Company Prep with Kids

Having weekend visitors always provides great motivation to clean my house. Prior to having kids, I’d spend an entire day cleaning bathrooms and bedrooms, dusting every nook and cranny, vacuuming, and scrubbing the kitchen sink. By the end of the day, the entire house would be ready for our guests. Now that I have two children under the age of five, (one of which doesn’t like being put down for more than fifteen or twenty minutes at a time) my cleaning routine has changed quite a bit. Most notably, I can no longer get all my cleaning done in one day! Instead, it takes me the better part of a week to get everything done. Here is a glimpse into how a day of cleaning goes now:


6:30 am: Wake up to the pitter-patter of little feet coming down the hall and barging into my room. Coax preschooler into crawling into bed for quiet snuggles for another thirty minutes, hoping we both fall back asleep.

6:45 am: Sleep has eluded us and the barrage of questions begins (Is Daddy in the shower? Has he already shaved? Are we going anywhere today? When are you going to get up? Can we get up now?)

7:00 am: Roll out of bed and get the baby up, changed, and dressed while the hubby gets the preschooler dressed.

7:30 am: Feed the baby while the preschooler eats breakfast.

7:45 am: Prepare my breakfast and, if lucky and time allows, brew coffee.

7:50 am: Sit down to eat breakfast and drink coffee.

7:51 am: Help preschooler go to the bathroom.

8:00 am: Sit down to resume eating breakfast and drinking coffee.

8:03 am: Search out the always elusive pacifier for the now fussing baby.

8:05 am: Sit down to finish breakfast and drink cold coffee.

8:15 am: Clean up breakfast dishes and think about getting in the shower.

8:17 am: Baby starts fussing again, postpone shower.

8:20 am: Get dressed and pull hair into ponytail in preparation for a full day of cleaning.

8:25 am: Convince preschooler that it’s really not snack time yet and if she’s already hungry she should have eaten more for breakfast.

8:26 am: Check my to-do list and make a game plan.


8:27 am: Baby is really fussy now and needs a nap. Start by bouncing baby in the bouncer to lull him to sleep.

8:30 am: Baby is still awake and will only fall asleep in my arms. Walk, bounce, and swing the baby until he falls asleep.

8:45 am: Lay baby down in crib for a nap.

8:46 am: Vacuum the room farthest away from the baby’s room with the “help” of the preschooler.

9:00 am: Try to explain to the preschooler why she can’t have any candy then deal with subsequent tantrum.

9:15 am: Baby wakes up (already!).

9:17 am: Bring baby out to kitchen. Get the preschooler all set up to “help” prepare salsa for the weekend. Pull out all ingredients needed.

9:20 am: Realize I’m missing a key ingredient. Check the clock and debate whether or not there’s enough time to run to the store before the baby needs to eat again.

9:23 am: Try to convince preschooler to go to the bathroom before leaving the house.

9:53 am: Finally have everyone ready and in the van (did the baby just poop??).

10:30 am: Drive back from the grocery store while being serenaded by a hungry, screaming baby.

10:45 am: Unload kids, change the baby’s diaper. He did poop earlier and leaked out his diaper. Change the baby’s clothes and toss aside to scrub out later.

11:00 am: Preschooler demands a snack while the hungry baby is still screaming. Get preschooler a snack.

11:05 am: Feed the baby.

11:20 am: Finish making salsa, pausing every few minutes to put the baby’s pacifier back in his mouth.

11:50 am: Notice it’s lunch time and realize you have no idea what to make.

12:00 pm: Make Mac ‘n’ Cheese, prep some fresh fruit.

12:15 pm: Get preschooler started on lunch and deal with tantrum because she doesn’t want the milk put in front of her.

12:20 pm: Baby starts fussing again. Hold the baby while trying to eat my own lunch.

1:00 pm: Clean up after lunch while baby sits in his bouncer crying (because I can’t hold him ALL DAY). Then get preschooler ready for nap.

1:10 pm: Get baby settled in for another much needed nap.

1:20 pm: Sit on couch with sleeping baby because he wakes up every time he’s put down.

1:50 pm: Baby wakes up hungry. Feed baby.

2:05 pm: Baby is happy and content to play on the floor. Tidy up toys.

2:20 pm: Preschooler wakes up early from nap. Convince her she doesn’t need a snack yet.

2:25 pm: Start dishes.

2:30 pm: Baby starts getting fussy again and needs his pacifier. Continue with dishes.

2:35 pm: Help preschooler go to the bathroom. Continue dishes.

2:40 pm: The baby’s fussiness escalates and needs to be rocked to sleep. Put him in crib.

2:55 pm: Give in and get a snack for the preschooler and set her up with a movie to keep her occupied.

3:05 pm: Drain and refill sink to resume dishes.


3:20 pm: Finish dishes as baby is waking up. Wonder when the hubby will be home from work. Play with baby and preschooler.

3:50 pm: Tidy up toys, again.

4:00 pm: Start prepping dinner with “help” from the preschooler. Baby is content to watch.


4:30 pm: Dinner is in the oven. Preschooler asks for candy then throws another tantrum when the answer is no.

4:35 pm: Preschooler has quiet time in her room so she can calm down. Finish vacuuming the rest of the house.

5:00 pm: Baby needs to eat again. Hubby arrives home.

5:15 pm: Hand baby over to daddy, set table and finish preparing dinner.

5:25 pm: Eat dinner. Take turns holding the fussy baby who didn’t get a good long nap in.

6:00 pm: Clean up dinner and wash dishes while hubby plays with kids.

6:30 pm: Play time with kids while hubby cleans bathrooms.

7:00 pm: Hubby starts bath and bedtime routine with the preschooler while I bathe the baby.

7:30 pm: Baby is ready for a nap but refuses to sleep anywhere but my arms, again.

8:00 pm: Preschooler comes downstairs to say goodnight and purposefully wakes up the baby.

8:02 pm: Get baby back to sleep.

8:15 pm: Preschooler is out of bed. Hubby puts her back to bed.

8:45 pm: Preschooler is out of bed again. Hubby puts her back to bed.

9:00 pm: Baby starts waking up. Change baby’s diaper and feed him one last time.

9:20 pm: Swaddle baby and rock him back to sleep.

9:35 pm: Put baby in his crib for the night. Put on my pajamas and get ready for bed.

9:45 pm: Kid-free time! Several options to choose from: work, cleaning, blogging, zoning out in front of the tv.

11:00 pm: Go to bed with having only accomplished a fraction of all the things I needed to get done! Realize the baby’s poopy clothes were never cleaned up. Decide to deal with that tomorrow.

Becky is a Minnesota Native and Wisconsin Badger fan living in the heart of Hawkeye Country. Since graduating from high school, she has lived in Duluth, MN; Birmingham, UK; Minneapolis, MN; Louisville, KY; and Madison, WI, but is now happy to call Iowa City home. She and her husband have been married for ten years and have a spirited four-year-old daughter and a mischievous baby boy. Becky juggles working from home and keeping two kids happy each and every day. In her free time, she enjoys working her side business, spending time with friends, relaxing with a good book, and eating snacks.


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