Disclaimer: I am NOT a domestic diva. I am not the person that you go to for help furnishing a new apartment or for the perfect dessert recipe. Those are things to talk to Lady A and Lady R about. Right now, on the domestic front, my needs are much more basic. Keep the house clean. Keep the children clean and fed. Keep my bedroom from looking like a disaster zone.
When my son was born, it became clear that I couldn't do things the way that I used to. Too many things had changed. I now had an infant AND a preschooler. (YIKES). My husband and I both had full-time jobs. I no longer had leisurely weekday afternoons to dedicate to cleaning and laundry like I did when I only worked part-time.
In order to combat the feelings of inadequacies that come from not having a Martha Stewart approved home, I have come up with the following action plan:
Step One - Acknowledge that I can't do it all and cut myself some slack. Yes, its true that traditionally the woman is in charge of the household, but there is nothing traditional about me and I'm ok with that. My husband is an extraordinary cook and actually enjoys cooking. Why should I beat myself up for not being the one to prepare the family meals? That's just silly. Besides, my husband and I are a team. I'm fortunate that I don't have to do it all.
Step Two - Identify the things that I can do and make a plan. I enjoy cleaning and organizing and getting rid of (donating) things that we don't need. Each day of the week, I aim to spend 15 uninterrupted minutes cleaning and/or organizing some part of the house. I want to be realistic about what I can accomplish everyday, because at this point my son is just a little guy and he doesn't care about schedules or bedtime just yet. And my daughter could care less about the importance of cleaning. And quite frankly, by the time I get home from work... I'm tired. Plus I like to prioritize quality time with my family over and above anything domestic. So, if its time to watch Backyardigans Pirate Camp together for the 500th time, organizing the bookshelf will have to wait.
Step Three - Ask for help. I have every intention of hiring a cleaning lady. I first thought that a cleaning lady was for those who are ballin out. But after doing some preliminary research, I've discovered that having someone come in to do a deep clean is not just for the rich and famous. If hiring someone is out of the budget, recruit some loving family members and friends and have a cleaning party. Put on some good music, have some tasty snacks, and break out the cleaning cloves. I know that probably sounds pretty corny, but I bet your friends and family will love it when you do it all over again at their house next month.
I'll let you guys know how my plan works out. Who knows? Maybe by this time next month I'll be calling myself the semi-domestic diva! --Lady S.