This topic makes me giggle because I am still learning and figuring this out myself. I wanted to share a few tips with you and talk you through that mom-freak out moment when it’s 5:30 pm, your house is covered in toys, empty Happy Baby or PLUM Organics pouches are everywhere, and your favorite family from small group or even your besties are coming over for dinner.
First of all, perfection is not the goal. Just breathe. I totally know the feeling. It is always the days when your babes took half the nap they typically do and you got stuck on the phone with your insurance company (DON'T WE ALL! I am thankful for insurance being someone with a chronic illness but still). My sweet husband is better at vacuuming than I am. So, the night before people are coming over, I ask him if he would help me by vacuuming. I feel like no matter what, clean floors make your home feel and look clean. Especially, those vacuum marks on the rug or carpet. While he vacuums, I go the extra mile in the kitchen. Meaning I don’t just load dishes but make sure everything is in it’s right place and wipe the counters. This is not the time to pull out the duster, clean all the bathrooms, etc.
I know what you are thinking, my kid or kids will have a whole day to turn it upside down. I have a few tricks to hopefully prevent that!! Depending on your child’s age, I would plan to go run errands or go to a park in the morning or during the longest play stretch. If that isn’t possible, pull out the play dough or paint. Keep them occupied in a more contained way instead of destroying the entire playroom or living room. Normally, I am big on letting kids be creative, build forts, etc. but on days where you're hosting in the evening, it’s okay to do something different. I typically clean up the toys each time they are brought out or go down for a nap, in hopes that only a few will be out the next time instead of piling higher and higher. The basket above is in my living room. It look pretty, but stores toys! I snagged it from Marshall's Home Goods for $35!
I also get ready during naptime. For me this means a teased top, low bun or half-up half-down bun, dirty hair day so that I can still use the other part of the nap to prep food or do anything else around the house. Y’all, dry shampoo is your friend. This one is my favorite! Just be careful of the color you select! This is where that planning comes into play. I would have washed my hair the day before and sometimes 2 days before so that it doesn’t feel bad. It’s important you feel good, too!
In those last moments, you can fluff pillows, add that center crease, and toss your pretty throw over the edge of your sofa. Then, put away the extras, throw away any snack wrappers and put a fresh towel in the guest bathroom. We hide stuff in our laundry room and shut the door. Don’t lie, you do it too. You can also light a candle or two, turn on some music, and turn on the porch lights. No one will ever know whether your house has been cleaned the day before or weeks before. I promise. Happy hosting, mama or yo pro! No reason you shouldn’t still have time with friends and people you love!