If you have a small child, you’ll be all too familiar with the hurricane of mess that can occur in just a few minutes after you’ve cleaned up. The constant onslaught of mess can lead you to feel like housework is a pointless endeavour. Getting the house clean and keeping it that way can be harder when you have children racing around trying to undo your hard work, but there are ways to keep on top of things without losing your mind.
Get The Kids On Board
If your children are old enough to begin helping out a little around the house, assign them chores so that you’re not tackling housework all by yourself. Try not to be a perfectionist about the results; children thrive on praise and reward, not punishment, so encourage them regardless of how well they’ve folded the shirts or matched the socks. Toddlers love to feel like they’re helping out and being included in your activities, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting them to give you a hand.
Once your kids are older, assigning chores can become more of a battle. Set up a chart on the fridge with all of the children’s assigned chores and then stick on a gold star each time they complete a task. If they get a certain amount of gold stars in a row (the amount is totally up to you) then come up with fun treats as a prize for their hard work. A trip to the movies or a special toy they’ve been begging for is the perfect way to teach them that helping out leads to an enjoyable payoff.
Encourage Independent Play
There are obviously certain chores in the house that your kids won’t be able to do, so make sure that they’re able to play alone for a little while so that you can get things done. Set up a safe play area with toys, books and coloring books, and designate a certain period of time each day for them to play by themselves or with a sibling.
Let them know that you’re right nearby in the next room but that you need a little quiet time to get the housework done. Once your children get used to this routine, you’ll have the space you need to tackle a load of laundry or dirty dishes.
Keep Your Priorities Straight
It may be hard to remember when you can no longer see your own floor, but there are more important things in life than a tidy house. Its’ far more important to spend quality time with your child and watch them learn and grow than it is to get everything done on that particular day. Every parent comes to a point where they have to accept that their home isn’t going to look perfect anymore and messes will occur, and that’s okay. Try not to define the success of your day by how many chores you’ve got done and how tidy your house is- look at the smiles on your children’s faces instead and consider it a good day’s work.