How in the world do you get anything done around the house AND and also potty your babe...and not end up with a giant mess on the floor?? Today I'm sharing super-actionable steps to simplify your EC and home-keeping routine (and experience more wins with both, in the process).
You will hear:
- how to EC around chores, homeschooling, and working from home
- super simple hacks for creating daily rhythm
- making large household chores do-able
- why a back-up is your chore-tackling friend
- four easy ways to keep EC-ing through multitasking
- the magic of set bedtimes for household rhythm
- tips for tweaking your budget to make room for outside help
Links and other resources mentioned today:
- Tiny Trainers
- TinyUps (waterproof covers)
- Easy Catch #1
- Easy Catch #2
- Easy Catch #3
- Easy Catch #4
- The Log App for iOS and Android
- Andrea’s own work-at-home hacks
Download the Transcript
If you can't listen to this episode right now (um, sleeping baby!?)...download and read the transcript here:
Welcome to episode 184, multitasking house chores with EC. How in the world do we get anything done and also potty our babies without a giant mess on the floor? You can read the full written transcript over at godiaperfree.com/184 and see links to all the things I mentioned in today's show. And definitely stop by after listening to this episode to leave a comment and interact with me there. Enjoy the show.
Hey, there. Welcome to the Go Diaper Free Podcast. I'm Andrea Olson, your host, author, and mom of five babies, all EC from birth, all out of diapers by walking.
This is an interesting one. Now, I want to talk about multitasking while doing EC with one of your children or your only child. So how do we multitask, specifically chores, with EC? So in my situation with my five children, I've always been the one who's had to do the chores. I've always been the one who's had to cook, clean, homeschool, run my business, too. I literally have been wearing a million hats. So I'm probably the best person you could ever learn multitasking from.
I would say from having five kids, I've incrementally gotten more and more organized over time and more and more of a routine with my children and with the way that I structure my days and my weeks. So one piece of advice I'd have for you here is how do we get all the house chores done and multitask and do all the things that need to be done as a housewife, a homemaker, a stay-at-home dad, whoever you are, and integrate EC with that. How do we maintain all of these things? So after having so many kids, I've definitely gotten more organized, and I encourage you to just pretend like you have that many kids as well. And it's amazing how you just get your you-know-what together.
The next thing I want to talk about with this is creating. So if you only have one child, which by the way is harder than having five, in my opinion. One is hard. Two is harder. Three is just mind-blowingly hard. And then four and five, for me and most women I know who have multiple children, like 10, 12 children even, are like, yeah, at the fourth child, it just got easier. So you need to artificially, if you only have one child, create a rhythm to your day. And I highly recommend doing this around nap times, bedtime, so sleep times, schedule those in, if you don't have a brand new newborn who needs responsive parenting and it's kind of more on demand, but even then, know their rhythm and then just kind of make a little timeline for yourself, and then feedings or meals. So we want to have a rhythm to the day. That will allow other things to be fit in around the baby's rhythm.
I was very adamant against scheduling anything in the very beginning with my first baby. With my second one, I started to have a bedtime. I started to have a nap time. I started to have, snacks at 10:00 and 2:00. Breakfast is at 8:00. Lunch is at noon. Dinner is at 5:00. Bedtime starts at 7:00, in bed, and sleep by 8:00. So you start to get more organized. So I invite you to create a rhythm to your day if you're not in that brand new newborn phase, which I totally get. There's a lot of responsive parenting that has to happen in that stage. And then to your weeks as well. So we want to schedule our chores. I used to do one load of laundry every other day. Now that I have five children, we do laundry every single day. Just one load a day helps us keep on top of it. And we don't just leave it in a basket when it's time to fold it. We actually take the time to fold it and then put it away.
So there is a method to do chores for a lot of people. Well, here's the first thing, if you declutter and you don't have a lot of things, then you don't have as many chores. So first and foremost, I highly encourage you to look up minimalism and decluttering on YouTube and try to figure out how to do that in your house. It will change the whole game. So if you have less stuff, there's less chores to do, and that includes kitchen stuff. You have duplicates of things, you're going to have to wash dishes more often. Better to have less. The other thing is we want to schedule our chores on a weekly basis as well. So maybe one day a week, you are dedicated to doing the floors. One day a week, you are dedicated to doing the toilets. One day a week, you have dedicated yourself to doing some other smaller bite-size thing, instead of trying to tackle the whole house at once. So that's definitely something that I've done in the past when I was doing all the chores by myself.
