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Advice on juggling newborn, toddler & housework?


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#1 Aimless

Posted 23 November 2010 - 08:22 AM

I need help, tips and advice on how to deal with an unsettled newborn, a clingy toddler and getting the housework done.

Our schedule at the moment is:

I take both boys out in the morning for a couple of hours. By 12noon, we're at home. I feed DS2 and settle him, while trying to stop DS1 from climbing the stairs. I then try to play with DS1 who refuses to take his day nap. Every 20 minutes, I will have to go up to DS2 to resettle him, which may take 10 minutes, again trying to stop DS1 from following me. If DS2 can't be settled within 10 minutes, I take him downstairs and put him on the swing where he proceeds to fuss because he's clearly tired.

While all this is going on, I will somehow find the time to cook, and do a general clean up of the kitchen, but that's about it.

I'd love to have time to get a couple more chores in - like vacuuming and mopping tiles but I just can't get the time.

Also, I've tried wearing DS2 but I find this really inconvenient as the carrier gets in the way of doing things. I can't do any of the chores at night because I go to bed early for the night feeds.

How do you juggle all three without help from anyone?

#2 Cat's Pyjamas

Posted 23 November 2010 - 09:18 AM

I feel your pain! At least you are getting dinner cooked! I wasn't in the early weeks... it was all about Steam fresh veges and frozen schnitzel or something that took no time!  Now that DD2 is 10 weeks old, she is a bit more settled, but still won't sleep unless I have her in the carrier... I can at least sweep with her in the carrier, and have got DD1 (23mos) helping me clean with a wet cloth to keep her occupied while I am trying to get stuff done as she likes helping.

DD1 'helps' me hang out the washing (I use racks inside at the moment, as I find it too hard to bend with DD1 in the carrier to use the clothesline).

I don't even attempt vacuuming until the weekends when DH is home, and have learned to live with it. (just).


DD1 eats her dinner earlier than DH and I during the week, and if I haven't prepared anything for her on time I generally give her leftovers from the night before or if I'm lazy steamfresh veges and pasta or rice.

my house is far from perfect, but I have come a long way from those early weeks...

#3 Magenta Ambrosia

Posted 23 November 2010 - 09:26 AM

Other than making sure they're changed and fed regularly I take a deep breath and accept it will be chaos until DD2 is around 1. Oh and I make sure DH does most of it biggrin.gif

#4 item

Posted 23 November 2010 - 09:26 AM

Is there some way you could put DS2 to sleep downstairs?  A spare bassinet or in the pram etc?  If there is a study or dining room door you could shut to keep DS1 away (or else just put DS2 in the pram in a playpen or something) it might help with the up and down etc and maybe safe a bit of time and sanity.

#5 Vicotira

Posted 23 November 2010 - 09:27 AM

i juggle a newborn and housework by making my husband:

make dinner
do the dishes
do some of the washing (ie he turns on a load so all i have do to is hang it out, then he gets it in at the end of the day and folds it and puts it away, including cloth nappies)

once a week during a morning nap i vacuum. every other week i clean the bathroom. my husband keeps the kitchen clean when he cooks dinner and washes up.

make your husband do more stuff! going to work is the easier half of parenting i'd say.

#6 LottieCait

Posted 23 November 2010 - 09:31 AM

My only advice is to not stress about the housework.  Trust me, it does get easier.

When DD2 was born, DD1 was only 15 months so for the first 6 months or so I struggled to keep up with everything.  I would always feed both girls before we had dinner so that they were in bed so I could at least cook and eat in peace.  I tried to just give myself one 'goal' per day.  Say, Monday would be kitchen day, Tuesday was bedrooms etc.  That way even if it took me all day to finish one room, I felt like I had at least accomplished something! happy.gif

Nowdays with a 4, 2 and 6 week old I have had to employ the same tactics again.

#7 treeee

Posted 23 November 2010 - 09:36 AM

I was going to come in with a quipped reply of 'get a cleaner' but honestly that's not helpful, sorry original.gif

Does DS1 like books at all? Would he enjoy doing 'big boy' things like flick through a pile of books for some quiet time in his room (or somewhere you feel is appropriate) while you're with DS2?

I'm not sure if the 2 boys share rooms or not.. If they do, could you do a bedtime story for both, as your holding DS2 and DS1 is in his bed (it may tire him out enough to have a daysleep)?

I've not been in your situation as my two have a bigger age gap, so the older one is generally more reasonable.

The early days are a lot harder, so in all seriousness if you really can't get some outside help for the floors, then the only thing I'd suggest is maybe doing a quick vacuum for the high traffic areas only more frequently at night (I usually do this either first thing in the morning or at night and find it only takes around 10mins).

Not much help, sorry ....

#8 Holly Hobbie

Posted 23 November 2010 - 09:39 AM

This will settle down, try not to stress.

I left as much as I could until the weekend when DH was home and made sure I had easy meals in the freezer like frozen quiches, lasagne etc so if things got too hectic all that needed to be done was throw that in the oven/microwave.

#9 CallMeFeral

Posted 23 November 2010 - 09:39 AM

QUOTE (Magenta Ambrosia @ 23/11/2010, 10:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Other than making sure they're changed and fed regularly I take a deep breath and accept it will be chaos until DD2 is around 1. Oh and I make sure DH does most of it biggrin.gif


This!

With the carrier thing, you could try a backpack style one - ergo once they are past about 3 months (unless small), and till then if you have a hugabub type swathe of material, you can learn to tie it in a newborn back carry that supports their head on youtube - there's a lady there who has videos on every sort of tie you can imagine. I tried this when DS was unsettled - then my aunt showed up to help me so I didn't have to use it - but I would have otherwise (not to get housework done, mind, just to run after DD with arms and front free!)

