After picking up the same toy, taken off the same shelf, for the 37th time today, the new stay-at-home dad is ready to throw in the towel on this housework thing. And that’s just because of a toy.
That doesn’t even count all the times he tried to put dishes in the dishwasher only to be thwarted by a toddler who thinks the door is a good step stool. Or that there is no way he could get into scrubbing a toilet for fear of poisoning a curious crawling baby.
These chores aren’t why most SAHDs decided to get into the business anyway. There are better things to focus on during the day than cleaning around your kids only to have them mess more up behind your back.
But managing these household duties is possible, in spite of the youngsters.
In a stereotypical sense, the wife tackles most of this stuff. But in today’s world that more than likely isn’t entirely true, whether the husband stays home with the kids or not. It’s not like the majority of family men don’t chip in to help maintain the house and its surroundings.
But being home, it should be expected that you do most of the work around the house. It is part of the job description and really, kid interference or not, you probably have plenty of time to get a good deal of the work done.Soliciting Help
That doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be any help.
One easy way to keep tasks in check is for the different parties in the house to continue doing what they always have.
You and your wife might have alternated work on the floors, but she always did the dishes and you always cleaned the bathrooms. Don’t change anything there. That will keep some of the work balanced.
If the kids are old enough to help, assign chores to them and when they should be completed. Make sure they follow through by issuing proper consequences one way or the other.
If they are too young to handle an entire job by themselves, have them do small pieces of the job. Let them wipe off a section of the table or help you separate the laundry piles.A Clean Routine
Another idea is to focus on the areas of the house you are using at that time and not try to do too much.
Try to stick to a routine and not do everything at once. Clean one section of the house on Monday and focus on another on Tuesday. Make a plan or chart of what needs to get done and when. Breaking up the duties surely will save time in the long run and keep you ahead of the chores.Take a Break
If keeping rooms clean and organized is a challenge when the kids are around and you find that your day is spent redoing chores you just completed, wait until later when they are in bed or otherwise occupied. There is no sense in wasting time cleaning something 37 times.
It may be tough to wait until they are down for the night as that can eat up your free time, but it could be a necessary evil. Cleaning a bathroom with dangerous chemicals and curious toddlers isn’t a match made in heaven. Plus, you’ll probably finish the job in a quicker fashion with no interfering children around, and that will create more free time later.
And if all else fails, postpone the work a day or two. If the house can handle it and your family doesn’t mind, there are more important items on the agenda, such as enjoying your children.
But don’t let it get out of hand. The kids are going to need something to mess up in a few days.