There’s just too much to do. There we go…it’s out there. Young children = constant stream of demands for attention and messes to clean up. Some of which are of the brown and smelly kind. Is it actually possible to keep on top of it all? I have come to the conclusion that the answer is…no. It isn’t (sorry). But we can have a bloody good go and there’s always wine to help us feel better about what we didn’t get round to. So here’s what I find helps:
1. Bath time is a good opportunity to clean
Yes, there is a lot of pleasure to be had in watching your children delight in their watery surroundings. And of course we can’t leave them unattended for even a moment. But if your children are past the baby/young toddler stage and can play in the bath independently, why not give the sink a wipe while they play? Two birds, one stone.
2. Waiting for the kettle to boil should give you just about enough time to load any bits and bobs lying about into the dishwasher (if you have one)
3.During those times when you have bagged your parking space outside school/nursery but it’s not quite time to make a move, gather all the child-related detritus from the back and either put it in the bin (food and drink detritus) or put it all in a bag ready to take back into the house when you are next there.
4.Young children naturally want to help (usually). Initially, their help will no doubt slow you down, but train them well and it will pay off. Free entertainment for them that also helps tackle the housework. Bonus. We are talking about things like pairing up socks, putting cutlery (nothing sharp, obviously) away, taking dry clothes to the right person’s room, putting toys back in their clearly-defined homes, putting their own laundry in the laundry basket.
5. Never go up or down the stairs empty-handed – always carry something that doesn’t belong with you to save a separate journey later.
6.Listen to music (that you like) as you do it…it helps. Both with lifting your mood and maintaining momentum.
7. Utilise learning opportunities that you encounter throughout the day. Children are naturally curious and will lead their own learning and discovery a lot of time, so there’s no need to feel guilty for not setting aside huge amounts of time for specific activities every day. You probably have forgotten just how many interactions you have had with them, how many questions you have answered and how many occasions you have provided them with guidance today. Did you count the stairs as you walked down them with your child? That’s learning. Did you remind them to wash their hands after using the bathroom? That’s learning.