If you know me, you would know that I am a very Type A person. I thrive off of schedules. I need to know where we are going, when we need to be there, when I need to leave my house, what I need to take with me. Whether we are going to visit a friend twenty minutes from home or take a day trip that’s two hours away, I need to have a plan. My husband thinks I’m crazy sometimes BUT he is never without something he needs when we are away from home.
We went to a Christmas party last year when the girls were 1 and 3. I took the diaper bag, my purse, another reusable bag full of things for the kids, and the stroller. My husband didn’t understand why we needed to take so much stuff, and yet we used all of it. If we wouldn’t have had certain things, it would’ve been a disaster. Being prepared HELPS me.
Taking Care of the Home [and everyone in it] can be overwhelming and time consuming.
Keeping up with housework and making sure everything is taken care of can be extremely stressful and time consuming. Especially when you’re a working mom like myself. Heck, even if you don’t work outside of the house it’s hard. If quarantine 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that housework is an annoying necessity for everyone.
Last October the girls started daycare full time. Initially I was only working while they were at daycare during the day and then I was off in the evenings. Our cook left, so then I was stuck working 60+ hours a week. The girls would attend daycare during the day and then we would have a babysitter at the house most evenings. It was HARD and I felt like I was drowning trying to keep up with everything. Laundry was literally piling up. I don’t know about you, but I’m much less motivated to do something if I see a mountain rather than a small hill. I also could never remember when I last vacuumed or cleaned certain areas of my house.
What was I missing?
I finally sat down one night and wrote down all of the things that needed to be done for and around the house. I came up with a gameplan on how I could handle things daily without drowning myself. It has changed a few times since then, especially now since I am at home more. To keep myself accountable I took it a step further and made a fun, colorful chart that has been on my refrigerator.
Having this schedule works wonders. I don’t make excuses of “oh, I’ll just do that tomorrow” because I know what I need to do tomorrow. I’m not asking myself or trying to remember when the last time was that I cleaned the bathrooms or vacuumed the carpets upstairs.
But how do you have the time?!
Find the time. Break it up.
Whatever laundry is listed for today goes into the washer when I get up in the morning. It moves to the dryer as soon as it’s ready. Then I fold and put away the laundry during nap time. Small batches are key and much less overwhelming.
I load the dishwasher throughout the day and then fill it to be washed before bed – the clean dishes are put away the next morning and the process restarts.
I pick up toys before bath time, with the help from my girls. I then turn on the Roomba and let it vacuum the first floor.
Saturday mornings I try to wake up earlier than the girls so I can clean the bathrooms. Even if I don’t wake up before them, I just turn on a movie and they hang out while I get my cleaning done. When you keep up with it, it takes less time. I’m not scrubbing dirt off because it hasn’t had as long to build.
What are some things you can think of that you can break up housework?
Smaller tasks are so much more achievable when you have kids running around. You can do this. Just stick to your game plan.
PRINTABLE CLEANING CHECKLIST
Creating a visual for myself has definitely helped to keep me accountable. I have it printed and hanging on my fridge as well as a copy on my phone. That way it’s always easily accessible.
I’ve turned my chart into a fillable printout that you can use. It is fillable so you can add your own daily & weekly tasks and change them out as needed. I’ve listed the ones from my chart below to give you a starting point.
If you’re struggling to find a balance, I hope that this checklist helps you take back control and stay on top of housework. And as always, remember that it’s okay to ask for help! Maybe you can’t get things done with your little ones around. Get a sitter, ask for help. There’s no shame in that. You need to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone and anything else.