First, let me start by saying that I love my husband, Erol, dearly. He is an amazing, smart man and a true partner in life and at home (thanks to my MIL, we usually have a 50/50 share of household responsibilities). So, the other day, my hubby had an epiphany. Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite an epiphany, but I did raise my arms to the sky like a church pastor and proclaim “aaaaaaa, I see the light” once he said what I am about to tell you. While chatting late Sunday morning, he says:I was hanging out with Evren this morning and, as I made my breakfast, I became really stressed by the mess in our kitchen. (Note to mamas: our kitchen isn’t always messy except after a loooong week and some well-deserved wine.) Then, I remembered reading in theWhat to Expect in the First Year book that babies need a lot of supervised, independent play time to explore their world. So, I thought maybe I could clean up and still engage with Evren while he played on his mat (aaaaa the light bulb has appeared). Then, I realized every time I am with Evren and you ask for my help with something, I always say “I can’t do that, I have Evren.” But, I realized today that I could! I can help when I am taking care of Evren (and, there it is mamas, the light bulb was shining brightly)!
I am not sharing this story to throw my hubby under the bus because he really has moved into his new role as dad with ease. And, he’s only really been at this new job for a little over five months. I am sharing because after this beautiful “aha” moment, I started thinking maybe my husband was onto something. If he isn’t multitasking while caring for our son, Evren, then he must be truly living in the present, soaking it all in while creating a deep connection with our baby. Exactly all the things I wanted to be doing! I quickly started calculating the hours I spend dual processing vs. the hours I spend solely focused on Evren. The numbers were totally skewed towards housekeeping!
So, I am on a mission now. I’d like to spend more focused time with my son, Evren, without having our house become a disheveled disaster! My practical self wonders what the world would be like if mamas everywhere stopped multitasking when caring for our kiddos. Can you freaking imagine what your house would look like? But, I’m determined to figure out what works for me and our family. With help from a few mamas, I’ve captured some good steps to achieve this goal.
- Regularly schedule activities for mama & kiddos out of the house. The “out of the house” part is key because the dishes, the laundry and the dog won’t be staring at you begging for attention
- Dedicate an evening (or block of time) each week to handle non-daily household chores. As long as this is clearly communicated to every member of the house, it can reduce stress for those family members who can’t stand a messy house
- Designate a spot for all items (mail, toys, keys, etc.) so you habitually put them away and spend less time tidying. Do you have a pile of mail that has officially swallowed your kitchen table? Get an organizer so the mail can be quickly dispersed and handled at a more convenient time (like curled up with a glass of vino and your favorite TV trash, aaaaa sweet Revenge)
- Hire a house cleaner or mama’s helper. If you have the means, this monthly expense can be a lifesaver. For me, I despise deep cleaning. No seriously, I would consider giving up a toe or even a finger if I never had to clean a toilet again. So, we eat fewer dinners out and I barely get new digs to make sure we have the funds for our cleaners. I have friends who LOVE hiring high school girls for minimal cash to help prep dinner, pick up the playroom, fold laundry, etc.
- Let go. <em “mso-bidi-font-style:=”” normal”=””>Before Evren, I could totally ignore a mess or a project to instead focus on something fun. Since I started working part-time to care for him, I forgot this beautiful skill of mine. Now, it’s on, baby. It’s on like Donkey Kong. Dishes, you are officially demoted!
Mamas, do you have the same challenge? Dads, how do you manage the family balancing act? Have you figured this out?
I’m Danielle, a nutritionist & health coach who specializes in helping busy mamas (& dads) become their most healthy self so they can raise healthy, happy families. I work with individuals, couples & groups both in-person & virtually. Are you ready to feel & look amazing?! Contact me today.