Fitting It All in in One Day. How Do You Do It?

Updated on June 16, 2008
S.S. asks from Troy, MI
28 answers

I was just wondering how others fit all of the demands of life in in one day and do it well.
I am a mother of a 2.5 year old boy and a 8 month old girl. I am obviously new at this mothering thing. I have always wanted to stay at home with my kids but I am feel a little discouraged about not being able to do it well. There is just too much to do in a day.
How do you do it? Do you have a regular routine? Do you do certain things on assigned days?

I think I especially feel like this since it is nice outside. My 2 year old loves being outside (I need to be out there with him at all times) and I too want to take them for walks and to the park, zoo and any other think to enjoy the outdoors. I am also finding that the other things inside are not being kept up - or if they are it is cause I am up all night doing it. How do you do shower, excercise, yard work, outdoor play, educational indoor play, spend one on one time with each child, work on a healthy marriage, cook, clean, do laundry, make necessary phone calls, and keep up with the great many other things that go wrong or pop up unexpectedly.....ALL IN ONE DAY?

I only have two kids! How do others do it with more? I also know that this is a demanding season of my life - with the kids being so little and needing my attention more.

I'd love to hear what your perspective is.

2 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?

Wow! What great support and ideas! Through this post I learned and was reminded that I need to ignore the voices calling out to be busy. It doesn't matter if it is cleaning, cooking or checking my email for the one hundredth time! Sit on the floor, build sand castles, run through the sprinkler, read books, kiss boo boo's, and LOVE ON MY FAST GROWING KIDS!
I need SELF CONTROL to say no to what does not NEED to be done. And to do speedy 10 min fire drill clean up jobs.
I also need time for myself. This is the hardest one of all for me. But being a mom is all about sacrificing our own pleasures for a season so that our children will get the love and attention they need.
Thanks for your wonderful support. If anyone wants to come over and babysit for free while I take time to do what I want or need to.... please let me know. LOL

More Answers



answers from Detroit on

I could write a boook...My duaghter is 2.5 (12/20/05) and my son is 1 (6/11/07)

I dont try to do it all. I am not a sahm so I can have the cleanest house on the block. I dont try to have super fabulous dinners... the kids wont eat it and the dinner hour is the time when the kids are the crabbiest.

there are only so many hours in the day and you can only do so much.

My daily priorities are kid care...dishes and laundry. I try to do 1 load of laundry every day.. That way I can keep up.. Dishes get loaded and unloaded as I have a chance. I usually do 1 or 2 other choresa day.. vacuum or wash the kitchen floor or clean a bathroom. I do not have a day where I clean all day.

I dont generally take my kids on errands- It is not fun for them and it just slows me down. I hire a babysitter once a week and combine all of my errands in about 3 hours.

It is summer so we are outside. We are not doing educational indoor play but my daughter is having fun and playing with sand and water and sticks...etc... she is learning from these activities. -- I do let my daughter play outside in the backyard by herself... She is fine out there. I can see her from the kitchen doorwall. Can you trust your son outside alone... ??? maybe you could leave him for a bit if your yard is fenced.

I do try to take the kids someplace 3 or 4 weekdays. This week we went t the library for storytime, the zoo, and to two different playgroups.. These activities pretty much take the morning and then it is naptime and they sleep.

I have a 3 hour block when both kids are napping to do things... but I often surf the net and read... Mom needs abreak too.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Hi S.,
I have twins that are toddlers, and I work out of my home on an irregular basis, so things are always crazy!

In the morning, I spend about 5 min making a list of what MUST get son that day (store, gym class, work, mop kitchen floor etc.) I also have a master "ideal schedule" of what my day would look like if life were perfect. I break it down into 15 minute increments, like, 9am story-time, 9;15 short video, 10 coloring, etc. 10:30 snack. I update it every month and keep it posted where I can see it. You would be surprised how efficient I have become! I used to lose track of time, then my day slipped by and I couldn't seem to get even the basics done.

