So I just went back to work after three months on maternity leave. Prior to having Hayden, I have to admit, life was just absolutely chaotic. My husband was a full-time student finishing up his engineering degree- aka- he went to school all day and studied all night while watching our rambunctious 4-year-old as I worked evenings.
I had such a rough pregnancy, I could do very little. In reality, I was adding more messes because I was throwing up all the time! My SPD was so bad I could barely stand or put any pressure on my pelvis, so cleaning was out of the question.
That being said, after Hayden arrived, I was feeling better and ready to contribute… but now we are both on opposite schedules and caring for the kids alone while we’re home. So needless to say, we still need help. These are the five shortcuts we’ve been taking to control the chaos:
1.) Bleach Wipes
This is an expensive life hack, but I’ve found I keep my kitchen and bathrooms cleaner by keeping a container of bleach wipes in sight. Instead of pulling out cleaning supplies, I can just grab one immediately and clean up the mess. Otherwise, sometimes we were walking away and leaving the mess behind because of the hassle to pull out the paper towels and bleach spray. Lazy and more costly, but it’s helping get the job done ASAP.
2.) Vacuuming wood floors
I don’t know why I never thought of this when I had hardwoods before– but using the vacuum instead of a broom is quick and it does a way better job because it actually sucks up dirt and debris instead of just moving it around or getting it into the air. (Side note: My husband does get mad at me for trying to suck up the big stuff though!) It also saves my back from bending over constantly to empty the dust pan.
3.) Scheduling grocery pickup
This is another one that costs money, but it’s so worth it. We shop at Giant Eagle here in Pittsburgh, and it is $5 for curbside pickup. So one day a week in the morning, I make the grocery list on my phone and then schedule pickup for when Josh gets the kids. They bring the groceries out to the car so he doesn’t have to drag the kids in. I also think this saves us money in the long run because I have a more focused shopping experience, you’re not buying stuff on impulse, and you can plan meals as you buy the food.
4.) Making Meals
This is also tricky with my husband and I on different schedules. We found we were both buying takeout a lot. Now, we’ve come up with a plan to work for us. On Sundays, we make a big crockpot meal that will yield leftovers that we can eat on Mondays. On Tuesdays, I make a meal that I can take with me to work and they can eat for dinner. Wednesdays can be a 12-hour day for me, so that is my takeout day and he usually makes something simple for himself and the kids. Thursdays are usually another crockpot meal that will be ready for me to take to work and him to feed the kids with… and we’re aiming for Fridays to be a family lunch date by his work– where I plan to take my leftovers for my dinner at work. I know a lot of you meal prep on weekends– but I just am not there yet!
5.) Splitting chores with my husband
This is the best. So the main chore we split is the dishes. I put them in the dishwasher and run it when I get home from work that night– by morning, all the coffee cups and baby bottles are clean and ready for use. However, unloading the dishwasher is hell on my back, so when Josh gets home from work he empties it. We do this every day and now we no longer have a sink full of dishes around and it’s easier because we are splitting the load. We also tend to split chores like– he picks up the toys, trash, etc. and when I get home or the next morning, I do the deeper clean- like vacuuming/swiffering- cleaning counters, etc. It’s also nice because it makes us more of a team and less likely to argue about chores.
I desperately need help coming up with a system for laundry. I swear there are mountains of it in my basement. Clean mountains, messy mountains… Ahhh!!! We both hate putting away laundry. I suck at folding. I would LOVE for any tips with coming up for a successful system to beat this laundry beast.