Fact: it’s a challenge to get things done with a toddler underfoot. Whether your trying to do housework or you are working from home it doesn’t take much time to realize that being a parent causes all tasks to be accomplished at a much slower rate.
Now that I have two kiddos I’ve learned several tricks to increase my productivity during the day. I’m still no expert, and there are many times when you will find my house an absolute wreck because the kiddos needed some extra attention or I decided to rest for half an hour. That being said, here are 7 ways I’ve found that can help you accomplish things with a little one running (or crawling) around.
- Involve them – When possible, I try to include the kids in what I’m doing. My 2 year old loves throwing clothes in the washer or pulling them out of the dryer as I fold, so he’s able to “help” in those ways. I’ve actually made a whole list of chores my son can help with, even at his young age!
- Closet toys – This little bit of mommy-magic has made my life so much easier over the years! I hide a collection of toys in our hall closet and bring one or two out when I need a moment’s peace or some time to get things done! Pulling out a hidden toy can be the perfect distraction for when you need to clean or cook and can’t have the kids helping.
- Plan – Work around your child’s schedule. Figure out what the baby’s happiest time of day is, and try to get your work done then. Maybe he’s most content first thing in the morning, or right after nap, whenever it may be, plan to do your work during these hours because the baby will be most likely to happily play by himself if he’s not already tired or cranky.
- Dance and sing – Yes, it’s exhausting and you will look crazy, but it’s one way to entertain the babies and get things done at the same time! March like dinosaurs as you put the laundry away sing the ABCs while you wash the bathtub, whatever it takes to keep them laughing!!!
- Don’t stress – This is a big one! Realize that it’s okay if you don’t get everything on your list done this hour or this day even! Some days kiddos need extra attention, as much as it may frustrate your cleaning schedule, it’s okay to stop and give them that at the expense of your housework sometimes. I’ve found that when I’m calm and willing to take breaks to crawl on the floor and play for awhile we all get through the day much happier and most of the time, I end up getting more things done because of it! Mama’s mood can make all the difference in the way a day plays out.
- Swap work days with another mom – Choose days of the week to swap out with a friend. Offer to watch their kids for a few hours on a one morning so they can get some deep cleaning done, in exchange for them watching your kiddos a few days later so you can do the same! This is the perfect way to get some organizing done so the kids can’t get into everything or do some intense cleaning with chemicals you don’t want the kids touching.
- Set a time limit – Give yourself 15-30 minute time limit and see how much you can get done. You could do this repeatedly throughout the day, reading books or playing small games with the kids between each set of work. This way, the kids feel like you are playing with them all day AND you will be able to get a lot of work done!
What are your best tips for getting work around the house done with little ones underfoot? I’m always looking for more ideas!