Keeping a clean kitchen is challenging for any mom. But when you work outside the home, the dishes pile up as quickly as the laundry does. Here's a tip to help working moms keep kitchen cleaning simple and quick.
Don't Walk Out of a Messy Kitchen
Mealtimes can be a frantic blur of children demanding milk, second helpings or a favorite food. By the time it's over, you're tempted to herd the kids out of the kitchen and on to school or to sleep.
Don't. You'll just return to the room after a long day's work, or after putting the children to bed, and be forced to clean the dishes when you're exhausted.
Instead, take a few minutes at the end of the meal to toss the dishes in the dishwasher, put leftovers in the dishwasher and sweep away any large crumbs from the floor. When you return to a tidy kitchen, it will make preparing the meal that much easier. If you have slow eaters like mine, you can start to clean while they're finishing their food.
Enlist Children to Clean the Kitchen
Children of any age can help you clean the kitchen before the family moves to the next stage of the day. Sure, infants' help may be limited to amusing themselves in a playpen or high chair while you tidy up.
But even toddlers can wield a dustpan and whisk broom while you do the heavy lifting. At least it will occupy them when you're cleaning the kitchen! And as they get older, their contribution will go from being a token to actually helping.
If you do a quick kitchen clean-up after breakfast and dinner, your end-of-the-day rush will be a little more pleasant and you'll have time to yourself after the kids' bedtime. You'll also work more quickly and efficiently if you've got kids to tend to than if you clean at your leisure when they're asleep.