Talk about a controversial topic. I’m addressing this because it’s something that I’ve really been struggling with since having baby (who will be 10 months in 5 days!!!!). In more ways than one I’m a different person post pregnancy, childbirth, mommyhood, etc. Obvi. And one of those ways is that my “nesting” instinct has never gone away. Now, I am the first to admit that I’m not exactly a fab housekeeper and NOBODY will EVER confuse my home with Martha Stewart’s. However, I am much more concerned with having a clean and tidy home now than I have ever been in the past.
I AM IN NO WAY ADDRESSING SURVIVAL MODE which is I would say, 1-2-3 months after baby’s birth. Forget it. During that time all you need is clean laundry, clean dishes, and food (which of course are all you really *need* any day). That’s enough to handle during that time, and nobody cares what your home looks like. During this time someone else MUST do your laundry, and most of the cooking/dishes. Especially laundry. There will be a ton of it and you won’t be able to do it yourself for at least a few weeks, and longer if you play your cards right. 🙂
Also note that I have one child. Mammas of many are much better at addressing keeping homes of many. But I find that there’s a lot out there for organizing homes with a lot of kids, and not so much addressing how the shocked, new mommy is supposed to do everything.
Note too that there is a difference between CLEAN and TIDY. It is important that your home is clean (especially with a baby!!!!) not so essential (although nice) that it is tidy. By clean I mean particularly that bathrooms are wiped, kitchen counter and sink are wiped and cleaned, and that heavy traffic areas are vacuumed and wiped. Tidy is another thing. Baby toys strewn about the floor are pretty much a given depending on the age of your child.
So, first things first, we have to identify and answer two questions:
1. Do I care what my home looks like? Of course, if you’re the “I’m messy, take me as I am” type this has nothing to do with you. But I find that now that I care enough, it’s so much easier to maintain. And especially now that I care enough to do some cleaning every. day. the house is SO much easier to maintain.
2. Do I need to get over myself? If you feel like cleaning is a burden placed upon the female by “the man” you need to get over yourself. “I used to get paid $XXXXXXX a year and wear a fancy suit, now I wear sweatpants and I need to clean the floor.” BS. Get over yourself. If you’re a big girl and you own/rent/fashioned yourself a home you are a big enough girl to keep it clean. I’m not saying everything is on you. If hubby is willing to help by all means delegate some homekeeping tasks to him. But you can’t get bitter about it. That will get you nowhere and you will only grow to resent that gleaming floor, or lack thereof. Put on your big girl pants and realize that you’re a parent and your child depends on you for a clean/safe environment. If you’re capable of handling an account/going to court/operating on someone/adding/subtracting/planning an event/doing any kind of work that someone is willing to pay you to do, you’re capable of wiping of kitchen counters and sinks. IT IS NOT BELOW YOU IN SOME WAY.
We are so impacted by our surroundings, and if we’re stay at home mommies our surroundings are our home. It is so much better to be in a place where we’re not jumping over piles, putting down our tea on dusty tables, and scraping toothpaste crud from the bottom of the sink so the water will drain. It’s much more pleasing to stay home when our homes are a pleasing place to be. And this is something achievable.
Today we will discuss the task to get us started. Identify what is the one thing that makes you feel better doing before you go to bed. What makes you feel like you have a better start to the day if that one part of your home is clean and tidy? Your bedroom? Master bath? Kid’s laundry put away? Kitchen sink? For me it’s the kitchen sink and not having dirty dishes. My day gets off to such a better start if I’m beginning the day with clean dishes, wiped kitchen counters and a clean kitchen sink. The FlyLady agrees. So, each evening before I go to be I try to put all dishes in the dishwasher, turn it on, wash everything by hand that needs to be, and wipe down the kitchen counters and the sink. This gives me a sense of accomplishment in the evening and it’s one less thing that needs to be done when I’m trying to get the morning activities started. That clean sink makes me smile (it’s the little things, isn’t it?)
Today figure out what your “clean thing” is, and do it. See if you don’t start with a happier tomorrow. 🙂
Tomorrow we will discuss, how to get home home to the “clean state” for maintaining!