Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Where do you put your kids when you clean?

I have a copy of Organized Simplicity in a basket under my coffee table. I have read a few chapters of it, and have applied a few tips I learned from it.

I have a copy of 31 Days to Clean on the desktop of my computer.

I have a household notebook, with a bunch of cool lists and chore charts to mark off.

I have no problem getting rid of stuff (well, I am struggling with the toys). I would actually enjoy going through my kitchen cupboards and getting rid of spices.

My kids have outgrown lots of clothes, and it would only take me about 20 minutes to go through their drawers and pack the clothes up.

Here's my problem: I'm not sure what to do with the kids, to get anything done. Naps are rare, and when they do happen, one child is usually in my lap. Which means, I'm not risking it and putting her down to clean.
The kids are very active, and want me around them every second. I have enough time to make breakfast, lunch and dinner, and hopefully clean up 2 of the 3, I can move laundry around, but putting it away in drawers and closets is rare.

I feel like I'm missing something, because there are so many things that I know should be done, and I can't seem to do them because I am just too busy with the kids.
If you have kids, how in the world do you manage to get household tasks done when they are with you all the time? Any tips are appreciated :0)


  1. It is refreshing to hear another mother having the same issues as me. Sometimes in reading blogs I get discouraged that other mothers houses are perfect and I am the only one who can't keep up. I don't have an answer for you because I am also trying to figure this out. My laundry is hardly ever put away in the drawers either. I can't figure out how to get a house project done (like organizing) when after 5 minutes my kids need me again. I'm glad I found your blog because we sound very similar. I guess you can be encouraged that you are not alone!
    Just curious, was it easier for you to keep up when you were working?

  2. @kaitlin It is so refreshing to hear that I'm not alone! I litterally tore my house apart yesterday, trying to de-clutter and re organize, but never got things put back, because I had clingy kids :0) I was able to manage a little better when I was working, but I really don't know what I did differently.I should have took notes then! I was still home during the day with the kids, I was even more tired because of my work hours, but somehow I managed :0) It could have been that my daughter wasn't mobile yet. She was good just sitting in her bouncy chair. Anyway, thanks for the comment, I really do love knowing that it's not just me!

  3. Have "quiet time" every day. This would probably be best during the younger child's nap. Every one needs a break, especially mommy! If each child has a room, you can tell the older it is quiet time and let them know it's ok to look at books, lay quietly, play quietly, etc. (My friend put her oldest in the parents' bed.) This can be a good time to get a few things done. We usually homeschool for the 2 older ones while the 2 younger ones have quiet time SO I'm still having trouble keeping up with my house.

    My oldest is 10 and I still feel exactly like you do, I still don't feel like I know what I'm doing or how come the clothes don't fold themselves and put them away! :) Money Saving Mom keeps her kids with her to do chores around the house. Some people take little breaks throughout the day to pick up. I've heard not to worry too much about the condition of your house until your youngest is 5 so I have one more year! :)

  4. I share kids with a friend - i.e. all the kids go to her for 4 hours while I clean, and I'll take her kids with mine after so she can clean. My kids now also think "dance clean" is a game (with their kid music), and while they don't get much done, they are at least not actively making a mess while I'm trying to clean.

    Having said all of that...my house is still FAR from perfect, and I try to remind myself that I've never heard anyone on their deathbed saying, "I wish I had spent more time cleaning house..."

  5. This is a great question! I am SOOO happy to hear someone else being honest about their house! I'm still wondering how those so-called "super moms" do it cuz I sure don't know the secret. Getting laundry done has always been our toughest hurdle, as well, since we haven't ever had our own machines (hoping that will change in the next 6mths!) and that means things pile up before getting washed & dried, then there's a mountain of clean to put away and... well as you said, there always seems to be something else more urgent with the kids around. For me, I try to take advantage of any "Independent Play Time" and I also use "Quiet Time" as the previous commenter described. Additionally, I'm working on a chore chart for my two oldest (5 & 3) who have shown they are both capable and eager (most days) to help out. And I mean actually help, not "help". ;-)