Because you are planning time with your kids to, you dont sacrifice them for the house. i dont like a dirty house, and dont like my kids living in one, but "dirty" is a relative term. I get the kitchen and the clutter up, and do the bathrooms once a week. All the other stuff goes a little at a time on the list. Have your oldest help as much as possible--putting clothes in the dryer is a big thing to my kids.

I also do a 15 min "fire-drill" once a day, set the timer and run around and clean up the clutter. Put on a polka or other crazy music and get everyone in the habit of helping. or, I sing a pick up song. ITs amazing how fast they learn to respond to this.

Sometimes I get my entire list done, and other times I dont. There are the inturruptions that happen, and thats part of life. You want to make the list work for you by giving you extra time, not being a slave to it.

Im sure someone has already mentioned this, but is a great resource.

Lastly, I hired a middle school student "mother's helper' to come a few days a week for a few hours. I can knock out a few chores and some email, and yet im here to supervise.

It is very difficult, especially when the kids are this young, to get anything done. Realize this, and when you blink in a few years, they will be in school and you can clean all you want. :)

Keep your chin up. Hope this helps.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I have one son, 23 months, however I work 4 nine hour days. I subscribed to a meal planning service, For $9.95 I had menu's sent to me weekly for 3 months. A grocery list is included and I found that I spent less money at the store with weekely meals planned.

I plan all my meals Sunday night - although I have an idea of what I want to do a few days prior.

I clean in 15 minute chunks ( While my son takes a bath I am cleaning the bathroom. I have him swifter - he loves that thing.

I sort and spot my laundry every few days so I can just start tackling the loads on Friday night.

If we go out it is in the AM - to the zoo or a park. In the evening we usually take a family walk to the playground after dinner or just around the block.

I get up at 5:30 to go for a walk or run. I am usally in bed by 9:30 or 10.

It is hectic but I find that having my small Royal Oak bungalow helps; not as much to clean.

I hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I only have one son, 17 months and am 36 weeks pregnant, so I am not as busy as you...yet! But, even with my little guy, I find it is hard to do it all, especially with low energy! I am not a morning person and my son gets up at 5:45, so I have to learn to be, but that makes me even more tired!

I agree with others. I pick 1 thing to get done p/day (I have a cleaning rotation) and I try to do no housework on weekends (other than maintenance..dishes, laundry etc.). Also, plan meals ahead and pick easy things to cook. We do a lot of roast, chicken etc.., healthy things, but quick. I am a SAHM and my son absolutely comes first. If other things don't get done, I use weekends or evenings to catch up, but I also don't compromise on my own sleep. I need it too! We are outside a lot too and as a result, we do not do as much educational indoor play as we did during winter months. But, they are learning outside as well. We talk about the things he sees and does and that counts too! We always read or look at flashcards and I am constantly talking ot him. I think these things are more educational than anything else!

I think the most important thing is taking the time for the kids and enjoying it! They will only be young for a very small period of time and then they won't want to play with us anymore! The rest of the stuff can wait a bit if need be. DOn't put so much pressure on yourself to accomplish it all; as I am sure you are doing a great job. I know it is hard and all the cleaning and responsibilities linger but make sure you include time for yourself/spouse as a high priority! A sane Mommy is a better one!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jackson on


I finally decided that I will have a clean house when I am retired from being a SAHM and it will be bittersweet.

I went from working full time in management to being a SAHM and then 5 years later a HSM (homeschooling mom ~ until high school)and it took me a few months to realize how different those worlds are. I stopped looking at how much I got done and how present I was in the day with my kids. I went from looking for balance to more of a pendulum swinging rhythm. Some days the kids and I spent all outdoors, some days inside, some days I did housework, some days we just played. And it never, ever "gets done".

My 3 babies are now teens and my oldest is getting ready to go to college. As we look through our pictures for her graduation open house I see so many incredible shots of my smiling and wonderful kids (they are all fantastic as teens too) and in the background I notice a hamper of laundry unfolded, or toys strewn across the what? My house was not an art gallery, it was an art studio. We were creating our lives together.

