Baby and housework- how do you all do it??(61 Posts)
I know its not an aibu- Posting here for traffic.
I have a 7mo ds, partner works full time, I'm going back to work probably in January. Feeling a bit stressed about it all, I have only recently got into what I would call a routine and even then at the end of the day I still feel frazzled and my house always looks cluttered!
At the moment I usually manage to do the dishes every day, hoovering once or twice a week, washings every other day (always seems to be endless washings to be done though!) my dp does most of the cooking (he mostly works mornings so back between 12 and 3 most days and has some full days off during the week.
I would say I am the main carer for ds at the moment, ie I do most feeds, change him, entertain him etc, however Dp does stay up when he's teething etc to let me go to bed, he's really good that way.
I guess my question is, how do all you other mums and dads stay on top of housework when you have a baby?? My house is clean I think, I'm pretty ocd about things being tidy etc but I always think "oh I'll need to clean the bathroom/dust the living room/clean out the kitchen etc and I just never get round to it!
I have no idea how I'm going to manage when I go back to work and I am so worried my flat is going to become a pigsty! Help! Please tell me it all becomes second nature lol
My husband helps when he gets home from work normally. It's just about establishing a routine and keeping it up.
No. The natural state of a home with children and working parents is to be a tip. You either need a cure for the ocd (tricky) or a cleaner. Our house is occasionally raised to a best-case scenario of "a bit cluttered and grubby" if we put in a lot of extra effort to get it that good.
Well in some ways it gets easier when you go back to work because you are not at home to make a mess.
I have a timer function on the washing machine. I set it in the morning to come on at about 4:30 so the load is done by the time I get home from work. Then I just have to hang out up. Yes it's a fire risk but I take the chance.
Do the dishes once a day after tea. Clean kitchen quickly after dishes. Proper wipe down and clean kitchen floor on a Sunday.
Quick tidy round every night once baby in bed. Put baby's washing away while baby in bath with dh.
Hoover and clean bathrooms maybe once a fortnight?
That routine helps me keep on top of things.
Some days I get on top things and get so much done, then other days (like today!) I just feel so lethargic I cant find the energy to clean and just do the basics. I had a c section in March and was told to take it easy for 9-12 weeks so I didn't feel so guilty but now I feel like I have no excuse
We don't. Hence the name.
It's untidy & I hate it but DD starts school next year, so it will get better.
We both work full time. Kitchen is done daily. Downstairs done Saturday. Upstairs done Sunday. But couldn't honestly say I stick to that every week. House is tidy because we aren't actually here that much - it could be cleaner but it's by no means dirty. We split the housework 50:50 which I think is important.
my home is messy but clean. It's impossible to keep it tidy when I have an 11 month old literally following me around doing the opposite of me tidying up. IE I put rubbish in the bin, she takes it out, I put toys in the box, she takes them out, I clean a surface, she smears drool all over the surface etc. I study part time for a degree and work part time so the clutter is here to stay for a little while
I have started just leaving the dishes until after baby is in bed because I used to do them every time we ate and then there was no hot water left by the evening lol!
This changes if the dsc (13 and 16) stay though- they have the most amazing ability to use every single cup/spoon/plate in the house.. so then dishes get done a couple of times a day.
Let it go..... You do not need a perfect home. You want a happy baby and enough time to relax and stay sane. Everything else can happen as and when. You can afford to let the housework go for a few months until you are in more of a routine.
Basically, I got a cleaner because trying to keep on top of it all really affected me in the end. It works really well because we have the cleaner once a week for 2 hours and she scrubs everything, we make sure everything is tidy and away which can seem a bit stressful and rushed the night/morning before but it really pays off because she then spends the 2 hours cleaning rather than moving clutter.
I found one thing that helped me was to distinguish what was dirty and what was messy, once I knew the cleaner had been I could convince myself that everything was clean and then the mess didn't seem so bad. I find that clothes are difficult to stay on top of because ironing etc takes time so maybe an alternative for me would have been to pay someone to do the ironing. Another short cut I use is to have a professional oven cleaner come in once every few weeks/months to make the oven look new again as it brightens up the kitchen, so when I don't manage to get to it I know I can get it looking nice again.
We make the best use of the cleaner's time as we can so she doesn't clean the shower - we just do that before we have a shower and when it's done almost every day it takes no time at all. DH used to take DS out on a Saturday morning so I could get on with the cleaning which worked quite well before we got the cleaner but then his job changed so it had to stop.
It's important to remember that no one expects you to live in a perfect house because you have a very young baby, even when the baby is older no one will expect that. I do have to remind myself of this all the time, but the problem I have is that the thought of the mess really stresses me out, not because others will see it (although that is a factor as to why it bothers me, of course) but because it makes me feel disorganised and out of control. I then struggle to cope with other areas of my life. A cleaner has been a real help to me so although it's an additional expense she's saved us a lot of stress.
