Housekeeper or Friend and Social Planner?

This is just one of the many battles I deal with in my journey as a stay at home mom.

I have weeks when I just stay home (besides running the kids around) and do the laundry and clean the house. I can have dinner planned and be ready to receive everyone home from school and Brad home from work. This kind of order makes me feel peaceful and in control.

I also have weeks (like last week and this week) when my calendar is full of activities. I have to run errands 1 or 2 days, we have a playdate or two scheduled, I have coffee and/or lunch with friends...these weeks are fun. However, almost every time I come home after one of these outings I feel overwhelmed by all the things that didn't get accomplished while I was out.

Is there a balance? I haven't found it yet. I have been doing this stay at home thing for 8 years now and I have yet to find a balance. I know, I know, I should enjoy my kids while they're young. I feel like, for the most part, I do that. But there are things that have to get done. The laundry and dishes are 2 things that I can't really take a break from.

This is what my laundry and kitchen duties have looked like:

Brad and I share the kitchen responsibilities. We're not structured about it. Depending on the night and who has homework and bath time, one or both of us do the dishes, wipe the counter tops and table and sweep the floor. It doesn't happen every night, but most nights we do this so we can wake up to a clean kitchen.

For the laundry, I normally take Tuesday and Wednesday and do it all. I pile it all in my bedroom floor and sort and do loads from there. I fold it all and have the kids put it away.

Today, I tried something new. I decided to do just one load at a time because I know I'm going to be busy this week. I didn't want dirty laundry sitting in my floor for a week (it's happened before), so I thought this might work better. We'll see.

My bathrooms, floors, dusting, etc. happen on a needs basis. Basically when they are screaming "clean me!"

There are still things that rarely, if ever happen...dusting my blinds and light fixtures, baseboards, showers and bathtubs. I'm just being honest. Sorry if I'm grossing you out. Somethings have to give when you have many small children and a life that runs at the pace ours does. These are the things that have given.

So, there's the honest truth. I am definitely still learning and that frustrates me sometimes. I wish I had a system that really worked consistently. I welcome any suggestions, pearls of wisdom, encouragements!


  1. I just wrote some things about this yesterday. If it's any consolation, our home runs very similarly. I start to wonder if it's just part of having young children?

  2. I don't have as many kids to run around after as you do, but with two its overwhelming sometimes. A few months ago I started doing the fly lady (she has a website under the same name) system and it has worked wonders for me. I hate doing dishes and laundry was overwhelming at any given point but now I can invite friends or family over most of the time and not worry about how messy my house is. Hope that helps!

  3. I have found that if I split up my chores throughout the week that I am able to stay on top of things more easily. Of course I don't have as much running around to do as you. In fact I've probably erred on the other side and haven't been as social because of all the things to get done at home. I started realizing though that while I had a nice clean house no one was seeing it because I was too busy keeping it clean to be social. I'm working on the balance now too... from the other side. :)


I'd love to know what you think!