How to integrate this with EC, you want to use a backup. So when you are multitasking and doing chores, maybe in your day, you schedule in baby time, like I'm just playing with the baby at this time, or I'm going to wear the baby and go on a walk. Oh my gosh, exercise is so important, you guys. There are so many things that we can do with our babies and keep ourselves healthy as a new mom or dad. But when we're doing the chores, when we know, okay, this block is dedicated to, I am cleaning toilets right now, we want to put our baby in a backup so that we aren't stressed out about a miss. If you have them naked on the floor or naked on a towel or whatever, and they roll off of it and they pee all over the place, oh, you just made another chore for yourself. This is a bad idea. With EC, it is totally fine to use a diaper as a backup. It is fine to use Tiny Trainers with a pull up cover over top of it. I have some TinyUps cloth pull-up covers that I sell at Tiny Undies. You can do that kind of a backup, if you don't want to do a diaper.
Have them in something that you're going to get a louder signal from them usually, and you're also going to have cleaner floors and less chores that add up while you're trying to do the other chores. So that's definitely important, and there's no shame in that. And there's literally nobody watching except for yourself. And if you're judging yourself that hard, then we need to reset that. We need to recalibrate that because you deserve to not have judgment in your life like that.
I do want you to simplify your practice. I've said this so many times before. If you are multitasking house chores with EC and you are finding it to be overwhelming, that means that you either need to shrink down the number of chores you're doing, or you need to shrink down the amount of EC you're doing. So simplify back to the Four Easy Catches. Maybe we're just doing poops and wake-ups for this morning. Maybe every morning, we only do poops and wake-ups. Maybe we only do diaper changes for a couple of days. Whatever it is, pick something and stick with it. One to two of the easy catches is a really good way to simplify your easy practice.
The other thing I want you to do is while you're doing this multitasking your house chores or whatever it is, you can set a timer. So if you know your baby's natural timing, oh yeah, they go about every 20 minutes right now, wonderful, set a timer for that. If you don't know your baby's natural timing, you can use my app. It's brand new. It's called The Log. You can find it on godiaperfree.com/app. And you will be able to learn your baby's natural timing, the intervals which they go just with a touch of a button and start to track that. And then in the app itself, you can set a potty timer so that you can actually get a push notification from your phone that says, "Time to potty," based on your data that you found. So setting a chore, I mean, setting a timer during chores is a really good idea because I personally really like it. I get time-warped when I'm doing chores and it's really hard to keep track of the baby's timing at that time. And I used to just look at the clock. I'd be like, okay, add 20 minutes and then look at it, and then I'd forget.
Now, the next thing that might help you is if you can baby-wear during your chores. So put on your Ergo, put on your Moby Wrap, put on your K'tan, whatever it is, and put your baby in it and do your chores. You can have your baby on your back if they're big enough or if you have the right wrap. My ties are really wonderful, a very long rebozo. You can wear a baby on your back at a very, very early age. Find a baby carrier that works for you and doesn't hurt your back and do your chores with the baby on your back. The cool thing about this is that babies give a signal really strongly when they want to go potty. And you also want to potty them beforehand, then put them in so that maybe they'll fall asleep and then you'll get a lot more chores done with them on you.
And then during naptime or even at bedtime, set a bedtime. It's a very healthy thing to set an actual time when, "Hey, this is when we're going to go to sleep tonight. This is when I'm going to start your bedtime," based on when they naturally get tired anyway, but these would be really good times to do chores. I know that that's also an important time for you to rest as a new mom, but it's also a good time to get in maybe one chore that might take five or 10 minutes.
The last thing I want to say is if you are financially able to, get help. You can hire a nanny to help hold your baby so you can do chores. You can hire a nanny or a personal assistant to help you do the chores while you hold your baby. You can tag-team between each other. I think that's a really important thing. A lot of churches offer, as a ministry, a preschool that's like a mom's day out. So you have a little bit of time for you and for your house stuff to get done and without the guilt, they're being cared for by a very loving community. So you can check that, and they're really usually very low cost. It's amazing. The ones in my town are just amazing.
