I am 32 weeks pregnant and yesterday at my appointment, my midwife gave me her birth pool to borrow since I am next on her list to deliver, and we set the appointment for my home visit (in 2 weeks!). I can't believe how quickly this pregnancy has gone. While I've had 2 completely natural births with midwives, they were in birth centers so this is the first time I'm doing it at home. I ordered my birth kit and it should be here in a few days. All I have left to get for the kit is a liner for the pool, a pump to inflate the pool and a hose. I need a few things for the baby, but not much. Mostly I'm trying to figure out how to get this house clean and keep it that way when I'm so tired and I've got a 5yo and a 2yo running around making messes behind me. Any tips on how to keep the house reasonably clean and tidy until the big day? Any other tips for a first time home birthing mama?
I have no idea how to keep a home clean & tidy with littles around at all, much less while pregnant & getting ready to birth. I set up my birthing space in our front room and just worried about keeping that area ready to go. The rest of the house may have gone to hell in a handbasket but I honestly don't remember. Once I had my space ready, that's all I really worried about. I did make a list of things I wanted DH to do each day to help keep the place from getting too bad, and every once in a while I'd get some nesting urge & scrub the kitchen floor or something, but I didn't really bother with the rest of the house too much. Good luck to you!
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I'll try to just focus on the living room (where I'll be setting up the birth pool), the kitchen (since it's adjacent to the living room and I don't want to look at it messy while I'm in labor) and my bedroom (since I'll end up there). I guess I'm going to have to make a list of things that have to be done every day and give the 5yo and my husband chores to do. The mess is really bothering me though, not because someone might see it like this, but because *I* see it like this and it's making me very frustrated!
Keeping the house tidy--I've put away (in the master bedroom closet) all of my boys toys except for the two they play with most frequently, their favorite story books (which they generally don't get out on their own), and the stuffed animal they each take to bed. We trade out the two toys on request. Having the toys severely limited not only helps with messes, but it also has improved behavior significantly.
I've also been having my older son (3yo) help me around the house a bit. The main thing I have him do is hold the dust pan when I sweep the kitchen. Not having to bend over as much helps me a lot. He can also help me load the washing machine, and he knows how to get it started (the fun part!). When something spills, I have him get a rag for me, and I'm teaching him how to wipe things up. Basically, I'm trying to show him how to do a lot of the things that require me to bend over and minimize how much I have to do anything like that that he can't do.
I'd also recommend working with hubby to box up and store as many decorations and other things that you don't actually use regularly as possible. Less stuff out means less stuff to clean and less stuff that can break. If your kids have a lot of clothes they don't wear regularly, box those up too so they can't end up strewn across the floor.
In short, make your home as much of a minimalist paradise as possible before baby arrives. It'll help with the cleaning and with the kids. Then focus on teaching your 5yo how to help you out (and the 2yo, as well). My first was 2 when ds2 came along, and he was able to be really helpful by bringing me wipes for diaper changes or putting things in the trash for me when I was busy with the baby. It really helped with my recovery.
DS 1 b. 1/19/09, DS 2 b. 1/12/11, DS 3 b. 3/3/13