Keeping up with the housework when you have school-age children can be difficult. That means that getting any housework done with a baby at home can feel almost impossible sometimes. You can achieve it though. Here are options for you to try out. Number 12 is my top tip for how to keep up housework with a baby!
12 tips for moms who have babies but need to get things done around the house
- Hire help
This is not an option for everyone, of course, but if it is an option for you, absolutely take advantage of it. There’s nothing wrong with being able to have more time to spend with your baby because you can afford to have someone clean and tidy up for you.
- Schedule it
Create a weekly chore schedule for your housework. Knowing that you’ll only do a single thorough vacuum once a week on a Wednesday afternoon, for example, motivates you to get it done at that time and out of the way till the following week. You will then figure out a way to get it done no matter what and even with a baby in the house. This is the first step in how to manage household work with a baby and without a maid.
- Utilise screen time
Depending on how young your baby is, you may have started to allow some screen time for either television or a small device like a tablet. Use that screen time wisely. Get as much of your weekly chore schedule done as you can within a specific amount of time that you’re happy to have your baby absorbed in one television show or film or the other.
- Monitor your baby
Get a baby monitor and really use it. Sometimes, your baby might be so fussy that they will not want you to leave them for even a moment. At times like that, the only way to get any of your weekly chore schedule done is to wait till they are asleep. This is when it is handy to have a baby monitor so that you can periodically check to make sure they are alright while you get things done.
- Divide and conquer
Splitting up your weekly chore schedule with your husband, older child(ren), or other members of the household is an effective way to get things done with a baby in the house. Sometimes, you will be too tired or sleepy to creep away while your baby is sleeping and get any work done. Sharing your chores with someone else is a great way to make sure you don’t have the burden of all the housework every week. This is why it is wonderful to have a list of household chores for couples if it is possible.
When thinking of how to make a chore list that works for both of you as a couple, consider factors like your baby’s sleep routines, and how much physical strength you have at this time.
- Ask and receive
While we are on the subject of dividing and conquering, do not be afraid to ask for and accept help from anyone. From household members to extended family and friends. When you have your baby, people will offer to help you in any way that they can. Be realistic about what you can ask of people, of course, but don’t be afraid to ask. You would help them if it were you so why not accept their help? You’ll truly appreciate a friend coming by and holding your baby for 30 minutes while you get some laundry done in exactly the way that you like.
- Wear your baby
Using a baby carrier is an especially convenient way to get household work done when you have a newborn. A baby carrier for housework is an important tool to have when your baby is so little because they do not weigh very much and you’re not straining your back by carrying them around while you work. As your baby gets bigger, it will be invaluable to have invested in a quality baby carrier from the beginning. If it is of good quality and well-designed, you will be able to wear your baby for a long time without feeling any strain.
- High chairs
These are not only for eating. Lay some of your baby’s favourite toys there and you could have time to do a spot of washing up in the kitchen before nap time. Of course, a few of your baby’s favourite snacks work too.
If your baby likes their playpen and you give them enough to keep them occupied in there, you could have 30 minutes to an hour to do a whole lot of housework. This is a great element for helping you manage household chores with a baby and without a maid.
- Do not multitask
Yes, I know. Women are supposed to be good at multitasking. However, it is not always the most healthy option for your brain or the most efficient way to complete tasks. When you have a moment with your baby playing by themselves or asleep, focus on one task, one aspect of housework or one area of the house and do it justice. It is too easy to try to do five things at one time and not complete a single thing.
- Put your beauty sleep and general self-care first
While the above are all great options for you, please keep in mind that you will be absolutely useless to yourself, your baby and the rest of the family if you are not getting enough sleep. How do you keep up with housework when you are exhausted? You will get more done and more effectively when you have the time only if you are well-rested. What does well-rested even look like to a mom of a newborn (ha!)?
It is getting as much sleep and self-care time as you can. If you had zero to a couple of hours sleep all night, getting some sleep when they do, should be your priority. Not housework.
- Great expectations
If you are having trouble prioritising yourself, you may have unrealistic expectations of what your life with a baby should be like. You will feel better if you accept that there is a limit to what you can control. That includes how tidy your house is around the clock. If you’re going to survive motherhood with a baby, you are going to have to relax your expectations of yourself. Even if only until your baby hits an age where they are more independent.
How do you manage to keep up with housework with a baby?