How to stay on top of housekeeping as a stay-at-home Dad
Most parents struggle with the task of keeping up with household chores, especially cleaning while at home with children all day. It’s not just moms staying at home with the kids these days, either. In the United States alone, there are now over two million stay-at-home dads serving as the primary care provider for their children, and that number continues to grow.
Tips for stay at home dads
Dads deserve tons of respect. Dads face the same challenges as moms when it comes to keeping up with cleaning the house while caring for young children. The difference is men are more likely to have grown up in families where the mothers did most of the household chores and did not necessarily pass on those skills to their sons like they did to their daughters.
While times are changing, cleaning the house is still viewed in much of society as “women’s work.” A bit of an unfair stigma hovers around men who are stay-at-home dads and charged with upkeep around the house along with caring for the children. But as we all know, this is one of the most challenging jobs around!
Give yourself a pat on the back
Being the primary caregiver to your children is nothing to feel embarrassed about. You need not suffer anyone who speaks of it negatively. Whether you are a single dad or one who stays home when a partner works, give yourself a pat on the back for everything you do.
Being a stay-at-home dad is an important job, and you are just as capable of doing it as spectacularly as anyone else, regardless of gender. Embrace being a role model for your children.
So, what’s a busy stay-at-home dad to do about keeping the house clean while taking care of the little ones all day? Here are a few tips to help.
There is no such thing as perfection, only the pursuit of it. Focus your energies on being the best dad you can be and not on how spotless the house is. Find a minimum acceptable level of cleanliness and order, and then let it go.
It’s the quality time that matters
Your children will not remember how clean you kept the kitchen when they were toddlers. They will remember trips to the park, finger painting at the dining room table, and playing hide-n-seek in the backyard.
Schedule don’t scramble
Create a workable schedule of household cleaning chores, spreading them out over the week instead of trying to do it all in one day. It might look like this:
Stay at home dad house cleaning schedule
- Monday – clean the kitchen
- Tuesday– clean the bathrooms
- Wednesday – laundry
- Thursday – dusting/vacuuming/miscellaneous chores
- Friday – out of the house errands/catch up day
- Saturday – day off from chores/personal and family time
- Sunday – special projects like clean out the hall closet or garage
Is keeping a rigid schedule always going to be possible? No. However, if you have a schedule, you can plan on how to get the cleaning and chores done with the kids at home.
Habits of highly effective stay at home dads
Pick up age-appropriate videos at the local library to keep the kids occupied for an hour while you scrub the kitchen. Set up a play area with toys that only come out on clean-the-bathroom day, so that your kids are excited and engaged by something new and special.
You can put the baby in a front carrier or backpack while you sort, wash, and fold laundry. You can task older children with separating out all the socks into one pile, or you can send them to fetch the towels from the bathroom to be washed.
Work as a team
If they are old enough, teach your kiddos how to fold the simpler things like washcloths, match and roll socks together, and hand you their clothes to be placed on hangars. You will be teaching them valuable life skills like how to do their own laundry someday. Kids love learning how they can pitch in and help out around the house while getting a necessary chore done.
Refer back to the Punt Perfection section when it comes to kids helping out. So, what if they don’t make a perfect square when folding hand towels? Those towels are most likely going to disappear into a closet anyway.
Do you know any other stay-at-home dads? Or moms, for that matter? Why not propose a day of the week to help each other get the housekeeping done by scheduling cleaning playdates?
Have a couple of other stay-at-home parents over so one can watch the kids while the other two knock out a few chores. Then return the favor next time and head to their house to either help with the chores or keep the kids occupied.
This type of setup will mean that you are there to step in with your kids if necessary, but the novelty of playmates will help you and the other parent(s) have time to rake the leaves up in the backyard, clean out the refrigerator, or deal with the burned food mess in the oven.
When in need, hire help
If you can swing it, invest in some cleaning help. It’s not an admission of defeat that you can’t do it all. NO ONE can do it all!
Hiring a cleaning service to come even once a month can be a real lifesaver. You let them in so they can do their thing while you run errands or take the kids to the pool or park. When you come home, your whole house is clean, and you had quality time with your children, making memories that will last. They won’t notice that the toothpaste smeared all over the counter is gone, but you will.
Me time = free time
You can’t be a good parent if you are stressed out and exhausted all the time. Forget the notion that you don’t need me time. You do!
Work it out with your spouse or partner, friends, or relatives so that you have me time/free time on the schedule every week. Maybe Saturday mornings are your time to sleep in, go for a run, and have coffee with a friend with the agreement that you are back home for family time at a certain hour. When you have a lot going on, it’s helpful to know that while you are busy now, some downtime is coming. Take it.
Leave it to the pros
If you have a room, corner of the yard, or a garage full of junk that needs to be cleaned up, why not seek a professional to come get it for you? Sometimes it’s simply impossible to bear the burden of all the work.
No need to waste valuable time trying to find a place to dispose of it yourself and possibly encounter unexpected fees when the pros at LoadUp can whisk it away and save your day for more important things like a water balloon battle in the backyard or a stuffed animal tea party.
Book Pickup & Disposal BOOK JUNK REMOVAL ❯