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Kids underfoot? House out of control? Blaming yourself for the chaos?

by respaced on March 19, 2010

This post is for you stay-at-home moms: When strangers ask you what do you do for a living, how many times have you told them “I’m just a stay-at-home mom”? Just?

When you are a stay-at-home parent you have many jobs – you are a parent to your kids, their teacher and playmate, a housecleaner, cook and errand runner. You may also be the social secretary for the family as well as the bookkeeper, financial planner, school liaison and nurse. This is all in addition to perhaps being a spouse or partner, a friend, a daughter and sister, all of which take time to maintain and nurture if you want to keep being friends or spouses. Finally, you are your own manager which means you need to take time to exercise, to monitor your health and find time to recharge your batteries so you can play all these roles.

So given that you have so many hats to wear, it’s no wonder that your house ends up getting the short end of the stick. You’re too busy/exhausted to get it cleaned and organized! Here are some ideas to streamline your house maintenance:

1. Eliminate the clutter throughout your house. The less stuff you have, the less there is to put away and clean around.

2. Teach your children to pick up after themselves. How much of that clutter is theirs? Fifty percent? Read this post for tips on getting your children to clean up.

3. Delegate chores to every family member over the age of 3. Make a list of what needs to be done in each room each week, come up with a reward system and start assigning tasks.

4. Spend a little less time wearing your other hats so you will have more time to wear your house cleaner hat. For example, can you spend less time being your child’s playmate by setting him up with an activity book or his Legos? Then maybe you will have bought yourself 20 minutes to do the dishes.

You can get your house back under control even with little kids running around. The trick is to enlist help and lower your expectations for creating the perfect house.

Image that perfectly illustrates my point from

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

kate March 22, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Oh how I feel like you wrote this specifically with ME in mind!! We have moved twice in the last two years (not thinking that would be the case) and I am up to my eyebals in house chaos.

I have a 3 year old and a 5 year old. Any advice on what kinds of chores they could be enlisted with?

Thanks, I'll be checking out your site often!
Kate (Kate's Musings:


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