If you’re reading this post you are either, waiting for the call to say you have a match and you don’t know what to do with yourself.
You’re matched and little one will be coming home soon. Or they are already home and you’re struggling to stay on top of things.
We are 3 years into our forever family. Life has become hectic, and housework is spiralling out of control. So I’ve taken a step back and I’m going to tackle this before it I implode.
Here are 2 of my go to women for cleaning and decluttering. You may have heard of them (Netflix has helped Marie become a household name). Here is why I think they are great and how they maybe able to help you pre and post adoption.
I have been interested in the Marie Kondo (Konmari) approach to decluttering / tidying for a few years and have folded cubs clothes in this particular way as it helped fit all his clothes into his draws (and he had a lot!!! However it’s only been the last few months that I’ve really become obsessed with storage (I’ve always loved it, but now I’m heading to another level!).
The Marie Kondo approach to sorting out your house, in a very simplistic view, is to sort through your belongings and really ask yourself, does it spark joy? Is it useful? Do you use it? If you answer no to any of that then thank it and get rid (either to charity, sell or the bin). You can find out more on her website https://konmari.com or by watching her Netflix programme.
Photo by @ourlittleplaynest
Why will Marie Kondo help you? Basically these kids either come with a ton of toys and clothes or they end up with a ton of toys and clothes. Then there is all the snacks, lunch box fillers, bags for nursery, swimming, etc. I could go on and on. So if you’re cupboards are full, you’ll need to sort them out to make room!
Personally I would look at their rooms (or the room that will be theirs) and make sure there is enough space to store clothes which fit and don’t fit yet (you’ll get a lot of those).
Room for toys for now and when they are older (or you may choose to do a rotation system).
I would buy under the bed storage boxes so things don’t get dusty, and storage boxes for the cupboards too.
Photo by @gridandglam
Then there is the bathroom (or where ever you store your medicine). Make sure there is somewhere safe, but easily accessed by you at 3am, to house the whole of the pharmacy. You may want to separate you’re medicines from theirs. Being able to grab a basket of children’s medicines quickly will really help in the middle of the night.
We have the plastic stackable draws for our medicines, cubs medicines and the animals. It’s labelled and always stocked with calpol!
Photo by @sparkjoywithhelen
Kitchen, I have just got some bathroom storage baskets from Home Bargains (only available in the shop, not online) to house cubs lunch box items and to sort out my cupboards which helps the evening meal because we all know where everything is neatly (photos to follow).
So you get the idea, where ever you can, get your storage sorted and make sure there is plenty of room for them to move in and their belongings feel like they fit and they are precious.
Now onto the cleaning. This is something I have really struggled with. The house will quickly look like a bombs hit it but by using The Organised Mum Method (and therefore becoming a member of Team TOMM) hopefully it will be clean and manageable even with little people.
Gemma The Organised Mum ( Team TOMM)
Gemma has come up with a genius way to clean the house and not have to do it all at the weekend. The idea works on a basis on a daily 15 minute quick tidy and a 30 session focussed on one area of the house a day. Here is the link to her website https://www.theorganisedmum.blog Gemma says with this method you won’t need a cleaner and it won’t take you ages, and I 100% believe her.
My cousin sent me a link in the summer and I started with the boot camp. It’s full on and if you have got child free time I highly recommend it. You can find all the sheets (weekly jobs and boot camp) to download for free here https://www.theorganisedmum.blog/free-printables/
I am now starting to use the daily jobs and I will let you know how I get on. Gemma gets all her jobs done first thing. I am hoping to do a mix of both. Half of it done in the morning 6am (cub shouldn’t wake until around 6:30) then the rest when I get home. At least then I will feel like I’ve achieved something in the day!
You can also follow Gemma on Instagram using @the_organised_mum she has a ton of tips and tricks on there to help you.
I have 2 more tips that kept me sane in the early months.
Planning meals and batch cooking. I spent the first Sunday of the month in the kitchen, cub would have a Daddy and Son day and I would make up lots of our favourite foods (mainly mince based) and pop them in the freezer. This helped so much and meant a few nights a week I didn’t have to cook or have loads of washing up.
The final thing I do is as close to the 1st of the month I go through our budget, discuss any birthdays coming up or big events and make sure we are both aware of what’s going on.
The final bit of advice I would give to couples where one stays at home when the other is at work is... for the person at work, yes your partner has been at home all day, but they haven’t been on a spa holiday. They may not have managed to drink a hot drink, wee in peace or managed to eat lunch. They may have tidied 50 million times and 5 minutes before you walked through the door all hell broke out or they just had an amazing day. Don’t get cross or irritated if when you walk through the door they throw the child(ren) at you and run and hide in the loo. If you want 5 minutes to yourself at the end of the day, park down the road and take a breather. Then go home and be present, get stuck in and relax when the kids are in bed (if they sleep).
Person who has been at home with the child(ren). Your partner has been at work all day, they will be tired and maybe had a stressful day as well. Give them a couple of minutes to wind down from work, ask if they have had a nice day. This honestly worked wonders for us and helped stop that competition of who is the most tired and deserves 5 minutes off duty. Give each other time to quickly recharge.
So to end this now very long post, best thing I would suggest is to get into a routine, so that when little ones arrive it’s set in stone. If your home and heart is already full, just give it a go. Get the kids involved and let me know how you get on. Finally, appreciate each other, parenting is hard enough, we need to support each other through it.