How to balance motherhood and cleaning
Mothers never get enough attention and recognition for all that they do. If you’re a mother, you likely feel that the endless stream of work that you do gets overlooked.
And let’s face it, if you get too bogged down in the cycle of never-ending chores and responsibilities, you won’t be able to spend time with your little ones and enjoy their precious years.
Whether you are a stay at home mom or a full time working mom, it is important to find balance in your life and focus on strategies that help ease those feelings of being overwhelmed when trying to keep your house clean.
How do you get housework done with a baby?
New moms juggle a lot each and every day. Finding a way to get housework done when you have an infant or toddler can be quite the challenge. Once your kids start going to preschool for several hours a day, it will obviously get a lot easier.
But, how can you do a deep cleaning when you have a baby by your side 24/7?
Consider a baby carrier
One option is to use a baby carrier as you go about your day, as this allows you to keep a baby close while getting light household chores out of the way. Popular brands of baby carriers include Ergo, BabyBjörn, and Moby Wraps. If you search “baby carriers” online, you’ll see that some lend themselves better to walks and hikes with larger babies while others are more ideally suited to infants.
If you decide to take this approach, just be sure that you refrain from using harmful cleaners or spray cleaners, as these can harm delicate lungs. Instead, do household jobs that can be tackled standing up and using soap and water like washing the dishes.
Practicalities of a baby carrier
Using a baby carrier while cleaning doesn’t work well for vacuuming either due to the loud noise it generates. Also, any food preparation that involves heat or cutting with a sharp knife should be avoided. However, many moms have found that it is still possible to get lots of laundry done and food prepared with a baby strapped to their chests or backs. In short, using a baby carrier isn’t the time to cook over a hot stove, clean the oven or run the vacuum.
Keeping your baby occupied while you clean your home
Another cleaning option for moms with infants and toddlers is to consider a video, playpen or activity center filled with safe and engaging toys. This can go a long way towards keeping your child occupied and entertained.
Invest in a baby play area
As long as a playpen or activity center is only used for a short period of time, it can be a good option. However, it is vital that you pay close attention to how your child reacts. If he or she is getting upset, then a playpen or activity center might not work for longer periods of time.
Play a short video for your little one
Finally, if all else fails, then you can play a short children’s video to keep your baby entertained while you take some time to clean up. Screen time has received a good deal of attention in the last couple of years with many experts recommending that screen time be limited to two hours per day in total.
Early childhood development experts are very clear that infants, toddlers, and young children need a high level of adult interaction and stimulus. Playpens, activity centers, toys, and videos can be useful tools, but they should be used sparingly and only for short periods of time.
Get help from your older kids
Moms with older children definitely have additional options. An excellent option is to get your children involved in chores in a creative way. If you look for ways to make chores fun, such as creating a contest with some sort of reward, you’ll be surprised by just how much your children can accomplish. You’ll also find that this approach will help your children feel more mature knowing that they can do something special to help, especially if they know they are helping you take care of a new baby.
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Focus on self-care
Keeping your home clean with young children can be a substantial challenge. Experts generally agree that you shouldn’t use your baby’s nap-time as a session of “frantic cleaning,” but instead you should use that time to give yourself a bit of a mental health break.
In fact, you might want to use this time to take a nap yourself or engage in some other relaxing activity, such as talking to friends, reading a parenting book, or eating a healthy snack. Consider meditation, which has been proven to lower stress levels, boost immunity, and maybe even slow down the aging process.
Be sure to allocate your work
Today, we live in a society that has a range of ways that moms can take advantage of outsourcing. You really don’t need to do it all yourself. In fact, when you put too much pressure on yourself, it may cause stress and depression. When you start thinking about how you can outsource your work, you’ll not only have more free time, but you’ll feel more content as well.
Turning to friends and family
Even if your budget doesn’t allow for you to pay a nanny so you can go get a luxurious massage, you can still turn to friends and family for help with some of your tasks. In other words, moms shouldn’t try to do it all because their number one job should be providing great care for their children.
If possible, see if you can have your significant other pick up some of the tasks that you did before the baby came along. Remember other people are busy too and focused on their own lives. They may have simply not thought of providing you with the extra help that you need. Sometimes you really do just need to reach out and ask.
Think about hiring some assistance
Whether it is ordering groceries online or even hiring a cleaning service, (just be sure it is a green cleaning service if you have children) there are now more ways than ever before for moms to take a little of the pressure off.
A key part of keeping your stress levels low is picking your battles. On days when your energy levels are particularly low, maybe just order take-out instead of cooking.
A great way to free up some time is to simply stop worrying about trash around the house. If you have large and bulky trash items that need to removed, don’t try to handle these items yourself. Why risk injury when you can have professionals deal with such items?
A service like LoadUp is a great example of taking a different approach, you can reduce the amount of work while reducing your stress levels.
It’s all about proper balance
Remind your friends and relatives that the help they provide you will enable you to do a better job taking care of your children. You may be amazed just how much people are willing to help you. Sometimes it really does take a village! “Mom time” is time that benefits everybody and most especially benefits children, so take all the help you can get.
Part of freeing up more time to focus balancing motherhood and keeping your home clean means strategically prioritizing what needs to be done and then taking steps to find help. The bottom line is your house doesn’t have to be 100% clean. No one expects perfection from you and you very well may be placing unnecessary pressure on yourself to be “supermom.”
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