Thursday, 27 September 2012

Housework short cuts

Inspired by the amazing accomplishments of my dear friend Sara Lloyd, who has just written up her PhD alongside being a full-time mama, I am following some advice she gave me: get all the housework and errands done during the day.

So, if this goes according to plan I will then be able to focus my energies on writing for an hour or two when the children are in bed, rather than catching up on housework (and I might also be able to get to bed at a decent hour). The author J.K. Rowling had a similar strategy, though apparently hers involved not doing any housework at all.
I would love to cull all the housework chores. But there are time-consuming things that just need to be done (laundry, washing up, food shopping). I have already sacked off all the non-essential jobs (ironing, dusting, etc) and I have saved myself heaps of time:

1.      I order a weekly Asda home delivery 

2.      We buy easy-to-cook food (ready-chopped onions/tins of chopped fruit etc), have lots of quick meals (eg biscuits and cheese; sandwiches) and cook in bulk so that meals can be heated in the microwave the next day. We make up ready-made bags of frozen veg (using microwave steam bags) which is much easier and healthier than boiling. 

3.      I give the house a good spring clean once/twice a year (!) rather than every week

4.      We have tons of washing. It comes from having two kiddoes in cloth nappies. Each night I put the nappies on a long wash cycle so that the washing machine is free during the day for shorter cycles of washing

5.      We have a tumble dryer which I use for clothes, sheets and towels. I have four (!) airers for the cloth nappies. I would like to stop using the dryer altogether but I’m not sure where/how I’d dry the mountain of clothes
sun in September!

The downside to concentrating all my time on finishing housework during the day, of course, is that I suffer from guilty mummy syndrome.

When I’m focussing my energies on cooking or laundry, there is no time to properly play with toddler or spend quality time bonding with squish. After the housework and all the other jobs of the day (15x nappy changes; 8x milk feeds; 4x changes of clothes; 3x meals; 2x baths; 1x park run and lots of cuddles), there isn’t much time for sitting down and concentrating on playing.

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