When I brought my first baby home from the hospital, my whole life changed in many ways. How I maintained a clean house changed with baby as well.
My first son was born via cesarean. You can read a little about that story –>here. Right off the bat he and I had a rough start. It was like from the moment he was born, I would never sleep again (add in the pain from the cesarean, his tongue-tie, and my milk delay).
We made it through those first couple of days in the hospital, then the doctors said we could go home. Queue the anxiety. You see, even though we were stressed at the hospital, there was a little bit of comfort knowing that if anything went wrong, someone would help. But when you go home, you are all on your own.
It can be very overwhelming when you have your first baby. While pregnant, I fantasized about all the great things that come with parenthood. I had an idea of how hard caring for a baby would be (those late night feedings, the lack of sleep), but I never really knew how hard it would be until we actually brought him home.
Not only did I have to care for my newborn, I had to care for myself (because of the cesarean), and our house. My husband had to return to work just a few days after our son was born. I was alone and all the responsibility was on me. How in the world was I going to handle all this on my own??
At first, I did not have the time or energy to thoroughly clean the house. Any spare time I had I needed to nap, because my son was up literally EVERY HOUR to nurse. When I put him down, he would cry. I was so depressed and felt so alone. The last thing I wanted to do was clean. But for some reason, my anxiety would not let me nap. I’d lay down and think about the dishes in the sink, the messy bedroom, or the unvacuumed carpets . On top of it I’d stress out over the thought that the moment I closed my eyes, the baby would wake up.
My First Step…
I decided the only way I would get some rest was if I did a ten minute speed clean before taking my nap. This helped ease my anxiety so that I was able to rest.
First, I would nurse baby to sleep, and put him in his swing (because every time I put him in his crib or the pack’n play, he would wake up). Then I would quickly decide which mess was overwhelming me the most. Was it the dishes? Was it the mess that had piled up on the dining room table? Or, was it the laundry that needed to be put away? I would set a timer for 10 minutes and tackle that task. After the timer went off, I curled up in bed and was finally able to nap until baby woke me.
As Baby Grows…
As my son grew older, my cleaning evolved. He began napping longer, which enabled me to extend my cleaning time. Soon, I was able to clean a room a day. This method helped to keep my house clean (not necessarily mess free mind you), which was great because my in-laws loved to drop in without warning. Also it no longer felt like such a big task to clean, since I was only doing one room a day.
Creating My Chart…
After my second son was born, I put my cleaning routine into a chart that currently hangs in our kitchen with our other charts. I divided up my cleaning chores, so I only clean a little each day. For example, Monday’s I clean the bathrooms, Tuesday’s the bedrooms, Wednesday’s the living room, etc.
I still use this chart, and it really helps me to not feel so overwhelmed. I know exactly what I will clean everyday, and I love checking the chores off my list. Even on the days when I feel like I haven’t accomplished much, I can look at my chart and say at least I cleaned x,y, and z. And that is a heck of an accomplishment with two crazy kids running around if you ask me!
So, I hope this is helpful! If you are about to have a baby, or you just brought your newborn home, or for ANYONE who is stressing out about how to maintain a clean house, please subscribe to my blog, and I will send you a free printable of my cleaning schedule. Then you will be able to kick some of that stress goodbye, maintain a clean home by tackling one room a day, and spend the rest of your time concentrating on your precious kiddos!
Good luck, happy cleaning, and don’t forget to subscribe and comment below!!