Mar 262012

So last week, on Wednesday I believe, I did my first housework while staying home with Thomas. Nearly FOUR MONTHS of being home with Thomas and I finally did some housework during the day while my spouse was at work and I was caring for Thomas! No, dinner isn’t ready and on the table when my wife gets home, in fact my wife ends up making dinner more often than I do. I am not waiting at the door to take her jacket and hand her a drink, the newspaper and a cigar. When my wife gets home I am ready for her to take over Thomas’ care so I can do something else. It isn’t that I don’t love Thomas or that the days are that hard because they aren’t, in fact our days are usually a lot of fun. Caring for infants requires SO much of your focus that you cannot expect to do anything else throughout the day with any level of attention unless you neglect your child’s attention. I’m sure this will change over time because even now Thomas can play by himself with his toys for a while but he won’t do this for long, so he still requires constant supervision.

I’m basing these expectations on Leave it to Beaver, which is a TV show most people are probably familiar with. There have been times where I wish I could be this super-mom or super-dad that people see in movies or television as if that would be easier. I guess it is time to summon my June Cleaver powers! I do not know how people find time to get things done during the day while watching infants… What I did on Wednesday was vacuum/sweep and clean the bathroom mirror and toilet. I did this courtesy of the BABYBJĂ–RN Baby Carrier that we received as a baby shower gift. This amount of cleaning took about an hour… Thomas enjoyed himself the whole time, we listened to The Beatles and Bon Jovi while cleaning.

I have decided to try and get more things done, each day, that keep me busy and will keep our home clean. Perhaps I’ll even upgrade a few things around the house!

Between Thomas’ feedings, naps and the rest being playtime, I use what time I have to relax (typically) but I now realize I should get in the habit of doing some things around the house each day.

What are your secrets for getting things done at home? I need all the help I can get!

  15 Responses to “I’d Make a Horrible 1950’s Housewife”

  1. I don’t get things done. Haha. I wait until I see my pet dust bunnies growing behind my guitar and then I vacuum about a week after that. I’m the worst. But seeing your blog post makes me want to clean a bit. I feel guilty.

  2. Ha! Great post man, like the photos. Baby Bjorn + Dyson for the win!

  3. I’ve given up getting things done. And I’m only kind of joking. I cook sporadically and clean only when necessary (well, dishes get done multiple times a day, but they have to).

    Mr. Sandwich and I both work outside the home, and Baguette is terrible at naps, so there’s very little time to get things done with any confidence that she won’t need our full attention.

    Generally I hang out with her (she’s very attached to me right now) while he does laundry, puts things away, etc. Basically I do most of the evening and weekend childcare, and he does most of everything else.

    Also, our house is a wreck, but this, too, shall pass.

  4. I try to do one thing a day. Mondays I vacuum. Tuesdays I clean the bathrooms. Wednesdays I dust. Etc, etc. My little guy is older than yours though so he either “helps” me and I make a game of cleaning or he plays on his own while I clean like a mad woman to get it done before he loses interest in whatever he’s doing. ;) And then there are the days when the sun is shining and I don’t do anything because I’d rather be at the park with my son. :)

  5. Keep it somewhat in control, but don’t forget that Thomas is growing up fast and sometimes the chores need to wait.

  6. I truly enjoy your blog because I miss the fact my sons are grown.Keep on keeping on and have you ever watched Donna Reed?

  7. I found when mine were little they used to get a kick out of sitting in the sling for awhile and giggling while mommy went crazy scrubbing!

  8. When my daughter was younger, I would put her in her swing or bouncer while I did a few things. Or I would try to put clothes away or clean the master bathroom while she was down for a nap…since she naps in our room. Now that she’s 16 months old, it sometimes is harder to get things done because she wants to “help” out and she’s into everything. It’s really hard to have her in the kitchen because she tries to pull things off the table while I’m making something or she wants to play with the dog bowls, etc. I can give her something to play with, but it only holds her attention for a short time before I have to stop what I’m doing to go after her again. If it’s snack time, I’ll put her in her high chair and let her eat while I unload the dishwasher or start dinner. I am a big fan of using a crockpot to make life easier, but still have a great meal. If I try to leave her in the living room while I’m in the kitchen doing something, she either cries/whines the entire time (this can go on for 45+ minutes) or she keeps getting into stuff that requires me to stop what I’m doing to go get her. So…it can still be hard to get things done as they get older, but not impossible. My nephew, who is about to be 3, is old enough to actualy help out around the house and in the kitchen, so it does eventually get easier. The baby carrier helps a lot until they either get too big/heavy, or too grabby. Good luck!

