One thing I hear quite often from mums whether it’s a friend or someone writing on a page on facebook, is that they are a stay at home mum and are struggling to juggle kids and housework. And it makes me think why do we often stress so much and put so much pressure on ourselves to always have a clean house? Life is rarely clean especially with the kid, I mean there’s food mess, there’s toy mess, there’s clothes mess (yours and theirs), nappy messes and toilet messes practically every part of parenthood is messy in some way.
Right from the get-go, pregnancy can be messy. Birth is messy and after that comes breastfeeding. You have the milk leaks, forgetting the breast pad so you get milk all over your shirt. You fall asleep feeding the baby and suddenly baby becomes detached from the boob and milk leaks all over your clothes and sheets. Then, there’s the baby vomits, the milk spews, the poos and the runny messy poo explosions that just go everywhere and you consider throwing all the clothes out with the nappy and maybe even the baby if it’s a bad one (kidding).
But seriously, I can remember numerous times with my oldest when she was a newborn, I was changing her on her change mat on the table (I’ve never purchased a change table, I just bought a mat and put it wherever was easiest.) and I have just taken off her nappy then by surprise a projectile liquid poo sprayed right at me all over my favourite jumper. Another time I heard it happening, these horrible sounding loud wet fart noises coming from this tiny human. How could she possibly make these noises? And then the smell, Yuck! The poo was everywhere. I picked her up and thought to myself, what the hell do I do with her!
Into the bathroom, I laid her on the change mat ran and grabbed a bucket, put that down next to her and began slowly undressing her and putting her clothes into the bucket. When I got to the singlet that was holding the main poo mess, I remember looking at it and thinking how the hell am I going to get this off without it going everywhere!? I started to run the bath ready and grabbed some wipes and slowly and carefully took it off, poo went the rest of the way up her back, on her hair (what little hair she had) and it was gross. I wiped her down as much as I could then into the bath. I can honestly say, I haven’t had anything like that happen again yet! We shall see when number 3 comes along.
Anyway, back to the housework. Every time I see or hear someone say they are behind on housework or are struggling with trying to get it all done and looking after the baby or kids. I think, why does it matter? NO ONE expects you to have a spotless house when you have kids.
Other mums know what it’s like to try and keep a house clean and look after babies. Anyone that complains about the state of the house either doesn’t have kids, has a lot of outside help, or is wonder woman! I mean you put so much of your time and effort into the housework and not playing with and enjoying your kids especially when they are young, they grow up so quick it’s easy to miss things.
If having a clean house is so important then pick a day and time when you have nothing else on and the kids, either napping or playing happily and do one thing at a time. If you don’t get it all done then no big deal. I was a mum that was constantly cleaning my house, I was vacuuming every day when I finished up work and was waiting for my due date to come with my first baby then after she came I was still vacuuming every couple of days because the house always looked untidy and unclean to me. No one said anything about the state of the house, I’d get compliments about it being so clean when to me it was still dirty, and then after I had my second baby I thought to myself, why am I even worrying about this stuff? It’s going to be messy again in 10 mins or less.
It’s a waste of time cleaning every day. So now, I just don’t clean. I have given up on cleaning the house. I pick my time usually when my oldest is with her grandparents and the youngest is in bed, that’s when I clean. That’s when I get my vacuuming done, that’s when most of my washing gets done and that’s when everything gets put away properly in its place even though half of it will be pulled out again when the baby’s up. But you know what, it doesn’t matter. Because for that hour or so, I had a clean house and I could relax and sit and admire my beautiful clean house. Everything was perfectly in place and clean. Then my kid/s woke up and we made some memories and enjoyed ourselves, that’s what it’s about.
If you are lucky enough to be a super mum and keep your house clean whilst the kids are home, then I envy you. If your one of those mums that’s stressing about your house being clean but you have barely had the time to sit down and feed yourself because you’ve been busy with the kids, as soon as they’re down for a nap, go make yourself a fabulous meal and a drink and sit down. Put those feet up and eat! Uninterrupted! If you still have to clean dishes in the cupboard and still have clean clothes in your drawers and cupboards, then the cleaning can wait.
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