This is Day 13 of our series on “Surviving & Thriving with a Newborn” — part of the 31 day writing challenge hosted by the Nester. Every day in October I’ll be sharing a tip about how to make the most of and enjoy the sleep-deprived newborn days. For a list of all the posts in this series, click here.
My house is a mess. Baskets of laundry — both clean and dirty — are scattered around the house awaiting their final destinies. The food in our fridge is either spoiled or inedible. The floors, though recently swept, are gummy and mired with food remnants and dirt. My children wear clean clothes but desperately need hair cuts and a bath. The bowl of granola bars and fruit snacks on the counter is their go-to food source because Mommy hasn’t had the time or inclination to make healthier food options.
Sounds like a lovely place to live, don’t you think? Wouldn’t you like to move in? Or call for me a maid? Oh, wait, I have a gift certificate for a free house cleaning, which I plan to use very soon.
Well, I’m not Supermom, although once upon a time, I did throw a box of baby wipes and break a lamp because I could no longer stand the state of my home. Not my proudest moment. My four-year-old daughter still recalls that day when she (only 2 at the time) said: “Mommy, break; cry.”
Guilt fills me when I see the dust bunnies lying under my sofa while I’m holding my baby or reading to the older children. Frustration nearly overwhelms me when my eyes gaze from the trash bags piled up in the corner to the unfolded laundry in my living room. I hate that I have all these ideas of things I want to do yet I can’t do them. Well, I could, but then I wouldn’t have time to snuggle my new baby or take in her every facial expression.
The house will wait. The clean laundry will eventually get worn even if it’s never put away. The dust, well, it will just keep piling up. But your baby is growing and changing every day. Don’t miss out on that because you’re too preoccupied with other things that don’t really matter.
Instead of trying to clean the entire house in one day, make a list of the top household duties and divide them up over a week or two, ascribing 1-2 per day. Doing this in steps makes cleaning more manageable for me.
Another thing I’ve found helpful is to assign specific household chores for each day of the week. This is a suggestion I got from Kim Brenneman’s Large Family Logistics, one of my favorite books, although I’ve modified them for my family: Mondays are for laundry, Tuesdays cleaning floors, Wednesdays cleaning the bathroom, Thursdays decluttering & deep cleaning one room, Fridays shopping and errands, Saturdays odds & ends, and Sundays are planning days.
I’m not Supermom. I’m actually pretty lazy. If you think you might be guilty of playing the part of Supermom, then I, and all the other moms I know, give you permission to take off the cape and sit down and enjoy your little one.
How do you keep from falling victim to the Supermom mentality?
How do you get your household chores done?
For more posts in the “31 days of Surviving and Thriving with a Newborn,” click the button below.