Wiping down counters. Sweeping the floors. Vacuuming. Laundry. Dusting. Washing dishes. Cleaning the bathroom.
Getting the above tasks done before kids was a BREEZE. Housework never took me long and then I had the rest of the day to read, cook, what have you.
Now, add a miniature human to the mix and my daily housekeeping routine has been tossed out the window. And you know what? That’s okay.
When we had our daughter (first time parents right here!) in February of 2014, I was exhausted, overwhelmed, and desperate to keep up with my original routine. I refused help around the house because I was so set in my ways of how I did things, from folding laundry to washing the dishes. I always ignored the “Sleep when your baby sleeps” because I thought “Well, then when will I have the free time to clean, straighten up, shower, etc!?”
As a new mom, you want to have it all together (or at least LOOK like you have it all together). You want to have the perfectly dressed baby who looks adorable and ready for a photo shoot at any given time. You want to have the perfectly organized and clean house so that everyone who stops by is impressed by how well you’re handling this new parenthood thing! You want to be able to do your makeup and hair each day while fitting into your pre-preggo clothes and looking flawless. You can still go out for coffee dates with your girls because your baby will be a perfect angel and you can just grab him or her and go!
And then, you get the biggest reality slap you’ll probably ever receive.
Your baby spits up and has blow-outs so many times during the day that you’re lucky if he or she is even wearing clothes anymore. You are so sleep deprived and overwhelmed that you have a weeks’ worth of dirty dishes in the sink and on the counter, a heaping pile of laundry (you’re not sure if it’s clean or dirty) laying on your dining room table, and your bathroom hasn’t been cleaned since you came home from the hospital. When you get up for the day, you’re lucky if you can even find a hair tie to put your hair up in a ponytail/bun/who knows what that is, and you’ve shoved your makeup to the back of the cabinet because you feel so gross that you don’t plan on leaving the house any time soon. Speaking of never wanting to leave the house, those coffee dates are not happening because by the time you get the baby and diaper bag ready, you are exhausted and baby wants to nurse and take a snooze and you plan on joining in with that nap.
Granted, some new mamas have no problem with the first scenario and I’ll be the first to say “Go mama! Keep it up!” But, the reality is that most new mamas fit into the second scenario and really struggle with balancing their new daily responsibilities while trying to do the rest. And you know what? That’s okay.
As my mom always tells me when I’m having a rough day- “Everything else can wait. Snuggle that baby.” That couldn’t be any closer to the truth. Some days, I have SO much to do around the house- dishes, laundry, food prep- and of course, those are the days when my girl is the grouchiest and doesn’t want to be put down.
Our house is overrun with toys on a daily basis. As soon as I put them away, they’re back out. Meals are chaotic and the dining room table is covered with our meal, our girl’s meal, sippy cups, toys, mail, you name it. I have laundry upstairs, as we speak, that has been washed for a week but remains on the floor to be folded (and the dog MAY have been laying on it last night). Our dining room table is covered with ‘stuff’ 98% of the time. I use our dishwasher more than I’d like simply because taking the time to do the dishes by hand doesn’t always work with my girl’s ‘tude for the day. The bathtub is long overdue for a scrub. The reality? A messy house comes with the territory of having kids sometimes. Your house is clean one day, then, a disaster the next. That’s okay with me. Our house is full of love, smiles, and laughter regardless of how neat my house is on a daily basis.
It has taken me almost a year, but, I am finally accepting the fact that the house can wait and if it takes me a few extra days to get that laundry done, that’s okay. If I don’t get a shower every day, that’s okay (that’s why they make dry shampoo!).
It’s all okay, mamas. Love on your babies. Snuggle your babies. Nap with your babies. Enjoy your babies. Soon, those sweet babies will be growing up and trying their best to avoid those snuggles and smooches from their mama. They grow up too fast and before you know it, you’ll wish you had pushed all that housework aside to sneak in some snuggles before they’re too big to protest against them.