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When I first became a SAHM, I wasn’t sure what to expect…I just knew that I’d be spending a lot more time at home now that I wasn’t working as a teacher. That meant I’d get a lot more done at home, right???? All the chores would be done now that I’m home to do them?
In many ways…yes. I am home ALL the time, after all. But…
Baby takes up the majority of my time. And baby is my #1 priority! Still. Mama’s got to eat, pay bills, and smell good. So…
Here are my 5 tips for getting chores done…with a baby.
1. Aim for ONE major chore per day. Depending on where you are in your Journey Through Motherhood, the age of your LO(s), and whether or not you have an SO and other support crew, one major chore per day is a reasonable goal. (Some days, it may not even be accomplished…and that’s ok!) I deem the following to be “major” chores:
- a load of laundry, washed and dried
- a load of laundry, folded and put away
- floors vacuumed
- floors mopped
- bathroom(s) cleaned
- dishwasher emptied
- garbage and recycling emptied throughout house
- bills paid
- grocery store run
- random chore requiring travel to the place
If you get more than one done per day…fantastic! If not…there’s always tomorrow.
2. Have a backup plan for when you can’t accomplish your dailies. “Dailies” are what I call chores that have to be done every single day. For me, this includes:
- walking the dog
- cooking dinner
- dishes in the sink
My “dailies” seem pretty minute when you look at it in bullet form…but there have been days when I didn’t get ANY of it done! And that’s ok. We have a huge yard, so that’s my backup for when Hubs or I can’t walk the dog. If I can’t make dinner that day, I’ve got frozen meals for backup or usually there’s some form of leftovers in the fridge. Last resort: take out! (Hubs would cook but I like to have dinner ready by the time he gets home so we can all eat together before Nugget has to go to bed.) Dishes in the sink…well…as much as they’re an eyesore, no one is going to die if they don’t get done today.
Some days, life has other plans for you and you just have to roll with it!
3. Try to do a chore in whatever room you are in. We live in a three-story house and I often find myself and Nugget on several floors throughout the day. Since I am pregnant and have a bum knee though, I try really hard to stay put on one floor as much as I can. Still…I will try and do SOMETHING while I’m on a certain floor so it doesn’t build up.
4. Try to do a chore when baby is sleeping. Notice I wrote “try”. Yes, I did that on purpose. I actually do nap when Nugget naps, most of the time. Especially since #2 is on the way! But during those rare moments I don’t nap…I will try to get a quiet chore done (no vacuuming or rearranging furniture!).
5. Involve your LO in your chore, if you can. Nugget is at that age where she either: a) wants to be held ALL the time or b) wants my undivided attention. This makes doing chores difficult when I need both hands for the job (like doing dishes). I highly recommend babywearing but at this point, my bump is getting huge and I’m tired from holding her all the time.
My all-time favorite baby carrier:
If I can involve her, I can and I do. When I’m folding laundry, I’ll give her her own pile to “sort”. If I’m doing the dishes, I’ll give her some tupperware to play with on the floor next to me. (Sometimes, that only lasts 5 minutes but I’ll take it!) Sometimes chores have to be done in increments…for instance, my pile of clean laundry stayed on the bed for several days until Hubs folded it the other day!
If you have an SO or support system, either have them help by doing a chore or have them watch LO while you work in peace. Easier said than done, of course, but we can always try!
At the end of the day…you are doing the best that you can…and that is enough.