Planning my first homebirth and trying to get this house in order seems impossible because I have two small children constantly making more messes. Any advice on how other homebirthing mommas were able to get their house in order? I have this feeling I'll be cleaning while in the early stages of labor, lol. Also anything you wished you had at home during labor or anything you are definitely glad you had around?
Preparing the house for homebirth!
My room (where we'll be birthing) is completely off limits without me or daddy there. So that helps. We have all our birth supplies in there and we have it arranged the way we want for birthing. Kitchen and living rooms (including vacuuming) are daily cleaning, and we get the kids to help. Bathrooms are as needed cleaning. I'll moisten some toilet paper and wipe down the counter or outside of the toilet after I go potty. Kiddos bedroom and playroom, are cleaned daily and a deeper clean weekly to make sure no apple cores or cups have taken up a permanent residence. I plan to shampoo the carpets once more probably around the 15th of this month and call it good, kitchen is mopped weekly and the bathrooms are mopped after messy baths and then once a month. Our only issue is laundry and staying on top of that. Our dryer broke and we can't afford it replace it until feb, and we have a small washer. So next weekend we're going to the laundromat to get everything done and caught up including our big blankets.
My biggest mess makers are a older than yours (6 and 4), but the youngest (21 months) we'll sometimes set up in the kitchen with a bowl of dried beans and some spoons and cup to mix and dump, and that entertains. Sometime I just have DH take them all out and I'll get everything done, or he'll offer to do the same for me. In the living room we have a box of toys, no toys from the playroom or bedroom are allowed to leave and only toys from the living room box are allowed in the living room. They can change the toys as wanted. We also have a basket or papers and crayons at the kitchen table for colors, doing math or spelling as well.
On one of my husband's days off we deep clean the whole house and get caught up if I've fallen behind on anything. This helps so much! Getting the kids involved makes the biggest difference.
I hope this helps in some way!
I'm home birthing, too! I have these cards that I use for my cleaning. They are 100% all-inclusive. They have everything that needs to be done around the house weekly, monthly, seasonally, bi-annually and annually. I made a big chart of all of it and then included it all on these note cards and I have a card for M-F on a 4 week cycle. As long as I stick to my cards and keep the clutter down my house stays in good condition. Thankfully, DH has been helping out more with them as they are easily a solid 30 minutes of hard cleaning to get them done every day and some of the things are just too hard for me now that I have a big belly. I'm trying hard to be a stickler about getting them done every day, though because I feel like you just can't predict when the baby will come.
I thought the Fly Lady had lists for what needs to be done in every room. There's a cleaning company nearby that I have seen has a list on their website of what they do in every room. http://www.merrymaids.com/34/our-cleaning
Basically, I do Bedrooms on Mondays, Bathrooms on Tuesdays, Living room on Wednesdays, Kitchen on Thursdays and the Dining Room on Fridays. If you wanted to adopt a system like this (which works for me because I do better when I'm regimented, but I know some people don't work well like that), you could make a list of every day from now until your due date and just make up a to do list for that day and include both daily cleaning and baby prep. Things like that really set me at ease because I can see exactly what needs to be done and it feels good to check it off. I have a general to do list going in addition to my daily cleaning cards that I'm working off of. That's been going well for me. I've just been doing things as I have time for them.
Could something like this work for you?
I've been feeling really nesty the past few days and have been stressing about getting the house ready. We have a schedule similar to Right of Passage. I have a 6 and almost 4 year old. Both are involved in cleaning and must do so in order to earn their privileges. I think the most important thing is trying to let go of having a "perfect" house for the birth. My room is also where most of the birth-action is going to take place, and both of my boys know they're not allowed in without DH or me in there. The hardest part for me is physically getting the cleaning done. I've had to accept help even though I previously took a lot of pride in keeping the house in order myself, in other words, I'd rather have it done my way. I have everything for the birth prepared and in my room and just take the rest day by day. My midwife knows I stress about it and keeps telling me that she has delivered babies in campers and once in a tent, so don't worry about it.
Thanks for the ideas. I guess I'm just feeling a little overwhelmed because on top of the normal cleaning and organizing half of my house is under construction right now. Our finished basement had major flooding in Sept 2010 about 5 feet of river water and totaled our downstairs bedroom, nursery, and bathroom. We have about half of it finished again but I was of course hoping to be done by the time baby came. I'm just struggling with the "There is no where to put anything" aspect of it all. If the master bedroom was finished that would definitely be my off limits birthing room but as of right now the living room will be the place of miracles :)
Major construction in your "space" is hard at anytime! I feel for you but it will all be okay. The house doesn't need to be perfect and if you are like most moms, when it comes down to the "time" you probably won't even really notice much but concentrating on baby. :)
My first 2 births were homebirths and my house was anything but immaculate. My children sleep in our bedroom so there is no keeping them out of the space. For this birth I am just trying to keep most toys in "their room" (they do have a separate bedroom/playroom) and in designated "play areas" and to keep up with the cleaning of the rooms where I will be laboring. It seems I am somewhat obsessed recently with cleaning my floors, I have all hardwood and tile so constant vaccuming and steam cleaning. In fact my Christmas present was a shark floor steam cleaner. Oh ya!
Having the kiddos help is great but not always easy. DH does a lot of taking them outside for adventures. :)
Oh I definitely feel for you with construction going on and feeling like you have no storage space. I think it's normal to feel this way. I am trying to let some of the anxiety go about it, but I have to agree with previous poster about probably not even caring when you're in the moment.. and I doubt anyone else is going to be looking around noticing things being messy. I just have to remind myself that my MW is a mom too and knows how it is/was.
i am finding my closet is a great place to store things.
i took out all the clothes that won't fit for a while or aren't breastfeeding friendly and bagged them up in those large zippered bags then they went far away from sight. that made space for the birth kit which is in a large container plus towels, wash cloths, changing pads for babe and receiving blankets which are in another large container. i found all my breastfeeding friendly clothes and tanks recently and put them in a basket in the closet. I have a small basket by my bedside with items i will want for comfort while in labor (heating pad, homeopathy kit, oil, etc) and postpartum stuff (nursing pads, perineal soak, lanolin, rescue remedy). i cleaned books, etc off shelves so there is space to put things in labor, etc. the baby has clothes in our closet b/c it will spend the most time in our room. they are all hung with a onsie underneath or pants, etc so outfits are easier to pull out all at once. i have a basket of cloth diapering stuff plus hats and socks under the clothes. all the slings are in one place, too.
this feels so great to have organization!
After just one week of posting this thread, I'm already feeling much more organized. I played catch up in the cleaning department and now have been following an easy to do maintenance schedule til D-day and the kids are helping (where they can of course.) My house is clean, (clean enough anyway) birth kit is set up and ready to go, and I'll be getting the pool on Monday. Gunter you sound a little more organized than me, I love the idea of having stuff in baskets where needed. Now it's just a waiting game. I still cannot believe I'm 37 weeks today, this pregnancy has gone by so fast.