Any tips on how to balance keeping the house clean with taking care of the baby?? I feel like the house is always a mess. My baby is about 3 1/2 months now and I feel like by now I should have 'gotten the swing of things'. Everytime he wakes from a nap he starts to cry for me almost immediately and all while he's awake if I try to get anything done he cries. By the time he naps I only have enough time to eat it seems. Anyone have any good advice? Thanks!

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well my son is a great napper so i pick up and clean house while he is (since he is 1) we play and he helps me out...we never tip toed around when he slept so i vacuum while he is asleep everyday! hope you "get the swings of things" soon!
Don't be so hard on yourself! I don't know that my house has ever been the way it was before my children, and I don't know if it will for a long time from now. It can be overwhelming though, unfortunately. I have found that wearing the baby helps for some tasks, like vacuuming, picking up messes, that kind of thing if you're able, and you're baby is willing! Also, we've switched to things like baking soda, vinegar, etc to clean so it's not nearly as toxic for the babies to be in the same room when I'm trying to clean, say, the bathroom. I have a system going where I load/unload the dishwasher once a day (if you have or use one) while daddy is around, and if dishes pile up, they're at least rinsed, so no harm in that. If nothing else, we keep the messes contained to one room, as far as toys are concerned. If we move to another room (we have toys stashed in every room in this house) the room gets picked up before heading to another location. But for what it's worth, your baby is still very very young, and it took me a while to get used to things. Things will get more and more manageable the more time passes and he gets used to things. Until then, enjoy your baby!
Thanks for this advice! I guess I was pretty lazy before the baby, also my sister and other women in my family always seem to have spotless homes (and kids). But things have been much better the past few weeks and I've been 'handling' the housework!!--I guess it just takes a long time to figure things out and make adjustments. I'll keep your advice about toys in mind for when he's a little older, thanks again...:)
Hi there,

I found that wearing my son in a sling helped, but it is still hard to get stuff done...I think I, and my hubbie, just had to realize that our house was never going to be a clean as it was before we had our son. it isnt really the end of the world. And as they get older, it actually gets HARDER:) once my son started walking and only having one nap a day, it was really tough to clean. But now he is almost 3 and is pretty good at staying out of trouble, and even likes to "help", which keeps him occupied.

Dont ever try to compare yourself to other moms and their PERFECT houses or you will go nuts!!! There is so much competition amongst mums, it is just no good for your stress levels and self esteem. You know, there was this mum i knew once who was so embarrassed about giving her baby a jar of baby food in front of the competitive mums that she scooped it out of the jar and put it in a Tupperware so that no one would know it wasn't home made! There is no need for that!

The competition among moms is a good point you brought up! Though i haven't directly experienced much myself, maybe subconsciously I've been having some...Lately things have been so much better, and I haven't been thinking about any 'perfect' moms in my head either these days so maybe it's connected. I wish I could use a sling but my son is really big and kills my back. I'm pretty petite and he's already 17 pounds at 4 1/2 mo. If I got back in good shape it prob wouldn't bother me as much...thanks for your reply and looking forward to my son 'helping' me someday :)
My last 2 babies (of 4) have taken all their naps on me- whether they are nursing and I'm sitting down (like right now- my 8 month old is sleeping/nursing while I type) or tied to me in my Moby Wrap. I fought so hard to get my #2 to fit the mold of the baby who naps, that I actually think it did both of us a lot more harm than good. He would only sleep 30 minutes when he wasn't attached to me in some way. I was a lot more relaxed as parent and as a (non)housekeeper with #3 so did things differently.
1. Don't stress over the chores. If anyone who comes to my house wants to critique the cleanliness, I offer to let them show me how it should be done. True friends feel much more comfortable seeing that your house looks like theirs.
2. Babies grow too fast- wearing, holding & playing with them is a much better way to spend to my time than stressing over how clean my floors are.
3. The chores that must be done (dishes & laundry) can usually be done with a baby strapped to be in some way. Laundry sometimes sits in the baskets for a week or more but it's clean and we know where to find it.

You baby sounds a lot like my #3 who would cry if he woke and I wasn't holding/ nursing him. The solution was to wear him almost constantly and bring him to bed with me at night. We were all a lot happier and less streeed by that and he is now a happy & independent 3 year old who still likes to snuggle. :-) This time will be gone in a heartbeat so enjoy it!

Diane, mom of 4



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