5 Ways To Sort Of Maintain A House With a Toddler
The whole idea of owning a split-level home was so appealing to me, until we moved in and I realized: WOW, THERE’S A LOT OF SPACE TO CLEAN NOW. I feel like everyone romanticizes the whole having a big house thing. It’s all fun and games until you have to sweep, mop, and dust every room. *Faints*
*Awakens from fainting spell* So yeah, managing a household can be intense, especially with a small child. On top of my household and family, my schedule is super full. I mean, I really don’t even know how I found time to write this - hello, it’s 12:53 a.m. If you’re in the same boat as me, some of these tips may be helpful to you, or maybe not at all.
It’s totally possible, and very likely that I’m doing this whole motherhood / household manager thing completely wrong, but I’d like to think that I’ve learned some lessons through trial and error.
Let me know what you think. I’m also open to, and looking for suggestions. Help!
1 ) Put The Toys In The Toy Box EVERY Day: Adopting daily habits significantly help to keep tasks and clutter from building up. Maybe I’ll try again, but asking my 3-year-old to take only a few toys out of the toy box while playing, isn’t really working for us presently. A few toys to me is like 3 or 4, a few toys to her is 99% of the toy box inhabitants. I don’t know about your babies, but my daughter seems to want all of her toys in sight, or within reach at any given time. She treats them like her kids - doesn't want to be bothered with them, but also wants to know that they're safe. LOL, I kid, I kid! If I put one toy away, she cries for it even though it’s been hiding in the corner for an hour. I am trying to teach her to put her toys away so that we can start the day off afresh and less cluttered. I’m tired of Barbie dolls watching me brush my teeth every morning.
2) Don’t Wait Until the Weekend To Clean: Every time someone asks me if I have plans for the weekend, my response is “getting my house in order.” Can ya tell I’m a preacher’s kid? Don’t answer that. But yeah, waiting until the weekend to clean the whole house is the WORST. For one, you deserve to enjoy your weekend and not spend the whole time sweeping, mopping, and doing laundry. And two, there will be less to clean up on the weekend if you do a little bit daily throughout the week. I still clean on the weekends, but it’s less overwhelming when I’ve been making efforts to be organized throughout the week.
3) Don’t Ask Your Toddler to Help You Clean: Need I elaborate? This is one activity where the whole '2 heads are better than one concept' does NOT apply, at least not for this fam. No, mommy and toddler do not need to clean together. Yes, I know it’s good for her to interact with me and learn, but when I'm in power cleaning mode, definitely not the time.
Me: “Bella, put this is in the garbage.”
Me (an hour later): Why is the garbage can slimy?
Me: “Bella, put this in the cabinet for mommy.”
Me (2 seconds later): *wiping mounds of flour from off of the floor and cabinets*
Me: “Bella, take the dishes in the kitchen.”
Bella: *throws glass in the sink*
Okay, so I’m exaggerating. Actually I’m not exaggerating much at all. I’m just saying, sometimes kids can make a generally quick and simple task, complicated and time-consuming. Pick and choose when it’s time to teach them how to be tidy, and when it’s time to get ish done. LOL.
4) Buy Snacks and Juices in Bulk: For items that have a longer shelf life, I try to buy in bulk so that I have things that my family needs in stock. I have a love/hate relationship with grocery shopping. This is probably compounded by the fact that I usually go grocery shopping with my daughter, which usually turns into a dramatic episode. Last time we went to the store, we had to search for the shopping cart that has the steering wheel car in the front for babies. Then, after Bella asks for every piece of candy she sees in the store, we leave, and she suddenly starts crying because she lost her "my little pony" in the store. So then I unload all groceries into the car, and run back inside to search for a toy that I already know is lost forever, only to leave the store with a crying a child and vehicle full of groceries THAT I WILL HAVE TO MOST LIKELY CARRY IN THE HOUSE BY MYSELF. I AM STRESSED JUST THINKING ABOUT IT.
Phew. So anyways, I try to buy in bulk to relieve myself from having to make impromptu trips every time I run out of something that my child needs. If I can properly stock my home, and keep grocery shopping to the weekends, I’m all set.
5) Don’t Obsess Over Every Little Crumb:
For the mother whose house is always pristine and sparkling clean, congrats, your toddler must be living the most boring and inactive life ever!
JK, no judgement from over here. GOOD FOR YOU SIS! I personally think a couple of toys on the floor add character to a home, no? What’s a rug without crushed up goldfish? All I’m saying is some days my house is a palace, and most days it’s a home. I just cleaned up my daughter’s room earlier today, only to put her to bed a couple of hours ago, and find a melted popsicle (that she begged for) on her dresser. Things get messy with kids. A clean environment and organized space is beneficial for everyone, but don’t kill yourself over every little thing.
These are just a few of the things that I BELIEVE are helping me to "keep my house in order," without going crazy. How do you guys manage family and household?