I remember that if by the end of the day my house looked like it did at the beginning of the day and the kids had a good day too, I felt like I had accomplished close to a miracle.
I made time for my husband and myself by joining groups that met once a month or so. No matter if I read the book for the book club or knitted a stitch since the last meeting, I went and enjoyed the break. And it was easier to have a fun time with other couples, no matter what age.

My advice is journal about your day when and if you can, take as much video as you can, even on an ordinary day, and take a zillion pictures. Don't look at it as "another thing to do", look at it as capturing the love your sharing. When your little angels are getting ready to leave the nest, you'll look over the pictures and videos from the past, be amazed at how much joy and love was in your home, pat yourself on the back and title the video package "It's a Wonderful Life".

Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I am a SAHM of 3 and do daycare...So on any weekday I have 5 kids in my home...
my advice would be to stop trying to live up to tvs portrayal of the HOUSE WIFE.... :-)
Yes, It is easier to do things on a schedule... Especially chores... Vacuuming one day, etc... If you try to do it all everyday you will not sleep ever...
As your kids get older it does get easier... Involve them in the chores... Then as they get older they can take over some of the simpler things....
As a rule I put my kids first always... Dust can gather... If the kids are content and occupied it makes for a happier mom and home.
I plan my meals out a month in advance. Get a calender and sit down figure out what your "usual" meals are... We usually eat spagetti only on a bath night... Feed the baby and bathe them too. :-) On days you know are hectic pick easy meals... On easier days, harder meals... etc... Helps plan out your grocery trips also and saves more $$$....
For us at least Activities are better done in the AM and the PM is used for more free play and one on one time/ chore work... Then anyone who naps is sleeping and out of the way and it frees up a couple of my "extra " hands lol
Trial and error is the only good answer...
I get up at 6 am to go for my walk, and work out 2 times a week with hubby after dinner. (The kids LOVE watching and our 3 and 6 yr old even lift with us using 1 and 3 lb weights and a swiffer sweeper handle for squats... Baby sits in a walker just for the fact that he stays still. :-)So include the kids in the workout)
Hubby gets up at 5 am to go for his run so when it gets to be around 8:30 and the kids are in bed we are both tired and go to bed our selves...
Showering happens at night (for me, morning for hubby) after the kids are settled in bed.
We have a sit down meal daily and that counts as working on family time... Plus there are those late night chats before dozing off...
SAHM is a hard job.... But you can do it... And the biggest thing about maintaining your sanity is to get away sometimes... Join a book club, church group, excersize class, what ever... and remember that it does get easier as they get older and can take more care of themselves...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Rapids on

One thing that I have learned from my husband (who stays home with the kids) is that you pick your priorities. If your kids are number one, then they are your focus. There are days when no housework gets done - I'm okay with that. We discussed early on the expectations of housework and him staying home. We agreed that if there were rough days, or fun days, it wasn't a big deal. We've always done major cleaning on Saturday's anyway before, so working as a team on Saturday's was still okay. That was the case for a while. Now that the girls are older, they like to pretend clean, so daddy just starts cleaning and they get to help with real cleaning and think it's great. Talk to your husband and find out what his expectations are with you staying home. Tell him what your running into. It maybe that he's okay if it doesn't all get done in one day. Work as a team to set the priorities. It might just be that you focus on one room a day for cleaning, limit the number of phone calls you have to make to a certain number, not accept calls while cleaning so it gets done faster, the list goes on. With a little conversation with your husband, you may find that your days get a lot better. Of course, there may be those urgent days, and you'll handle them and then move on. The conversation may strengthen your relationship with your husband as well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Hi S.!

You are getting so much great advice! Lots of us are in the same boat, obviously. I agree with everyone who is saying that children are your priority, and you have to realize that no, not everything can get done in one day. These years are so precious and they fly by so quickly, you never want to regret not spending enough time with them!

