Tips From The Trenches
If you’re staying at home with your baby, or just on maternity leave, you may be wondering how to get your house clean while caring for a little one -- especially if she prefers to be held, which most babies do. Here are a few tips for getting your house at least a little clean during the day.
Wear your baby
The easiest thing to do is strap or wrap your baby to your body with a good-quality baby carrier. She will be soothed by being next to you and your movements may even lull her to sleep. Baby carriers will allow you to hold your baby while you still have the use of your hands.
Do a little at a time
Don’t look at your loved and lived-in kitchen with despair because you really don’t have time to clean the whole thing at once. Make small goals -- tiny, really -- focusing on the most important parts first. Dirty dishes can wait until later if you want to clean the counters now. Crumbs on the floor? Worry about those tonight. If you pop in there every now and then, you’ll be done before you know it, and with less stress.
Just because you stay at home doesn’t mean you’re the only person in the house who cleans. Your partner or older children can -- and should -- pitch in. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, speak up. No man in his right mind would complain about a new mom not keeping up with the housework, but too often men don’t realize that Mom needs help if she doesn’t ask for it.
Don’t use baby’s sleeping time
It can be so tempting to clean like crazy during baby’s nap or bedtime. By all means, do some, but don’t spend the whole time slaving away. You need some time for yourself too -- to shower, sit down with a book, or goof around online. Don’t neglect yourself in favor of a clean house.