Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent or have your own career outside the home, keeping up with chores could be an overwhelming challenge. It’s tough enough when you’re on your own or with a partner, but bringing kids into the mix is a whole new ball game.
Children bring a sense of completion into many lives, along with loads of fun and laughter. However, their responsibility means that you usually have more to do around the house. Leaving some dirty laundry for later or skipping the dishes might simply not be an option anymore.
Fortunately, there are several methods that can help you out in developing a routine to stay on top of your house chores. Here are a few tips you might want to inculcate in your household as soon as possible:
Get the Kids to Clean Up After Themselves
Many parents have to pick up after their children during the baby and toddler stage. They get into the habit of picking up a mess of toys, clothes, and spilled food every single day. While there’s no getting around that when the kids are so young, there’s no excuse for this routine to continue when they’re older.
As the kids get more independent, you can teach them to start putting away their toys as they go. You can also teach them about putting dirty clothes in the hamper, setting/clearing the table, setting out their outfit the night before, and even making their beds. Preteens and teens can be tasked with more responsibility, such as dusting, vacuuming, doing the dishes, and taking out the trash.
It will take some time to establish such habits in your kids, especially if you’ve given them a loose rein before. However, this is quite important for their own development and your peace of mind. Make some chore charts for the kids so they can keep track of their own responsibilities. These charts are just one of some great DIY projects for busy moms. (link it to DIY Projects for Busy Moms)
Clean As You Go
Parents need to make the most of their time, or they’ll never get done with chores. You don’t want to spend the whole weekend doing laundry or deep cleaning the whole house. Make a routine and form the habit of doing at least one load of laundry a day.
For the rest of the house, there are several steps you can take to make sure everything’s passably clean at the end of the day. When you use the shower or the sink, spray all around and wipe the area down. You can ask your kids and your partner to do this as well. Don’t let the dishes pile up; ask every family member to wash their own plate. Soak the large dishes if they have stubborn debris inside.
Involving your kids in house chores is a must if you want to stay on top of things. However, you can make things much more fun in order to encourage your little ones in this direction. You don’t want to be a nagging parent all the time, so try using positive reinforcement instead. Many households have a rule that pocket money is to be earned by doing chores; you can have the same setup with your offspring.
Another option here is to hold small competitions regarding chores. The kid who can clear the table the fastest or who helps out the most might get a treat over the weekend or some extra cash.
Leave the Weekends Free
Weekends should ideally be something that you look forward to. Resist the temptation to leave all the bulky chores for those days so that you can actually relax and enjoy time with your family. Give an hour each weekday for the large jobs, such as changing bedding or cleaning rugs.
You might also want to meal prep during the weekends in order to save time on the weekdays. Here how you can meal prep like a pro. How to Meal Prep Like a Pro
If you’re whipping up three hot meals through the week, weekend meals could be as simple as possible. You can look up some easy salad ideas if you want to stay healthy while everyone else gets takeout. Easy to Make Salad Ideas
Homes with kids have a tendency to gather a lot of clutter. Broken toys, piles of old school papers, and the remnants of forgotten hobbies can make your space seem unmanageable. Instead of getting stressed out by all that debris, get everyone together at least once a month and declutter all the extra stuff.
Decluttering will help in keeping track of clothes, toys, and whatever else you have on hand. It will also make space for new stuff as well as give you an idea of what’s needed in the near future.
Every homemaker needs to have a system of lists in place, as kids come with a ton of responsibilities. You should have one in an accessible place every single day, whether it’s on the fridge or your phone. These lists will help you keep track of every chore and every kid, including their appointments, school events, and any other crucial activities.
Get Books to Help
Books can help with just about anything, so you might want to get your hands on a few. There are several books available on the market that can help you out with home chores with kids. Below are our top three selections:
If you’re stressed out by your children ignoring your requests and your chore charts, it might be time to pick up this work by Kimberly Eddy. This book will help you get your little one to become proper helpers without having to beg them every single time.
Here, you can learn how to make helping out fun for the child, train them to do a job in steps, and delegate tasks according to age. Even parents with several kids have been able to benefit from the guidance here, so it’s worth a try.
This book is part of the Remis Family Series. It’s based on how we can give our kids some small tasks at first. This will hopefully teach them how important it is to help out around the house. With such teachings, we can use this book to build up a child’s self-esteem, give them positive attitudes, and also teach them valuable life skills for the future.
In general, the Remis Family Books are written in an easy yet funny manner in order to reach children better. They give the kids visual reminders about their cleaning routines so the chores don’t seem too much of a drag.
Kids aged 6 to 8 will get the most benefit out of this book, but it might also be of help for parents of toddlers and older kids. You can even use it as a chore organizer or planner.
This book by Kathi Lipp deals with getting children to help you out, but also goes a little further. This is actually a guide about how we can connect with our kids and get the chance to enjoy being a family. It’s especially helpful for single parents, blended families, and those who have teens in the house.
You can use this work to plan out your fun and relaxing weekend. Some of the projects it suggests include surprising your kids with a treat, having the whole family work on a task, or simply sharing what you all like about each other. The author also has a podcast that gives mothers a lot of tips and tricks on managing children and balancing other aspects of life.
Dealing with home chores and kids at the same time can get exhausting, but a little organization and discipline can make it miles better. Get the other family members to pull their weight in order to get the house in top shape. This will prevent you from getting burned out or bogged down by numerous tasks every day.
Of course, there are days when everything seems overwhelming no matter what. If you’re on the brink of despair, it might be time to call in a bit of professional help. Consider hiring some cleaners to take care of the heavy chores; the much-needed rest you get will be worth the investment!