  9. Cooking is one of my passions, so I put Ben in his high chair, turn on the Raffi Pandora station, and dance around and sing as I cook. It may be somewhat dangerous, but he thinks it’s hilarious. I like to try to do stuff with little prep/attention time (like roasts or anything that can be baked in the oven) because high chair time and laughing at Mommy can only last for so long. Nothing is more terrible than a fussy baby when you have chicken hands! As for cleaning…well…not one of my passions, so I usually do what I can when B-Rex is taking his naps.

  10. Ha! That photo is adorable. I think you are on to something, strap him in and off you go, anything can be exciting with the right jiggle jiggle and squeaky fun voice :)

  11. Haha, I understand oh so well! My son is 14 months old now so It’s much more easy to get things done, like cooking a meal or doing laundry.

    When Aaden was about Thomas’ age, I would carry him in a baby carrier most of the time. Other than that, I would have him swing in his swinging chair or play in his Play Saucer thing that surrounds him with toys. He always wanted to be in my arms. Up to a point where my step mom told me “Don’t worry about laundry or cleaning, it can wait. Your baby can’t!” So not doing the cleaning didn’t bother me as much. Couldn’t do much during his naps cuz he is a very light sleeper.

    The thing I can tell you is that -very- soon you won’t have to worry much about that anymore. He will be entertained by a ball or a toy car for 45 minutes at a time Haha! Or if he does like Aaden, will chase the vacuum as you go around with it.

  12. Upgrades around the house? I have a suggestion. Because you have Tommy Boy strapped to your chest, you need flat panel TVs placed strategically throughout the house. I’m thinking one every 6-10 feet. That way you can vacuum and clean while still watching TV everywhere you go in the house. You would need an HDMI splitter with a lot of outputs, but it would be worth it!

  13. Being a stay-at-home dad myself, I always found that the time my babies (and a long time ago that seems now) were down for morning nap I could get some cleaning done or, more typically, writing done. Afternoon nap time I usually took with them since I was getting up in the middle of the night for feedings and so on as well.

    As he gets a bit older, you’ll likely find more time to do household chores. And that will keep him amused for awhile as well. :-)

  14. Schedule things for each day. For example:
    Day 1 – Clean mirror in master bathroom, water front flower beds, clean kitchen counters
    Day 2 – Clean mirror in Thomas’s bathroom, water north side flower beds, clean sliding door to patio
    Day 3 – Clean bathtub in hall bathroom, water south side flower beds, clean ceiling fan in living room.

    You never get burned out, tired, frustrated, etc. Always something new.

    Once you get into the habit of doing things piecemeal like that, eventually you will always have a clean home and people will think you have Merry Maids come over and do all the work.

  15. Using a baby carrier definitely was my #1 way of getting things done with an infant. I went back to work when he was 12 weeks old, but I was only part-time while his dad sometimes needed to work late, so many evenings I was alone with the baby for about 4 hours, and the chores did need to get done! I used the method of One Thing and Three Things to prioritize.

    One chore I could not do with him in the sling was hanging laundry on the clotheslines in the basement–I couldn’t raise my arms that high with the sling on–and our unfinished basement is NOT a good place for a baby to play on the floor. That’s when I used the battery-powered baby swing his great-great-aunt had insisted on buying for us. I would put him in the swing in the dining room, affix the “activity octopus” toy with velcro strap, turn on some music, start the swing, and zip away while he was entranced by the motion. Usually I could get the whole load hung (takes about 10 minutes) before he got really upset about my absence. By the time he outgrew the swing, he was able to stand, and I often could get him to hang laundry on the lower bars of the folding drying rack; I’d have to straighten it out later (and rinse it if he had dragged it on the floor) but it did keep him busy.

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