Balancing cleaning and being a fun mum is a fine art. At the moment, as my little boy is so young (5 months old), there is never a time I have to be serious with him. It's all play, giggle, play. He's also not on the move yet, other than a few minutes in his baby walker (you don't want to find yourself in his path when he's piloting that thing!). So we're just having a ball most of the time, even when I'm dusting and scrubbing, he finds it hilarious. This enables me to keep most chores in check. Although I plan to keep cleaning a fun part of the day, I'm also thinking realistically and I'm quite sure he'll cotton on eventually that this cleaning malarkey is a bit too repetitive to be an exciting activity. Not only that but in a few months he'll be 'go! go! go!' and obviously I prioritize his safety and happiness over a spick & span abode.
I don't know how long this phenomena called 'baby brain' is supposed to last, but it's showing no signs of departing any time soon. In fact I believe I'll be suffering from 'toddler-brain' to 'teenager-brain'. One side effect of this condition is me cleaning the same things twice and leaving others for far too long. Plus I'll always opt to do anything over cleaning the floors (after all, it's much easier to just keep cleaning my feet - am I the only skank that does this?!). With the likelihood of having less cleaning time in future months, something had to change. 'What are the minimum cleaning jobs during the week?' I pondered. I do laundry all throughout the week and the kitchen almost everyday anyway, so those aren't a worry.
Everyone does things differently, but I chose the following:
Main Bedroom (everything inc. changing sheets)
The Nursery (same as above)
Outdoor jobs (hosing balconies down etc)
Sofas (vacuuming & replacing throws)
I once had a cleaning rota. I had a checklist for each day and specified colours for different jobs. I even laminated it. Yep, laminated it... whiteboard markers were purchased to tick off jobs as I went. It lasted a week. The truth is, even the ticking felt like a waste of time. I'm now really determined to find a way that works for me, to have all jobs covered each week, so, staring at my new list... hmm, there are 7 there... 7 days in a week. I know, I'll assign 1 job to each day of the week. How will I remember? A play around with letters and words would definitely work for me.
Ok, Floors on a Friday.
Main bedroom begins with M. That's a Monday job.
The Nursery. Th. Thursday for sure.
Bathroom can be called Toilet instead and become Tuesday's task.
What's left? Dusting. Outdoor jobs. Sofas. Wednesday. Saturday. Sunday.
Well with allocating Saturday for Sofa duty, I'll play with the 'sun' of Sunday to remind me to get outside and pick up the hose. That goes well with my lifestyle too, as I was brought up in a home of outdoorsy Sundays; tea parties with teddy bears in the shade of a tree, the smell of freshly cut grass filling the air while my parents tended to the garden around me... I digress... There is no ring to 'Wednesday Dusting' so I swapped Wipe Down for Dusting.
Monday Main Bedroom
Wednesday Wipe Down
Thursday The Nursery
It's been a week of following this routine now and it's going extremely well, mainly because rather than pottering-about-cleaning in the morning, I have a specific task to crack on with. I used to let my eye catch a bit of dust from afar, which I'd then go and wipe down even though I was already half way through something else. But that has stopped now. My jobs are complete by lunch time, freeing up the rest of the day for other things, be they extra cleaning or meeting friends.
So now it's just a case of remembering which day of the week it is. Hmmm.