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How can a successfully balance the desire to have a clean house and the quality time I want to spend with my kids and still have time for me and my husband?

I seem to either spend all day cleaning and my kids become very disruptive because (of course) they want moms attention, or I spend all day or several days in a row playing with my kids and then my house is a disaster when company comes. I need a balance because I feel like I can't sit down and do something I want to do, like scrapbook or read, because my house is a mess and my kids are starving for my attention. I would love advice from someone who has young kids (or who has had young kids) and has been able to keep a clean house. I don't need to live in a hospital but I want to be able to let people into my house with out feeling embarrassed about what it looks like.

Answer Question

Asked by smily2002_03 at 11:54 AM on Jul. 22, 2010 in Home & Garden

Level 3 (18 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • Well I never minded a disaster of my house. I would always pick up, and do stuff daily, but my house has never been spotless, especailly when the kids were young. My mother in law (who's house is always spotless) said that she envied my house because you could tell that kids lived and played there

    Answer by Zakysmommy at 11:56 AM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • When you figure it out please let me know because I'm exhausted at the end of the day

    Answer by shortleo at 11:58 AM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • How old are your kids?
    It was harder for me when my daughter was younger, but once she was around 18 months or two or so, she just helped me. Now, she's 5 1/2 and has her own chores to do. We clean together so we can play together. :-)
    Even littler kids can help. When putting dishes away, give them the spoons and plastic type stuff that they can't break or hurt themselves with to put away if it's in their reach.
    Set a timer and tell everyone to pitch in and that if you get a room done before the timer goes off, then everyone will play a game together.
    Have your time with your husband once the kids are in bed, go on date nights (even if it's just having dinner later alone and watching a movie in the living room).
    Play with the kids for a while, then tell them it's solo time, and get them set up with something they like (coloring, painting, a movie), and do your own thing.

    Answer by Kiwismommy19 at 12:00 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • Make yourself a schedule and just do a little each day. For example, on Monday's I clean all 3 bathrooms, Tuesday's we do bedrooms, Wednesday's I do the entire main floor (dust, sweep, mop, vacuum, etc), and Thursdays I do the same to the upstairs, except the bedrooms cause they were cleaned on Tuesday. I never manage to get my laundry caught up, but I know doing 1 load a day would be helpful (sometimes we pay someone to come in and help with the laundry). Before bed every night, pick up toys or anything that was left out during the day. Something my kids can't always wrap their heads around is cleaning up whatever you are playing with before you move on to the next thing. If it doesn't get cleaned up, I take it and put it up for a while. Just remember your kids will only be young once and there's plenty of time for a spotless and clean house when they are older :)


    Answer by momjoy1027 at 12:01 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • Easy - Eliminate the desire for a clean house!

    Answer by KLBrown at 12:06 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • I used Flylady! You can find out more about her at  She's done the work of dividing housework into zones and daily lists that allow a person to spend minutes at a time a few times a day, maybe an extra hour a week to do the zone cleaning, and be able to have a neat home that's pretty clean and presentable. 

    Love your babies!  They're more important than a spotless house.  ~hugs~


    Answer by michiganmom116 at 12:33 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • Take advantage of nap time, when they are at school or after they go to sleep (or combination thereof) to tidy up, do what you enjoy doing, or spend time with your husband.

    I always focus on keeping the main floor clean--for the inevitable pop-over! I get to bedrooms and the upstairs bathrooms when time permits. The basement/playroom is last on my priority list--because I can close the door and not look at the mess! LOL

    Do one chore each day--ie: dusting and polishing furniture, windows/glass one day, sweeping/mopping/vacuuming, another.

    Answer by LoriKeet at 4:12 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • Is there an alternate universe? Just kidding, I solved the problem when my kids were young by hiring a twice a month maid service.

    Answer by tasches at 7:51 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • if guest come to your house and complain then they are not your friends. that's what a friend would say to me. try to make time for yourself to read even if it is 5 at a time. try to make clean up games with your children and at the same time clean. he your children are old enough then a chore chart will be great. good luck.

    Answer by sodapple at 8:39 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • Regularity. This means taking time to clean every sinlge day. It seems like a huge thing but really.... if you keep up on it the amount of time spent cleaning is minimilized. I have a 3 yr. old and a 1 month old. Take one day to do a BIG clean project (like wipe out the fridge, or go OCD on the bathrooms) and the rest days to clean up as you go. And if you make sure the house is straightened before you go to bed each night, it makes it easier the next day.

    Answer by ethans_momma06 at 2:26 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

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