Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Wednesday 14 April |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Hadewych of Meer
home iconFor Her
line break icon

Should you sacrifice a clean house to be with your kids?

Mother Multitasking with Child


Calah Alexander - published on 10/17/17

It doesn't have to be one or the other. Here's one strategy to try.

Four of my five kids are in now in school, so for the first time in a long time I’m home with a baby. I imagined it to be a sweet, gentle time to reconnect with my youngest and recapture some of the peaceful bonding I remember from the early days of motherhood.

As it happens, I almost certainly fabricated the “peaceful bonding” part of my early motherhood memories. Our days are filled less with sweetness and more with tantrums and bids for attention, which is making the real memories of early motherhood come rushing back.

There were lots of things I didn’t know as a first time-mom that I know now, and I came across this article in Parenting that summed up the practical tips and tricks I wish I’d known when my oldest was my youngest. Here’s my favorite one:

No need to miss out on sweet snuggles for the sake of keeping up on housework. Do both! Investing in a good baby carrier can free up your hands to tackle all sorts of projects while keeping your baby close. Infants love motion anyway, and watching while you vacuum or fold that mountain of laundry might be the perfect distraction for a fussy little one. You can even use plastic rings to attach their favorite toy to the carrier strap so they can play while you work.

It took me years to find a baby carrier I liked — in fact, I didn’t discover the Ergo baby until my fifth. And while baby carriers are great for a limited period of time, the idea of including your little one in your daily routine is timeless.

My current favorite cleaning hack is to get a clean sponge damp, and let my toddler wipe anything and everything while I do dishes and wipe down the table and counters. Ditto with sweeping — I can get so much more done if he’s got his own play broom to use, so he feels like he’s working with me instead of being ignored for the sake of dust bunnies.

Of course, there are times when I can’t let him pitch in … he’s not the most helpful typist. Exhibit A:


And even though he thinks he’s ready to chop vegetables, knives and toddlers don’t mix. So when I really have to buckle down and get something done, here’s my secret: Team Umizoomi.

Look, y’all, motherhood is hard. I don’t advocate letting your toddler spend their lives in front of the TV, but when the rubber hits the road sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. And if it makes you feel better, at least Team Umizoomi teaches math skills.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ
A simple test to see if you really believe Christ is risen
Cerith Gardiner
11 Interesting facts about the late Prince Philip
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
St. Faustina’s coffee cup and lessons for Divine Mercy Sund...
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
Here’s how to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at home
Philip Kosloski
St. Padre Pio: His life, his miracles and his legacy
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.