How to do housework with a baby

....in 17 easy steps

When you’re pregnant with your first baby, you may have some thoughts about how maternity leave will be. Some of those things will be completely accurate, such as time spent cuddling and singing lullabies, meeting with other mums and babies and spending time bonding and connecting with your precious little bundle. 

Some things, however, might be a little different. Before my first maternity leave, I imagined long lunches and shopping trips while my baby slept soundly beside me, but these turned out to be more of a mad dash to eat something or buy something while my baby demanded to be fed, held or changed near continuously. 
The other thing I imagined (for some strange reason) was having lots of time to keep my home clean and tidy. In reality, most of the time I felt much busier than when I was at work all day. Caring for a baby is an intense business and I hadn’t been prepared for how much energy, effort and sheer mumpower it took to have us both dressed, fed and alive and kicking some days. 

With that in mind, if you’re feeling perplexed as to why you can’t get everything -- or anything -- done with a baby at home, here’s a reminder:  

  1. Notice that the carpet could really do with a hoover.
  2. Leave it five days because you no longer sleep or remember anything now.
  3. Psych yourself up – today is the day – fetch the hoover.
  4. Tidy away the baby toys, collect the magazines, remotes, baby wipes and other random paraphernalia from the floor and find a home for it. Or dump it on the sofa.
  5. Pause due to baby waking from nap
  6. Settle baby in bouncer and turn on hoover
  7. Turn off hoover due to baby’s sudden, screaming fear of it. Plan to recommence during tomorrow’s nap time.
  8. It is nap time tomorrow but baby will not nap. Instead, witness your little darling tipping every toy and household item back on to the carpet in between clapping along to some loud, mindless nonsense on TV.
  9. Decide to recommence when partner arrives home. 
  10. Do not recommence when partner arrives home because you are too knackered from non-stop baby entertaining.
  11. It is the next day and baby DOES nap. But you have too much other stuff to sort, like dinner and catching up on Bake Off.
  12. When your partner gets home, tidy up toys and other junk once again, then remember you should really dust the surfaces first to ensure a thorough clean of the home. Get through one room before it is time for the Sacred Bedtime Routine. Plan to recommence once baby is asleep.
  13.  Cannot be bothered to recommence once baby is asleep. Watch Breaking Bad and eat a cake instead.
  14. The moment has arrived. Baby is napping, the room is tidy...ish. You have (sort of) dusted, and now… you hoover.
  15. Feel immensely satisfied and proud – that wasn’t too hard now was it?
  16. Watch the carpet become mucky and bit-filled before your very eyes and the various bits of junk  quickly return to their true home on the floor
  17. Notice that the carpet could really do with a hoover
  18. Repeat from Step 2 – 17. Forever.

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