I just cleaned the house on friday and now every chair is sticky and tiny snippets of paper gather with stray rice grains and other debris under the table. The kitchen bar once again is laid out with a spread of magazines, books, half-eaten bowls of cereal, random pieces of Lego (I thought I said no Lego downstairs!), charging cables and coloured pencils.
Hats and gloves, shoes and boots, laundry, sports equipment and random kitchen utensils are proliferating in the hall.
I’m not even going to talk about what happens to the bathroom in the span of a few days with four kids in the house.
People are always asking me, “How do you do it?” I’m assuming they mean the general upkeep with littles — the very same that they manage as well. Sure there is homeschooling here too, so maybe add a few more piles in the corners, but really it is the same.
It’s a bit like groundhog day for us all with smalls in the house. Many days are played on repeat. Many tasks are tedious. Many days feel like you’re awfully busy doing nothing. Except that nothing means keeping people alive, fed, reasonably clean and sanitary and positively engaged in something at least part of the time.
So how do I do it? O.K, Here are my top two managing the madness/general housekeeping strategies as a mother of four. Ready?
1. Mostly I ignore it. I find other things I enjoy more than my ego. This means I opt for writing, yoga, or reading instead of making myself crazy following everyone around with a spray bottle, because really, in two seconds they are going to pull out a giant bag of peanuts and go to town.
2. When things get really out of control, I invite someone over for dinner. That gets things moderately ship shape…at least for a couple of hours.
And my super duper bonus secret:
3. Teaching my older ones how to clean a bathroom has been my best homeschool class yet!