Now, you can also, if you have the resources, get a house cleaner. I was very resistant to this. I thought it was such a luxury. I thought it was very vain to have a house cleaner. I cleaned the toilet a couple weeks ago because it got clogged and I'm a single mom. I had to do it myself, and it was literally the first time I'd cleaned a toilet in three years. And I know that sounds fancy and that sounds wonderful, but we started having a house cleaner here when I was still married before it was comfortable, before I felt like we could afford it. And it literally changed everything. I had so much more time to be with my kids. And to be honest, if you have enough money or you can fiddle with your budget just a little bit to get a house cleaner, even just once a month or every other week, we have one come in every single week now, the piece and centeredness I get and the joy from having a clean house one day a week, even if it's just for five minutes, is worth every penny that I spend on this beautiful house cleaning service.
If you can do that, it could literally change everything. Get over the guilt right now. It is so helpful if you have the resources to do that. And again, your baby's going to grow so fast. Your baby is growing fast. So any time missed because you're doing a bunch of chores that you'd rather not be doing and you're not connecting with your baby, but you have the resource to do it, awesome. Or maybe this is a goal that you can set yourself. "Hey, hubs, we're going to get on this. We're going to figure out. No more Starbucks. We're going to get a French press at home and just make our own coffee, little espresso machine, make our own coffee, and that money's going to go to a house cleaning once a month so that I can have peace of mind and be with my baby more," because that is what they need right now. And then the other thing is you know there are fluff and fold services. There are laundry services. If you have a laundry issue, you know who you are, you've got laundry piled up so high. Every time you need clothes for anyone in the family, you're going to the laundry room and picking it out, if that is you and you're buried under a pile of laundry, you can totally gather all that up, give it to a laundry service, they will fluff and fold it for you, if you have the resources for that.
In my area, care.com has a lot of personal assistants. I found my personal assistant that I just got a couple weeks ago. Because I am divorced and because I was feeling very overwhelmed and because I have the resources, thank God, to be able to do this, I have somebody working with me a few hours a week and she's picking up groceries. If it's naptime, I cannot leave to go get groceries. I found her on Craigslist. There are people who really want to do this kind of work. She's an artist. She really needs the extra work. She's highly organized. She solves these problems that I'm having as a single mom. So those of you single moms out there who are listening, who have some kind of resource for that, what if there's a family member? If you don't ask for help, you're never going to give somebody the gift of being able to be of service to you. And we, human beings, want to be of service to each other. We want to feel useful. I love it when I feel used, not used in a bad way, but I am useful and used and I'm of service and I've helped somebody, that fills me up. Well, guess what? Most people are like that. So if you ask them, if you ask somebody, "Hey, hey stepmom, could you please come over two hours a week, just so I can get some chores done or just so I can take a nap?" That, your stepmom might love to do that. So please, please, please ask.
I hope that these practical tips have been very helpful for you. Multitasking house chores with EC. Remember to use a backup when you're doing the chores, try to baby-wear, try to do something that helps you not be stressed out about ECs, so you could also get all the homemaking things done. And I promise you, you will find a balance with it. Being a new mom is very hard. I've been there five times, but especially the first time, you literally forget how to do everything including cook.
This is a wonderful opportunity to recreate your life and to go, okay, which parts do I want to do myself? Which parts do I want to do with the baby? Which parts do I want to do when the baby is asleep? I highly recommend a rhythm and routine to your day and your weeks. Get organized. Pretend like you have five kids like I do, and you will be able to get a little bit better every single day. And before you know it, you're going to have some spare time to even take care of yourself, which we'll talk about soon as well. So that's all I have to say about that, how to balance EC with also your homemaking duties.
Please go over to godiaperfree.com/184 and leave a comment. How do you manage all the house chores while also doing EC? We would love to hear your tips and tricks. And if you have any comments or questions, you can add them there as well at godiaperfree.com/184. Thanks so much, and we'll see you next time.
Thanks so much for listening. This is the Go Diaper Free Podcast at godiaperfree.com. We'll see you next time.
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About Andrea Olson
I'm Andrea and I spend most of my time with my 5 children (all under 10 yo) and the rest of my time teaching other new parents how to do Elimination Communication with their 0-18 month babies. I love what I do and try to make a difference in one baby or parent's life every single day. (And I love, love, love, mango gelato.)