#10 Aimless

Posted 23 November 2010 - 09:47 AM

Thanks, all.

QUOTE
I feel your pain! At least you are getting dinner cooked! I wasn't in the early weeks... it was all about Steam fresh veges and frozen schnitzel or something that took no time! Now that DD2 is 10 weeks old, she is a bit more settled, but still won't sleep unless I have her in the carrier... I can at least sweep with her in the carrier, and have got DD1 (23mos) helping me clean with a wet cloth to keep her occupied while I am trying to get stuff done as she likes helping.


LOL. Sorry, I keep saying newborn. DS2 is 11 weeks. DS1 is 2 years old.

QUOTE
I make sure DH does most of it


QUOTE
i juggle a newborn and housework by making my husband:
make dinner
do the dishes
do some of the washing (ie he turns on a load so all i have do to is hang it out, then he gets it in at the end of the day and folds it and puts it away, including cloth nappies)


DH doesn't get home from work until 6pm, after which we have dinner and he puts DS1 to bed while I put DS2 to bed. He then washes the dishes afterwards. On the weekends, funnily enough, DS1 gets even more cilngy, especially to DH that by the middle of the day, DH is totally tired and doesn't have the energy to clean up. sad.gif
QUOTE
Is there some way you could put DS2 to sleep downstairs?


DS2 gets distracted really easily and DS1 is quite loud. DS2 also doesn't sleep anywhere but in his cot.

QUOTE
I tried to just give myself one 'goal' per day. Say, Monday would be kitchen day, Tuesday was bedrooms etc. That way even if it took me all day to finish one room, I felt like I had at least accomplished something


This is actually a good idea. Today and yesterday, I was doing just that - except that I've had to split one chore into 2 days (ie I vacuumed yesterday and I still haven't finished).

QUOTE
Does DS1 like books at all? Would he enjoy doing 'big boy' things like flick through a pile of books for some quiet time in his room (or somewhere you feel is appropriate) while you're with DS2?


He used to like books and we've even bought him an iPad which used to occupy him for hours. But because of the new baby, he doesn't want to feel left out - something I find weird because I spend so much time with him already.

#11 Aimless

Posted 23 November 2010 - 09:48 AM

QUOTE (Holly Hobbie @ 23/11/2010, 10:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This will settle down, try not to stress.

I left as much as I could until the weekend when DH was home and made sure I had easy meals in the freezer like frozen quiches, lasagne etc so if things got too hectic all that needed to be done was throw that in the oven/microwave.


The whole family has been living on easy meals for 2.5 months. Today is actually the first time I've managed to cook a pasta bake!

#12 Guest_missmeow_*

Posted 23 November 2010 - 09:49 AM

Don't stress the small stuff. Have small clear goals. I am still doing this & DS is now 6 months.
e.g. Mon - kitchen, Tues - bathroom etc By breaking it down it was more achievable and less daunting. I struggled a lot with getting housework done and if it didn't get done so be it. I would rather happy kids than a clean house any day. We also had a LOT of take aways  blush.gif
Do you have good support people? This will make all the difference. I also used my Baby Bjorn heaps but DS is a big boy & is too heavy now for long periods so back to running around like a mad woman at sleep times with DD helping me to clean.

#13 Aimless

Posted 23 November 2010 - 09:49 AM

QUOTE (CallMeAl @ 23/11/2010, 10:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This!

With the carrier thing, you could try a backpack style one - ergo once they are past about 3 months (unless small), and till then if you have a hugabub type swathe of material, you can learn to tie it in a newborn back carry that supports their head on youtube - there's a lady there who has videos on every sort of tie you can imagine. I tried this when DS was unsettled - then my aunt showed up to help me so I didn't have to use it - but I would have otherwise (not to get housework done, mind, just to run after DD with arms and front free!)


I'll give this one a go once DS2 is 3 months or is big enough to be able to be carried on the back. I have an ergo, thank goodness.

#14 Aimless

Posted 23 November 2010 - 09:51 AM

QUOTE (missmeow @ 23/11/2010, 10:49 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Don't stress the small stuff. Have small clear goals. I am still doing this & DS is now 6 months.
e.g. Mon - kitchen, Tues - bathroom etc By breaking it down it was more achievable and less daunting. I struggled a lot with getting housework done and if it didn't get done so be it. I would rather happy kids than a clean house any day. We also had a LOT of take aways  blush.gif
Do you have good support people? This will make all the difference. I also used my Baby Bjorn heaps but DS is a big boy & is too heavy now for long periods so back to running around like a mad woman at sleep times with DD helping me to clean.


I have my MIL who comes to spend time with DS2 from 4pm to 6pm. I then take out DS1 for some one-on-one time. If DS2 is particularly settled, she'll sweep the floors and wash whatever is in the sink so I'm quite happy with that.

#15 MadamFrou-Frou

Posted 23 November 2010 - 09:53 AM

It's really hard. Some things that helped me were:

- A sling (sometimes just to help settle DD then I would put her down)

- A slow cooker, so you can put dinner on in the morning or at midday when both the kids are more settled

- The one-room per day thing works sometimes but I also found it meant we never had an entirely tidy house. I just prioritised clean dishes, clean clothes and food on the table and gave up on the rest

- Can you put your toddler in occasional care one morning a week, or have a relative babysit so you can do housework?

- Television! It's what ABC Kids was designed for  ph34r.gif

- Can you enforce quiet time in your toddler's room after lunch if he won't sleep? It doesn't work for my son but works for other kids.




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