REALLY needed to be mopped. It would have been way easier just to mop it myself but instead I put a bucket with water and a little non toxic cleaner in it and we went at it together with rags. It made a huge mess in the process but after she and the floor were rinsed off and dried off, the floor was clean and she had had some fun.
- I try to use leaving the house as a reminder to pick up. “We’re going to the library but first we have to pick up the living room so it’s clean when we get home.” Sometimes the house will be a disaster and we need to be out the door early in the morning but even if we just squeeze in picking up for 10 minutes it helps.
I want to add that I am by no means an expert at this. Sometimes it’s really tough. Today before we mopped the floor, I feed my 8 month old and set up toys in his play pen and moved it to the edge of the kitchen floor so he could watch us. I set up music that he likes. HE SCREAMED HIS HEAD OFF THE ENTIRE TIME WE MOPPED. It was stressful but I had been holding him most the day and i had to put him down for 15 minutes. See what I mean? I’m not writing this as someone who has it all figured out but in hopes that we can help each other figure it out! Share your creative genius with me in the comments.