Life with a preschooler (or two!) is never boring. You may find yourself skating down the hallway on toy cars at 2am in the morning or discover last month’s sandwiches decaying behind the sofa! But don’t worry- it is not your poor hygiene or cleaning standards that are causing you to fear that your home will never be clean enough again. It comes with the territory of having a preschooler in your home. Here are some strategies to live through the worst hurricanes in your home:
- Lower your standards – now is the time to embrace the popular saying: ‘boring people have immaculate houses.’ You can not reasonably expect to have a neat home that you used to maintain before you had children. Babies come with stuff, toddlers accumulate even more stuff and preschoolers have the uncanny ability to generate still more stuff that you are not allowed to touch or throw away. Decide which household cleaning rules are non-negotiable to you and stick to it, let the rest slide a little until your children are old enough to contribute significantly to household chores.
- Sporadic spring cleaning – Instead of spring cleaning every Saturday, spring clean once a month or even (heaven forbid!) every second month. You won’t have enough time to go around when you have small children in your home – use every second you can to marvel at your child – the cleaning will still be there when you’re done connecting with your little one.
- Live light – I believe in throwing stuff out. If something hasn’t been used for a year, there is someone around us who can make better use of it than we do. Sort through toys and baby paraphernalia, discipline yourself and prune your stuff to the bare minimum. It is better to attempt this activity while your child is on an outing with Dad, as she will thwart all your attempts at cleaning her toy cupboard.
If you find yourself being irritable and repeating: ‘No, don’t do that, it’ll mess!’ the whole day, it is time to reevaluate your household priorities. Now is a season to embrace chaos occasionally, there will be more than enough time later to manage your household in exactly the way you want to do it.