"Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing." ~Phyllis Diller
There are a quite a few things that you have to learn to live with on becoming a mother. One of the things is that your house isn't going to be picture perfect from now on.
Its going to have unfolded clothes on the couch, overflowing laundry baskets, dishes in the sink, beds undone and whole lot more.If you are some one how fusses over a spic and span house with all in its place I will have to say that you are in for trouble. You will get stressed out seeing your home not so well organized from now on. This is true especially for those who have no household help to do the cleaning, washing and cooking (other than their husbands.... hehehe!!!).
I was someone who liked to see my house tidy and neat, food ready on the table, clothes washed and ironed, beds made and so on.......because it made me feel like I am a good person, wife and mother. But after fretting over this a few months I realized its not worth it. I began to confront the reality that as my baby becomes bigger he will start creating more mess around the house with his explorations. He will scatter toys around the house, pull down anything that he can reach, drop food crumbs and so on. Then when I started working it began to dawn on me that maybe I can clean my house only on weekends and not everyday. See I have become a normal working mother now.....and I have to settle for a normal looking home - almost clean but not perfect. Here are a few pointers for women like me - Wife, mother and working.
What you can do :
1. Get a carton or box that can hold you babies toys.~ I use a simple carton.
Why: at the end of the day or when you have sudden visitors you can throw in all the toys and tuck them under any table or convenient furniture piece.
2. Do your laundry twice or thrice a week. ~ I do one on a weekday and one on the weekend.
Why: you can do babies laundry on one day and yours after a day or two. This will give you enough time to fold the clothes without it accumulating one on top of the other. Don't wait for the week end to do all the washing.
3. If you can't manage alone don't hesitate to ask for help.~ I leave my baby with my sitter for a little longer because she doesn't mind.
Why: Doing all the things by yourself will be overwhelming. This will make you stressed and irritated so ask for help. It could be someone like your babysitter who could stay a little longer to look after your baby while you pitch in some house work. Or ask you best friend to help you with some grocery shopping or a helpful neighbor.
4. Divide and conquer. Split the work with your spouse. ~ My hubby like to cook on weekends.
Why: Look after the baby while your hubby handles the cleaning chores like vacuuming or doing dishes. It will give you a break and you can shorten your 'To-Do list' in a shorter time span.
5. Stop being a perfectionist. You are human so just don't expect to do everything well and on time.~ I accepted the fact that sometimes I can't do all that I had planned to but its OK!
Why: If your expectations is the same as before you had a child regarding your performance level and time management then you will stress out. You just can't do everything everyday so priorities.
6. Schedule time around your baby. ~ When my baby sleeps I do little bit of work without waking him up or just relax and energize myself.
Why: Your baby will not stick to a time table. So its easier to work around his daily pattern. He might not nap at the time you intend him to but later so just do things you really can and want to when he is not hindering your progress.
7. Cook for the week. ~ I plan what I will have during the week then do the grocery shopping and prepare meals in bulk to be heated and had whenever hungry instead of cooking every day.
Why: This will give you more time to spend with your baby rater than toiling in the kitchen and even give you time to do other things like exercise or do a little bit of reading or blogging.
P.S: Its fine to have a less than perfect home because all that matters when you are a working mother is the time you spend with your baby.
Your baby will not always be a baby and you don't want to miss out on this beautiful period in his and your life because you were too busy trying to maintain a perfect home do you?