How to find balance between housework and chaotic kiddos.
My kids are still quite young and they are not quite in the “pick up after yourself” groove. They can help with cleaning but most of the housework still falls on me. I admit, it is a challenge juggling two messy and attention seeking toddlers while trying to clean the house! I can only imagine the chaos that I will be dealing with when the kids are school aged and home for the Summer. I’m gearing up now for the messes!
In the amount of time it takes me to clean up one room, they can easily trash the rest of the home, clearly this is not the ideal situation for housecleaning, but what’s a mama to do?
Here are 5 ways I manage the chaos and work towards a picked up home.
- Confine the kids in a fun way – When I’m working on cleaning up, I try to keep my kids in one area of the house, so that they can’t completely destroy the entire home while I’m scrubbing one room. Sometimes this means getting down coloring books and letting the color at the dining room table. Other times, I may let them go crazy in the living room, making messes and pulling out toy bins, as long as they stay in that room. Get creative and find ways to get the kiddos in just one area of the house. That way, you will just have one extra room to pick up when you are done with your original task.
- Chill Out – Trying to clean the house while the kids are home is a stressful undertaking. It can be extremely frustrating and almost seem counter productive at times… so instead of getting upset about that, learn to embrace it. If you don’t get the entire home cleaned today, that’s okay. If your kiddos make a mess of the living room while you were scrubbing toilets in the back of the house, that’s okay too. Those things happen, and it makes for a much happier day if you start to expect those things, instead of being surprised when the inevitably take place.
- Take Breaks – After 30 minutes or an hour of cleaning take a break and play with the kiddos. Using rest time to play with them will not only increase their attention span as they wait for your to come play, but it will also give you chances to connect in the middle of a busy day. Even if you are only able to stop and play for 10 minutes, those are precious moments that communicate love to your kiddos in a way that few other things can!
- Be Realistic – Don’t make goals that you can’t reach. If you have toddlers at home like I do, it will probably not be a good idea to set a goal like “The entire house will be spotless by 5 pm today.” That is just not realistic!
- Perfect One and Maintain the Rest – I try to set goals for myself like the following: “I will clean the entire kitchen today, and try to keep the rest of the house looking as good as it looks right now”. That way, when I’m done cleaning the kitchen I can just take a few minutes to run around the house picking up whatever my kids have messed up while I was cleaning in the kitchen. I don’t typically try to scrub extra things or make each room look spotless all in the same day. I just maintain the semi-cleanliness of the rest of the house, while deep cleaning 1 room at a time.
If you need some SUMMER FUN to keep the kids busy while you clean, check out our limited edition Summer survival kit! It was put together by teachers and moms and it’s sure to keep the kids busy, having fun and learning through the Summer!
Looking for more tips? Check out this post for 7 MORE ways to get things done with a toddler underfoot!
What are your tricks for cleaning up with toddlers in the house? I’d love to hear them!
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