Monday, June 20, 2011

Pregnancy, Summer, and Cleaning

Few things combine worse than pregnancy, summer, and cleaning.  Depending on the stage of pregnancy, you don't feel good, or you feel too big to bend down easily, and since it's summer, it's hot, which is also hard to deal with during pregnancy.

But even if you're not pregnant, few of us want to be inside cleaning when it's a beautiful summer day outside. Plus, as moms, if our children are outside playing, it's not realistic to be inside all day working through a list of chores. We need to be keeping an eye on them.

So is the solution to just let our houses go all summer long?

While that could work if everyone's super relaxed, it may backfire when you start sticking to the watermelon and popsicle drips on the kitchen floor, or when you feel like the beach is inside because of all the sand that's been tracked in, or when your kids start studying ant houses in your house.

I think there's realistic way to make it all work. First, relegate cleaning tasks to short little mini-bursts. So many jobs truly take less than 30 seconds: wiping out a sink, grabbing a microfiber cloth and wiping a mirror or window, wiping down the counter, sweeping the floor, scrubbing a toilet, etc. Do them when you have a quick burst of energy, or even when you don't--just get it done. It won't take long. Do a bit here and there throughout the day.

Second, delegate to little helpers. This is why I love using natural cleaning products, like baking soda. I can give any one of my kids a little dish of baking soda and a cloth and ask them to sprinkle it in the sink and wipe it with a cloth. It won't hurt their hands, like a cleaner such as Comet might. Sure, some of the jobs may not look like they were performed at the hands of an adult, but at least the job is done (kind of), and the kids are learning responsibility and how to help out at home.

Third, I find it helpful to tackle any bigger jobs (such as mopping the floor) right away as the day begins. If you go to bed at night knowing which big chore you'll do first thing in the morning, you can just get it done (while it's still cool outside) and have the rest of the day to enjoy outside if you'd like.

This is how I'm attempting to keep our house somewhat under control while in my third trimester during the summer months. What works for you?


  1. I'm very much in my 3rd trimester, reaching the end. In fact I was on bed-rest of a few weeks and you don't want to know what my house looked like then. It appears that everyone who lives here thinks that I'm the only one that has to clean anything. The rest of the members of this household are all male, and three out of four of them are under age 4. :p This will be my first little girl.

    I am just now starting school again for this term too. So what I find I have to do is have a schedule and stick to it as closely as possible. It doesn't matter what we do during the day, as long as the children have eaten dinner between 5 and 6 pm, and are in bed at 7 pm. I find that having a little bedtime routine works wonders. Then I will tackle the dishes, and the floors, and then study. Any other job that hasn't been done by then won't get done because I have to study.

    Soon, my little girl will be born and will throw my plan out the window. The other idea is to have a small house. :p

  2. I am also in my third trimester. I have begun cleaning the bathroom while my almost 1 year old plays in the bathtub. Then after she's out and put to bed I can quickly scrub out the tub. She has fun, and I can get somthing done at the same time! :)