- My handsome husband- really great about playing with and teaching our kids when he's not at work full-time. He has recently become a vegetarian (with lots of allergies), which means that meal preparation requires more thought and planning and take-out or instant meals are rarely an option.
- Thing 1- 5 years old and just started Kindergarten. She loves to help as long as what we are doing doesn't involve the word "clean". (Pull weeds, scrub toilets, sort laundry, fine, clean room-no way) A real sweetie-pie who is everyday is saying 'teach me, play with me' and loves to help with the baby.
- Thing 2- A three year old ball of energy
and oh my goodness he's going to be a heart-breaker. It's really not fair that a boy have such gorgeous blue eyes and such long eye lashes.I adore him, but he can be difficult, especially when it is too hot to play outside. He's a adjusting to not being the baby of the family and it's a big adjustment. A couple weeks ago he single-handedly convinced my sister-in-law that she is not ever going to have children. His favorite job is throwing away poopy diapers. Don't ask me why.
- Cindy Lou-Who- Almost four weeks old, and a little easier than my previous two (yay!) However, she still wants to breast-feed most of the day. I love, love, love that she's getting fat rolls.
- Then there's me- mommy, not sleeping as much as I would like, but hanging in there and enjoying a whole lot of sweetness.
That's my family and meeting their needs is more important than a spotless house. However, some of those needs include maintaining some amount of cleanliness. On every given day, my house is not has clean as I would like it to be. But I'm trading that for the little sleep I can squeeze in and time with my family. Here are the things that I do to try to maintain a state of livability.
- Every morning I make my bed. It is the largest feature in my bedroom, and if it is made the whole room feels cleaner. (Learned that one from my MIL)
- I have my kids pitch in a little at a time. Before my kids can have treats, play games or watch movies they have to 1) get their stuff out of the living room and 2) pick up and put away five things in their rooms. They also have to pick up the last game that they played with if they haven't done so. They also are rewarded for doing chores beyond managing their own messes.
- Every day I get rid of at least five things. Junk mail, newspapers, magazines, etc.
- When I get bills I pay them and file them immediately so they're not cluttering up the house.
- When I go grocery shopping I take the recycling bins with me. (They could stand to be emptied more often.)
- I wipe up spills as they happen.
- I sweep every other day, and mop at least once a week. Ok, sometimes it's like three times a week. The house isn't clean if the floor is sticky. (Not to mention where I live, food and spills on the floor attract insects.)
- Once a day I pick up the living room, and every other day I vacuum. Unless you're walking in through the back door, it's the first room you see and it takes up a big chunk of the house. If this room is a mess, the whole house feels so.
- At least once a day I wipe down the counters and the kitchen table. (Ok, I'll be honest, that's not entirely true, but that's my goal and when I neglect it, it just makes more work later.)
- At least once a day I load the dishwasher. Even on the rare evenings when there aren't enough dirty dishes to run it, I load it so I can empty the sink.
- Then I scrub the sink. It takes two minutes, some Ajax and a scouring pad, but if the kitchen sink is clean it improves the appearance of the whole kitchen. (Learned that tip from the FLY Lady.)
- About every other day I wash a load of laundry. Part of this is because baby creates so much dirty laundry, and part of it is it's much easier to deal with when I handle it one load at a time.