Getting the housework done during the school holidays is one of those things we think is almost impossible. As a stay-at-home mum, with kids who are usually at school, you get the housework done most days. But when they’re home? Not so much. The dishes pile up. The washing mountain is looking more like Everest every day. And dust coats just about every surface.
Add to that the fact that you’re looking forward to one or two lie-ins, or giving up the usual morning routine for a more relaxed one, and the housework ends up being last on your list.
But getting the housework done during the school holidays isn’t as impossible as we first think. If you just set yourself targets…
I'M A HOUSEWIFE: I SPEND FAR MORE TIME ON HOUSEWORK THAN ANYTHING ELSE. Annie Dillard
During the school holidays your days start with making yourself get out of bed to make breakfast for everyone, resenting the fact that you didn't get your lie in. Making breakfast results in mess, plates and dishes to clean and food to put away. The daily trudge begins and you're just not ready for it.
But can I give you a tip?
Do the housework in the school holidays
It sucks sometimes, I know. Getting up in a morning and realising you’ve got a ton of work to do before you can even think about the day’s activities. But rather than leaving it for the end of the day, or even for tomorrow, why not just get on with it?
Get the laundry folded. Get the ironing done. And then it's done!
There's nothing worse than entering a kitchen to find messy counter tops and dirty dinner plates everywhere. With five minutes of cleaning when breakfast is over you’ll save yourself doing an hour of tidying later.
I have been known to leave dishes on the counter tops. They mount up until I have to put the dishwasher on twice before having it all done and even then I have to spend ages washing pans that won't fit into the dishwasher. Sometimes I really don't want to do the housework.
But do you know what always happens? I hate myself when I leave them because it's more work. It uses up time I could be using on self-care, or even spending time with my boys (given that it's the holidays!).
Doing the housework little and often during the holidays will result in a tidier home and a happier you. You won't have to spend hours cleaning and you have more time for yourself AND your kids. Try making a shorter to-do list that you can use to check things off as you go.
Don't ease up on the kids in the school holidays
It may be the school holidays but that doesn't mean you should let them get away with not doing their chores. In fact it's more important they do them during the holidays than when they're at school. You have to do chores daily, no matter what's going on, so they should too.
Older kids can tackle the vacuuming no problem.
There's plenty of time for playing their games during the holidays, but if you also let them off with the chores there's more work for YOU and that's not fair. The holidays are for spending time together, not for them to watch you do their chores.
WHEN IT COMES TO HOUSEWORK THE ONE THING NO BOOK OF HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT CAN EVER TELL YOU IS HOW TO BEGIN. OR MAYBE I MEAN WHY. Katharine Whitehorn
You could rope them all in to get the housework done in the school holidays. Your youngest can help you load the washing machine or the dryer while your eldest does the vacuuming. Tidying bedrooms could be done before they even go downstairs in a morning. And the Hubby? Well he can do the dishes of course!
You could even try making the game-playing a reward for doing chores. If chores aren’t done there’s no time for playing video games.
During the school holidays my boys' gaming time is dependent on them completing their chores. If chores aren't done there's no game time, and although they complain when they can't play they know why.
Get the housework done and there’s no pressure
The most important thing during the school holidays though is to give yourself a break.
Spend time playing with your kids, and enjoy the holidays!
It's not only a chance for your kids to get away from school but it's also a chance for you to have a holiday too. Yes, there’s still housework to do but it's not essential to have the house looking pristine before you step out of the door.
Give the kitchen a quick tidy in a morning and leave it at that. Your kids want to see you having fun too, so let go of the day-to-day pressures and enjoy time off.
WHAT TIPS WOULD YOU GIVE TO HELP OTHERS GET THEIR HOUSEWORK DONE DURING THE HOLIDAYS?
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