How to get housework done with toddlers around

Juggling kids, cooking, bills and everything else in life can be a real hassle, so how do you cope with the million and one jobs you are expected to complete in one day?

I recently received a lovely email from a mum of twins who asked how to juggle the kids, the things you must do and the things you want to do and still have time to breath.

Unfortunately there is no simple answer to this question, but there are things you can do to help to get some things ticked off your list and hopefully leave a few minutes left in the day for some you time.

The first tip I can give is to get your kids to help

Obviously the older the kids are, the easier this is, but there is nothing wrong with getting your kids in to good habits at an early age.

Even if your kids are just passing you the next plate to wash or putting their own toys away they are being kept occupied and this gives you a few minutes to get some dishes cleaned or make a quick phone call.

Make a list

Write down everything that needs doing. Now have a look back through and decide if they need to all be done today. Number the items on your list, one being the most important. Work your way through the list at your own pace.

This way you can see how much you have achieved in your day, and if you don’t get the whole list ticked off... there is always tomorrow!

Do the chores whilst your kids are asleep

….or treat yourself to a sit down!!

If they normally have an hours nap, get some chores done, then have 20 minutes of you time. This means you get the chance to get the chores done and the ‘you time’ will give you motivation to rush the boring things.

Get a routine

There is no rule saying you must do everything in one go – lets face it, with kids around you are never going to have a sparkling clean house for long.

So break them up and do a few chores a day rather than a spring-clean in one go. It’s a lot more realistic and achievable.

Entertain your tots giving you some you time

Get your kids distracted so you can do the things you need or want to do. Give your kids some fancy dress, educational TV to watch, puzzles etc. Depending on your kid’s age will depend how long they will stay distracted for but it all gives you some breathing time to do your own thing.

It is good for children to learn to play on their own and keep themselves occupied. You may find you need to give them some ideas at first but they will soon get the hang of it.

Reward your kids for giving you your own time

Tell your kids that mummy has to get the ironing done and if they are good and play nicely then you will take them to the park for a run around after (and take the dog at the same time).

Set limits for your time and their time

Get a timer and explain to your kids that when the timer goes off, you will come and play with them.

This gives you a set amount of time to do what you want without being asked ‘how much longer?’ ‘Are you nearly done yet?’

Play dates

Offload your kids on a friend for a play date so you can have some time for yourself. This will keep your kids occupied and wear them out (hopefully). Just don't forget to return the favour.


No one likes washing up, ironing etc, so multi task to make it more bearable. Use the time your washing up to talk to your partner or your kids.

This way, your using the time to bond with your kids and it will help to take your mind off the boring chores.

Take the dogs and kids for a run

If the dog needs walking get the kids out and chasing him around. The dog will love the game of chase and it will wear those little legs out.

This one is great if you want a quiet evening!

Tire the kids out

Kids seem to have reserves of energy, but doing something active and exciting in the morning can tire them out, giving you a few hours peace in the afternoon for that all important ‘you time’

Great activities to tire your kids out are things like swimming, The best one, however, has to be indoor play areas; great for hiding away from the typical British weather and it means the kids can run around, whilst u sit and read the paper.

This great site gives you some more helpful advice and tips on how to get housework done with a toddler.