How to manage without help/nanny during the holiday

1. Wake up earlier than others or reduce your sleep hours. You will be surprised what an extra hour will do to make your work faster and your home cleaner. This can be an hour before everyone wakes up or an hour after everyone else sleeps. This will give you undivided attention to do whatever you need to do.

2. Engage other family members. This can be your kids to whomever you are living with or relatives free during the holiday. Allocate age-appropriate chores to everyone and ensure they do it. Get the kids to clean up after their mess, a five-year-old can wash their plate and spoon and they can pick up toys. A child older than six years old can change the bedding, bathe themselves, and clean up after using the loo.

3. Clean as you go. Pick up dirt and clean drops with wipes or napkins, wash dishes as you cook, and immediately after eating, you will manage to have a clean space almost all the time.

4. Eat at the same time. This will help in reducing the number of plates or utensils for serving food. Only use what you need except when you have visitors, for example, dish up from the pot straight to the plate, there are elegant plating styles to please the eyes. Fruits can be served or arranged in a big bowl for everyone to eat together. Drinks can be served directly in their bottles (depending on size) or paper cups, so you can just throw them away after use. 

5. Hire a one-day helper who can come at intervals. The point here is to get someone to help you with things you find hard and time-consuming, for example, laundry.

6. Toilet/Bathroom. Depending on the number of people using the toilet/bathroom, it should be washed every other day. In between, you should ensure that every mess is cleaned after usage.

7. Have fun playing with the children. This time does go by fast – take time to enjoy it. Get out of the house and go do something fun. The bonus is that if no one is home, the house isn’t getting dirty either.

8. Play area. If you can afford it, carve out a playroom or a play area for your kids so that they limit their playing objects to one place.

9. Let go of perfection. Your house doesn’t need to be perfect.

10. Lastly, start the day with prayers and a potent stimulant. Having a hot black tea or coffee to start your day will also do the trick. Remember to take some time for yourself too. Although the time is likely going to be after the kids are in bed, get some time to relax too with whatever makes you happy.

It will get easier once you start. Implement things a few at a time. Doing the kitchen daily and ensuring the bathroom is clean, will boost your confidence. Waking up to a clean kitchen can make it seem much less overwhelming.

It takes a little discipline and practice at first, but everything will be okay.

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