Why I Can’t Let Chores Wait

Clean white kitchen with open shelves, full spring blooms! Talking keeping a clean house when you have babies and toddlers on the blog today. Outer order, inner calm! Keeping a clean home with little kids helps my sanity and postpartum anxiety. You don't have to let the chores wait!
Blooms by Leah Erickson Floral after Inez’s baby shower

One of the most popular pieces of advice for postpartum moms is to let their house go. We’ve all heard it. That you should be snuggling your baby, not doing the dishes! Well, I can’t let it go, I’ve tried and I can’t. Also, I don’t know who they think is going to come do your dishes, but okay. Recently, we did a newborn photoshoot in our home. The wonderful photographer, Chelsea Macor, blogged about our session, asking how it was possible that our home was so spotless. Afterall, we have a one month old and a not yet two year old! It made me realize that I get that question a lot. A lot, a lot. So I thought I’d explain here.

One of my favorite sayings by the happiness guru, Gretchen Rubin is “outer order, inner calm.”  This is me in a nutshell. I clean a little bit all day long as messes occur, and finish up once the babies are in bed for the night. I just can’t let things go at my house. I mean, I can on a rare occasion. Like when my husband promises me he’ll do it and asks me to quit driving him nuts with all my tidying. Poor guy can never find his water glass because I already put it in the dishwasher.

Every morning I am jolted awake by a crying baby. And if the first thing I see as I’m walking through the kitchen is smelly dishes and toy dump trucks, it makes me even more stressed. I wish it didn’t you guys, but it does. I’m not neglecting my kids to go clean baseboards, but I do like for my house to be tidy. In this chaotic state of having two kids under two years old, I need to have a little order in my life. And this is how I find it.

We don’t have a house cleaner, never have. So if you see a photo that I posted of our clean home, that’s because I cleaned it, and it made me happy. I do it because it is a priority to me to have my environment be peaceful. Having a newborn and a toddler can put any mom into a bit of an anxious state. Now, I’m not saying I need a xanax prescription just yet, but this is one of the ways that I keep my anxiety in check. (Side note, another way I keep from feeling anxious is by turning off all of my phone notifications. Yes, even text messages.)

Every mom is different of course, and this is simply what works for me. Also, my kids are still young, so perhaps I’ll be eating my words in a few years. I just wanted to give a different perspective on that age-old piece of advice. And I also wanted to clarify that my house is not spotless because I am some supermom. It’s clean because I am a neat freak who is trying to find a little slice of calm in her day with two little ones.

What about you? Can you let the chores wait?



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  1. I can’t stand a dirty, chaotic house so, this is ME all the way! I totally get it. For some, sleeping during naptime is restful, for me- it’s taking care of stuff! I understand this all the way!

    1. Thank you for writing that Angela! I almost didn’t post this because I didn’t want it to come across as pompous. But it sounds like we have a lot in common!

  2. I am the same way! A dirty house especially a dirty kitchen gives me anxiety. I need order and things in there spots, and it’s really not that hard to keep a tidy house if you clean up as you go. I clean when Jericho is sleeping as well. When I was pregnant and people would say to me ” when you have a kid your house will never be clean and you’ll be on time” it drove me nuts! Because it doesn’t have to be that way! I’m glad to know I’m not the only persom who gets stressed about this.

    1. People would say the same to me to and it freaked me out! Like I would never live in a peaceful, clean environment again. But, you’re totally right, it is doable! If it’s a priority to you of course 🙂

  3. It really is so personal. I really appreciate how you explained that it is about prioritizing. I think during the newborn phase I needed sleep AND I had to have an organized house. I cleaned and organized like crazy when we came home from the hospital with Rufus. I have been living a little bit of the slob life recently, but now that summer is over and we will be in the house so much more, I have got to adjust my habits.

  4. Heidi, I can relate to your tidy house thoughts, even as I get older and don’t have little ones it is important to me too, there is something very satisfying and tranquil having a tidy house! Well done, Mom of 2 littleones hats off to you for being true to what you value in life!❤️

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