Thursday, 21 June 2012

Summer project: housework

It's been awhile since I posted, mostly because we were on holiday last week and I am still catching up.

Also, because my son is off school, and I am busy adapting our routine to having both children in the mornings.  The biggest part of that is finding time to clean the house.  It used to be that I would include my son in the housework, but since the second child arrived, I fell into the trap of doing chores mostly when both children were out of the way--predominantly during my daughter's morning nap while my son was at school.

The problem with doing housework while the children are around is that they're clingy.  Inevitably just as I get going, there is whining to help with this, to read that, to kiss somebody better....  Which should be all par for the course, except I am not good with distractions while I clean.  I like to do cleaning in solitude, peace and quiet to think to myself, go at my own pace and proceed in my generally disorganised fashion.  I need some social downtime.

So when my children behave as small children do, I get stressed, snappy and resentful.  When my son tries to take my hand, I automatically pull away (I can be funny about physical contact sometimes), and I find myself demanding to be left alone.  This attitude always backfires horribly as the children get upset and thus clingier than ever.  Invariably, would-be cleaning sessions end with us woefully cuddled on the sofa, with little done.

I am determined to change this.  I am going to have to learn how to clean the house with the children around--and obviously, including them in the work is not always going to be a solution.  The aim is for them to play or otherwise interact (peacefully!) with each other while I get on with what I need to do.

The first part of my plan is to have time every day when we are cleaning and tidying, so they get used to the fact that Mummy is not available to read books or play games or make snacks at these times.  The second part is for me to keep my composure with their interruptions, and accept that hands need to be held every now and then.  Hopefully, by the end of the summer, we'll have more independent children and a cleaner house.

In other update news, my son's transition to no naps has improved wonderfully.  It finally dawned on me that I could bring his bedtime forward (duh), so we moved that up half an hour and are strictly observing it--ten minutes late is not acceptable!  He's been doing much better with this regime, and we have dropped the nap completely, though he often falls asleep in the car.


  1. I experience some very similar things--getting pissed at Bun Bun because I just want to finish this ONE THING and she won't let me. And then I feel like a monster, because she's a BABY, and won't be so sweet and cuddly for much longer, and I should be able to control myself. But it's tough. The scheduled cleaning time makes a lot of sense--maybe they'll develop their own cleaning tasks!

    1. Glad I'm not the only one. Just don't do what I did and start doing housework while she (and, in the future, Bunlet) are sleeping--at least not exclusively! Because now that I'm at the point where my son doesn't have a naptime, it's really hard putting housework back into his routine!