A new baby is a major life adjustment. This sweet little person adds a bountiful of joy to the family. But the weighty responsibilities of keeping things in order can drain your energy at times. This blog has tips for managing these responsibilities. I hope these will make your life as a parent less stressful, and also hopefully give you a little more time for you.
The advice here, in general, is non-baby things that are nevertheless important to keep you in control and your house more manageable. So let us dive in, first up is:
A dirty house does not make for a happy home. I can say this from personal experience being a working mum with two lively teenagers. Thus, cleaning is at the top of the to-do list by my way of thinking. It helps to make for a happier, safer and healthier family living. Think about it, do you want pests for pets!? Before delving into the topic always keep in mind that it is hard to keep a cluttered home clean. Therefore, the mantra is to get rid of anything you don’t need, want, or use. Declutter.
Make it simple and again clutter free. Try not to have too many items on the bed like additional cushions or stuffed toys for decoration. Before children, this was all lovely, but trust me it is not practical with a growing family. It only means having to constantly be picking things up off the floor. Make your bed with quilts, these do better in the wash than comforters. They also make it easier to make up the bed, you can simply roll it down at nights and roll it back up in the morning.
Try not to store things underneath your bed. This makes it harder to clean. If you have a shortage of storage space and you have to use the space under the bed as storage, make it official. How? Use storage covered containers to contain things and also to keep out dust.
Make your drawer space very functional. Fold and stack clothes in a line. This makes it possible to see everything without having to search (time-saving) they also fit in the space better. Once this is done it is easier to maintain. Only leave out products you are currently using, this makes dusting easier and also less clutter.
The same principle for your bedroom applies to your baby’s room. Maintaining a clutter-free room for your children makes your job easier and it teaches them from an early age to keep things clean. That means you don’t have to get something because it was made for babies. Not everything labelled baby gear is necessary. If this child is your first you may think you need the entire contents of the baby store. You do not! This you will learn as you go along; we tend to wisen up with each pregnancy.
Tip: make cleaning movable, what does that mean? If you are in the bedroom doing a bit of cleaning and you find something that belongs in another space in the house, take it there, and while you are there do a bit of tidying up there. Repeat this process throughout. This method oftentimes results in most of the house being in a passable tidy state until time allows for the real clean.
One of the most practical cleaning method that I find works for me personally is not setting aside time to clean the bathroom. I usually do so just before showering or taking a bath. I do a quick spray job of the bathroom with natural cleaners on the toilet bowl, sink and bath area then wipe away. It also makes for a very freeing experience because clothes are optional.😇
Another practical method to consider with maintaining the bathroom is to go the hotel route. What do I mean? Use white wash rags and towels. Children give new meaning to stains, and it also saves time with sorting laundry as they all can be washed together without having to sort colours. Plus with this is they are easier to get out stains without the worry of ruining the colour.
Tip: It helps in the early stage to use bath towels on the floor instead of mats or rugs because they do better in the laundry and also helps to keep the floor dry.
Having your house in the decorative style you may love prior to children doesn’t necessarily work with young ones. One of the most practical things to do is to reorganise the living space. Try pushing furniture back to rest against or near the walls to keep the middle of a room free. There are three advantages to doing this:
there is more space to move about
may help to reduce accidents of little ones walking into furniture when the babies get to the creeping and walking stage
the cleaning is easier because it’s quick to sweep or vacuum through the entire length of the living space
I can’t stress this point too much, always have a decluttering mindset when doing any housework.
My one tip for this space is to not use it as a final resting place. Don’t store things you take out of the house in the garage. Don’t put things there because you don’t know where in the house to put it. If it belongs in the house and you cannot find a place for it there, then it means you do not need it. Get Rid Of It.
I hope you are one of those model parents who love to cook and watch your family enjoy the fruit of your hard work. I am not necessarily that kind of a mum. I cook because I want my family to eat healthily, and it is better for the family budget, and I will leave it at that. With that said here is how I manage things in the kitchen. I cook for more than one day at a time. If I touch the stove it has got to work, not coming away from that furnace with only one day meal, no way, I like to make it count. The important thing to keep in mind when cooking for more than one day is healthy storing practices. Do not allow the food to stay out for too long. Separate the food into serving sizes and freeze them. Ensure to label the containers.
Prepping is king for me when it comes to meat. I find that when I get enough food for a period and I do all the marinating beforehand. When it’s time to cook it’s easier and more enjoyable.
Tip: You can make the meal more versatile if you may be serving the same meat back to back. This can be done by adding beans one day and make a sauce or gravy with this. The next day you can add vegetables. Believe me, the food looks like brand new cuisine!
Technology should be your best friend. Use your mobile to organise your life. Utilise the notepad for grocery lists and also set reminders for when to get some of your tasks done.
Take some time each day just to regroup and do nothing. Even if you can only take a few minutes. This is important for keeping you balanced and not overwhelmed by it all!
Finding a meditation app can help you to relax and un-clutter your thoughts.
Bonus time-saving tip
Shopping for the family becomes a whole new ball game when you do it with babies and children. They make the activity a great lesson in forbearance and fortitude, this is the reason why online shopping was invented. 😇 Parents were succumbing to a condition diagnosed as exhaustion and stress from having to cart around small children, running around the racks and wrestling unwilling bodies off the floor of department stores. Thus, in the early stages utilise online shopping for things that you can get online as it will allow you the flexibility to shop in a relaxed atmosphere and also make better shopping decisions because you will not be tempted to just grab something and go. This also may help you budget wise. It also helps you to compare prices without having to go from shop to shop.
If you are able to maybe gift a family experience like tickets to an event or activity this will take care of all in one family. This gift also has the benefit of a shared experience and a joyous bond.
Gift cards pretty much work for most people, especially when in doubt. They are also very thoughtful as it allows the person receiving it to get something they really want. You may consider yourself to be very up there when it comes to fashion, but the person you wish to be happy with your selection may wonder, what could you have been thinking when you bought that thing!
Do you have any tip for doing things that you find help to make things easier? Feel free to share them. The responsibilities of parents can seemingly be endless! I hope my tips, learned the hard way after making lots of mistakes, will help you to be less stressed in keeping your house in order.
By Mumma Tricia, Minbie Team