Cleaning while your child is awake has so many benefits, and I am a strong believer that every parent should try to do it as often as possible!
I know, it sucks.
You just want to get it done, without having to stop every 4 seconds to meet the needs of your demanding toddler.
But it is important for them, and you, to clean while they are awake.
Reasons why you should be cleaning while your child is awake
Here are my top 8 reasons you should do your cleaning while your child is awake.
It teaches them how to clean
This is the obvious one, so we will start here!
We all know that children learn a lot more from watching those around them, then they do from being told.
When you clean with your kids around you are showing them how to clean, even when you don’t realise it.
Every time you do the dishes when your little one is awake, you are showing them that dishes need to be done. Every time you pick up their toys, you are showing them that their toys have their own place.
Trust me, it works.
My little girl is now 21 months old, and for the last 6 or so months, she will grab her little broom and help me sweep up when I’m doing it.
She also sweeps up her own toys without being asked. It isn’t the ideal method of cleaning, but it is such an amazing thing to watch and a really good start!
Explain the importance of a tidy home
As you are cleaning, it gives you the perfect opportunity to explain to your child why you are doing these tasks. Even if they are 8 months old, they are still absorbing all of the information and learning.
Here are some starting points for conversations when educating your children on the importance of cleaning
- We wipe up spills so nobody trips and/or because we don’t want to attract icky ants to our home
- We put things in the bin so our home is healthy and clean
- Laundry is done regularly to make sure that everyone always has clean clothes to wear, and so they look nice
- If we don’t do the dishes, we will have nothing to eat off. Doing the dishes also helps keep away the ants
- Toys are picked up to make sure nobody trips on them and hurts themselves. Toys love being in their own little spot!
Teaches them responsibility
These seemingly small lessons are ones that they will take with them far beyond their childhood.
The younger you start with these lessons, the more chance there is of them becoming second nature.
When I was younger, we were rarely asked to clean and tidy after ourselves. As an adult, I look back and wish that these things were taught to me at a young age, to make it seem more natural and less daunting!
Shows them that things don’t magically pick themselves up
There is nothing more frustrating than living in a household where people think you have a magical, self-cleaning home.
Teaching your children that things aren’t magically tidied by cleaning fairies will let them know that pulling out all of their toys may not be such a good idea because somebody has to pick them all up – and it isn’t going to be mummy!
Lets you actually enjoy your free time
When you clean while your child is asleep, it cuts into your free time and can chip away at your mental health.
You never feel like you are getting a break. You’re either taking care of tiny humans or cleaning the house.
You need your you time. So stop spending your precious downtime on household chores, and start using it to practise some much-needed self-care.
It can be a great bonding experience
Cleaning as a family can be a great bonding experience.
Chuck on some music, have a dance while you clean and chat about the importance of cleaning!
Cleaning and tidying don’t have to be a chore, it can be a fun and important bonding experience. One that you may be missing out on!
You will learn how to be more patient
Cleaning with your children can be a huge learning curve for you as well. It will teach you how to be patient!
We all know how frustrating it can be to clean something just to have your toddler pull it out straight away.
Over time, this experience will teach you patience and how to accept that kids will be kids.
It is also another great chance to explain why we clean!
You will be amazed at how much your little one knows
While doing our declutter challenge, I learned that Luna has her own little personality and way of how she wants things done.
She sat in the bottom of our pantry as I was cleaning it, and rearranged the milk I had put away.
I was absolutely astounded at how much her little personality was shining through. Not only did she rearrange the milk, but she also did it neatly!
You can see in these photos what I’m talking about.
The photo on the left is her sitting next to the milk I had put in, the photo on the right is her rearranging them, in a straight line, how she thought they should go.
Who can be mad at such a clever little cookie with her own personality?
Are you going to start cleaning while your child is awake?
For the reasons you’ve just read, I really believe that it is something you should consider starting (if you don’t do it already!)
In the short-term, it might seem like a bit of a nightmare experience. However, over the long term, it will be significantly more beneficial to you, your children and your entire household!
Do you clean with your children? If you have any tips and tricks to add in the comments section, I’d love to hear!