It's Okay To Lower Your Cleaning Standards After Having a Baby

Everyone will tell you that having a newborn will make you lose sleep and become more scatterbrained. Running after a toddler will definitely keep you on your toes. What no one tells you is how much your usual routines will have to change when kids enter the equation.

Before kids, I was never the neatest person - but as I grew up, I settled into routines that worked for me. Laundry every Saturday, dishes every night, meal prep Sunday afternoon. Once my son was born, that all went out the window. My house was never quite as tidy as before, and sticking to a schedule was nigh impossible. I'm here to tell you - it doesn't get easier with two. The best thing you can do for your sanity is start lowering your standards.

RELATED: A Messy House Is Good For Your Baby

Give yourself a break! You are about to or have somewhat recently brought a new human life into the world - that's more than any man does in a decade! This new tiny creature is completely dependent on you to feed, clothe, bathe, and protect them. That's a huge task in and of itself, and if you're doing it well, you're succeeding at life. Pat yourself on the back for me.

What to Expect

The dishes can wait. Seriously, your baby doesn't care if the sink is clean when you go to bed. That's definitely not why they're crying. I know, I know - having a messy house gives you anxiety. It makes me want to curl into a ball and cry, too. Maybe "lower your standards" isn't the right phrase; more accurately, this is about re-evaluating your priorities.

There's some sort of quadrant I read somewhere in a Stephen Covey book - basically breaking down every task into importance and urgency. When you plot out your daily activities on this chart, everything baby-related becomes the most important and the most urgent. Even basic self-care like peeing alone, or taking a shower, take a backseat to that pudgy love-ball you call "peanut". And cleaning? That's even less important (and way less urgent) than getting a shower. Besides, isn't showering sort of like cleaning your shower or tub? Two birds with one stone, ha!


While you're operating under a new set of priorities, the family and friends around you probably aren't. So when your mother clucks her tongue at your piles of laundry (like mine did), ask her to pitch in! Hopefully she'll remember how busy she was when you were a wee one, and will have mercy on you. Even if she doesn't - she'll get the message.

READ MORE: Baby Laundry Tips And Tricks

No one should ever make you feel bad because your baby threw a wrench in your "average" day-to-day. It's going to be a while before your kid can fend for themselves and you can get back to those daily to-dos - and that's ok. Dishes might be important, but they certainly aren't more urgent than a fresh diaper, a warm bottle, or a snuggle. Remember this: your kid won't remember if you mopped the floors, but they will remember that time you built a pillow fort together.

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