Housework with Two Under Two: How Do I Keep my House Clean with Young Children? Doing housework has never been my strong point. I don’t naturally clean my environment as I walk through the house and seem to have missed that “mom gene” where you naturally add order to your surroundings without thinking about it. When I don’t think about it, the house gets dirty...really, really fast! Once I do look around and think it’s about time to tidy up, my next thought is how? I work from home. My little ones are both under two, and sitting with them while they crawl and run around me as I work on my computer is actually easier than trying to figure out how to sweep and mop, cook, do laundry, and clean the bathrooms with them. Full disclosure - for this blog I’m pulling heavily from the advice of some experienced moms who have been there and done that. So thank you Charity, Lindsay, and Megan for giving expert advice on today's topic, how do I keep my house clean with young children? This Phase will End This stage where housework feels so difficult is just that - a phase that is short
Providing Mommy Answers! So, I definitely have some OCD tendencies. And this in addition to being very, very Type A. Mix these two ingredients with being a new mom & well… let’s just say with every single new mom question I faced, I grit my teeth, dug in my heels a little farther and searched fervently for the answer. Looking back now, I see I was a bit animal in my behavior and certainly fear-driven. But, as new moms we simply have so many questions and we are hunting for oodles of answers. Why is my baby crying? Why is he not sleeping? What is that red thing on her forehead? Oh God, is she coughing or dying? Initially, I refused to give my firstborn any vaccines, as I had heard so many theories flying about. Her first 6 months I read countless books and websites...trying to make sense of everything. Do I vaccinate? If so, at what pace do I vaccinate my child? Do I give my child all of the vaccines or do I pick and choose? In the end, because of our frequent travel to Third World countries, we chose to do most of the vaccines but at a
How Do I Make Chores a Part of Our Family Life? Chores are an important part of raising responsible, independent children. It’s good for them the way vegetables are good for them- they may not like them but they’ve got to eat them to grow healthy and strong. And, just like getting them to eat vegetables, it can be a royal pain to get them to actually do their chores. The truth is, you can and should start your kids helping with chores at around age three, but it’s unlikely that you are going to feel like it’s actually easing your chore load for at least four or five years. It’s going to take patience on your part, mom and dad! They need supervision, help, and your willingness to let a few crumbs go unswept (attention, perfectionists, I’m talking to you). Decide what you want “help” with and what you don’t. This may boil down to what you can stand to let be done imperfectly and what you feel is absolutely essential to have spotless. Children do not have your eyes, trained over many years, to see every dust bunny, every water mark on the faucet or every speck of toothpaste on
How Do I Get My Kids to School on Time? This morning I was woken up far too early, by my 10-year-old looking for her school uniform. Of course, it wasn’t in her drawer where she should have put it the night before. And of course she assumed that her sister had “stolen it” from her. Oh boy. Can I just please sleep a few more minutes? The next 45 minutes were taken up waking the 1st grader, finding missing shoes under the sofa, pottying the 3-year-old, filling water bottles--with ice cubes flying everywhere, signing homework forms and searching every drawer in the house for one surviving hair band. After several years of this early-morning routine, I find we are finally adjusting to it. Some mornings are pull-my-hair-out stressful and others are surprisingly calm and filled with laughter around the breakfast table. This morning, thankfully... was topped off by some comic relief. I had managed to get the kids into the van before our oh-no-we-are-going-to-be-tardy-again cut-off time. I was actually dressed and NOT wearing slippers. Backpacks: check. Water bottles: check. Baby buckled: check. I rested my head against the car seat, waiting for all the kids to climb in the van. This
One night a few years ago...when I was having a rare and wonderfully deep sleep, I had a vivid dream. In my dream I was Mary Poppins. I wore the hat, carried that fantastic magic purse and was strolling along using the umbrella as a walking stick. Suddenly, I--or me as Mary Poppins--found herself signing up to study Pediatric Medicine online. I woke up with a jolt and sat up in bed, horrified. You see, dreams will sometimes mean something to me. I find God will use dreams to direct me, share thoughts, or reveal my emotions to me. In fact, a few years before I had prayed that God would start speaking to me in dreams. And He had. Now I was petrified. Here I was with three young children. Had I missed my calling? Was I supposed to become a pediatrician? How could I have missed this? How would I accomplish this? There was simply NO way. It was 4am and I was wide awake, my heart racing. I just could not wrap my heart around the "how" of this. How would I quit what I was doing and spend 4 years in Medical School? When I was
Have you ever looked at your child and seen yourself in the mirror? My husband lovingly calls my 6-year-old a "mini-mommy". She looks like me, talks like me and doesn't take no for an answer....just like her mom. The problem with this is that she simply doesn't always do what we want her to do and she has far too many opinions for her own good. It is very inconvenient for us, the parents. And infuriating at times. Strong-willed children are a handful, to say the least. And...it is clear to me, that certain children are definitely more strong-willed. My first-born may not want to eat the food I have prepared for dinner, but if I tell her, "Honey, I worked hard on this dinner. Do your best and eat it, " she will go ahead and eat. My second-born is another story altogether. If I tell her her she needs to go ahead and eat it, she looks at me and says, "No, mom. I am not going to eat it." Done. She has made up her mind. If I am tucking my third-born in and she is annoyed with the covers, I can usually adjust them and smooth them out
If your child is like mine, you will agree with me that it takes no more than about three minutes for a perfectly clean and organized room to become a war-zone! This is no doubt one of the great frustrations of parenting preschoolers. Of course they understand where items belong and organizing toys. And yet...they opt to take every last toy out, play and proceed to run off to another activity. The aftermath is...well, a wonderful mess that most often you get to pick up on your own with a few token gestures of help by your clever little four-year-old. Now, if you are a super-organized Mama...you don’t have this problem. You simply don’t let the little guy go on to the next activity until he has put things away. However, we know that this is not the case for most of us. We have an office to go to, errands to run, school drop-off, lunch prep,...and so, your child’s room gets lost in the mix. I have found something that works quite well in our house. You might want to try it. We do something called “Room Inspection”. We do it every morning. My four-year-old and six-year-old share a room.
This took me quite a long time and many tiresome nights to figure out. After my first child was born I couldn't even fathom trying to go above and beyond taking care of her to manage the house work too. So I left the cleaning and laundry for the evenings which usually meant it got put off until the weekend when my husband was home to help. Well, 3 kids later I've finally realized I don't want to spend nights and weekends just doing chores and it is possible to keep up with the tasks while kids are home. I think of it two ways ,1) "Kill two birds with one stone" whenever possible. 2) "If you can't beat them...make them join you," Let me make this practical. First, I will often pair tasks along side something I'm doing with the kids. For example, I will often bring all of my cleaning supplies into the bathroom and clean it while giving the kids who are old enough to be out of my arms reach, a bath. They get clean, the bathroom gets clean and 20 minutes later I'm thrilled both are done! I'll do this with my two year old too. Whenever