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How about hiring someone to clean the house? I did that years ago and it's the best money I've ever spent.


I've recently discovered that just about every working mom I know, if the kidlet is between 6 months and 4 years of age (constant entertainment age - too old to just be, too young to entertain him/herself), has a cleaning person once per week. The person comes during the day while no one is there.


well, I'm a stay at home mom now but I worked crazy hours the first year or so we had the munchkin and I can certainly sympathize. when I was working, we had a few rules/habits that helped.

1. no work at home. my husband, if allowed, would check his work email constantly. It really began to take away from the few minutes we had together as a couple. so-no work email at home for us.

2. you really don't have to do it all every day. cleaning was probably what suffered in our house-we used a few more paper plates than I'd like but it helped cut down on cleaning time every day. we didn't have a cleaning person-but we did buy one of those vacuuming robots and it was great!

3. learn to love your crock pot. seriouslu-if you are committed to cooking at home, having a few go to meals for the crock pot is a great way to save some time in the evening.

finally-this is the toughest one. take turns. I know bathtime is incredibly cute but now-its a one parent thing. the other one cleans the kitchen, folds laundry, whatever during that hour. usually daddy takes bath duty and its really become a good daddy-munchkin special time. then-once she is down, we have the evening to relax. it int a on of time but its at least 1.5 hours to reconnect with just us around. w also try not to watch tv much during this time-we play board games or card games so we can really interact.

its hard to find time with a baby around but I promise it does get easier... good luck!


No one gets it ALL done, if they say they do they're lying and/or have a fully staffed household. Megan has some good ones.

Things that always slide in our house are cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning. I realize from reading Megan's tips that we do stuff that I wouldn't even think of as tips - paper plates, tag-team parenting tasks so the non-kid tied parent can get other stuff done, etc. We absolutely sacrifice "family weekend time" for chores so that we're not running at 100% all week long.

And for what its worth, neither of my kids slept through the night until I night-weaned them at around 20mos old - as soon as I did that, BAM! full nights sleep every night. They continue(d) to nurse for quite some time afterwards, just not between bedtime and waking in the morning. It was a surprisingly painless process, even for my super-highly-strung firstborn.


Dude. Wow.

That's pretty much all I've got, except to say that its great to hear from you!

Bookish Wendy

I wrote this exact post a few months ago. It doesn't get easier - you just get used to it. And I'm all for the letting things slide tactic and tag-team parenting. It's hard - I know, because you get to see him so little during the week. But you'll be surprised on how much your mental health benefits.


I think Megan has some really good ideas...

And I'm also a big fan of the idea of outsourcing your major housecleaning. Do what needs to be done each night, and let someone else take care of the rest of it.

And I would also suggest letting some of the things you do each day get done during the weekend. As much as you want to be able to have the weekends not be about workity workity, you might find yourself feeling slightly more balanced if your week nights were less workity-focused.

For example, I pick up the house each night, keep my dishes done and my counters clean, but I actually clean the house on Sunday evening after Mike leaves for work. It usually takes me about an hour, at the end of it I know I can really relax for the rest of the evening and I begin my week with a clean house. It's satisfying enough to start the week with a clean house that I don't mind giving up an hour or so of my weekend to do it.

And of course, it doesn't have to be cleaning for you - it could be grocery shopping, laundry, any other task that is burdensome but satisfying to have completed.


Teresa C

You know, I hesitated at commenting to this post, because I thought that I would either be in disagreement with everyone or would be echoing everyone and blah, blah. What I decided was this, you can never hear it too many times. Mothers can not do or have it all, or at least not well. Not while they have young children. I stayed at home and I didn't get it all done. The house was a mess often, but the kids were always fed, clean and for the most part happy, entertained and socialized. I'd like to tell you that I was all okay about it at the time, but I was much like you are, feeling like everyone else had it all together and I was a mess. The one thing I had time for that you might not is a playgroup that was really more for the mommies than the kids. It helps to hear that we are all in the trenches, that our husbands don't always get it or aren't as helpful or intuitive as we wish. If you can find a weekend parent/child deal it really helps. I was pretty young when I had my kids and it was hard for me to give up my "self" for the kids, but that is what parenting really is. I think it must be that must harder when you have been out there and are even more of an adult, but I have to say that whenever I see you with the family you seem so much a mother, I think you are doing it much better than you think you are. And when I see you alone, you really miss WB. It is all about setting your expectations low so that when you meet them or surpass them you are pleased and happy. Looking back, with the perspective of 17-23 years, it is difficult to believe that you will have so much time to yourself that you will almost (not really, but almost) have a hard time filling it, I urge you to relax and let some things go. A super clean house is great, but a neat enough house with happy people in it is better. AND, if you can afford it, have somebody do the floors and bathrooms and dusting, and an extra chore each week, or every other. AND my daughters tell me that having their laundry done is pretty inexpensive (I guess in comparison to lugging it to the laundromat and having to wait there), but consider it. Drop it in the morning, pick it up later, more time for you and yours. Leftovers are good (the crock pot idea is great-make doubles, eat it twice, maybe three times in a week-I used to double almost everything and add a salad).

