I will tell you right now, I am not a good housewife. One of the jokes that is frequently made in my circle of friends is that I had to be a CareerMom because there was no way I’d survive as a SAHM.
Like all the best jokes, there’s a grain of truth to that. And as the stay-at-home parent, my husband does clean up after Baby Girl while he’s watching her all day. If she naps well, he might even do an extra chore or two. But when I come home, there is usually cleaning to be done, so how do I do it and not forfeit my precious “me-time?”
The first thing I did was prioritize cleaning tasks. FlyLady helped me with that. The following things have to be done every day:
Making the bed
Once those four things are done, then I can turn my attention to other things.
Making the bed happens as soon as I wake my husband up at 8:45, though if I was the one getting up second, I would do it as soon as I got up. It takes 30 seconds. Unless Baby Girl wakes up crying, I can spare 30 seconds.
For the rest: I do dishes while Baby Girl is finishing eating. I sweep then, too, if there is time, but she likes to steal the broom, so sometimes I don’t sweep until she’s asleep.
Once she’s napping, I will run a load of laundry before I go back to work. I’ll move it right before I start dinner (when my husband is watching her).
I also do small chores during commercial breaks of TV shows, or while a video game is loading. If I’m doing crafts, usually something has to warm up or dry or otherwise be left alone for a few minutes.
Getting bigger chores done obviously takes me away from fun stuff for longer, but I will set a timer for 15 minutes, get as much done as I can, and then reward myself with some fun time – alternating for as long as I have time without Baby Girl.
Now that she is older, she is also sometimes perfectly content to sit in her high chair and color, so that’s an option, as well.
How do you make time to clean? Leave me a comment!