Saturday, February 13, 2010

Fitting in housework with a little one

Being a SAHM, you'd think my house would constantly be spick-and-span. Not so. In fact I believe our home has the more fashionable "lived in" look. ;) And while moms who work outside the home may think SAHMs have all the time in the world to clean, cook, and organize, that isn't the case either. It's challenging for me to balance playing with my son and being hands-on with him, but also keeping the house in running order as its primary manager.

There are definitely days where I am full of energy and in a cleaning mood. But more often than not, I feel as if I'm in survival of the present mode. It dawned on me the other day that I ought to make a list. I am a list-maker and a list-lover. And I have even been known to create a whole new list when I have crossed something off...just so it would look neater. Quirky or neurotic? You decide.

But my epiphany, if you will, was to make a list of household tasks that were divided either A) by noise level or B) personal energy level. The noise level idea came to me because although I don't keep everything silent in our house as my son sleeps, I'm certainly not going to test him by doing crazy loud stuff either. Your noisy tasks could be different from somebody else's as well, depending on how your child sleeps or even how large your home is. Since we live in a two-bedroom flat, thinking of the noise factor is a must.

Some of my quiet tasks are:

Changing the bed linens/making the bed

Dusting (like I dust!)

Folding clothes

Organizing/straightening the bedroom or den

Cleaning sink vanities

Some of the noisemakers:

Vacuuming (obviously)

Unloading dishwasher (we have heavy stoneware plates)

Or maybe if you're like me, there are some days when you really don't care if the baby wakes up, you just need to get stuff done regardless. But often times I discourage myself because I don't have the energy to do anything. So try making an energy-based household task list instead. Remember, this is based on your energy level not Super Mom's. (And if she really exists, I'd be in line to string her up by her toes since I find I tend to compare myself to her).

Low-energy tasks:

Loading/unloading dishwasher



Making baby food

Ironing (which I never do)
Writing letters/Web surfing (I realize "web surfing" is negligible)

High-energy tasks:



Grocery shopping (all that it entails)

Cooking meals

Cleaning tubs

Handwashing caked-on-baked-on pots & pans

So, there you have it. Don't forget to take time and smell the Pine-Sol.

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