I agree with the person who said that laundry and dishes are my priorities every day; everything else can just wait. I DO try to stick to a schedule, but I don't always get to follow it, especially since it's warm out and we like to spend a lot of time outside. Monday I do floors, Tuesday is just general de-cluttering, Wed I do my bedding, Thursday I wash the kids bedding, Friday I do the bathrooms, and Saturday I try to go through all the mail and shred or recycle what I need to. But hey, like I said, sometimes this stuff just doesn't get done! I like the idea of cleaning my bathroom while my kids are in the tub; I should give that a try!

My son is 2.5 years old and my daughter is 14 months. My son no longer takes naps at all, and my daughter is down to just one nap a day (usually). I take that time to spend alone time with my son, and I also like to cook dinner then. YES, I cook dinner in the early afternoon, and then I just re-heat it at dinnertime. I'd MUCH rather be doing something fun in the afternoon when both kids are awake, instead of staying indoors because I have to cook.

I do try to get up early in the morning (5:30 or 6:00) because that time w/out my kids lets me get SO much done. (I am a morning person, while I am worthless at night. Once the kids are in bed, I am done for the day, even if it means dirty dishes stay in the sink until the next morning.) I shower first thing, and then just work on anything else I can until the munchkins wake up. Actually, both kids are such slow-movers in the morning, they are fine watching tv for a half hour while I get things done, if I have to. And if I don't get to take a shower before they wake up, I just put my daughter in the pack n' play in the living room and put on a video that both kids enjoy. As long as it's something my daughter likes, she does not mind being in the pack n play.

One thing is, I don't get to spend as much one-on-one time with my youngest as I'd like, while I do spend more one-on-one time with my son because my daughter sleeps more (she naps during the day and goes to bed earlier.) But I also realize that since she was born second, she doesn't miss the one-on-one time, since she's never had a lot of it! But once a week, I do try to have Grandma come over to play with my son (or I ship my son off to Grandma's house) so that I can give my daughter that rare one-on-one time! My husband works A LOT, but he does try to play with my son as much as possible (either after work or before work) so I can play with my baby girl.

Here is something else. I bought a Roomba online, and it is a lifesaver! We bought it re-furbished, so it was much much cheaper than a new one. I have two dogs who shed a lot, and I found that it was so hard to keep up with the dog hair (and crumbs that my kids leave all over), so this was definitely a great investment. If you think a Roomba could make your life easier, check into it because you might be able to get a really good deal on a re-furbished one!

Once a week (or every 2 weeks), my husband and I try to go on a date night, where we usually go out to dinner and follow it up with a movie or maybe bowling or a trip to the casino or whatever. I find these date nights to be VERY important for our relationship, so f you can manage to do date nights (even once a month), definitely do so.

I try to save my emailing for first thing in the morning or late at night when the kids are in bed. I used to have my laptop up all day long (where it was always turned on and kept in my bedroom where I could check email or surf anytime I wanted), but I found that to take up too much of my day. If I had 2 minutes, I would go and check email or google a question or something. Now, I put my laptop in the basement and I keep it turned off, so I am forced to check it just once or maybe twice a day. Now, if I have 2 minutes, I wash a couple of dishes or put a few toys away instead, and trust me, this really makes a difference.

Well, I'm off to shower before the munchkins get up! Hope I was able to help a little! Good luck!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

S., as a om of six, let me tell you, there isn't enough time for all you would like to do!!!! You have to set your priorities. Pick three things that absolutely need to be done and order them in importance. Get those done, and anything else is a bonus! The kids grow up so fast, that it is important that you spend lots of time with them. Before you know it they will be in school and there will be more time to get more things accomplished. You don't have to be perfect! I know that we women tend to do that to ourselves. Very rarely do others expect us to be perfect. Give yourself permission to relax a little. It will come. Hope this helps. L. S.



