When I signed off on being a SAHM, I was totally onboard for fun park days and teaching the kids colors, shapes, and animal sounds. I also knew I would be handling the majority of the tantrums, blow out diapers, and sibling fights. I was good with taking on those responsibilities. But I completely underestimated and, if I’m being honest, resented the whole keep the house clean thing. My husband definitely does his fair share, but with two kids at home the messes add up.
Some people are type A when it comes to organizing and cleaning – not me. The upside to this personality trait is I’ve hosted a thousand last-minute playdates and back yard barbeques, because good enough is good enough when it comes to cleaning. And many of my friends are not comfortable hosting unless their house is spotless. However, when our little guy began receiving in home therapy services, I realized I need to step up my house cleaning game, so I wouldn’t be embarrassed. Here’s my lazy woman’s guide to keeping a house clean with two kiddos in the house.
- Clean when you have the energy. As a SAHM, the day is a marathon not a sprint. That means I do not spend my evening cleaning-up. I’m exhausted by then. What works for me is to get through the morning routine (off to school or breakfast and have the kids playing) then clean up the kitchen and the dishes from last night. By then, I’ve had some sleep, two coffees, and a lot patience. I don’t pick – up the house all day, except to toss things on the steps that have to go upstairs later. When late afternoon rolls around we usually do a house pick-up. The kids still have energy to clean up their big messes and it’s not a battle before bedtime. That’s also when I clean up the kitchen again. My husband is the cook in our family, and I try to give him a clean space to work or start the food prep. The house doesn’t get too bad in the evening because we are usually going to activities or playing outside, with the exception of the kitchen. I scrape plates, soak dishes but I don’t clean everything up. This way I can relax with my husband and actually spend time together.
- Simplify putting dishes away. We have plastic cups and plates for our kids and their friends to use. When it’s time to unload the dishwasher, I literally take the plastic cups and plates out, shake off the water droplets, and throw it into the bottom kitchen drawer. I do not spend anytime neatly stacking the kids’ cups and plates, because they will destroy my organized system in their frantic search for their favorite Lego cup. Bonus – the kids can put away their dishes easily and grab their own cups and plates.