I did all of mine involving baby. Ie swept floors whilst 'batting' a ball with the brush to them. Put baby in sling on me when I hoovered. Gave baby a bowl of water to play with next to me as I did dishes etc etc. then when they had their afternoon sleep I read/watched a movie/batch cooked.
blink the last part of your post really struck a chord with me. I also feel out of control and on edge when I know things aren't tidy. I spent she's doing pointless things like straightening out drawers and obsessing over things being neat and tidy- like things that genuinely don't matter! I must be a night mare to live with at times lol.
Dp is the opposite- mess doesn't bother him. His sock drawers upsets me greatly ha ha I now avoid looking in it
Sorry, I spend ages that's meant to say!
De-clutter so you only have stuff that is really useful/important to you around. We moved into a lovely but tiny house when DD was three months old and I was ruthless when packing for the move. I have not missed anything I got rid of and could probably ditch a lot of the stuff stored in the garage just in case I changed my mind. Less stuff means less tidying and cleaning.
My top tip is to care less about the cleaning! Since I went back to work, my house has never been as clean as it was when I was on mat leave, but I also haven't cared about it so much when I have work, nursery and school stuff to worry about and fewer hours in the week.
Take it a day at a time, your focus will be settling baby into childcare and getting back into the saddle at work. Housework will slot round the edges. I think with having your DH around some daytimes, some sort of weekly/fortnightly list that you both work on and tick off as you go along might work. Or it might just add to your stress.
We do laundry at the weekend, DH puts kids to bed and washes up everything once a day after dinner, I do most of the rest but I work PT.
I do the same as AreThereAnyLeft. Baby loves being involved, luckily.
Also, DP and I split all housework 50:50.
I think a big part of the problem is you being ocd. My standards aren't very high, hygienic is perfectly ok, it doesn't need to be sterile. And a bit of a mess never hurt anyone.
If you want the house to be up to pre-baby standard, you need to get a cleaner.
I have an 8 month old and found it much easier after I went back to work as house is empty all day.One of us does bedtime the other cleans up after dinner, makes lunches and tidies up so we can both sit down together.
Storage box for toys and a cordless dyson make my life easier.
I try to do it when the baby is sleeping. I bleach the toilet while brushing my teeth, clean the bath if it's dirty just after. Upstairs gets a Hoover once a month unless really dirty. Beds get stripped every weekend. Dishes get cleaned and put away every night/morning. Only do a hot wash once a day. I don't own an iron so that's not an issue for me
I have a 6 month old. My partner works 7.30-4.30 and returns home about half 5. My son only naps for around 20 minutes at a time. When he is asleep I wash dishes, start the washing, Hoover up etc as I hate to see the house a mess. I only get 5 minutes to myself when my partner comes in. My DS is still waking up 4/5 times a night, so it is a little exhausting. I'm returning to uni and part-time work in January and I'm already worrying about how I'm going to fit everything in!
A cleaner. Having a washing 'routine' (ds's uniform is washed on a Tuesday and a Friday, my clothes are washed at the weekends and DH's in the week as he's on shifts so can sort his out when he's at home during the day), online supermarket shopping to save time, cleaning wipes/toilet cleaner in every bathroom and the kitchen so you can clean stuff as you see it, DustBuster cordless Hoover downstairs so you can zap toddler food crumbs without having to get the whole Hoover out. Dishwasher put on last thing at night and emptied first thing in the morning, so any washing up is immediately tidied away. Literally everything goes through the dishwasher on a day to day basis.
I used to do it when they where asleep or when dh was bathing them etc - you just need a tidy, dish wash and load the washing
Can you dh not do stuff in the afternoon?
if you decide you need a tidy home:
Big boxes for toys, everything gets chucked back in a couple of times a day.
Do it all as you go along, don't let it build up into a huge job. A wash on every day, if you have a tumble drier use it for everything that can be tumbled. Washing straight out and folded, put away when you have more time. No ironing unless absolutely essential.
Wipe round everywhere with babywipes when you haven't got time to clean properly.
I personally Hoover every day, after a mad run around tidy up of all the toys. dd is two now and helps with it all.
Clean sides in the kitchen and put away dishes last thing at night so you have a clean slate in the morning.
clean the bathroom while dc are in the bath. Then use the bathwater to clean the bath afterwards (Extra bonus of no nasty chemicals in the bath).
Tidy bedrooms first thing in the morning. then don't worry about it. Beds aired out and things tidied away. Windows opened.
This all keeps my home under control and it doesn't impact on my life much at all. I wouldn't be happy in a messy home, and I would be ashamed to have unexpected guests if it was dirty in any way. I probably spend less than 45 minutes cleaning/tidying daily as it is never 'bad'. If I have more time I can do a deep clean of the kitchen or bathroom or put the steam mop round.
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