answers from Kalamazoo on

There have actually been some recent posts on this type of question, earlier this week actually. I would check the board and see what you can find. Sorry I don't have any advice but I know the other posts had a lot. Good luck and keep your head up! :) I am a single mom of a 13 mo old, I work fulltime, go to school parttime, play sports, and have regular day to day activities... I can relate. You just go day to day, don't focus on the small stuff and enjoy life. So what if your house is a little dirty because you were outside with your kids and didn't get a chance to clean it? Who is that going to hurt? Your kids are only small once, enjoy every minute of it!



answers from Detroit on

You are so lucky to be able to stay home! It is alot of work to run a household and love on 2 kids and your husband.
Mine are 29, 26 and 24...I still don't recall how I did it. I do know my house wasn't perfect, the laundry wasn't always done, meals weren't fancy or ontime...some things just had to wait for another time. I would make a to-do list for myself and a honey-do list for my husband. I would list things in order of priority. If they get done...HOORAY!!...if not, oh well, it will be waiting for you the next day. Once your children are grown, I am sure you won't be saying..."I wish I had done more housework" Have the courage to be imperfect, change your thoughts to "some in one day" instead of "all in one day" day at a time. Your children just want your time, they don't care if their jammies are washed!



answers from Benton Harbor on

My great grandmother used to tell new moms to say "...dust go to sleep, Im rocking my baby and babies don't keep..." It's silly, but it's a good perspective. Simply, you don't have to do it all. I've found that when Im sitting on the floor playing with my kids, or even watching TV with them and I can hear the chores 'calling my name', I just remind myself that my kids will remember this playtime...not a clean house. If you look around and see toys on the floor and a laundry basket full of baby'll know that kids are important in your house!




answers from Detroit on

I have 4 children, 11, 8 and 4 year old twins. The kids are very active in sports, music and clubs. Realize now that if you want sleep, you can't do it all. I sing educational songs and riddles while we are outside or in the truck. I make phonecalls while they are on the swings or having a snack break. You can turn anything into an educational opportunity, you just have to be creative. Playing outside is exercise. Do leg lifts or butt squeezes while pushing on the swings. Do tricep dips while in the sandbox. Stuff like that. My kids each have "chores' to do based on age for outside work. I used to give them when they were little special yard work buckets to help me with picking up pinecones, weeds, etc. just get used to the idea that having them help will never get it done the way you would have done it by yourself, but at least it gets done and you were together doing it. My house is always a mess, but I don't care. it is more important to me to be making memories with my kids than having a spotless house. I will have a clean house when they are all in school, until then I am enjoying them every minute I can! Life is too short, so enjoy those beautiful kids and stop worrying about what others may think of you or your dirty house. Just be happy, and good luck!



answers from Detroit on

I bless my house 15 min at a time! Check out



answers from Grand Rapids on

I am a single mother of a 3.5 year old and 1.5 year old twins. I work full time on the weekends and am full time with the girls during the week. Man do I understand your frustration. But I'm coming to terms knowing that not everything gets done in one day. Or two for that matter! There is a big difference between "messy" and "dirty". Give yourself some slack, you deserve it.



answers from Grand Rapids on


I had a horrible time of this at the start! At first I would do binge cleaning, where I would try to catch up on all the cleaning in one or two days. This didn't work very well for me, but might for others. Then I tried the work after they were in bed, this just tired me out more and I found that my time with them wasn't as pleasant.
I did find that If I did one or two loads of clothes a day, usually tranfering from one machine to the next at a sleep time because I wouldn't remember any other time, and one (or two)assigned task--like the vaccuming or other larger tasks that don't have to be done daily--that things didn't get too out of hand and I didn't feel overwhelmed everyday. I knew when I got up that some of the stuff that needed done would get done tomorrow or the next day, and it took a lot of pressure off me.
Some days will be fuller than others, and some will still have more pressure on you than others, but finding something that helps is worth it. YOu might also talk with your husband about the things he feels are important to keep up with and which things can be allowed to slide or be neglected for a little bit. That way he's not getting irritated about what you've decided to not worry about and he realizes that you are having trouble but trying to find a solution. He might even surprise you with what he does or doesn't want doen right away, or what he'll be responsible for.

