As a working Mum, I used to spend far more time at home doing household chores than actually spending time with my family. Weekends were usually a case of grabbing takeaway after work on the Friday, cleaning the house on the Saturday and making a roast lunch the next day. The house never seemed to be properly clean and the laundry was never complete.
It wasn’t always like this for me. Before the kids came along, my partner and I lived in relative harmony. There were always a few minutes to spare in the evenings to sort out washing, drying and ironing clothes and the cleaning was not such a mammoth task. Post-children however, things are very different.
For one thing, there are always kids’ toys, books and games lying around the house. My children are quite helpful and will put away items if asked, but they are too little to be expected to remember to do so unprompted. Then there’s the question of trying to fit in time to make two evening meals and to hear all three of the read, then to give each of them a bath and get them ready for bed, which can be quite a challenge. The washing up is usually the last thing I do before bed and I groan every Saturday morning at the six or seven loads of washing that need to be done.
This was the case until quite recently, when I decided enough was enough. I decided to hire a cleaner to clean the house on a Friday, ready for the weekend, and planned to take proactive steps to reduce the laundry load. I invested in some stylish laundry hampers for each of the bedrooms in the house, and a large laundry basket and dryer to keep in the kitchen. Now all I need to do is wash one set of laundry per day and I know everything is done by the weekend, except for the sheets which I can do in one hit.
It sounds silly, but I feel like organizing the laundry has actually taken more pressure off me than hiring a cleaner. I used to panic that we wouldn’t have any decent clothes to wear at the weekend and that the children wouldn’t have their school uniform ready for Monday. Now I can actually relax on a Saturday morning and just do one quick wash before I’m free.
Putting a laundry basket in each of the children’s bedrooms has also given them more of a sense of responsibility. They know that Mummy will be doing their washing on a certain day of the week, so they have to remember to put all their clothes in by that day. I’m actually very impressed with how sensible my oldest son is being about this – who knows he might be the person responsible for the laundry in his own house in the future!