So, apparently babies are time consuming. At least that’s what my wife tells me 🙂
I felt bad for her. Helen really likes keeping the house clean. Her grandmother is a German, Martha Stewart type whose house is always spotless and who always has freshly baked cookies whenever you walk in the door, and her mom is one of the most super-organized and clean people I know (although with 6 daughters in the house it was always an up-hill battle against the clutter monster). Helen inherited the love of a clean house as well as a healthy dose of realistic expectations when you’ve got kids and lots of company.
Kaylee, however, didn’t care how clean the house was. She just wanted to be held. And played with. And fed. And changed. All the time. Naptime was consistent for daughter and her hard-working mother. Leaving virtually no time for chores. 🙁
One of the best things we did since we got moved into our house was hire a Mother’s Helper. Helen knew a young lady from church who loved babies and wanted to get experience taking care of them. She’s in 7th grade and is one of the sweetest young ladies we know. She only charges a few dollars an hour because she sees it as a ministry and a learning experience. In return, Helen feds her lunch and helps her with schoolwork when baby goes down for a nap. She comes over once a week on “Chore Day” and saves our bacon. We love her.
The other thing we did (which has been a life saver) was turn our unused dining room into a playpen. It sits right between the kitchen and the living room (the most heavy traffic rooms of the house), so Helen can see Kaylee whether she’s cooking or on the computer. We took out all the furniture, covered the outlets, and put in all her toys, her port-a-crib, a nursing chair, and a changing mat. Kaylee is perfectly happy to play in there for long periods of time. She doesn’t feel caged in like she does in her crib and she can still see and “talk” to mommy. Helen said she felt like her hands were her own again after we set that up!
We’re just first-timers (and both only 22), so we know we have a lot to learn. Solutions like these are probably obvious to most people, but they were a revelation for us! Discovering what works and doesn’t work for our family is such a fun journey. It also helps to have super-supportive family nearby 🙂
What kinds of things did you do to try and get stuff done while tiny people were crawling up your legs?