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Homeschooling and housekeeping are jobs that don’t go together well. This is doubly true if you are a working mom. I’m sure there’s someone out there who is the Martha Stewart of homeschool moms who doesn’t have any problem trying to do quality homeschooling while keeping the house spotless.
For the rest of us, there will come a time in our homeschooling life where someone will start debating the merits of hardwood flooring versus carpet and we’ll realize that our choice was clothes.
Ok, so it’s not quite that bad (for most of us), but homeschooling really is a full-time job by itself. The more kids you have and the more extracurricular activities they do, the fuller that job feels.
A lot of homeschool moms have learned not to worry so much over a Pinterest-worthy home.
But . . .
Sometimes husbands are not on board with a messy house. I hear a story from someone several times a week about how her husband is feeling stressed out about coming home to a messy house.
I guess a husband who never stayed home, and never got to see how busy homeschool moms are all day, might have a rather difficult time understanding why everything in the house isn’t put away properly.
It’s times like those that I’m glad my husband worked at home for five years, because he saw first-hand how much work goes into homeschooling. He doesn’t complain about the house being messy. If he did, I’d thank him profusely for volunteering to help out more because I also would love to have a clean house. How fantastic to have someone else notice what needs cleaning and then clean it. After all, he loves me and wants me to feel happy that he’s home.
But . . .
I guess I should remember, too, that being at work all day is stressful, and my husband really wants to come home and relax. This isn’t about traditional gender roles or who should have to do what or who is working harder. I love my husband, and I want him to feel welcome when he comes home! Realistically, I don’t have enough hours in the day to homeschool, work, cook, and keep the house clean.
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But . . .
I’ve come up with three hacks for keeping my house clean. Or at least making it clean enough to be welcoming when my husband comes home.
How to Keep a Clean House and Homeschool
Three Homeschooling Housekeeping Half-Hacks
• Hack 1: Get rid of half your stuff. I’m not kidding. If your house is messy, you could get rid of half of your stuff and not miss it. The messiness will reduce considerably. Ask me how I know.
• Hack 2: The half-hour clean sweep. The name has to do with when you do it, not how long it takes to complete. It doesn’t take a half hour, more like 5 minutes or less! A half hour before your husband comes home, tidy the most visible that he sees when he comes home. Throw stuff in a basket or whatever, just get it out of sight. Yeah, the house is still messy, but at least someone coming home from work doesn’t have to look at it right away.
• Hack 3: Wait a half hour before you complain about anything. That goes for both of you, or all of you. Get in the habit of reuniting after a long day and thinking about the positive things in your life. Or, laughing at cat videos.
Long Term – Choose a System
The hacks above contributed the most to our domestic bliss, but in the long run you’re going to need a system. Sticking to a cleaning routine improved the situation well beyond the haphazardness method that we used to use. Pick a system, any system, and stick to it until you try something else. There are all kinds of systems for keeping your house clean. We’ve tried some, but none of them included Hermione’s time-turner, so my house is still in need of tidying.
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Remember: Their Youth Will Fly By
My kids help me with chores and cleaning. They’re enthusiastic and they like to help, but their enthusiasm is 100 times stronger than their cleaning skill level. The kids will eventually get big enough to help more with the cleaning. In the meantime, I’m reminding myself that the days of neck-hugs, weird hair-dos and dogs dressed up like princesses are currently here for my enjoyment.
Lisa Yankey is a regular contributing writer for HomeschoolSuperFreak.com and the author of the upcoming book, “The Homeschool Path to Foreign Language.” You can find her at www.highenergyhomeschool.com, on Facebook, on Pinterest, and on YouTube.
Lisa is a happy homeschooling mom of three, but she certainly never expected to homeschool. Teaching runs in her blood – she is a former public-school teacher, and her mother, father, and brother are all former public school teachers. She began homeschooling shortly after her oldest child had a disastrous start to public school first grade, and she has never looked back.
She kept her career as a part-time attorney and works for herself as a sole practitioner, with a practice area in immigration law. She is known particularly for her representation of victims of domestic abuse. She continues teaching adults as a speaker on immigration law at continuing legal education events for fellow lawyers. Lisa resides in Indiana (Hamilton County), with her husband, three children, two dogs, and a cat.
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