A harried mom desperately needs your help!
Momlogic's Julie: Last night, I came home after a 10-hour work day. My four-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son immediately commanded my attention. My son wanted to show me how he got to a "new level" on his Wii game (whatever that means). My daughter wanted to play American Girl dolls. Luckily, my husband was cooking dinner. But the whole time I was playing with my kids and giving them the first scrap of attention they've gotten from me all day (because I leave for work before they wake up), I was thinking about the mountain of clothes that needed to be folded on the couch and the stacks of papers I needed to clean off of the dining room table. I chose to play with my kids for another thirty minutes and tried to just ignore the mess.
After dinner, homework, baths, pajamas, and storytime, it was nearly 9:30 PM, and I'd been up since 5:30 AM. I was exhausted. I knew my husband and I should spend some time doing the mountain of dishes in the sink and folding those clothes I mentioned earlier ('cause they weren't going to fold themselves), but I was too damn tired. We crawled into bed with a guilty feeling, knowing the house was a pit.
Is there a solution? One parenting expert says to give kids 15 minutes of your undivided attention when you get home, then start multi-tasking again. But don't the kids get screwed in that scenario? I've just given my employer 10 hours of my undivided attention, and my kids get a lousy 15 minutes? That just doesn't seem fair.
Others have told me to "make cleaning a game." My kids do chores and they do help out, but they don't want to play "scrub the plates" or "fold the T-shirts" every day, especially when they haven't seen Mommy all day ... and I don't blame them. Yet, I don't want them to grow up in a pigsty either.
My question to working moms is: When do you find time to clean? Because, during the week, I just can't seem to. And then my weekends are spent doing household chores, which isn't exactly my favorite way to spend a Saturday. Short of getting a housekeeper (which I just can't afford), what's the solution? I'm all ears!