Keeping a Tidy Home is Easy If You Stay Home With Your Kids

Sticky floors.

Dirty hands.

Crumbs galore.

I was having a conversation with another mom the other day when the topic of our homes came up. She was talking about how those who stay home with their kids are able to keep a tidy home since they are physically at their home during the day, and she just doesn’t have time to clean her home since she is away at work.

As she was speaking, I thought about what a typical day looks like in our home…

I thought about the mornings with the spilled milk, the sweeping of cereal and egg chunks, and the pajamas and underwear sprawled across the floor. I thought of the toys, or bag of spilled flour in the pantry, that occupy the baby while I do my daughter’s hair. I thought of the un-maid beds, the dishes in the sink, and the wet towels on the floor.

I thought about snack time and the squeezie pouch the baby didn’t make into his mouth and how he likes to hold his bottle upside down and watch the milk drip out either on his tray, the floor, or his shirt. I thought about the toys that are brought out again and scattered throughout the house and the egg shells covered in yoke the baby pulls out of the trashcan.

Then comes running some errands which include picking up items thrown out of shopping carts, wiping up the bottle that was somehow opened and spilled, and the 234 goldfish that cover the floor of the car. Once home for lunch, I thought about the sandwich goop that my son smears on the table as he makes his sandwich, the orange peels that are 100% of the time dropped to the floor, the glass of spilled water and the 100 bits of food the baby has catapulted off his tray. I thought about the 89 toys that are again pulled out to entertain before nap. I thought about the crayon marks that somehow manage to color our carpet, the kinetic sand that hides in every crevice of our table, and the mud tracks that lead from the back door all the way upstairs.

I thought about the 65 toys that are brought out again after nap. And all of the condiments the baby pulls out of the fridge or the Tupperware that he so nicely arranges while I prep dinner. And the pile of nicely folded clothes that are tipped out of the basket and played in. And the toy that was just dropped in the toilet. And the pile of blankets that are now a fort covering our living room.

And all of this continues right into the evening, just as it does in the home of any other mom and her kiddos. Or any other dad and his kiddos. Or whoever may have kiddos in their home. And by this time, I am tired and all I want to do is sit. Just like anyone else, no matter the situation.

Yes, those who are home may be able to sneak in a load of laundry or scrub a toilet right after a child has clogged it. But while home, so too are those beautifully messy babies with constant requests and needs. Which in itself, is a full-time job.

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I love having a tidy home and try and make it a priority in my everyday life. But, it certainly doesn’t always happen!


  1. tidiness has always been one of my greatest weaknesses. I definitely know what it’s like to be busy and have other people making a mess while you’re gone. Though that doesn’t stop me from trying.

  2. Neely Moldovan says:

    OH man I am so OCD but now that we have a baby its so hard to keep everything clean!

  3. I try SO HARD to be tidy, but with 4 dogs in the house it is definitely a struggle!

  4. I used to shame my sister because her house always looked a mess and she also was a SAHM. I just assumed that she would have the time to keep it looking better than I did since I work full time. But you’re so right – there are so many things that you have to juggle just to keep up with the kids so it’s almost impossible to add cleaning to the list. I’ll make sure to show more compassion to her and other SAHMs, for sure!

  5. Oh my goodness, yes! This exactly the truth! One might think it’s easier to keep a clean house when you’re at home all day with the kids – but that’s not true! Our house has been on the market and keeping it show ready has been a nightmare and a full-time job! I feel like we can’t live at all. And even though I love a super clean and tidy house, when you have kids, it just doesn’t feel like home or lived in if there isn’t a random Little People duck sitting in the middle of the living room floor or a pile of books on the floor around the bookshelf. Life with littles is a beautiful mess and I wouldn’t have it any other way :) Thank you so much for sharing this post and that picture! No ones house looks spotless all the time! …right? 😉

  6. Oh yes. I mean, if it were just us moms at home all day, the house would be sparkling! It’s those KIDS in the house all day that seems to be the issue. 😀 You nailed it…and handled the remark pretty gracefully.

  7. OMG! I LOVE how real this post is! Recently, I shared a picture on my Instagram of my heaping pile of laundry. I mean, it was a ridiculous pile; and that wasn’t even all of the laundry. haha It seems like sometimes people really think SAHM sit on their butts all day, drink wine and watch reruns of Grey’s Anatomy (I mean, I wouldn’t be complaining if I could). #MMBH

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