I think the biggest issue most of us have when we choose to stay home to be with our children is the struggle with housework. After all, as I wrote in Do I have to cook and clean to be a good mother? housework is definitely less glamourous than cooking. And childcare, even though it is mentally and physically taxing, is more fun and rewarding.
It needs to be done regularly
However, housework is something that needs to be done and done regularly. Otherwise it piles up and any motivation to get to it decreases at an exponential rate! I think, if housework can be done once and ignored for at least a month if not more, most of us will have less trouble with it. But it doesn’t work that way, does it?
Get it done ASAP
So, I like think of housework like exercise – a necessary evil! To attack it, I plan for it to be done ASAP. Kinda like the Eat That Frog mentality. Get it all over and done with and not have to think about it the rest of the day.
Now mind you, I do not have babies or toddlers anymore. So I CAN do it first thing in the morning. And the children do pull their weight in keeping the house looking neat and tidy.
BUT, when I had a lot of small people in the house, I would still try to do as much as possible in the morning – while the coffee magic is still in effect and everyone is generally happy and contented. And I would schedule the first break (usually at baby’s naptime) to doing chores that can’t be done when baby is awake. Such as ironing or toilet washing.
Get rid of clutter
I can only tolerate clutter and mess for a limited period of time. Back when we had 4 children, we lived in a 2-apartment house. There is no escaping the clutter that met my eyes wherever I looked. It made me feel unsettled.
The first line of attack towards dealing with housework is to make sure that I have as little to clean and organize as possible. Hence my constant exercise to declutter. Remember, you cannot organize clutter! Once clutter is gotten rid of, housekeeping becomes much simpler.