One thing that seems lacking in the world of stay at home mums is the “well done” at the end of a long day – it’s a pretty thankless task. I find myself missing the office environment, whereby if I achieved something even small-scale, there’d be someone there with a nice pat on the back or a bit of commission as a “brava, you go girl!”. Of course, comes the lifelong achievement of having hand-reared small humans into, hopefully, reasonable grown-ups – with the vague hope that one day they might turn around and acknowledge that you did an “alright job” and they actually enjoyed their childhood.
It’s frustrating when you’ve spent a long day with a non-communicative small one – tidying, cleaning, cooking, poop-wiping, food shovelling – we all know the routine, for that special someone, in my case Mr Only Girl, to walk through the door and announce “Oh, you didn’t get round to taking that parcel to the post office then?!” Cue desire to shut his head in the fridge door 20 times as he scours for food like a ravenous bear. Funny enough, no, I didn’t do that one measly task as I was doing about a thousand others whilst juggling children and stopping the dog from eating the postman.
So, some days when I’m just feeling a little lacklustre and my priority lies in just stacking wooden bricks on the floor for hours on end (not on my own I’d like to add), I’ve devised a few shortcuts to fool those around us into thinking a little more effort has been applied than actually was.
By no means am I offering a shortcut to parenting kids, if only! No, I’m talking about handy little cheats to occasionally create the illusion of a domestic goddess, as after all – we all like a little pat on the back at the end of the day…
- This is my all time favourite – anti-bac wipes. Now, I love a good old scrub as much as next mama, but I’d be scrubbing continually with this many boys. A pack of anti-bac wipes (the Waitrose own ones are really lemon-y) and I can wipe down the house in about half an hour. We’re talking all the germ harbourers: toilet seats, windowsills, sinks, door handles, light switches, hand rails and Venetian blinds. Not only does this actually wipe these surfaces down, but it makes the surrounding area smell fresher. Job done!
- If it’s a Nigella-esque vibe you’re opting for and a “well done” for your baking prowess, you can’t beat THIS from the ever-so talented and cheat-ninja Mother Pukka.
- I love fresh sheets, in fact, I’ve always said that if we won the lottery I’d pay someone to change the bed linen everyday, but meanwhile, in the real/pre-lottery-win world, that ain’t gonna happen. About once every 7-10 days is average for this house. But, only last night did Mr Only Girl applaud me for getting the bed sheets changed, along with all the other mayhem of the day. A-ha – I had him fooled with this one. So… being a bed mite/skin dust freak, everyday I just pull back the duvet to the end of the bed (in a semi-folded manner) and open the windows – nothing beats a good airing! Yesterday however, I actually made the bed – you know, duvet up to the top, tucked under the pillows et al.This sudden change in routine, led Mr Only Girl to assume the sheets had been changed – et voila!
- I have my cheatastic grandmother to thank for this one – conning my grandad for years! She would swear by a quick spray of Mr Sheen (other dusting products are available) around the house just before he’d arrive home, giving the illusion she’d been dusting for hours. The truth is, men don’t actually realise dusting is a requirement, they think it just magically happens, however, they are wired to recognise the smell of a cleaning products (due to the cost factor!) and thus assume, it has been used for it’s purpose! Yes, this last statement regarding men is a sweeping comment, but this has applied to every man in my life, if this isn’t the case for your man or you, as a man – well done!
- Again, this cheat is all about aromas- cook anything with peppers in and the house will immediately smell like you’ve cooked up a very healthy meal. The power of peppers!
DISCLAIMER: Please note, do not try these on any mother – be it your own or in-law – they will notice. After all, this is not re-inventing the wheel and they undoubtedly used these tricks well before you knew the benefits of the “quick wash” setting.
So there you have them, you’re still going to have to change the sheets, cook dinner, clean the toilet and dust – but you can buy yourself a few days and just spend time playing non-nonsensical games with that precious little person, after all, isn’t that why we’re at home?!