Hang in there S., and try to remember that these wonderful days are for a limited time...the hassle as well as their youngness!

mom of 4 girls ages 5 to 10 and their daddy



answers from Grand Rapids on

No one can do it ALL! 15 years from now you will not remember if your house was clean or dirty- you will remember the time you spent with your children.

Flylady is great for ideas, but can be very overwhelming! I took small things from the site and applied it to my life. breaking things into smaller tasks, spreading it out over the week.

the most important thing is to take a little time for yourself each week- you need to fill up YOUR cup. Sometimes just getting through the day, or just getting dressed is an accomplishment. To make yourself feel better- start an "I have done" list instead of a "to do" list



answers from Saginaw on

I will just say I don't do it all in one day. My #1 priority is my daughter. I do a load of laundry every day and I really try to keep the kitchen clean... but honestly with the weather nice, I spend more time outside and if the dishes get done daily I am happy!

Of course if my DH would like the house cleaner he knows he can always pop in and do it.



answers from Detroit on


I answered a post about this earlier this week...and there was a lot of great advice (you are in good company).

My two babies that are 17 months apart are now 7 and 8 years old (and are recently joined by their 6 month old baby sister!). DO NOT WORRY ABOUT YOUR HOUSE. I honestly cannot remember my house (clean or dirty?!!?). But I do know that my youngest one's baby days are a blur to me...and that breaks my heart. I was never even worried about my house. Things were just chaotic from doing baby stuff all day. So my obvious advice is to do the bare minimum for housework. I am sure there were days that my dishes sat in the sink for 2-3 days!!!! I am not emotionally scarred from it. And MAKE SURE to slow down your pace enough at least once a day to gaze at your littlest one. The older/busy one usually gets all of your attention because you NEED to keep an eye on him. That's how my life was too...but I swear I can't even recall from my memory (only pictures) what my daughters hair looked like short. I was so busy keeping after my busy son that I never stopped to "gaze" at her enough. One thing I did do since they were born is write them little "love-letters". Little one-two page notes telling them (individually) what it was specifically at that time (each letter dated) all the things that I adored about them. I knew time was fleeting and I didn't want the memories to slip away forever. Even if it was on a random piece of paper...eventually I put them all together and still find them here and there (I just slip them in the right dated area with the rest). I would do that at least once a month when they were little and maybe every few months as they got older and now about once every six months. They will have them when they are older to know what they were like when they were little/growing up...and I now have something to to look back at to help my blurry memory.

If it makes you feel any my kids got older and started school/preschool, my house became clean and organized again. I am so glad I never cared that much...Lord only knows what else i would have missed!

They grow up so so sooo fast. We missed our little ones being little so much that we actually decided to have another one 6 years later! Enjoy your babies while they are awake and do the BARE minimum of housework while they are sleeping (because you need some down time too). They will be 7 and 8 before you know it!



answers from Grand Rapids on

I work full time and have 3 kids. We made a family notebook and inside is a list of chores that is assigned to everyone each day. My kids are older so they help out more than yours could, but their chores are picking up toys, putting aways clothes, dusting, putting away the silverware from the dishwasher. They love it!

I was always embarrassed when people came over because the house is cluttered and not the way I would keep it if I didn't have 4 other people and a cat and dog living here. :)My mom said not to be embarrassed because my house is "lived-in" not dirty. There is a difference and I try to keep that in perspective.



answers from Detroit on

We've all felt like this. The only moms who get everything done all the time are ignoring some of their kids' needs. Remember - people are more important than things. Try hiring a girl who's not quite old enough to really babysit but is motherly and fun, to be a mother's helper for a couple of hours. She can take the kids outside or whatever while you do some cleaning, cooking, or take a shower. You'll need to be within hollering distance, of course. A twin baby jogger would allow you to run or a double stroller to take walks. Figure out what's most important or what makes you the craziest, besides the kids, and do those things as often as you can. Try to keep up on the laundry with the kids around so it doesn't swallow you - or, if you're one who isn't upset by it, just let it go till it's critical. Do you have Daddy around to help? Could he take over something you just can't get to or play with the kids so you can focus? Or another relative?