You may be tired, but look at how great it really is going. Don't try to juggle it all, drop some of the balls and let somebody else handle others. You really are doing absolutely wonderfully.


my sister-in-law's house is a mess.
(and this is not a criticism on my part, just an observation).

that's how she does it.


Check out Wendy's post from a few months back. IMHO, flexiblity, patience and above all humor are key. No one else is doing it better, know that! At my college graduation, Gloria Steinham was the speaker and said, "you can have it all, just not all at the same time." I truly believe that!

Practically, I do plan out all dinners for the upcoming week on Sat. and then I food shop based on that list. I try to keep weeknight errands at a minimum. I subscribe to a recipe email list -- The Six O'Clock Scramble -- that my family has enjoyed. I have a house cleaner every other week. Now that my kids are older and have lots of activities, I have abandoned trying to do it all myself -- I ask for help if I need it; and I help out others (with driving, etc.)

Hopefully, my kids will look back fondly upon all the hugs and kisses and will forget that the clean laundry was frequently left in the basket!


Just this past summer did things settle down enough for me to start reading and knitting. So by my calculations, you have about a year to go before you can breathe.

Just keep swimming. ;)

PS -my house is still kind of a mess. I let that one go.


Ok, I need a nap after reading about your day! Yikes! If you work 4 days/week - do you consider that 5th day a weekend day, or could it be do all the crap day? Or maybe several hours of quality personal time day?

alpaca Kath

This may sound lame, but leave the explosion of toys alone... they'll just come out again tomorrow.
DON'T try to do it all... do what you HAVE to do and enjoy the rest, cuz WB will be 11 (like my 'baby' Lily) in a heartbeat. Trust me, you won't look back and remember how clean the house was... you will remember the fun and joy.


Low cleanliness standards. Kids are only young once - dirt is forever. Enjoy the ages as they come along. I'm new to your blog but I am assuming there is a father or significant other in your home. Tag team. T


Well I know I don't have it all together... look how freaking long it took to get me this far in my bloglines?? I know it doesn't help, but things will change. I'm not going to say get better because that's all relative, but things change. Just wait until he's yelling at you to help him with homework while you're cooking dinner. Ask me how I know. LOL


I am so with you on getting it all done and not being an exhausted mess too. The thing that saves our nights is one of us does the bedtime routine and the other cleans up the kitchen. Usually we both finish up at roughly the same time. I never thought washign dishes = quality alone time before.

Also, house cleaners. We do twice a month, which is a good balance of expense and not having a horribly disgusting kitchen floor.


Oh, my. You just described my life. Add to the description a job where you're constantly just squeaking by and that's me. Here's what I do - get a cleaning person to tackle the big stuff, let go of any other major cleaning, Keep the food surfaces clean and cook enough food on the weekends to eat during the week. Crock pot. I've just gotten used to living in a mess. Good luck!


I used to keep my house picked up each night, with dishes done, and then take an hour on Monday night to do the floors and dusting. Laundry was usually whenever we needed it, most of it on Saturday. I now do a load each day, thanks to FlyLady. Check her out, FlyLady.net, she'll change your life and show you that you can do whatever you need to. You don't have to live with a dirty house if you are more comfortable not living that way. Both of my kids lived and felt the love and are well adjusted and they enjoyed a clean home while growing up. By the way, I quilt, knit, embroider and made all of our clothes, while working full time. I hear your message! Good luck, there is a rainbow in the end. :)


I cannot believe how incredibly long your day is.
I saw you at Rhinbeck and you looked relaxed, so that's good. :)

But seriously. I read your post and went: WHERE IS HER HUSBAND? You absolutely must share the chores! "Chore" being a word for just about everything that has to get done! One cooks, the other cleans up. Take turns. Including the baby's bath, picking up, cooking, etc. My goodness woman STOP doing it all!!

I mean that in the best supportive sense.

Also, make up a menu for the week. Shop on Saturday or Sunday and prep a few things, maybe cook a pot of soup for Monday while making dinner on Sunday.

Clean once a week.

There. I'm done. :)


Yup - nobody does it all, and nobody feels like they are coping. All of us want more help, more hours in the day, less chaos, more "me" time, more consideration, more appreciation... I could go on, but you get the idea ;)

Before my baby was born, I read "The Mask of Motherhood", the premise is basically that none of us cope, but all of us pretend that we do, and by pretending to cope, we do a disservice to other women, who somehow feel inadequate, and imagine that they are the only ones.

So I've decided to celebrate my inner slummy mummy. I work hard, I love my kid, I give him everything he needs, but I need to look after me too. Because if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

I hope things are getting a little easier since you wrote this post.


As a single mom from the time my daughter was an infant, the best advice I can offer is let the housework go - it will always be there when you have time for it. Another powerful tool is the "calling in sick for work". Doesn't need to be done often, but when feeling overwhelmed by it all, you can get tons of chores accomplished and mental peace restored with a well placed sick day.

And be assured this crazy time-stressed phase of your life will not last forever. Once kids can take care of their own self maintenance (bathing, feeding, etc;), you'll find time to breathe.

Let the chores go and enjoy the hugs and giggles.


Hi, It's the second time i'm posting you without a reply. I found your site using Yaehoo, does your site support firefox?

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