Before I had a baby, people told me, “Don’t stress so much over a clean house. Once you have a baby, your house will NEVER be clean again.”
You bet my eyes popped out of my head and my mind instantly began to race. NEVER CLEAN AGAIN!? That just can’t be true!
So I made it my goal (and to this day, still make it my daily goal) to keep a clean house. I’ve read lots of moms say that they’d rather spend time playing with their babies, because babies grow — and there will be time to clean the mess later. That may be true, and I love playing with my baby — but that doesn’t mean we can’t play in a clean house!
I’m VERY motivated to keep my house clean. I start every day by getting up somewhere between 4 and 5 a.m. The first thing I do is start the coffee (lately, I’ve even been good enough to set the timer the night before, so when I get up the coffee is ALREADY brewing!). I make my husband’s lunch for work — either sandwiches, or reheating and filling a thermos with leftovers. I include snacks. Sometimes I fix him cereal before he leaves the house, sometimes I pack up a nice hot breakfast sandwich for him to have once he gets to work. After I finish, I’ll do the dishes.
Yes, I like to do dishes at 4 a.m.
For the next few hours, I watch a little of the morning news while I change/feed/do whatever else with the baby. Normally around 7, he nurses to sleep in my lap, and I can relax for a bit. When he wakes, we have breakfast together.
After breakfast I let him play by himself, whether in our living room or in his bedroom. He’s safe and I’m only down a short hall, where I can check on him every few minutes. (You get used to constantly hopping down the hall to sneak a peak and make sure he’s ok.)
While he plays, I get started on whatever’s on the list for the day. Oh — the list. Don’t you have one, too?
I have a chore chart that I usually print out once a month. It hangs in my laundry room, and I can check off chores as I get them done. There are daily chores — like dishes and vacuuming. There are weekly chores, like cleaning the bathroom, and laundry. Keeping a chart and knowing that there’s a certain day for each chore REALLY helps. I only do laundry on Fridays. I clean the bathroom on Wednesdays. I sweep on Tuesday and Thursdays.
I try to get everything done for the day by noon. If I have some extra time I’ll do things like blog posts, photo editing, or some crafting. At noon we have lunch, and in the afternoon — we do whatever WE WANT. Play on the floor. Dance to music. Take a shower. TAKE A NAP. That’s the time I spend with my baby. And whatever we’re doing — it doesn’t even matter, because we’re doing it together.
Around 3:3o or 4 I start dinner. Dinner is as easy as can be — just check the meal plan chart on the fridge and GO! (What — you don’t have a meal planning chart, either?? You REALLY need one!) Sometime early that morning I probably took out whatever meat needed to defrost, and by the time 4 comes I just throw it wherever — in the oven, on the stove, or if I’m lucky, the crockpot is already going. We cook and have dinner at the dinner table EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT together.
After dinner, we start our “loosely” schedule (more on scheduling another time … or lack thereof in our case) bedtime routine. It usually consists of a bath, some pajamas, a book or some playtime.
That’s my day. It’s a full day. Sure, getting up at 4 a.m. isn’t for everyone. But I honestly enjoy it. I make time in my day for everything. I keep a clean house. I cook meals for my family. I spend time with my family.
Now, if there was only enough time in the day for me to have a little “me” time… But that’s for another day, I guess!