Sounds like you're a loving and fun mom. You'll never regret what you've invested in your kids. As my ex-mother-in-law used to say, "Don't clean your life away!" Love your kids, get as much rest as you can, try to serve relatively healthy meals and keep the bathroom & kitchen clean enough so no one gets sick from them. It will not always be this hard. Your kids don't care at this age what the house looks like so focus on their needs. If someone's critical, they just haven't been there or they don't see parenting like you do. Sounds like you're a really good mom!



answers from Grand Rapids on

I'm still very much in the learning phase as well, but I do have a few tips for you. :)

I have just finished re-reading "Sink Reflections" by Marla Cilley (a.k.a. The Flylady) and her routines have really helped me! I have each weekday designated to something (errands, cleaning, even playing!) which helps me to feel less overwhelmed.

Also, I have been running my dishwasher after dinner and emptying it before I go to bed. This has been wonderful! I wake up when my kids get up (usually around 6:30 - why won't they sleep in??) so I don't have time to empty it in the morning before my kids are hungry. I like being able to toss the dishes in the dishwasher after breakfast - my kitchen stays clean all day!

Your 2-year-old can help you with some of your cleaning. (and by "help" I mean pretend to help. :) ) I give my kids a clean cloth to help clean the bathroom, they get a wet paper towel to clean mirrors and windows, and they have a kid-sized broom and a toy vacuum to use while I sweep and vacuum. This doesn't happen every week, but when they want to help they can. They can also help with laundry - they can sort, put things in the dryer, and even fold! (I let them fold wash clothes and match socks.)

For one-on-one time, my son (2) wakes up about 15-20 minutes before my daughter (4), so I make sure I focus on him during that time. My daughter goes to bed about 15 minutes after my son, so that is her focused time. I also find 5-10 minutes here and there throughout the day when one child is busy (or sleeping) to spend time with the other. It's probably a bit tricky with an 8 month old, but she can play with some toys while you read to your son for a couple of minutes.

As for showers... well, I have become really good at taking fast showers! My kids are old enough to know not to pull back the curtain, and usually they play together while I shower, but I can still only trust them for a couple of minutes. When they were younger, I would close all the doors in the hallway and then put a gate at the end to create a safe place for them to play while I was in the shower.

I hope that some of these suggestions help. :) Motherhood is a time when you never stop learning!



answers from Grand Rapids on

sorry new to the site wanted to read the respone you got because i feel the same way wasn't sure how to find the respones i figured it out you don't have to hit respone



answers from Detroit on

oh my. You can't do it all.
Enjoy your little ones. Laundry will always be there. Do what you can and stop being so hard on yourself. It will get easier when your kids get older and aren't so demanding. Mean while enjoy the these moments they go by so fast. who cares if the house is a mess. You have the rest of your life to worry about that, but your kids are only young once. I am not saying be a pig, but be real too.
Some times things that took my 5 min takes me all week.
Anyone who says they can do it all, Either have outside help or don't sleep.



answers from Lansing on


The answer to your question is you can't do it all in one day, or sometimes in a week. Just impossible when you have little children. I have always worked full-time, went back to work when my boys were 4 months old and eventually became a parent volunteer at the school. You really need the help of your husband on some of this work even if he works full-time. Your day does not end at 5:00 and neither should his. My life became a juggling act in trying to decide which chores needed to be done ASAP and which could wait a few more days or beyond. It seems like mothers almost have to make a choice between the perfect home they may have had before kids or sacrificing important personal time for yourself. There are no easy answers but creating schedules is very helpful. A rule of thumb for me is that life should be enjoyable and I always take advantage of nice weather to be outside as much as I can. I plan major cleaning projects (closets, basement etc.) for the cold months and just do the necessary house cleaning in the summer. Summer is for working in the garden and being outside. When you have little children who can't help much with chores you just have to let things go a little more. Enjoying beautiful days outside with your kids is as important as having clean bathrooms. They will remember that
more than they will recall how clean the house was. Now that my children are grown I can say that with certaintly.




