Mr C and I aren't extirely sure how, but it seems we've managed to produce a daughter with a bit of a cleanliness obession. Some of her first words included "clean, tidy and messy". From as soon as she was old enough to walk around with a drink she would get into a bit of a blind panic if any drink ended up on the floor. We mainly have cheap laminate floors downstairs, so a quick wipe with a cloth and the problem is easily solved, but she is determined that this wiping up should be done the second the mess is made and seems most put out if any thing else takes priority. I regularly get presented with bits of fluff that she's found on the floor and woe betide any mud that comes in from the garden. She once sat on the stairs whilst I hoovered the hall happily shouting "clean it mummy, clean it!"
Our attitude to housework is a bit more laid back. We're not fans of the place getting really dirty or untidy and I do like to have a quick tidy round after LIttle Miss C has gone to bed, or else I find it very hard to relax properly. Proper lengthy cleaning sessions don't happen all that often, but one thing that we're both agreed on is that we should spend the minimum time on it necessary to get the job done. Before we had Little Miss C the joke was that we had to ensure that we had at least fortnightly visitors to our house as we'd always have a 30 minute blitz before they arrive to ensure that everything was spotless by the time they were at the door. It's amazing just how much two of you can acheive in just half an hour if you put your minds to it.
Now that I'm home all day with LMC I tend to adopt a similar policy. I don't like to spend large chunks of the day cleaning, but instead I always find short periods of time when I can just blitz something. The ten minutes between LMC going down for a nap and something good starting on TV can give me just enough time to clean all the kitchen surfaces, stack the dishwasher and tidy up the living room. The ten minutes when she's in her highchair eating tea is perfect for quickly running the hoover round (and she can't get in the way!) and all the laundry can be sorted whilst Mr C baths her in the evening. The advantage of Mr C texting me to tell me when he's on a train home is that I know when I will have just ten minutes before he arrives to tackle everything else that needs doing to sort the general mess of the day.
It's not difficult to find ten minutes here and there in the day, even with a toddler in the house, and having something to look forward to at the end of each little cleaning frenzy makes it all so much more bearable, even if it is only a cuppa and chocolate biscuit!
Of course the next stage has to be training Little Miss C to tackle some of the cleaning jobs herself whist mummy sits down with that important cup of tea. Despite my best efforts at this I won't hold my breath…