I am currently nanny-less and it has been an interesting month. I’ve learned firsthand that balancing a family and a career is no small undertaking. Add in trying to maintain a neat and tidy home and some days my head feels like it might pop right off. My husband and I both wake up before the sun. We shuffle children about, eat something on the fly, make ourselves presentable, and we are out the door. We return home in the evening for dinner, homework, spelling, reading, family time and bedtime routines. The idea of cleaning my house during the week is more of a far-fetched fantasy than a story of actual merit. Or so I thought. Recently I began my quest. My quest of balance and time management hacks to maximize the fleeting minutes I might have for chores during the week. I am reclaiming the weekend. No more chores on the weekend. I will find a way to have a clean house for the working mom. Here is what I have learned so far:
If You Have Children, You Have Laundry To Do
On weekdays, start your morning coffee (or in my case tea) and throw a load in the washer. After you’re done getting ready, pop the clothes in the dryer and be out the door for the day. You’ll come home to clean clothes that everyone can help, fluff & fold in just a couple minutes.
Robot Vacuums are the Future. And The Future Is Now.
Once upon a time there was only the roomba. This robot-vacuum-cleaner came straight out of the Jetson’s, and was thought of more as a novelty than as a replacement for a large and intimidating brick and mortar vacuum with it’s tank, hoses and fancy attachments. I personally never thought a small, black frisbee-thing could ever possibly do as good of job as me and Mr. Dyson. Guess what? The frisbee can and is better. But nowadays it’s not just Roomba. Tons of brands have hopped on the robotic vacuum train, with some models starting at 475 AED and going up from there. All of the glorious back and time saving aside, this little thing gets under tables, chairs, and all of the small corners of the house. The same corners my baby likes to relax and eat fuzz in. But not anymore. These corners are fuzz-free, Sharif no longer hiding in a cupboard when the vacuum comes out and most importantly, I am not spending my Saturday morning vacuuming the house.
Be Efficient. Be-Be Efficient.
This tip comes straight from my mother. Growing up she taught me that as I went about from room to room, I should never be empty handed (she got a lot more relaxed about this over the years though). Going to your bedroom? Take your books on the table with you. Heading into the living room? Take your keys with you and put them on the key rack. There is ALWAYS something to put back. Especially when you have children, a baby & and an older husband-child.
Clean Up Your Kitchen, Every Night. No Excuses.
While cooking dinner at night I always have the best intentions of cleaning as I go. I’ve gotten pretty good at this, but still find a fair amount of dishes in the sink once dinner has ended. (And do you want to hear something truly horrifying? I don’t own a dishwasher. Ahhhhh! The horror!) Anyhow, I do my own dishes and I have survived to tell about it – I know some people think I’ve never washed a dish in my life. No matter who cooks, everyone who eats helps to clean up. We zip through the dishes, washing, drying and putting away. A 30 second wipe down of counters, and flip on the robot vacuum and turn off the kitchen lights. We are done.
Give Yourself a Break
After saying all this, the biggest lesson I have learned is to let it go. Life isn’t about dishes. I know it comes as surprise for some people. It will not matter if these dishes sat there for a little while. So long as the big messes are cleaned up, germs and the fundamental things are cleaned up, the health and sanity of myself and my family matters most. We work hard, we are a great family and we deserve a little break.
Sudanese-American working mom of three. Free Spirit. Idea Curator. Her brain moves faster than her body can go. A laid back chic who walks around with that stereotypical hippie vibe. She is never afraid to give you her unsolicited opinion about gentle parenting. Esraa has been actively over-sharing her motherhood and parenting stories on social media since 2008.
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