answers from Detroit on

When you figure it out, please let me know!
Seriously, I completely understand where you're coming from. (I have a 3 and 2 year old.) It wasn't until recently that I felt my sanity was beginning to return. I still find it difficult to keep up with everything I want to, but it's getting better. Once I felt they were old enough, we put all their toys in a playroom downstairs. Now I can get a few minutes here and there without children underfoot. It's perfect for when the tub needs to be scrubbed or other quick chores that they shouldn't be "helping" with. Plus the toy overflow has been limited.
Sometimes getting things done "right" needs to be sacrificed. Let them fold towels. They'll enjoy helping for a few minutes. Makes games of chores. Toys being put away can become a game of basketball or soccer.
Well, I gotta go clean up a mess, hope this helps! Good Luck!
M. K



answers from Detroit on

I don't!! I gave up the idea of being the "perfect" parent and fitting it all in a while ago. I have 4 kids (10, 6, 4 and 7 months) and I am learning that daily life is more about balance and management than fitting it all in. Some days I have to cling to the knowledge that there will be a time in my life where all my kids will be grown and gone and all my floors will stay clean and there will be no dirty dishes in the sink, and how lonely and boring that will be. I also remember that as a wife and mother, I have to make sure that I am taking care of myself... because so many people are depending on me!

So in order to have peace in my house we have a daily schedule and a calander that keeps our social/medical schedules. I have to start out each day before the kids get up. I have to exercise 30 minute on the eliptical machine, then have my coffee and read my Bible. (Ideally I like to get up 2 hours before them.... but that doesn't always work out!!) Then we have a daily routine filled with getting dressed, making beds, feeding pets, taking care of breakfast dishes. Then after morning chores are done we have play time. Then lunch and clean up. Then playtime in the after noon. A quiet time 3-4 p.m. then time to clean up and get ready for dinner. After dinner is winding down time till baths and jammies. Then each day of the week I have one day that I do an extra cleaning chore not in the usualy daily routine of cleaning. Like one day is laundry, one day is bathrooms, one day is vaccuming, one day is grocery shopping, one day is cleaning/organizing a place (I can always find a drawer or a closet that needs attention!!)

That is just a peek into a day at our house. I never thought I would be a full time stay at home mom. And I have to tell you it is the hardest job I have ever had. But when I was working I didn't realize all the wonderful things I was missing with my kids. And now I can't imagine my life any other way. My little monkeys have made me be a better person than I ever thought I could be. Being a stay at home mom is the greatest blessing!

You're doing a great job!! Keep up the good work, and make sure to take time for yourself! Peace,



answers from Detroit on

Dear S.,

Boy, do I feel for you! I totally understand. I have 3 kids, and I can tell you, that for me ( and many others that I've talked to), the second child is the hardest. Even if you had it down right with one, there is so much more to juggle with the second one. It does get better, I promise. I the meantime, just getting through the daily grind is exhausting, and you can't do it alone. Is there someone that can help you with some of the things you need? A toddler needs to be watched ALL of the time, and that leaves no energy or time for anything else, no matter how long your list is. So insist on dividing up the household duties. You didn't mention if you have a husband or live-in partner, but just because you are home, doesn't mean that you can do it all at the same time. One option is to hire a mommy's helper, like a 12-13 year old, that can watch the kids when you are home and you can get some of the other things done. Another is to stop criticizing yourself. Your dream was that being a stay at home mom wasn't going to be this hard, and the reality is that it is very hard, but this is your reality. Loosen up on what NEEDS to be done, and what you would LIKE to have done. I bet you are doing an awesome job, try looking at it through the eyes of your kids, family members, etc. Your expectations may need updating. Eventually your children will be in school, and you will be so happy that you were a SAHM. The fact that phone calls weren't returned timely, the house wasna't clean, and the chores weren't done timely just won't matter. Hang in there, ask for help and enjoy.

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